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Training shoes can (and will) make or break your workout. It's important to put some thought into your shoe selection process because the wrong pair can lead to long-term discomfort or even injury. Furthermore, if you have the proper training footwear, you can break your own records.
The best weightlifting shoes are crucial for improving your squats, deadlifts, snatches, and clean-and-jerks, so be sure to shop around. My team and I compiled this guide to the best weightlifting shoes because of this, and also because I'm a bit of a sneakerhead.
Reasons You Can Trust Us
After years of weightlifting, I and the rest of the Garage Gym Reviews team have tried a wide variety of weightlifting shoes. We've tried on every pair of popular weightlifting shoes, and we know the good, the bad, and the ugly about them.
Top-Rated Barbell Lifting Shoes for 2023
Nike Savaleos are the best shoes for weightlifting period.
Anyone looking for a high-quality weightlifting shoe at a low price
- Fabulous footwear for only $120.
- Lifts are more secure with a roomy toe box.
- For those who are new to weightlifting, this is a great choice.
- Extremely heavy lifters should not wear this shoe because the midsole may be too responsive.
- Heel height is moderate (around 15 5mm 0 Squatting with a shoe that is too small (under 6"
- Straps with insufficient velcro coverage.
Here you will find the optimal equilibrium between quality, value, and appearance. In terms of price and quality, the Nike Savaleos are incomparable to any other pair of weightlifting shoes. To what extent do they outperform all other Olympic weightlifting equipment in terms of their intended purpose? Sorry, but I don't think so. The Savaleos outperform all other weightlifting shoes in their price range, but only when compared to those that cost more than $120.
The Nike Romaleos, which I discuss in greater detail below, are my top pick for Olympic weightlifting shoes, and the Savaleos can be thought of as their younger sibling. Lifting shoes like the Nike Savaleos have a wide toe box and heel cup, a rigid midsole with an elevated heel, and a velcro strap to secure your feet to the sole.
To be more precise, I am claiming that the Savaleos are the most cost-effective weightlifting shoes available. People who aren't training for a competition or aren't otherwise committed to weightlifting shouldn't feel obligated to spend $200 on shoes they can only use for Olympic lifting because of the Romaleos' superior quality and weight.
The Savaleos, with a heel height of just over a half an inch, are ideal for acclimating oneself to elevated lifting shoes, and can be used as a hybrid shoe that can be taken from the lifting platform to a barbell WOD. If you need more stability and depth in your squat, you may want to look into lifting shoes with a heel of 18-20 millimeters (about three-quarters of an inch) rather than the Savaleos because of their moderate heel height.
The Savaleos' more responsive midsole compared to other, more expensive weightlifting shoes may be noticeable to athletes who routinely move extremely heavy barbells. But even for the occasional athlete, the wide base provides more than enough stability for powerlifting and Olympic lifting.
NOBULL Trainers Are the Best Lightweight Weightlifting Shoes
Anyone looking for a functionally and aesthetically minimalist pair of shoes
- Long-lasting due to the upper's high-strength construction.
- Adaptable for both strength and cardiovascular training.
- Many different styles and hues to pick from
- Overpriced at around $130 given their quality.
- Receiving a heavy barbell with little heel-to-toe drop is not ideal.
- A more protracted breaking-in period than conventional exercise footwear
Depending on your personal preferences, you either love or hate NOBULL. In my review of the NOBULL Trainers, I go into detail about the controversy surrounding these workout shoes and how our writer Amanda and editor Kate have opposite takes on the matter.
If you're looking for a pair of shoes that are minimal in form and function, you might end up being one of the many people who become dedicated NOBULL fans and use their utilitarian-style trainers for everything from lifting heavy weights to running one mile. Is that not the case, then please continue reading about our other recommended pairs of weightlifting shoes.
Neither the NOBULL Trainers nor the Nike Metcons are intended to be used exclusively for weightlifting. They lack the typical features of weightlifting footwear, such as a high heel (the heel-to-toe drop is only 4 mm), a secure strap system, and a deep heel cup and toe box.
