The Benefits of Weightlifting Shoes: Everything You Need to Know

Posted by Ryderwear HQ on

For lifters who see the squat rack as their temple and blisters as a badge of honour, it's all about gaining that extra edge. Sure amino acids & lifting belts might seem excessive to some, but if you're dedicated to building size & strength at all costs, it makes sense. After all, you know that nothing can beat that feeling of adding an extra plate to your squat, or breaking a personal record.

That's why a pair of lifting shoes belongs in your locker. Sure, you can hit a respectable squat in those dirt-encrusted sneakers you also wear for fun runs & running errands. But if you want to take your leg day from regular to record-breaking, then a pair of specific weightlifting shoes is essential.

At Ryderwear, we've been refining our iconic D-MAK lifting shoe for over a decade to maximise your strength, power & stability in the squat rack - but how does it work? Here's everything you need to know about why you should have a pair of lifting shoes in your gym bag. 


The main way a pair of weightlifting shoes will improve your lifts is by offering better power transfer. Power transfer is all about how easily you can push against resistance, and on leg day your transfer of power is connected to the three points typically used when lifting heavy - the floor, your body and the barbell. This is the standard kinetic chain when performing a compound lift like a squat 

Why does this matter? Well, because a pair of lifting shoes will provide better transfer of power between your body and the floor. This is because the firm, flat sole found in shoes like the Ryderwear D-MAK will offer less resistance compared to those soft, compressive sneakers that were created for long runs, not heavy lifts. 

Imagine doing a heavy back squat on a mattress. Your 1RM just won't be the same, because so much of your force will be absorbed by the mattress, rather than being transferred into the motion of pushing the barbell up. Now compare that with a firm, high-traction sole of a lifting shoe, and it's easy to understand how a pair of D-MAK's can add those coveted KG's to your compound lifts. 

It's not just about increased power. We know that if there's one thing lifters hate more than treadmills, it's getting injured. That's why if you're wanting to avoid a lifetime of aches, pains and injuries, then a pair of weightlifting shoes are essential for the gymWhether you currently train barefoot or in a pair of fraying old sneakers, both are going to pale in comparison to the benefits you can get from a pair of proper weightlifting shoes. 

Other than being able to sprint to the squat rack before the guy doing bicep curls gets there, sneakers aren’t doing you any favours when it comes to protecting your body from injury on leg day. Trainers will typically have a lightweight and highly flexible upper, which offers minimal support or prevention against ankle rolling, as they were created to cushion your feet from hours pounding the pavement, not keep you stable with four plates stacked on the bar. Having so much compression can also blunt proprioception of the feet and ankles! 

The Ryderwear D-MAK features a rigid, high top profile and a rubber sole that grips to the gym floor, providing maximum traction and stability, helping to keep you off the treatment table. If you’re part of the barefoot brigade training sans sneakers, a pair of weightlifting shoes will place less stress on your back and knees, decreasing your chance of a serious injury keeping you out of the squat rack. We’ve dedicated an entire blog to barefoot lifting, which you can check out here.


While wearing everyday shoes in the squat rack ensures they’ll quickly be destined for the scrapheap, a pair of weightlifting shoes is for life. They might set you back slightly more than your average sneaker but it’s a worthwhile investment, as they should last for a minimum of ten years of lifting, lunging, sweating and squatting. This is all down to the premium fabrics used, with the Ryderwear D-Mak created from near-indestructible materials, like a durable canvas, action and suede leather as well as a latex heel cushioning. This all contributes to the longevity of the lifting shoe lifecycle!

The game-changing Ryderwear D-Mak is a bodybuilding shoe created for grinding through heavy, bar-bending lifts that shake the earth and set your legs on fire.  Lifters like Kai Greene train religiously in the D-Mak, with the thin, flat rubber sole offering a barefoot feel, while still delivering optimal strength and stability.

Wearing the D-Mak is a statement of intent, a symbol of your single-mindedness and a signifier of your entry into the serious lifter’s club.


The D-MAK is for lifters of all levels. This shoe works as hard as you do - as long as you bring that intensity and readiness to work for your strongest self, the D-MAK will get you there. It's a lifters cheat code, instantly maximising your power on leg day, with all the benefits of barefoot lifting but the added element of traction and stability that a specific weightlifting shoe offers. Lace up, lift heavy. 


High Top Design
The high ankle support of the D-Mak’s gives the lifter unrivaled stability and confidence during heavy compound movements like squats and deadlifts

High Quality Fabrics
The Ryderwear D-Mak Rogue is made with lightweight mesh, action leather and suede leather fabrics

Flat Rubber Sole
The thin, flat rubber sole offers that barefoot feel, bringing the lifter close to the ground for maximum contact and stability, with the sole created to grip tightly to rubber gym floors

Signature Ryderwear Branding
Workout with confidence, with distinctive Ryderwear flame branding and details, as well as a signature toe box shape

Ryderwear HQ is your lifters library of the latest training, nutrition & mindfulness insights (as well as inside looks at our latest collections). 

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