3

votes

What shoes do you workout in?

Answered on June 06, 2016
Created July 16, 2011 at 12:21 AM

A lot of people in the paleo community are going to say vibrams (which i have) but i feel like these might be sub optimal for a lot of lifts and exercises.

What are your thoughts on vibrams and what are your preferred lifting shoes?

Ff0676c8c4d57e148447fb70da64f5fb

(75)

on February 04, 2012
at 07:05 PM

i do crossfit and got the minimus' because of the squats. i was falling backwards wearing my regular running shoes. and i have to second that the minimus' are the best shoes i also have ever owned! they are INCREDIBLY comfortable!!!

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on February 04, 2012
at 05:53 PM

Love Vibrams. I CrossFit and I use the shoes to lift in and do most exercises, including running long distance. VFF's really use muscles in your feet and lower legs that you don't use in the "normal" shoes. I will never go back! Only thing I use my old tennies for is double-under days (damn jump rope gets stuck between my toes) and for rowing, since the bigger heel helps keep my feet in place on the C2. Other than that, VFFs all the way!

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on February 04, 2012
at 04:57 PM

thanks, Joshua. Everything I have found basically seems to say that if I'm comfortable with my VFF Treks, there's no need to switch to Merrill or Fila or anything else, so far as I can tell.

Fb677d93955eb0fac597e3d94db92980

(1115)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:51 PM

Which trail's do you have? The 10's or 20's? I got a pr of the 20's off Amazon but there was a werd bump in the sole, right under the ball of my feet. I think I bought the wrong size but I'm on the fence as to whether or not to buy a diff size in the 20's or to try the 10's... I have the Inov-8's too and like them a lot.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:41 PM

Yeah I do, they have rubber soles. The only issue is that you can feel almost every stone and crack. City shoes, I would not wear them 'outdoors' if you know what I mean.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:27 PM

The Fila Skeletoes have been negatively reviewed by most of the barefoot running forums as being too stiff and basically "knock offs". On their site they even say this shoe is not a minimalist shoe. They are basically trying to imitate Vibram's success with a crappy shoe, in my opinion.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:25 PM

@Eric - The DoWin shoes are particularly wider than standard weightlifting shoes. My other pair were custom made for my feet by Powerfirm.ca, but they no longer make them. You could e-mail them to see if they still make custom weightlifting shoes.

6b365c14c646462210f3ef6b6fecace1

(1784)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:20 PM

toms are great - super comfy and breathable. it's a nice alternative to the other less visually appealing minimalist shoes out there.

24d67557966cdfc748fc2b12053e6a23

(335)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:11 PM

Did you find olympic lifting shoes in wide? If so, where? I wear an 11 1/2 EEEE.

24d67557966cdfc748fc2b12053e6a23

(335)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:01 PM

You wear them outside too?

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:57 PM

I dropped a 15kg plate on my toe two weeks ago, but was wearing weightlifting shoes. It still hurt and turned my nail purple for a couple of days.

24d67557966cdfc748fc2b12053e6a23

(335)

on February 04, 2012
at 06:13 AM

Jack Lalanne used to wear ballet slippers during his workouts. http://www.jacklalanne.com/blog/?p=377

7255a87872b75e6f691d84dca769b87e

on November 19, 2011
at 09:36 PM

At least chucks don't have a raised heel. I've noticed that Vans and Chucks feel a slight bit more natural compared to athletic shoes...plus, they're an important staple for the stylish Paleo when the Five Fingers are in the wash for the third time that day.

C1c86f42410cd4788bd9c5cf801dcd8f

(2246)

on July 16, 2011
at 07:58 PM

Well, Set 2 Pr's 410 on backsquat 525 on deadlift the real kicker is I went for 540 and lost my grip on my right hand before lock out. wore the lifting shoes, for both

C1c86f42410cd4788bd9c5cf801dcd8f

(2246)

on July 16, 2011
at 07:58 PM

Well, Set 2 Pr's 410 on backsquat
525 on deadlift the real kicker is I went for 540 and lost my grip on my right hand before lock out. wore the lifting shoes, for both.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 16, 2011
at 02:16 PM

Nike owns Chucks now - but the interim buyer between the original company and Nike took all production to Asia. Quality and cut, to be bold, absolutely suck. Nike has kept production in Asia but also has some mfg in Europe. I bought 5 pairs when the bankruptcy was announced and am down to my last one, sad. PS: The shoes made in the EU will fit similar to the original, and has a better quality. Picked up a pair in Belgium last year and was pretty pleased. Go figure..

