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Effects of Footwear on Back-Squat Biomechanics

Study shows no differences between flat or elevated heel shoes.

Man showing squat biomechanics

Does footwear impact squat biomechanics? For experienced lifters, wearing shoes with flat or elevated heels does not affect joint loading or range of motion, as reported in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning (2022; 36 [10], 2676–84). A raised-heel shoe does reduce both hip and knee angle velocities, but this does not reduce lower-limb joint movements or reduce barbell speed.

See also: Minimalist Shoes and Stronger Foot Muscles

Shirley Eichenberger-Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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