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Thread: Lifting shoe recommendation

  1. #11
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    Hello all, I'm new to the forum and new to strength training. I'm not trying to hijack the thread but I'm a little confused about which shoes to purchase also. I'm 6'2" 210lbs and everything I read tells me to get the Adidas powerlift because of the low heel for doing low bar squats. But as far as I can see, they're about the only ones with a low heel. I'd like to get a pair of the do-win classics, but they have a .75" heel. Am I stuck with the adidas as my only choice? I don't mind spending the extra money for a better shoe, but I cant find a better shoe with a low heel. Or does the low heel not matter that much and just buy the shoes I like? Thanks.

  2. #12
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    You certainly are not stuck with the Adidas as your only choice, and other weightlifting shoes work Just Fine. The absolute perfect height for a weightlifting shoe is dependent on the lifter; although, a 5/8 inch heel gets almost everyone where they need to be everytime they to be there and functions as a sweet spot between the half and three quarters of an inch. I personally have the Nike Romaleos with three quarters of an inch heel raise, and I do well with these because of my not-so-limber ankles and particular anthropometry. I suggest that you read Rip's article, Shoes | Mark Rippetoe.

  3. #13
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    So... There's basically no shoe available which is: flat-soled (as opposed to a separated heel), actually durable, not having a "limited" load capacity or considered as "entry-level", performing as it should (being sturdy) and having a recommended heel height (1/2 - 5/8 inch). It is always some of these points missing in a current shoes (usually heel height starting at 3/4 inch)

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrey. View Post
    (usually heel height starting at 3/4 inch)
    Maybe. That assumes that the difference is being measured correctly between the toe box and where the heel sits. I caught Rogue out several years back - they were measuring at the edge of the heel cup where it curves upward and calling a shoe 3/4 when it was actually 5/8.

  5. #15
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    The Rogue Do-win? Interesting, many people confirming they're 3/4, but when I thought about it I wondered how I would actually make sure of it (and Rogue stating the numbers are "approximate" for wooden ones). Maybe I should check them

    Also by my research Romaleos 2 is one of the best, and even can still be bought (for a lot), and now I want to buy them. But I also want to be as close to a recommended height as possible

    What can go "wrong" with getting a 3/4 shoe for a person with normal anthropometry? I'm even not sure if I have a normal anthropometry, I didn't measure any ratios, but I definitely don't have long tibias and short femurs (quickly looking at it they appear to be similar in length). I understand it can differ person to person (complicating matters further, because this means different heights/shoes should be tried to choose a "suitable" one), but are there some common drawbacks?

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrey. View Post
    So... There's basically no shoe available which is: flat-soled (as opposed to a separated heel), actually durable, not having a "limited" load capacity or considered as "entry-level", performing as it should (being sturdy) and having a recommended heel height (1/2 - 5/8 inch). It is always some of these points missing in a current shoes (usually heel height starting at 3/4 inch)
    There's a reason that everything you've read encourages the Adidas Powerlift 4. The heel is right in the middle of the range (0.6"). They are very fairly priced and durable. Why would you not want to get them?

  7. #17
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    Actually about Powerlift 4 what I read is that they stop to hold a load (becoming squishy) after some threshold (something above 200-250 kg barbell), and thus considered "entry-level". I wanted to get the shoes "for life" though, and I feel I might cross this threshold a lot sooner. But considering a price, maybe during those years I'll progress to the threshold there will emerge something more suitable

    Another reason — being "entry level" the exterior looks not so durable as i.e. mentioned Romaleos 2. I understand that likely I will end up with Powerlift 4 though (while wanting Romaleos 2 instead, hence my question about how "wrong" it is to have a 0.75" heel)

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdTice View Post
    There's a reason that everything you've read encourages the Adidas Powerlift 4. The heel is right in the middle of the range (0.6"). They are very fairly priced and durable. Why would you not want to get them?

    I agree. The powerlift 4 is a great shoe. I've had mine for a couple of years. No problems. Great perfect heel height and priced well. I liked mine so much I purchased a second pair I found on sale for around $70.00. I removed the insole on mine.

    If the starting strength shoe ever becomes available I would swap my powerlifts out for that.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrey. View Post
    Actually about Powerlift 4 what I read is that they stop to hold a load (becoming squishy) after some threshold (something above 200-250 kg barbell), and thus considered "entry-level". I wanted to get the shoes "for life" though, and I feel I might cross this threshold a lot sooner. But considering a price, maybe during those years I'll progress to the threshold there will emerge something more suitable

    Another reason — being "entry level" the exterior looks not so durable as i.e. mentioned Romaleos 2. I understand that likely I will end up with Powerlift 4 though (while wanting Romaleos 2 instead, hence my question about how "wrong" it is to have a 0.75" heel)
    I haven't squatted 600 so I can't really say. Probably the only way to know is to try on a pair and squat over half a grand. I didn't know this until your post, but the Powerlifts use an EVA foam heel which somebody claims will "start to compress at 600lbs" I'm not a materials expert and can't comment.

    EVA foam is very common in running shoes and it certainly does compress a little and then spring back to form.

    I will let a materials scientist comment but its unlikely that there will be zero compression to 600lbs and then suddenly the 0.6" heel at 601lbs becomes pancake flat. There is likely to be more and more compression as the weight gets heavier. However, the function won't be linear and and very well might have an inflection point around 600lbs.

    Keep in mind that the shoe doesn't know how much weight is on the barbell and how much weight is on your body. I weigh 190lbs. I've rack pulled 385lbs from 4" and I've rack pulled 425lbs from 6" in the shoes, so I'm at 615lbs total weight on the shoes. I sure didn't notice any difference.

    I have two pairs of the PowerLift 4. One of them has my custom orthotics and the other has the standard insole. I would expect either the orthotics or the insole to compress more than the heel. If the heel *does* compress, it would compress more wherever there is the most weight making the shoe conform to your foot better. This is one of the advantages that EVA foam has in running shoes. It can't say whether that would be a benefit for lifting shoes because well I'm only a mediocre lifter.

    Also my example is a deadlift where you won't feel any compression the same way that you might when walking out a squat. Sorry I can't squat enough weight to test that for you.

    One thing I can tell you about the EVA foam vs the TPU, though, is that when I go to the weightlifting gym (as in the Olympic lifts), my PowerLifts don't make a very satisfying sound when I land. Everybody else's shoes make a nice crisp slapping sound when they hit a PR snatch. If you get to a point where your clean and jerk is above 600lbs, I would definitely be concerned about this. Or more specifically when your BW + C+J gets above six hundred pounds (Maybe BW200 CJ400). Again you might like the EVA foam in that situation or you might not.

    I will report back here as soon as I hit that threshold!

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrey. View Post
    Actually about Powerlift 4 what I read is that they stop to hold a load (becoming squishy) after some threshold (something above 200-250 kg barbell), and thus considered "entry-level". I wanted to get the shoes "for life" though, and I feel I might cross this threshold a lot sooner. But considering a price, maybe during those years I'll progress to the threshold there will emerge something more suitable

    Another reason — being "entry level" the exterior looks not so durable as i.e. mentioned Romaleos 2. I understand that likely I will end up with Powerlift 4 though (while wanting Romaleos 2 instead, hence my question about how "wrong" it is to have a 0.75" heel)
    Unless you're expecting to hit a 500lb squat in the next 6 months, just get the Powerlifts and take your time to find a better shoe in the interim. I haven't lifted that much in mine, something like 425 squat and 445 pull, but there was no noticeable compression at those weights.

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