I'm going to start dabbling in the O-lifts this next semester and was wondering about shoes. In all the pics, videos, and books I've seen the lifters are wearing a type of weight lifting shoe. What is this for? Also what are the best brands? Currently I lift in a pair of New Balance, and would have never even thought about shoes until I noticed these lifting shoes on.
Thanks for any help.
There aren't many choices for olympic lifting shoes. Eleiko shoes (available on their website from Sweden but made in Poland I believe) are very wide. They were so big and wide compared to their size that I probably would have needed to try on a 10.5 US size to fit in them (normally I wear size 12 US). One of the two pairs I tried had soft rubber soles with wood (soles that compress somewhat-not a good thing for weightlifting). The other had a firm rubber sole, but it was just too big and wide. Also, the logo on the back of the shoe was just a sticker that peeled right off. I would not buy the Eleiko shoes. I returned them. The Adidas are very good shoes. I used to have the adistar 2 model. The soles incline forward more than the eleiko shoes. The adistars are narrow shoes, even if you have a regular width foot. You can get them at dynamic-eleiko.com or usaweightlifting.com. A couple others make weightlifting shoes, including Reebok and Asics but I haven't seen those for sale recently. There are also some Chinese made weightlifting shoes on the net but they don't look very high quality, although they are inexpensive. One other company, powerfirm of Canada, makes weightlifting shoes. They look like quality shoes and are used by Christian Thibadeau.
Alot of people recommend Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers as a good, cheap alternative. They have a flat bottom and strong canvas sides that don't roll. I haven't tried them but I plan on buying a pair.
They're recommended for powerlifting, where their durability and flat soles are valued. For O lifting you require (or are better off) with a firm heel that doesn't give (so no Nike Air!).
It seems to me all the pros wear the Addidas shoes.