The NOBULL Trainers, on the other hand, are more sleek overall and put durability first. The NOBULL Trainers are built to last, so they're a little heavier than some other cross-training shoes; this is a feature that makes them ideal for weightlifting. The flat sole and midsole provide a solid foundation, and the toe box shape allows your toes to spread out without being excessively roomy to further aid in stability.
Never forget that NOBULL actually produces legitimate weightlifting footwear. Simply put, I don't endorse them because I think they're overrated and I don't personally know anyone who enjoys them.
Check out My Full Review of NOBULL Training Shoes
Nike Metcon 8 are the best shoes for CrossFit and weightlifting.
People who want a pair of shoes they can wear for a wide variety of activities
- Flexible footwear that can be worn anywhere, from the stage to the pull-up bar.
- The toe box design is perfect for those with wide feet.
- Maintains its stability and appeals to the eye
- Not have the strongest lacing system
- Not the best low-tops for those who rely on their footwear for mobility.
- For a pair of cross-trainers, $160 is a hefty price tag.
Although the Nike Metcon 8s are often referred to as "weightlifting shoes," they are more accurately classified as "cross-training shoes." CrossFit shoes are built to withstand the wide range of motion common in CrossFit workouts.
Many people who say they need lifting shoes are really just looking for a pair of shoes with a wide, flat outsole, enough stability to annihilate a three-rep max squat, and enough flexibility to handle box jumps and barbell cycling, as we have found. In case you were wondering, it's the Nike Metcon 8
I'll be honest and say I haven't had a chance to put the Metcon 8s on my feet yet, but early impressions seem to indicate they're essentially the same shoe as the Metcon 7s, albeit with a slightly different color scheme.
I adore Metcons because they can withstand any brutal exercise without suffering significant structural or cosmetic damage. Strength and steadiness were primary design goals during construction. As a result, they require some time to break in, but you'll agree that the wait was well worth it once you're able to move seamlessly from the strength training to the conditioning phases of your workout.
Cross-Training Shoe Recommendations
Nike Metcons' $160 price tag may seem high at first, but it's actually quite reasonable when compared to other cross-trainers on the market. Nike has a great return policy in which you can send back your shoes within 60 days, no matter how much you've worn them. On top of that, the two-year warranty gives buyers peace of mind.
Here's my in-depth look at the Nike Metcon 8:
Chuck Taylor All Stars are the best shoes for powerlifting.
Powerlifters who are on a budget and need a shoe with a solid foundation will benefit from these.
- Use the deadlift with confidence thanks to the flat heel.
- You can purchase both high and low tops.
- The lack of cushioning in the midfoot will not bend under heavy loads.
- Back squats are not helped by a slight heel-to-toe drop.
- Midfoot that's narrow
- Canvas is not a particularly sturdy material.
I can't help but enjoy a well-known classic. Although Converse All Stars are undoubtedly the best shoes for everyday use, they are also fantastic for powerlifting, and in particular, deadlifts.
Best Shoes for Deadlifting
Many powerlifters prefer training without shoes, and All Stars come pretty close to this with their minimal drop. An additional benefit is the rigid outsole's ability to keep you steady. Honestly, it's the best of both worlds. In addition, the high-top version's ankle support is a great perk.
In addition, the thin and flat midsole of the All Stars gives many powerlifters the sense of stability they seek when lifting. Canvas is used for the upper, making the shoe lightweight, breathable, and flexible enough to allow for some toe wiggle room.
In addition, Chucks are very affordable. You can get a great pair of powerlifting shoes that will last you several seasons of training and competition for only .
For those who require a higher heel to squat to their full potential, these shoes won't be the most advantageous. Some powerlifters might prefer to squat in a different pair of shoes than the ones they use for the deadlift and bench press.
CONNECTED: A Look at the Xero 360 Workout Sneakers
The Adidas Powerlift 4 are the best weightlifting shoes for beginners.
Weightlifting newbies who don't want to break the bank can benefit from these items.
- Inexpensive at around $100, it's a steal.
- It's a better beginner's shoe because of the EVA midsole and the flexible forefoot.
