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  • Writer's pictureCody Wescott

Stop Lifting Weights in Running Shoes

The very first thing I notice when I see an athlete lifting is what type of shoes they are wearing.  Commonly people consider athletic shoes or sneakers, to be of the running shoe variety vs. an actual cross-training shoe.  Think something with a thick sole, padding and a generally cushioned surface to provide our foot comfort for pounding the pavement on runs.

While these may be great for RUNNING, they are not our best option when it comes to lifting weights.

Almost every exercise we do, our feet will be on the ground in one way or another, where we will be wearing… shoes.  The type of shoes you are wearing will have a major impact on the quality of movements that happen from there up the rest of the body.

Here’s a few reasons why you do not want to lift weights in running shoes.  

  1. Instability - When it comes to lifting weights, stability is king.  The more stable you are, the more weight you can move and the more power you can derive from the ground.  With the thick sole and padding of a running shoe, along with the overall design makes the shoe great for propelling you forward on the road, but very unstable when it comes to lifting weights.  When you try a pair of shoes with a stable sole vs. a running shoe the difference is as noticeable as lifting weights on concrete vs. your mattress.

  2. Knee Pain - Running shoes are not designed for the compressive forces of weight lifting.  Their cushion can lead to excessive movement of the knee increasing your risk of injury.  The rigidity of barefoot, weightlifting or cross-training shoes support your feet and knees under pressure.

  3. Narrow Toe Box - Often a running shoe will have a narrow toe box, this does not allow your feet to spread out, again leading to instability, but also lack of mobility.  Without a proper base for our feet our ankles will lose mobility, we need a stable foot to have a mobile ankle.

All movement comes from our connection to the ground, eliminate the giant cushion between you and the earth - make an investment into proper footwear in the gym.  

Shoes I recommend:

Some versions of the Nike Metcon and similar brands/styles.

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Jan 25
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Super helpful! Just ordered my Vivo Barefoots, never thought about the type of shoe when lifting, prior. Thanks Cody!

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