What are the best weightlifting shoes?
Powerlifting shoes offer greater stability and support for weightlifting exercises like squats and presses.
Weightlifting shoes support your heel and arch to protect your feet and keep you steady, preventing injury during complex movements.
There are plenty of lifting shoes out there, but which ones are worth the money?
Well, we did the research to make it easier for you to choose the best weightlifting shoes money can buy.
The Best Weightlifting Shoes Compared
Our equipment lists are created by researching the best-reviewed products from the most reputable companies and web sources.
Here’s our list of the 10 best weightlifting shoes:
In A Rush? Here’s Our Top Pick:
10. Adidas – Powerlift 2
Adidas Powerlift 2 is the best weightlifting shoe for wide feet with increased comfort to benefit all weight training workouts.
These wider-fitting shoes are 100% synthetic leather/mesh with a sturdy rubber sole to promote stability for all weight movements.
Adidas says its special configuration features a lowered heel height for an efficient combination of cross-training and weightlifting.
The midsole wedge is high-density and die-cut to deliver lightweight stability that maximizes output and training results.
In addition to the durable synthetic leather, the single instep strap ensures the rearfoot has exceptional integrity for a good foundation.
The wide solid base and breathable mesh keep feet stable and cool with the advantage of anchored support.
There are four fresh color options with dark grey/yellow, blue/red, black/red, and white/blue/black.
- Wide fit with a solid base and strong midsole.
- Designed for competitive weightlifting and powerlifting.
- Lower heel height balances weightlifting and cross-training.
- Anchored support with power strap over laces.
- Lightweight mesh keeps feet cool.
- Durable yet supportive synthetic leather.
- Only four color options.
- Fit may not be as snug for narrow feet.
- Heel might be too low for some users.
9. Core – Weightlifting Shoes
If you need a good grip for free weightlifting, try these weightlifting shoes from Core. They have a 1.2″ heel and work great as non-slip squat shoes for powerlifting.
The Velcro strap and lace-up gym shoes suit CrossFit, deadlifts, and Olympic lifting with a comfortable ethylene-vinyl acetate sole.
In addition to the excellent stability, these shoes also improve lifting posture and power output with a rigid anti-slip sole.
The brand says its weightlifting shoes protect against injury and provide extra support thanks to a lightweight and durable design.
Men and women alike can take advantage of these high-grip shoes, which support stable posture through a non-slip EVA midsole wedge.
Core weightlifting shoes power deeper squats with extra elevation to increase muscle lift and range of motion at the ankle for excellent control.
- Offers a great grip for weight training.
- Non-slip squat shoes with a 1.2″ heel.
- Lightweight, snug, and secure fit.
- Non-slip EVA midsole wedge.
- Rigid anti-slip sole.
- Strap and lace-up stability.
- Suits men and women.
- Only comes in all-black color.
- The heel may be too high for beginners.
8. Adidas – Adipower 2
Adidas Adipower 2 weightlifting shoes are the best lifting trainers for women with a super-supportive synthetic sole and a woven textile upper.
The inch heel helps drive deeper squats and bigger gains in the gym, while the breathable woven textile upper maintains optimal comfort for long workouts.
Adidas says its redesigned women’s squat shoes feature a streamlined silhouette that hugs the foot and accommodates natural toe flex.
This sleek design locks down the midfoot and offers much greater stability than normal trainers with a reinforced forefoot and heel, padded rearfoot, and rubber outsole.
They come in purple or dark green with a lace closure and hook/loop strap for the perfect mix of support, comfort, and style.
- Sleek, simple style that works for weights and cross-training.
- Regular fit is specially designed for women.
- Reinforced padding throughout the heel and arch.
- Lace closure includes a hook and loop strap.
- Supportive synthetic rubber outsole.
- Breathable with woven textile upper.
- Limited color options – just purple or dark green.
- Narrow fit may not work for wider feet.
7. Adidas – Powerlift 3
When it comes to cross-training, you can’t go past Adidas Powerlift 3 weightlifting shoes with a strong synthetic sole and breathable fabric.
The synthetic leather upper provides durable yet lightweight ankle support, while the air mesh collar, lining, and tongue let your feet breathe to avoid excessive sweating.
