Weightlifting Shoes – Introduction
What are the best weightlifting shoes for men and women in 2023?
What you wear on your feet can have a significant impact on your performance in the gym.
Running shoes, a popular choice for many fitness enthusiasts, are probably the last thing you should wear, especially if you want a stable base for heavy squats or clean and jerks.
Cross trainers are a little better but, if you want to perform at your best, weightlifting shoes are a much better choice.
Weightlifting shoes, also called Olympic weightlifting shoes, are designed for heavy weight training and won’t collapse or distort under big loads.
Also, with their raised heels, they can help improve your ankle range of motion, allowing for deeper squats.
Many types of shoes for weightlifting also have metatarsal straps for extra arch support.
Regular sneakers are invariably cheaper, but a good pair of dedicated weight training shoes should last a long time.
With their solid base and flat outsole, there is very little to wear out, and it’s not uncommon for lifters to wear the same shoes for several years.
If you want to take your strength training workouts to a new level, consider buying a pair of weightlifting shoes.
The elevated heel, increased arch and heel support, and the combination of lacing and strapping will provide you with unbeatable security and stability.
Not sure where to start?
Here are the best weightlifting shoes for men and women, all tried, tested, and reviewed just for you!
#1. Inov-8 Fastlift 335 Weightlifting Shoes
Inov-8 Fastlift Weightlifting shoes are specialist strength training shoes made using the most modern materials and designs.
Available in models for men and women, these shoes are very light but still provide fantastic support.
- Single strap for metatarsal support
- Full-toe box for comfort
- Grippy outsoles
- External heel cage to keep your foot stable
- Meta-flex technology for comfort
- Lace-up closure for a customizable fit
Popular with CrossFit athletes, powerlifters, and Olympic lifters, Inov-8 Fastlifts have a modest heel raise, so they’re ideal for beginner and intermediate lifters looking for a small increase in ankle mobility.
They’re good squatting shoes that are also suitable for general weightlifting.
- Light and flexible
- Comfortable right out the box
- Available in a range of colors
- Some lifters may prefer a higher heel
With their TPU heel and other advanced materials, these shoes are some of the lightest, most comfortable Olympic lifting shoes around.
They come in great colors too!
Of the shoes we reviewed, Inov-8 Fastlifts are amongst our favorites.
- Nylon ripstop upper with lightweight welded synthetic overlays
- Adjustable hook-and-loop instep strap
- Breathable mesh lining
- Padded tongue and collar
- Grippy rubber FastLift outsole
- OUTSTANDING GRIP - Outsole rubber holds secure on the box/gym floor, especially...
- ENHANCED STABILITY - External Heel Cage and POWER-TRUSS technology gives lateral...
- MID-FOOT HOLD - A Velcro strap over the top of the shoe adds a second layer of...
- FLEXIBILITY - META-FLEX technology in the forefoot provides more comfortable...
- WIDE TOE BOX - The toe box is roomier than the rest of the shoe, allowing plenty...
#2. Adidas Powerlift 4 Weightlifting shoes
Adidas Powerlift shoes are immensely popular, and this is the fourth incarnation of this weightlifting and powerlifting shoe.
Superseding the Powerlift 3.1, this all-new design is lighter and even more supportive than its predecessor.
- Flat rubber sole
- High toe box for comfort
- Lace and straps for a secure fit
- Hook and loop metatarsal strap for easy adjustment
- Solid heel
- Good arch support
While the Adidas Powerlift 4 is marketed as a weightlifting shoe for men, it can be worn by women too.
It’s available in a variety of colors and smaller sizes.
These shoes come up a little narrow, which also means they are suitable for use as women’s weightlifting shoes.
- A time-tested design
- Very well-made
- Extremely stable
- Lightweight, breathable canvas uppers
- Some users report that these shoes run a little small and narrow
Ideally, before buying a pair of Adidas Powerlift 4s, you should try them on to make sure they fit correctly.
If this is not possible, go up at least half a size to make sure they aren’t too small.
Other than that, these shoes are a great buy and will make a big difference to your performance of the Olympic lifts and squats.
- adidas male cross trainer
- The adidas brand has a long history and deep-rooted Connection with sport....
- Driven by a relentless pursuit of innovation as well as decades of accumulating...
- Weightlifting shoes with extra stability for a locked-down feel
- Narrow fit; Lace closure with hook-and-loop strap
- Strong canvas upper; Reinforced heel counter
- High-density die-cut midsole wedge; Flexible forefoot
- Anti-slip rubber outsole; Locked-down fit
#3. Adidas Adipower li Weightlifting Shoes
Adidas makes outstanding weightlifting shoes, and their latest Adipower li models are no exception.
Available for men and women, these shoes offer all of the support and heel lift you need to perform at your very best.
- Stylish design
- Flat, rubber non-slip sole
- Woven textile upper for lightness and breathability
- Wide, hook and loop metatarsal strap for added support
- Available in two colors for women and three for men
- Heel loop for easy removal
- Deep heel cup for extra stability
Light and flexible, these shoes manage to be comfortable but still supremely stable and supportive – a hard trick to pull off.
While they’re described as cross trainers, these shoes from Adidas are more weightlifting shoes than running shoes and are ideal for beginners and those looking for a shoe with only a modest heel wedge.
- Fit true to size
- Ideal for weightlifting and general strength training
- Very comfortable straight out the box
- Light, flexible, and stable
- Serious Olympic lifters may prefer a shoe with a higher heel raise
If you are new to Olympic lifting or want a shoe you can wear for squats and other free-weight exercises, these Adidas Adipower li weightlifting shoes are an excellent choice.
Light and comfortable, you’ll quickly learn to love these shoes!
