I prefer to consider your specific training goals and preferences when deciding which shoes are ideal for squats. Instead of just naming a bunch of best squat shoes, I think it would be more helpful to divide them up into specific categories based on the nature of the workout.  

For squats, in particular, different athletes and lifters have varying requirements, so I enjoy breaking down performance into sub-categories. A powerlifter's squat goals will be different from those of a recreational lifter who just wants to add a few extra inches to his or her shoes designed for both squatting and other forms of cross-training

In addition, squat shoes should be chosen based on the individual, as everyone's squat mechanics are unique. However, if you are only thinking about weightlifting shoes, you should check out my shoes for weightlifting round-up  

Several types of performance footwear for crushing heavy squats will be discussed below. Below, I'll go over some of the best shoes for various activities, including squat training, weightlifting, and those that are comfortable for people with wide feet.

Testing the Adidas Powerlift 5 for squats

Looking for a pair of deadlift shoes as well Please take a look at my Review of the Top Deadlift Shoes to pair with the ideal pair of deadlift footwear

Ideal Squat-Weightlifting Footwear

For extreme squats, many people opt for weightlifting shoes. A lot of work is put into shoes designed for weightlifting and their ability to your form, particularly when performing squats

Here are my top two picks for weightlifting shoes, specifically designed for squatting. Again, I recommend my best weightlifting shoes article for more specific recommendations and requirements.

Winner: The TYR L-1 Lifting Belt

When it comes to squats, the TYR L-1 Lifter is without a doubt the finest weightlifting shoe available. TYR is a newer name in the weightlifting shoe market, but I've quickly come to favor their model for a few reasons related to its construction.

Testing the TYR L-1 Lifter Weightlifting Shoes for squats

The toe box design of the TYR L-1 Lifter is the first thing that stands out as a positive. Unlike standard weightlifting shoes, the TYR L-1 Lifter's anatomical toe box isn't narrowed at the front.

The TYR L-1 Lifter's wider toe box is great for squats in particular, as it allows for toe splay and, in turn, better balance during intense sets. In heavier sets, over 405 pounds, I sometimes shift forward, so the wider toe box helped me grip the floor and make adjustments in the middle of the set.

Testing the TYR L-1 Lifter for squats

The TYR L-1 Lifter's midfoot lockdown and heel design are also strong points. The dual midfoot straps of this shoe give you a secure fit, and the TPU heel holds up to the heaviest squats with ease.

  • Winners Are Those Who Weight Lift Competitively or Recreationally And Have Wide Feet
  • Maximum Squat Weight (So Far) ): 440 lbs
  • Weight: 19 0.5 grams (on my size 10 mannequin)
  • Inches of Heel Height: 83″ (21mm)
  • Insoles that can be taken out and replaced?
  • Most people should order their usual size. If your feet are wide, you may need to order a half size up.
  • Get the Whole Story Here: Analyzing the TYR L-1 Lifter

The Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 is our second choice.

For me, the Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 has been the most reliable weightlifting shoe for squats. Reebok Legacy Lifter 2s are top-notch in every way; I've worn them for two competitions, and they've helped me win both times.

squatting in reebok legacy lifter 2

To begin, I appreciate the longevity of this model and have not experienced any problems with the upper, outsole, or strap wearing out prematurely. Most lifters shouldn't have any problems with the longevity of the Reebok Legacy Lifter II, which has a "tank-like" feel and is built to last.

In addition, these shoes have a Heel measures at 86 inches, making it a great choice for people with longer legs or stature, like myself. The slightly higher heel height improves squat mechanics, especially for athletes of greater height.

Reebok Legacy Lifter II for powerlifting

Last but not least, the Reebok Legacy Lifter 2's flexible toe box is another reason I've been enjoying them. This style is lightweight, flexible, and comfortable right out of the box.

