They’re not required, but depending on your goals and your body, they might really help. There’s no rule: some people prefer Converse for squatting, some deadlift barefoot. It’s mostly a matter of personal preference.
Crossfit shoes are squishy (for good reason) but squishy doesn’t help you with lifting. You want a solid base from which to push off of the ground. Lifters can help stay more upright in squats by increasing your ankle range of motion.
Do you need to wear them every time you lift?
No. Depends on what you’re doing. They’re great for squats, cleans, and snatches, but you can also use them for things like wall balls. One option is to assess the movements and determine if the cost will outweigh the benefit. For example, if the workout has snatches, wall balls, and box jumps you might decide to wear lifters because they’ll help you with the snatches and wall balls, even though they might be a little bit of a challenge for the box jumps. Again, it’s all a matter of knowing your body and figuring out what works best for you.
So how do you decide your preference!? Try them! We have a few pairs of lifters to try at the gym. Next time we lift, give them a shot. You can also talk to your coach about your particular challenges and goals - they’ll have plenty of good ideas.
Want to know more? Read more or talk to a coach!