A good weightlifting shoe is a very handy tool in any training toolbox that many people use to turn their lifting performance up a notch; while also giving a boost in style with some of the more aesthetic options.
Now, there are so many different weightlifting shoes out there it’s hard to choose one if you’re not familiar with what to look for in a pair.
But that’s what we’re here for… to help you decide which one is suitable for your budget and goals.
So, we dug deep to find the best of the best from many top brands and we found some top-notch options.
In A Hurry? Here’s The Editor’s Pick…
1. Adidas Adipower
Adidas Adipower is the current standard and boy are they a fan favorite!
The shoe is made from 100% leather with a PU-coated leather upper for maximum comfort and support. It’s constructed with high-quality materials for maximum performance with vent flow openings in the outsole, plus an adjustable hook and loop system.
Other awesome features are the “weightlifting-engineered” chassis, and instep strap for secure foothold during your lifts.
The heel height is .75” for optimum elevation which best for versatile lifting, and it doesn’t get much better than the Adipower for an overall excellent lifting shoe.
- Heel height: .75”
- PU-coated leather upper
- TPU midsole
- Weightlifting-engineered chassis with lightweight injected polymer
- Vent Flow openings in outsole
- Adjustable hook and loop system
Check Out These Top-Notch Weightlifting Shoes!
Adidas Adipower Weightlifting Shoes
Nordic Lifting Shoes
Reebok Lifter PR
INOV-8 Fastlift 335
Adidas Men’s Leistung.16 II
Adidas Powerlift 4
Adidas Performance Crazy Power Shoes
Nike Romaleos 3 Weightlifting Shoes
Reebok Legacylifter Shoes
Reebok Crossfit Lifter Plus 2.0
2. Nordic Lifting Shoe
The Nordic lifting shoe is a popular, basic, and quality option whether you’re into powerlifting, weightlifting and/or bodybuilding. The shoe is a snug fit that comes with a single strap and an anti-slip sole and the materials are very high quality for durability.
The heel raise is 3.5cm (1 ⅜ inch) which is standard for even Olympic level support and the shoe comes in multiple sizes.
- Heel height: 3.5cm (1 ⅜ inch)
- Single strap
- Anti-slip sole
3. Reebok Lifter PR
The Reebok Lifter PR is an excellent platform and favorite among many lifters of all disciplines. It has a U-FORM+ Thermo TPU wrap for a custom fit and no break-in time, with a synthetic upper and leather toe for optimum functionality and comfort.
The total heel height is 22mm (.87″) and the drop is 15.5mm (.61″).
- Heel height: .87”
- .61” drop
- U-FORM+ Thermo TPU wrap
- Mesh and synthetic upper/leather toe
- Anti-friction lining
4. INOV-8 Fastlift 335
The INOV-8 Fastlift 335 can serve as a beginner’s shoe or a tool for anyone who takes their lifting seriously. And due to the lower heel (0.65”) compared to most other lifting shoes, you can use them for CrossFit and other similar activities.
This shoe is made from synthetic material with Flex Groove technology in the forefoot for maximum comfort and smooth transitions during your lifts, plus a wide toe box to prevent toe splay and increase comfort.
The INOV-8 Fastlift 335 is a viable option for versatile activities.
- Heel height 0.65”
- Synthetic material
- Flex groove technology for movability
- TPU midsole
- Sizing: 4 on the fit scale (1 narrow – 5 wide)
- Single strap
5. Adidas Leistung. 16. II Cross Trainer
Another top-notch weightlifting shoe from Adidas, the Leistung. 16. II is a nice looking shoe with a lot of functions. It’s a synthetic rubber sole shoe equipped with a BOA tightening system for maximum security during your heavy training.
And you’ll definitely feel the difference with this super functional option.
The shoe has a 1” heel height which is great for the big lifts.
- Heel height: 1”
- Synthetic material
- TPU heel
- Rubber sole
- Micro-adjustable BOA tightening system
6. Adidas Powerlift 4
The Adidas Powerlift 4 is a lightweight, narrow weightlifting shoe ideal for those who prefer maximum snugness. It has a canvas upper which provides optimal comfort plus a hook and loop strap system.
The Adiwear outsole provides maximum durability and a solid platform for big lifting sessions and you’ll definitely outperform in these quality lifting shoes.
The shoe has a .6 inch heel height.
- Heel height: 6”
- Canvas upper
- Rubber sole
- Hook and loop strap system
- Adiwear outsole
7. Adidas Performance Crazy Power
The Adidas Crazy Power definitely lives up to its name and you’ll notice the performance improvement that you get from it. And it’s a favorite shoe among lifters due to the quality and durability.
The Crazy Power has a synthetic upper with a rubber outsole and a removable insole with a single strap for added secureness. Plus a Sock-like lining to form to your foot during the lifts which is a pretty cool feature.
The heel height is about .6”.
It’s a great option for the price!
- Heel height: .6”
- Synthetic upper
- TPU heel
- Single strap
- Sock-like lining which forms to the foot
8. Nike Romaleos 3
The Nike Romaleos 3 is a fashionable lifting shoe that is used and loved by thousands of lifters and it’s got the latest technology for maximum comfort, stability, and effectiveness.
