Step Up Your Game: Top 10 Best Lifting Shoes for Serious Lifters
As any serious lifter knows, having the right equipment is crucial for maximizing gains and minimizing the risk of injury. Lifting shoes is often overlooked but can provide much-needed support and stability during heavy lifts. Weightlifting shoes offer advantages over cross-training shoes, such as improved stability, mobility, and proprioception.
However, with so many options on the market, it can be challenging to know which shoe is right for you. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 best lifting shoes for serious lifters.
We’ll break down each shoe’s heel height, strap system, and design to help you choose the best shoes for your needs.
Types of Lifting Shoes
Lifting shoes come in various types, each with unique features to cater to different lifting needs. Two primary types of lifting shoes are raised-heel shoes and flat-sole shoes.
Raised Heel Lifting Shoes
Raised-heel shoes are commonly used in weightlifting, powerlifting, and Olympic lifting. These shoes feature a higher heel than regular shoes, which enables better mobility and an upright torso while lifting.
The elevated heel allows deeper squats and a more extended range of motion in ankle flexion. The raised heel reduces the angle of the ankle joint. This shifts the knees forward, allowing for better weight distribution and stability.
Flat Heel Lifting Shoes
On the other hand, flat-sole shoes are more suitable for lifts that require a solid base. These include deadlifts, squats, and lunges. These shoes have a lower heel height or no heel.
Flatter heels make the base more stable while keeping the lifter’s feet closer to the ground. The flat sole also provides a better grip on the floor, enhancing balance and stability during heavy lifts.
CrossFit or Hybrid Heel Lifting Shoes
CrossFit or hybrid lifting shoes offer features from raised-heel and flat-sole shoes. They feature a raised heel but with a flatter sole, making them versatile for various CrossFit workouts and high-intensity training.
They have a flatter sole, better comfort, and breathability and support lateral movements. These benefits make CrossFit shoes suitable for lifting, jumping, running, and other functional movements.
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What to Look for in Lifting Shoes
When weightlifting, the right equipment can make a big difference in your performance and safety. One crucial piece of equipment to consider is your lifting shoes. Here are some key features to look for when choosing lifting shoes:
Support and stability: Lifting shoes should offer support and stability to your feet and ankles during heavy lifts. Look for shoes with a firm sole and a raised heel. This can help with squatting and other movements.
Comfort and fit: You want to ensure your lifting shoes fit correctly and are comfortable to wear for extended periods. Look for securely fit shoes that won’t slip or move around during lifts.
Durability and construction: Lifting shoes can take a lot of wear and tear. So you want to ensure your desired shoe is well-constructed and made from durable materials. Look for shoes with reinforced stitching and high-quality materials that will hold up over time.
Traction and grip: Lifting shoes should provide good traction and grip to help prevent slipping and sliding during lifts. Look for shoes with a non-slip sole and good grip.
Aesthetics and design: Aesthetics may not be as important to some people as the other factors. Still, the look and design of your lifting shoes are something to consider. Look for shoes that fit your style and preferences. Wearing shoes you actually like can make you feel more confident and motivated during your workouts.
Top 10 Best Lifting Shoes: Comparing the Top Brands
Wearing weightlifting shoes can boost your performance and increase confidence while training. We’ve considered the best weightlifting shoes from top brands just for you. Here are the 10 best shoes for lifting weights and running.
1. Nike Romaleos 4
Overall Best Workout Shoe
Nike’s Romaleos 4 is a top-quality weightlifting shoe designed to improve performance, stability, and comfort. This pure weightlifting shoe features a 20mm heel, dual lockdown straps, and a forefoot strap for support.
Weightlifters can optimize power transfer during explosive training with a wide, flat sole and rigid midsole. The Romaleos 4 also have a unique rubber sole for improved traction and comfort padding around the collar. This weightlifting shoe offers fantastic stability and style for weightlifters of sexes and all levels.
The Nike Romaleos 4 are available in white, black, orange, and hyper violet.
2. The Reebok Men’s Legacy Lifter Shoes II
Best Weightlifting Shoes for Flat Feet
Price: $179.65 At Rogue Fitness
The Reebok Legacy Lifter II weightlifting shoes are perfect for intense training sessions and deep squats. The anatomical shape of the shoe provides maximum support and power output. At the same time, the higher collar and ETC-lined Achilles pad reduce friction and abrasions.
You get a wider lockdown strap and a 22mm lifted hee with the LL2s. As such, you get stability and a contoured feeling, compensating for the lack of flexibility in flat feet. The LL2 includes a full foam lining and an extra Achilles pad for shock absorption and added comfort. Perfect for those with flat feet who want to lift with confidence.
3. Adidas Power Lift 5 Weightlifting Shoes
Best Affordable Weightlifting Shoes
Price: $120 At Adidas.com
The Adidas Powerlift 5 is one great pair of weightlifting shoes that won’t break the bank. Designed for powerlifting, these shoes are versatile enough for all-around lifting. The moderate 15mm heel height can enhance your performance with your Olympic lifts and other workouts.
These shoes are constructed from flexible canvas and breathable mesh for comfort. A lockdown strap and reinforced heel zone improve stability. The Powerlift 5 is available in blue and red and comes in unisex sizes six through 13. With an excellent range of motion and stability features, these shoes are perfect for any workout.
4. Nike Savaleos
Best Weightlifting Shoes for CrossFit
Price: $120 At Rogue Fitness
Weightlifting is crucial in CrossFit. However, traditional weightlifting shoes can be too heavy and specialized for the sport’s needs.
