Just a few short years ago there was not much choice when it came to weightlifting shoes, but now there are a plethora of shoes on the market. Since we encourage our athletes to get their own weightlifting shoes, it came to light that there should be a review of the various brands and models available. I am only reviewing brands of shoes that I or CrossFit West Santa Cruz members have experience with; there are brands out there that are not included here. This review is not going to be very technical either, for example, I am not measuring heel height.
The basic purpose of weightlifting shoes is to provide stability. As such, they have hard soles with no cushion and a raised heel. These soles are most often layers of balsa wood, but lately shoes have been coming out with plastic heels. There is simply no comparison between the stability and support given by a real weightlifting shoe and any other kind of shoe, even a minimalist shoe such as the Minimus, Inov8, Samba, or Converse, when it comes to the quick lifts. The newer and fancier shoes (the Nike Romaleo, for example) have added support that wraps around the heel so there is even less lateral movement.
This is both good and bad for a CrossFitter. If you are purchasing weightlifting shoes purely to lift in, then a stiffer sole and more support is often better. However, many CrossFitters, myself included, like to do WODs in their weightlifting shoes and many movements possible in some weightlifting shoes (box jumps, burpees, double unders, rope climbs, etc) are difficult in shoes such as the Nike’s. Companies are starting to catch on to the CrossFit phenomena and coming out with CrossFit-specific weightlifting (and other) shoes. Reebok, of course, is one of these companies, and their new weightlifting shoe is designed for CrossFitting, ie, a softer more flexible sole and reinforced toes. By making the shoe more multi-purposed, Reebok has sacrificed some pure weightlifting ability, in the same way that the Nike Romaleo has sacrificed multi-purposeness for pure weightlifting ability. This adds to the purchasing dilemma.
Tomorrow, I will look at some individual brands and shoes. Here is a great article on the history and evolution of weightlifting shoes from Dynamic-Eleiko.
7 Heavy Doubles
Then (from CF Football):
Each round consists of 3 cycles of the following:
2 Front Squats – 80% of 1 RM
10 Balls Slams – 40/25#
1 Rope Climb
Rest 2 minutes betweeen rounds.