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Squat shoes help you feel more stable/secure while lifting and increase the mobility in your ankles and hips in order to move more efficiently.
However, not all of them are ideal for the taller lifter who has a long femur bone.
Ideally, if you’re a tall lifter, you need lifting shoes with a higher heel height and solid non-compressible sole.
That’s why I recommend Adidas Men’s Leistung 16 II Cross-Trainer as the best weightlifting shoes for tall lifters. It’s an ultra-durable shoe that’s specifically designed for achieving deeper squats thanks to its 1-inch heel raise. You definitely don’t want a heel height less than 1-inch if you have long femurs.
Keep on reading if you want to know more about squatting and lifting with long legs.
Top 5 Weightlifting Shoes for Tall Lifters
Finding good lifting shoes that fit the special requirements of a tall lifter can be a bit challenging.
To make the search process more streamlined for you, I’ve compiled a list of the best options that you can find on the market.
Let’s have a quick look at what makes these lifting shoes unique.
The top 5 best weightlifting shoes for tall lifters are:
• Adidas Men’s Leistung 16 II Cross-Trainer Shoe
• Nike Romaleos 3 Men’s Weightlifting Shoes
• Reebok Women’s Legacy Lifter Sneaker
• Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes
• Adidas Performance Men’s Crazy Power Cross-Trainer Shoe
The Adidas Leistung 16 II is the best overall weightlifting shoes for tall lifters on the market. It is an advanced shoe that’s specifically designed for the purpose of squatting or weightlifting. It’s an updated version of the Leistung Rios if you’re familiar with the older models.
What earned this shoe its title of being the best overall one is that it complies with all the specifications that a tall lifter would need in a weightlifting shoe.
For starters, it has a 1-inch heel raise, which gives you the highest level of ankle mobility and dorsiflexion needed while squatting for deeper reach.
The lifting shoes also have a solid Thermoplastic Urethane (TPU) midsole, which gives your foot an excellent hold, keeping the arch supported.
Moreover, the frame of the shoe is injected with a lightweight polymer which gives it both the strength and durability needed for handling heavier weights all the while staying relatively comfortable for your feet.
Lastly, these shoes have a one of a kind tightening system that really conforms and adjusts to the midsection of your feet.
● Perfect heel height
● Lightweight and substantially durable
● Excellent tightening system for a comfortable snug fit.
● Some users complained about sizing issues
Nike Romaleos 3 is another great option that you might want to consider if you’re looking for an excellent level of support.
The shoe is designed to keep you locked in fit with a solid sole for stability while squatting deep. The shoe comes in a wide variety of designs and colors, which you can choose from and match your weightlifting gear.
What makes these shoes a runner up to the Leistung 16 II is that it has a heel raise of about 0.75 inches, which isn’t as high. However, it’s still high enough to give you the ankle mobility you need.
The shoe has a mesh upper that provides it with breathability and support needed. The mesh layer is reinforced with synthetic leather, which adds to the durability of the shoe and gives it an aesthetically pleasing finish.
The Flywire cable and nylon midfoot straps offer firm support to your feet, although some users complained about the durability of this part.
● Stylish design
● Durable construction
● Lightweight TPU plates for solid soles
● The heel isn’t as high as other shoes
It’s significantly lightweight and comfortable, which is essential to help stabilize the feet to the ground for better anchoring.
Besides durability, what’s great about this shoe is how nice it looks. It has synthetic leather on the front part along with breathable mesh from the back that goes nicely with the Reebok logo printed on the side.
The Exoframe technology on the Reebok Shoes gives it superb stability at the sole region along with the durability from the TPU at the heels.
The heel raise is about 0.86 inches. This extra raise allows for deeper squats while maintaining an upright position without leaning forward.
● Higher heel raise
● Solid heels and shoe body with Exoframe technology
● Breathable mesh
● Lacks color variety
Regardless of the shoe durability if you have wide feet, you need a shoe that’s designed with a large toe box to accommodate it. That’s what Do-Win does best in their shoes.
This one is designed with an extra-wide toe box that’s lined with a durable layer of synthetic layer for extra sturdiness. This synthetic leather also covers the midsole region along with the heels.
