Did you know that having the right pair of shoes in the gym is CRUCIAL ?
I know I didn’t when I first started squatting and deadlifting… Let me tell you this –
I talked to some of the local gym experts, and they all confirmed, having a WELL shaped shoe will help you with your posture, balance, and power exercises – most importantly, all of those will help you LIFT & GAIN.
For those reasons I have went out there and compiled a curated list, featuring the best-in-market weightlifting shoes out there.
These are beasts. They will be your best workout friend alongside with your meals and supplements.
Let’s get to it then – The BEST weightlifting shoes are
These are an excellent pair of weightlifting shoes. I will first start out by saying I use these shoes specifically for high bar and front squatting and I train for powerlifting.I purchased Nike Romaleos 2’s as my first squat shoes and I used them for about three or four months. I will first start by saying those shoes are amazing Olympic weightlifting shoes, in looks, build quality, and function. However, for my biomechanics, the quarter inch heel was a bit too much for my liking. I have very good ankle flexibility and can squat ATG in flat soles with no problem. The main reason I prefer squat shoes is for the stability and a quicker set up after unracking the weight.Over my four months of using those shoes, I noticed I was experiencing slight knee pain. I attributed this to the Romaleos having too much of a downward angle as a result of the quarter inch heel height. I have pretty long legs and my knees track forward naturally quite a bit when squatting ATG. With my knees becoming discomforted by the Romaleos, I went back to using my Chuck Taylor’s to squat for about a month.After a discussion with my friend as to why I stopped using the Nike’s and explaining my theory of the heel being too high for me, he suggested these shoes. These shoes have a .6 inch heel opposed to a .75 inch heel on the Romaleos and other traditional weightlifting shoes. After some consideration and a 15$ off deal on amazon, I went for the Adidas Power lift 2.0s to see if they would feel better than the Romaleos did. Mind you the Romaleos cost 190$, these were 80$ after the coupon and tax.First impressions wearing these shoes? All I can say is what a difference. The lower heel is so much more comfortable for me and I do not get arch pain in my feet like I did with the Nike’s, which was another irritating issue. They are also extremely light, unlike the Nike Romaleos which felt like a brick. Generally, you want WL shoes to be heavier and those shoes were like having 2×4 strapped to your feet, but in these you feel nimble, yet stable. When you step back with the bar on your back, there is very little adjustment that you need to make to get comfortable.These shoes fit perfect as well. I measured my foot using a ruler with my heel against the wall and it came out to 10.1 inches. I ordered a size 8.5 in the blue and black with the blaze orange heel and they fit PERFRCT. The chart I used was from zappos.com and it is very accurate. I would use that chart of you are planning on getting these and order the closest to the conversion it gives you.I have used these shoes for about 15 squat sessions, both front and back squat and I absolutely love wearing these during my lifting sessions. They are so comfortable and they are very stable. They also grip to the floor really well. I have not one bit of the knee or foot discomfort I experienced with the Nike Romaleos.The quality of these shoes I would say are very good. They are a synthetic material with an upper mesh which makes them extremely light, comfortable, and breathable. I only use these inside the gym on the platform and they have zero marks or any blemishes after quite a few uses.One of the concerns I had when purchasing these shoes was the fact that the sole is slightly compressible (they are made with EVA rubber with a stability plate molded inside) around the edge of the heel. Honestly, unless you are squatting 450-500+, this should not be an issue. I squat around 380 and I film all of my working sets for critique purposes and I notice very little compression when looking at myself squatting in the Adidas Powerlifts. It is also unnoticeable while actually squatting.If you are a beginner and are looking to see if Olympic weightlifting shoes are right for you, I would definitely start here. It will allow you to see if you like the feel of the raised heel at an affordable price. These shoes also look pretty cool and they come in a variety of different colors if that matters to you. I recently sold my Romaleos to another close friend and I can see myself using these shoes for a long time. They are an excellent investment to add to your arsenal of gym gear at a fair price.