The Nike Savaleos balance weightlifting stability and flexibility with their 15mm raised heel and midfoot rigidity. They’re ideal for plyometric exercises, offering support and comfort throughout a workout. These shoes also prioritize comfort with their wide, flat soles and padded mesh in the heel. Available in three colors, they are versatile for all your lifting needs.
5. Adidas Adipower III
Best Weightlifting Shoes for Squats
Price: $198 At Rogue Fitness
The Adidas Adipower III boasts an Adidas Powerlift stable base, perfect for deep squats. With a focus on stability, these shoes feature a high-density TPU midsole and leather lockdown strap for optimal support.
The reinforced forefoot and solid, one-piece sole provide a strong foundation, increasing your confidence during heavy lifts. With a breathable textile upper, you’ll stay cool and comfortable throughout your workout.
The Adipower III is available in white, black, and red. These shoes are an excellent investment for anyone looking for a durable, high-quality training shoe at any price points.
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6. Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes
Best Weightlifting Shoes for Wide Feet
Price: $95 At Rogue Fitness
If you have wide feet, the Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes are designed for you. Featuring a double mid-foot strap and a solid 0.75″ plastic heel, they provide a sturdy feel with a classic look.
The Do-Win’s wider profile allows for a greater ground-contact area and wider support base. Additionally, their dual metatarsal straps can be adjusted for tightness and flexibility.
7. Reebok Nano X2
Best Lifting Shoes Women
Price: $88.97 At Reebok.com
The Reebok Nano X2s are ideal for athletes prioritizing shock absorption over stability. They are a versatile and comfortable option for all-around wear.
The X2s also have a flexible knit upper and EVA midsole, providing cushioning and energy feedback. The toe box may be too wide for people with narrow feet. The knit upper may not be the most durable option available.
However, these shoes are worth the $135 price tag compared to similar cross-training shoes. Not recommended for people who want a flat, stable shoe or intend to do more lifting than WOD-ing in their trainers.
8. Asics Gel-Quantum 180 VII
Best Workout Shoes for Runners
Price: $220 At Asics.com
The Asics Gel-Quantum 180 VII offers a futuristic spin on their iconic normcore shoes, providing comfort and style. The Asics are ideal for anyone looking for a fresh take on classic styles. This weightlifting shoe is perfect for those wanting to stand out in a sea of Nikes and Vans.
The Gel technology in the shoes offers cushioning and shock absorption to reduce the impact on joints. At the same time, the breathable mesh upper provides a comfortable fit.
Asics has blended retro and modern designs to create a unique shoe perfect for any workout.
9. Nike Metcon 7
Best Versatile Non-Weightlifting Shoes
Price: $130.00 At Rogue Fitness
Maybe you’re looking for a versatile shoe that can handle a variety of workouts. The Nike Metcon 7 is what you need. The Metcon 7 has a lightweight mesh upper for increased breathability and a rubber outsole for superior traction. These cross-training shoes offer a great combination of stability and speed.
The wide, flat sole with an inner plate provides enhanced stability during squats, snatches, and cleans. However, the shoes can compress under heavier loads, so serious weightlifters may opt for dedicated weightlifting shoes instead.
10. Inov-8 Fastlift 335
Best Running Shoes
Price: $140 At Inov-8.com
The Inov-8 Fastlift 335 shoes are an excellent choice for athletes. It’s a lightweight, flexible option that offers a comfortable fit and reliable traction on and off the track.
While designed specifically for weightlifting, these shoes also feature the flexibility and comfort of running shoes. The Fastlift 335 makes them a versatile choice for athletes who like to mix up their workouts. With a sleek design and durable construction, the Inov-8 Fastlift 335 is a top-quality option for serious lifters.
Sizing and Fit
In strength training or weightlifting, wearing shoes that are not the right size and fit can lower performance and comfort. Here are some pointers to help you find the perfect fit:
Try shoes in-store: It’s always best to try on lifting shoes in-store before purchasing them. This allows you to test the fit and feel of the shoe before making a decision.
Know the brand’s return/exchange policy: If you cannot try on shoes in-store, ensure you know the brand’s return/exchange policy. This gives you the flexibility to return or exchange the shoes if they don’t fit properly.
Consider sizing up: Many lifting shoes run small, so your best bet is getting the next size up. However, this may vary depending on the brand and shoe style.
Proper Care and Maintenance
Proper care and maintenance of lifting shoes can extend their lifespan and keep them in good condition. Here are some tips on how to care for your lifting shoes:
Clean them regularly: After each workout, wipe down your shoes with a damp cloth to remove any sweat or dirt. Use a soft brush or sponge with mild soap and water for deeper cleaning.
Air them out: After cleaning, let your shoe air dry in a well-ventilated area. Avoid using direct heat, as this can damage the materials.
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Store them properly: Keep your lifting shoes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid storing them in damp areas or plastic bags. This can cause mildew or damage to the materials.
Choosing the right weightlifting shoe is essential for stability, support, and performance during lifts. Comfort should be the top priority, next to your sport, body type, and budget.
For seasoned and newbie weightlifters, you can’t go wrong with the Metcon 7, the Legacy Lifter II, and the Adipower III. The Nike Metcon 7 is versatile and durable, the Reebok LL2 provides excellent stability and support, and the Adidas Adipower III offers a stable base for lifting but may be less comfortable.
Prioritize finding a shoe that fits well and supports your feet and ankles. This will allow you to push your limits and achieve your lifting goals. Most importantly, seek advice from other weightlifters and consider purchasing from a retailer with a good return policy.