The Best Weightlifting Shoes in 2021

Grip, posture, muscle stress reflex, these are essential things that you need to hone during your workouts if you want to become a weightlifting powerhouse. Proper gym gear will help you knock down your goals one by one, but it’s sometimes hard to make sense of every weightlifting product. When you’re getting into more serious weightlifting routines, you’ll notice that a strong foothold will give you proper posture and will help you blast through your reps. The best weightlifting shoes should keep you grounded, eliminating any need to adjust your position when lifting and squatting.

If you want to see massive gains from your weightlifting routine, you need to master the technique. This means that you need to lock your joints, you need to keep your back straight, and you need to keep this rigid posture throughout your entire workout. If your outfit isn’t comfortable, you’ll keep doing adjustments, losing that ideal posture that we’re talking about. It’s clear that you need to find the best weightlifting shoes for your routine in order to remain grounded and to be consistent during your reps.

Weightlifting shoes have a more snug fit than your classic gym shoes, they have soles that provide more adherence, and will give you a better grip, especially when squatting. Let’s go through our best weightlifting shoes list and see what are some of the best products that’ll make your gym game soar.

reebok mens legacy lifters
  • Blend of textile and synthetic materials
  • Front and side breathing perforations
  • Two straps for great stability
  • Rubber outsole

Reebok is already a big name in the fitness and fashion industry. With stellar sport-related items, their brand is known to bring a lot of quality and durability to any of their products. The Men’s Legacy Lifter is a reliable weightlifting shoe that promises a good fit, longevity, and reliability in your workouts.

With a slight heel inclination, the Reebok’s Men’s Legacy Lifter gives you an easier time to find that optimal torso positioning. Powerlifting is easy to get into and hard to master, and as you progress, you’ll start noticing flaws in your technique. With proper gear, like a good weightlifting shoe and a weightlifting belt, you’ll notice that finding the right angle to do your lifts and squats will become an increasingly easier task.

Another reason why the Reebok Men’s Legacy Lifter shoes are a great choice for your gym outfit is the fit. Coming with multiple velcro straps to supplement the laces, you’ll have a snug, yet comfortable shoe fit. Once you break them in, they’ll be comfortable and steady, so you can keep doing reps without being limited by a wobbly, insecure foothold.

The aesthetic design doesn’t make them seem out of place, the materials are durable, and the price isn’t outrageous. They’re a great pair of shoes for any aspiring or hardcore powerlifter and they will definitely yield a solid increase in your day-to-day performance.

Pros:
  • Durable
  • Good heel-toe ratio for good posture
  • Comfortable and breathable
Cons:
  • Premium price
  • Forefoot not exceptionally flexible

Adidas Men’s Powerlift 4

Great for Newbies, Great for Pros

adidas powerlift 4
  • Canvas exterior
  • Slight heel-toe inclination
  • Rubber sole
  • Single foot strap

Adidas is a household name in the fitness and fashion industries. Originally started as a small German business, they’ve grown to be one of the biggest names in the biz’, sponsoring some of the world’s biggest athletes and sporting events. Today, we’re taking a look at their Men’s Powerlift 4, a powerlifting-designated shoe that promises to bring your weightlifting game to new heights.

The Adidas Men’s Powerlift 4 is a great shoe for beginner powerlifters. The heel inclination is very subtle, making it a good gateway item for those interested in powerlifting and weightlifting gear in general. They’re pretty minimalistic, come in a wide variety of colors, and have that amazing Adidas design which makes them a winner right off the bat. While they’re an amazing choice for a beginner powerlifter, they’re also a solid pick for veterans who want a good, quality weightlifting shoe.

The canvas exterior is a big improvement from the previous version of the Men’s Powerlift (3.1). While in the past it was a blend of mesh and other materials (like we see with most shoes), the Powerlift 4 comes with a full canvas exterior. It’s thick and keeps its shape without being uncomfortable and stiff. Great stitching, great design, we think it’s one of the best weightlifting shoes you can currently find on the market. Slap on your lifting straps and get swole.

