10 Best Weightlifting Shoes Reviewed and Tested for Performance

The dependability of any durable construction is literally based upon the foundations on which it stands. Buildings, trees, and even mountains have supporting undersides that save them from crumbling into themselves from the crushing weight pushing downward from above. The human form handling heavy loads, through exercise and workout, is no different in this regard, our lower body serving as our foundation, our base on which we stand, and press upward against that otherwise crushing weight.

Best Weightlifting Shoes Bodybuilder Doing A Deadlift

Our feet, in particular from the ankles down, are among the first responders to any kinetic loads placing any demands on our skeletal frame. The ever-present force of gravity – and then taking into account movement and the resulting inertia – can present a great deal of stress to the heel, to the arches and balls of the feet, as well on the toes and various array of tendons and ligaments involved.

This is why it’s vital and extremely important (and never to be underestimated) that your weightlifting shoes are up for the task of delivering a safe set, free of the threat of muscular or skeletal injury.

Last Updated: May 30, 2017
by Daniel Gonzalez :

The latest update includes a revised top 10 list of the best weightlifting shoes according to the highest rated in 2017. These include notable shoes such as the Adidas Powerlift 3, Adidas Adipower, and New Balance Cross Minimus. Additional info in the update includes how to choose the best shoes for weightlifting, in-depth info on the most relevant features of each shoe, and a comparison of their price according to every other shoe on the list.

Featured Recommendations

Adidas Powerlift 3
  • Adidas Powerlift 3
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Removable Insole
  • Price: See Here
Adidas Adipower
  • Adidas Adipower
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Anti-Slip Rubber Outsole
  • Price: See Here
Asics Gel-Fortius TR
  • Asics Gel-Fortius TR
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Shaft is 2.5" from arch
  • Price: See Here

For any job at hand, there are tools. For any occupation there is attire. Golfers wear golf shoes. Divers wear diving fins. Climbers wear climbing shoes. And runners wear running shoes. So, it’s fair to deduce that if you’re a weightlifter, then you should wear (all together now)… weightlifting shoes! That’s right.

This list of the top ten best weightlifting shoes will give you a comprehensive idea on which styles, makes, and brand of a shoe may work best for your needs. Whether it’s the casual lifter or the powerlifter at Olympic levels, by the end of this list, the importance of why a running sneaker doesn’t work at the squat rack will be that much clearer to you.

 

10 Best Weightlifting Shoes

 

1. Adidas Performance Powerlift 3

Versatile, these shoes meet CrossFit demands and still give adequate support during Olympic-level weightlifting. True to the brand’s uncomplicated design, it’s also good-looking footwear. So with its appealing form, its ideal function, you can forego on any orthopedic appearance, be confident with a reliable shoe, and still manage the heavyweight and challenging load stresses of deep barbell squats and deadlifts.
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Comfort
Flexibility with luxury! They aren’t tight like rock-climbing shoes and some running brands. With tiny vents allowing air flow while you move about, your feet can breathe in these babies.

Quality
With its single instep strap reinforcing rearfoot integrity, its flat-profile outsole, the Performance shoe is engineered precisely for weightlifting. Its high-density, die-cut midsole wedge is perfect for lightweight stability.

Cost and Value
You really get your bang for the buck with this product. Inexpensive, when compared to newer weightlifting shoe models, but they are sturdy and consistent for rigorous daily workout agendas. These rank average for this list in terms of cost.
Pros
  • Perfectly priced for a beginner shoe.
  • Durable, holding firm during heavy lifts.
  • Provide added support for the knees.
  • Very appealing design.
  • Synthetic leather.
Cons
  • Not good for everyday use.
  • May not be a good fit for wide feet.

2. Adidas Performance Adipower

With its anti-slip rubber sole, its heel overlay for outstanding lightweight firmness, and with breathable openings in its outsole, this may very well be the most comfortable weightlifting shoe Adidas has brought to market. Its PU-coated (organic) leather, adjustable hook-and-loop instep strap for rear foot integrity, and its bendable textile lining, puts this shoe well in the forefront of its contemporaries.
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Great for Power Lifting
Totally suited to high demand reps, Olympic-level lifting, it is extremely stable and exceedingly durable footwear. Its high heel keeps your rear foot planted during low squats and thick deadlifts.