- 0.6” (15 The standard (0. 5mm) heel wedge is more difficult to adjust to than the 0. Heel Height: 1.75 inches (19mm) Platform Height:
- Comparatively less stable than other shoe types due to its narrow heel base.
- There aren't many hues to pick from.
- The midsoles made of TPU, wood, or leather are more compressible than EVA foam.
The Powerlift is a no-frills weightlifting shoe with a reasonable price tag, featuring a moderately elevated heel, a flexible canvas upper, and an EVA foam midsole.
When lifting weights, I prefer shoes with a TPU, wood, or stacked leather midsole over ones made of EVA foam, which is much more compressible. However, I do believe that the Powerlifts' EVA heel is an excellent choice for new lifters. When coupled with the 0.15-inch ( This shoe is ideal for those who want to ease into weightlifting shoes due to its low heel height (1.59 inches).
It's not uncommon for athletes to experience culture shock when switching from their flat cross-training or running shoes to the 0 drop required for Olympic lifting. heel height of 1.75 inches (19mm) material: hard plastic The Adidas Powerlift shoes offer a good compromise for beginners.
You may want to upgrade to something like the Nike Savaleos or, if you're really serious about weightlifting, the Nike Romaleos as you gain experience and begin lifting heavier weights. The EVA foam in the heel could become too responsive and compressible at extremely heavy weights, reducing stability. However, novices shouldn't expect their shoes to last that long, and some platform feedback is actually beneficial.
Shoes for Weightlifting: Reebok Lifter PR 2
Good for: Athletes looking for a reasonably priced, stable shoe suitable for weightlifting, powerlifting, and some CrossFit exercises.
- Amazingly low cost ($100)
- Excellent hybrid footwear can be found with a moderate heel height.
- The rubber outsole is very grippy.
- The EVA midsole will be too flexible for intense weight training.
- The heel cup may become deformed after prolonged use.
- A measurement of 15.5 mm (or thereabouts) Because of the lack of ankle flexion support, a 6-inch heel height is not recommended.
Very similar to the Adidas Powerlift shoes described above, these lifting shoes are a great option. They are very comparable in many ways, including cost and effectiveness.
Amanda Capritto, one of the writers and product testers here at Garage Gym Reviews, has used the original Lifter PRs and now wears the Lifter PRs 2, and she loves them because she doesn't have to change shoes in the middle of a CrossFit workout.
They are supportive and stable enough for strength sessions, responsive enough for most metcons (so long as they don't have running), and the moderate heel height is great for warming up and sinking into deep squats even with tight hips.
That's why these are great for your wallet. There are other options on this list for around $100, but the versatility of the Lifter PRs means you may not need a second pair of shoes if your workouts don't involve running or ballistic movements like box jumps.
It would be ideal to have a single pair of shoes for all of your workout needs, but we recognize that this isn't always possible. Amanda suggests the Lifter PRs if you plan to use them primarily for lifting but also for some other activities.
Nike Romaleos 4 are the best shoes for Olympic lifting.
Athletes who want to improve their Olympic lifting results
- Like a throwback to the best weightlifting shoes ever, the Romaleos 2
- Ample stability is ensured by the heel's wide, flared shape.
- Having extra room for your toes means more stability and traction.
- The price tag of $200 is prohibitive.
- The upper is extremely breathable, but I have my doubts about how long it will last.
- The lacing and straps aren't the strongest.
When I first saw the Nike Romaleos 4, I was blown away. Do I believe that they are better than the Nike Romaleos 2? No Although, I do believe they approach it very closely. (The Romaleos 2 were, without a doubt, the best weightlifting shoe ever made; it baffles lifters everywhere that Nike hasn't simply brought them back. )
Anywho, the Romaleos 4 weightlifting shoe combines utility and aesthetics in a way that I'm not aware of in any other weightlifting shoe. They're stunning to look at and incredibly comfortable to wear on the stage.
They're substantial, so you can sink your toes deeply into the ground. The heel's wide shape and low profile provide extra stability. Incorporating a 0.20-inch (1 The Roms' low (1.75-inch) heel height and wide toe box make them ideal for squatting to full depth and catching the barbell upright. You'll have a better chance of a successful lift every time if you do this.
