As with any other form of exercise you do, making sure you are wearing the proper shoes is important for both safety as well as performance success. Weight lifting is no different.
With a wide variety of different weightlifting shoes on the market however, you may find yourself feeling slightly overwhelmed at which will be the best ones to choose.
|Rating (5 being the best)
Nike Romaleos 2
Inov-8 FastLift 335
In order to establish which will be the best weightlifting shoes for you, there are some important points to consider. Let’s walk you through the main things to take into account and then introduce you to the more popular options available.
Why Wear Weight Lifting Shoes?
The primary reason for wearing weight lifting shoes is a mix between support and flexibility. You do need some support as you go about your workouts, hoisting heavy weights, especially in and around the ankle.
As a result, you’ll often find these shoes come up higher on the foot than traditional running shoes do, giving you this added support.
In addition to this, you’ll also find that the sole is more flexible on these shoes, which allows for more comfort and movement of the foot during exercises such as squats and lunges.
Weightlifting Shoes For Men
When it comes to weight lifting shoes for either gender, you should note that there is no true men’s and ladies. Basically, the shoes are multi-gender, so either sex can wear the shoes.
Females seeking weightlifting shoes for women will therefore be looking at the same shoes her male counterpart would, however she should take note of the size differences. Since these shoes tend to fit most in alignment with men’s dress shoes (more on this point below), you will want to do your best to try them on before you buy. Or alternatively, you might go to the store and get fitted for a pair of men’s dress shoes instead.
As strange as it may seem, that is the best way to establish which size of these shoes you should be wearing.
Powerlifting Shoes – The Difference
The weight lifting shoe is going to have a raised heel, which is going to enable you to move into more depth with your squats and lunges. Additionally, you’ll have more overall ankle movement while wearing the shoe.
With the powerlifting variety however, the primary goal will be to allow the posterior chain of your body to be utilize more during your lifts, therefore you’ll notice a flat sole in these.
This focuses more on ankle stability versus mobility noted above.
Depending on the type of lifts you typically focus on, this can help establish which type of shoe is going to be the better option for you.
The best powerlifting shoes can really make or break your total strength gains, so it’s something to consider.
Olympic Lifting Shoes
The primary goal of Oly lifting shoes is going to be to reduce the amount of the force that’s being generated by the legs being absorbed by the shoe. This means that more of the force is transferred to the lift that you’re completing, thus helping you hoist more weight.
In addition that, especially with the Olympic lifts, wearing the best Olympic weight lifting shoes is going to allow you to move through the squat position with a more upright posture, thus reducing the chances that you start to experience lower back pain.
Since you will be hoisting so much weight when doing Olympic lifts, if you aren’t taking care of your back, this could take you out of the game altogether.
A Word On Sizing
One very critical fact to know about all of these lifting shoes is that sizing is often quite different from traditional running shoe size. You will find that you are much closer matched to your dress size when it comes to these shoes, so go with that for guidance.
In the best case scenario you would try the pair on before you buy, however if you are ordering online and this isn’t an option, then always use your dress shoe size instead.
Now that you know the main facts about the different shoes, let’s give you a brief overview of the main shoes you’ll come across on the market.
Adidas Adipower Weightlifting Shoes
The Adidas model of shoe is another very popular one on the market today and is going to bring numerous benefits to your workout session. This shoe is priced quite a bit higher than the above option at around $200 depending on where you purchase, so you will require a much higher investment going with this model.
That said, users have come back with good reviews so if you are a fan of the Adidas brand, it may be the first choice for you.
This shoe comes in an attractive black, scarlet red, and grey color scheme and offers a high degree of support and durability, so they are designed to stand up over time.
This shoe comes with a polyurethane-coated leather upper and has a breathable air mesh fabric so you stay cool as you workout. This will also help to make sure the shoes are more durable over time as well.
In addition to that, they also have a heavy-duty strap system with only one strap, so putting them on taking them off is very easy.
Users have commented that they are a stiffer feeling shoe, so if you like that high level of support, this could be the one for you. They tend to fit wider sized feet very well also, so as long as you choose the proper length size, you should find good comfort from using this shoe.
