It’s been over 6 months since I started using my Reebok Lifter shoes. So, it seems that I’m pretty overdue for a Reebok Lifter shoes review. I usually review my products for 30-45 day, but I wasn’t quite ready to review the Reebok Lifter’s after that amount of time.
The Reebok Lifter shoe was the first Oly (Olympic lifting) shoe that I’d used before.
When trying to decide which Oly shoe to buy, I asked a number of different people (including Josh Bridges), and the consensus was the Reebok CrossFit Lifter shoe was what I should get.
The first time I put them on they were comfortable. Which I think is a good thing, but because they were so comfortable I never use the U-Form custom fit. The Reebok CrossFit Lifter shoes have something called U-Form that allows you to heat up the shoes (in the oven), and form them to your feet. I can’t tell you if it’s been a good idea or a bad idea to have not done the U-Form, but after wearing the shoes for many months, I still love them.
Why wear Oly shoes
This is a question that I didn’t understand for a long time. Or I should say that I understood why you’d want to wear Oly shoes, but I didn’t think it was that big of a deal.
My mind has been changed, and I now believe that wearing Oly shoes is an advantage to your training.
An Oly shoe does several things for you that is different from your regular athletic shoe
- An Oly shoe has a hard bottom. This gives you a more stable position against the floor. You feel this when driving off of the floor, and when you’re landing a lift.
- There is very little roll in an Oly shoe. So your feet stay flat on the ground without being able to collapse to the inside or outside of your foot.
- The heel of an Oly shoe is lifted. This does a couple of things for you. First, the lifted heel allows you to get lower in your squat. This happens because with an elevated heel your calf requires less dorsiflexion in the bottom squatting position (a lot of times your calves are the limiting factor in your squat depth). Second, with a lifted heel I’m sure you can imagine that your body weight will be shifted forward onto your toes (or at least more than in a flat shoe). This allows you to push a little harder from the balls of your feet, which will activate the quads.
My initial Reebok CrossFit Lifter thoughts…
When first starting to wear the Reebok Lifter’s, it was weird. I had taught myself for years that when doing squats I needed to throw my weight back onto my heels to activate my glutes. So, now that I didn’t need to do that as much, it was strange. And it even hurt my squat a little bit. When I would throw my weight back, it would end up over my heels on the way down, but then would rebound over my toes. Way too far over my toes, and I would be off balance. I even opted to wear my Reebok Nano’s at times because it felt more comfortable.
On the flip side, when doing Oly lifts (snatch, clean, jerk), this elevated heel position was fantastic! It really helped when landing my lifts. Rather than being up on my toes, I was landing with my shoes on the ground, and in a stable position.
It was also very helpful during the Oly lifts to have a solid platform to push/explode from. You feel like there is less force that is lost through the shoe. The plastic heel just doesn’t allow it.
My final Reebok CrossFit Lifter thoughts…
I’ve been wearing these Oly/Lifter shoes for some time now, and it was only recently that I really started to appreciate them during my squats.
I had the privilege of working with the mobility master, Kelly Starrett a few months back. He mentioned something that I didn’t understand until now.
What Kelly talked about was keeping your feet almost pointed forward during the squats. At about 8-15 degrees. This is counter to the externally rotated position that most of us have been taught. The reason for this is, when your feet are pointed forward you can push your knees to the outside (or externally rotate from your hips) to create tension (or torque) at the hip joint.
You still following?
I mentally understood it at the time, but it didn’t click until recently.
The Oly shoes allow you to get the extra range of motion that you need, to get the depth that you want, with your feet pointing forward.
So… if you take a shoulder width stance with your feet externally rotated at about 8 degrees, and have your toes gripping the ground like they’ve been glued there, you can create this amazing amount of tension in your hips that will spring you out of the bottom of your squat.
Like I said, I heard this a while back, but it only really made sense and started working recently. Play with it, give it a try. And let me know if you have questions.
Conclusion on the Reebok CrossFit Lifter’s
These are my go to shoes that I wear whenever I get the chance. I don’t care if there are movements that would be better for other shoes, if there is an Oly lift in the WOD, I’ll wear the Oly’s. I even have worn them for a rope climb and clean & jerk WOD. They worked great!
I highly recommend the Reebok CrossFit Lifter shoes, and think that every CrossFitter that does Oly lifts should consider buying them.
Where to buy
If you have any questions about them, drop me a comment below, or shoot me an email.