These fourth-generation Roms are pricey, unfortunately. Those who are new to weightlifting or who are only interested in it occasionally are unlikely to be able to afford these, even at a discount. Those who are new to Olympic lifting or are unsure of whether they will continue may not see the value in spending $200 on a pair of shoes, no matter how stylish or practical they may be. The Nike Romaleos 4 are a worthy investment, however, for athletes who hit the platform multiple times per week or who intend to compete at any level.
Here's my comprehensive review of the Nike Romaleos 4!
Adidas Adipower 3: the Most Adaptable Weightlifting Shoe
Ideal for those who want a versatile lifting shoe with a slightly higher heel but still want to focus on functional fitness.
- Squatting and catching the bar in Oly lifts are greatly aided by a heel height of 22 mm.
- These heels are flexible enough to be worn during CrossFit workouts, despite their height.
- The upper is woven from a durable textile.
- Having a flexible forefoot compromises stability.
- A whopping $200!
- Not terrible at anything, but also not particularly good at anything else.
Those interested in functional fitness have known for a long time that Adidas Adipowers is the best brand to wear. The reason for this is that Adidas designed a shoe that combines the best features of both weightlifting shoes (with their elevated heels, hook-and-loop straps, and rigid bases) and cross-training shoes (with their durability and flexibility).
The 22 millimeter heels on the Adipowers are the highest I've seen on weightlifting shoes. No matter how heavy the bar you're squatting to, this height will provide the best possible support. However, there are some conditioning exercises that can still be done while wearing these shoes, despite the heel: cycling barbell snatches and high-volume overhead squats.
CONNECTED: Workouts With a Barbell
The Adipowers have a great deal of forefoot mobility, which can be both beneficial and detrimental, depending on your needs. You can spread your toes and feel the ground better thanks to their pliability, but this feature may not be ideal for weightlifting shoes. It's a quality that's highly valued by functional fitness athletes.
The Adipowers aren't cheap, retailing for $200. As a result of their limited utility (they are neither ideal for weightlifting nor ideal for conditioning, though they do a passable job at both), the asking price may deter some customers.
At the end of the day, the Adipowers are a fantastic option if you're looking for a shoe that offers great depth but is still flexible enough to wear during some functional fitness workouts.
To learn more about these shoes, read my comprehensive review of the Adidas Adipower 3.
Women's Weightlifting Shoes That Actually Work
Sike There aren't many options for weightlifting shoes for women, so we don't recommend a particular brand or model. Second, other than the sizing, the aforementioned pairs of shoes would be identical whether they were marketed toward men or women. If you're a woman and you want to buy the weightlifting shoes we suggest, remember to order a half size or two sizes smaller than you normally would.
What Methods We Used for Testing
Each pair of shoes has been tried out by at least one member of the Garage Gym Reviews crew during weight training sessions. Most of them I've actually worn before. Some of them, like the Reebok Lifter PRs and Nike Romaleos, have been worn by myself or teammates for a number of years and through multiple iterations of the shoes.
I've done the legwork to understand the value proposition of each shoe and to tease out the specific types of people who would benefit from a given pair of weightlifting shoes, in addition to our own firsthand experience with all of them.
When conducting our evaluation of weightlifting footwear, we pay close attention to the following details:
- Building components and materials
- Support for the heel and a shallower platform than the forefoot
- Effectiveness in weightlifting events such as squats and Olympic lifts
- Rigidity and longevity
- Opinions of Purchasers
For What Purpose Are Weightlifting Shoes Intended?
When performing Olympic lifts like the snatch and the clean-and-jerk, weightlifters benefit from using real weightlifting shoes. Weightlifting shoes now refer to a broader range of training shoes, including those with and without a heel lift.
Olympic weightlifting shoes, by definition, have a higher heel and a two-strap closure. Shoe heels of 18-20 millimeters (about 3/4 inch) are recommended by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) for Olympic weightlifters.
Nonetheless, if you look at the wide variety of lifting shoes out there, you'll notice that they feature anything from a completely flat sole to a whopping one inch of heel drop. Different heel heights on lifting shoes serve different functions and can be worn for a variety of workouts.