Nike Romaleos 2 Volt Weightlifting Shoes
One of the hottest shoes on the market right now, these Nike Romaleos have received rave reviews from most people who try them. They are priced very similar to the Adidas model at right around $200 depending on where you buy.
Available in a number of color options including a deep red, black, and a bright yellowy-green color, you have your pick of choices with this model.
This shoe is also designed to be very lightweight and comfort on the foot, with Nike reducing the shoe weight by 50 grams during construction of this model.
You’ll also notice that you have a very high degree of forefoot flex as well, making these exceptionally comfortable to wear. If you hate feeling constricted as you go about your lifts, this is definitely going to be the shoe for you.
It also has an integrated lacing system with double power straps that will help ensure that your foot stays put regardless of what exercise you happen to be doing and contains durable materials that will stand up to the test of time.
This shoe has been specially designed to help minimize the wear in the heel region of the foot for extended use, so your investment will go a long way when you’re purchasing the shoe.
To help reduce foot pain during exercise, there are also elastics that are attached to the top of the shoe that will flex along with your tendons as you execute exercises such as clean and jerks. This helps to prevent foot-related injuries as your weights go up.
Rogue Weight Lifting Shoes – ½” Heel
This shoe sets itself apart with the half an inch heel, which tends to put it between a traditional weight lifting shoe and an Olympic shoe. These shoes come with a very heavy duty strap set-up, so you’ll feel very supported as you go about your workouts.
Users have commented that they can take some time to break in fully and get feeling well-fitted to your foot, but after the initial few training sessions, they mold very comfortably to the foot.
They come in an attractive red color, which will appeal great to both men and women. The shoe is a lower cost option at around $120 depending on where you look, so is a budget-friendly shoe to invest in.
Inov-8 FastLift 335
This shoe is designed with the well-known Meta-Flex system that Inov-8 has developed, so will offer superior comfort and durability. It’s also only 12 ounces in weight, making it very lightweight on the foot to ensure maximum comfort as you go about your workouts.
It does tend to fit wider feet slightly better as it has a wider toe box, so be sure that you are taking this into account. You’ll get an external heel cage with this shoe, which helps to provide a higher degree of stability as you do your squats and deadlifts and provides a very strong grip with its suction cup outsole.
Users have reported feeling very satisfied with this shoe purchase, so if the Romaleos are slightly out of budget, this could be a great option to consider.
Rogue Weightlifting Shoes – ¾” Heel
Finally you have this variety of shoe, which is very well built, just like it’s ½ inch partner, only this time with a ¾ inch heel. This is more in line with the classic weight lifting variety of shoe and is going to offer excellent support and flexibility.
This shoe comes with a mesh insert that allows for more breathability of your foot as you go about your training sessions, which could in turn make the shoes last slightly longer since you won’t have to content with the post-training moisture in the shoe, which could break it down more quickly.
It also has two shorter hooks for lacing and a loop fastening tarsal strap, which will improve how you feel and move in the shoe.
Users have commented that this is one of the most comfortable shoes they’ve ever worn – so comfortable in fact they often forget to take them off after their workout is completed.
Those with wider feet should also find they have no problem using these shoes as they can fit a variety of foot widths quite easily. The sole is made from a great gripping material, making sure you feel confident in whatever workout environment you happen to be doing your session in.
Some users have commented that the sole may wear out more quickly than other shoes on the market, however this is not a constant situation. If you use the shoes properly, you should get a good lifespan out of them.
These shoes are priced well and in alignment with their ½ inch variety at about $120.
Wrapping It Up
So there you have a brief run-down of the various shoes you can choose from. Those who do invest in a good shoe note significant improvements in their workout performance with both the total amount of sheer weight they can lift as well as their time to fatigue. If your body is well-supported by the shoe you are using, it’s going to mean you can comfortably perform the exercises much longer, thus moving that much further in your workout progress.
Just do be sure that you make an effort to size your foot properly. Whichever shoe you choose, that is one thing that is common to all of these – that they fit small. If you order your usual running shoe size, you are going to find that without a doubt they are not going to be wearable in the gym and you’ll be returning them.
Order down a size or two and you’ll be much happier with your purchase decision.