Extremely Comfortable
Described as “like lifting on a bed of marshmallows,” this is footwear so well engineered and crafted, it curves more effectively to your foot’s contours than many other training shoes.

Cost and Value
Always a concern, the price of anything above a certain mark may cause some hesitation. Adipower, however, is worth its weight in the wallet. Most agree. It is a bargain. These rank high for this list in terms of cost.
Pros
  • Heel height makes it great for squatting.
  • Durable and high quality material.
  • Excellent for powerlifting.
  • Good ventilation.
  • Sleek appearance.
Cons
  • Toe box may be too tight on wider feet.
  • Laces not easily tightened.

3. New Balance MX20BS4 Cross Minimus

Lightweight in budget and any striking embellishments, Cross Minimus is an unquestionable heavyweight in its utility. Allowing for much-needed aeration of the foot during the most intense of workouts, this weightlifting shoe is engineered with Vibram, one of the most consistently durable materials on the market. This is weight-bearing footwear that rather modestly holds its own with undemanding, humble design.
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Comfortable
Lightweight, there is an ease of wear and fit to them during the heaviest and intense training sessions, even in execution of an exercise with demanding loads pushing against them.

Durability
With extensive mileage, these modest shoes hold up. As designed, they handle punishment their demanding users heap upon them, transcending across workout disciplines that reach beyond the challenges of weightlifting.

Cost and Value
In contrast to other shoes of this type, with its comparable weightlifting bennies, offering of a tough shoe that supports ideal workout demands, this is probably the better financial choice. These rank high for this list in terms of cost.
Pros
  • Incredibly lightweight.
  • Durable Vibram.
  • True to stated sizes.
  • Practical style.
  • Excellent ventilation.
Cons
  • Not as good a crossfit shoe.
  • Little or no traction on some surfaces out of box.

4. Reebok CrossFit Nano 5.0

4. Reebok CrossFit Nano 5.0
Specifically designed for heavy crossfit weightlifting, its upper reinforced with Kevlar (bullet-proof material), the Nano 5.0 is durable, visually appealing, and skillfully fashioned to match the dynamic shape and movement of the human foot. Not just handling the heavy hefts of poundage, its engineering affords it such comfort, you may appreciate wearing it during your other workouts, throughout the day.
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Quality
Whereas others may tear and rip with continual use, this shoe, with its Kevlar reinforced upper, is going to last. Except for shoelaces, you’ll get no holes in this footwear.

Comfort
With its anatomical design, the Nano is a spacious shoe remarked as being an excellent fit for flat feet. With added ankle support, it provides a flexible yet stable base.

Cost and Value
For its quality and comfort, this is almost a giveaway. An affordable shoe that is not going to tear over time, light and breathable too, it is definitely a bargain. These rank low for this list in terms of cost.
Pros
  • Designed to match the contour of the foot.
  • Perfect for executing squats.
  • Spacious toe box.
  • Contoured heel as opposed to flat.
  • Upper won’t wear out. It’s Kevlar!
Cons
  • May be uncomfortable fit for narrow feet.
  • Better for people with flat feet than those with high arches

5. Asics Gel-Fortius TR

5. Asics Gel-Fortius TR
Not made for Olympic-level powerlifting, designed specifically for most of your crossfit needs, these shoes absolutely foot the bill with your power cleans, squats, and deadlifts. Tremendously versatile, with its AirMesh upper that allows much needed aeration to the foot during exercise, the Gel-Fortius has been hailed as the best of both worlds, for crossfit and the weightlifting load demands.
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Quality
Made for crossfit, unsurpassed by most shoes of its type, its fine engineering to manage the stress of weightlifting, this one shoe may be all the footgear you would need.

Comfort
Talk about the second most important feature or aspect of the product. You can be specific. This should be 30 words and should be about the most important thing about the product the reader should know about.