I own both the Lite TRs and Lite Lo’s, and wear them a few days a week for deadlifting and other lifts where I need a solid footing, like standing barbell curls or bench press. Too many exercise shoes have a really soft, cushy sole, which is great for running and hopping around, but not necessarily great for holding a big heavy weight in your hands. You *might* be able to run in these shoes if you’re life depended on it, but hopefully that’s not the case. For box jumps and double-unders (I’m looking at you, Crossfitters), I would get something with more bounce in the sole. Save these shoes for your heavy days.I often hear about these shoes being great for squats. That may be the case for some people, but I need a little bit of a heel lift since I have really tight ankles. The stability is there for squats with the Lite TR, but I much prefer Olympic lifting shoes like Adidas Adipowers. If you have tight ankles or any mobility issues with back squats, this shoe may not be the answer for you.The Lite TRs get a lot of comparisons to Chuck Taylors, but they’re really an entirely different animal. I’ve worn Chucks every day for more than 15 years, and the Lite TRs are overall a much stiffer shoe with a strong, almost sticky grip on the sole. The area around the heel and side of the shoe has thick padding, in contrast to the 1-ply canvas on Chuck Taylors, which makes the TRs feel more like a skateboarding shoe. The toe box for the TRs is larger than Chucks, which can make it feel like you’re wearing clown shoes. My toes tend to slide around a bit side-to-side, but it doesn’t usually bother my lifts. If I had to purchase them again I would have gone a half-size smaller.My only complaint with these shoes is that they say “CrossFit” on the side, and while I’m not against CrossFit at all, I don’t really “do” CrossFit. Yet I get questions about it at the gym when people see it written on the shoes.I initially heard about these shoes through Brandon Campbell’s YouTube channel. You should check him out. He has a great video review on the Lite TRs, and I believe he has 3 or 4 pairs of these shoes now.***PROS***Feels greatAnkle supportCrazy good sole gripSolid buildRelatively inexpensiveNothing else like it on the market***Cons***Fits a little loose for it’s sizeToe box is a bit too wideCrossFit branding***What it’s for***DeadliftsSquats for folks with good ankle mobilitySkateboarding***What it’s NOT for***Running/joggingPlyometricsBox jumps/jump ropeBasketballYogaAnything where you have to jump or be on your toes
I am pleased to report that this particular shoe is everything it claims to be in its advertisement. Although I am not a serious weightlifter, power lifter, or a bodybuilder, I am a fitness enthusiast who spends at least 5 hours weekly lifting heavy weights. As such, I am always looking for the ‘ideal’ shoe to suit my needs and support my feet properly. Despite what several reviewers claim, I found this shoe to fit as expected. I have a wide foot, and found these shoes to fit quite well. The mid foot support strap and the raised heel allow for both great support and increased flexibility in my exercises. I really feel like my feet are ‘locked into position’, and this is the feature I like the most about these shoes. I also like the fact that the insole is removable too. I have plantar fasciitis and have found that Arch Supports from Goodfeet help to support my arches properly in ways that even the best shoes cannot. This shoe is very lightweight, breathable, and offers the foot great stability. An additional benefit is that they are very appealing to the eye; thus they have good form AND good function. I cannot recommend them highly enough, but please remember they are great shoes for lifting only in my opinion. If you spend alot of time on the treadmill, the elliptical trainer, or just running in general this may not be the ideal shoe for you. It would probably be a good idea to change into your ASICS running shoes while at the gym before you participate in activities that involve repeated and protracted pounding. Hope this helps.
This is a great shoe for weight lifting! With this shoe, your feet are right where they are supposed to be….grounded flat on the floor, toes spread out to help with balance. This is a wide shoe in the area where the toes are, but that is how it’s supposed to be when weight training. With New Balance shoes, I’m always an 8 1/2. This is the first time I’ve ever had to go down a size…to an 8. So, it’s my opinion they run about a half size big. But if you are into crossfit, weight lifting, strength training, I would highly recommend these.**UPDATE ( 10/2/15): It’s been roughly 6 months now that I have been using these shoes for crossfit, 5 days a week. I still love them! Some people say they aren’t good for running. It really all depends on the person. I am a barefoot kind of person. I don’t need arch support. If I wouldn’t have to worry about stepping on glass, I’d run barefoot all the time. I’ve ran 4 miles in these shoes with no problem. I’ve had to do a 300 meter sprint in them, and got the best time in my class. It’s a solid shoe for box jumps. The wide toe box comes in handy for deadlifting. So many other women in my class complain about how unhappy with their shoes and have commented about how I haven’t complained once about my shoes.
