10 Best Lifting Shoes Compared & Reviewed

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Having the right shoe for your intended sport is so important. Things are no different when it comes to lifting. Whether you’re lifting as part of CrossFit training or you’re a dedicated powerlifter, a good pair of lifting shoes can make a huge difference in how well you perform your exercises and how much weight you can actually lift. A well-anchored shoe that’s super supportive can help you increase your performance and will make lifting easier.

A proper lifting shoe can help you get your form right and prevent injury. Below, you’ll find our picks for best lifting shoes. We’ve evaluated them using specific criteria which we will delve into further later on. We considered numerous models but settled on the following because of their consistently high ratings. Below you’ll find lifting specific shoes but also crosstraining shoes that are suitable for those who do CrossFit. These types of shoes allow users to perform different activities like lifting, climbing and running. They still provide excellent traction and support but also offer a little bit more comfort and stability for short distance running.

Last Updated: July 19, 2018
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By Maja Beier:

Weightlifting shoes have been popular for a couple of years now, and thankfully, with it's growing popularity, fashion comes along. Check out our list of Best Weightlifting shoes to find the perfect pair for you - fashion and function wise. This update brings you newly asked questions in our FAQ section. Any unanswered? Our team here at RunnerClick will be happy to assist you.

Adidas Adipower
  • Adidas Adipower
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Lightweight
  • Price: See Here
Inov-8 FastLift 370 BOA
  • Inov-8 FastLift 370 BOA
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Convenient strap system
  • Price: See Here
Reebok Crossfit Nano 4.0
  • Reebok Crossfit Nano 4.0
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Comfortable
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Lifting Shoes

 

1. Adidas Adipower

Made of leather, this Adipower weightlifting shoe is a quality option for lifters who are looking for a reliable footwear option when training. Great grip, excellent fit, adequate support, and a fair price make this shoe our top choice among lifting shoes.
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GRIP
The shoe has a rubber sole with anti-slip technology for grip. Wearers felt extremely stable when performing lifts in these shoes. Movement was close to none. The foot stays anchored to the floor.

SUPPORT
The shoe utilizes an easy strap construction to ensure a secure fit. At the back of the shoe, the heel cup provides excellent support.

FIT
The fit of the shoe is comfortable thanks to the sturdy but lightweight construction. The shoe fits snugly without feeling like a vice. Narrow feel dissipates after a while thanks to the accommodating upper.

PRICE
The shoe offers great value for the price. Stylish design makes them easy to wear outside of training, though it's a good idea to keep outdoor wear to a minimum to keep these shoes pristine for lifting.
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Flexible
  • Durable construction
  • Accommodating fit
  • Easy to put on
  • Run true to size  
  • Incredibly stable
Cons
  • Some found them a little too narrow.
  • May require a breaking in period

2. Inov-8 FastLift 370 BOA

A stylish option for fashion-conscious gym goers who want a reliable lifting shoe that provides excellent support and an easy to adjust fit.
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GRIP
A synthetic outsole made of FASTLIFT material provides plenty of traction underfoot for lifters.

SUPPORT
A unique boa strap allows lifers to customize the fit of the shoe for maximum support.

FIT
Thanks to the boa closure, lifters can decide on the fit of the shoe. The dial of the boa system is easily adjusted for precision customizability.

PRICE
The reasonably priced shoe provides a secure fit, supportive platform, excellent traction, and a stylish design.
Pros
  • Stylish
  • Convenient strap system
  • Excellent support
  • Great fit
  • Fairly lightweight
  • Comfortable
Cons
  • Sizing issues

3. Reebok Crossfit Nano 4.0

Made for multiple uses, the Reebok Crossfit Nano 4.0's outsole can grip many surfaces and provides flexible support for different activities. Suitable for athletes who participate in CrossFit who need a versatile shoe that can go from one activity to the next.
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GRIP
Outsole provides traction for wearers thanks to its multi-surface construction.

SUPPORT
The shoe features supportive overlays in its upper to ensure the wearer is anchored down while lifting and won't lose stability even during tough workouts.