Another benefit of Adidas Powerlift 3 shoes is the flexible toe and open forefoot structure that delivers enhanced breathability and comfort.
Adidas says the Powerlift 3 shoe design is engineered for weightlifting, with a die-cut, high-density midsole wedge providing the ideal strength and stability.
The lace closure has a wider strap for a tight fit, while the Adiwear outsole is extremely durable even when worn regularly.
Something else weightlifters love about these shoes is the wide range of colors, with 14 fun options, including black, white, blue, green, and yellow.
- Best support for cross-training.
- Open forefoot and flexible toe help feet breathe.
- Good mix of textile and synthetic materials.
- High-wear durability with Adiwear outsole.
- Tight fit with lace closure and wide strap.
- Air mesh collar and lining.
- Wide variety of color options.
- Some users are concerned about long-term durability.
- High-density EVA heel may feel too thick.
6. Nordic Lifting – Weightlifting Shoes
Weightlifting shoes from Nordic Lifting are ideal for cardio, CrossFit, and gym weight sessions with an ethylene-vinyl acetate sole.
These men’s gym shoes are made by a premium lifting shoe brand and designed to not only improve lifting performance but also offer ample support for cardio workouts.
If you want a well-rounded workout with all-body gains, then this ergonomic design and long-lasting quality give you the support you need.
Nordic Lifting says its cross-trainer shoe has a special heel support design to deliver lifting and cardio stability.
Reinforced stitching and a sturdy Velcro strap give you Olympic-level foot support.
Plus, these shoes come in a premium box and are covered by a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty, with white and black/red color options.
- Suitable for cardio, CrossFit, and weightlifting.
- Ergonomic design with long-lasting materials.
- Improves lifting performance and cardio stability.
- Sturdy Velcro strap and Olympic foot support.
- Reinforced stitching for better durability.
- 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- Only two color options – white and black/red.
- The big heel feels clunky sometimes.
5. Nike – Romaleos 3
Squat lovers agree the Nike Romaleos 3 are the best squat shoes with a solid TPU heel and honeycomb design.
Nike’s revolutionary Flywire technology offers a great lightweight feeling, and there are two different insoles for a shoe weight of 13 oz. or 15 oz. to suit your preferences.
The outer leather and mesh material offers innovative comfort and breathability for a long-lasting lifting shoe with a locked-down fit and rubber sole.
You get a natural range of motion with the flexible forefoot, while the dynamic strap gives you a stable feel and the solid rubber outsole helps with your grip.
If you like neutral colors, you’re in luck as Nike Romaleos 3 come in shades of grey, white, and black.
- Unisex fitness shoes are perfect for squats.
- Comes with both soft and hard insoles.
- Honeycomb design on solid TPU heel.
- Comfortable mix of leather and mesh material.
- Flexible forefoot supports your range of motion.
- Locked-down fit and rubber sole.
- Lightweight Flywire material.
- Some people report early ripping.
- Only one support strap.
4. Reebok – Lifter PR II
If you’re into CrossFit, the Reebok Lifter PR II offers optimal comfort and performance to help you lift greater weights and hit your goals.
Extra stability from the raised heel makes a difference, while the rubber outsole boosts durability and traction for high-intensity CrossFit strength and conditioning routines.
These popular men’s weightlifting shoes have a textile upper section to enhance comfort and style, with lightweight cushioning in the EVA midsole.
Olympic lifts, snatches, and squats are easier with Reebok Lifter PR II shoes, and they are quick to break into so you can improve your lifting posture right away.
Plus, there are six sleek color combos to choose from, with black, white, navy, grey, beige, green, and blue tones.
- Ideal entry-level lifting trainers for CrossFit and Olympic weights.
- Shock absorption cushioning for optimal comfort.
- Textile upper provides stylish support.
- Rubber outsole improves traction.
- Fits true to size and breaks in quickly.
- Simple, sleek style with six colors.
- The heel isn’t as high as some other shoes.
3. Nordic Lifting – Powerlifting Shoes
Nordic Lifting has the best shoes for heavy powerlifting, with men’s squat shoes that improve lifting posture and provide Olympic stability.
