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Reasons to NOT Use Oly Shoes for Squats?

If you are lifting raw, with a relatively narrow stance, are there any reasons to not use a shoe with a raised heel? Does it force the knees forward too much causing legg posterior chain use, or is that not the case.

I am asking this because I always hear the positives when reading about using oly shoes, but I would think that if it has positives everyone would use them for raw competitions. So there must be some drawback, or are oly shoes just better in every way?

Where do you train? I’m from OH too and just like to see where people are at.

I’ve trained both, but for my preferred squat stance for max poundages, I’ve bounced back and forth and do not prefer the oly shoes. It slacks my hips and hamstrings and I noticed a difference. I think my oly shoes are 1.5" to 1.25" heel. My favorite squat shoes are a a pair of lug sole doc martin looking things I got from my dad. There is maybe .25" to .5" of heel lift.

Front squats or oly squats, with a narrow stance maybe 12-18" max heel to heel, I still prefer the oly shoes.

If you want to be scientific, buy a bunch of pairs, take them to a cobbler and have him shave down the heel in .25" increments until you find what you like.

I just train at a local gym, Mac family fitness. I go to UC so during the school year thats where i’ll be training at.

hmmm… I like your suggestions. I am just glad I am not the only one with somewhat mediocre comfort with oly shoes squatting raw. The thing with me is that I do squat with oly form for the most part. Kind of a mix between squatting styles, I have a narrow stance, but use more hip action than a typical oly lifter, but go a bit lower than a pl’er.

It feels to me like oly shoes make the lift more about the quads and butt, rather than the hips and hamstrings. But anytime I have seen someone say such a thing, people all say hes an idiot on other forums about this topic

I think it puts more emphasis on your quads. I squat low bar (which emphasizes posterior chain a little more), so I think it would be counterproductive for me to use an oly shoe. Also I am broke, so that plays into the mix as well as a few other lifting hipster-esque reasons.

EDIT: I grew up near Youngstown. Either of you from around there?

Olympic shoes while great - especially for raw lifters with a narrow to moderate stance - have one issue that I can think of. They can hide hip mobility issues. A lot of people say “oh great I can squat so much easier in these”, well it’s because you had shitty hip mobility and you didn’t magically get better at it you simply improved your biomechanical leverages. The issue is still there. I think it’s beneficial to at least on occasion squat in chucks or some other flat soled shoe to assess your hip mobility, or lack of. Piss poor hip mobility and hip impingement is going to reduce power output.

[quote]LiquidMercury wrote:
Olympic shoes while great - especially for raw lifters with a narrow to moderate stance - have one issue that I can think of. They can hide hip mobility issues. A lot of people say “oh great I can squat so much easier in these”, well it’s because you had shitty hip mobility and you didn’t magically get better at it you simply improved your biomechanical leverages. The issue is still there. I think it’s beneficial to at least on occasion squat in chucks or some other flat soled shoe to assess your hip mobility, or lack of. Piss poor hip mobility and hip impingement is going to reduce power output.[/quote]

So if you have proper hip mobility and ankle flexibility, is there any reason to use oly shoes or is that all they offer? I am wondering if it changes the actual mechanics/emphasis on particular muscles. Because right now I can squat comfrotorably ATC in flat shoes, so its not really flexibility i need help with, but i have some oly shoes and am trying to figure out if its worth learning how to use them well. Right now they feel a bit awkward like its harder to use my hips and is more of a quad movement

[quote]@JC_Tree_Trunks wrote:

[quote]LiquidMercury wrote:
Olympic shoes while great - especially for raw lifters with a narrow to moderate stance - have one issue that I can think of. They can hide hip mobility issues. A lot of people say “oh great I can squat so much easier in these”, well it’s because you had shitty hip mobility and you didn’t magically get better at it you simply improved your biomechanical leverages. The issue is still there. I think it’s beneficial to at least on occasion squat in chucks or some other flat soled shoe to assess your hip mobility, or lack of. Piss poor hip mobility and hip impingement is going to reduce power output.[/quote]

So if you have proper hip mobility and ankle flexibility, is there any reason to use oly shoes or is that all they offer? I am wondering if it changes the actual mechanics/emphasis on particular muscles. Because right now I can squat comfrotorably ATC in flat shoes, so its not really flexibility i need help with, but i have some oly shoes and am trying to figure out if its worth learning how to use them well. Right now they feel a bit awkward like its harder to use my hips and is more of a quad movement[/quote]

Definitely going to engage more quad in them which can be good, or bad depending on your strengths or weakness - for most raw lifters this is a good thing. Personally I squat in them as I’m able to get more speed out of the hole and stay a little bit more upright which reduces my bar path distance. One thing you’ll need to work on if you stick with them is spreading the floor better. I find that in oly shoes I’ve got to really focus on spreading the floor and jamming my knees out when I hit the hole whereas in flat soled shoes I’m not quite as reliant on that though it obviously helps.