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 16, 2011
at 12:51 PM

good luck dude. own the bar.

Ffc7e0ecad8e8831b528c5d4921377cc

(942)

on July 16, 2011
at 05:01 AM

+1 for Converse!

Ffc7e0ecad8e8831b528c5d4921377cc

(942)

on July 16, 2011
at 04:59 AM

+1 for Chucks! Mine hold up very well.

76d0056c773673e24b8c57a685d504ed

(132)

on July 16, 2011
at 02:30 AM

Wasn't the Converse brand bought up by Nike? Could explain change in quality.

1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

(3789)

on July 16, 2011
at 12:57 AM

I've found the quality of Chuck Taylors has gone down greatly in the past few years. They start to fall apart pretty quickly and they are not that comfortable now that I know what minimal shoes feel like.

  • 32937bdb4caf053e7aa39693fadd2282

    asked by

    (547)
  • Views
    10.1K
  • Last Activity
    769D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

26 Answers

5
C1c86f42410cd4788bd9c5cf801dcd8f

(2246)

on July 16, 2011
at 12:30 AM

If I had to tell someone to pick one shoe to work out in for everything I would go with Converse. Pretty universal shoe for lifting, running, everything.

Now, when people lift I tell them to go barefoot if they are coming close to any kind of heavy lift (back squat, Deadlift etc) If they do not have converse, vibrams or lifting shoes.

I don't recommend people to go barefoot with any kind of Olympic lifting, I've done it. It is slightly uncomfortable. Vibrams work, and converse do as well, but you can't just can't beat oly shoes for Olympic lifting.

I guess it really depends on your goals, I've set my personal records in almost all my lifts up to the last 2 months without lifting shoes.

Deadlift 520
BackSquat 405 with shoes did 405 a lot easier
Front Squat 305, with shoes did 315
Jerk 205, with shoes 235

I'm going to a powerlifting competition tomorrow, so we will see if the Deadlift and Backsquat PR's will change with shoes and a belt. Kind of on the fence about trying the DL in shoes, but well will see how it feels.

Now did the shoes really make a difference? It made me feel much more stable under load with lifting shoes and my squat is much more stable (noticed the most difference under heavy front and back squats)

So if you want to lift heavy stuff, I highly recommend lifting shoes, if you want to sort of lift heavy stuff once in a while then you can get by with vibrams.

Ffc7e0ecad8e8831b528c5d4921377cc

(942)

on July 16, 2011
at 05:01 AM

+1 for Converse!

C1c86f42410cd4788bd9c5cf801dcd8f

(2246)

on July 16, 2011
at 07:58 PM

Well, Set 2 Pr's 410 on backsquat 525 on deadlift the real kicker is I went for 540 and lost my grip on my right hand before lock out. wore the lifting shoes, for both

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 16, 2011
at 12:51 PM

good luck dude. own the bar.

C1c86f42410cd4788bd9c5cf801dcd8f

(2246)

on July 16, 2011
at 07:58 PM

Well, Set 2 Pr's 410 on backsquat
525 on deadlift the real kicker is I went for 540 and lost my grip on my right hand before lock out. wore the lifting shoes, for both.

4
7767e05a8c4504f6be03f13ee40815cd

(1299)

on July 16, 2011
at 04:40 AM

Feiyues.

http://www.martialartsmart.com/45-35k.html

Super thin soles, a fraction of the cost of Vibrams. I have and like Vibrams, but for everyday stuff as well as lifting, Feiyues are fine. For lifting, they're arguably marginally better.

