Our blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 15 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Aquinas battling through a press
21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps of:
185 (130) lbs. Front Squat
GHD Sit-ups
Today we're gonna talk about shoes. I have seen to many people step under a heavy squat or deadlift with trainers on and their form and lifts have suffered because of it. Why when your trying to pull 300 lbs. off the ground would you have a half inch of foam under your foot? What happens is that foam deforms under load causing your foor to twist, turn and shift. You're losing pounds off of all your lifts and seconds on your times.
So what's best?

Barefoot is ideal for deadlifting and pressing. You don't need any padding between your feet and the floor, plus it will make it much easier to really sense when your heels on the floor. This is the most natural and functional option. It's free and you always have 'em with you. You can wear socks if you'd like.

Next up are Chuck Taylor's, these are your do all shoe in the gym for running and lifting to box jumps. Ultimately Chuck's are cheap, practically indestructable and ideally suited for what we do in here. You can do all the lifts in them, run, row and anything else you can think of . Racing flats are also good. Jonathon made a good point in the comments; to paraphrase, "Wean yourself slowly off of cushioned soles" and "Dont go directly to Chuck's" He recommends Adidas Adizero Pro and Adizero XT as an interim or final shoe. They have a little cushion but are sufficently low in the heel as to be a good for most everything. Check out the comments for more.
I use the AdiZero Pro's and really like 'em. I use them because I already have lifting shoes. Olympic (or squat) shoes such as these have a hard sole with a elevated heel (about 3/4" on these D0-wins). The elevated hell makes the deep squat of the olympic lifts easier by allowing the knees to track properly and not limited by ankle flexibility. Some of you may have squatted with plates under your heels. This is much the same idea, except you wear them. The metatarsal straps helps keep the foot from sliding around. This becomes particularly important in the split jerk. If you start getting into the olympic or slow lifts these shoes are a necessary investment. I'll wear them for todays workout, anything were there's no running and a weighlifting movement then I'll wear 'em. They range anywhere from $50-$150 for a custom pair. I won't lift heavy in anything else.
The majority of running shoe technology is created to aleviate the pain from heel striking, heel striking occurs when the leading foot lands heel first ahead of the center of gravity. To get a picture of this imagine someone riding a unicycle and then they put a foot down in front. No wonder you have to have all that padding. But there's a healthier way: instead of getting a brace for the problem, fix the problem itself. Land on the ball of your foot behind your center of gravity. Not only does all that heel padding become superfluous but you'll find your efficency improves. Fix the problem don't work around it.
So next time we go heavy, go barefoot, wear Chuck's but don't let me catch you in running shoes!


  1. Chuck Taylor for President! Because old soles never wear out!

  2. I love some Chucks too, but one thing to note is if you haven't worked long and hard on kicking the heel strike habit, it ain't going to be fun for your joints if you try to do some 400m sprints in Chucks.
    I think the racing flats are a better transition, and for those who are interested, B Mack of CrossFit Endurance (check out the website if you do any type of endurance training, run, swim, bike, row) recommends the Adidas AdiZero Pro and AdiZero XT. I will be investing in some of these kicks soon.

  3. Today's WOD:
    FS 95#
    21-18-15 GHD
    12-9-6-3 Ab Mat