Lifting heavy weights is easier with these squat shoes that promote a safe, strong posture throughout the entire lift.
The brand says its premium powerlifting shoes offer maximum lifting performance with a heel height of 1.4″ and a toe height of 0.47″.
The long-lasting foot support enables powerful workouts and exciting lifting gains, and you can rest assured the shoes are protected by a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
These shoes come in bright blue or black and are less rigid and slightly wider than some other options on the market, making them comfortable for squats and calf raises.
- Raised heel lifts posture for powerlifting.
- Olympic stability enhances performance.
- 1.4″ heel supports deep squats.
- Reinforced stitching and stylish design.
- Trusted brand specializing in lifting shoes.
- 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- Higher heel elevation isn’t for everyone.
- Fewer color options – only blue and black.
2. Adidas – Powerlift 4
If you’re looking for incredibly supportive and stylish weightlifting shoes for men, Adidas Powerlift 4 shoes are the way to go.
These Adidas male cross-trainers are made by one of the biggest athletic footwear brands and feature a strong rubber sole for squats and deadlifts.
The elevated heel improves your range of motion, while these shoes accommodate men’s feet of all sizes and widths to ensure the most comfortable support.
Adidas says these shoes are made for stability with a narrow fit and a wide instep strap to completely lock your foot in place.
The midsole wedge and rubber outsole maintain a proper plant so you can focus more on strong lifts and less on keeping your feet stable.
Another advantage of these shoes is the lightweight durable canvas on the upper portion, allowing your feet to breathe throughout even the most intense lifting sessions.
There are 14 fun color options too, ranging from sleek black to bright blue or red, all with the signature Adidas stripes.
- Best weightlifting shoes for men in many sizes.
- Comfortable rubber sole with a bit of flex.
- Lightweight upper canvas offers breathability.
- Narrow fit and wide instep strap keep you stable.
- Good for Olympic weightlifting and CrossFit.
- Incompressible heel.
- 13 stylish colors.
- Lower dip in mid-foot material.
- Upper fabric may bunch up when laced tightly.
1. Reebok – Lifter PR Weightlifting Shoes
Reebok Lifter PR are the best weightlifting shoes overall with efficient foot support for cross-training and breathable, long-lasting material.
As one of the most popular athletic shoe brands, Reebok is known for its high-quality designs, and these weightlifting shoes don’t disappoint.
The responsive midfoot wrap and anti-friction lining ensure feet stay safe, cool, and dry with reduced heat build-up and moisture.
The sturdy low-cut design gives you comfortable ankle mobility for weightlifting and high-performance workouts.
With a full-grain leather toe and upper air mesh tongue, there’s no shortage of efficient foot support and breathability.
Reebok says its Lifter PR weightlifting trainers increase stability and responsiveness with a Powerbax TPU plate and a dual rubber outsole.
Hook-and-loop closures hold the foot in place while U-form and Thermo TPU gives you a secure, custom fit.
There are six cool color combinations to choose from with a mix of red, white, blue, and black, so you can pick a solid color or a two-tone weightlifting shoe.
- Breathable and durable material.
- Customized fit for weightlifting workouts.
- Comfortable Velcro placement across the foot.
- U-form and Thermo TPU midfoot wrap.
- 100% synthetic with rubber sole.
- Six stylish color options.
- Reputable brand.
- Stiff design isn’t great for other gym exercises.
FAQs About Weightlifting Shoes
After checking out the best shoes for lifting, let’s take a look at the most frequently asked questions about weightlifting shoes.
Q: What Does a Weightlifting Shoe Do?
An estimated 8.9 percent of Americans 15 and older participate in daily weightlifting, and weightlifting shoes offer valuable support and stability for free weight movements.
The raised heel on weightlifting shoes helps you squat deeper with a better range of motion throughout the ankle.
Weightlifting shoes also help you sit upright and improve your overall position throughout each rep.
Many regular lifters wear weightlifting shoes to keep their muscles safely activated and prevent injuries.
Q: What Are Weightlifting Shoes Called?
Weightlifting shoes are often referred to as Olympic lifting shoes, lifters, lifting trainers, or squat shoes.
Whatever you prefer to call them, there are a few features that make these shoes stand out. This includes the flat bottom for greater stability and the high heel that supports squatting.
