by MISSY ALBRECHT|DPT, CSCS, FMS
“Really? I Need Oly Shoes?”
Yes. Here’s an additonal excerpt on the importance of lifting shoes from Greg Everett (found in Robb Wolff’s podcasts):
Weightlifting shoes exist for a reason. It’s not an accident. You have a raised heel ‘cause that increases the range of motion of the ankle. And the ankle has to flex — dorsiflex — a great deal to hit those bottom positions with an upright torso, which is just unavoidable unless your femur is only four inches long. So in one regard, it’s a safety issue: If you bottom out that ankle, you’re going to be in big trouble. It’s not going to feel good, it’s going to take a long time to recover from, and it’s going to be a huge limiting factor forever, essentially.[Finally, weightlifting shoes are beneficial because] you also have an extremely rigid, stable platform to stand on. The response to that is usually like, “Oh, well I wear Chuck Taylors” or “I wear old school Vans — that’s a flat sole.” Yeah, it’s flat, but it’s still squishy. I promise you: No matter how hard you think it is, it’s a lot squishier than a weightlifting shoe.
Your Ankles Are Tight!
What else adds to tight ankles? Have you ever sprained your ankle(s)? Did you sprain it (or them) multiple times? And you didn’t do anything to treat it? Yes. Yes. Yes. It seems that most people have sprained/rolled their ankle at some point. So add in some inflammation, scar tissue and messed up ankle mechanics after injury and you will have an even tighter ankle. Sweet. And these tight ankles can cause some problems — that is, they can limit your performance by changing the mechanics of your squat (Tight ankles = bad squat), forcing you to use more quads and less glutes. This consequence of tight ankles only makes you weaker and more prone to injury. Nobody wants that.