Which Shoes Should I Choose?

Posted: April 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

My husband calls me the Imelda Marcos of the powerlifting world.  Imelda owned hundreds of shoes.  I have owned and tried probably 10 or more shoes for powerlifting.  Breakdancing, army grade, wrestling, basketball, fancy squat shoes, cheapo LA Gear, running shoes … tried em all.

Your feet, your legs, your balance points are uniquely yours.  What works for one person, isn’t necessarily going to work for you.  You have to know your strengths and weaknesses before you choose your shoe.

For instance, in squats, if your strength is in your quads and you are more comfortable leaning forward for balance,  then your feet are probably closer together, your bar is probably lower for counterbalance, and you may keep your head forward.  In that case, the Crain or USA Safe squat shoes are probably for you.  You can wear em nice and tight, they keep your ankles stable and tilt ever so slightly forward with a 3/4″ heel.

BUT if your power is in your hips, you have a wider stance and no problem getting deep enough … if you have a mid to high bar and your toes point outward, you may have better luck with a nice flat Converse, wrestling or even the Vibram Five Fingers.  (By the way, don’t bother with any other brand but Vibram. I almost bought the Vibram’s and still might).

Point is, you’ve GOT to know YOUR STRENGTHS before you choose your shoes.

FOOT PROBLEMS:  I started getting foot cramps.  I also used to pull groin muscles and hamstrings during my deadlifts and squats.  I would recover, but it was a pain the _____.  I tried everything.  At first I thought it was nutrition (potassium/calcium), but it wasn’t.

SOLUTION:  I went to the foot experts at Trade Home in Colorado Springs.  He brought out every conceivable pair of shoes…each one addressing a different problem.  I found the exact combo for me, even though they’re a little clunky.  It’s a pair of Nike 6.0’s with an insert by SofSol called Athlete.  Keeps the shock and weight off my arch and heel, sinks me into the pocket and the soles are super grippy and flat. Alot of people like that forward tilt, but I can’t stand it.

WEAKNESS:  Now, if you want to build on your weaknesses, get the exact opposite pair of shoes that you need.  For me, it’s a pair of Crain Squat Shoes.  Ricky Crain is an expert.  Look him up.  I hate my Crain’s because they make me work my quads, narrow my stance and stiffen my ankles.  But talk about a good workout, and a good way to build on my strengths.



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