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Old 12-15-2010, 09:31 AM   #1
Brian Laux
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Lifting Shoes

I am not sure if this is the right place on the forum to get the most responses but i will try. I am looking for some insight on who make the highest lifting shoe heel. I am currently using the Nike Romelus shoes. I think they have a .75" heel. I still struggle with several lifts like front squats, back squats, thrusters. I have a limited range of motion in my ankle due to a football injury. I can't keep my body inline due to the poor range of motion in my ankle. I have supplemented the lift in the shoe buy using a strip of rubber floor mat to elevate my heels. Obviously this is not conducive to doing lifts during a WOD. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-15-2010, 10:14 AM   #2
Matt Haxmeier
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Re: Lifting Shoes

The Ristos are a little higher....1-1.25" I believe.
http://buyweightliftingshoes.com/rev...-olympic-shoe/ (WFS)

Also VS Athletics are 1.3" or so...
http://www.vsathletics.com/product.php?xProd=1301 (WFS)

I think the heel height can vary a bit based on the size of the shoes, but in general those two types are higher than your nikes.
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Old 12-15-2010, 10:48 AM   #3
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Lifting Shoes

Off topic, but can you improve things with mobility work or ART/acupuncture/etc? I'd be more inclined to try to fix the underlying problem and not just treat the symptoms.
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Old 12-15-2010, 12:38 PM   #4
Lincoln Brigham
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Re: Lifting Shoes

Ankle flexibility is rarely the problem. My left ankle has a surgically repaired ruptured Achilles tendon and ankle flexion during the squat has never been an issue for me.

There are three joints that must move during the squat - ankle, knee, hip. When one of these joints is too tight then some other joint(s) must make up the difference. If the hips are too tight then usually what happens is that the ankles are forced into excessive flexion. The ankles are paying the price for the sins of the hips. The uninformed lifter then complains that their ankles are too tight to squat effectively.

The elevated heel forces the hip joint forward, which reduces the amount of flexion necessary in the hip and the ankle. The knee ends up in greater flexion, relative to wearing a flat sole. Most folks don't have a problem getting into full knee flexion, not like the problems they have getting into full hip flexion. This is why an elevated heel seems like it "fixes" hip and ankle flexibility issues in the squat. A decently deep squat does not require a great deal of ankle flexion but it does require more hip flexion than most beginners possess.
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:33 PM   #5
Steve Wingate
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Re: Lifting Shoes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincoln Brigham View Post
Ankle flexibility is rarely the problem. My left ankle has a surgically repaired ruptured Achilles tendon and ankle flexion during the squat has never been an issue for me.

There are three joints that must move during the squat - ankle, knee, hip. When one of these joints is too tight then some other joint(s) must make up the difference. If the hips are too tight then usually what happens is that the ankles are forced into excessive flexion. The ankles are paying the price for the sins of the hips. The uninformed lifter then complains that their ankles are too tight to squat effectively.
.
Then it also stands to reason that if the ankles are too tight the hips are forced into excessive flexion. Sorry but it just irks me when people basically say "well its not a problem for me so it can't be a problem for you". I also have abnormally thick (thefore less flexible) ankles. After 30 years of lifting and stretching the issue has only marginally improved. I've been wearing Oly shoes since '93 or so and that's pretty much fixed it for me though.
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:51 PM   #6
Matt Haxmeier
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Re: Lifting Shoes

I too have previous ankle injury on my right ankle. Stretching it has helped a bit but it's still noticeably different from the left ankle after 2 years. It's especially noticeable on things like pistols which I would not be able to do with my right leg at all if it weren't for the shoes. So yeah, I can see the point that stretching needs to be done, but sometimes an injury does legitimately hinder your mobility.

Last edited by Matt Haxmeier : 12-15-2010 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 12-15-2010, 04:51 PM   #7
Lincoln Brigham
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Re: Lifting Shoes

Quote:
Then it also stands to reason that if the ankles are too tight the hips are forced into excessive flexion.
Show me an example of a squat with excessive hip flexion/insufficient ankle flexion.

Compare the hip flexion with the ankle flexion in these athletes:
http://stronglifts.com/wp-content/up...quat-knees.jpg
The degree of ankle flexion is unremarkable but the hip flexibility is world-class. The amount of weight on the bar is world-class too.

Link is work/family safe.

I'm not saying that the ankle is never too tight to squat. But often even injured ankles can be sufficient to squat while tight hips are never sufficient for squatting.

The other consideration is that when the hips are too tight the other victim is often the low back. Instead of staying tight and in a neutral curve it becomes an active joint and rounds off in order to make up for insufficient hip flexion. This is usually seen as the infamous "butt wink".

The bottom line is that if your ankles are too tight for squatting then you need to pay extra attention to loosening up the hips. That doesn't mean you shouldn't stretch the ankles. Go ahead. There are some Olympic weightlifters with wicked ankle flexibility. Just make sure you are putting your effort into the area where you'll get the most benefit.

Last edited by Lincoln Brigham : 12-15-2010 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 12-16-2010, 07:24 AM   #8
Brian Laux
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Re: Lifting Shoes

Thanks for all the info. I agree flexibility in the hips could be a contributing factor. I know for a fact that i am not as flexible now as I was 15-20 yrs ago. I am more than confident my problems stem from the poor range of motion in my ankle. Tearing every tendon and ligament and having a plate and nine screws holding everything in place has greatly limited the range of motion in the ankle. I do agree however that flexibility is the key to being able to perform all or most of these lifts.
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Old 12-16-2010, 02:55 PM   #9
Lincoln Brigham
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Re: Lifting Shoes

There's going to be a limit on how high you can wear heels and how much you can improve your ankle flexibility. You could wear cowboy boots to squat in, you know? But that won't improve your flexibility in the long run. Best bet is to work, work, work that hip flexibility. Then your ankle flexibility won't be an issue anymore.
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Old 12-16-2010, 07:08 PM   #10
Michael Loucas
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Re: Lifting Shoes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincoln Brigham View Post
There's going to be a limit on how high you can wear heels and how much you can improve your ankle flexibility. You could wear cowboy boots to squat in, you know? But that won't improve your flexibility in the long run. Best bet is to work, work, work that hip flexibility. Then your ankle flexibility won't be an issue anymore.
What are some good ways to stretch out the hip for this purpose? I can get just below parallel fine, but if I try to go too low my butt curves under as previously stated.
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