Weightlifting Shoes – Our 10 Best Lifting Shoes Compared for 2017 !

The Complete Guide to Buying Weightlifting Shoes - by Weightlifting Experts, Fitness Professionals, and Strength Trainers

Looking for the Best Lifting Shoes?

Feet get a bad reputation. People call them gross, stinky. They’re avoided in conversation. But did you know that there are 26 bones, 33 joints, 100+ tendons/ ligaments/ muscles, and 250,000 sweat glands in a single foot?

Similarly, your feet play a huge role when weightlifting. To prevent injury and lift heavier, you need proper shoes. All weightlifters have different goals: What’s yours? General lifting, training for an Olympic lifting competition, Crossfitting? No matter which category you fall into, finding the best weightlifting shoes makes it easier for you to crush your workout.

Reebok Men's Legacy Lifter Cross-Trainer Shoe

The Reebok Legacy Lifter. The greatest lifting shoes with a heel you can get your hands on to date. The absolute best in terms of performance, design, and quality. Worn by pro lifters all across the world.

Nike Metcon 3 Cross Training Sneaker

The Nike Metcon 3 Cross Training Sneaker. King of hybrid weightlifting shoes. Modern design with a strong, flat bottom for powerlifting, crossfitting, and running that extra mile. Excels in multi-purpose use. No need to change between different shoes.

Are all weightlifting shoes the same? Not really!

We’re here to help make it easier for you to pick the best shoes for your weightlifting goals.

Best High-End Weightlifting Shoes for Training and Competitions

For fearless and hardcore weightlifters who want the absolute best Olympic lifting shoes for the most intense lifts

Reebok Men's Legacy Lifter Cross-Trainer Shoe

The Reabok Legacy Lifter made it to this list again. It’s all about what kind of legacy you’re going to leave behind. Do you want to reach new personal records? Do you know you’re capable of achieving much more than you think you can? That’s what the Reebok Legacy Lifter is for – to push you past your limit because you are unstoppable. Get ready to crush your lifts and truly become the legend you’re meant to be.

Nike Romaleos Weightlifting Shoes

The Nike Romaleos. Retro weightlifting shoes with the stability of a tank. These big guys are heavy-duty. They plant your feet and support all your movements. Tried and proven by professionals all over the globe.

Best Budget Weightlifting Shoes

For weightlifters who don’t have tons of money to drop, but want to improve lifting performance with some cheaper weightlifting shoes.

adidas Performance Powerlift.3.1

The Adidas Performance Powerlift.3.1. Quality, entry-level shoes at an affordable price. The athletic design and medium heel-height provides support for your weightlifting sessions.

Reebok Lifter Pr Cross-trainer Shoe

The Reebok Lifter Pr Cross-trainer Shoe. Minimalist shoes for Crossfit style workouts and general weightlifting without breaking your wallet. Knock out box jumps, kettlebell swings, and overhead-squats during the same workout session.

The Winners: Best Shoes For Weight Training, Powerlifting, and Cross training

 

  
 
Design
Stability
Comfort
Durability
Foot Shape
Versatility
Price

1. Reebok Men's Legacy Lifter Cross-Trainer Shoe

Design : Sleek
Stability : High
Comfort : Yes
Durability : Yes
Foot Shape : Medium
Versatility : Weightlifting only
Price : $$$

2. adidas Performance Adipower Weightlifting Trainer Shoe

Design : Classic
Stability : High
Comfort : Yes
Durability : Yes
Foot Shape : Narrow
Versatility : Weightlifting only
Price : $$$

3. Nike Metcon 3 Cross Training Sneaker

Design : Contemporary
Stability : Flat
Comfort : Yes
Durability : No
Foot Shape : Medium
Versatility : Weightlifting, cross-training, short runs
Price : $$

4. Nike Romaleos Weightlifting Shoes

Design : Retro
Stability : High
Comfort : Yes
Durability : Yes
Foot Shape : Wide
Versatility : Weightlifting only
Price : $$$

5. Converse Unisex Chuck Taylor All Star Hi Basketball Shoe

Design : Canvas
Stability : Flat
Comfort : Yes
Durability : No
Foot Shape : Narrow
Versatility : Weightlifting, cross-training, walking
Price : $

#1 Recommendation : Reebok Men's Legacy Lifter Cross-Trainer Shoe

5 Overall
Design
Stability
Comfort
Durability
Sexiness

CJ Cummings is a 17-year-old boy – but he’s no ordinary teenager. He’s a USA weightlifting champion, with countless 1st place wins under his belt and a world record holder. According to an interview, Cummings trains multiple hours, every single day. No doubt, he needs equipment and gear he can depend on. So which shoes does he lace up for the gym and competition?

The Reebok Legacy Lifters.

When it comes to Reebok weightlifting shoes, these are definitely the best to date! Reebok has gained a loyal following from Crossfitters across the world. Over the years, their shoes were primarily designed for versatility (Example: Crossfit Nanos). The Legacy Lifter’s, on the other hand, is “engineered for performance on the lifting platform.”