[quote]LiquidMercury wrote:

[quote]@JC_Tree_Trunks wrote:

[quote]LiquidMercury wrote:
Olympic shoes while great - especially for raw lifters with a narrow to moderate stance - have one issue that I can think of. They can hide hip mobility issues. A lot of people say “oh great I can squat so much easier in these”, well it’s because you had shitty hip mobility and you didn’t magically get better at it you simply improved your biomechanical leverages. The issue is still there. I think it’s beneficial to at least on occasion squat in chucks or some other flat soled shoe to assess your hip mobility, or lack of. Piss poor hip mobility and hip impingement is going to reduce power output.[/quote]

So if you have proper hip mobility and ankle flexibility, is there any reason to use oly shoes or is that all they offer? I am wondering if it changes the actual mechanics/emphasis on particular muscles. Because right now I can squat comfrotorably ATC in flat shoes, so its not really flexibility i need help with, but i have some oly shoes and am trying to figure out if its worth learning how to use them well. Right now they feel a bit awkward like its harder to use my hips and is more of a quad movement[/quote]

Definitely going to engage more quad in them which can be good, or bad depending on your strengths or weakness - for most raw lifters this is a good thing. Personally I squat in them as I’m able to get more speed out of the hole and stay a little bit more upright which reduces my bar path distance. One thing you’ll need to work on if you stick with them is spreading the floor better. I find that in oly shoes I’ve got to really focus on spreading the floor and jamming my knees out when I hit the hole whereas in flat soled shoes I’m not quite as reliant on that though it obviously helps.[/quote]

Hmmm… Well I need to figure out if its worth getting used to. Honestly I might use oly shooes just because they look cooler than lifting in sneakers on the platform haha

i prefer ballet slippers, five fingers og the best you get plain old barefeet or socks. I tried squatting in oly shoes and could not get used to it, i always feel most stable with totally flat feet. And i squat a mix between low bar and oly squat.

[quote]dalle wrote:
i prefer ballet slippers, five fingers og the best you get plain old barefeet or socks. I tried squatting in oly shoes and could not get used to it, i always feel most stable with totally flat feet. And i squat a mix between low bar and oly squat. [/quote]

Wow sounds like we are in the same boat as I squat high bar and narrow, but def use more hips and have more a powerlifting style squat than oly lifters. Have you tried squatting in wrestiling shoes? Because I think that will be my next purchase for deadlifting anyway.

And sorry but you could tell me they add 10 pounds to my squat, but there is no way in hell ima squat in damn ballet shoes! haha, just kidding but maybe not, I think looking like an athlete really helps with the overall mindset which is why im not gonna use my flat skateboarder shoes. They just dont look good with the singlet and socks, I wanna look like ima bout the do work on the platform!

[quote]@JC_Tree_Trunks wrote:

[quote]dalle wrote:
i prefer ballet slippers, five fingers og the best you get plain old barefeet or socks. I tried squatting in oly shoes and could not get used to it, i always feel most stable with totally flat feet. And i squat a mix between low bar and oly squat. [/quote]

Wow sounds like we are in the same boat as I squat high bar and narrow, but def use more hips and have more a powerlifting style squat than oly lifters. Have you tried squatting in wrestiling shoes? Because I think that will be my next purchase for deadlifting anyway.

And sorry but you could tell me they add 10 pounds to my squat, but there is no way in hell ima squat in damn ballet shoes! haha, just kidding but maybe not, I think looking like an athlete really helps with the overall mindset which is why im not gonna use my flat skateboarder shoes. They just dont look good with the singlet and socks, I wanna look like ima bout the do work on the platform![/quote]

Tell that to STB - he wears some old Vans I believe. People are more impressed with the weight you look than how you look at meets. Further, powerlifting pulls from the most ecclectic set of people you may ever meet and for the most part, don’t give a damn about how they look.

[quote]LiquidMercury wrote:
Definitely going to engage more quad in them which can be good, or bad depending on your strengths or weakness - for most raw lifters this is a good thing. Personally I squat in them as I’m able to get more speed out of the hole and stay a little bit more upright which reduces my bar path distance. One thing you’ll need to work on if you stick with them is spreading the floor better. I find that in oly shoes I’ve got to really focus on spreading the floor and jamming my knees out when I hit the hole whereas in flat soled shoes I’m not quite as reliant on that though it obviously helps.[/quote]

Good post. (and good thread)

I have been squatting in oly shoes for awhile now but watching flexibility and ankle/calf tightness seems to be key. I’ll be trying the jamming the knees out in the whole trick. Front squats feel pretty natural in oly shoes for sure.

