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People interested in weightlifting can buy shoes designed specifically for the sport. The best weightlifting shoes will keep the feet and knees stable and help align the body during lifts.
This article explains what weightlifting shoes are, how they benefit the person wearing them, and what options are available via listing a range of products available to purchase online.
A quick look at the best weightlifting shoes
- Best for breathability: Nike Romaleos 4 Weightlifting Shoes
- Best with recycled materials: Adidas AdiPower Weightlifting 3 Shoes
- Best for a more affordable shoe: Under Armour Women’s Tribase Regin 4 Training Shoes
- Best leather: NoBull Lifters
We use “men’s” and “women’s” in this article to align with how companies market their products, but there is no need to stick to one or the other. A person should choose the product with the fit, style, and features that work best for them.
Typical athletic shoes absorb the force athletes generate when they run or jump. Weightlifting shoes often have a raised wooden heel that gives lifters a strong and stable base to press against.
A person can use weightlifting shoes when performing squats. The shoe construction supports the foot firmly, reducing the ankle’s flexibility and keeping the joint stable.
The raised heel helps keep the person’s body properly aligned when squatting. It may also keep the pelvis in a neutral position during a deep squat and potentially reduce the load on the spine and hips.
If people participate in a specific sport more than twice a week, it’s important that they wear shoes particular to that activity.
Weightlifting is not a high impact activity compared with other sports, such as running, but lifters exert a lot of force during their workouts.
A person can make the most of their lifting sessions by wearing weightlifting shoes to prevent injury.
Weightlifting shoes can offer lifters the following advantages:
- Better alignment: Weightlifting shoes help a person hold their upper and lower body in good alignment. This helps reduce stress on the knees, hips, and back.
- Stabilizing: Weightlifting shoes help keep the ankles stable.
- Greater force production: Greater stability lets people focus their energy on lifting more weight.
- Increased range of motion: The raised heel in weightlifting shoes may provide better flex in the knees and ankles.
A 2021 review states that the injury rate is low in weightlifting. However, a person can still sustain an injury during weightlifting.
According to a 2019 review, most injuries occur in the lower back, knees, and shoulders. Weightlifting shoes may help prevent injury by encouraging proper positioning and offering stability.
There are two main disadvantages to weightlifting shoes.
Firstly, weightlifting shoes can be expensive. Secondly, they are not suitable for other sports, which means a person would need to buy a separate pair of shoes if they engage in other sports alongside weightlifting.
A good fit is one of the most important things to look for in any shoe, especially in a weightlifting shoe.
A person can also use the following guidelines to find weightlifting shoes that support their workouts.
A person can look for:
- soles that do not compress
- raised heels appropriate for the individual’s height
- a secure fit that still gives the foot plenty of room
- a firm grip at the back of the shoe
- ankle support with a high upper boot
- solid lacing and securing scraps
- a wide, stiff platform
- slip-resistant outsole
- lateral support
Medical News Today’s methodology
Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:
- Price: MNT chooses products available for a wide range of budgets.
- Reputable: MNT chooses products from businesses that adhere to industry best practices.
- Materials: MNT chooses products that use safe and durable materials and fabrics that are easy to clean.
- Sizing: MNT chooses products available in various shoe sizes.
- Quality: MNT chooses companies that adhere to high quality manufacturing processes.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
Best for breathability: Nike Men’s Romaleos 4
- Price: $200
- Midsole measurement: not listed
- Sizes: 8–15
- Style: men’s
The shoe includes a heel lift, a rigid midsole, and a flat, wide outsole with a rubber tread. The front of the shoe is flexible to allow the foot to move naturally.
Nike claims that the shoes are both breathable and durable.
A person can choose between two colors: black and white, and white and pink.
Positive reviews on the seller’s website mention the shoes are lightweight, feel durable, and effective for a range of weightlifting activities.
However, some more critical reviews claim the shoe does not fit well.
- breathable design
- the wide outsole may increase stability
- customers found them effective for a range of weightlifting activities
- midsole drop measurement not listed
- some buyers claimed the shoe did not fit well
- limited color options
Best with recycled materials: Adidas AdiPower Weightlifting 3 Shoes
- Price: $220
- Midsole measurement: 22 millimeters (mm)
- Sizes: men’s 5–14, women’s 6–15
- Style: unisex
This Adidas weightlifting shoe features uppers made with 50% recycled material. It has an elevated heel, laces, and a midfoot strap to enhance stability. There is also a rubber outsole to enhance grip while a person lifts.