  • Ideal For: Athletes of Any Stripe Looking for a Solid Pair of Squat Kicks
  • Their Heaviest Squat (So Far) ): 440 lbs
  • Weight: 21 0.5 grams (on my size 10 model)
  • Ankle Width: 86″ (22mm)
  • Inserts that can be removed: Yes
  • Assume your normal size for the most part If you have wide feet, you should look elsewhere.
  • Grab My Full Review Here: Feedback on the Reebok Legacy Lifter 2

The Top Squat-Trained Footwear

For the CrossFit enthusiast, the hobbyist weight lifter, or if you're looking for a single shoes for physical activity If you're serious about your workouts, you've probably researched the best cross-trainer shoes for squats. My training shoes see a lot of heavy squatting, so I have specific needs.

The stability of a training shoe and its ability to withstand a variety of loads is the first thing I look at. Second, I'm evaluating how well they perform in a variety of exercises, with a particular emphasis on how well they squat.

The TYR CXT-1 is the best cross-training machine available.

Best squat-specific cross-training shoe, in my opinion, is the TYR CXT-1 Trainer. There are two main squat-related reasons why I recommend the TYR CXT-1 Trainer.

Testing the TYR CXT-1 Trainer for Squatting

First, compared to standard cross-training footwear, this model has a relatively high heel-to-toe drop of 9 mm. If you prefer a deeper "heel" in your squats, you'll like the way the CXT-1 Trainer is built.

For exercises that involve more deep hip flexion, like squats, thrusters, and wall balls, I often choose this model because of its slightly higher heel and adequate arch support for my lanky frame. The shoe's increased heel height does not compromise its functional versatility.

Testing the TYR CXT-1 Trainer for Functional Fitness

Secondly, I appreciate the stability provided by the Stability Platform and Surge NRG foam midsole. The model doesn't give when I put 405 pounds or more on it, so I can squat with confidence.

  • Trainer fans who prefer greater heel-to-toe drops will benefit from these shoes.
  • Deepest Squat (So Far) In Them ): 425 lbs
  • Weight: 12 (As measured by a size 10) 95 ounces
  • Distinction Between the Heel and the Toe: 9 mm
  • The insole can be taken out, that's a yes
  • Most people should order their normal size If your feet are particularly wide, you may want to consider ordering a half size up.
  • Get the Whole Story Here: Analysis of the TYR CXT-1 Trainer

My second-favorite squat-specific training shoe is the Nike Metcon 8. Along the same lines as, Shockingly Light Nike Metcon 71 The Nike Metcon 8 is a great squat shoe because it provides reliable performance and solid stability.

Nike Metcon 7 Vs Nike Metcon 8 for squats

The Nike Metcon 8 has a flexible midsole for optimal stability. Nike Reach Foam in the forefoot and a plastic Hyperlift insert in the heel make the forefoot of this shoe more flexible and adaptable.

I don't think you'll have any trouble squatting heavily in the Nike Metcon 8, despite the fact that the forefoot is a bit softer than the heel. Squatting weights of 405 pounds or more were no problem for these shoes, and I was pleased with their overall performance.

Testing the Nike Metcon 8 for squats

I also appreciate how Nike reinforced the upper construction of the toe box of the Nike Metcon 8 to make it more resistant to wear and tear. The chain-link mesh around the toe box of the Nike Metcon 7 tore easily, but that shouldn't happen with this model.

  • Ideal for CrossFit Competitors and Amateur Weightlifters
  • Their Heaviest Squat (So Far) ): 430 lbs
  • Weight: 12 Approximately 40 ounces (based on a size 10 human).
  • Offset between the heel and the toe is 4 millimeters.
  • One that has a removable insole, please.
  • Sizes are Generally Accurate Avoid this shoe if your feet are wide.
  • Get the Whole Story Here: Commentary on the Nike Metcon 8

Superior Powerlifting Squat Shoes

There are two main things to think about when shopping for squat shoes if you're a powerlifter. The first is if the footwear complements your squatting technique. Different powerlifters will squat in different ways, and not every shoe or heel-to-toe drop will work for everyone.

Second, you need to know if the shoes are sturdy enough to withstand your toughest workouts. In the middle of a set of squats, the last thing you need is a pair of shoes that compresses or gives you any reason to doubt your own stability and balance.

The best option is the Reebok Legacy Lifter 2.