Cost and Value
With its GEL cushioning, its reinforced RhynoSkin toe cap and an AirMesh upper, you’ve reaped a bargain of smooth and efficient stability as well as a sturdy and ventilated stride. These rank low for this list in terms of cost.
Pros
  • Thin and light sole.
  • Good interaction in shaping with the foot.
  • Comfortable for the heavy weightlifter.
  • Saves the need to buy two pairs of shoes.
  • Strongly grips the floor.
Cons
  • Not a shoe for walking long distances.
  • Not an “almost barefoot” shoe.

6. Nike Metcon 2

6. Nike Metcon 2
As usability goes, the Metcon 2 might just steal this show. As an all in one kind of shoe, every penny on them is a cent well-spent because few others offer so broad a playing field. Heave some iron. Sweat to some cardio. Stretch in them after that display of stamina to cool down. One shoe to contest them all.
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Versatile
True crossfit footwear features are boasted often by many, proven rarely by few. With this design for focused training involving heavyweight sets, stretching, mad dashes and scrambling footwork, Nike delivers.

Comfort
Its carefully-crafted sole tech, Fly-ware tech secures the arches while affording soft and enduring support for the entire foot. Those with wider feet, higher arches, and higher insteps speak well of this shoe.

Cost and Value
With elegance and fit, an enjoyable color selection, a rock-solid sneaker for all of your workout needs – second to none in versatility – it’s a first-rate bargain on so many levels. These rank average for this list in terms of cost.
Pros
  • Its versatility.
  • It’s relatively inexpensive.
  • A wide selection of styles and colors.
  • Aerated and breathable.
  • Comfortable.
Cons
  • May not have the same traction as a pavement or track running shoe.
  • A bit small in the toe box.

7. Inov-8 Fastlift 335

7. Inov-8 Fastlift 335
Grip. That’s the first thing you recognize. Supported by an array of columns that perform as suction cups, this footwear will hold you comfortably (firmly) in place as you accomplish that rep. Not just supreme for lifting - the flexibility of its sole allowing you to plant your stance with confidence - these can remain on your feet for the entire workout.
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Stability
Its Powertruss system, FastLift outsole with Sticky rubber offers security and firmness. A superior gripping shoe, awesome for power lifting, there is much greater balance and control on the catch.

Flexibility and Comfort
Flexibility not being the most central feature to a weightlifting shoe, the comfort factor and added support it gives allows its wearer to sport these easily for other workout requirements.

Cost and Value
Worth the weight you can now confidently chuck, with the Inov-8 supporting you during your impressive squats and massive deadlifts, and through your WOD, this is not a dollar wasted. These rank high for this list in terms of cost.
Pros
  • Grip.
  • Versatility.
  • Its Power-Truss heel tech that affords you stability in your stance.
  • An adjustable hook-and-loop instep strap that works well for wide feet.
  • A padded tongue and collar for added comfort at the top of the foot.
Cons
  • May not be the optimal choice for those with narrow feet.
  • Not the belle of the ball. It’s effective, but not a pretty shoe.

8. Pendlay Do-Win

8. Pendlay Do-Win
At first glance, it’s a powerful-looking, imposing, shoe that screams advanced sneaker tech. But, as remarkable a product as it actually is, it may not be a strong enough shoe for those dedicated to being in the gym for more than a few hours a week. Positively a bargain, it does work out superbly for those who aren’t as hardcore.
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Quality
Not as durable or reinforced as its many competitors in the field, for what you pay, it is excellent footgear, and will do the job if your workouts are light.

Comfort
Predominantly an Olympic weightlifting shoe, its ¾ inch heel provides added ease to your deepest squats. Its sole, incredibly strong yet flexible, offers loftier support if you have high arches.

Cost and Value
A good price for a powerful shoe that provides satisfactory support during the hard work. If you’re working the rack several times a week, not every day, you’ve spent wisely. These rank average for this list in terms of cost.
Pros
  • Warrantied for 90 days.
  • Durable leather.
  • Comfortable for a time.
  • Regulation height heels.
  • Good price for purpose intended.
Cons
  • Vegans and Vegetarians won’t like these. They’re pure leather.
  • Limited function.To be used only for Olympic Weightlifting.