Funny story about these - I got my pair in the mail, and my girlfriend (who is Chinese) saw me open the box. Of course, the website says that they are the shoes martial artists and monks wear. My girlfriend looked at the shoes with a bit of disbelief, and said "Those are the shoes that poor people wear!". I guess the 18 bucks+shipping I paid for my pair is far greater than the price in China.

The minor downsides are a chemical/gluey smell when new, and not much in the way of traction on smooth surfaces.

2
Medium avatar

on November 19, 2011
at 09:13 PM

Vibram Five Fingers for running and walking, also for weight room (including when I work heavy on compound exercises, like squat, dead lift, leg press).

I continue to be amazed at these shoes and their efficacy. Though I wore minimalist shoes for running even prior to Five Fingers, I was never the less a bit cautious about whether running in Vibrams would put me at some "risk." To the contrary, as my full-time exercise shoes, my Five Fingers have made it impossible for me to feel which of my ankles was sprained a few years back. These shoes have strengthened legs, feet toes: bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments.

Granted, I don't live in snow country, so I don't run Vibrams in ultra wintry conditions, like when I head to ski country.

2
Dddd8d386fcf7095ada112ed24439d5b

on November 19, 2011
at 07:26 PM

I actually wear a pair of Toms for squats and deadlifts. They are a flat bottom shoe with no heel, so it's about as close as you can get to going barefoot without actually taking your shoes off. I'm looking into a pair of the Rogue weightlifting shoes for squats though.

6b365c14c646462210f3ef6b6fecace1

(1784)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:20 PM

toms are great - super comfy and breathable. it's a nice alternative to the other less visually appealing minimalist shoes out there.

2
15ce6e95b7a0d7de0a81a8616e594791

on July 16, 2011
at 03:49 AM

no shoes ever never not at all

2
Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

on July 16, 2011
at 02:59 AM

My new favorite shoes to do absolutely everything in, the New Balance Minimus. 4mm heel to toe drop, very breathable mesh upper and flexible sole, by far the greatest pair of shoes I've ever worn.

Ff0676c8c4d57e148447fb70da64f5fb

(75)

on February 04, 2012
at 07:05 PM

i do crossfit and got the minimus' because of the squats. i was falling backwards wearing my regular running shoes. and i have to second that the minimus' are the best shoes i also have ever owned! they are INCREDIBLY comfortable!!!

2
Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 16, 2011
at 01:03 AM

So far:

  • Chucks with the liner ripped out. They weren't comfortable which affected my lifting and next tried:

  • Samba's and they were too hot and not narrow enough, had to lace them too tightly which was distracting. So now:

  • I'm currently lifting in socks/barefeet and definitely saw a huge improvement on all my lifts, backsquat especially, as I can really feel the floor to grip and push those knees out

Just ordered a pair of Inov-8 FLite 195's as I'm still optimistic that I'll find a good shoe. I don't mind going naked toed but if there's a shoe that will give me the same, or perhaps even better, performance I'd like to try it.

2
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 16, 2011
at 12:30 AM

Was using O lifting shoes by recently switched back to chuck taylors. Reason is that I switched gyms and this new place has soft, cushioned floors. These suck. And walking around with the O shoes, and the lift they give me, actually made me less stable. Chucks are great, though.

I dead lift in socks only.

Ffc7e0ecad8e8831b528c5d4921377cc

(942)

on July 16, 2011
at 04:59 AM

+1 for Chucks! Mine hold up very well.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 16, 2011
at 02:16 PM

Nike owns Chucks now - but the interim buyer between the original company and Nike took all production to Asia. Quality and cut, to be bold, absolutely suck. Nike has kept production in Asia but also has some mfg in Europe. I bought 5 pairs when the bankruptcy was announced and am down to my last one, sad. PS: The shoes made in the EU will fit similar to the original, and has a better quality. Picked up a pair in Belgium last year and was pretty pleased. Go figure..

1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

(3789)

on July 16, 2011
at 12:57 AM

I've found the quality of Chuck Taylors has gone down greatly in the past few years. They start to fall apart pretty quickly and they are not that comfortable now that I know what minimal shoes feel like.

76d0056c773673e24b8c57a685d504ed

(132)

on July 16, 2011
at 02:30 AM

Wasn't the Converse brand bought up by Nike? Could explain change in quality.

