As I understand it there is a general recommendation towards wearing weight lifting shoes when lifting heavy weights for three main reasons:
- Less compression in a weight lifting shoe's than in a normal training shoe
- A more favourable angle for a more 'upright' position(surely just a more hips forward position)
- General support of the foot
One of my goals through lifting (I am referring to barbell Olympic-style lifts) is to strengthen the musculature and connective tissues of the hands and wrists. As such I opt to not wear wraps or gloves when lifting, which I imagine will at some point limit the amount I can safely lift (but not for some time).
By extension I wonder if there is development of the muscles of the foot, ankle, and shins to be gained from unsupported feet.
Has anyone experimented with this? Are there compelling reasons not to embark on shoeless weight lifting? It seems that the first feature of a weight lifting shoe would be provided by a raw heel, and the third seems subject to the same caveats as bare-foot running.
I'm particularly interested to hear from experienced lifters who would be willing to experiment with lifting without shoes and give their thoughts.