DESIGN

  • Material: Upper leather & mesh
  • Weight: 20.4 oz
  • Heel Height: 0.75 inches (22mm)
  • Heel Collar: 100% ETC anti-microbial lining & Exoframe support
  • Heel Material: TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane)  
  • Straps: 2 straps overlapping the toes and ankles

SEXINESS

Let’s start with appearance (hey, we know that you all want things that look attractive). The Legacy Lifters are sleek. These are hands down the sexiest looking pair with a heel lift. Sure, there are other heeled lifting shoes that do the job. But there’s a catch:

They typically look atrocious.

With the Legacy Lifters, you don’t have to choose between looks or performance.

STABILITY

Outstanding stability. The base is wider than most other pairs. It’s comparable to the Nike Romaleos. The heel pitch is at a standard ¾”, like the adidas Adipowers and Nike Romaleos.

PERFORMANCE

These are meant for weightlifting only! I noticed a significant difference in my jerks – I could really drive through my heels in my drive. Deadlifts may feel strange if you’re used to lifting flatfoot or barefoot. But it comes down to personal preference. You don’t want to run in these shoes. If you’re looking for shoes to perform Crossfit WODs, HIIT, or run, you better look elsewhere.

COMFORT

Super comfortable. The Legacy Lifters feel similar to the Nike Romaleos, but without as pronounced of an arch. There’s plenty of padding inside. One thing to note is that these are heavy, like the Nike Romaleos. The toe-box is stiff without a lot of extra room, but they’re designed this way to help your explosive lifts.

DURABILITY

The quality of these shoes are top of the line. Many users report no signs of wear, even after many months of use. Crafted with longevity in mind, these should last you many years.

PRICE

Let’s be real: these are pricey. But the money you spend is justified. With the Legacy Lifters, you get what you pay for, plus more. I consider these high-end weightlifting shoes. If you want to push yourself to hit a new PR or reach a heavier RM, these won’t disappoint. They’re a smart investment because they’ll last you a long time.

BOTTOM LINE & VALUE:

Overall, I’m highly impressed and pleasantly surprised with these shoes. If you’re looking for olympic lifting shoes or simply want the absolute best shoes for weightlifting, look no further. These bad boys are for you. If you Crossfit, these are a great choice because they’re Reebok (you can never have too many Reebok products if you’re a Crossfitter).

Keep in mind, however, they’re recommended for heavy lifts or WODs that involve lifts only. If you’re a beginner or intermediate weightlifter looking to upgrade your lifting shoes, these are the best rated shoes in its category you can get your hands on.

#2 Recommendation: Adidas Performance Adipower Weightlifting Trainer Shoe

4.9 Overall
Design
Stability
Comfort
Durability
Sexiness

Last year, the adidas Adipowers took the #1 crown in the weightlifting shoes category.

It was a close call this year. And it was a difficult decision to make, but it’s time these adidas weightlifting shoes take a step down. The Adipoweres take the #2 spot, and we still recommend them above all others. Here are the reasons why they still beat all other competitors.

DESIGN

  • Material: Synthetic – PU coated leather
  • Weight: 16.1 oz
  • Heel Height: 0.75 inches (20.1mm)
  • Heel Collar: N/A
  • Heel Material: TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane)  
  • Straps: 1 strap on top of the tongue

SEXINESS

The Adipower weightlifting shoes have a classic and clean appearance. Wearing these will give off the impression that you’re a serious lifter – you are in the gym to kill your lifts. The heel has a weightlifting-engineered chassis, with ridges across the bottom. From a design standpoint, the Adipowers stand out from others in the market.  

STABILITY

The single strap provides sturdy ankle stability. If you’re used to having 2 straps, this may feel a bit odd initially. But I felt like the laces provided enough tightness and stability towards the front. These are lighter compared to the Legacy Lifters and Nike Romaleos. But they are heavy enough to feel glued to the floor.

PERFORMANCE

The adidas Adipowers inspire confidence as your weights increase. They help tremendously with squat depth, squat form, and ankle dorsiflexion.

COMFORT

Here’s another reason why the Adipowers take 2nd place: it runs a bit narrow and small. So if you have wide feet, you’ll find these uncomfortable. People with skinny feet will love the fit and comfort of these shoes because they provide just the right amount of a tightness around your feet. If you like the fit of Reebok shoes, you’ll like how the Adipowers feel. Also, these are more breathable compared to the Nike Romaleos.  

DURABILITY

The shoe is mostly PU leather, so they do an excellent job protecting your feet. Very durable.

PRICE

The Adipowers aren’t the most expensive Olympic weightlifting shoes, but the price is still up there.

BOTTOM LINE & VALUE:

You won’t regret getting the Adipowers. These shoes will make big change with your lifts. If your feet are skinny, I would say get these over the Legacy Lifters.

#3 Recommendation : Nike Metcon 3 Cross Training Sneaker

4.2 Overall
Design
Stability
Comfort
Durability
Sexiness

If we were judging on looks alone, the Nike Metcon 3 would destroy all other shoes in its category – they’d seize the #1 spot, and sit on the throne of best looking shoes. These shoes have also gained quite a reputation in the Crossfit world.

