Best Weightlifting Shoes 2019 Recommended
The best weightlifting shoes in 2019 should also be comfortable. A shoe that is crafted just for the weight distributions of the ankle is key. A shoe with good support is a big factor for choosing the best weightlifting shoes.
Best Weightlifting Shoes for Men & Women
Last update on 2020-02-26 PST – Details
Weightlifting Shoes FAQ
There comes a time in every weight trainer’s life where he or she starts browsing online for weightlifting accessories. Belts, wrist straps, gloves, inappropriately tight gym shorts, you name it. Some of them are borderline useless, and some of them aren’t. But the most important investment you can make in this regard is in weightlifting shoes.
Why do I need weightlifting shoes?
Weightlifting shoes serve two purposes. For one, they allow you to transmit more force from the floor upwards through your feet, increasing the amount of weight you can lift. For two, they make it easier to maintain the correct posture for many lifts. They also improve the mobility in your ankles, legs, and hips, which helps in both respects. They are ideal for squats or any lift with a squat component. You can also use them in deadlifts, overhead presses, and any situation in which you are cleaning the bar. Basically, any time you need a lot of stability, weightlifting shoes are ideal.
I already have a pair of athletic shoes. Should I use them for weightlifting?
No, you probably shouldn’t. A common mistake for beginners is to lift in running shoes. But they are the exact kind of shoes you don’t want to lift in. Running shoes have a cushion in the sole that is designed to absorb the force your foot creates every time it hits the ground. This is great because it saves your joints when you’re running. But when you’re lifting, you want to maximize that force.
In a squat, for example, you have to push your feet against the ground to create an opposite force that raises you out of the bottom position. Running shoes are just going to absorb that and make it harder to complete the lift. But weightlifting shoes have extremely hard soles that will make it easier to transmit the force.
What makes a good pair of weightlifting shoes?
This partly depends on your needs, but there are some things that are valuable for all kinds of weight training. You want the shoe to fit snugly and feel very secure. You don’t want a pair that allows for too much rocking back and forth or for your ankles to bend side to side. A good pair will be made of rubber or leather from the ball of the foot back to the ankle to provide this stability. Make sure they are the proper size; you don’t want your foot to have any room to slide around inside them.
One thing to note is that weightlifting shoes have variable heel heights. They are typically a half-inch to an inch tall. The purpose of this is to make it easier to maintain an upright posture in a squat. So to determine if the heel height on your pair is good, go down to the bottom of the squat and see if you are comfortable doing that.
I have big/narrow/weird feet. Which brands should I look for?
You probably won’t have to look for specific brands. While some brands tend to be narrower (Adidas) and some tend to be wider (Do-Win), most weightlifting shoes have laces all the way down to the toe so that they can fit different kinds of feet. Remember that one of the most important things about weightlifting shoes is a snug fit. Try them on and return them if they don’t meet this requirement.
How much should I spend on a pair?
If you have $200, Adidas AdiPowers and Nike Romaleos 3 are some of the best weightlifting shoes you can get. However, there are good options in the $130 to $150 range if you aren’t sure if you want to commit yet. Spending under $100 on a pair might not be a good idea because those shoes tend to be off-brand and not last a long time. You may spend more money in the long run than if you had just lifted barefoot for a while.
How long do weightlifting shoes last?
Almost forever if you don’t do anything stupid with them. Even if you got a super-dope pair of shoes that look better than your regular shoes, don’t just walk around town with them on. You’ll look silly, you’ll be uncomfortable, and you’ll wear them out. If you get a decent pair and only use them for training, they will last many years.
Can I use them for anything other than weightlifting?
Weightlifting shoes are basically extremely rigid and stable platforms designed to support you while you’re moving heavy weight. This makes them really, really uncomfortable to run around in for any period of time. Also, you could damage the soles, as they are not meant to withstand that kind of movement. However, there are “hybrid” or “crossover” shoes you can buy that can withstand it. Just keep in mind that they are not as good for lifting as a pair of weightlifting shoes in the same price range.
Can I become reliant on them to help me lift, like how some people become reliant on wrist straps or belts?
This is a legitimate concern. You should only use weightlifting shoes if you can properly do all of your lifts without them. Note that you should be able to lift slightly more with the shoes on. The point is that you should be able to use good technique at a slightly lower weight without the shoes.
I heard that Chuck Taylor All-Stars/barefoot shoes/bare feet are good for weightlifting. Is that true?
Sort of. They’re better than running shoes because they don’t have much cushioning on the bottom. But they’re worse than weightlifting shoes because they offer either very little or nothing in the way of stability. Also, they won’t help your posture much. Use them if you don’t have anything else.
At the end of the day, if you continue to weightlift seriously, you will eventually want to get a pair of weightlifting shoes. No professional powerlifter, for example, is going to show up to a competition in Chuck Taylors. Hopefully, this Q and A session answered your most burning questions about weightlifting shoes in general.