I'm going to talk about the Reebok Legacy Lifter 2, which is one of my favorite weightlifting shoes, and why it's perfect for your first pair of squat shoes for powerlifting. Although some powerlifters prefer a raised heel for squatting, others do not.

In particular, some of my low-bar squatting friends may find that elevated heels interfere with their lifting mechanics, while those who have a more hybrid par position, such as myself, that sits between a true "low-bar" and "high-bar" position, may want an elevated heel.

The outsole of the Reebok Legacy Lifter II grips the floor exceptionally well and provides an impressive amount of stability. I found that the rubber outsole provided a good grip on the carpet used by the majority of powerlifting federations for squatting. In addition, I didn't have any problems maintaining my footing on the carpet.

Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 Pros

The Legacy Lifter II's deeper boot construction and adjustable midfoot strap are two other features I appreciate. Powerlifters who prefer squatting with their heels raised need look no further than the Legacy Lifter II.

  • All athletes who need a reliable pair of squat shoes
  • Heavyest Squat (So Far) In Them ): 440 lbs
  • Weight: 21 5 grams (for my size 10 model).
  • Inches of Heel Height: 86″ (22mm)
  • Insert is Detachable:
  • For the most part, sizes run as expected. If you have wide feet, you should look elsewhere.
  • Have a look at My Complete Review Here: In-Depth Analysis of the Reebok Legacy Lifter 2

A Closer Look at the TYR L-1 Lifter, Our Number Two Pick

You can't go wrong with either the TYR L-1 Lifter or the Reebok Legacy Lifter II if you're looking for a pair of squat shoes for powerlifting. Both of these pairs of weightlifting shoes are excellent choices for powerlifting and equally deserving of the title of "best."

Using the TYR L1-Lifter for Squats

Because of its "anchor-like" feel and roomier toe box, the TYR L-1 Lifter is my go-to pair of powerlifting shoes. If you perform a variety of squats, the outsole of this shoe will do a great job of laying flat and gripping the floor, making you feel stable and secure.

The TYR L-1 Lifter's wider toe box is a huge benefit for those who engage in powerlifting and have wider feet. A better option than the Legacy Lifter II for those who require a roomier toe box is the TYR L-1 Lifter.

Nike Romaleos 4 Versus TYR L1-Lifter

For powerlifting, the TYR L-1 Lifter's heavier upper construction can make it uncomfortable to train for extended periods in the squat. Most athletes probably won't find this to be a major issue; you may need to be more deliberate in your sock selection.

  • Weightlifters, Powerlifters, Recreational Lifters, and Those With Wider Feet
  • Those are the heaviest squats I've ever seen anyone do, by far ): 440 lbs
  • Weight: 19 My size 10 model weighs.5 ounces.
  • Shoe Heel: 83″ (21mm)
  • Insert is Detachable:
  • Sizes are Generally Accurate If your feet are wide, you may need to order a half size up.
  • Learn More About This Product by Reading My Full Review: Assessment of the TYR L-1 Lifter

Squat in Total Comfort Even When Barefoot

In recent years, barefoot shoes' popularity has skyrocketed as people discover their many benefits as great shopping options for lifting. Barefoot shoes for squats are something you've probably thought about if you prefer a barefoot position when squatting.

While I've found that many different models of barefoot shoes are suitable for squats, there are two that I consistently return to.

Topping the list is the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III.

One of my favorite barefoot shoes for squatting and general lifting is the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III. For both lifting and everyday use, this model's construction has a few features I particularly appreciate.

To begin, the outsole construction of these shoes is extremely minimal, allowing you to have a direct connection with the ground as you work out. To get even lower to the ground, you can take out their insole.

This model is well suited for the squatting technique preferred by those who prefer to go barefoot or wear shoes with wedges. The shoe's toe box is also quite roomy, allowing even those with wider feet to splay their toes comfortably during squats.

Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III for Men

Finally, this model is appealing because it looks nice and serves its purpose admirably as a practical daily driver. The Primus Lite IIIs are a barefoot shoe that manage to look good while still being functional.

