Best Deadlift Slippers – Introduction
What are the best deadlift slippers for fitness and powerlifting in 2023?
Of all the exercises you can do with a barbell, the conventional deadlift is arguably one of the best.
The squat might be known as the king of exercises, but, in reality, the deadlift could be better.
Deadlifts work your entire posterior chain, strengthen your grip and upper back, train your core, and teach you the safest way to lift heavy objects off the floor.
They’re also a very safe exercise – when done correctly.
After all, if you fail a rep during squats, you could find yourself pinned under a heavy barbell, which is a serious injury waiting to happen.
In contrast, if you cannot complete a deadlift, you can lower the weight back to the floor – no mess and no fuss.
Deadlifts are a brutally basic exercise, and once mastered, you’ll discover that they’re one of the most effective strength and muscle builders around.
If you want to dramatically change your body, deadlifts are hard to beat!
And, best of all, the only thing you really need to do deadlifts is a barbell – no squat rack required.
That said, there are a couple of additional items of equipment that may make your deadlift workouts more productive and comfortable.
- A deadlift bar and bumper plates
- Deadlift socks or shin guards
- Lifting chalk
- A weightlifting belt
- The right shoes…
Yes, believe it or not, your choice of footwear can have a huge impact on your deadlift performance.
So, in this article, we take a look at why your shoes matter and tell you about the best deadlift slippers currently available.
Why Your Shoes Matter for Deadlifts
Look around the average gym, and you’ll see that most exercisers wear running shoes or athletic sneakers.
A few enlightened types may be wearing Olympic weightlifting shoes, but most will be wearing good-old fitness trainers.
While these types of shoes are acceptable for most exercises, including bench presses and squats, they are less suitable for the mighty deadlift.
Why are running shoes not recommended for deadlifts?
Keep reading to find out!
#1. Raised heels push you forward onto your toes
The deadlift is a posterior chain exercise.
Yes, your quadriceps ARE involved, but most of the work should be done by your glutes and hamstrings.
Wearing shoes with raised heels, like running shoes or Oly lifting shoes, will push you onto your toes, increasing quads activation and reducing posterior chain engagement.
This will not only reduce the amount of weight you can deadlift but also puts more strain on your lower back as the weight is more likely to swing forward and away from your legs as it leaves the floor.
#2. Thick soles mean you’ll have to bend down further to reach the bar
For many, the most challenging part of deadlifts is getting down into a good set-up position.
That’s why so many lifters end up starting each rep with a slightly rounded lower back.
Thin-soled shoes mean you won’t have to bend over as far to reach the bar, making it easier to get into the correct deadlift starting position.
#3. Thick soles mean you have to lift the bar further
Okay, so we’re only talking an inch or so, but when you are trying to increase your one-repetition maximum, an extra inch can be the difference between failure and success.
Why make an already challenging exercise even harder?!
#4. Spongy soles deform under heavy weights
If you have ever run on sand or through mud, you know how much harder it is compared to running on a firm road.
Every step you take involves a lot of wasted energy.
The same is true for deadlifting in spongy, shock-absorbing running shoes.
Instead of directing all your energy through your feet into the floor, some of that force will be soaked up by your shoes.
Again, this is a minor effect, but when you’re trying to lift as much weight or do as many reps as possible, the last thing you want to do is waste energy.
#5. Can’t You Just Deadlift Without Shoes?
Because of the problems associated with deadlifting in the wrong shoes, some lifters deadlift barefoot or in their socks.
In some cases, this is an acceptable solution.
However, most gyms do not allow barefoot lifting, and training in just your socks can be unhygienic – both for you and your fellow gym-goers.
Also, while running shoes won’t offer much protection if you drop a 45-pound plate on your feet, they do protect your soles.
Finally, if you are a powerlifter, you cannot compete barefoot or wear just your socks.
Instead, you must have some kind of footwear.
So, while you can train without shoes in your home gym, commercial facilities insist on some form of footwear, even if just for the sake of hygiene.
Most powerlifters wear shoes called deadlift slippers.
These are minimalist shoes that have thin soles and no heel lift.
They’re as close as you can get to lifting barefoot or in your socks while still adhering to the rules of the sport.
Most gyms also permit deadlift slippers.
#6. What About Sumo Deadlifts?
Sumo deadlifts involve a wider-than-shoulder-width stance.
This reduces the distance the bar has to travel and lets you lift with a more upright torso, which some lifters prefer and find stronger.
However, this wide stance means your feet will tend to roll outward, especially if you wear deadlift slippers.
For this reason, sumo deadlifters usually wear supportive boots, such as Chuck Taylors or wrestling boots.
So, if you pull sumo-style, you should generally wear a shoe with ankle support and skip the deadlift slippers.
The 7 Best Deadlift Slippers
Looking for the best deadlift slippers?
These are our current favorites, all tried and tested just for you!
#1. MANUEKLEAR Deadlift Shoes
- The Latest Deadlift Shoes for Men Women - M MANUEKLEAR, as a professional shoe...
- Comfort & Breathable Material - The upper of these weight lifting shoes are made...
- Excellent Safety & Cushioning - These men squat shoes can reduce the impact of...
- Easy to Put On/Take Off & Wide Applicability - Double nylon velcro-tape, easy to...
- More Flexibility & Customer First - Flexibility and freedom, greater torsional...
These well-priced shoes are a little more substantial than the average deadlift slipper.
They have non-slip rubber soles and feature metatarsal straps for support and a customizable fit.
They’re thin and flat, so ideal for heavy deadlifts, and available in four colors, including plain black and vibrant yellow.
