Do You Want A Heel In Your Squat Shoes?

Is the footwear you use important to putting up bigger squat numbers? A thread at Steroid.com looks at whether using a heeled shoe for squatting puts you in a better position for the squat.

The original question:

I have a pair of flat bottom shoes I DL in and I also SQ in,I noticed I have the habit of pressing with my toes instead of my heel when squating,I was thinking about running to walmart and getting a pair of cheap work boots,any suggestions will be appreciated.

Opinions:

if iwas a clos squater, using more quad, i would get a healed shoe, for a wide stance, i would get a flat shoe like a pair of chuck taylors

i squat with a medium-wide stance and i really like the chuck taylors because they allow me to sit back better

If you are pressing with your toes then you are not sitting the bar to hi on your back and/or you are not sitting back far enough, or your hips are popping up to fast cuase you to lean forward...question? when you squat does your lower back feel like you have been deadlifting, even if its a little bit. I to like chuck tylors but for me the soles are not hard enough i squat in regular adidas's (flat, low cut, hard soled) more expensive but will last forever sence all i do is squat in them.

I always read guys saying to wear chuck taylors and how great they are for wide stance squatting. Like you I used to just wear my deadlift shoes for both squatting and deadlifting. Finally, I bought a pair of chucks and absolutely hated them. I have used two different kinds of shoes that I do like. If you look on the back of PLUSA at the white tennis type flat soled shoe that Inzer sells. That's one that in my opinion provides much more support and all the advantages of Chucks. My favorites are the SSTs from Titan. I love them for squatting and I also wear them to bench in. They only have a slight heel but they put me in a strong position and improve my squat. I like the soles for maintaining grip on the floor. I am not as wide a stance squatter as most westside guys but I am a wide stance squatter. I use a Custom Dual Quad squat suit from Titan since I lift in one ply federations. Guess what I am trying to say is everyone is different and what works for someone else might not be right for you. I've also noticed something else and I am sure it has to do with leverages. If I am in a heavier weight class (I move up and down) I feel stronger in the flatter soled shoes. Go figure. Anyway I've given you another point of view to think about.

iam sure the inzer shoes and titanshoes are grat, only problem is they cost over $100 a pair. chucks are only $30

So I'm a narrow squatter and deadlifter... I use my caterpillar boots... They have a low heel... I wont squat or deadlift with out them...

Am I missing out by not using flat shoes... Doc. Sust you helped me before.. I have fukin long legs like a monkey... basically long extremities...

I squat light (225-315) bar high on my trap... as I get heavier I lower the bar further down my traps... I feel I can get deeper with out leaning forward...

I feel so strong and stable in my boots am I missing out by not using flat shoes???

I feel like this is a preference but I'm werid and feel like if theres something that will add to my strength i'll do it.... I like my boots

Cost is a concern and I know everybody does not have hundreds to pay for shoes. One thing I will say for the SSTs is I have had mine for six years now and they are just as strong as the day I got them. That's a pretty good return on the investment. I don't think I can say that shoes ever made that much difference in how much I could squat anyway but they do help those of us with body mechanics problems by putting us in our strongest position to squat. Let me just say this, I have never met anyone and I've been a competitive powerlifter for thirty years plus that did not like the Safe SSTs so that could be the reason they cost so much.

I have friends who swear they developed knee injuries because of the problems they had with cheap shoes including the chuck taylors. Brad Gillingham is a big big man who squats wide with very heavy weights in drug tested one ply federations. See what he wears to squat and deadlift in and then read some of his articles on the knee problems and hip problems he has had due to using the wrong kind of shoes, etc. Better than that ask Sports medicine people who treat knee and hip injuries of powerlifters and ask them what type shoes they recommend.

And hey Maximus there is nothing wrong with wearing boots. Some of the best squatters of the past who did not have anything but crappy wraps and cheap suits lifted fantastic weights wearing boots. If you can find some old pictures in PLUSA of guys wearing boots note the outstanding form and solid foundation with optimal weight balance right down the body line through the feet these guys achieved and most of them wore plain old work boots which provided great support to the ankles and feet.

Or as we old guys say- stay with the one who brung you to the dance.

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I have a pair of Genesis power shoes made by Ricky Crain. They were $120 so they are approx. the same as the other power shoes. The have a "wedge" heel and give alot of ankle support. I think that they might be a better shoe w/o the heel as it seems that it alters my form ever so slightly. Even so, I love'em them b/c they're comfortable and I feel really secure in them.