Consider the Nike Metcons, the best weightlifting shoes for CrossFit. To be sure, these aren't "weightlifting shoes," but you'd be surprised at how many people use them for that very purpose. They excel at high-volume, low-weight workouts that focus on conditioning as well as resistance training. They can switch gears and perform adequately in a variety of roles.
Consider the Nike Romaleos 4 now. Our go-to picks for Olympic weightlifting You shouldn't put them on for CrossFit workouts and you shouldn't run in them. The Romaleos excel at aiding weightlifting, whereas the Nike Metcons are decent at many things.
Finally, the function of weightlifting shoes has been elucidated. It is dependent upon the type of weightlifting footwear that is purchased.
Are Weightlifting Shoes Necessary?
Similar to the debate over whether or not you need a weightlifting belt, the question of whether or not you need weightlifting shoes is open to interpretation. Ask yourself if you really need them. I would venture to say no. Are they going to be useful Unquestionably, so long as they are put to good use.
Shoes specifically designed for weightlifting are not required for the typical home gym. Competitors in Olympic weightlifting events are the only ones I can see for whom they are a necessity. However, whether you're squatting or snatching, weightlifting shoes can significantly boost your success rate.
Weightlifting shoes put your feet in a more anatomically advantageous position to receive the barbell, providing a wider, more stable base than training shoes and increasing ankle flexion thanks to a high heel.
Weightlifting Shoe Buying Guide
Getting a pair of weightlifting shoes isn't a decision you want to make on a whim. Choice without consideration may lead to random results. Finding the right weightlifting footwear requires knowing your own strengths and weaknesses.
Weightlifting shoes with a higher heel could help someone who has trouble with ankle dorsiflexion squat to full depth and receive the barbell in the proper position during a clean or snatch, for instance.
If you're in the market for new weightlifting footwear, here's a comprehensive rundown of everything to think about.
The lifters' heel-to-toe drop should be one of your primary considerations. What really determines how your shoes affect your mobility is the heel height; a higher heel makes it simpler to perform squats with your posterior exposed to the floor. The lower a person's heel, the less help they need when lifting.
Some of the shoes with the largest heel-to-toe drops are the Nike Romaleos 4, the Reebok Legacy Lifters 2, and the NOBULL Lifters. Cross-training shoes, including Chuck Taylors, Nike Metcons, Reebok Nanos, and NOBULL trainers, can be found at the cheaper end of the shoe market. In the middle of the pack are shoes like the Reebok Lifter PR II, Adidas Adipowers, Nike Savaleos, and Adidas Powerlift.
Method of Closure
Weightlifting shoes feature a trifecta of different fastening methods. All but a small handful of them have lace-up fronts and Velcro straps across the midfoot, while others use a different system called BOA. BOA is an independent technology company that produces shoe hardware, specifically a dial closure system superior to traditional laces and velcro for a secure and comfortable fit.
Because we don't think the average fitness enthusiast needs it, none of our top picks feature a BOA system. BOA versions of the Inov-8 Fastlift weightlifting shoe were previously available, but they appear to have been discontinued since they are now only sold in extremely low quantities and size options on Amazon.
The ideal dimensions and shape of the toe box will vary greatly depending on the individual's preferences and the unique characteristics of their feet. Your grip, drive, and balance will all improve with wider shoes that allow your toes to spread out.
The midsole is more crucial than the heel-to-toe drop when it comes to weightlifting shoes. The midsole is the main wedge, or platform, of a pair of weightlifting shoes.
Weightlifting shoes should have a midsole and platform made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). Thermoplastic urethane (TPU) is strong and reliable; it does not deform easily and does not compress much even when subjected to heavy loads.
Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), stacked leather, and wooden heels are also frequently used in the construction of shoes' heels. Unless it's just the insole for comfort, I wouldn't recommend getting weightlifting shoes made with EVA. Classic vintage styles can be achieved with stacked leather or wood, but these materials are not as durable as thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU).
