In the weight room, we recommend wearing a minimalist-type shoe, often called “Cross-Trainers,” versus regular running or tennis shoes. The reason is that running shoes are not meant for lateral (side to side) movement since they are structured to only help you move forward. Additionally, and perhaps the most noticeable in the gym, when you wear shoes that have a lot of cushion on the bottom, you lose the tactical reception of your feet to the ground. This reception is crucial to helping your body safely adjust, find the proper position to create tension when necessary and produce power. We talk about finding this position and ‘screwing your feet into the ground’ HERE. As you push into the ground during a deadlift or a kettlebell swing, for example, it’s important to drive that energy into the ground so that it comes right back up through your body. Standing on cushioned shoes dissipates that energy and you’ll notice your lifts and the power in which you execute those lifts will be weaker (and/or the wrong muscles will try to make up for the loss of power – ouch!).
Some cross-trainers we recommend are Nike MetCons or similar styles that arelow-profile. Good ‘ol Chuck Taylor low tops are an excellent option, too, or you can simply Google ‘cross training shoes for lifting’! If purchasing an additional pair of weight lifting shoes isn’t for you right now, feel free at Valeo to use your running/tennis shoes to add comfort to exercises like lunges and then take them off and go sock or bare-footed during exercises that really require you to grip the ground for strength and power – this is what you’ll find us as coaches doing most often, ourselves!
Cheers to happy, grippy feet that make strong bodies! 🙂
Notice the difference in cushion, heel platform, and profile between the running/tennis shoe and the MetCon and Chuck Taylors. The MetCons, Chuck Taylors and other minimalist shoes allow for much more agility and better feel for the ground when lifting weights while running shoes are designed for prolonged impact and proper foot positioning during walking and running movement.
If you want to start lifting just so you can get some snazzy new cross-training shoes, we get it…they are pretty cool. And so is lifting! 🙂
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