The shoe is made with a synthetic and mesh upper for maximum breathability, and it has a flexible forefoot for lifting comfort… Plus Flywire technology for secureness and TPU footplate for a stable feel.
It also has a 20mm (.79”) offset (heel) for optimal range of motion during your lifts.
It’s hard to go wrong with the Romaleos 3.
- Heel height: .79”
- Synthetic leather and mesh upper
- Flexible forefoot
- Flywire technology for maximum secureness
- Honeycomb-patterned TPU plate on heel
9. Reebok Legacylifter
The Reebok Legacylifter is a quality platform to support heavy and intense lifting. It’s a synthetic shoe made with a TPU piece in the midsole for optimum stability, double upper straps for extra secureness and Exoframe heel technology for additional lifting support.
The heel height is ¾”.
- Heel height: ¾”
- TPU piece in midsole for stability
- Double upper straps
- Exoframe heel technology
10. Reebok CrossFit Lifter Plus 2.0
The Reebok CrossFit Lifter Plus 2.0 is obviously ideal for CrossFit but you can use it for other lifts as well. But it’s designed to allow for more movement rather than just heavy lifting which is what makes this shoe so versatile.
It’s made from synthetic material, has a rubber sole plus dual hook and loop closures, and the U-FORM technology is great for getting a more customized and secure fit.
The heel height is ¾ inch.
- Heel height: ¾”
- Rubber sole
- Dual hook and loop closures
- U-FORM technology
- Double straps
Weightlifting Shoe Benefits
A weightlifting shoe is used primarily to facilitate proper technique for lifts like squats and weightlifting movements (e.g. clean, jerk, snatch).
The elevated heel and stable platform encourages ideal body mechanics for the big lifts in order to generate maximum power from the ground through a very functional closed kinetic chain of movement.
For instance, when pulling the bar upward off of the ground; the solid platform will allow for maximum force production; compared to an athletic shoe with lots of cushion which absorbs the weight instead.
And the raised heel allows you to squat even deeper with a more stable ankle joint, which as a result; promotes an ideal upright posture.
A solid, secure, and stable shoe will maximally ensure you can perform any part of a lift without compromising your safety.
Weightlifting Shoe Research
We wouldn’t recommend any training tool that wasn’t beneficial for your performance and progress. And a good lifting shoe is used by all types of people, including professionals whose career depends on the advantages which these shoes provide.
So, let’s talk a little about how these shoes can help you to manipulate your body mechanics in order to improve your lifts…
One study took 32 participants (experienced and novice) and had them do a loaded and unloaded squat using both weightlifting (WS) and athletic shoes (AS).
And for both load conditions, using weightlifting shoes resulted in significantly reduced ankle flexion and increased knee flexion. (1)
But with the unloaded condition, the WS resulted in a more upright trunk along with greater knee moment. And the more experienced group in the study experienced greater knee and hip flexion than the novice group.
So, what this study concluded was that the use of weightlifting shoes during the squat has a significant effect on movement, especially with more experienced lifters.
And the WS resulted in a body position more conducive to proper lifting. Which is also beneficial for other weightlifting movements.
Another study showed that the use of weightlifting shoes minimizes forward trunk lean displacement while optimally placing the foot in a plantar-flexed position. (2)
And this is good for people who have back issues and/or for those who want to minimize backpressure.
But the same study also found that weightlifting shoes are a good way to strengthen the knee extensors without compromising form on the squat.
What To Look For In a Shoe?
Well, you definitely want to get a shoe that fits you snug and that will support your lifts without your feet sliding around inside.
And some shoes are wider than others while certain models can be rather narrow. So, this is something to keep in mind.
But also when considering a weightlifting shoe, make sure it has straps (one or two based on preference) over the laces or a BOA tightening system for maximum secureness during your lifting sessions.
And another very important detail to pay attention to is the heel.
Weightlifting shoe heels come in several different forms from rubber to TPU, EVA, wood, and stacked leather.
But TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) is undoubtedly the most common which is also what most of our shoe picks have (It’s a very durable and strong material). Although, the others can work great as well.
But the important thing is that you get a stable, durable, and quality shoe.
The heel height is the difference between the heel and forefoot. For instance, if the heel is 24mm and the forefoot is 4mm, then the height is 20mm. And this would be the drop of the shoe.
The heel lift is just the height of the heel itself and it will vary just like the heel height.
A .75” heel height is pretty standard and often the most common for most lifting situations including Olympic lifting.
And a heel height of an inch or more is suited more for taller athletes who need more range of motion at the ankles, but this ultimately varies between individuals.
But do keep in mind that the taller the heel, the more pressure may be on your knees although it helps with posture. But that’s why practicing good form and driving through the midfoot is crucial.
The lower the heel, the more you may lean back, so this is something else to remember when lifting if you’re less experienced.
Weightlifting Shoes Are An Effective Lifting Tool
There’s no denying the benefits of a quality weightlifting shoe for performance and safety. And not only will it help you to improve your lifts, but you’ll also be in a good position (pun intended) to improve your lifting form as well.
But there are many great, solid options out there at different price points, so whichever you choose will do the job as expected.
And quality is the most important factor when deciding on a training tool that will safely and effectively aid your performance.
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