This model has a 0.75 inch raised plastic heel, which promotes better dorsiflexion and deeper squats as well. The plastic construction ensures the rigidness of the heels so it won’t compress with weight.
Additionally, the shoes are designed to stay breathable thanks to its nylon mesh construction, which is scattered throughout the shoes for better aeration of the feet.
You can read my full review on the Best Squat Shoes For Wide Feet.
● Wide toe box for lifters with wide feet
● Highly breathable with nylon mesh design
● Metatarsal straps for a snug fit
● A bit oversized for lifters with narrow feet
Lastly, if you prefer to have a shoe that isn’t exclusive for just squatting, consider this amazing option.
The Crazy Power Cross-Trainer Shoe from Adidas gives you the versatility and flexibility needed for various activities.
However, when it comes to squatting this shoe is just amazing. For starters, it has Adidas quality and durability written all over it.
Additionally, it comes with a 1-inch heel, which allows you to easily reach that sweet deep spot while squatting.
The TPU heels won’t compress under pressure, which ensures stabilization and support needed to keep your feet anchored tightly to the ground.
Despite having three different colors, I wished for this shoe to come at more color options than it currently has.
● Highly versatile and can be used for various exercises
● Full-length heel for the deepest squats
● Highly affordable when compared to other models
● Limited color options
Are You a Tall Lifter With Long Femurs?
A lot of lifters might quickly jump into conclusions by arbitrary saying that they have long legs. However, they need to go through the right and formal way of assessing whether they’re actually tall lifters with long femurs.
Check out my article on How To Squat If You Have Long Legs .
Although being tall while lifting is considered a disadvantage, being a tall person doesn’t always mean that you have to go through this issue.
Typically, having long legs refers to having relatively long femurs, which is the length of the upper thigh bone. To be called a tall lifter, your legs have to be longer than the rest of your body.
To avoid changing the mechanics of your squats unnecessarily, you have to make sure that you do have long legs.
A study by Hales in 2010 about understanding the body proportions and improving deadlifts used different lengths of the torso, arms, and legs to describe their proportion of the overall structure of the body.
By using some of the findings of this study, we can get a reference point about what body part proportion is considered short, average, or long.
For example, if you have long legs, but you also have a long torso, that means that you might not have any problems while lifting. However, if your long legs start to have a larger proportion of your body by having a shorter torso, things might become more problematic.
This means that even if you’re generally not that tall but you still have a relatively longer femur than your torso, you might still need to change your lifting mechanics.
To measure your legs properly, you have to start by measuring your total height, your leg length, as well as your torso length.
How to Measure Your Body Proportions
● Total height: stand fully erect (use a wall for help), and measure the length of your body from the bottom of your midfoot to the top of your head.
● Leg length: while standing at a wall, measure the length starting from your hip bone (greater trochanter) all the way to the floor (same midfoot spot)
● Torso length: while standing at the way, measure from the same spot on your hip bone towards the same point at the top of your head.
After taking measurements, you can easily get your body proportion by dividing the body part (leg or torso) over the total body height and then multiplying it by a 100.
According to the same study, if your leg length takes more than 49% of your overall body length, you’re classified as a tall lifter with a long femur.
Based on my limb proportions (51%), I’m also considered someone who has relatively long legs.
Problems You Might Have a Tall Lifter
As a tall lifter, you might be left with a disadvantage if you try to lift with the regular mechanics. For tall lifters, there are various exercises that will be exceptionally difficult. For example, reaching greater depth while squatting might be a little challenging.
The longer your femurs get, the more difficult it becomes to maintain a balance between keeping your center of mass over your midfoot and pushing your hips to settle into the squat. You’ll even notice that the barbell usually travels a greater distance while squatting.
While squatting, you’ll always need to keep your torso upright while going down. However, with long femurs, you’ll notice that it leans forward to become parallel to the floor. Another exercise that might be problematic for a tall person is the deadlift.
The powerlifts become more challenging as you try to keep the weight on your heels, as you need greater knee flexion while performing a correct squat. However, that wouldn’t be a huge deal unless you’re a competitive powerlifter.
