Boxing is a full-contact sport that teaches you discipline, hard work, focus, and perfect hand-foot coordination. However, being able to properly practice it implies purchasing specific equipment, including some black Adidas boxing shoes that will probably last you a few years from now on.
One mistake most beginners do is think that they can combine the necessary equipment for two different sports in an attempt to save them money in the long term. Unfortunately, sports footwear is specifically designed for a certain activity, so it won’t be able to provide the same support and enhance your performance unless you pick the right one.
The same goes for boxing shoes. They come with a certain structure and are usually lightweight to enhance the freedom of movement in the ring and feel like a second skin. However, these shoes won’t do much when it comes to many outdoor activities such as running or jogging.
Weightlifting, even though an indoor sport, comes with its own set of rules and requirements, and using a pair of boxing shoes might not do the trick. Let’s take a closer look and discover the main differences between these sports and the required equipment.
How to find the right pair of weightlifting shoes
No matter the type of sports activity you indulge yourself into, wearing the wrong pair of shoes can lead to severe injuries and pains. Some of the most common health problems athletes suffer from include hammertoes, athlete’s foot, swollen feet, fungal infections, varicose veins, and sprains.
However, lifting double or triple the weight of your body wearing the wrong shoes can lead to more serious health problems than ankle sprains and joint pains. If you’re new in the field and need to know exactly what to look for in a pair of weightlifting shoes, here are the most important features you should consider.
One common mistake for beginner weightlifters is that they use a pair of jogging or running shoes in the gym while lifting weights. This is far from ideal because of the added gel or air cushion layers that most of the outdoor shoes feature.
Cushioning is extremely important when running because it absorbs shocks and impacts, preventing injuries and keeping your feet comfortable for many miles. However, if you lift weights for a living, you won’t need that extra cushion because it provides less stability.
It is for this reason that most professionals in the field prefer wearing flat soles that don’t come with any cushion. Thus, they are able to drive all their weight and force into the ground, getting a better grip. In terms of performance, people who wear shoes with flat soles, including the popular Chuck Taylor Converse versions, will be able to lift heavier weights.
Another aspect you should be taking into account whenever looking for a new pair of weightlifting shoes is their heels. Now, we’re not talking about high heels or anything like it but a mere heel elevation of 0.75 inches on average. However, depending on the needs of each weightlifter, the heel elevation can range from 0.3 inches to more than one inch.
The reason behind this is that people who are lifting weights need to be able to squat properly. Heels also increase balance and improve the mobility of the ankles, lowering the risk of accidents and injuries. At the same time, the heels provide increased stability and firmness.
Those who aren’t keen on using heeled shoes can resort to other tips and tricks to avoid stiffness and limited ankle mobility that usually come with wearing flats.
Another benefit of heeled shoes is that they improve posture, keeping your back straight while squatting. With the right posture, there are no back and shoulder pains. Ideally, the taller you are, the higher the heels you’ll have to wear to be able to squat easily, without injuring your ankles or back.
Unlike most other shoes on the market, the ones designed for weightlifters feature a solid base made of wood or plastic. Some even use a combination of these materials to increase the durability and the support of the shoes.
Depending on how often you go to the gym, we suggest investing in two or even three different pairs to prevent premature wear after just a few months. Keep in mind that you will sweat a lot during training sessions, so you should look for quality shoes made of leather or suede that absorb extra moisture, leaving your feet cool and try.
It’s harder to test how comfortable your shoes are if you order them online and don’t take them for a spin at least a couple of times. Therefore, we mainly recommend testing the shoes in physical stores so you know exactly which size fits you and how comfortable they feel.
The shoes should be snug enough to keep your feet tight but without cutting off blood circulation or leaving marks on your skin.
Shoes that are too loose won’t provide the same support and may even increase the risk of getting injured while weightlifting.
More than 95% of the shoes designed for sports activities are made with laces to ensure a comfortable and adjustable fit, according to your needs. However, weightlifting shoes are different as they mainly feature straps that are there for a reason. Even the shoes that do come with laces also feature one or two straps to feel more stable and provide more comfort.
The role of the straps is to add another layer of mobility. They are used to lock the feet in place while also supporting the ankles and adding stability. In other words, they will prevent ankle sprains, injuries, and unwanted blisters caused by unreliable shoes.
However, the materials used to manufacture them are as important as the straps themselves. After all, you want your feet to stay in place and feel secure, right?
Can you use boxing shoes for weightlifting?
As we previously mentioned, each sports activity requires a certain type of equipment to enhance performances and keep you safe from injuries. Wearing a pair of boxing shoes to lift weights is dangerous because the construction of these two pairs differs massively.
For starters, boxing shoes are designed to be as light as possible and feel like a second skin. On the other hand, weightlifting shoes are made of hard materials to provide increased support and protection to your feet.
Another important difference between the pairs is that boxing shoes often feature outsoles made of soft, flexible rubber that provide maximum freedom of movement. On the contrary, weightlifting shoes need to feel sturdy and a little bit stiff.
Perhaps the only common ground of these different pairs of shoes comes from the high-ankle design. Most boxers prefer high-ankle boots to offer increased support and protection to the ankles, preventing them from injuries. Similarly, some weightlifters prefer tall shoes that lock in the ankles and keep them tight.