FIT
The shoe features a traditional lacing system and a tight fit to ensure stability. Cushioned interior helps enhance comfort. The fit is true to size according to reviewers.

PRICE
The Reebok Crossfit Nano 4.0 falls in an affordable price range.
Pros
  • Great fit
  • Comfortable
  • Versatile
  • Durable construction
  • Many colors available
  • Nice amount of cushioning
Cons
  • Poor arch support

4. Adidas Leistung 16

4. Adidas Leistung 16
Available in a single bright flashy orange, the Leistung is an attractive lifting shoe that offers impressive grip, support, and an easy to use boa system for lacing.
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GRIP
The substantial rubber outsole covers greater surface area for better traction and stability.

SUPPORT
The upper is supportive but also nice and light. The rearfoot heel cradle adds extra support and a locked-down fit. Reviewers liked that their ankle felt well-supported as they worked out.

FIT
The shoe's boa system allows the user to adjust the fit of the shoe according to their preferred tightness. Some reviewers did mention the need to size up to get the perfect fit.

PRICE
The shoe falls on the higher end of the price scale, but at this price point, you get a solidly designed shoe that comes in an attractive package.
Pros
  • Easy to use boa system
  • Very stable
  • Flat outsole provides a supportive, grippy platform
  • Nice amount of cushioning
  • Excellent ankle support
Cons
  • Price

5. Nike Romaelos II

5. Nike Romaelos II
Yet another bright orange model, this time from Nike. A sleek, flashy design is paired with a lightweight and supportive fit that ensures your foot won't budge as you lift.
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GRIP
Outsole covers a fair bit of surface area which helps protect against wear that might occur during use and provides traction while lifting.

SUPPORT
The shoe's synthetic upper hugs the foot just right and TPU heel counter keeps the foot locked in place.

FIT
Features both a traditional lacing system and a hook and loop system to ensure a tight fit. Elastic components are also part of the upper and help accommodate the foot as it moves.


PRICE
The high price tag may dissuade some from considering the Romaelos II lifting shoes, but they are a quality option.
Pros
  • Lightweight 
  • Quality construction
  • True to size
  • Excellent support
  • Comfortable to wear 
  • Durable 
Cons
  • Fairly pricey

6. Asics Lift Master Lite

6. Asics Lift Master Lite
This ASICS brand lifting shoe can be used for cross training activities as well as lifting. Of course, it provides excellent traction but also a comfortable fit thanks to some midsole cushioning.
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GRIP
The shoe features a rubber sole for traction and reviewers liked how stable they felt when lifting weights.

SUPPORT
Seamless upper provides support and comfort. A strap in the midfoot area keeps the wearer's foot from moving. Also, the shoe features a supportive heel cup.

FIT
Mono sock construction means that slipping on the shoe is a piece of cake. The fit is not an issue with this shoe.

PRICE
Priced on the lower end of the scale, the ASICS Lift Master Lite is a stable shoe made of quality materials.
Pros
  • Super stable 
  • Durable 
  • Priced fairly
  • Comfortable 
  • Nice look
Cons
  • Some found the shoe a bit narrow

7. Otomix Stingray Escape

7. Otomix Stingray Escape
A suede upper makes these lifting shoes a little bit more luxurious than others and more durable.
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GRIP
The outsole is thin enough so that it provides good ground feel but also grips surfaces well to ensure athletes remain solidly planted when working out.

ANKLE SUPPORT
The higher cut means the shoe provides more ankle support for lifters and a snug fit means that extra movement is eliminated.

FIT
Lightweight upper hugs the foot securely and reviewers liked the overall fit of the shoe.

PRICE
Available in three colors, this shoe falls in the middle in terms of pricing. Offering additional ankle support this shoe is an excellent buy for wearers concerned with ankle stability.
Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Very stable
  • Great ankle support
  • Lightweight
  • Good fit
Cons
  • Not as breathable as other models 
  • Some cited durability issues 

8. Reebok Lifter PR

8. Reebok Lifter PR
A sleek option for lifters who are concerned with styling. Available in several attractive color options, these Reebok lifting shoes deliver excellent quality for superior performance.
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GRIP
The shoe features a rubber outsole for gripping different surfaces. Outsole even features grooves for a bit of additional flexibility.