DESIGN

  • Material: Synthetic & mesh
  • Weight: N/A
  • Heel Height: Flat
  • Heel Collar: N/A  
  • Heel Material: N/A
  • Straps: None

SEXINESS

The overall design is contemporary and modern. Nike never fails to amaze when it comes to aesthetics. Nike outperforms all their competitors in design innovation. The average shopper may accidentally mistake these shoes for casual or fashion shoes.

STABILITY

These Nike weightlifting shoes have a flat platform and a firm rubber heel for powerful stability for each lift you perform. There’s very little arch support. I’m surprised how supportive the upper portion of the shoes are, yet they are more flexible than the Legacy Lifters, Adipowers, or Romaleos.

PERFORMANCE

The Nike Metcons outperform any other flat shoes for weightlifting – they excel when you’re doing barbell work. They really help you to plant your feet firmly on lifts. For me, these are a game-changer when deadlifting. What I love about these shoes is how great they feel when I’m doing metcons: squats, box jumps, push-ups, gymnastics movements, chin-ups, etc. It’s an added bonus for people looking to get a phenomenal, all-purpose pair.   

COMFORT

I recommend that you order a size down with the Nike Metcon 3 because they run a little bit longer. They also run a little narrow. The ball of the foot area does not have much padding. There is one, small, strange thing about these shoes:

They make a weird, squeaky noise every time I take a step. It reminds of tap dancing shoes that go “clack clack.” It’s not too noticeable in the gym when you’re surrounded by a bunch of noise. But in a quiet environment, you’ll hear what I’m talking about.

DURABILITY

You expect quality when you purchase Nike shoes. And Nike has a long-standing reputation for creating high-quality products. Unfortunately, this is where the Nike Metcon 3 fall short.  Many users report that these shoes deteriorate and wear down after many months of use.

PRICE

Weightlifting shoes with a raised heel are priced higher compared to regular training shoes. The Nike Metcons aren’t just great weight training shoes, but are also one of the best shoes for squats deadlifts. But the price tag is steeper compared to flat training shoes that are functionally similar (Reebok Crossfit Nanos,)

BOTTOM LINE & VALUE:

The Nike Metcon 3 are the real deal. They look baller. They help you lift heavier, push harder, and train longer. These are my go-to pair when I want to mix in other workouts or throw in some running into my lifting sessions. Unless I’m lifting ridiculously heavy, I will always choose these shoes. Is it perfect? No. And the higher price point may repel some individuals. But the pros far outweigh the few cons by a landslide.

#4 Recommendation : Nike Romaleos Weightlifting Shoes

4.1 Overall
Design
Stability
Comfort
Durability
Sexiness

Have you ever been excited to watch a sequel to a movie? Anticipation runs high, and you count down the days for it to finally premiere. When the sequel hits theaters, you immediately purchase tickets for opening night. You get to the theater early to wait in line so you can grab the best seat. You sit and anxiously wait for the movie to start. The lights go out… When it’s over, you’re totally bummed out. You wanted to like it. You really did. But the sequel just isn’t as good as the previous movie.

Sound familiar?

That’s the Nike Romaleos 3 in a nutshell. Which is why we recommend the Nike Romaleos 2 over the Nike Romaleos 3. And here are the reasons why:

DESIGN

  • Material: Synthetic – leather
  • Weight: 44.8 oz
  • Heel Height: 0.75 inches (22 mm)
  • Heel Collar: N/A
  • Heel Material: TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane)       
  • Straps: 2    

SEXINESS

Retro – in the best way possible. They’re bulky and thick, yet stylish and trendy. I love all the color options as well.  

STABILITY

The Romaleos 2 have double straps for added security to keep your feet stable and to give you solid support. These nike weight training shoes are very heavy, so they will keep your feet on the ground. The Romaleos 2 outshine the Romaleos 3 in this aspect. The designers downsized the shoes to 1 strap with the Romaleos 3 which cuts off a good chunk of weight. Thus, the Romaleos 3 are lighter compared to the Romaleos 2. For some people, this may not be too big of an issue. But if we compare these two editions against each other, the Romaleos 2 will give you more stability.

The Romaleos 2 comes with 2 insoles: one is a softer, flat piece of foam intended for training. The other is stiffer and meant to be used for competitions. It’s fun to experiment with both to see how they affect your lifting.

PERFORMANCE

Similar to the Legacy Lifters, these are great Nike Olympic weightlifting shoes. They’ll enhance your lifting performance and they’ll allow you to easily hit depth. These are very heavy – walking around in these shoes will be tedious over a long stretch of time.

COMFORT

A lot of people love the heavy weight and wider fit of the Nike Romaleos. I have smaller feet, so it feels like there’s way too much space inside the shoes for me. If you have narrow feet, you can fix this problem by using the 2 straps to tighten the fit. The straps are kind of long. But you can easily fix this problem by cutting them short and putting a new end clip on the cut end.