As others have stated, these shoes make me feel like I am strapped to the floor. The first day I wore them I added 20 lbs to my front squat PR. But, the PR was from a one rep max and that first day in these shoes we did a 3 second hold at the bottom followed by one more normal front squat, boom! I added 20lbs about three weeks after that PR. In addition, my deads are stronger, snatches feel better, and even wall balls get love. I did run 200 meters in them and it wasn’t too bad, I wouldn’t run much further in them. Another bonus is these shoes will help your deep squat mobility. They are not simply a cheat or crutch. For example, if I put these on and sit in a deep squat it’s much easier than in my nanos but also perfect form. If I use theses for a workout that is squat intensive I am able to egg low and have perfect form. But, it’s as if my body is learning from that correct form. After one of those workouts I will put my nanos back on and will be able to squat with perfect form whereas that was not possible before I got these shoes. Get them, you will not regret it.
I bought these for my wife and she loves them. She uses them for weight lifting more specifically power or olympic lifts such as squats, leads, and cleans. She was having issues not being able to stay back on her heels and these solved the issue. The shoes are very well made and the stability you gain are bar none. If you’re a serious lifter you need a pair!
These shoes are excellent… for what they are designed for.I bought them to wear to the gym and for low-impact exercise (stationary bike, ellipitcal, etc.). And, cosmetically, I wanted a pair that was all black. I got them in the “D” width, and it is a tad wide in the front. But, overall, the front of the shoe is what is interesting. There is a bias, if you will, towards the lateral – or outside – portion of the foot, with a much narrower fit towards the medial – or inside – part nearer the toe. I had been wearing regular running shoes on the AMT machine at the gym, and was noticing that my toes were becoming a bit “numb” towards the end of the 30-minute workout. That completely stopped with these shoes. Also, I was able to position myself better and more comfortably on the steps of that particular machine with these shoes.PROS: They are extremely light. I love the look at the fit (and wear them with ankle-cut black socks). They are pretty much reinforced open mesh and they do not get hot. They are under-the-radar suggested to be a good Cross Fit shoe (but I don’t do Cross Fit, so don’t rely on me for an opinion on that). They have a Vibram sole that provides good traction.CONS: They do not have a lot of cushion in the sole and I’m not sure how they would hold up to a lot of high-impact movements, or if they would provide enough support (I’m way past the point in my life where I do any high-impact motions, though, and that’s not what I bought them for). Time will tell whether that same Vibram sole will hold up to use, as I’ve had problems with other shoes in the past with Vibram soles that seemed to wear out quickly. The achilles protector in the rear of the shoe rides a little low, and there’s no real significant rear foxing or heel counter to speak of, which made the shoe was a little rough on my ankle the first time I wore them (although I didn’t get any blisters).BOTTOM LINE: This is a great shoe provided you use it for what it’s designed for. For me, this is perfect to do non-/low-impact aerobics at the gym and to wear when I lift. It’s stylish and looks great if the “black out” look is what you’re going for.