7255a87872b75e6f691d84dca769b87e

on November 19, 2011
at 09:36 PM

At least chucks don't have a raised heel. I've noticed that Vans and Chucks feel a slight bit more natural compared to athletic shoes...plus, they're an important staple for the stylish Paleo when the Five Fingers are in the wash for the third time that day.

1
E57d8e182251b61ccc6ada197c359d7e

on February 04, 2012
at 06:30 AM

vibrams for everything but I don't O lift. I only do body weight and some dumbells.

1
24d67557966cdfc748fc2b12053e6a23

(335)

on February 04, 2012
at 06:12 AM

I have 2 pairs of Vibram FiveFingers, but lately I've been working out in a cheap pair of aqua shoes from Walmart, and also have some from Meijer. I get fewer weird looks from others and I can wear regular socks, but the soles feel almost exactly the same. They do wear out quicker though.

Before getting Vibrams I was working out in a pair of Renaissance Moccasins that I owned from my SCA/Renaissance Faire days, and the sole is very minimalist.

1
27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on November 19, 2011
at 10:35 PM

Komodosports, for both Crossfit and running. I was initially unsure about the Vibrams for box jumps and the like, but they felt great and now I don't use anything else - unless I'm working out barefoot. Of course, the jump rope still occasionally gets stuck between my toes when I'm doing double unders.

A Crossfit instructor wrote about the best minimalist shoes to wear for working out, here: http://birthdayshoes.com/crossfitters-guide-to-barefoot-minimalist-shoes

1
7255a87872b75e6f691d84dca769b87e

on November 19, 2011
at 09:34 PM

If I'm inside, I don't wear any. On my runs I wear vibrams. It seems most logical that we should work out barefoot to encourage proper foot posture and ensuingly proper spinal posture. If our feet feel too unstable to go barefoot/minimalist when emulating a natural movement, something is wrong with our musculature, or the way we are using it.

1
9a86fa04b1a69b788e379093c7b83ef5

(402)

on November 19, 2011
at 09:06 PM

+1 for NB Minimus. Excellent sneaker. Great for lifting, running, jumping or any workout at hand. Not a completely barefoot feel, but as close as you're going to get now a days.Way better than so called barefoot "nike frees" I own some onitsuku tigers and vibrams as well.

1
Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a

on July 17, 2011
at 03:39 AM

Merrell Trail Glove for everything.

1
Ab0369a70755bd07f44292b4ca8b2260

on July 16, 2011
at 03:46 AM

I have both the Inov-8 195 and the New Balance Minimus. The NB is more minimal and has a vibram sole. Have to get the trail runner though, not the runner or walker. The Inov-8s have more cushion for jumping etc. I like them both.

Fb677d93955eb0fac597e3d94db92980

(1115)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:51 PM

Which trail's do you have? The 10's or 20's? I got a pr of the 20's off Amazon but there was a werd bump in the sole, right under the ball of my feet. I think I bought the wrong size but I'm on the fence as to whether or not to buy a diff size in the 20's or to try the 10's... I have the Inov-8's too and like them a lot.

1
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on July 16, 2011
at 01:32 AM

I don't have Vibrams cause I couldn't get them to fit but I have some Merrill's that have a Vibram bottom (that someone here recommended) and they were horrible for lifting. I love them but found them far too unstable to wear for lifting. I wearing lifting shoes for lifting and the Merrill's for all else.

1
8caffe4dea631347b447e9f4e12fb2da

(589)

on July 16, 2011
at 01:27 AM

For me fila skeletoes they work well for me. Use them when on my universal gym, bike ride, walk, hike,sprint and what ever else I do. Even wear them in the garden.

1
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on July 16, 2011
at 12:40 AM

Weightlifting shoes for any weightlifting. Puma Kosmos for anything else. They're pretty thin and cheap.

0
29c7b1d5c590df38285067bfae7132bd

on June 06, 2016
at 03:15 PM

I love my Adipower oly shoes I got about 6 months ago. My heels aren't really flexible and the raised heels help me immensely. Here's a great article on bestliftingshoes.org/articles/top-3-oly-shoes/ if you're interested in reading about more of them!

