13 Best Lifting Shoes
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.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research
13 Top-Rated Lifting Shoes
1. Adidas Adipower II
Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to the Adipower II. When compared to the previous iterations of the shoe, there are a few key differences worth noting.Read more
This option is made to hold firmly in place when engaging in heavy lifting which makes it ideal for bench presses, squats, and deadlifts.
Unlike other powerlifting designs out there on the market, the Adipower II sits a little bit higher on the foot, especially on the heel. This higher heel adds more cushioning and support, which makes it great for other lifts than just your standard powerlifting sets.
It also boasts a velcro strap along the top of the foot to enhance lockdown. The slim design is made to fit your foot like a glove. It is important to note, however, that the toe box of this design is a little bit more narrow than most.
If you are in the market for something to help offer support and comfort when engaging in heavy lifts, this updated design from Adidas is a great choice. Users love that it has a slim and comfortable fit, but be aware that this slim fit might be a little too narrow for those with wide feet.
One thing that we really liked about this design is that it comes in at a reasonable price point that makes it worth checking out.
2. Nordic Lifting Shoes
Super stable design
Nice fit and stability
Nice raised heel
Run small in size at times
Few color options available
If you are looking for a great shoe that provides comfort, stability, and support for your weightlifting needs then you need to look at the Nordic Lifting Shoe! The raised heels, thick soles, and supporting material design make it a great shoe for your weight training needs.Read more
Rubber soles with specially designed grip features provides ideal traction and stability. Reviewers felt the shoe was extremely stable when lifting, which is essential to being safe during any and all routines you may have lined up for the day.
The upper fabrics on this shoe have fantastic durability and is fairly easy to clean. The design of the shoe is such that it provides the support and stability you need to keep your foot in proper alignment during your weight lifting routine.
The Nordic Lifting Shoe is available in a range of sizes, including some wides, so you should have little problem finding one that fits your feet and that meets your needs. The combination lace and Velcro strap ensure the shoe stays secure!
These weightlifting shoes are a great option for newcomers to the sport of lifting. They are more costly than another shoes but for weight lifting needs these are a great investment and are a popular shoe among weightlifters.
3. Nike Romaleos III
Hard and soft sole insert
What’s great about this shoe design is that it provides a little bit of versatility depending on your preferences as well as lifts. It has an interchangeable sole that provides both soft and rigid support based upon your needs. Users also love that this design comes in a wide variety of color options to keep things exciting!Read more
It has a velcro lock-in strap along the arch of the foot to keep them firmly in place while in use.
The best feature of this design lies in the heel. It has a slightly elevated heel to provide support when pushing for a PR, as well as offer excellent ankle mobility.
We love the additional foot insert to offer a more rigid or soft sole for various types of lifts.
It is important to note that this design from Nike has a price point that is almost double a standard pair of trainers. However, we feel that the price is well worth it when you take into consideration it comes in unique colors and ships with two soles to accommodate various lifts and training methods.
4. York Athletics
Solid, grippy construction
Sizing issue reported by some
The York Athletics shoe is a great option for weightlifters who want something that is practical while also being stylish. These shoes are available in several basic by stylish colors and are designed to be supportive and durable while also looking great in and out of the gym.Read more
These shoes feature improve grips on the soles and a durable design that helps support your entire foot. Whether you are new to weight lifting or are looking for an upgrade to your current shoes, these are a great option to consider.
Reviewers praise the York Athletics and many of them have commented on how much they liked the support and fit they get. The unique design of the upper material allows for improved airflow so your feet stay cool and comfortable even during the most intense of workouts.
The lacing system is designed to be quick and easy to lace and also stays in place so you don’t have to worry about stopping a set and retying annoying laces over and over. Inside, a soft, comfortable lining cushions the feet during your workouts.
The York Athletics is a bit pricey for a pair of shoes but when you consider the high impact and demand lifting shoes have to live up to, it is easy to see why these are an investment you should consider. For beginners and pros alike, these shoes will serve you well!
5. Reebok Crossfit Nano
Many colors available
Nice amount of cushioning
Poor arch support
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.Read more
The outsole provides traction for wearers thanks to its multi-surface construction.
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.
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.
pretty pricey if you get the newer model
6. Nike Romaelos II
True to size
Comfortable to wear
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.Read more
Outsole covers a fair bit of surface area which helps protect against wear that might occur during use and provides traction while lifting.
The shoe's synthetic upper hugs the foot just right and TPU heel counter keeps the foot locked in place.
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.
The high price tag may dissuade some from considering the Romaelos II lifting shoes, but they are a quality option.
7. INOV-8 Lifting Fastlift 400
Wide toe box
Limited design options
The INOV-8 Fastlift 400 is the newest addition to the Fastlift line, and the changes that they made to this style is incredibly impressive. Not only did they change up the styling of the 400, but they offered a few advanced features for a personalized fit.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is that instead of utilizing a velcro strap to enhance lockdown, it uses a dial with dual straps.
