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Georgia Guy 07-21-2013 02:45 PM

Why OLYs?
Okay I have been doing CF for about four years and seriously for the last two years. I have made great gains all around set PRs etc. Of late I have been getting stronger because of a change in programming. Everybody keeps telling me to invest in some OLY shoes. When I ask why the answer I get is "because they will help you."
Okay I'm 42 never gonna make it to the games but love pushing myself. Can I get a real reason to drop $175.00 on shoes. I'm not a hater or smart a$$ I would just would like a better answer from some experts.

Jeff Enge 07-21-2013 02:56 PM

Re: Why OLYs?
OK, here's the mechanics behind weightlifting shoes:

1. They all feature some kind of raised heel. Could be anywhere from 0.5" to 0.75" of lift. This allows most people to get into a much more vertical squat position, which is critical to maintaining balance in the catch of a clean or snatch (not to mention other exercises like back, front and overhead squats, pistols and wall ball shots)

2. They provide a solid base to lift from. Whether made of hard plastic or wood, the soles of lifting shoes are meant to be stiff, not squishy like most other athletic shoes. This means all of your force is being applied to standing up rather than in compressing the soles of your shoes. Of course, this is also why lifting shoes aren't supposed to be used for dynamic movements where the sole will be excessively flexed.

3. They stabilize your feet. Lifting shoes are meant to fit tightly, and in addition they usually are made with velcro straps. This allows your feet to push against the shoes and in turn apply force to the ground, as opposed to looser-fitting shoes where your feet have room to move around a little.

Hope this helps. You certainly don't "need" lifting shoes, but they are highly recommended for anyone who wants to improve their weightlifting skills.

Also, you can find perfectly acceptable shoes for under $100. They aren't Nike or Adidas or Reebok, but they are serviceable enough - and I would argue most of the cheaper ones are better for pure weightlifting than the Reeboks are.

Disclaimer: I'm not an expert. Just an engineer and amateur CrossFitter who recently started to dabble in the weightlifting world.

Georgia Guy 07-21-2013 03:05 PM

Re: Why OLYs?
Thanks Jeff that's more than I gotten so far. For deads I have been using just plain ol converse Chuck T's.

Jeff Enge 07-21-2013 03:13 PM

Re: Why OLYs?
Those are great of deadlifting. Usually (unless you are doing specifically clean- or snatch-grip deadlifts as an assistance to Olympic weightlifting movements) you don't want the heel lift for deads.

Andrew N. Casey 07-21-2013 03:27 PM

Re: Why OLYs?
jeff has given you great answer and info... i also repeat what he said that you can get perfectly good shoes for well under 100.

one suggestion i will make is that if you want to see if they will help you much with your balance and ankle flexibility, try doing some front squats and OHS with a small plate or other object under your heals to keep your heels elevated about a half inch to an inch. you will likely find you are more comfortable and stronger, especially in the bottom hole position. that is what the Oly shoes will do for you. for many people they also help take stress off the ankles, knees, hips, or back when doing these movments. and no, i wouldn't wear them for deads.

Georgia Guy 07-21-2013 03:40 PM

Re: Why OLYs?
Thanks I am looking at the adidas trainers now.

Georgia Guy 07-21-2013 04:24 PM

Re: Why OLYs?
I wear a 13 in Nano's any advice on what size Adidas power trainers to order?

Robert Diggs 07-21-2013 06:24 PM

Re: Why OLYs?
Froning wears Nanos for everything. Just saying...

Jeff Enge 07-21-2013 07:02 PM

Re: Why OLYs?
[QUOTE=Robert Diggs;1180133]Froning wears Nanos for everything. Just saying...[/QUOTE]

Froning may not, but nearly every single competitive weightlifter does.

Just saying...

And Georgia, I dont really know how the Adidas shoes fit, so I cant help you there unfortunately.

BMH 07-21-2013 07:04 PM

Re: Why OLYs?
[QUOTE=Robert Diggs;1180133]Froning wears Nanos for everything. Just saying...[/QUOTE]

Just saying what? That a piece of equipment vetted by decades of competitive weightlifters is totally moot in the face of Froning using a Crossfit sponsor's shoes? The shoes have a place in Olympic training even if you might not use them in your comp.

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