Benefits of Weightlifting Shoes
Squatting in weightlifting shoes has many advantages over squatting in joggers or runners. The main advantage is increased stability. Unlike most training shoes weightlifting shoes are very rigid which gives you a solid platform to squat from, they don’t crumble under you like runners when you have a heavy load on your back. You can think of it like this, if you had to squat on concrete or a mini-tramp which one can you lift more on? I’d pick the concrete as you can apply more force into the ground.
The biggest reason why I personally like weightlifting shoes is due to the elevated heel. Having suffered many injuries to my ankles during my sporting career ankle range of motion is pretty limited, although improving. Until I began wearing weightlifting shoes achieving full squat depth with an upright torso was very difficult. Combining my corrective based work that Gemma Smith gave me and wearing weightlifting shoes allowed me to reach full depth in about a month. The elevated heel allows you to reach maximum depth easier while staying more upright by taking ankle range of motion and tight calves out of the equation.
Weightlifting shoes also help align the ankle bones and feet which helps keep the knees in proper alignment when squatting. Reducing injuries is always a good thing. Many people trying to perform Olympic lifts in regular running shoes have rolled an ankle, weightlifting shoes help minimize this risk.
Weightlifting shoes are a great investment in my opinion. You can buy them from between $125-$250 depending on the brand and if you treat them well they will last you for years.