Lifting Shoes

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“Squat shoes are the single most useful piece of personal equipment you can own, and the only one that is really, honestly necessary. It only takes one set of five in a pair of squat shoes to demonstrate this convincingly to anybody who has done more than one squat workout. Squat shoes form a stable position from which to drive, because they are built on a non-compressible wedge of wood or leather and in my opinion are absolutely essential for all squats and all pulls from the floor, as well as presses. Running shoes are designed to squish, so as to absorb the shock of impact during thousands of repeated bodyweight footfall, and wearing them to squat is nearly equivalent to squatting on your bed.”

-Mark Rippetoe

Running shoes do not appreciate having an extra couple hundred pounds loaded on them the way that lifting shoes do. If treated properly and with respect, a lifting shoe should last you years, whereas lifting in runners is probably going to see in a new pair every couple of months.
All of the shoes listed below are of good quality have had people lift very very heavy things in them. I’ve listed what I know or have heard about each shoe. Only the VS Athletics and the Pendlay 2010s have I yet to see in person.
If you haven’t lifted in a proper shoe before, anything is going to feel infinitely better, and whatever you choose will become what you’re comfortable with. What I have learned with ordering shoes is if they are coming across the boarder it can take a reasonably long time, and may have some extra unforeseen fees attached (duty). I’ve got 4 pairs of Kanamas coming that will be in later this week, and you are welcome to try them on. If your like them, we’ll be putting a club order together next week. If you want something different, no worries, below are the links for everything else worth considering. Buy some, trust me you won’t regret it.

–>Adidas Adistar and Ironwork III
(; Washington
$150-$200 US
I have lifted in the Ironwork II shoes for a couple of years and like them. Though I would have to caution that they are not made for a wide foot, and it took a good while before they fit comfortably. I’m usually a size 10-10.5 mens and I fit a 9.5 in the Ironwork II. These shoes are worn by some of the most competetive athletes in the world.

(; Alberta
$139.32 CAD
Heather lifts in the Rogues, and has been really happy with them. We did a large order of these in the spring and I have yet to hear any reasonable complaints. This is what Casey Burgener (Gold medalist in the 2008 Pan American Championships, and son of Mike Burgener) had to say about them:
“The new Rogue weightlifting shoe is a huge improvement to the older style of Do-Win’s. The heel height, increased ventilation, and overall comfort make them a top choice for weightlifters of all skill levels. This is a great set of weightlifting shoes.”
They say they are for a wider foot but Heather has a really narrow foot and finds them to fit well. They are sized small though. Heather is a women’s 8 and initially bought a men’s 6.5 based on the euro sizing but ended up switching them for a 6.

–>Do Win
(; South Carolina
$89-99 US
A good shoe, with good feedback from those who wear them. Very similar in fit and feel to the Rogues as they are made by the same company. I have heard that Pendlay is not planning to carry these after 2009 as they now produce the 2010 series.

–>Pendlay 2010 Series
(; South Carolina
(; South Carolina
$119-$129 US
Just noticed these on the Pendlay site recently, and it sounds like they have only been out since August of this year. I haven’t seem them anywhere else, but Pendlay is synonamous with excellence which will probably make these a pretty good shoe. The sizing is said to be the same as the Do-Wins and Rogues as they’re manufactured by the same company.

–>Power Firm
(; Manitoba
$125 CAD (including shipping)
These guys are based out of Winnepeg and I’ve been told the customer service is excellent. They will request that you trace your foot and mail it to them as to avoid getting the wrong size. I’m not sure if they have gone to a Velcro metatarsal strap as they use to have a buckle which personal I don’t like as much. These guys have been around for a while and I think were a more popular choice in the past when a Canadian CrossFitter looking for lifting shoes had less options.

–>VS Athletics
(; California
$79.95 US
I haven’t seen a pair of these shoes and don’t know much about the company. They do come up on other sites as a “good shoe”.

(; Onterio
(; Onterio
$85.00-129.00 CAD (free shipping in Canada and the US )
These guys are based in Toronto and seem are extensivley involved in the lifting community there. I met Hani (the fella that sells these) at an Olympic Lifting certification out in Ottawa. He was very adamant about both the quality, design, and the manufacturing that has gone into them as they are made from a single piece of genuine leather and not manufactured in China. Many people purchased these at the certification and I had the opportunity to demo a pair. They do have a slightly higher heel than the Adidas and I could feel the difference between the two. But they seem to fit well with a wider toe box (then the Adidas), and felt great in the lifts that I performed in them. He mentioned that he has had many people jump ship on the Adidas in turn for these shoes. Currently these would be what I would purchase.


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