A negative side to the Romaleos in general is that your feet will get hot. The breathability is awful compared to the Adipowers. Also (maybe Nike lifting shoes all have this problem) these guys squeak.

DURABILITY

These weight training shoes are tanks. Many people say their Nike Romaleos last them for years, with no sign of wear. You can’t get much durable than that.

PRICE

There’s no way to sugar-coat this: these are expensive. You’ll have to drop a lot of money for these – they’re more expensive than 95% of all other models. But it’s guaranteed that they’ll last you years. Their longevity is unparalleled.

BOTTOM LINE & VALUE:

If you want to buy one pair of heavy-duty weightlifting shoes to outlive all your other shoes (literally all shoes you own), the Nike Romaleos will be the right purchase for you. Other than the price, there aren’t any other significant downsides.

#5 Recommendation : Converse Unisex Chuck Taylor All Star Hi Basketball Shoe

4.2 Overall
Design
Stability
Comfort
Durability
Sexiness

I always see at least one person in the gym lifting with Converse Chuck Taylors on. Maybe these shoes remind me of my teenage years, but Chuck Taylors make even the scrawniest person look hardcore and badass.

DESIGN

  • Material: Cotton
  • Weight: 11 oz
  • Heel Height: Flat
  • Heel Collar: N/A
  • Heel Material: N/A  
  • Straps: None    

SEXINESS

Chuck Taylors are canvas shoes with an old-school design. These shoes ooze rock-n-roll. All weightlifters seem to have an opinion on whether or not Converse Chuck Taylors are “real” weightlifting shoes. But no matter where you stand on this debate, there’s no denying that they have helped many people perform incredible lifts in the gym. And they can help you too.  

STABILITY

Converse Chuck Taylors are hard, low, flat shoes. Those characteristics are why they are good shoes for deadlifting.

PERFORMANCE

Chuck Taylors are the closest thing to barefoot, at a cheap and affordable price. Many weightlifters feel more comfortable lifting flat because it keeps them closer to the ground. These are good shoes for cross training. Some people don’t have issues running in these, but I’m not a huge fan.

COMFORT

These are casual shoes and super comfortable. You’ll probably wear these around everywhere.

DURABILITY

These shoes are going to get ripped. It’s expected. The quality isn’t good, but you get what you pay for. Depending on how often you use them (for other workouts, casual wear, walking, daily routines, etc.) they wear down quickly.

BOTTOM LINE & VALUE:

Get Chuck Taylors if you don’t have a lot of money to spend, but want lifting shoes that provide you some stability. These get the job done. If you’re a more advanced weightlifter, these may not be the best option for you. Also, if you’re a barefoot weightlifting enthusiast, these shoes will at least provide you with a layer of protection around your feet.

#6 Recommendation : Adidas Performance Powerlift.3.1

4 Overall
Design
Stability
Comfort
Durability
Sexiness

So what’s the difference between the adidas Performance Powerlift.3.1 and adidas Performance Powerlift.3 (Recommendation #8)?

Here’s the real answer:

Nothing. Except for tiny cosmetic differences. And we live in a world where customization is just as important as performance.

DESIGN

  • Material: Synthetic – leather & mesh
  • Weight: 13.5 oz
  • Heel Height: 0.6 inches (15.24 mm)
  • Heel Collar: N/A
  • Heel Material: TPU  
  • Straps: 1 across the top

SEXINESS

These aren’t as clean and classic looking as the Adipowers, but they have more of an athletic design to them with triangular patterns. The Performance Powerlift.3.1 have many more color options compared to the .3 version.

STABILITY

The heel height is at 0.6 inches, so it’s not as high as the Legacy Lifters, Adipowers, or Romaleos. This may be beneficial for those who don’t feel stable in standard ¾” heeled lifting shoes. They still provide the necessary support and protection to maintain proper form during heavy lifting sessions. Due to reduction in heel height, these are lighter compared to the Adipowers. Also, the Powerlifts have a single strap that goes across the top and keeps your feet stable.

PERFORMANCE

The hard sole makes them great Olympic lifting shoes. You’ll notice a world of a difference. You’ll feel more stable and secure in your lifts. A lot of people noticed that they were able to increase their weight load faster with these shoes on.

COMFORT

Adidas advertises these shoes as an “extra-wide fit.” But don’t be fooled: the Performance Powerlifts run narrow, just like the Adipowers. If you have wide feet, you may notice that these pinch your toes together. Over time, they may loosen just a teeny bit. But I recommend going a size up if your feet are wide.

DURABILITY

Well-constructed for durability. Overall, you shouldn’t run into any problems.

PRICE

These are cheap olympic lifting shoes and considered an entry-level price point for elevated training shoes.

BOTTOM LINE & VALUE:

If you’ve been lifting in running shoes, and you’re ready to get your first pair of one of the best  powerlifting shoes with a heel, the Performance Powerlifts will be an excellent upgrade without emptying your wallet. If you like the fit of the adidas Adipowers, these will be your best alternative. For weightlifting shoes at this price point, you really get a lot bang for your buck.