SUPPORT
Reviewers liked how supportive the shoe was thanks to its multiple closure systems for tightening the shoe and the great fit. Unique u-form material is activated by heat to ensure the shoe is form fitting.

FIT
The lacing system is paired with strap closures to achieve a customized fit. Inside, a soft, comfortable lining ensures a nice fit for wearers.

PRICE
Moderately priced for such a quality designed shoe.
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Supportive
  • Solid, grippy construction
  • Very comfortable 
  • Quality construction
 
Cons
  • Sizing issues (some found they ran large)

9. Nike Metcon 3

9. Nike Metcon 3
While it looks more like a running shoe than a lifting shoe, the Nike Metcon 3 provides plenty of support and grip for those seeking to perform lifts or cross-fitters wanting a versatile shoe for training.
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GRIP
Rubber outsole ensures wearers stay in place when working out. Reviewers liked how solid they felt when working out on various surfaces.

SUPPORT
Supportive midsole cushioning and a secure fit ensures wearers don't feel unstable when lifting or performing other physical activity.

FIT
Locked down fit is helped by Nike's Flywire technology. Some midsole cushioning is also present to ensure the athlete remains comfortable while they workout.

PRICE
Available in many different color options, the Nike Metcon 3 is a versatile shoe offered at a higher price point than others, but it's well worth the higher price. It's a good option for cross fitters or those who want a supportive lifting shoe who might want to use the shoe for other activities.
Pros
  • Versatile
  • Stable
  • Stylish
  • Accommodating fit
  • Comfortable
  • Excellent traction
Cons
  • May require a breaking in period
  • Price

10. Adidas Powerlift 3.1

10. Adidas Powerlift 3.1
Last on this list is the Adidas Powerlift 3.1. The shoe is synthetic and has a synthetic sole. It has an open forefoot structure and a flexible toe for comfort. The shaft measures low-top from the arch. It's a simple shoe for those who like the Adidas brand.
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GRIP
Rubber outsole provides traction underfoot. Reviewers felt the shoe was extremely stable when lifting.

SUPPORT
The upper has fantastic ankle support and durability and it also has a lace closure with a wide strap for a tight fit and added stability.

FIT
This is an extra wide fit, but it also has the lace closure for a tight fit as well.

PRICE
Affordable price for a shoe that will perform and last a while. Good option for newcomers to the sport of lifting.
Pros
  • Super stable
  • Attractive design
  • Nice fit
  • Quality build
Cons
  • Run small

 

Evaluation Criteria

A lifting shoe is not the same as a running shoe. But as with running, if you’re into lifting heavy, you shouldn’t be wearing any old shoes on your feet. You’ll also need to consider the unique needs that need to be addressed by lifting shoes. In evaluating our top picks, we’ve chosen to focus on grip, support, fit, and price. Later, we’ll go into other considerations you should also pay attention to when browsing the variety of lifting oriented shoes on the market.

Grip

Anyone who has ever tried to buy running shoes knows that a shoe needs to have proper traction in order to prevent you from slipping or falling when moving on different surfaces. If it rains, or you’re planning on tackling varied terrain, you need a shoe with an aggressive tread. With lifting shoes, you’ll also want to look for excellent grip, but the reasons are a bit different. You don’t need a particularly tough outsole since lifting shoes should be used primarily indoors. Keep your lifting shoes for lifting only to ensure they stay intact longer. It’s unlikely you’re going to be lifting weights in the wilderness so thick protruding lugs are not necessary. What’s important is an outsole that plants you in place and anchors you down. This provides stability as you lift and the better the grip, the easier it will be to make sure you are lifting with proper form as you move those weights. Look for synthetic outsoles that cover a large surface area. Some may even flare out from the bottom of the shoe to be able to cover more ground. It may also be in your best interest to test out your potential lifting shoe on the surface you intend to workout on to ensure you can get maximum grip.