Men’s Weightlifting Cross Trainer:
- adidas quality
- Imported by adidas
Women’s Weightlifting Cross Trainer:
#4. Adidas Leistung 16 li Weightlifting Shoes
Almost all weightlifting shoes feature a hook and loop metatarsal strap to hold your feet securely in place.
These shoes from Adidas use a different approach, providing an excellent alternative to traditionally-designed weightlifting shoes.
- Micro-adjusting BOA closure system for a customizable fit
- TPU heel and midsole for lightness and strength
- Cutaway sole for less weight and more flexibility
- Mesh uppers for breathability
- Available in ten colors
- Available in regular and wide fittings
While Adidas Leistung 16 li Weightlifting Shoes aren’t marketed for women, they are available in small sizes and different widths to accommodate women’s feet.
The advanced BOA lacing system means you can also fine-tune them to make sure they feel perfect on your feet.
These aren’t traditional-looking weightlifting shoes, but they provide stacks of support for even the most demanding workout.
- Very light and flexible
- Unique design
- Customizable fit
- High heel raise
- Ideal for Olympic lifting
- Some users may miss the radiational metatarsal strap
The design of these Leistung weightlifting shoes is cutting edge, which doesn’t make them any better than the other shoes on review – just different.
If you want to try a less traditional weightlifting shoe, this model from Adidas is a good option.
#5. Reebok Legacy Lifter Weightlifting Shoes
Another shoe marketed as a cross-trainer that’s actually a weightlifting shoe, Reebok Legacy Lifters, is popular and available for men and women.
A traditionally designed Olympic lifting shoe, they’re light, and flexible, but also very supportive.
- Leather and mesh outer
- TPU heel and midsole for stability
- Strong, supportive arch
- Twin straps for a secure fit and added support
- Flat, rubber non-slip sole
- Anatomical exo-frame heel to hold the foot in place
With their dual metatarsal straps, Legacy Lifters feel very secure and stable, even under heavy loads.
The heel lift is not the highest, but it’s plenty for all but the most serious Olympic lifters.
If you want a good all-around shoe for all types of strength training, Legacy Lifters by Reebok would be an excellent choice.
- Light and flexible
- Hardwearing leather uppers
- Very secure and supportive
- Suitable for men and women.
- There are more colors available for women than men
These shoes are quite old-school weightlifting shoes in that they have leather uppers and twin metatarsal straps.
However, combined with the TPU midsole and heel and the exo-frame for increased support, they also have state-of-the-art features.
Reebok Legacy Lifters are great all-rounders that are most definitely more Olympic lifting shoes than cross-trainers.
- Perforated synthetic leather upper with breathable mesh
- Designed for: Weightlifting, powerlifting
- Weight: 20.3 oz.; 22 mm drop (3/4")
- Anatomical shape with double upper straps for a customized, locked-in feel
- TPU heel piece in the midsole for stability and control; Exoframe technology in...
- TPU heel piece in the midsole for stability and control
- Materials: Perforated synthetic leather upper with mesh for breathability
- Anatomical shape with double upper straps for a customized, locked-in feel
- Grip rubber provides traction and durability
- Exoframe technology in the heel for added support
Cheap Weightlifting Shoes
The best cheap weightlifting shoes are Nordic Lifting Powerlifting Shoes.
- POWERLIFTING SHOES - Maximum Lifting Performance - by Premium Weightlifting...
- PROVIDES OLYMPIC STABILITY - Good foot support ensures a powerful workout &...
- LONG-LASTING QUALITY - Built to last, even under immense stress. Our warranty...
- IMPROVE LIFTING POSTURE - Perfect for powerlifters & all other sportsmen working...
- INCLUDED - 1 x Pair of MEGIN Powerlifting Shoes, 1 x Premium Box - 1 Year...
While these shoes are called powerlifting shoes, you wouldn’t want to deadlift in them.
The heels are much too high!
But, if you want a well-priced shoe for Olympic lifting, squats, and general strength training, and don’t mind a lesser-known brand, Nordic shoes are hard to beat.
- Traditionally-designed weightlifting shoes
- 1.4” heel for deeper squats and increased ankle mobility
- Anti-slip, flat midsole
- Metatarsal strap for stability
- Cotton mesh upper for breathability
- Available in two colors – blue and black
While these aren’t the most fashionable weightlifting shoes, they are perfectly serviceable and very well-priced.
Nordic Lifting Powerlifting shoes might not be as well-known as Nike Romaleos, but for about half the price, they are just as good.
Besides, these shoes come with a very high-quality and reusable shoe box.
Given these are the cheapest weightlifting shoes on review AND they’ve got a reusable instead of a throwaway box I thought it worth mentioning.
- Very well-made
- High heel for Olympic lifting and deep squats
- Great price point
- Understated design and colors
- Quite heavy and stiff
These shoes are a little heavy and stiff out of the box and will take a few workouts to break in, but they’ll also provide many years of faithful service.
If the weight of your shoes doesn’t matter, these Nordic Lifting Powerlifting shoes are an excellent, budget-friendly option.
Best Weightlifting Shoes – Final Thoughts
Buying a pair of dedicated weightlifting shoes might seem like a waste of money but, the moment you slip them on and pick up a heavy weight, you’ll feel so much more stable that you will quickly realize that you made an excellent investment in your health and fitness.
Wearing weightlifting shoes makes you feel like your feet are glued to the floor.
Suddenly, instead of wobbling while you work out, you’ll be rock-solid, and free to focus on the exercise you are doing.
Because of their higher heels, most Olympic weightlifting shoes aren’t suitable for deadlifts; they’re better for squats, clean and jerks, and snatches.
They’re also perfect for standing barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebell exercises.
Because of this, if you are a serious deadlifter, you may prefer an alternative shoe, such as Merrell Vapor Gloves or Chuck Taylors, which are completely flat.
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