More women are lifting heavier weights than ever before with the aim to be 'strong not skinny'. But if you're serious about those big lifts then changing the shoes you wear could make all the difference.
ELLE puts three pairs of lifting shoes to the test.
Pros: The Inov-8 Fastlift 315 is a good sturdy shoe that is also incredibly lightweight. It can be used for your big lifts like squats and deadlifts, but also other Cross Fit type workouts. The design of the shoe encourages you to place weight into the heel and for your knees to push out slightly when squatting thus enhancing form.
Cons: Be warned the shoe comes up about a half size too small, I'm a 6 (39) and they felt too tight but when I went up the half size they were too big. If you're just using these shoes for your squats it doesn't matter if they're snug - they will provide more support.
Price: £120 at Millets
Pros: Aesthetically these shoes look the best. They provided support for my squats and helped with my form when I was wearing them (like a PT in shoe form, they helped correct my positioning). I'm not able to get my 'ass to the grass' but these definitely helped me get lower into my squat thanks to the raised heel on the shoe. I also felt more confident to lift heavier weights.
These shoes come up narrow and I have slightly wide feet so I was concerned about this, but the cosy fit meant I had more support.
Cons: I only use these for squats. In my gym guys change in and out of these shoes at the squat rack, with that in mind the price is quite steep (but then they'll last for years).
Pros: A lightweight shoe this has been designed for the perfect balance between agility and power. The strap allows you 'lock in' your foot to the shoe for a really secure fit. They were really comfortable and the great thing was that when I was wearing them to squat I wasn't thinking about the shoes or how they fit I was just able to get on with the task at hand. They have been designed for big lifts but also - as the name suggests - for Cross Fit workouts. A good all-rounder.
Cons: Again these shoes tend to run slightly narrow - you'll notice this when you do up the strap. Best try in store before you buy. Also, if you're buying lifting shoes purely for use Cross Fit classes, you may want to look at the Reebok Nano that will offer you more agility.
Price: £90 at reebok.co.uk