Oly Shoes vs Chucks?

Ok guys , so I always squat wearing chuck taylors (shoulder width stance and low bar squat) the problem is that my depth was always questionable. I don’t remember that I ever get 3 whites in an attempt in compititions !
Shall I try oly shoes for that ?
does oly shoes shorten the range of motion and hence I would squat more weight then ?
Thanks in advance

Well… if you get three whites you went too deep lel.

Oly shoes will help depth issues if you are limited by ankle flexibility. In most cases you will be able to squat deeper with heeled shoes but it’s gonna change up your balance in the squat and take a while to get used to if you haven’t done much heeled squatting before.

It’s also decent chunk of money to spend on an issue that may well be addressed with pause squatting at depth, light touch box squatting, mobility work and simply practice: hitting unquestionable depth on every rep of every set. Try these things first and if you are still having issues then maybe look to shoes but I doubt you’ll end up needing to spend the 100+ dollars.

I’d recommend you start with 3 count pause squatting. If you lose tightness in the bottom position or feel a stretch somewhere e.g. ankle mobility then we can do some specific mobility work for that. While you’re at it a side angle video of your squat might be helpful.



This is a recent paradigm shift for me, so take it for what it’s worth.

Your quads will always work while squatting. A flat shoe will probably allow you to utilize more of your posterior chain. A heeled shoe may further recruit the quads, but may limit the posterior chain.

If your squat can go from too high to plenty deep just by switching shoes, you’d probably be better off just improving your ankle mobility. Or, work on opening the hips or pushing the knees forward and force yourself a bit lower.


I compared a video of my squatting a 1rm in Oly shoes compared to a 1rm in chucks. I saw that my hips rose quickly out of the hole (more quickly than my shoulders) in Oly shoes, but with chucks, my hips and shoulders were synchronized, rising at the same time and rate. This is purely anecdotal, but I believe that Oly shoes (for me at least) cause my hips to rise too fast. This was with a low bar set up for both kinds of shoes. To be sure, I looked at other videos that had me squatting for reps, and the same thing was true. By the end of my working sets, my hips tended to still rise faster than my shoulders with Oly shoes.

My vote for low bar is Chucks. High bar and front squats belong to heeled shoes IMO, although both are still completely doable in flats. I just prefer the raised heel for the latter types.

You haven’t found your position yet. Here’s how I teach the squat.

  1. Get a box that is low enough to put your hip joint lower than your knee joint.
  2. Sit on it without thinking about a squat. Just sit.
  3. Try to stand. You can’t unless you lean forward.
  4. Open your legs a bit and try again.
  5. Keep spreading your legs an inch at a time and attempting to stand while leaning over with a flat back.
  6. There will be a time when you will be be to stand up off the box.
  7. Now follow the same procedure with a bar on your back.

Once you’re finished using the box, squat using the same stance. This stance is a starting point, you will tweak it over time by varying foot width, turnout angle and foot angle.


It doesn’t shorten the ROM but it changes your leverages, for a lot of people it’s easier to hit depth and many people squat more with weightlifting shoes. If you can try someone else’s shoes then go for it and see how it feels.

Don’t blame the shoes, blame your weak quads.



This has to do with how you are built, your body length proportions.

As an example, two individual can be the same height have different proportions such as long or short torso, long or short femur.

Thus, two individual with same height are going to have different movement patters because they are built different.

2016-03-04 13.25.13
Left: Maren – longer torso, shorter femurs Right: Brett – shorter torso, longer femurs

Finding Your Optimal Squat Stance Based on Your Body Type

Changing from a flat heel Chuck Taylor to an Olympic Lifting shoe shifting more of the work load to the Quads. This may or may not help.

Other factors that determine to consider to ensure you hit you depth are addressed in…

Tom Purvis, Physical Therapist provide some great information on how to Squat for you Body Type.

Some additional good information is…

khangles Recommendations

  1. "Pause squatting at depth: This an excellent method of increasing strength out of the hole and knowing what the right depth feel like.

  2. “Light touch box squatting”: This is another method that will help.

Kenny Croxdale

Does anyone else feel like the walkout is harder with heels?

Only if you are not used to it. The walkout is harder with knee wraps, that is for sure.

I hate when people call them “heels”, sounds like stiletto high heels or something. Someone who doesn’t know much about lifting who reads this would think we are wearing girls’ clothes. All the guys in tights don’t help either. “Today was my first day in heels, I wore my spandex tights too.” Just think about that.

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Yea im definately new to “heels”. Switched recently and ive only seen benefits with technique. I feel like I can walk out quicker but no matter what it takes more patience and perfect steps.

With all the new genders coming up and people are getting softer i probably shouldnt call them heels anymore… we dont want to be associated with that community. Whatever ill probly still call them heels idc

I keep my torso more upright when squatting in oly shoes, which helps me hit depth better. But I don’t squat with a low bar position either.

Share a video. that’s the best way for us to assess whether or not changing shoes would likely help. We need to see what your form looks like to make that kind of determination.

seriously? is that helpful here?


Yea it seemed like that was what chris was implying. I dont know lol

Are you a Democrat?


Search “squatting in heels” and look at the pictures. Tell me what you see. All I see is naked girls in high heels. If you’re into the other genders then @dt79 can help you out.

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‘we don’t want to be associated with that community’ is the thing I took issue with. What chris said didn’t bother me in the least.

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I have to say I like this squatting in heels thing. It’s better than I expected.

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Sorry i dont want to associate myself with certain groups. I couldnt care less about it actually. And no chris im not into the “other” genders lol just saying im gonna still call them heels anyways

then speak for yourself brotha. you said ‘we’ , not ‘I’. #protip

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Alright man ill watch out then