Support

When you’re lifting heavy weights, the last thing you want is to feel off balance, wobbly, and unstable. Having a supportive shoe will help to eliminate the potential of these things occurring. A grippy outside is the first way to battle instability, but we’ve already talked at length about that above. Next, you want a supportive fit. A lifting shoe should be snug. You don’t want to cut off circulation, obviously, but if a shoe is too loose, you risk unwanted movement as you move through your lifting exercises which may harm your form and will reduce your overall ability to perform. A shoe that allows you to customize the tightness is always a good choice, and most lifting shoes will feature either traditional laces, strap closures, boa systems, or a combination thereof. You likely won’t find excessive arch support in a lifting shoe, so be careful when making your selection if this is a concern for you. Some lifting shoes will be cut higher up to provide additional ankle support. You may want to opt for a shoe with a higher cut if you have weak ankles or recently dealt with an ankle injury.

Fit

Make sure your chosen lifting shoe fits snugly but not overly so. The shoe should be tight to ensure stability and support, but if it’s super snug, you may find breathability suffers. The shoe should also feel comfortable on your foot. Make sure you feel good when wearing the shoe with your favorite socks and that the fit is easily adjustable. Pay attention to any weird pressure points or potential areas of discomfort. Some shoes will feel stiff at first and require breaking in, but that doesn’t mean the initial fit will feel terrible.

Price

As always, the price is an important thing to consider, especially when buying shoes. There is a huge variation in pricing when it comes to lifting shoes. Generally, more expensive models will belong to well-known brands such as Nike and Adidas. Less expensive shoes may be less durable or may be less specialized. You’ll notice that some of the models on our list are good options for beginners. This is because they offer up a bit more versatility. Sure, there are plenty of specialized possibilities available (usually higher up on the pricing scale), but models that are labeled cross trainers or especially for CrossFit are good for athletes who prefer a varied workout routine. These models are just as good for lifting, but they may be a bit less supportive, a little more flexible, and provide a tad less traction than specialized lifting shoes.

 

Other Important Considerations

Type of Lifting

The type of weightlifting you plan on doing may dictate what kind of shoe you choose. If you’re interested in just occasional lifting as part of a cross-fit type routine, then a cross trainer may be the right choice for you. Those who choose to lift for the bulk of their fitness regimen will want to gravitate towards a more specialized shoe. The following are some things you’ll want to pay attention to when deciding on a shoe for lifting.

Style

Style matters. Some people will claim, that it doesn’t, but it most definitely does. If you’re working out in a shoe that makes you feel confident off the bat, you’re not going to worry about how you look. You won’t be busy worrying about whether your shoes look dorky or out of place if you choose a style that you like. You’ll notice that most lifting shoes are available in a wide variety of colors, so you’re sure to find an option that suits you. Most lifting shoes feature strap or boa closures, but you can also find some that have a traditional lacing system. Some athletes will prefer the look of certain closure systems more than others.

Crossfit Shoes

You’ll notice we have quite a few CrossFit trainers on our list. These types of shoes are meant to be used for a wider variety of activities. Lifting is not the only CrossFit activity, so a shoe that can easily transition from heavy lifting to sprinting and climbing will be more convenient.

Cushioning

Although there’s no much impact involved in lifting, how comfortable a shoe feels depends in part on how much cushioning you’ll find in the midsole. Keep in mind that more cushioning may mean a more substantial shoe. The more packed a midsole is, the more you’re sacrificing overall weight but if you prefer a bit more padding underfoot that might be the right tradeoff. Extra cushioning may be a good idea if you have foot problems or are coming back from an injury and still have some tenderness. Stay away from very plush feeling shoes as these may cause instability and compromise form.

Barefoot?

Is it better to lift weights barefoot? No. Not exactly. Although it’s true that going barefoot will mean that you’re not relying on shoes to ensure proper form, it also means a higher risk of poor form and injury. Also, lifting shoes don’t necessarily have steel toes but imagine accidentally dropping a weight on your barefoot. A little extra protection goes a long way. If you’re particularly concerned about form, you’re better off doing exercises in front of a mirror, asking someone at a gym for help, or getting a coach to give you some pointers.