These deadlift slippers from MANUEKLEAR are quite broad, so they’re perfect for lifters with wide feet.
However, those with narrower feet may find them a little loose across the forefoot.
#2. LiftingLarge Black Ground Lock Deadlift Slippers
- powerlifting legal
- Get Lower to the floor
- Great for Sumo puller also
- IPF, USPA, IPL Approved
These excellent deadlifting slippers from LiftingLarge are powerlifting legal, which is good news if you plan on testing your strength in an official competition.
They feature twin Velcro metatarsal straps for a secure, customizable fit and stitched and reinforced stress areas to make them harder wearing.
However, the uppers are very thin, making these shoes less substantial than some other deadlift slippers.
They’re only available in one color – black.
#3. Scurtain Unisex Adult Rubber Sole Slippers
- Upper: Stretchable and moisture-wicking elastic knitted mesh upper like a sock...
- Outsole: The lightweight rubber outsole of this unisex mens womens slippers is...
- Insole: Soft removable mesh insole with honeycomb design offer you a 360-degree...
- Slip-on Design: Slip-on closure with stretchable collar allows you quick and...
- Lifestyle Occasion: This unisex men women slippers is perfect for indoor and...
While these shoes aren’t specifically marketed as deadlift slippers, they’re more than suitable for most lifters, although they probably aren’t competition-legal.
They’ve got a grippy rubber sole and an elasticated upper, so they’re light and fit snuggly.
However, there are no reinforced areas or Velcro straps, so don’t expect these shoes to be particularly hard-wearing.
That said, these deadlift slippers from Scurtain are very budget-friendly and available in a vast range of colors.
#4. Lara Star Deadlift Shoes
- Rubber sole,Sock like upper for comfort and breathability
- Men's sizes (Women should size down one full size for equivalent size). If in...
- Barefoot feel. Completely flat, no heel rise
- Double lateral straps provides security and support for sumo pullers
- Aggressive rubber bottom for grip in any direction
These shoes are light, flat, and flexible, which is everything you need in a deadlift slipper.
The non-slip soles are textured for maximum grip, and there are two metatarsal straps for a snug, customizable fit.
The sole wraps around the heel and forefoot to provide a little extra lateral support, which some lifters will appreciate.
Lara Star deadlift shoes are available in five attractive colors.
#5. Fitkicks Walking Shoes
- EXERCISING SHOES: This footwear crosses over from beach to studio, couch to...
- HIGH-QUALITY MEN'S SHOES: Each shoe has a protective toe guard, a rubber sole...
- WATER-FRIENDLY SWIM SHOES: For additional protection for your feet, wear these...
- EASY CARE & SIZING: These spandex-blend shoes fold up to fit into a suitcase or...
- ABOUT FITKICKS: Our lightweight shoes and apparel are designed to make being...
Fitkicks Walking Shoes are probably the worst walking shoes ever made, but they’re actually ideal for deadlifting.
They have a thin sock-like upper and a flat rubber sole, so while you won’t want to go hiking in them, they’re fine for the gym.
These shoes are very minimalist and don’t have metatarsal straps or any reinforcements to protect against wear and tear.
Still, they’re very budget-friendly, available in four colors, and a lot of lifters seem to like them.
#6. Sabo Deadlift Shoes
- New anatomical last was created especially for deadlifting.
- New non-marking outsole is made of high density material with a special design...
- Two lateral straps allowing for an individual fit and precise tuning of...
- High cut upper and materials optimal for training.
- Side support on the outsole allows you to spread the floor without your feet...
Yes, you are right, these powerlifting shoes from Sabo are NOT slippers, but they’re darn good for deadlifts, especially if you pull sumo-style.
Newly updated and available in three colors, these deadlift shoes are actually low boots, so they provide a lot of lateral support for wide-stance deadlifts.
That said, you can still use them for conventional deadlifts, and they’re considerably sturdier than deadlift slippers and should provide many years of use.
#7. NuFoot Booties
- UNIQUE DESIGN allows you to quickly switch from your everyday shoes into cozy...
- HIGHEST QUALITY Neoprene fabric is used to make these moccasin-style booties...
- SEAMLESS PATTERN and 4-way stretching allow these slippers to accommodate all...
- Nufoot protects your feet from spills dirt, irritation and chafing
- MULTI-PURPOSE engineering make these ideal for casual wear; perfect for travel;...
Our final deadlift slippers are not made for powerlifting, but they’ll get the job done.
Very budget-friendly, these shoes are so flexible and light that you can roll them up, although it’s hard to see when that would be much of an advantage.
The NuFoot Booties are basically socks with a rubber sole, so they’re very thin and completely flat.
If you are unsure whether deadlift slippers are right for you and don’t want to spend much more than $12 to find out, these are the shoes for you.
Deadlift Shoes Vs Deadlift Slippers Vs Weightlifting Shoes
Best Deadlift Slippers – Wrapping Up
If you are serious about deadlifts, it’s time to get serious about your deadlifting footwear.
Running shoes and other sneakers can affect your form and reduce your performance, and could even lead to injuries.
Going barefoot is an option and fine if you train at home, but most commercial gyms require their exercisers to wear shoes.
Deadlift slippers are a way to work around the no-shoe rule.
They don’t offer much protection from dropped weights, but the soles will prevent you from hurting your feet if you step on something sharp.
They’re also compulsory in powerlifting competitions.
As an added benefit, most deadlift slippers are pretty cheap, which is very welcome given the average price of Olympic lifting shoes.
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