  • Ideal For: Casual Lifters and Everyday Use
  • That's the heaviest squat I've seen in them ): 385 lbs
  • Weight: 8 85 ounces (based on a size 10)
  • There is no separation between the heel and the toe.
  • There is a detachable insole.
  • The sizes are accurate for the most part. Those who are on the fence about which size to buy should go with the larger.
  • Browse My Comprehensive Review Here: Evaluation of the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III

Tolos Archetype 1 is Our Second Choice 0

Archetype 1 of the Tolos For squatting, I recommend 0 as a close second to Switching between my Tolos and Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III when squatting in barefoot shoes has been a lot of fun.

Tolos Archetype 1.0 sole tread construction

The Tolos Archetype 1 is my go-to for squats. 0 was chosen for its construction for three main reasons This shoe is great for squatting because, first, it has a generous forefoot width that allows for natural toe splay.

Second, the Tolos Archetype 1 has a very comfortable grip. Sole and tread design of shoe number 0 I don't think the Archetype 1 will cause any slippage during single-leg squats or bilateral squats on various surfaces. 0s

Testing the Tolos Archetype 1.0 for leg day

Last but not least, I appreciate the model's adaptability. You can use these shoes for a variety of training purposes, and they also look great when you're just hanging out. Barefoot shoes are great for heavy squats and general purpose use.

  • Recommended Use: Casual Exercisers and Everyday Use
  • Most Weight Ever Squatted In Them ): 375 lbs
  • Weight: 7 85 ounces (based on a size 10)
  • Total Height (from Heel to Toe): 0mm
  • Insert is Detachable:
  • Regular sizing; fits most people well
  • Here's My Full Review, So You Can Decide for Yourself Evaluation of Tolos 1.0 Archetype

Squat Shoes for the Money

There are a wide variety of squat shoes available, so even those on a tighter budget can find a suitable pair with some investigation.

Below, I'll list one inexpensive weightlifting shoe and one inexpensive running shoe that both feature zero drop construction. However, if you're interested in exploring other possibilities, please get in touch, and I'll be happy to recommend additional models that might suit your needs.

Favorite Sneaker: Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star

For the lowest price and highest quality, I recommend the Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star. The Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star is hard to beat as a reliable, durable, and inexpensive option for heavy lifting.

Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star Review

The low-top version of the Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star retails for USD, while the high-top version costs USD. It is difficult to find consistently priced shoes with comparable stabilities for squats.

There are a few different reasons why people wear Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars when they lift, and squats in particular. To begin with, they're quite steady. The rubber in their midsoles doesn't give under pressure, making them suitable for lifters of varying strengths.

Are Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star Good for Lifting

Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars are great for squatting because of the excellent traction provided by the outsole. You shouldn't have any slip problems in Chuck Taylor All-Stars whether you're squatting on rubber gym floors, wooden platforms, or competition carpets (in powerlifting).

  • Ideal for Casual Lifters, Low-Budget Shoppers, and Everyday Use
  • Deepest Squat (So Far) In Them ): 430 lbs
  • Weight: 14 Approximately 3 ounces (based on a size 10 model).
  • Lowest possible heel to toe height: 0 millimeters
  • Insoles that can be taken out?
  • A half size smaller is recommended.
  • To Get the Whole Story, Please Read My Review Evaluation of the Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star

An Honorable Mention Goes to the Reebok Lifter PR II

The Reebok Lifter PR II is a good choice for those in search of an inexpensive weightlifting shoe for squatting. For those just starting out in weightlifting or those on a tighter budget, these shoes are a great option for squats because of their durable build.

Reebok Lifter PR II Performance and Lifting Review

At its price point of $100 USD, the Reebok Lifter PR II is one of the best beginner weightlifting shoes available. For its low price, this model provides many of the essential design features that consumers seeking a squat bench will be looking for.

If you're just starting out in weightlifting shoes, I think you'll be perfectly fine with this model's overall stability and the TPU heel in particular, which does a great job of keeping your foot in place during heavy sets.

Reebok Lifter PR II Outsole Construction Review

One more reason I like this shoe is the stability it provides in the midfoot. The outsole has good traction, so you won't have to worry about slipping even when performing squats, and the single midfoot strap provides more than enough support to give your feet a nice "locked-down" sensation.  

