T Nation

Olympic Squat Shoes


What are everyone's opinions on using olympic squat shoes for medium-wide stance free squatting? I've been using Chuck Taylors for the past year or so and notice a lot of well-known lifters like Jim Wendler and Scott Yard using them in their training vids and was thinking about getting a pair.


I use them and I really like them. My feet feel more solid and I get more weight on my heels.
The only thing I don't like is no ankle support but I don't walk out since I have access to a mono,
so I don't worry about it.


I've only worn them a very few times. They make me feel like I am cheating on my hamstrings.


To build off the OP, if you have experience with olympic shoes, brand preference?

The only olympic shoes i've come across on the internet are the addidas addidastars. 200 bones


Are you wearing Chucks?


Adidas has a new pair called the Power Lift Trainer. They are an olympic style shoe with a slightly shorter heal, and an eva sole vs. wood. They are a good compromise. Most Oly shoes have a .75inch lift in the heel, these are a .5inch. They are light but still pretty stable. Also, around $90. I like them, and I am a medium stance squatter. I still do Oly lifts too, and they really are a good compromise.


I recently switched from Chucks to some Do Win/Rogue Oly shoes (about 4 months ago). I'm pretty happy I made the switch. Solid feel with weight on my back and I actually don't have any issue walking the weight out. I also bench, DL, and press with them and have no issues.


hey guys im going to ask another question...do you think i could benefit from the Oly shoes based on how i squat/build? or just thoughts in general about technique. i apologize for the shitty camera angle too btw. ive been wearing chucks for the last year or so and have just been curious about the actual squatting shoes.


Most people I know that have switched to them will never switch back. That has not been the case with me. I gave them an honest try for about three months. My squats looked atrocious, my knees began to ache like they never had, and for the life of me I could not stay tight in the hole because my hamstrings would go slack. I tried carrying the bar higher, carrying lower, bringing the feet in, bringing them out, turning the feet out, etc. They're just not for me, but I acknowledge that I'm probably in the minority.

Now I squat in Safe Squat Shoes. There is a small heel but I barely notice it. It's a good shoe and I'd recommend it for somebody for whom the higher heel isn't doing it.


I'll second this. I squatted for several years on oly shoes when I was starting out, including when I started competing in powerlifting. I switch to chucks for probably 7 years or so. When I started doing more raw work, my adductors were getting really beat up. I switch to the Safe shoes, brought my stand in a bit and I don't think I'll ever go back to chucks for raw squatting. The Safe shoes have just enough of a heel to drive off of and to help with hitting depth. I love them. The only downside is that they are expensive. But, if you only wear them in the gym, they'll last forever.


I bought some Rogue Oly Shoes and I love them. I can walk the weight out easily, and as soon as I get into my stance, my feet feel glued to the ground. I can get lower and get out because there is no air or foam or anything.

I have never tried squatting with Chucks, but I would imagine my depth wouldn't be quite the same. I got them because both Rippetoe and Wendler suggested it, and I was doing the SS program. I will squat barefoot before I ever use any other shoes. Just try it and see how you feel.


They look like garbage. If you're going to shell out $90 for a subpar shoe spend an extra $30 and get a pair with a solid wood heel like Pendlay DoWin's (what I have and love) or some Safe's.


My squat took a hit as well when I first switched, for basically the same reasons. It took a few months of frequent squatting, starting at about 65% of the old max, to get used to the shoes and set new PRs.


I have a 10 year old pair of element skateboarding shoes. I have yet to find a better shoe to train in.


I switched to the Rogue/Do-Wins from Chucks. Still getting a feel for them with the back squat (stance width), but they feel great for front squats. Tie the laces/straps nice and tight and it's like your feet are set in concrete.


I really dislike the Safe shoes and this comes from a someone who is friends with the guy who made them. Not to mention, Scott sold the business about 5 years ago.

In my opinion, the sole is just too soft. I have never watched a person squat meaningful weight in a pair of those shoes and not be able to see the heel, flexing causing instability in the feet (mainly side to side up and down movement). As the shoes age, the problem worsens. IMO, a squat shoe should have a hard sole if there is any thickness.

I have a pair of Adistars that are close to 10 years old and still work like the day I got them. I am probably odd in that I put shoe trees in them as soon as I am finished with them. Storing them this way has has maintained the shape of the shoe and allows them to dry out better so they haven't gotten funky.

They will take some adjustment if you haven't used them before and some guys just can't work with them, although this is the exception rather than the rule.

$200 is real money, but in my experience the Adidas last a real long time.

If the price is killing you, Jackals has Polish Oly shoes on sale right now for $119.95. Karl is currently running the store so you couldn't buy from a better place.


If you are going to spend that kind of money, why not just get the Metal or the Inzer squat shoes? They are built for squatting. Olympic shoes are built for olympic weightlifting.


I squatted in chucks, then bought a pair of oly shoes (even did a meet with them), then went back to chucks. Though its a cakewalk to get depth in oly shoes, my knees would shoot forward with heavy weight and I had to rely on my quads too much. Since then, I have gotten my flexibility where it needs to be to squat to depth in chucks. Now my knees no longer hurt and my max is up. Just my opinion


Using an elevated heel consistently makes my posterior hips hurt and I have to constantly foam roll the crap out of my thighs to avoid knee pain. Although I do like using an elevated heel for certain exercises.

For example, I need an elevated heel to do a narrow stance squat. Just can't get into a good position in the hole without them with that kind of stance.


I don't know, man. I know tons of great IPF/USAPL squatters who use an oly style shoe whether it's the Adidas of a Polish/Russian shoe. The reality of things is Oly lifters do tons of squatting. I don't really agree with that statement. I think they are built for squatting.

The one thing I would say is I rarely box squat because I am one of those guys who squats a lot more to a box than free, but I really get no carry over. It was frustrating, but when I finally just accepted this was when I switched shoes.

Now, if I do a cycle of box squats (about 2X per year), I do them in my Chucks. They feel terrible in my Adidas.

It's kind of like most things in PL from a gear standpoint. You need to use what works for you. Lately, I have been doing a lot of fronts and high bars (free) because I am trying to bring my convo pull up and feel strongly there is a correlation. There's no way I would do these in my Chucks. For me, it feels like shit.

A long time ago I was told by someone much more talented than I that in terms of achieving depth you can do two things. Squat deeper or elevate the heel. I think having an elevated heel helps when you have to break parallel and you squat RAW or in gear that has less stopping power.

It's kinda like ramps for a sumo puller (which the IPF made illegal which is ridiculous IMO). Some lifters do very well in them. Some are totally thrown off.

You just have to try it and see.