Why is heel height important?
One of the biggest challenges facing all of us when we start working functional fitness into our lives is a lack of dorsiflexion in the ankle joint. This lack of mobility can cause us to lose depth in squat positions, makes it harder to remain in a good upright posture throughout each movement, and leads to pushing off more with our toes instead of driving through the heels. Increasing the height of the heel and working mobility exercises will go a long way towards reducing any deficiencies you may have in this area.
When it comes to increasing heel height there are a few options.
- Place a bumper plate under your heels (not safe or recommended, hard to wod this way)
- Purchase weightlifting shoes (can be expensive, heavy, not very wod friendly)
- Combine wodLIFTS with your favorite training shoe (our preferred approach!)
There are tons of great mobility exercises for you to try that are just a google search away. If you are unsure which are right for you, ask your coaches! They will most certainly have some favorites to share.
Who would benefit from using wodLIFTS?
The short answer is all functional fitness athletes would benefit from adding wodLIFTS to their training kit.
Competitive Athletes – Whether you are competing at the games, or against friends at the box, wodLIFTS will improve your performance and allow you to compete at your best.
Casual Athletes – Achieving an appropriate squat depth can be difficult and not every athlete wants to invest in Olympic lifting shoes. wodLIFTS provide a cost-effective solution that will provide immediate performance gains.
Traveling Athletes – Dropping in to a box when traveling is always better when you perform well. wodLIFTS give you an easy to pack tool that will up your game.
What would the heel height of my shoe be if I used wodLIFTS?
wodLIFTS add approximately ½ inch (13mm) of heel height to your training shoe, depending on the size purchased. To determine the effective heel height, combine the height of the wodLIFTS with the drop in your shoe (shoe drop info).
As a rule of thumb, you can expect to have an effective heel height of around ¾ of an inch. This height provides a functional improvement of ankle dorsiflexion that will allow you to maximize your ability to execute squat based movements (Olympic lifts, Wall Balls, Pistols, Thrusters, etc.).
Do I have to use wodLIFTS in a specific type of shoe?
wodLIFTS were designed with Crossfit geared training shoes that are on the minimal end of the spectrum in mind (Metcon, Nano, Innov-8, New Balance, etc). This combination will limit the amount of energy lost through compression of the sole during lifting movements.
This does not mean that you cannot use wodLIFTS in a more traditional training shoe. Whatever shoe you are comfortable in and are currently using during WODs will benefit from wodLIFTS.