#7 Recommendation: Inov-8 FastLift 370 BOA Cross-Training Shoe

3.7 Overall
Design
Stability
Comfort
Durability
Sexiness

Mainstream brands aren’t the only options for weight training shoes. Every year, new companies are creating new designs because of the rise in demand.

Inov8 isn’t as well known amongst general fitness enthusiasts or beginner weightlifters, but this company has been around since 2003. And they’ve got a lot to offer – especially for weightlifters.

DESIGN

  • Material: Synthetic – mesh-like fabric
  • Weight: 13 oz
  • Heel Height: 0.65 inches (16.51 mm)
  • Heel Collar: N/A
  • Heel Material: TPU  
  • Straps: 1 strap with dials

SEXINESS

The Inov8 Fastlift 370 BOA are innovative and unique in appearance. Aesthetically, these shoes look freakin awesome. The attribute that stands out the most is the “BOA” system – a new way to control the fit and stability of your shoes.

STABILITY

The Inov8 weightlifting shoes don’t have laces. Well, they do. But the mechanism is different. There are two dials on each shoe – you twist the dial to tighten the laces. You loosen the laces by twisting the dial in the opposite direction. Easy enough.

Compared to other Olympic weightlifting shoes, these are probably one of the lightest. Despite its light weight, they perform extremely well.

PERFORMANCE

The Inov8 Fastlifts provide great stability for squats, cleans, and snatches. One concern is what would happen if the dials breaks. A broken dial may affect your performance because it won’t provide you the stability you need.

COMFORT

Standard fit and is comfortable. People with wide or narrow feet shouldn’t have too many issues with these shoes. The fabric is also breathable, which helps keep your feet cool.

DURABILITY

Very durable. These shoes are of quality and solid build.

PRICE

The price will most likely be the killer for many people. These shoes are pricey, and you may wonder if it’s worth the money to buy this pairs. In my opinion, I think these are worth the investment because they are high quality shoes that will help you with all sorts of lifts. The BOA system is perhaps one of the main reasons why they’re set at a higher price point.

BOTTOM LINE & VALUE:

If you want solid, reliable lifting shoes (but want to stand out with something that isn’t Nike, Adidas, or Reebok) the Inov8 Fastlifts are the best choice.

#8 Recommendation: Adidas Performance Powerlift.3 Cross-trainer Shoe

3.5 Overall
Design
Stability
Comfort
Durability
Sexiness

Disclaimer:

The adidas Performance Powerlift.3 is going to be a regurgitation of “Recommendation #6: adidas Performance Powerlift.3.1.” So why include the Performance Powerlift.3 to as one of the top 10 best weight training shoes? Because we want you to get the best value for your money. Weightlifting shoes are not the cheapest investment. So if you read the review for Performance Powerlift.3.1, feel free to skip on down to the next recommendation.

What’s the difference between the adidas Performance Powerlift.3 and adidas Performance Powerlift.3.1 (Recommendation #6)?

Answer:

Nothing. Except for tiny cosmetic differences. And we live in a world where customization is just as important as performance. Because your color choices say a lot about you and your personality.

DESIGN

  • Material: Synthetic – leather & mesh
  • Weight: 13.5 oz
  • Heel Height: 0.6 inches (15.24 mm)
  • Heel Collar: N/A
  • Heel Material: TPU  
  • Straps: 1 across the top

SEXINESS

Athletic design with a clean appearance, these shoes are seriously good-looking. We love that the Performance Powerlift.3.1 give more color options compared to the .3 version.

STABILITY

The heel height is at an impressive 0.6 inches, Once again, this will highly benefit individuals who need a lower heel height than the standard ¾”. Theses shoes feature a single strap that goes across the top for maximum feet stability.

PERFORMANCE

Olympic lifters will love the hard sole on these weightlifting shoes. Your lifts will feel tremendously stable, no matter how heavy things get.

COMFORT

Please keep in mind that the Performance Powerlifts run narrow compared to standard shoe sizes. Therefore, if you have wider feet, you may want to consider ordering a size up from your normal shoe size.

DURABILITY

Extremely durable. These guys can endure some intense use.

PRICE

 

The Performance Powerlift.3s are available at an inexpensive price point.

BOTTOM LINE & VALUE:

If you’re just getting into lifting and want to take your training seriously, these shoes will be an excellent entry-level option for you. Exceptional value for the price. Get ready to up your weight training to the next level!

#9 Recommendation: Reebok Lifter Pr Cross-trainer Shoe

3.1 Overall
Design
Stability
Comfort
Durability
Sexiness

Alright let’s cut to the chase – for a very, very, very cheap pair, you will get good shoes for lifting weights to aid you with your lifts. These aren’t going to blow your mind or impress you like the Adipowers, Lifter Legacy, or Romaleos. But for the price, these are highly recommended.  