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 22, 2013
at 08:08 AM

I like comfortable and stylish wedge sneakers like this http://www.upere.com/upere-wedge-sneakers-suede-leathe-brown-p-21.html.

0
D5c8768927c463b363b109f18b7c16c4

(375)

on February 04, 2012
at 05:45 PM

I train barefoot, nothing between me and the floor.

0
0266737ea1782946902fd3f8e60fa0b9

(2504)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:40 PM

weightlifting shoes (Do-Win) for weightlifting. For running, I actually don't love the Vibrams--they're ok for a few miles, but when it's hot or rainy, my feet get either too hot on the soles or wet, and after a while, my toes start to ache. So for longer distance, I use the Merrill Pace Glove, LOVE them. I also use them for crossfit-they are my best cross-use shoes.

0
Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on February 04, 2012
at 03:36 PM

I mainly workout TACFIT and so in order of use:

  1. Barefoot
  2. Socks
  3. Capezio Jag dance sneakers (PP15).

These are pretty much like ballet slippers, I wear them all the time. I always say you never know, there could be a dance emergency, I could be on a plane and someone may shout: "This lady is bored! Is there a Tango dancer onboard!?"

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:41 PM

Yeah I do, they have rubber soles. The only issue is that you can feel almost every stone and crack. City shoes, I would not wear them 'outdoors' if you know what I mean.

24d67557966cdfc748fc2b12053e6a23

(335)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:01 PM

You wear them outside too?

0
Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on February 04, 2012
at 03:23 PM

I wear Vibrams to walk, row, or lift. All around great shoes. Though I need to get a new pair, I wear mine out.

On the subject, does anyone know of pros/cons of VFF to say, Fila Skeletoes?

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:27 PM

The Fila Skeletoes have been negatively reviewed by most of the barefoot running forums as being too stiff and basically "knock offs". On their site they even say this shoe is not a minimalist shoe. They are basically trying to imitate Vibram's success with a crappy shoe, in my opinion.

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on February 04, 2012
at 04:57 PM

thanks, Joshua. Everything I have found basically seems to say that if I'm comfortable with my VFF Treks, there's no need to switch to Merrill or Fila or anything else, so far as I can tell.

0
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:56 PM

I have wide feet so converse are completely out.

When I competed, I used olympic lifting shoes for any overhead press event, and for any stones/loading event.

I used hightop Vans off-the-walls with the insoles pulled out for any walking-with-weight events like superyoke and farmer's walk.

Now I've swapped out the vans for Vibrams, and I don't do much stonelifting or platform loading as I train for different sports now.

In the gym, I use my olympic lifting shoes for squats, cleans, snatches, jerks, and olympic pulls. I used my vans or vibrams for everything else... and I deadlift in vibrams or barefoot.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:25 PM

@Eric - The DoWin shoes are particularly wider than standard weightlifting shoes. My other pair were custom made for my feet by Powerfirm.ca, but they no longer make them. You could e-mail them to see if they still make custom weightlifting shoes.

24d67557966cdfc748fc2b12053e6a23

(335)

on February 04, 2012
at 04:11 PM

Did you find olympic lifting shoes in wide? If so, where? I wear an 11 1/2 EEEE.

0
7d01d86c539003eed77cf901bf037412

(1076)

on February 04, 2012
at 09:06 AM

I lift weights in Vibrams or cheap knock off fake Chucks. The Vibrams are better.

Word of caution -- while it feels great to work out in minimal shoes, be really careful when you put plates back. You always put your plates away, right? Cause leaving them on the bar is antisocial. Anyway, I once was putting a 20kg plate back on its rack and I fumbled it (I had just done some heavy deads and my hands weren't working too well). I dropped the plate from waist height and it broke my big toe. It hurt like a motherfucker. From that day to this, I stand with my feet well apart when I put plates away.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:57 PM

I dropped a 15kg plate on my toe two weeks ago, but was wearing weightlifting shoes. It still hurt and turned my nail purple for a couple of days.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!