: 0 Weightlifting Shoes. Anyone who does the classic lifts probably wears wears them (or at least 90% of people in the sport). Yet ironically most of the research available seems to be isolated to look at the benefits of squatting in a weightlifting shoe only.
Most of the findings are similar. All results state that a raised heel contributes to a more upright torso, which might lend to a better usage of muscular activation. When compared to athletic trainers, they generally haven’t been any differences in regards to ability to hit a parallel position in the squat. We can assume that due to the torso angle being easier to maintain, full depth squatting with good postural mechanisms is therefore easier to attain.
I’d be keen to see studies that looked at the pulling kinetics and kinematics of weightlifting shoes, to observe any differences. Could insight be attained around a trade-off; a larger heel means increased torso angle, or a small heel results in improved kinetics/kinematics?
I also found a study that looked at barefoot squatting compared to a regular athletic shoe. No differences were noted between the two.
We would generally recommend the use of a weightlifting shoe. .
Further reading on shoes;
Legg, H., et al. (2016). The effects of weightlifting shoes on the kinetics and kinematics of the back squat. J. Sports Sci, 35, 508-515.
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