DESIGN

  • Material: Synthetic – leather
  • Weight: N/A
  • Heel Height: 0.6 inches (15.24 mm)
  • Heel Collar: N/A
  • Heel Material: TPU       
  • Straps: 1 towards middle of tongue

SEXINESS

Minimalistic design. There aren’t too many color options to choose from. So if looks aren’t that important to you, you can go with a solid white, black (appears more like charcoal), or red. It’s not a bad thing. Just know that you’re limited with choices.

STABILITY

These aren’t as stable compared to other elevated pairs of lifting shoes. Also, the heel height is only 0.6 inches, compared to ¾ inches that many people prefer. Probably comes down to personal preference, but it’s something to consider.

PERFORMANCE

Decent Olympic lifting shoes. They will help, especially if you’ve never lifted with heel raised shoes before.

COMFORT

A bit rigid towards the forefront of the shoes. Not the most comfortable.

DURABILITY

Average quality. I don’t see these lasting too long. But for the price, they’re durable enough.

PRICE

These are wicked cheap Olympic weightlifting shoes.

BOTTOM LINE & VALUE:

The Reebok Lifter PR are a great addition if you want a backup pair of training shoes. They’re insanely affordable. For beginners, these are a great choice.

#10 Recommendation: Reebok Crossfit Nano 7.0 Cross-Trainer Shoe

2.4 Overall
Design
Stability
Comfort
Durability
Sexiness
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Crossfit is all the rage! I bet you have a friend or know someone who is Crossfit obsessed. And guess what? The Crossfit Nanos have been the go-to, multipurpose footwear for Crossfitters all over. But how do the Reebok Crossfit Nano 7.0 stack up against its competitors?

DESIGN

  • Material: NanoWeave Mesh (for breathability & ventilation)
  • Weight: 10 oz
  • Heel Height: 0.16” (4mm)
  • Heel Collar: N/A
  • Heel Material: TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane)
  • Straps: None    

SEXINESS

The Nano 7.0s are a sporty design, but they’re the ugly ducklings compared to the rest of our recommended picks. The solid colors look okay. The color combinations look horrible – much brighter than previous editions. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if executed correctly. But the NanoWeave upper mesh looks like the designers hired a toddler to slap on a random color on top of the bottom color.

STABILITY

Fairly stable for lifts. These feel more stable compared to the previous Nano 6.0. However, these do not give you the best stability for heavy Olympic lifts.

PERFORMANCE

So where does the Crossfit Nano 7.0s perform best?:

Cross-training and Crossfit style WODs.

These shoes support a wide range of movements: weightlifting, running, WODs, climbs, jumps, etc. The 4mm lift does help with squats. But when lifting heavier loads, I couldn’t achieve the same results that a Legacy Lifter or Adipower gives me. Compared to the Nike Metcon 3, these also didn’t perform as well with lifts.

But there is still value in these shoes! The Nano 7.0 are very versatile. I was able to run a few miles without any trouble. Of course, they didn’t feel light like my standard running shoes. But it’s not a deal-breaker. My friend, who owns a pair, did a kickboxing workout at her gym without any issues.

COMFORT

Uncomfortable – they take a long time to break in. These are stiff and narrow. It feels tight all throughout, but at least your feet are secure. If you have wide feet, you may want to go a size up.

DURABILITY

Stiff and durable (at the expense of comfort).

PRICE

These are priced mid-range. The price is due to its versatility rather than its aesthetic appeal.

BOTTOM LINE & VALUE:

I was critical with the Nano 7.0. But I expected more because many of the previous Nanos were truly great.

So who can actually benefit from these weightlifting shoes?:

  • If you’re a Crossfitter and want one of the most versatile and best crossfit lifting shoes, you’ll be satisfied with this choice.
  • If you don’t care much about how shoes look, these will support you with all activities in the gym.
  • If you’re looking to get a solid first pair of lifting shoes (but don’t want to drop a lot of money) these shoes are for you.

Conclusion

So there you go! Our top recommendations for the best weightlifting shoes of 2017.

But wait, there’s more. It’s not over yet! We want to hear from you. Comment below and tell us:

Which pair do you have or would you like to get? Why?

Ultimate Buyer's Guide to Weightlifting Shoes

Weight lifting requires little in the way of equipment, and it also produces proven results. All you really need to start lifting is a power rack, weights and a bench. However, there is one key accessory that is often overlooked and that is having the right pair.

You’ve probably seen people lifting weights in everything from sneakers to running shoes and some even prefer their bare feet. While this is a personal choice it doesn’t always produce great results, especially if you are just starting out. The amount of weight you are able to lift can be comprised, and even worse it could affect your technique.

If you’re wondering if you really need special shoes just to lift weights, keep reading to see why.

Benefits of Weightlifting Shoes

Not sure if weightlifting shoes are necessary? They are. There are several benefits associated with wearing a pair during your workouts.

1. Proper Technique

Trainers, professional bodybuilders and physicians all stress how important it is to have proper technique and form. If you don’t, you’re increasing your risk for injuries and accidents. Shoes designed for weight training will help your body stay aligned, and keep your torso in proper form all the way through the lift.