The 400 also boasts a lightweight wedge heel to promote flexibility without weighing you down. Users also really appreciate that this design has a wider toe box which is great for those that prefer to lift without shoes.
The dial ensures that you find a secure fit that feels more natural against the highest point on your foot. Dual straps ensure that the straps fit evenly across your foot to reduce pressure points.
If you are in the market for something that offers innovative design features that you may not find anywhere else on the market, this is a great option. We love the addition of the lockdown dial for a comfortable fit that won’t shift around on your foot, and it comes in at a price point that runs about the same price as a high-end pair of running trainers.
8. Nike Metcon 4 XD
Great hybrid trainer
The Metcon 4 XD is designed for a more versatile workout. If you like to supplement your deads and squats with other types of lifts, these trainers will be able to keep up with your varied workouts. It has a lightweight and comfortable fit, fun color options, and a price tag that is a little more reasonable than other designs on our list.Read more
For those that like deadlifts in bare feet, this style is the next best thing to bare feet. Plus, it has a slight incline on the heel for excellent ankle flexibility.
The most important feature of this option is that it boasts a lightweight upper that is incredibly breathable and won’t weigh your down.
It doesn’t have a velcro strap on the outside to help ensure tight lockdown, but that doesn’t mean it won’t keep your feet securely in place. The Fly Wire tech insole and upper of this design really hug your foot to prevent it from shifting around.
If your weekly workout routine isn’t limited to benches, deads, and squats, you may benefit from this hybrid design over your traditional platform design. It is offered in a wide variety of colors and styles and comes in at a price point that is just slightly more expensive than a basic pair of Nike trainers.
9. Asics Lift Master Lite
Some found the shoe a bit narrow
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.Read more
The shoe features a rubber sole for traction and reviewers liked how stable they felt when lifting weights.
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.
Mono sock construction means that slipping on the shoe is a piece of cake. The fit is not an issue with this shoe.
Priced on the lower end of the scale, the ASICS Lift Master Lite is a stable shoe made of quality materials.
10. Invo-8 Fastlift 335
Stylish overall design to the shoes
easy fasten strap
Laces for addition support
Good minimal heel to toe drop
Comfortable and easy to wear
Some complained of smaller toe boxes
May be hard to size for larger and wider feet
Looking for good workout shoes to wear for your weight lifting workout sets? If so then the Invo-8 Fastlift 335 is a great pair of shoes to add to your workout gear! These shoes are perfect for lifting and have all the features you are looking for in a reliable pair of lifting shoes.Read more
The Invo-8 Fastlift 335 are designed perfectly for weight lifting in that they have a minimal heel to toe drop. This means you can easily maintain your balance and keep more of your foot in contact with the ground during your sessions. This is essential to safe lifting and is a key factor of these shoes that makes them a popular choice among weight lifters of all skill levels!
You need good support when you are working out so it is important that your shoes are designed well and that they are up to the challenge. These shoes are made with supportive soles that inner soles that will support your feet during your sessions. They are perfect for lifting and are designed inside and out with materials that are durable and that will support and protect your feet at all times.
Ensuring a good fit is also important for weight lifting so you can keep your balance and not lose your footing due to your shoes sliding on your feet. The Invo-8 Fastlift 335 has been ranked well by past users in term of accurate fitting and they are easy to fit properly. These shoes are also specially designed to be snug but with some give to allow for good stability.
No one wants to spend more money than they have to on a pair of shoes but when it comes to lifting, cutting corners to save a few bucks can really cost you. These shoes are well worth the investment, even thought they are bit more expensive than a regular pair of workout shoes would be. They have the features and benefits you are looking for, which makes them a valuable addition to any workout gear collection!
The final factor to consider is comfort, and the Invo-8 Fastlift 335 are made to fit comfortably and will feel just as good at the start of your workout session as they will at the end of the last rep. They are made with insoles and inner materials that are comfortable and supportive so your feet feel great during and after a session each and every time you wear them.
11. Reebok Legacylifter Cross Trainer
The great thing about this option from Rebok is that it provides users with excellent lockdown with its dual straps. It is composed of super-tough materials that hold firm even under your heaviest lifts. This design may cost quite a bit more than other designs out there on the market, but it is well worth it for those serious about lifting.Read more
It is composed of TPU that is incredibly durable and holds firm under the pressure.
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is that it has a pair of dual straps to promote excellent lockdown. There is a velcro strap at the top of the laces near the toes, and another one near the top of the foot. Dual straps help keep the shoe shifting around on your foot as you engage in heavy lifts.
We also like the beveled heel. This style of the heel helps lifters maintain control and it is also a little more lightweight than other wedge heel designs out there on the market.
