Do You Need Vibram Five Fingers To Squat and Deadlift?

Captain upper body Hugh Jackman deadlifting in a pair of Vibram Five Fingers. {image via birthdayshoes.com}

Over the last few years, the CrossFit community has popularized a special shoe/sock/foot device meant to revolutionize the fitness industry. It seems that the fans are buying the miracle claims because the number of people walking around in Vibram Five Fingers is increasing.

Are Vibram Five Fingers any good for squatting and deadlifting?

Many deadlifters use ballet slippers for their deadlifts to shorten the pull. In the video below, you can see Andy Bolton deadlift 1003lbs in a pair of slippers.

Since the sole of the Vibram Five Fingers is quite thin, it can serve the same purpose during deadlifts. However, for the price of a pair of Vibram Five Fingers,  you can buy slippers for a whole ballet school.


When it comes to squats, the story changes. For squats, you need stable shoes that make you feel secure from all angels. Most people feel stronger and perform better in real shoes.

Have you ever seen a professional powerlifter or a weightlifter squat heavy in funky shoes? No. The pros know better than anyone that heavy squats require stability. That’s why they often use weightlifting shoes which have an ultra-firm sole and an elevated heel.

For more information on proper footwear during squats and deadlifts, you can consult this post.

What do you recommend?

Technically, you can squat and deadlift just fine in a pair of vibrams. However, don’t brainwash yourself into thinking that this is a superior way to lift weights. Any flat shoe would work just as fine if not better.

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