T Nation

O-Lifting Shoes for Front Squat, Overhead Press?

Heard people saying that doing the two lifts with these shoes gives you a totally different experience, how true is that?

Pretty true… basically help you get down deep and stay upright during the catch phase. If you’re gonna do the O-lifts a bunch… get the proper shoes.

Edit: I thought you were referring to the O-lifts themselves. They’ll definitely help with front squats for the aforementioned reasons. As for overhead presse… I don’t know, I do them with O-shoes but I couldn’t tell you what the specific advantage is if there is one.

If you have an excellent ankle mobility which allows you to squat ATG with perfect form and also being able to achieve an upright posture while racking the bar then you don’t need OL shoes. If you are just looking at squatting, any shoe that doesn’t compress will do.

Personally, it felt a little weird in the beginning overhead pressing with OL shoes. Well, I guess everything feels weird in the beginning. Not much difference really.

However, even if you have excellent ankle mobility and if you want to get into the O-Lifts, you have to get OL shoes.

As others have said, ankle mobility is what makes the difference. However for almost everyone, the geometry of their ankle joints simply means that they cannot get ATG depth on overhead squats without having a heel.

Speaking for myself, I can front squat without the heel but I cannot overhead squat without coming up on the balls of my feet.

Which means I cannot snatch without coming up on the balls of my feet.

Which means misery.

It’ll help most people.

It wouldn’t add anything to me as I’m very flexible. The main benefit besides the heel is the width of the shoe and the hardness of it. It doesn’t compress like how trainers are designed so you can put more power in to the bar and lift more…can’t imagine lifting in my shox’s…


I’ll just reiterate what everyone else has been saying, you need proper flexibility and mobility of the ankle, hips and groin to preform the o-lifts. If you are going to do them with any kind of regularity, more than once a week, Koing is absolutly right, the hardness of it allows proper force production into the ground, but also helps with tendonitis of the knees. And the elevated heel puts you in proper position to be balanced and produce force from the front of your foot rather than from your heels and whether it’s a front squat or an oh-press, you need proper force production that is very difficult to achieve in a normal gym shoe. But speaking of differt experience, the first time you walk in a pair of lifting shoes, you’ll realize that they aren’t good for much else than lifting.