With the explosion in popularity of the CrossFit program, many women are starting to hit the weights, and like most specialized types of sports there are specialized shoes. Weight lifting is no different, but how do you go about choosing shoes for this activity? Read on to learn about what makes a weight lifting shoe a good choice and some examples of the top models on the market.

The one thing that makes weightlifting shoes different from shoes for other sports is its raised heel. These shoes should have a raised heel because when lifting weights you often have to get in a deep squat position, and if you’re heels lift off the ground you’re much more likely to lose your balance which can lead to injury.

The two keys to great weightlifting shoe are safety and weight transfer and unlike when you’re looking for walking or running shoes, you don’t want too much cushioning in weightlifting shoes. This is because when you’re lifting weights, you don’t need to absorb the impact, but rather shift the weight of your body safely. You’ll also want to choose a shoe that is heavy enough to safely support you when shifting your weight and lifting your heels, but at the same time is not so heavy that it makes it hard for you to move your feet.

It is a good idea to look for a shoe that has a strap across the top of the foot that can be adjusted for the best fit and added stability. The sole of the shoe should be made of a tough rubber and has a heel height of inch to an inch and a quarter. You’ll want to steer clear of any high-top lacing shoes, because this can prevent you from moving your ankles properly and safely, especially if you’ll be doing squatting movements.

There are lots of different weightlifting shoes on the market today, however some of the top brands according to the Olympic Weightlifting Resource include Nike, Adidas and Asics. Many years ago, finding a great pair of weightlifting shoes for under $200 would have been pretty hard, but today you can find pairs anywhere from $40 to $140. It is best to stick with well-known and respected brands.

Now when it comes to sizes, you have to be aware that they usually do not come in women’s sizes, but it does seem that they are starting to (thanks to the CrossFit movement). You might have noticed that when buying walking or running shoes, you do not wear the same size as you would in your more dressy shoes. This is also the case in weightlifting shoes. To get the best size you’ll actually have to try a few different sizes to determine the best fit for you. Most sporting good stores have a person who is trained in sizing shoes. Before you go, you’ll want to determine what size shoe you wear in mens’ shoes.

One last piece of advice, is that you do not need the best, or even close to the best, weight lifting shoes out there just for doing a little free weight work at the gym. These shoes are mostly used in power lifting and competitive weight lifting. However, following the suggestions above about what to look for in a shoe can be helpful for finding a pair of shoes that will help you lift free weights more safely.