2. Ankle Support

If you have weak ankles, then lifting shoes are a must. You will want to look for a pair with a higher cut. Even if there aren’t any problems with your ankles, it is still something that you will want to consider. This is especially true if you have a smaller frame and are lifting heavier weights. Your technique during squats can also improve with the added support.

3. Lateral Support

You never want your shoes to be loose when you are lifting. If the footwear doesn’t fit snugly you are risking rollovers every time you pick up a set of weights. Torn ligaments and dislocations are common, and this can effectively sideline your training. The top rated shoes for weightlifting come with a tarsal strap. This ensures a secure fit that will prevent painful rollovers.

4. Increased Stability

Weightlifting shoes provide you with a solid base, regardless of the heel height. This not only aides you during every aspect of the lift, it also improves safety and helps prevent injury.

Even some dedicated barefoot lifters admit that Olympic lifting shoes have this advantage. Overheads, squats and snatches can be safely added to their repertoire, making them more versatile lifters. If your goal is to compete, you will need the versatility you get from the right footwear.

6. Knee Protection

When your feet and ankles are not properly aligned it can result in knee injuries. This is especially true when you are lifting heavier weights. A good pair will not only provide necessary support, they can also minimize joint stress.

7. Improved Vertical Thrust

Thanks to their stable base, weightlifting shoes can help you conserve your energy. Instead of your body having to work at keeping you balanced, all your energy can be used to safely lift heavier weights. This could be an important consideration if you want to “bulk up”.

8. Safely “Spread the Floor”

There are also shoes for deadlifts and squats. The tarsal straps that are common on dedicated pairs allow for greater hip activation without risking injury to your knees and ankles.

Not only will they prevent injuries, the right pair can also help improve your performance. This alone should be reason enough to consider wearing a pair the next time you pick up a set of weights.

Types of Weightlifting Shoes

Before you rush out and buy a pair of shoes for weightlifting, there are a few things to consider. The first being the type. There are two main types: hybrid and dedicated. Your experience, comfort and type of lifting will play key roles in your decision.

1. Hybrids

Originally designed for CrossFitters, hybrid shoes are lightweight and can be worn throughout most WODs. If you’re into CrossFit, you already know how distracting and time consuming it can be to switch shoes every time the exercises change.

The first pair of hybrid weightlifting shoes were introduced to the CrossFit community by Reebok, with Inov 8 and other athletic footwear companies closely following suit. The shoes’ lightweight construction makes them ideal for burpees, and can easily transition to sprints, ropes and even cycling. Hybrids also make a great choice for lifters with smaller frames or ones that find heavy shoes uncomfortable.

2. Dedicated/Olympic

If you plan on lifting heavier weights you need to keep your feet anchored to the ground. Losing your balance on the platform is not only embarrassing, it is dangerous.

Dedicated or Olympic lifting shoes are sturdy and heavy. Some weigh 2 lbs. before you put them on. They are designed to help you keep your balance, while also providing plenty of support and protection. Raised heels and supportive straps are standard on Olympic weightlifting shoes.

What to Look For in a Weightlifting Shoe

Before getting into the various attributes, we’d first like to answer the question on why you should spend money on a pair. Even though you’ve probably seen people lifting in normal running shoes, this doesn’t mean that it’s the smart thing to do.

Running shoes are designed to absorb impact force, and the cushioned bottom is the last thing you want when you’re lifting. You need footwear that generates power through the ground, instead of absorbing it. Weight training shoes transfer the force and this helps you lift the bar, while also keeping proper form.

Now that we have established why your running shoes won’t do the trick, let’s move on to the distinct features you should look for in a weightlifting shoe.

1. Straps

Dedicated lifting shoes can come with one, two or even three straps. Hybrids typically have one or simply rely on a standard lacing system. Lateral straps provide additional ankle support, which can help prevent rollovers when you are lifting heavy weights.

If you have “weak” ankles, you definitely want the support you get from the shoe’s strap. However, if you are only planning on light lifting and have strong ankles shoes with a standard lacing system might be the right choice for you.

The strap or straps serve another purpose. It helps to ensure a secure fit. You don’t want your shoes sliding around on your feet as you press outward during a lift.

2. Heel Height

Weightlifting shoes can come with heels measuring from .3” to 1”. The most popular heel height is .75”. This still gives you the added “push” you need, without interfering with deadlifts.

It’s not uncommon for lifters to ignore the heel height when they are choosing a pair of shoes. This is a mistake. There are several factors you should consider that include your lifting style, leg and torso length.

If you have longer legs, a higher heel will benefit you. Lifters with shorter legs will want a heel that is .75” or even a pair of flat soled shoes. This will help you achieve maximum depth safely during squats.

Lifters with longer torsos and legs often sabotage their lifts without even realizing it, simply because they choose a pair of higher heeled shoes. While this might be okay if your legs are shorter, the added lift can cause you to lean forward. Not only will this affect performance, it can also result in injuries that could’ve been prevented. Look for shoes with a heel .75” or shorter.

Your body type or anthropometrics is only one aspect to think about when looking for a great pair of shoes for weightlifting.