Pros:
  • Very breathable
  • Canvas exterior is durable and easy to clean
  • Slight inclination gives good support while being newbie-friendly
Cons:
  • Canvas makes them very stiff

Nordic Lifting MEGIN

Super Breathable, Discount Price

nordic lifting powerlifting shoes
  • Faux-leather and mesh exterior
  • Slight heel-toe inclination
  • Flexible forefoot
  • Single foot strap

Nordic isn’t a big name in the fashion industry, but fitness enthusiasts will recognize it as being one of the most reliable brands in the business. The Lifting Megin is a durable shoe, fitted with an amazing design, both in terms of aesthetics and functionality.

Taking a look at this beaut’, it’s a shoe that’s comfortable and resilient. The mesh exterior makes it lightweight, and the overall structure is supported by the good placement of synthetic elements. They’re very breathable, very comfortable, and come with a 1-year manufacturer warranty, so you know that they’re pretty durable as well.

The 1.4’’ heels give you great positioning for squatting. The soles are flat, something crucial in a good weightlifting shoe. One of the downsides of this product is the velcro straps, which tend to wear out in a few months, but otherwise, it’s a great all-around weightlifting shoe. Pair them up with some quality wrist wraps and get shredded.

Pros:
  • Good price for the quality
  • Good breathability
Cons:
  • Not as durable as a premium brand
  • Soles not very comfortable for lengthy use

Reebok Men’s Lifter Pr Cross-trainer Shoe

Great Grip, Great Design

reebok men's lifter pr cross-trainer shoe
  • Dual-rubber outsoles
  • Grain leather toe
  • Slight heel-toe inclination

Finding an affordable weightlifting shoe can be a challenge. While most products are pretty long-lasting and durable, they still require you to spend a hefty sum of money to upgrade your current outfit. Reebok’s mission for the Pr Cross-trainer shoe was to bring a value-oriented weightlifting shoe that comes with the brand’s quality guarantee, and that’s exactly what they managed to do.

The dual-rubber soles provide good stability and support for powerlifting, while the soft insole makes them comfortable to wear. Using more “affordable” materials, the Pr Cross-trainer shoes are very lightweight, something that will be very noticeable to athletes. The EVA and rubber outsole performs beautifully in workouts, with a total height of .6’’ (slightly lower than usual).

With such a slight inclination, most of the emphasis will shift on the midfoot, so you’ll have to get used to a slight adjustment if you’ve used higher heels in the past. Otherwise, the fit is snug, the materials are pretty good, and the design is very aesthetically pleasing, even though Reebok had to cut some corners.

Pros:
  • Versatile
  • Grippy soles
  • Durable
Cons:
  • Not very breathable
  • Stiff if you can’t find a good fit

Adidas Men’s Adipower Weightlifting II Cross Trainer

Versatility and Reliability

adidas mens adipower weightlifting ii cross trainer
  • Synthetic and textile exterior
  • Breathable mesh-like design
  • Flexible forefoot
  • Grippy rubber outsoles

Once more we’ve come to see Adidas raise the bar for every other lifting shoe manufacturer out there. The Adipower 2 is an amazing weightlifting shoe for a big number of reasons. The design is amazing, with an inclined heel and a slightly textured outsole for more stability. Moreover, the outsole is much thinner in the forefoot region, giving you a lot of flexibility and comfort.

The outer shoe is made using canvas, so again, you have a lot of flexibility and breathability. The mid-foot strap will provide a lot of stability without inhibiting any of your movements. The .79’’ inclination gives you great positioning for intense weightlifting reps, and paired with the rubberized, textured outsole, gives you amazing stability for lengthy sessions. The insole is comfortable and soft, but not overly so, as it would negatively impact your shoe’s fit.

