Are Weightlifting Shoes Classed As Cheating?

Answer: Wearing weightlifting shoes is not cheating. It is a tool designed to give you a competitive advantage by improving your technique for weightlifting exercises. Just like running shoes give runners an advantage over other athletes, weightlifting shoes does the exact same thing.

Clean and jerk

Just like soccer players use cleats to up their performance.

Just like basketball players use basketball shoes.

They’re a legal part of the sport.

In Olympic sports, shoes matter.

But weightlifting shoes aren’t a magical tool to make you win any competition.

They can either worsen or correct your technique.

Just like wearing a basketball shoe isn’t magically going to make you win every basketball game.

The Placebo Effect

The placebo effect simply means you believe something can make you better just because it says it’s a treatment.

The placebo effect is a real thing, there’s many studies to prove that.

Now when someone wears weightlifting shoes there may be a placebo effect.

They might THINK it makes them lift more and better their technique, when in fact, it’s not doing anything.

For most people it takes some getting use to.

The increased heel height really throws off your original technique.

For example:

When doing squats you will lean forward more, putting more stress on your knees.

You have to correct this by adjusting your form.

Some people have to relearn the squat again.

Weightlifting Shoes are Not Cheating, Even in Professional Sport

We’ve already established that every professional sport requires a different pair of shoes.

Much different than you usually wear on a daily basis.

All shoes matter. That’s why it’s impossible to make a shoe that does it all.

Basketball shoes improve your stability for lateral movements and quick bursts.

Wrestling shoes are light and flexible to make them feel like nothings on your feet.

Running shoes provide maximum comfort and stability for forward motions.

Weightlifting shoes increase stability and lockdown so you stay gripped to the ground when performing heavy lifts.

Because all it takes is one little mistake to break something.

However, specially designed shoes provide that extra protection so that doesn’t happen. Well, less likely to happen anyway.

When Weightlifting Shoes Can Help You

Weightlifting shoes are good for professional lifters and those training to compete in a competition.

They are 100% legal and everyone uses them because they do increase your performance.

It’s incredibly rare to see someone NOT wearing lifting shoes while competing. In fact I have never seen it.

Although keep in mind that it will take some time getting use to.

They completely change the way you lift.

But after learning to use them properly it can really up your weightlifting game.

What about everyday lifters?

On the other hand, whether you need them for everyday lifting comes down to personal preference.

Some people hate them and some people really like them (or is it just the placebo effect?).

I know they don’t help with my own squats. They push me forward which makes me feel it in my forefoot more.

Also I can hit good depth without them.

Those with ankle mobility issues may benefit from them a lot.

At the end of the day


If you’re a professional lifter and training to compete, then you should invest in some weightlifting shoes since that’s what you’ll be using anyway.

If you’re an average gym bro and just want to squat proper depth, and you find that these help you achieve that, then wear them.

It’s not cheating.

It’s helping you get your form correct which is always #1 priority.

Performing incorrect form over a long period of time is a recipe for disaster.

So that’s my opinion on the mater.

Agree or disagree with this article? Let me know in the comments below!

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