Weightlifting shoes usually have straps instead of laces for better security, locking the foot in place so you can squat and lift with ease.
Q: Are Weightlifting Shoes Necessary?
While weightlifting shoes are not necessary for weightlifting, they are recommended due to the high level of support and safety they offer.
You can lift weights with regular runners, and plenty of people do, but lifting shoes take the support and stability to the next level, helping you get a deeper range of motion without injury.
If you want to squat lower, press harder, and feel steadier on your feet while lifting free weights, then lifting shoes are a smart investment.
Q: Are Weightlifting Shoes Cheating?
Some people wonder if weightlifting shoes are considered cheating, but rest assured that’s not the case.
Wearing weightlifting shoes just gives you the benefit of better form and stability for squats, deadlifts, presses, and rows.
It’s up to you whether you want to wear weightlifting shoes, but just remember it’s a perfectly safe and fair thing to do, especially if you want to promote your posture and prevent injuries.
Q: Do Lifting Shoes Make a Difference?
Many people find that lifting shoes make a positive difference to their weightlifting routines due to the additional support and stability compared to normal athletic shoes.
Considering the number of gym injuries – including 36.2% linked to overexertion – and the possibility of straining muscles and spraining joints, weightlifting shoes are a great way to protect yourself.
Once you find a comfortable weightlifting shoe to break in and incorporate into your daily gym routine, you should notice an improvement in how stable and secure you feel during lifts.
Especially if you plan on regular weightlifting routines with plenty of squats and deadlifts, a dedicated pair of your favorite weightlifting shoe will go a long way in protecting your body and keeping you safe.
Q: Are Weightlifting Shoes Good for Deadlifts?
Weightlifting shoes are good for deadlifts as these exercises require stable footing and excellent posture.
It’s just important to find shoes with a moderate heel so that you stay comfortable throughout the entire lift while still enjoying the enhanced comfort of lifting trainers.
Many weight lifters like squat shoes that work for deadlifts, too, as they allow for more versatile workouts and efficiency in the gym, rather than needing to focus on just one workout at a time.
When deciding on weightlifting shoes for deadlifts, it’s best to choose a style and brand that specifically highlights deadlifts as a recommended exercise.
This way, you can be sure the design adequately supports deadlifts and similar weight training routines to put your gym goals within reach.
Q: Are Weightlifting Shoes Good for Squats?
Weightlifting shoes are great for squats as they offer impressive support and a greater range of motion so your ankles can flex appropriately to meet the demands of your squatting exercises.
Squats require efficient use of the ankles and knees, and over time this repetitive motion may cause pain if you don’t have the right stability or posture.
While you can do squats in normal trainers, you’re likely to experience discomfort or pain eventually, and it will be harder to keep your footing.
That’s why weightlifting shoes are so important, as they offer excellent safety, stability, and support for heavy-duty squats.
Q: Will Weightlifting Shoes Help Knee Pain?
One in four U.S. adults experiences chronic knee pain, making daily tasks like work and family responsibilities difficult, let alone exercises like weightlifting.
Luckily for those who suffer from knee pain, weightlifting shoes can alleviate some of that pressure and pain while in the gym, making workout goals possible once again.
Also, remember that squatting exercises put a fair amount of stress on knee joints, so you may experience knee pain after squatting weights that are too heavy or overdoing it on the squats altogether.
Improper equipment and a lack of appropriate technique may also lead to knee pain with squats and similar exercises, on top of chronic knee pain from other sources.
By choosing squat shoes with a moderate heel lift, you can find the balance between effective squats and more support for your knees, meaning less pain once your workout is done.
Remember, the higher the heel, the smaller dorsiflexion required for squatting.
A slightly lower heel is totally fine for knee pain as it shifts some of the loading demand to your hips instead of your knees.
The combination of the best shoes for lifting and compression knee sleeves should help with knee pain and prevent further injuries at the same time.
Q: Will Squat Shoes Help Ankle Mobility?
Squat shoes help ankle mobility by providing a greater range of motion through the elevated heel.
Keep in mind that foot and ankle mobility are closely related to the frontal plane projection angle throughout single-leg squats.