Form of a Heel
The best stability comes from a heel with a wide, flared shape. Examples of stable heel footwear include the Nike Romaleos 4 and the Reebok Legacy Lifter II. In contrast, shoes like the Adipowers, Powerlifts, and Lifter PRs, which feature a narrower heel but still an elevated heel, are more versatile.
The upper of your weightlifting shoes doesn't have to be as tough as the upper of your CrossFit shoes or running shoes, but you should still look for materials that allow for durability and breathability. Both of those characteristics can be found in a shoe with a perforated leather or mesh upper.
We all know that weightlifting shoes can be quite pricey. Make sure your shoes can withstand the rigorous workouts you're giving them so you aren't constantly replacing them and wasting hundreds of dollars every other month. Strength and durability in a shoe go hand in hand when it comes to protecting your foot during heavy lifting.
When engaging in Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting, both in practice and competition, athletes wear weightlifting shoes to aid in stability and mobility.
Weightlifting shoes, by virtue of the slight adjustments they make to your body position, can unquestionably help you increase your rep totals. Weightlifting shoes improve your chances of success on the bar by facilitating greater ranges of motion while maintaining a neutral spine.
Squatting is simplified by the elevated heel of weightlifting footwear. Proper squat form relies on faux ankle dorsiflexion created by the elevated heel position. Weight lifting shoes can help those who lack the ankle mobility necessary to perform deep squats while maintaining a neutral spine.
Weightlifting shoes are highly recommended for Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting by most fitness professionals. Some forms of weightlifting footwear are acceptable for use in CrossFit-style conditioning workouts, but those shoes aren't designed for activities like burpees, box jumps, or running.
You can't cheat with weightlifting if you wear shoes. Like a weightlifting belt, lifting straps, or gymnastics grips, they're merely an aid. We don't take into account the opinions of those who think everyone should be able to perform every lift perfectly without using lifting shoes.
We suggest not using weightlifting shoes for running unless by "weightlifting shoes" you mean training shoes (such as Nike Metcons or NOBULL Trainers). However, if your distance is more than 800 meters, we suggest investing in a good pair of running shoes.
CONNECTED: Tips for Buying Athletic Footwear
Do-Win Classic Lifter Weightlifting Shoes by Rogue Fitness: The stacked leather heel that looks like wood on the Do-Win Classic Lifter (formerly made by Pendlay and still loved by the weightlifting community) evokes the spirit of classic lifting footwear. The low cost of $125 is a nice bonus, but I doubt they will last very long.
Weightlifting footwear doesn't get much better than the Reebok Legacy Lifter 2. The Nike Romaleos are the ones they most closely resemble because of their wide sole and flared heel. They cost exactly the same as the Romaleos. The Romaleos are superior to the Legacy Lifters at this price point because they have two velcro straps rather than one, and because the rubber outsole is more grippy and less selective.
The NOBULL Lifters are a cool-looking shoe, but they leave a lot to be desired for the price. The leather is of poor quality, and the stacked leather heel, while visually appealing, isn't constructed with the care and attention to detail you might expect to find in a shoe of this price. And just like with their Trainers, I dig the style but can't justify the cost because of the inferior performance.
The Reebok Nano X1 is a fantastic shoe for CrossFit and pretty much any other type of exercise. On the other hand, the Nike Metcon 7s are superior to the Nanos for CrossFit lifting because of their flat sole and wider toe box. The Nanos are more cushioned and have a narrower forefoot than the other option.
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I can't stress this enough: the quality of your training shoes is directly proportional to the quality of your results. You shouldn't skimp on shoes if you're serious about your training because the wrong pair can lead to serious problems down the road. Furthermore, if you have the proper training footwear, you can break your own records. Progress in squats, in particular, requires the right weightlifting shoes, which you can learn more about in this article: Best Weightlifting Shoes in 2023: Top Picks from Nike, Adidas, and Reebok.
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I can't stress enough how important it is to have good training shoes. Selecting the incorrect footwear for exercise can lead to discomfort and even injury. In addition, if you have the proper footwear for training, you may be able to set new personal bests. To improve your squats in particular, you need a good pair of weightlifting shoes; here are the top picks from Nike, Adidas, and Reebok for 2023.