When Not To Use Lifting Shoes

Lifting shoes are not intended for other activities. You’ll see a few shoes on this list that are appropriate for cross fit, but for the most part, you’re not going to be walking around casually with your lifting shoes. You want the soles to maintain a high level of traction so wearing them out unnecessarily by using them for walking around or for other activities is not a good idea if you want them to last long. They are also not appropriate for activities such as running. They typically don’t have enough cushioning for running purposes are fairly stiff so runs in them wouldn’t be comfortable anyway.

Construction / Material

Many lifting shoes are made of durable, strong materials like suede or leather. Some brands offer shoes made of faux-leather for those who prefer an alternative. These types of material ensure a high degree of structural integrity adding to the overall stability of the shoe. One drawback of these types of materials is that they are not necessarily very breathable. This is one of the reasons a lifting shoe is not particularly well suited to running. A running shoe needs to be extra breathable especially if it’s going to be used on warm days or for long distances. A lifting shoe, on the other hand, is likely to be used in an air-conditioned gym and for shorter, periods of time, so breathability isn’t as big of a concern. If you have unusually hot feet, then you may want to gravitate towards a CrossFit type shoe for lifting.

Heel to Toe Drop

Have you noticed that many of the lifting shoes featured have a fairly prominent heel? What’s up with that? The reason for this raised heel in many lifting shoes is that this kind of construction allows for a greater range of motion. Have you ever done a lifting movement barefoot? For some movements, people will find that their heels have a tendency to come up when they shouldn’t be. A lifting shoe with a raised heel helps wearers go deeper into the move without sacrificing stability. Keep in mind that for some movements a raised heel may not be ideal since they may propel you too far forward.

Women’s Sizing

Unfortunately, you won’t find many women’s lifting specific shoes. But, there are plenty of women who enjoy lifting as part of their fitness regimen. If you’re a woman looking for lady sizing, you’ll have to convert your size into men’s sizing to be able to purchase the appropriate shoe.

 

FAQs

Q. I’m just starting out, do I really need to buy a specific shoe for lifting?

A: Yes! If lifting is your activity of choice having the right shoe will help you immensely. The right lifting shoe will help you improve your form, will keep you stable when exercising, and since you are anchored down so well, it will be easier to lift heavier weights.

Q. What’s the disadvantage of just using my running shoes?

A: The plush cushioning of running shoes isn’t ideal for lifting purposes, and some shoes with a lot of soft cushioning can actually cause you to destabilize as you lift. Sure, running shoes offer stability and support but not the kind required for heavy lifting.

Q. How much cushioning should a weightlifting shoe have?

A: You can find well-cushioned lifting shoes, but the cushioning will feel fairly rigid. Very different than what you’d find in a running shoe. How much padding you want really depends on what feels best for you. If it feels squishy, however, it’s best avoided.

Q. Can I wear them for other activities?

A: You could, but please don’t. These are specialized shoes meant for a specific activity. Would you wear your beloved running shoes for a walk with your dogs? Most runners would agree that they keep their running-specific shoes for running. This lessens overall wear and tear so you can use your shoes for a more extended time period.

Q. How should a lifting shoe fit?

A: It should be quite snug. You don’t want any kind of excess movement that could potentially destabilize you. A tight fit ensures you are stable while you move through a lift. You don’t want your shoes to be too snug, though, so make sure you can at least wiggle your toes, and you don’t feel your feet going numb.

Q. Do I need special socks?

A: No. You should be fine with whatever socks you have. Bring your favorite socks with you if you’re trying on a pair of lifting shoes in a store. A thinner sock may be a good idea, too, since lifting shoes tend to provide less ventilation than other types of shoes.

Q. Are all weightlifting shoes bulky and ugly?

A: 20 years ago, you would not see a single person using weightlifting shoes at your local gym. They were primarily used by powerlifters and bodybuilders. Slowly, through the 00’s more and more people would be seen using the shoe. Back in the day, they were not for fashion-concerned fitness-goer, but today, thanks to CrossFit, you can find fashionable, non-bulky ones.

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