Have you heard of the ‘ugly squat syndrome’? You might not be familiar with the term, but you may have seen it, or have been doing it. The ugly squat syndrome or the knee valgus is the appearance of being knock-kneed when performing squats. Instead of the knees pointing outwards during squats, the knees cave in or get drawn towards the body. It happens because of a number of reasons such as weak hips and thigh muscles or inadequate ankle dorsiflexion. If left uncorrected, it could lead to knee pain or even a torn ACL.
Weightlifters have figured out a way to deal with the ugly squat syndrome: wear high-drop training shoes. But what are high-drop training shoes and do you need them?
High-drop training shoes defined
Best high drop training shoes - November 2018
High-drop training shoes are those with an offset of 10 mm and higher. The offset, or the heel-to-toe drop, is the height difference between the heel and forefoot sections. Some brands list the offset of their training shoes, but if it’s not listed, a quick calculation can help you determine the drop.
First, you need to get the stack height of the sole unit, which is how tall the midsole is. You need to measure the heel stack height and the forefoot stack height, then subtract the latter from the former. So, if the heel stack height is 20 mm and the forefoot stack height is 10 mm, then the offset is 10 mm.
Is weightlifting footgear considered as high-drop training shoes?
Yes, in fact, weightlifting shoes are the perfect example of high-drop training shoes. The heel of this type of footwear is visibly more elevated than the forefoot as this section usually has a thin sole. The high heel changes the angle of the ankle allowing the wearer to squat deeper, feel planted on the ground during deadlifts and stable while performing cleans, jerks, and snatches.
Are there high-drop training shoes other than for weightlifting?
Yes, many high-drop training shoes are versatile, which means they can be used for high-intensity workouts, running, and even weight training. These trainers usually have a thick midsole that attenuates shock during high-impact moves to keep the foot and the joints of the lower extremities protected. Compared to weightlifting shoes, this type of high-drop training shoes is more flexible in the forefoot to accommodate natural foot flexion needed for plyometrics.
Do you need a pair of high drop training shoes?
Some people feel more comfortable using high-drop training shoes compared to low-drop training shoes or minimalist training shoes because they believe that the heel lift allows them to be more stable because of the change in the angle of the ankle. The slight elevation lessens the strain on the ankle which results in achieving a deeper squat. The sloping design also positions the foot to be ready to push off at any given time which is vital during sprints and plyometrics.
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