With a lightweight constitution, breathable design, and optimal heel height, the Adipower II weightlifting shoes provide the user with a lot of flexibility across various workouts. While the elevated heel gives you great control over your squats and deadlifts, the very flexible forefoot allows you to use these shoes in Crossfit and bodyweight workouts. Overall, a really solid pair of gym shoes.

Pros:
  • Steep heel-toe inclination, ideal for powerlifting
  • Very flexible forefoot because of the very slim sole
  • Very durable and breathable
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • Not great for newbies

Nike Romaleos 3

The Best Nike Weightlifting Shoes

nike romaleos 3
  • Premium quality
  • Synthetic exterior
  • Nylon midfoot strap

Google, Apple, Nike, they’re at the apex of their industries. When you’re getting the best Nike weightlifting shoes, you know you’re getting an amazing design, polished to a superlative. The Nike Romaleos 3 are a perfect example of a premium product. In terms of aesthetics, it’s hard to beat a truly flagship weightlifting shoe. You’re getting a wide range of color variants, a very sports-oriented design, and a flashy, yet tasteful look.

In terms of “performance”, the .79’’ heel inclination seems like the industry standard when it comes to premium weightlifting shoes, and that is also present in the Romaleos 3. It’s a height that gives you stability and promotes a correct posture when deadlifting and squatting while keeping your forefoot flexible for other types of workouts you might want to engage in.

The TPU heel has a honeycomb design, making it reliable and comfortable without sacrificing durability. The synthetic leather and mesh outer body make the shoe very breathable, cool, and stress-resistant. The tongue is the only real overlook (if you can even call it that), being the single element that can wear out relatively fast.

In terms of pros and cons, we feel like the Romaleos 3 is a truly perfect product if budget isn’t an issue. They’re very expensive, but they deliver unparalleled performance during your workouts.

Pros:
  • Comfortable
  • Insole interchangeable for a softer or harder sole
  • Great quality
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • Stiff forefoot

Otomix Men’s Stingray Escape Weightlifting Shoes

Combine Weightlifting and Martial Arts

otomix weightlifting shoes
  • Faux leather and mesh exterior
  • Designed for MMA and wrestling
  • Very stable foothold

Weightlifting and full-contact martial arts go hand in hand, so it makes sense that there will be a shoe to fit both of these hobbies. If you’re into MMA, wrestling, and weightlifting, then the Otomix Men’s Stingray Escape (not the catchiest name) is a great weightlifting and sparring shoe. They are exceptionally versatile, with a high-top design and a slightly inclined heel, albeit a bit sore on the eyes if you’re just looking for a good gym shoe.

The exterior is solid, with a combination of faux leather and mesh being used in unison. They’re lightweight, highly flexible, so they’re a good all-around gym shoe. The overall quality is decent, they’re fairly priced, and a perfect choice if you’re going for versatility.

The Otomix Men’s Stingray Escape shoes are a good value pick. If you don’t want to constantly swap shoes, they’ll get the job done, but if you’re strictly looking for weightlifting performance, then we recommend you opt for a different brand and model.

In terms of pure powerlifting, it’s a bit lacking. You have no heel/toe differential, so it’s no different from a standard gym shoe, and the very thin sole doesn’t provide a ton of shock absorption, so you can get a bit of fatigue if you’re gonna be doing a lot of bodyweight workouts.

Pros:
  • Good value if you’re looking for a versatile MMA and bodybuilding shoe
  • Extremely flexible
Cons:
  • Esthetically… unique
  • Not amazing solely for weightlifting

Inov-8 Women’s Fastlift 335

Easy Fit for Women

inov-8 womens 335 powerlifting
  • Midfoot strap
  • Specifically designed for women
  • Synth/textile exterior

If you’re looking for the best weightlifting shoes for women and haven’t found something that resonates with you, the Inov-8 Women’s Fastlift 335 are definitely worth considering. They don’t come cheap, but the design is great and the heel to toe ratio is perfect for both enthusiast and amateur powerlifters. With an external heel cage and a well-placed foot strap, you have a lot of stability to power through those deadlifts and squat lifts.