9. Adidas Performance Powerlift 2

9. Adidas Performance Powerlift 2
Strong enough for a man, but engineered for the woman, these shoes can handle any demanding workload they’re given. As usual, the fairer sex being overlooked in the strength department, this footgear tosses all of that irrational bigotry away and brings to bear the acknowledgement of power and fortitude to its rightful place, at the powerful feet of the priestess.
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Quality
With its women's-specific fit, its synthetic leather upper for lightweight support and durability, it’s a delicate-looking sneaker specifically engineered for heavy load-bearing and, with its air mesh lining, maximum breathability.

Comfort
Heavier than most sneakers, and with a supportive heel, it offers noticeable flexibility in the sole and toe box, providing stability, without the regimented feel to it like a boot.

Cost and Value
There is no better weightlifting shoe for women. If you’re serious about your lifts, and you want a shoe that can support your goals, then this price is worth it. These rank low for this list in terms of cost.
Pros
  • Engineered for the contour of a woman’s foot.
  • A powerlifting shoe that can handle any load.
  • A reinforced, thick sole.
  • Made with synthetic leather. Good for vegans and vegetarians.
  • Breathable.
Cons
  • A bit stiff, they may limit range of foot motion.
  • Better for wider feet than narrow.

10. Nike Romaleos

10. Nike Romaleos
This shoe comes in a bit pricey to the market, but delivers on quality. The ideal casual lifting sneaker for the Olympic, Nike offers with it a wide bevy of colors and styles that will undoubtedly appeal to the brand’s fan base. Its mesh providing much-needed breathability, its rubber sole and heel support for stability, it is ultra-light and withstanding.
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Quality
Almost synonymous to the brand name, and expecting nothing less from its manufacturer, its synthetic leather and Ultra-lightweight EVA foam outsole with its waffle treads make for an enduring shoe.

Comfort
Heel support is a welcome feature. Squats and deadlifts demand having a strong base of support. The comfortable fit below that load bearing Achilles tendon will keep that set pleasant.

Cost and Value
Not for the faint of wallet, this footwear is expensive. But as with most of Nike’s products, with quality, form and function, you are getting exactly what you pay for. These rank high for this list in terms of cost.
Pros
  • Extremely lightweight.
  • Stays snug and tight when strapped.
  • Provides comfort while in play.
  • Offered in a wide array of sizes.
  • There are eleven (11) colors and styles.
Cons
  • Expensive!
  • Only designed for Olympic powerlifting.

And here we have it. The complete list of the top ten best weightlifting shoes. Not only now do you have a clearer and better understanding as to what shoes may work best, taking into account comfort, quality, and comparable cost factors – perhaps prohibitively expensive in at least one case – but you should now have in your arsenal a comprehensive grasp as to why choosing the best shoe for the job is as important a difference as a ballet dancer choosing Doc Martins to dance the Sugarplum fairy.

 

How to Choose the Best Shoes for Weightlifting

It would be a counterproductive move. And certainly those of us not in the know may still enjoy the show of watching her or him plop and clunk about on that stage in some footwear that aren’t at all applicable to that discipline, the real deal is that there’d be some damage done, to the dancer, to that stage floor, and to the integrity of that piece.

Choose the correct footgear for the job. If you’re a casual Olympic level lifter, then the Nike Romaleos may be the shoe for you. For comfort and quality, you won’t go wrong. But if you’re on a budget, then you would probably prefer the Pendlay Do-Win. It’s also engineered specifically for Olympic level powerlifting, but if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, the genuine leather feature would be a definite turn off.

Pick your shoe as carefully as you would hopefully pick your battles, after careful observation, research, peer review, and study. Assess what your needs are, what your involvement will be, and how much time you’re going to actually spend in the gym. There is no point in buying a shoe like the Adidas Performance Powerlift.3 if you’re in there every day, whereas the Adidas Performance Adipower may be just what the trainer ordered.