T Nation

Right Shoes for 5/3/1?

Hey guys, New to the forums so please don’t eat me alive here. I was wondering what kind of shoes you guys recommend. I’m going to be starting the 5 3 1. So I don’t intend to do any Olympic lifting or getting on a platform any time soon! Just basic bench squat military press and deadlift. Thanks in advance guys!

Whichever ones you want.

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I do deadlifts and presses in socks. I have chucks for squats, but anything that isn’t a running shoes or cross trainer will work. We have a stud in our gym who uses lace-up vans. I do keep my running shoes on for bench pressing, because I’m a fucking rebel. I don’t use them for running.

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Are there shoes that people prefer?

Wendler NOV Springboks are the prescribed 5/3/1 shoes.

You can also get the Pump Extremes if you want to push a 95% TM

Not a serious post

Bench shoes?

Something solid stable comfy and a little bit sexy.

If you want to be generic wear chucks which are decently cheap.

There’s also cheapish options (vs the $200+ oly shoes) running around $100 e.g. from Sabo, Adidas, Reebok etc.

Heel raise/not is personal preference but probably should start with no heel. Maybe when you’re more advanced. I was able to try out a couple of different heeled lifting shoes between all my buddies and liked it. Took the plunge and damage to my bank account and never looked back.

Haha They do make shoes with ridiculous high heels for feds that require heels on the floor.

Lol thanks for the response big Jeff. If I wanted to do a little cardio afterwards do you suggest bringing a second pair of shoes?

I wear chucks for most of my lifts, but also use a pair of adidas adipowers for high bar and front squats, and cleans, and then change into running shoes for cardio. If you want one pair of shoes then just get a pair of chucks. They have a low, flat sole so they provide a stable platform for lifts. And they’re cheap. Just don’t deadlift in a heel and you should be fine.

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The only rule of thumb is make sure if you have a brown belt, wear brown shoes. Black belt, black shoes.


“I go to the gym to look good and I look good going to the gym,” Dom Mazetti, the Brofessor, PhD in Broscience.

I either wear Olympic lifting shoes or wrestling shoes.

Squats - Olympic lifting shoes
Deadlifts and Presses - wrestling shoes
Bench - Usually my Oly shoes so that I have a solid base when I drive my heels into the floor

Same as las post, but sambas now not wrestling shoes. Which I have used and liked.

I tried using Olympic shoes for squatting but I ended up with ferocious knee pain. I need a flat soled shoe for squatting. But I will use Olympic shoes for benching once I am 3-5 weeks out from a meet and my intensity ramps up.

Bench and Deadlift: Sabo Goodlifts. Really good shoes if you want a flat soled all purpose powerlifting shoe.

Bench: Olympic lifting shoes. Get really good heel drive.

Press: Whatever I feel like. Shoes make very little difference on this lift for me.

Before I bought dedicated powerlifting shoes I lifted in Reebok Crossfit Nano’s (and still sometimes do if I forget to change shoes after jumps and throws). They are minimal but sturdy and work well, but I found my feet tended to shift a bit when wearing them. When the intensity ramps up I feel like I needed something significantly more secure and decided to purchase dedicated lifting shoes.

+1 for wrestling shoes, for deadlifts and power cleans.

Vans are my favourite but I’ve got some Reebok JJ ones that are (surprisingly) very awesome if I’m doing conditioning right after the weights