6 or 7 years ago it wasn’t unusual to rock up to a competition and see dudes squatting 200+kg in a pair of asics.
It wasn’t even unusual to see guys in workmans boots under the bar (solid heel, strong lateral support – a surprisingly good shoes choice) and from time to time you’d even see someone in a pair of broges smashing weights.
Back when I got my first lifting shoes in late 2006 (the 2004 model silver adistars), they were an exceedingly rare sight in competition, never mind in the gym. Same with bumper plates. You’d only ever see them in specialist gyms. Never in commercial ones.
Now it’s different.
Squat shoes are much more affordable, infinitely more accessible and people have a much greater awareness of their benefits. And with the current Adidas sale, their price is in reach of almost everyone.
(the benefits being – elevated solid heel makes getting into the bottom position of a squat MUCH easier, and gives a better platform to push off of – all the guys and girls in my gym who’ve got them recently have seen how much of a game changer it is)
A good pair of weightlifting shoes will last you for life, My 2004 Adistars are still perfectly good to use, I just like how pretty the new shoes are… You can get power perfect 2s for just €63 now here: http://www.adidasspecialtysports.ie/listing/weightlifting-sale
So, with my love for squat shoes, you might wonder why I didn’t bring any to Greece with me, despite bringing EVERYTIHNG else – including a competition spec SBD lever belt, knee sleeves, wrist wraps and chalk.
I always overpack, and I already had a pair of loafters, nike frees and cons with me. So my Adipowers didn’t make the cut.
..but since I had my Nike Frees, you probably think I’d be covered right?
They’re great for walking around cities in, but jesus I hate lifting in those shoes.
In fact, I think they’re terrible for the job. If you’re squatting 60-100kg you might get away with it, but once you start putting more on the bar, you’ll notice the effect of good shoes immediately.
Hell, even if you’re not squatting that much you’ll appreciate the effect of lifting shoes instantly.
BUT… I didn’t have any with me, so what did I do?
I went back to the old school – my trusty cons.
I LOVE TRAINING IN MY CONVERSE.
If I could only have one shoe to lift in, it would be them. Back when I started lifting I had the same pair for like 4-5 years. If it wasn’t for a move to weightlifting shoes I’d probably still have them.
They are bullet proof.
They are cheap.
They last FOREVER.
And because they’re a flat solid sole with good lateral support, they’re perfect for squatting and deadlifting (conventional and sumo).
In fact, this is where they win over squat shoes – because of their elevated heel, squat shoes aren’t good to deadlift with. They’re better than runners, but not as good as cons. The heel pitches you forward, and trying to pull sumo in them would be a hilarious mess.
What’s all this mean for you?
If you only have the option of getting one pair of shoes, you should probably still get squat shoes because they’ll have the biggest immediate impact.
But if you’re looking for a pair of all around gym shoes, you’re not going to find better than an old school pair of low top converse.
TL;DR – get a pair of Adidas Power Perfect 2 weightlifting shoes while they’re on sale