Powerlifting Shoes are a key piece of equipment for any serious powerlifter. As most of us know by now, the average trainee tends to squat a bit more weight if they use Olympic lifting shoes. Now most of us also know that premium brand Oly shoes can cost anywhere from $150-200 and sometimes those are sales prices. Naturally, it doesn’t come as any surprise that a lot of you were interested in how I felt about the SABO PowerLift shoes. As of right now, they’re only $120.
Well, here’s the deal guys. As powerlifters, we simply don’t have the same requirements in shoes that Olympic lifters have. A super flexible forefoot isn’t that important. Actually, it doesn’t matter at all unless you plan to bench in the shoes with your heels off the floor. The weight of the shoe doesn’t matter either. We’re not here to catch cleans and snatches. We don’t need to move fast in these shoes.
Five Things To Look For in Olympic Lifting Shoes
Here’s what does matter:
This comes above all else given the price of the shoes. I refuse to pay more than $100 for something that is going to fall apart in a few months. That is unacceptable. I’ve had these shoes for months now and they hardly have a scratch. My old Oly shoes began falling apart pretty much immediately even though they did end up lasting for 2-3 years.
The last thing I want is painful feet when the rest of my body is aching from heavy ass squats. I tend to have wide feet and the large toe box of the PowerLifts works quite well for me.
3) Metatarsal Strap
You need a strap across the metatarsal to prevent any intrashoe movement. The PowerLifts actually have two straps that go in opposite directions. While I’m not sure this provide any inherent advantage, I can tell you that your foot is not going to move AT ALL in these suckers.
4) Non-Compressible Sole
A sole that compresses under load does not transfer force as efficiently as a sole that does not compress. You don’t want to sacrifice pounds on your squat with a squishy sole. You might have to train for a full month or two just to add 5-10lbs on your squat. Why would you throw away 5-10lbs with a pair of shoes that had a compressible sole?
5) Heel Height
Most competitors seem to benefit the most from a 0.75” heel with a few exceptions for the fairly short and the fairly tall among us. The PowerLifts have a ~0.77” heel.
Now, the real question is how does the SABO PowerLift Shoe check out on all these areas? Well, for me, it passes with flying colors. And it doesn’t hurt that the shoe comes in the PTW Red and Black now does it?
The SABO PowerLifts
For a more up close and personal look at these shoes, start the following video at 4:04:
Look, there are very few companies in the equipment game that I can speak highly of. As powerlifters, poor service is usually the norm; we’re the guys waiting for our gear weeks after it was supposed to arrive. That said, that just simply isn’t the case with MaxBarbell. As someone living in the contiguous United States, I have never ordered a package from MaxBarbell that I did not receive within days. In fact, most of the time I’ve had my stuff within two days at most.
MaxBarbell treats people right. These shoes meet the standard. They aren’t going to blow your mind, but they get the damn job done at a fair price.
In my mind, you can’t ask for more than that.
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