Lift More, Lift Better: The Ultimate Guide to Powerlifting Shoes

Are powerlifting shoes worth it? If you’re serious about powerlifting, you know that the right shoes can make a real difference in your performance. Lifting shoes are specifically designed to meet the demands of heavy lifting. Specialized footwear helps enhance force production through optimal foot pressure distribution, and prevents injuries through their support and stability. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the specific needs for each lift and the different types of footwear that can help you reach your goals.

One important characteristic of powerlifting shoes and slippers is the soles. Powerlifting footwear often features a hard, flat sole that provides a stable base for the lifts, but good grip, comfort, and sturdiness are also important factors to consider. We will cover all considerations for your perfect powerlifting footwear in this blog.

Squat Shoes: Elevated Heel or Not?

When it comes to squat shoes, the most important decision you’ll need to make is whether or not you want an elevated heel. An elevated heel in your squat shoes can help you maintain a more upright posture and improve your form. This is because the elevated heel shifts your weight forward, which can help you stay balanced and avoid leaning too far forward. Additionally, an elevated heel may make it easier for some lifters to reach proper depth in the squat, as it can help to open up the hip joint and allow for a greater range of motion. Nike and Adidas both offer popular squat shoes that were originally developed for weightlifters but are also used by many powerlifters. Sabosports Powerlift shoes, which also have a raised heel and a hard, flat sole, are a popular choice aimed at powerlifters.

On the other hand, flat shoes tend to promote a more hip-dominant squat. To keep the weight of the bar over the middle of your foot, the hips may sit further back and your torso leans forward. In order to reach equivalent depth to squats with an elevated heel, sufficient ankle dorsiflexion is necessary when using flat shoes. While flat shoes can be beneficial for certain types of squats, such as low bar squats, they may not be as ideal for maintaining proper form in a traditional high bar squat. It’s important to find a flat shoe that offers good grip and sturdiness such as the Avancus Powerlifting Shoes, as these features can be crucial for maintaining a stable base and generating force throughout your squat motion. Deadlift slippers can also serve as a good substitute for flat shoes for those that want the barefoot squatting feel. They do however lack some of the stability of a shoe.

Ultimately, the choice between an elevated heel and a flat sole for squats comes down to personal preference and what feels most comfortable and stable for you. It’s worth trying out both options to see which one works best for your unique body and lifting style. Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works best for you – the right squat shoes can make a huge difference in your powerlifting performance.

Bench Shoes: Why Grip is Key!

Grip is essential when it comes to the bench press. As you press the weight off your chest and engage leg drive during the pressing motion a stable base is crucial. Without good grip, it can be difficult to generate the necessary force throughout the movement to complete the lift. Deadlift slippers are a popular choice for the bench press because they have a thin, flexible sole that provides excellent grip and allows for a greater range of motion.

Alternatively, some powerlifters prefer to use shoes with an elevated heel for the bench press. An elevated heel can help you maintain a more stable position and keep your feet planted firmly on the ground. It can also help you to get in position for your arch more easily, which can be beneficial for maintaining proper form and generating force.

Unleash Your Deadlift Power: Slippers or Shoes?

When it comes to the deadlift, the choice of shoes can be a bit more nuanced. There are two main deadlift stances: sumo and conventional. In the sumo stance, your feet are positioned wider than shoulder-width apart, while in the conventional stance, your feet are closer together.

Notorious lift deadlift slippers during a heavy deadlift. Photo by: Jeroen Koster

For both sumo and conventional deadlifts one popular choice is deadlift slippers, which are lightweight footwear with a thin, flexible sole. These slippers allow for a reduced range of motion and the thin sole of deadlift slippers can also help lifters feel more connected to the ground, allowing for better force generation. Notorious Lift Gen 2x barefoot slippers are specifically designed for this purpose, offering the sensation of being barefoot while still wearing slippers.

Grip is particularly important for sumo stance deadlifts, as it helps lifters maintain stable contact points with the ground and generate force. Without proper grip, it can be difficult to complete the lift and lifters may find themselves slipping or losing their balance. Shoes or slippers with a textured or sticky sole can help maintain a solid foundation and generate the necessary force. Notorious Lift has designed multiple sole variants for extreme grip during deadlifts, including the Sumo Sole Gen 1 and the Sumo Sole Gen 3.

Alternatively, some powerlifters may choose to use deadlift shoes with a wide, stable base and good grip. Avancus Deadlift Shoes are popular options, featuring a flat, hard sole that provides stability and comfort. The grip for Avancus deadlift shoes is unparalleled. These deadlift shoes can also be used for all lifts and as gym accessories, making them a versatile choice for long training sessions. However, it’s worth noting that, as always, the choice of footwear comes down to the lifters preference.

Overall, choosing the right powerlifting shoes can make a big difference in your performance. Consider your specific needs for each lift and try out a few different options to see what works best for you. With the right pair of shoes, you’ll be well on your way to reaching your powerlifting goals. So don’t wait any longer, start your journey to better performance today by investing in a pair of high-quality powerlifting shoes!

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