If you are willing to pay extra for something that is designed with heavy lifters in mind, this is your option. If your three big lifts are deads, benches, and squats, the Legacylifter is the design that you need to offer top-notch support and comfort.
12. Otomix Stingray Escape
Great ankle support
Not as breathable as other models
Some cited durability issues
A suede upper makes these lifting shoes a little bit more luxurious than others and more durable.Read more
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.
The higher cut means the shoe provides more ankle support for lifters and a snug fit means that extra movement is eliminated.
Lightweight upper hugs the foot securely and reviewers liked the overall fit of the shoe.
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.
Easy to use boa system
Flat outsole provides a supportive, grippy platform
Nice amount of cushioning
Excellent ankle support
Available in colors ranging from basic to flashy, the NOBULL weightlifting shoe provides everything you need to stay safe while lifting and working with weights- impressive grip, full foot support, and an easy to lace design.Read more
The outsole design is such that you get good traction and support so you can plant your feet and keep your balance from the start of a rep to the end. This is important to staying safe so it is important to get a shoe with good grip!
The upper design of the NOBULL weightlifting shoe is supportive but at the same time is surprisingly light. Comfort insoles keep everything balanced and provides good stability. Support is a great feature of these shoes and is a key selling point.
These shoes are made to fit well and support the foot. If you are lifting weights, your focus must be on the task at hand, not on sore and achy feet. Some reviewers said they needed to get a size larger for the right fit, but this is easy to overcome.
The NOBULL shoe is one of the pricier shoes on our list, but compared to others on our top ten list, you are still getting a great shoe that performs well in real world settings and that will help you get the most out of your weightlifting routines.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
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.
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 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.
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.
As always, 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 might 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.
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.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
We all know different styles of shoe run differently in size, some being big, some being small. Make sure you pay attention to the sizing chart, this will help guide you to the right size for you.
Always keep in mind, shopping online makes it difficult to find the fit and support your looking for since you're not able to try it on. This guide, along with additional research of the shoe will help find that fit and support your looking for.
If you have any underlying concerns or issues regarding your feet, you will need to be extra careful while lifting and it is all the more important you get a quality pair of shoes that will support and protect your feet! If you have foot problems such as fallen arches, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, hammertoes, or other conditions, you should talk to your doctor about what kind of shoes you should be wearing and how you can make sure you stay safe while lifting weights and working out. It is always best to be safe rather than sorry!
Other Factors to Consider
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It is very important to consider the outsoles of any lifting shoes you are thinking about purchasing for your workouts. The outsole needs to be durable and supportive so your feet are protected during your sessions. You will also want shoes that have a lot of good tread on the outsoles because this is what gives you traction and helps you keep your balance. Well designed outsoles will be durable and will resist wear and tear so that they last a good long time for you.
Traction is critical for weight lifting shoes because that is what keeps you from slipping and sliding while lifting. Without good traction your feet will begin to slide around as you lift your weights and this can be extremely dangerous! That is why it is important to ensure your weight lifting shoes have adequate tread that provides good traction for you. All of the lifting shoes we featured here have good tread and supply the traction you need to stay safe!
The final point to consider when you are looking for new lifting shoes for your workout needs is to look at how they rate for stability. When you are lifting heavy weights the last thing you want is to lose your balance because your feet slip or your ankles are not supported.
The shoes on our list here are designed for weight lifting and have the stability and support you are looking for. You should have no trouble finding a pair that will keep your feet stable and that will serve you well during your weight lifting sets.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: I’m just starting out, do I really need to buy a specific shoe for lifting?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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 ’00s 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.
q: Do I need more than one pair of weight lifting shoes?
The answer to this depends largely on what kind of lifting you do and how often you do it. If you are just starting out and are still working at lighter weight ranges and are lifting weights only 1-2 times a week, you should be fine with a single pair of quality lifting shoes. However, if you have been at it for a while and are lifting serious weight and are doing weight lifting on a regular basis then you may benefit from several pairs of shoes to avoid wearing them out too quickly.
q: Where to buy weightlifting shoes?
The bad news here is that these shoes aren’t available at your average shoe store. If you want to try on a pair before you buy, you need to head to your local sporting goods store. If your local sporting goods store sells things like cleats and gift shoes they will likely also carry powerlifting shoes.
Online, most retailers offer a limited selecting of styles. For the most robust selection, we suggest big retailers or sporting goods stores. Before you buy online, be sure that you check the sizing to ensure that you get the right size the first time!
q: Why wear weightlifting shoes?
We know, these shoes look like a cross between bowling shoes and platform sneakers. Clearly, lifters do not wear these shoes for their style. So, what exactly are the benefits of this particular pair of sneakers?
The most important feature that will really help your lifts is the wedge heel. This slight heel allows you to really dig into the squat before engaging in a lift such as deadlifts or squats. Additionally, the heel also allows you to create more of an arch in your back when bench pressing, which can provide more control over the bar.