FYI - Work boots, doc martens and five fingers are a no go in IPF/USAPL

I wear oly shoes, squat at about should width, bar is not quite low bar but isn’t up on my neck either. It does involve more quad, is that a bad thing? I am able to keep my torso fairly vertical.

For someone not planning to compete, is there anything wrong with low bar squatting bare foot?

[quote]

Hmmm… Well I need to figure out if its worth getting used to. Honestly I might use oly shoes just because they look cooler than lifting in sneakers on the platform haha[/quote]

try using wrestling shoes, I find they give good ankle support an its alot cheaper than most sneakers an oly shoes.

[quote]panzerfaust wrote:
For someone not planning to compete, is there anything wrong with low bar squatting bare foot?[/quote]

Do so at your own risk. I know people that do, but I would stick with a firm, flat soled shoe, like a pair of Chuck Taylors. They are cheap, durable, and perfect for squatting in.

If you want to try barefoot squatting, there’s no law against it, but just keep in mind a few things:

Your bare feet have no protection against falling weights, and exposed toes have the ability to clip and get stubbed on the stupidest things.

If your feet start to sweat, make sure they’re dry, and the surface is dry before you do a set (you don’t want to slip with a lot of weight on your back).

Many people like the ankle support for a high top. Flat footed squats will incorporate way more calf than elevated heel squats, so extra stability isn’t a bad thing.

On the flip side, many people deadlift barefoot, in socks and in slippers. I’ve done all those, and stick with deadlift slippers or my Chucks.

Of course, at the end of the day it all comes down to what you prefer, so try it and see what you think.

[quote]kididaho wrote:

[quote]panzerfaust wrote:
For someone not planning to compete, is there anything wrong with low bar squatting bare foot?[/quote]

Do so at your own risk. I know people that do, but I would stick with a firm, flat soled shoe, like a pair of Chuck Taylors. They are cheap, durable, and perfect for squatting in.

If you want to try barefoot squatting, there’s no law against it, but just keep in mind a few things:

Your bare feet have no protection against falling weights, and exposed toes have the ability to clip and get stubbed on the stupidest things.

If your feet start to sweat, make sure they’re dry, and the surface is dry before you do a set (you don’t want to slip with a lot of weight on your back).

Many people like the ankle support for a high top. Flat footed squats will incorporate way more calf than elevated heel squats, so extra stability isn’t a bad thing.

On the flip side, many people deadlift barefoot, in socks and in slippers. I’ve done all those, and stick with deadlift slippers or my Chucks.

Of course, at the end of the day it all comes down to what you prefer, so try it and see what you think.

[/quote]

I read this and your other post (which was much more extensive), can you share your background a little bit? Just so people reading these posts know where their information is coming from? It usually helps in these forums to give a bit of qualification when giving advice, especially for your first few posts. Thanks in advance, welcome to TNation!

JC, i know we’ve talked about it before, but the chucks are pretty nice to deadlift in for conventional, sumo is hard with the shitty as platforms we had at school (slipping, don’t know if you ever saw me try, but my feet slid out easy).

I’ve been using those black nikes i showed you as assistance for my wide stance and it has def helped out. Maybe you could try something like that? I swear, you should should try a little wider stance for awhile, bet it would be like me using a moderate stance and have a big carryover.

[quote]@JC_Tree_Trunks wrote:

[quote]dalle wrote:
i prefer ballet slippers, five fingers og the best you get plain old barefeet or socks. I tried squatting in oly shoes and could not get used to it, i always feel most stable with totally flat feet. And i squat a mix between low bar and oly squat. [/quote]

Wow sounds like we are in the same boat as I squat high bar and narrow, but def use more hips and have more a powerlifting style squat than oly lifters. Have you tried squatting in wrestiling shoes? Because I think that will be my next purchase for deadlifting anyway.

And sorry but you could tell me they add 10 pounds to my squat, but there is no way in hell ima squat in damn ballet shoes! haha, just kidding but maybe not, I think looking like an athlete really helps with the overall mindset which is why im not gonna use my flat skateboarder shoes. They just dont look good with the singlet and socks, I wanna look like ima bout the do work on the platform![/quote]

Don’t discount skate shoes man, my black nikes i mentioned above are basically skate shoes and they work well for me

[quote]tcsimon wrote:
FYI - Work boots, doc martens and five fingers are a no go in IPF/USAPL

I wear oly shoes, squat at about should width, bar is not quite low bar but isn’t up on my neck either. It does involve more quad, is that a bad thing? I am able to keep my torso fairly vertical.

[/quote]

Looking good, Tom.