3. What about your stance?

If you have a narrow stance, a higher heel will give you the support you need. If your stance is wider, than your options are open. Just make sure you are comfortable, and this can be anything from a pair of Converse to weightlifting shoes with a one-inch heel.

The most important thing to remember is comfort and confidence. If you’re not comfortable, your confidence during the lifts will suffer. Choose your shoes on what feels right for you.

4. Heel Build

You’ll probably notice that lifting shoes can come with heels made from wood, plastic or stacked leather. All these materials are perfectly functional, and it often comes down to personal preference. Some avid lifters prefer wood or leather heels, but these materials are often only found on dedicated pairs. Weightlifting shoes with synthetic heels are not only becoming more common, their flared design can provide additional stability. This can be especially helpful when you are lifting heavier weights.

How to Choose the Right Weightlifting Shoes

Now that you have a good idea of why weightlifting shoes are an important piece of equipment, it’s time to discuss some of the other attributes you should look for. Some may not seem that important to you right now, but later on you’ll be glad that you factored everything into your final decision.

Design

The design typically refers to the shoe’s construction, and you want it to be durable. Shoes for liftingcan be made from leather, cotton or synthetic materials, and one is not necessarily better than the others. It really does depend on your personal preference, as long as it’s safe for you to lift in them.

While cotton naturally allows for airflow, the same is not always true for leather and synthetic materials. In this case, you will want to look for a pair with a mesh lining to keep your feet cool and dry. Not only does this help prevent embarrassing odors, it also stops your feet from slipping in the shoes due to sweat.

Heel collar, type of lacing and number of straps, if any, also factor into the shoe’s design. You will also want to consider the weight. If you have a small frame and only want to tone muscles, a heavy pair probably won’t be what you need.

Stability

This is the main reason you want to wear the right shoes every time you lift weights. If you don’t have a stable base, then you risk injuries. You will also be a hazard to others, since you’re in danger of losing your balance.

Whether you choose a pair with a 1” heel or a flat one, you want to ensure that the shoes come with a wide base. It should also be hard, without the cushioning you find in running shoes. This will not only help you in your lifts, but also ensure proper form. Your technique is important to prevent knee and other injuries, along with helping you achieve your weightlifting goals.

Comfort

Weightlifting is a sport that will “take everything out of you”, and the last thing you want is for your feet to be uncomfortable. As important as the other aspects are, you won’t wear the shoes if they hurt your feet. Comfort also ties into confidence. If you’re not confident, chances are you won’t have proper technique. You also want to remember that what feels comfortable to someone else, may leave your feet feeling sore after the lifting session.

If it is possible, try on several pairs. Choose ones with different heel heights, including some flat soles.  Walk around, see how the shoes feel on your feet. Weightlifting shoes should never pinch your feet and they also shouldn’t be loose, you need that support! While lateral straps will help, the shoes should also be the right size. Thankfully, sizing for weight training shoes is the same for any other footwear. This way you can still find the best weightlifting shoes for you, even if you can’t try on multiple pairs.

Durability

Value is important. You don’t want your shoes to fall apart after the first sets of squats or deadlifts. Then they just become a waste of money. The best way to tell if they are durable, is to look at their construction and consumer ratings.

Your fellow “lifters” are often the best reference point when you’re trying to find a durable pair. If they’ve complained about sides ripping or heels collapsing, this is a good indication that the footwear is not worth your time or money.

Weightlifting shoes constructed from leather or synthetic materials are more durable than ones made from cotton. The trade-off is often the price. You should expect to pay more for a durable pair. In the long run, it is usually worth it.

Sexiness

Yes, lifting shoes can, and should be sexy. This doesn’t just apply to the muscles you’ll get. There is no reason why you can’t wear a pair of sleek shoes when you’re lifting weights.

The overall appearance of weightlifting footwear has changed over the years. This is definitely a good thing. Not only can you choose between different materials and heel heights, but colors and styles now vary as well. Sleek and form-fitting are the new terms being used to describe today’s weightlifting shoes.

Even though it might seem silly to worry about your shoes’ appearance, it won’t seem ridiculous when you are lifting with others. Choosing a pair that you will be proud to wear will give your confidence a boost. This might be just what you need to push you to the next level.

A Few Last Tips

We can’t choose the right pair of weightlifting shoes for you, but we can help you make an informed decision. Before we get to the top weightlifting shoes, there are a few points that you should remember.

  1. Make sure that the shoes fit your feet comfortably. This matters, whether there are supportive straps or only standard lacing.
  2. Heel height is important. It affects your technique and your risk for injury. This even pertains to flat soled shoes.
  3. The importance of stability can’t be emphasized enough. It really is that crucial when you are lifting weights.
  4. Don’t forget to pay attention to the style of the shoe. If you’re embarrassed to wear them, then it’s a waste of your money.
  5. You want the shoes to be long-lasting. If you rip through the sides on your first lift you risk injury, and have to buy another pair.

Now let’s get to our picks for the best weightlifting shoes.

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