T Nation


Is it better to lift with no shoes or old shoes or runners if your doing squats deads and power cleans?

The best, I think, for most people would be something like wrestling shoes. Per the recommendation of my chiropractor, I lift at home barefoot, but I use hard rubber mats, so foot slippage isn’t a concern at all. A lot of gyms have the same type of mats, but lifting in a gym barefoot is either not an option (due to rules) or just plain unsafe (too many plates flying around). Running shoes allow WAY too much foot roll. I’ve heard a lot of people using Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars to good effect. You could also check into Ottomix.

Get yourself a pair of chuck taylor shoes by converse, it will only cost you around $30-35 bucks, they are highly recomended by dave tate. i have a pair, and they are the best shoes i have ever worn for squats.

I like my Adidas Sambas for squats/deadlifts. They’re an indoor soccer shoe with a thin, hard rubber sole thats perfect for those exercise (and calf work).

If you look at all the pics of the “old guys” (Columbo, Arnold Who?, Draper et’al) lifting in “The Dungeon”, they were often barefoot. Was there any advantage to this?

I can reiterate what my chiropractor told me, and maybe it can be extrapolated to the old guard. You basically want the most solid connection to the floor possible to eliminate foot roll. That happens to be barefoot, as long as you don’t slip. If you look at the old addidas weight lifting shoes, they were basically a wrestling boot with a hard (like hard as wood) sole. Pretty much duplicated the floor. Most gyms now have rules against going barefoot (for safety or hygeine). I use hard rubber mats on a thinly carpeted floor, and lift barefoot. Even the carpet under the mats is pushing it, in my chiropractor’s eyes. He’d prefer if they were on a hard wood or concrete floor. Hope that helps.

word to the wise, do not use NEW Balnces when squatting, i ripped throught the side wall of a pair yesterday, and I wasnt even sqautting heavy!

I like my Otomix Classics- closest thing to lifting barefoot I’ve found. If I had a home gym I would lift barefoot.Haven’t tried the converse shoes to compare though.

I’ve been lifting in Otomix for three years and I love them. I tried to get a pair of Chuck Taylor’s a couple of weeks ago and was told that Converse went out of business and most places don’t have any Chuck Taylor’s left in stock. Anybody else heard this? And I’ve had a bad experience with New Balance, too. I was doing a light leg day so I didn’t bother to change into my Otomix once I got to the gym. I tried to squat in my running shoes and the sole “wobbled” underneath me. I almost lost the bar. It was really bizarre…

I don’t know about converse going out of business but their easily guessed website is still up. On the site, you can find a retail store near you that sells their products. I love my Chucky T’s for squatting and deads. Wrestling shoes work great too, but I’ll save those for mat training.

i was thinking of buying the new otomix shoes that have been out for a few months. If anyone has tried them, i’d like to know what they think of them.

Converse is still making Chucks. They’ve just moved production overseas. The only difference is the shoe will no longer have the “made in the usa” stamp on the logo/star.