I have never loved a shoe like I love this shoe. This is the ideal parkour and freerunning shoe: minimal padding, lightweight mesh top, single piece of rubber for the sole with just the right amount of grip.I wore my last pair of these Inov-8 Bare-XF 210s so hard, that my big toe started poking through the bottom. I did NOT want to spend the $130 on these guys, especially when I had gotten them for $40 about 14 months prior on 6pm.com, but what do you know, they’re worth every penny. I feel like I am in very firm control of my strides and precision jumps in these shoes.Only cons would be that they don’t do super well on wet cement, as I slipped in them (it was mostly my fault with bad technique; I was also still breaking them in). They also aren’t so super sticky on strong plywood, which I sometime climb up in my parkour gym in Brooklyn, NY.I have used KOs, New Balances and another custom martial arts shoe (solid rubber sole) and these are far and above my favorite. I recommend them to anyone and everyone who is interested in taking their athleticism to the next level. The shoes lasted about 9 months with regular to heavy use for me, and Inov-8 says they’re good for 600 miles, which I don’t think sounds like a lot, but again, my last pair lasted the better part of a year.If these shoes were $40 again, I would literally buy 10 of them in my size and stockpile them, so that I never have to be without this shoe again.Final note: I would have paid about $150 for the shoe on Amazon, but signing up for a free Prime membership trial dropped the price to $127, which is what pushed me over the edge and made me bite the bullet and buy the shoes during my same shopping session.Well done, Inov-8. Please don’t ever drop the 210s from your line, or give us a heads up if you do. And if you ever need me to take a pair of 10.5 UKs/11.5 U.S. off your hands for demo purposes, I will send you my address and my love.
I’ve owned many different ASICS over the years. In general, I prefer a little bit more insole cushion, but this works well enough for my picky feet in my kick box and cardio group exercise classes. Finding a well-made trendy training shoe for kick box has been a challenge. ASICS sizing is inconsistent between styles and even within the same style. This style’s arch support is better than other trendy-color minimalist-sole I’ve tried. I am a Women’s 6 (slightly wide, vary between B and C/D, depending on the style) and ordered two of each in both 6.5 and 7 after reading Reviews. One of the right-sided 6.5 shoes was too tight in the width in the wide point of the forefoot. Both pairs of size 7 were too long. So, I kept one pair of 6.5. (If you are normally between sizes, you may have to go up an entire size . . . so if you’re between 6 and 6.5, I would consider a size 7.) I love these colors! Lightweight, good arch support, seemingly breathable, well-constructed, and very pretty!
I am a barefoot person—and normally wear Vibram Fivefingers or Vivobarefoot (Or nothing). However, Fivefingers are not practical for any kind of extreme weather and fitting in with most of society. And Vivobarefoot is rather expensive most of the time and doesn’t have as wide of a toe box as I would like. I found these Reeboks at a clearance store the other day, but they weren’t the right size so I came home and immediately purchased these on amazon! They look great, are flat (enough, 4mm drop) and meet almost every specification of my perfect shoe. (no arch support, wide toe box, minimal toe spring or heel elevation). (Remember, where is the arch support for the Gateway Arch? A bridge? Arch support is a profitable myth…one that I wasted a lot of money on) The soles are really nice and grippy, but they do have a slight flare on them that is unlike barefoot shoes. The outsoles also thicker than most barefoot shoes, but still significantly less than traditional running shoes. The Crossfit Nano and One Trainer shoes also have a similar toe box. Stay away from the other ones!
I got these shoes in preparation for my first powerlifting meet, as I’d previously squatted in chucks. While that went okay, I found that I would pitch too far forward or my heels would lift in the hole. I got these hoping to correct that. A lot of people recommend the Adipowers, but I was on a budget having to purchase all of my gear, so I went with these. Shipping was super fast, and the item was exactly as expected. Helped my squat tremendously. No more pitching or lifted heels. Feet stay planted and stability is great! I ordered a 1/2 size down from what I normally wear, and they fit snug (which is what you want) but not too small. As a side note, I have narrow feet. I wish these were a bit more on the pink size as they say – they are really more purple than pink. But oh well – they do exactly what I wanted them to do and for that, I’m grateful. I no longer squat without these beauties on my feet.
Some Ending Tips…
We have also compiled a list of some fantastic weightlifting resources for you to check out.
If you’re a beginner, an intermediate or even an expert – you might be interested to check some of those out:
And that’s all folks – hope you’ve enjoyed this article – share it with your friends if you’ve liked it,
and continue being a weightlifting enthusiast!