Adidas writes that these shoes are suitable for lifting heavy weights.
They are available in four colors and a wide range of sizes for men and women.
Positive reviews state the shoes are comfortable, fit for purpose, and provide the right support.
Negative comments mention that the shoes feel flimsy and narrow.
- comes in a wide range of sizes for men and women
- uses 50% recycled material
- features a rubber outsole for extra grip
- customers found them comfortable
- some found the shoe narrow
Best for a more affordable shoe: Under Armour Women’s TriBase Regin 4 Training Shoes
- Price: $120
- Midsole measurement: not listed
- Sizes: women’s 6–11
- Style: women’s
This Under Armour shoe offers a cheaper alternative to other brands. This women’s shoe comes in 10 sizes and three colors: blue, pink, and white.
It is built with a lightweight and breathable mesh and features an external heel clip to increase stability. There is also an internal heel counter.
The company describes them as low to the ground, which it claims enhances power transfer.
Positive reviews show that customers found these shoes suitable for weight training. However, some found the sizes smaller than expected.
- more affordable than many brands
- breathable fabric
- design may improve power transfer and stability
- some found the sizing small
- does not come in sizes smaller than U.S. women’s 6
Best leather: NoBull Men’s Lifters
- Price: $299
- Midsole measurement: 18.5 mm
- Sizes: men’s 8–18
- Style: men’s
This handmade weightlifting shoe has SuperFabric uppers, a raised, stacked leather heel, solid soles, and a molded sock liner. The shoes are leather, which may mean this model is not suitable for people who have a vegan lifestyle.
A person can achieve a secure fit due to the shoe’s flat, waxed laces, round boot laces, and functional strap across the tongue.
This weightlifting shoe is available in male and female styles and a wide range of sizes. This men’s model is available in 17 sizes.
Some of the positive reviews on the NoBull website mention they are fit for purpose and are of high quality.
Negative comments include the shoes being tight around the toes and not being true to size.
- comes in a wide range of sizes
- materials are durable
- removable sock liner
- very expensive
- some did not find the shoe true to size
- leather construction unsuitable for those following a vegan lifestyle
Below is a comparison table containing all of the above products.
|Nike||unisex||8–15||not listed||around $200|
|Adidas AdiPower||unisex||• men’s 5–14|
• women’s 6–15
|Under Armour||women’s||women’s 6–11||not listed||around $120|
|NoBull||men’s||men’s 8–18||18.5 mm||$299|
In this section, we answer some frequently asked questions about weightlifting shoes.
What shoes are best for weightlifting?
The best weightlifting shoes will provide stability and support during lifts. They often feature a solid, raised heel that provides a stable surface, and laces and straps to support the foot.
Do weightlifting shoes really help?
Research into the efficiency of weightlifting shoes is limited. However, 2022 research states that shoes with a heel wedge, such as weightlifting shoes, can help optimize weightlifting technique.
Why do weightlifters wear Converse?
Converse often have a hard and flat sole, meaning a person can feel the ground more than they can in other athletic shoes. This can help a person with weightlifting as they can ground themselves more easily. They also offer ankle support.
However, they may not provide a lot of protection if a person drops a weight, and they may not be the best option for all types of weightlifting.
Why do weightlifters wear flat shoes?
Flat shoes can help weightlifters stabilize themselves as they can feel the ground better than in cushioned shoes. This may also provide support for certain types of weightlifting. However, they will not be suitable for all types of weightlifting or movements, such as deep squats.
Finding the right weightlifting shoe can help lifters use proper alignment when exercising, reduce their risk of injury, and make the most of their workouts.
Weightlifting shoes may be more expensive than other sports shoes, and a person cannot usually use them for sports other than weightlifting. However, most recommendations encourage a person to wear shoes designed specifically for the sports they engage in.
When buying weightlifting shoes, a person can look for shoes that provide stability and help support the feet, ankles, and knees during lifts.