The higher ankle mobility is, both naturally and with the raised heel on squat shoes, the greater squat depths people can achieve.
Squat shoes may also be recommended for people with knee and ankle disorders, especially if they plan on regular weightlifting.
Improved ankle mobility from squat shoes has additional advantages outside the gym too.
You can improve your gait and motor control by protecting your ankle and increasing mobility.
Q: Do Squat Shoes Help Depth?
Squat shoes help weightlifters get greater depth for squats and Olympic lifts.
That’s because the best shoes for lifting have a more stable base than traditional athletic shoes, and the elevated heel allows for extra-deep squats.
The elevated surface of squat shoes means the ankle has to flex less, letting you focus on enhanced knee flex instead to drive deeper squats and weight routines.
Depending on the brand and shoe design, you can find lifting trainers with a 0.5 inch – 1.3-inch heel.
If you want a moderate heel that supports your knees and helps alleviate pain, then a shoe with a 0.5 or 0.6-inch heel is ideal.
For the deepest squats possible, you may want a higher heel around an inch or even taller.
It’s about what fits most comfortably and makes you feel secure and stable throughout your favorite workout motions.
Q: Do Squat Shoes Improve Mobility?
Whether you suffer from chronic pain or you just overextended yourself in the gym, you may find your mobility is limited.
Restricted ankle mobility can make it harder to carry heavy loads, let alone lift weights, and this condition also puts you at higher risk of injury.
Squat shoes improve mobility thanks to the raised heel, so you can enjoy a greater range of motion for weightlifting.
While lifting shoes help with mobility for squats and similar exercises, they also provide adequate stability to ensure you stay steady on your feet for the entire exercise.
With a steady, solid base, you can perform better exercises and protect against injury. The more mobility and flexibility you have, the stronger you can become in the gym.
Q: Are Lifting Shoes Worth It?
Most people who buy lifting shoes find them well worth it, thanks to the adequate support and stability they provide.
The elevated heel on weightlifting shoes and firm grip lets you dig deep for an impressive range of motion, allowing you to lift heavier weights without losing your balance.
Medical studies show adults are at a higher risk of muscle strains and joint sprains during resistance training like free weights.
Lifting shoes prevent injuries by keeping the entire foot stable for the duration of the lift, so you can safely pick the weights up, complete your repetitions, and put the weight down with a much lower likelihood of injuring yourself.
With injury prevention and optimal comfort, lifting shoes are a worthwhile investment for anyone serious about weightlifting.
Q: Which Weightlifting Shoes to Choose?
Choosing weightlifting shoes ultimately comes down to which brand and style you like the best.
Some of the most popular brands for lifting shoes include Reebok, Adidas, Nordic, and Nike, so if you like one of these brands already, you may find weightlifting shoe designs you want too.
Always read the description to get a feel for the shoe’s best features, whether it be an ergonomic design to support the arch and heel or a sturdy Velcro strap that locks everything in place.
It’s also a good idea to consider lightweight, breathable materials that will keep your feet comfortable and supported at the same time.
Mesh, rubber, vinyl, and synthetic rubber are among the most common materials used to make popular powerlifting shoes.
One other consideration when shopping for weightlifting shoes is the different kinds of exercises you want to do.
Some weightlifting shoe designs are meant primarily for squats or Olympic lifts, while others are more versatile to support CrossFit and cardio.
Pick out the weightlifting shoe that works best for your gym goals and gives you enough flexibility and support to maximize your time in the gym.
The best shoes for lifting give you ample support and stability when doing exercises like squats and presses.
The slight heel lift and sturdy design keep your entire foot safely supported so you can lift heavier loads without injury.
For optimal comfort and support, weightlifting shoes are a great investment that will help you focus on safe and successful strength training.
Here’s a quick recap of the 10 best weightlifting shoes:
- Reebok – Lifter PR Weightlifting Shoes
- Adidas – Powerlift 4
- Nordic – Lifting Powerlifting Shoes
- Reebok – Lifter PR II
- Nike – Romaleos 3
- Nordic – Lifting Weightlifting Shoes
- Adidas – Powerlift 3
- Adidas – Adipower 2
- Core – Weightlifting Shoes
- Adidas – Powerlift 2