How to Manage These Problems
There are many ways to correct your lifting mechanics to adapt to your longer femurs. Some of these points are about building more strength at various parts of your body, such as your back and hip extensors as well as working on your mobility, especially at the ankle and hips.
In addition to all that, you can also boost your lifting capabilities by using a specialized lifting shoe.
Benefits of Wearing Proper Squat Shoes for Tall Lifters
Squat shoes are specifically made with lifting in mind. They give you a huge benefit for activating more muscle in general as well as recruiting extra muscle fibers for higher shear strength.
As a rule of thumb, these shoes are characterized by their raised heels, which average from 0.5 inches all the way to 1 inch.
However, these squat shoes are extremely beneficial for a taller lifter. In fact, the taller the lifter, the higher the heels on their shoes need to be.
Your feet are integral parts of the squat, as they play a huge role (along with your hips and knees) to keep you stabilized while lifting.
To lift properly, your ankles need to flex upward freely, which is typically known as ankle dorsiflexion.
However, with more restriction at your ankle, it’ll be extremely difficult for a tall lifter to squat deeper.
On the other hand, a heeled shoe gives a slight degree of plantarflexion even when you’re standing neutral.
This beneficial impact is even studied and observed upon wearing heeled lifting shoes versus those who don’t use the. It was found that these lifting shoes change the kinetics and kinematics of the back squats.
In other words, your heels always start at a higher position than your toes, giving your greater ankle flexion and a greater range of motion for deeper squats that longer lifters can do naturally.
If you have long femurs and you’re wearing regular flat shoes, you’ll either start leaning too far forward or your ankle will start lifting from the floor, which reduces your stability while lifting and takes away from your overall power.
Shoe Considerations for Tall Lifters: What to Look for
While shopping for a squat shoe, there are various considerations and aspects that you have to keep in mind, especially if you’re a tall lifter. Let’s have a brief overview of these aspects.
As you now know, heel height is the most critical factor for a tall lifter who’s looking for dedicated weightlifting shoes.
Lifting shoes are available with a wide range of heel heights, starting from 0.5 inches up to 1 inch.
However, in the case of a tall lifter with a long femur, the higher the heels, the more beneficial the shoe will be.
That’s why lifting shoes with a heel height of about 1 inch is considered the best for a tall lifter with 0.75 inches considered as the bare minimum to allow for the maximum ankle mobility and achieve deep squats.
For that reason, although I consider Adidas Powerlift 4.0 as one of the best lifting shoes, it’s not recommended for tall lifters because it’s only 0.6 inches.
To make sure that you get the most benefit of the raised heel, you need to make sure that it won’t sink in with your body weight as well as the barbell weight pressed down on it.
It’s critical that the soles on the shoes are made of solid and non-compressible materials to maintain both the support and stability needed for lifting.
Weightlifting shoes don’t come cheap, as they need to be made with specific designs and durable materials that can handle a ton of weight and pressure over them.
To make sure that the shoes aren’t a waste of money, you need to make sure that they’re made of quality materials that won’t rapture or break under pressure.
Should Tall Lifters Squat Barefoot?
In ideal circumstances, lifting without wearing shoes can help lifters by giving them a better connection between their feet and the floor, which gives them almost instant feedback about their technique issue.
It also has benefits on the foot itself, as using your feet for anchoring will strengthen the muscles in them.
However, for a tall lifter, squatting barefooted means that they won’t get the same level of ankle mobility, and dorsiflexion needed to go down as deep as shorter lifters.
For that reason, I recommended that you use a proper weightlifting shoe with heels raised higher than 0.75 inches to 1 inch.
While being tall can be a bit of a disadvantage for you, it’s a problem that’s fairly solved with a heeled shoe. If you want to do the deepest squats, you need a hard-soled shoe with 1-inch heel raise.
For that reason Adidas Men’s Leistung 16 II Cross-Trainer Shoe is the best option to go for.
However, if you want a more versatile training shoe, consider Adidas Performance Men’s Crazy Power Cross-Trainer Shoe.
It’s a 1-inch heeled shoe that can do more than just squats. Additionally, it’s a highly affordable cross-trainer that doubles as budget-friendly options.