They’re lightweight, flexible, and very breathable, making lengthier gym sessions a sinch. The wide forefoot section gives everyone a good fit. Sometimes, you might find it hard to find a snug shoe if your feet are a bit wider than usual, but the flexibility and design of the Women’s Fastlift 335 from Inov-8 allows you to shop them online, in your regular size, and find a perfect fight right off the bat.

Overall, they’re great for CrossFit, powerlifting, bodybuilding, so we highly recommend them. They come in three color variants, so you won’t be hard-pressed to find a product that matches your gym style.

Pros:
  • Good heel-toe ratio
  • Well-designed
  • Flexible forefoot
Cons:
  • Premium price
  • Stiff if you can’t find the right fit

Reebok Women’s Legacy Lifter

The Best Weightlifting Shoes for Women

reebok womens legacy lifters
  • Steep heel-toe inclination
  • Synth/mesh exterior
  • Midfoot strap
  • Rubbery, grippy outsoles

Since we opened the list with the Reebok Men’s Legacy Lifter, it only seems feeting (get it?) to end the list with the women variant of the same product. With a solid design, you get the same features that the Men’s variant has, just in different sizes. The color scheme is also slightly different. If the Inov-8 shoes didn’t impress you, the Women’s Legacy Lifters are a solid alternative.

The design is very reminiscent of the Men’s Legacy Lifter, but it comes in fewer color choices and with a more flexible forefoot. You still have a good heel-toe inclination, great textile and synthetic materials, and good breathability. The price is also similar, so it’s a pretty good fit.

Pros:
  • Solid design
  • Comfortable and breathable
  • Good heel-toe ratio for powerlifting
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • Rigid forefoot

How to Choose the Best Weightlifting Shoes

Choosing the shoe that’s right for you isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Depending on the type of workout you’re looking to take on, you have to factor in the shoe’s design, the materials used in the soles and overall construction, the fit, and other extra features. Let’s go through each of these points and see what you need to factor in before choosing the best weightlifting shoes.

Design

The shoe’s design is the main thing you want to keep an eye out for. Fitness shoes and weightlifting shoes are inherently different products. A good weightlifting shoe will come with an inclination, foot straps, and overall more rigid materials to keep your foot nice and firm. Positioning and posture are essential when you want to take on heavy lifts, and the right shoe will keep your feet locked in place while facilitating good posture and will help to generate more force.

Soles

Rubber outsoles, especially if they’re texturized, is the best way to go. They’ll keep your foot locked in place, allowing you to carry all of your workouts in an ideal posture, and that’s what it’s all about. In terms of comfort, find a hard or soft insole; something that matches your weightlifting routine and your style.

Materials

If you want a nice and durable shoe, then faux leather and canvas are your two best paths. Canvas is slightly superior, since it’s easier to clean, more breathable, and provides the same level of rigidity as a faux leather shoe. That being said, they are slightly more expensive, so just go with something that’s with your budget.

Brands

While Reebok, Nike, and Adidas are definitely bringing a ton of quality, these shoes are definitely more expensive. If you’re shopping on a limited budget but still want to grab a pair of quality weightlifting shoes, then go for an off-brand product that’s hitting all of the points we’ve mentioned so far. You won’t get as much style points, but that’s hardly relevant.

About The Author

Catalin Tabacu

Living in a small mountain town, Catalin likes to spend his free time on the trails or at the lake. Big fan of the occasional morning jog (emphasis on occasional) and constantly trying out different diets, he likes to keep an eye out on current dieting trends and fitness influencers. Being a scrappy guy, he also likes to take things into his own hands when possible, so when the time comes to retouch the hardwood floors or to give the furniture a new finish, he doesn't shy away from getting his hands dirty.

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