a man lifting heavy weights



  • THE FOUNDATION – A stable foundation that delivers great traction with the ground is exactly what you need in a lifter, so ensure the midsole has little to no compression and the outsole has excellent grip.
  • THE HEEL – A raised heel of between 2cm to 2.5cm helps increase range of motion and allows you to sit in a better position, which in turn will increase your power.
  • A SECURE FIT – A great lifter keeps your foot securely in place and offers optimum support, look for lifters with a midfoot strap, boa dial or secure lacing system.
  • FOREFOOT FLEXIBILITY – If you like to use your lifting shoes for more than just lifting movements, look for a lifting shoe that offers flexibility in the forefoot and a wider toe box, allowing toe splay and move freely.
  • BREATHABILITY – Keep cool with shoes that feature breathable uppers, allowing moisture to escape and keeping your feet comfortable no matter how tough the session.



To get the most out of your weightlifting shoes, they must fit correctly. The first thing to look for is a shoe that has sufficient room for your feet and toes, while offering a snug fit. Your feet shouldn’t slide around in the shoe and you want to make sure there is no lifting in the heel area. When trying on new lifters, do it in the evening as your feet swell during the day and wear your socks while doing so. Simulate a few movements you’d normally do, while wearing them, this way you can ensure a comfort and a secure fit.



Are you performing isolated weight lifting movements such as squats, clean and jerks and snatches weekly? Do you struggle with ankle mobility or just looking to improve your overall weightlifting performance? If the answer is yes, then it’s probably time to invest in a pair of weightlifting shoes.


If your WOD’s include weightlifting or any squat style movement as part of the workout, lifters could be the perfect choice. However, as most WOD’s incorporate a range of different movements and not just weightlifting moves, you’ll want to make sure you choose a lightweight lifter with a flexible forefoot. This will give you the flexibility you need for box jumps and other functional movements.



Weightlifting shoes are worn for 3 main reasons. An elevated heel can help achieve better body angles, especially for squatting movements. The extremely dense sole minimizes force absorption allowing for more power to be transferred to the ground and the wider base creates more stability.
So, should you be wearing lifting shoes? First, let’s break down each of the 3 aspects of weightlifting shoes, and then ultimately you’ll be able to decide whether or not you need a pair for yourself.

Elevated Heel

Pro Wolf PRx700 Weightlifting shoes are designed with an elevated heel, about 2.5cm. This is double the heel drop on a typical athletic shoe. This elevated heel lessens the necessary ankle mobility to achieve a full squat position. By elevating the heel, it allows the knees to track forward a bit more naturally. This then allows the hips to drop lower while maintaining a more upright torso.

The argument against an elevated heel is that it leads to less mobility and makes the lifter too dependent upon the shoe. This is just not the case. Should you still work on your ankle mobility? Absolutely YES.

The elevated heel gives you greater ankle motion than you’d get in a pair of Chucks. This increased ankle motion is due to the deeper squat you’re able to achieve. Improved ankle mobility not only lets you lift more, it also helps prevent injury.

Transfer of Force

Weightlifting shoes are made with super dense materials in the sole. Typically a specialized hard plastic or wood. This allows force to be transferred from your foot to the floor without absorbing any of the force in the shoe itself.

When catching Olympic lifts, stability is paramount. When you’re trying to catch 150KG in a front squat position, you don’t want to lose balance because you’ve worn out the outer edge of your training shoe.

Hard Base Creates More Stability

Athletic shoes are specifically designed to absorb force. Being able to effectively absorb force is what helps to protect your feet and joints from running, jumping and any other kind of athletic activity. However, if all you want to do is squat or clean, then it’s not an advantageous design.

Lifting shoes provide the base you want – consistently. The heel of the shoe, whether made of wood or the newer hard plastics is not going to wear out or become uneven.

The Science Behind Weightlifting Shoes
A brief weightlifting intro

Weightlifting and weight lifting are different. Weightlifting is what you see in the Olympic Games. It’s the snatch and the clean and jerk. Weight lifting is anything where you pick something heavy up for some kind of athletic reason, often in the gym – confusingly, this can also include weightlifting! The reason for this pedantry is to clarify what I’m talking about throughout the rest of this blog.

What do weightlifting shoes do?

Firstly, it’s important to point out that no non-weightlifter needs weightlifting shoes. If they aren’t in your budget right now, then don’t worry – you can still master solid techniques without them. In fact, some coaches actually recommend not using them at first, so you don’t become overly reliant on their benefits. But what are those benefits and why do people wear weightlifting shoes?

We mentioned earlier that weightlifting shoes have a built-up heel – this is the secret to their benefit. If you’ve ever performed a squat, you may have struggled to get as low as you were aiming. This is often a result of having poor mobility at the ankle. It’s something that can be improved over time but certainly isn’t something that will change overnight. A raised heel helps with this by increasing the tibial (shin) angle, meaning that for the same bend at the ankle, you’re able to get down lower. In fact, when wearing weightlifting shoes, you actually bend your ankle less and compensate by bending more at the knee and hip than when wearing normal trainers.

This can also lead to helping more experienced lifters to maintain a more upright torso during some lifts – something that can be really advantageous as it keeps the center of mass towards the middle of our base of support (basically, directly above and in the middle of our feet). This is especially important as the load increases because it prevents us from losing balance and dropping the weight in front or behind us. It also makes the lift a little easier too.