  • Squats, weightlifting, and first-timers in the gym are some of the groups that can benefit the most from this.
  • Their Heaviest Squat (So Far) ): 365 lbs
  • In practice, your heel should be 15 mm/ 6″
  • Weight: 12 90 ounces (based on a size 10)
  • Yes, the insole is detachable
  • Sizing is accurate (standard width).
  • Examine My Critique Critical Analysis of the Reebok Lifter PR II

What Are the Best Squat-Specific Shoes?

What are the best shoes for squatting? This is a case where we need to dig deeper into the background information that led up to the request. Because different weightlifters and athletes have different requirements for squat shoes, there is no single best option.

In reality, rather than classifying a small number of shoes as "squatting shoes," which may or may not be appropriate for all squatters, we should look at the specific features of a shoe's build that make it ideal for squatting.

Squatting in regular shoes

There are three construction aspects I always look for when considering different shoes for squatting for different lifters, whether they are CrossFit athletes, true beginners, weightlifters, diehard powerlifters, or recreational lifters. All buildings should have these three characteristics:

  1. Strong Midsole and Outsole: This prevents the shoe from collapsing when you squat, which could lead to a loss of balance and a decrease in performance.
  2. Outsole Traction Sufficient outsole traction is essential, particularly for more intense workouts. One of the worst things that can happen to you during practice is for your shoe to slip out from under you.
  3. Each pair of shoes has a unique heel-to-toe drop, so it's important to try on a variety of squat shoes to find a pair that works with your unique squat pattern. Do you favor a high heel, a low drop, or no drop at all?

You can't go wrong when choosing shoes if you base your decision on the aforementioned three characteristics of construction. Unfortunately, there is no universally-sized squat shoe.

How About Squat Shoes for Newbies?

So there's no misunderstanding, when weightlifters say "squat shoes" or "lifting shoes," they actually mean weightlifting shoes. However, the subject of rookies in low-cut footwear , otherwise known as weightlifting shoes, is a common question, but there is no universally applicable solution.

When people ask me this question, I like to give them some background based on what I recommend to many of the beginner lifters and athletes I work with. Weightlifting shoes are acceptable, in my opinion as a coach, for novice lifters, especially if they aid in proper form.

Having the chance to develop solid mechanics and stable routines from the ground up is one of the greatest aspects of being a beginner. Weightlifting shoes can be a great tool for teaching and creating strong mechanics if they help athletes become more aware of and improve their squat mechanics.

Weightlifting shoes are not required to meet any specific criteria. For instance, training with an elevated heel does not require you to be a strength sports athlete or to squat a certain amount. However, you should try out a variety of foot placements while squatting to find the one that yields the best form outcome for your specific goals and current level of expertise.

There is no universally ideal shoe for squatting; rather, the best shoes for squatting will vary depending on the squat mechanics and training goals of the individual. The ideal pair of squat shoes will have a sturdy build, a heel-to-toe drop that complements your squat mechanics, and a durable outsole that holds firmly to the ground.
In terms of squats, footwear can make a difference. Your squat mechanics may be affected by the shoes you wear, especially as your training becomes more specialized and intense. Athletes in strength sports or those training at a higher intensity, for instance, require footwear designed with specific squat support in mind.
For squats, flat shoes are not required. Some weightlifters prefer squatting in flat shoes, while others prefer a heel lift. When selecting squat shoes, keep in mind your training needs, wants, and goals. An excellent pair of squat shoes should be custom-made for the wearer.

Concluding Ideas

I recommend thinking about the bigger picture of your training and why you want a specific pair of shoes before settling on the best shoes for squatting. There is a wide variety of footwear designed specifically for squatting, so it's important to keep your training goals in mind as you shop.

Leave a comment below or find me on Instagram (@jake_boly) if you need any more guidance selecting the ideal squat shoes for your needs.

After years of testing fitness equipment, I put each product featured on That Fit Friend through my own personal regimen of training tests. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of my review links, I may receive a commission.