wodLIFTS inserts are designed to give you the benefits of Olympic lifting shoes by converting your current shoe. You simply take the wodLIFTS insert, place it under the insole of your shoe, and you instantly have more stability and heel height. Sounds great, right? That’s what I thought, so I decided to put a pair to the test.
Here’s a quick overview from the company so you can see how wodLIFTS work:
As advertised, the wodLIFTS fit it almost any shoe. However, I’ve found them most effective in zero drop and minimalist shoes. The wodLIFTS fit great in Reebok Nanos, Innov8s, and Altras. The wodLIFTS didn’t feel nearly as comfortable in a traditional running shoe like Asics or adidas, though. Regular running shoes already have a heel lift and using the wodLIFTS just exaggerated it even more. In addition, many running shoes are designed to have cushion, and this felt awkward with a solid wedge in the shoe.
For those of you who are unaware of the heel lift and why it’s beneficial, here's the reason. The heel lift changes the angle of your foot, taking pressure off your calf and giving you greater range of motion. The heel lift is particularly helpful for people with ankle or calf flexibility issues. To test drive how this feels, place your heels on a 10lb weight plate, a deck of cards, or something else with similar height, and then do a squat. Then, try your same exact squat stance without the lift, with your feet on the ground, and feel the difference.
Thus, wodLIFTS give you this additional mobility, and they also add stability through the rigidness of the shoe. In my testing, the wodLIFTS performed great for squats, deadlifts, and Olympic lifts. Traditional Olympic shoes have a flat bottom and also don’t have much of any flexion to allow your feet to bend naturally. This is where wodLIFTS can outperform traditional Olympic lifting shoes, since they allow you to executive movements like box jumps and double unders. Personally, though, I found the wodLIFTS uncomfortable for any running and felt that they messed with my running pattern.
Another solution for Olympic lifting and other movements in the gym are the Reebok CrossFit Lifters, which have the toe-box flexibility built in for the sport specific applications. But when it comes to a WOD that involves lifting and running, I prefer to have a neutral shoe like the Nano or inov8s.
One advantage to the wodLIFTS is that they are removable, so unlike a pair of shoes, they could be shared amongst multiple people. So if you have training partners with a similar shoe size or you are a gym owner looking to provide for your clientele, you wouldn’t necessarily have to have a pair for every single person. wodLIFTS even offers a Box Kit of three pairs of lifts for $99.95 for that purpose. The wodLIFTS come in three sizes that fit a broad range of shoe sizes, as indicated in the chart.
Additionally, I thought the wodLIFTS were great because they are small and easy to pack in your bag for the gym. If you know you are doing Olympic lifting on a given training day, you don’t have to bring two pairs of shoes or struggle with the list of gear for that day or week. If you are not ready to fork out money for another pair of shoes or need something to use on the go, add some wodLIFTS to your bag.
wodLIFTS are available for $39.95 per pair or for $99.95 for a three-pair Box Kit at wodLIFTS.com.