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Best Shoes for a Newbie Lifter


SerBryan

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Hi all, hopefully this question hasn't been asked too many times in the past, but I'm about to start following the NROL program at my gym.  

 

I currently have a pair of Asics running shoes that I normally wear to the gym when I run or ride a stationary bike, but I've been read in various places that you shouldn't wear running shoes when doing squats, deadlifts, etc because of the instability.  

 

Would my current running shoes really make a difference for someone like me who is a beginner in the weight room?  I'm only going to be squatting 95lbs right off the bat and I have no idea what my deadlift is going to be.  Once I become established in the weight room I want to reward myself with some new lifting oriented shoes, like the New Balance MX20, but I don't want to be the new flabby guy in the gym wearing fancy crossfit style shoes.  

 

 

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I wear running/athletic shoes to the gym and just take them off when I squat/deadlift.

It's really not that big of a deal, just get to the gym and start working out.

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I've never even heard of shoes specifically for lifting before this post. I use a pair of old cross trainers I can keep in my locker without missing.  Unless you have foot issues, I don't think it would matter.

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On a basic level, the most important thing for lifting is a firm(i.e. non-squishy) sole.  This makes power transfer to the ground more effective and even, compared with something with heavy padding.  Chuck Taylors happen to be one of the cheapest options that meet this requirement.  Various minimalist shoes(my personal choice) may fit the bill as well.

 

Dedicated weightlifting shoes have a bit more of a heel rise than chuck taylors or minimalist shoes, but are still very firm and stable, which can be even more effective overall.  But something like Chuck Taylors or a minimalist shoe makes for a good "walk-around" shoe that also serves its purpose for weightlifting.

"Restlessness is discontent - and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man-and I will show you a failure." -Thomas Edison

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For shoes, I agree with the Chuck Taylors. They're pretty damn cheap (I've gotten them for as low as $15). They were my first lifting shoe and they worked great. I personally lift in Vibrams when I'm doing it in a public space as they have no cushion, I lift in just my socks when I lift at home. I switched to Vibrams from Chucks because I used to also do minimilist running on the same day and didn't like changing my shoes.

 

For squatting and olympic lifts a nice pair of lifting shoes can help a lot. They are designed to have that hard sole with minimal cushioning while also giving some heel rise, which helps with form. I haven't bought myself a pair yet, but should probably get around to it.

 

By the way you should be starting with just the bar and no additional weight.

 

This is what Mehdi reccomends in stronglifts but is not true for everyone. I don't agree with it; a 300 lb man and 120 lb woman should not be starting at the same weight for example. I believe the best thing to do is the Starting Strength guidlines, in which one starts with the bar and keeps doing sets of 5 within the same workout until one gets to a weight that is challenging while still being able to keep good form. That weight will be the starting working weight.

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I used to lift in chucks.  Now I lift in vibrams.  My deadlift went up 20lbs when I switched to my vibrams, and it had only been two weeks since my previous PR.  Form improvement could have been part of it, but I have a very good feel of the floor now.

 

Do you need super-great shoes now?  No.  Do you need them ever?  Probably not.  

 

But don't wait until you're super fit to be comfortable with good equipment.  Personally, I'd base the quality of your shoes (and any equipment) on the amount of time you will spend in them.

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Like Corey and nerddanika, I lift in Vibrams. I started out by just wearing basic sneakers, cross trainers, whatnot, but switched to Vibrams about 10 or so months back. As everyone has said, whatever shoe that is in your budget and has the least amount of squishiness in the sole.

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I've never even heard of shoes specifically for lifting before this post. I use a pair of old cross trainers I can keep in my locker without missing.  Unless you have foot issues, I don't think it would matter.

?????

 

Your first sentence admits total ignorance concerning lifting shoes.  You last sentence is offering an opinion effectively saying there is not benefit to lifting shoes.

"I lift heavy things. Sometimes these things are people."

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I used to lift in chucks.  Now I lift in vibrams.  My deadlift went up 20lbs when I switched to my vibrams, and it had only been two weeks since my previous PR.  Form improvement could have been part of it, but I have a very good feel of the floor now.

 

 

You'd be surprised at the difference the quarter inch or so of difference can make on DLs. Without shoes you are lower to the ground and therefore have to move the bar less. 

"Pull the bar like you're ripping the head off a god-damned lion" - Donny Shankle

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I'm using some Payless shoes Chuck Taylor knockoffs I got on sale for $4.00.  Based on the usual lifespan of their shoes, I don't wear them for anything else but lifting..  I lift outside, so I'll probably go back to barefoot in a few weeks.

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