10.9.17// Oly Shoes

Heavy Day// 

Bench Press

12x2 @ 60ish% with bands

and then some great special exercises

"Put on your dancing boots." Oly shoes, short for Olympic Weightlifting shoes, used to be a piece of equipment that really no-one cared about, had any reason to care about. They're shoes that exist literally for no reason other than the Snatch and Clean & Jerk. 2 Movements-- up to $300 for a pair of shoes. CrossFit becomes a thing and now, there are soccer moms scanning Amazon for a deal on a pair of Olympic. Freaking. Weightlifting. Shoes. The thought of that just baffles my mind. It is just so awesome! Some of you have Oly Shoes, but not running shoes! What has the world come to? 

Anyway...That's enough mind blowing. What are Oly Shoes? When should I wear them? What's the deal?

Oly shoes have a solid raised heel made made of solid plastic, wood, or even compressed sheets of leather. The bottoms are flat to create just a really solid platform to push into. It's solid so that whatever power your put into the floor gets transferred hopefully to where it's supposed to go (the bar). They're really the opposite of running shoes which are made to absorb some of the impact. For you physics types, imagine two bikes. A really rigid road racing bike vs. a tricked out mountain bike with shocks on shocks. When you pedal the road bike, most or all of your power gets transferred into the road and going faster. On the mountain bike, a lot of your effort and power is dissipated and lost in the suspension. Oly shoes are like the road bike, no power is lost into the souls of your shoes, (plenty of it still can be lost in your trunk, shoulders, hips etc. but that's beside the point) 

The solid heel is also raised, which allows your knees to track further forward with your heels still planted firmly on the floor. That manifests In much more comfortable positioning when you need to be in a deep squat with the bar overhead or in your front rack. The raised heel also helps really inflexible people achieve a better position in the dip of the jerk or push press. My ankles are so tight that the raised heel allows me to dip as deep as I need to without my heels coming off the ground. 

Knowing this stuff, when should we wear our oly shoes?

Just rule them out completely if the workout calls for running. Of course wear them on any heavy days dedicated to deep squatting movements. For MetCon's though stay away from them if there's any movement they could hinder. Box Jumps in oly shoes aren't the most efficient for example. When we deadlift heavy, you should consider the type of deadlift coach is asking for. Wear Flat shoes for powerlifting style deadlifts where your hips start closer to the elevation of your shoulders. Wear Oly shoes if the WOD calls for Oly-style deadlifts when we want a steeper back angle where your hips begin at or below your knees.

We've seen oly shoes as cheap as $40 and Mac and my shoes cost $200. I can for sure tell the difference, but don't go broke getting something that you're going to wear once or twice a week. Do you need them? Definitely not! We're all grown adults. Nobody is smirking at you on heavy day because you didn't have to find a gap in the warm up to put on your gear so don't sweat it. If you like CrossFit and your sister claims that you're the hardest person to shop for, they're a great gift to receive. If your husband won't let you get them, but he has even one pair of golf shoes or hunting boots, then you tell that son-of-a-you-know-what that it's the exact same thing! 


Devin JonesComment