Best shoes for weightliftingShare on Pinterest

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Between running shoes, cycling cleats, and hiking boots, you probably think you have all your athletic footwear needs covered.

However, if you regularly lift weights, you may need to add another pair to your wardrobe.

Generally, weightlifting shoes are firm and have either flat or wedge-shaped soles. They usually have a sturdy, high-traction base to help prevent unwanted movement.

Shoes with a heel wedge are designed specifically to be worn while squatting. The heel is raised 1/2–1 inch (in), or 12.7–25.4 millimeters (mm), higher than the toe of the shoe to help encourage proper form during heavy squats.

Weightlifting shoes also sometimes feature a higher top with additional straps or ties to help support the ankle.

These features can help prevent injuries related to weightlifting and promote good technique.

Depending on the type of lifting you do, you may want to add more than one pair of weightlifting shoes to your closet.

We rounded up the best shoes for weightlifting based on the following criteria:

  • Use: We included shoes to suit a variety of lifting needs.
  • Comfort and fit: The shoes on this list are comfortable and accommodate a variety of foot shapes and sizes.
  • Durability: The weightlifting shoes listed below have received high ratings for durability and reliability.
  • Recommendations: We asked a certified trainer and an exercise physiologist which shoes they’d recommend for different kinds of lifts.
  • Price: We included shoes at a range of price points to suit different budgets.
  • Vetting: The shoes on our list have been vetted to ensure that they align with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. You can read more about our vetting process.

Here are the 9 best weightlifting shoes.

A note on price

General price ranges with dollar signs ($–$$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher cost.

Generally, prices range from $65 to $220, though this may vary depending on where you shop.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $100
  • $$ = $100–$150
  • $$$ = over $150

We use “men’s” and “women’s” in this article to align with how products are sold on retail sites, but that does not mean you need to stick to one or the other. Choose the product with the fit, style, and features that work best for you.

Best overall

Nike Metcon 8

  • Price: $$
  • Drop: 4 mm

The Nike Metcon 8 is a flexible, durable, and supportive option for a wide range of weightlifting and cross-training activities. It has a slight heel-to-toe drop, which makes it a good fit for any routine in which you’re combining strength training with other movements, such as running.

Plus, because it’s made with Nike’s React foam, the shoe is springy enough to be used for high intensity interval training (HIIT) cardio bursts.

The shoe offers a wide, flat heel to give you stability while moving between exercises, as well as durable rubber treads for ample traction. The lightweight mesh upper helps keep your feet cool.

The Metcon 8 is available in a variety of colors, and you can design your own pair on Nike’s website.

Pros

  • wide range of sizes
  • durable materials
  • versatile

Cons

  • narrow fit
  • blocky heel
  • may be uncomfortable for running longer distances

Best for Olympic lifting

Nike Romaleos 4

  • Price: $$$
  • Drop: 20 mm

If Olympic lifting is your main activity, then you may want to consider the Nike Romaleos 4.

Featuring a wide base, a hard heel, a noticeable heel-to-toe drop, and broad adjustable straps, this shoe provides plenty of stability and support so you can fully focus on your power cleans and snatches.

The rigid midsole is meant to help you generate more force as you push against the ground.

The shoe is also designed with minimal flex in the upper portion, which further contributes to a solid base for explosive lifts.

Pros

  • comfortable
  • rigid midsole to provide good stability and help generate force
  • dual adjustable straps

Cons

  • some heel slippage
  • too narrow for some
  • not built for other fitness activities

Best for CrossFit

Reebok Nano X2

  • Price: $$
  • Drop: 7 mm

The Reebok Nano was designed specifically for CrossFit, and the latest model is no exception.

The Reebok Nano X2 is built to help you jump, climb, lift, and run short distances with ease — and without having to swap out your shoes.

In addition to a soft and durable upper for optimal support during quick movements, the shoe features Floatride Energy Foam to provide lightweight and responsive cushioning.

Similar in style to the Nike Metcon 8, this shoe provides a crossover benefit in that it’s not specifically a weightlifting shoe but is not a running shoe, either.

So, if you’re doing cross-training that takes you from the treadmill to the weight room and back, the Reebok Nano X2 can easily transition between activities. This makes it great for HIIT routines, CrossFit, and general training.

Pros

  • comfortable
  • excellent stability
  • suitable for a wide variety of activities

Cons

  • sizes run big
  • not great for running longer distances

Best for squats

Reebok Legacy Lifter II

  • Price: $$$
  • Drop: 22 mm

While you can do squats in any shoes (or even no shoes), the right footwear can help ensure proper form and technique.

“The Reebok Legacy Lifter II is one of the best options because it’s built with a taller heel that may help keep your hips properly aligned as you descend toward the ground while supporting your ankles to keep you from leaning too far forward. This may also have an affect on the muscles used during the squat (1, 2).

As a bonus, the elevated heel makes the shoe a good fit for lifters looking to increase the depth of their squat. That said, the effect of heel elevation on squat depth can also depend on factors like lifting experience and a person’s individual movement capabilities (3).”

Pros

  • good option for taller people
  • hard, flat sole and wide base for extra stability

Cons

  • may not fit true to size (Some reviewers say to size down, while others say to size up.)

Best for deadlifts

ASICS Matcontrol 2

  • Price: $
  • Drop: 0 mm

While the Matcontrol 2 is specifically designed for wrestling, the features that make it good for wrestling also translate to the weight room.

A flat shoe, particularly one with little cushioning like the Matcontrol 2, helps reduce the distance you have to lift the barbell from the floor to perform a deadlift. This can make it easier to lift heavier and hit those PRs.

Deadlift form may also benefit from shoes that have good ankle support and solid traction.

This shoe’s “traction pods” help prevent unwanted changes in direction or movement, and its flat, uncushioned base increases your foot’s connection with the floor.

This encourages engagement of the small muscles of your foot and ankle to help you generate more power from the ground up.

Pros

  • sturdy, zero-drop base to help you generate more force during heavy lifts
  • high-top ankle support to encourage proper form
  • “traction pods” to prevent unnecessary foot movement

Cons

  • no straps across the upper or ankle for added support

Best for powerlifting

Adidas Powerlift 5

  • Price: $$
  • Drop: 16 mm

Considering the name, it’s no surprise that this shoe is great for powerlifters who need support for a variety of moves, such as squats, deadlifts, and bench presses.

It offers a moderate heel-to-toe drop, which encourages good squat form without drastically impacting other movements, such as deadlifts, that tend to benefit from a flatter base of support.

The shoe also features a strap across the top to provide a locked-down feeling and help prevent unwanted ankle and foot movement.

However, because this shoe is designed with a midfoot wedge for powerlifting, it’s not suitable for cross-training.

Pros

  • suitable for various weightlifting exercises
  • low profile outsole

Cons

  • may run a little small
  • not as durable as some other options, according to some reviewers

Best budget

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Tops

  • Price: $
  • Drop: 0 mm

You’re likely familiar with these shoes because they’ve been around seemingly forever for casual wear. They also make a great inexpensive option for people who want a sturdy shoe that performs well on and off the mat.

These high tops work well for lifting because the minimally cushioned soles promote balance and optimal weight distribution while the added ankle support helps keep pressure off your joints.

Rachel MacPherson, an ACE-certified personal trainer and pain-free performance specialist, owns several pairs of Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Tops and says they’re a good choice for lifting if you have narrow feet.

“You can loosen the laces to allow more natural movement of the foot during deadlifting, overhead pressing, row, and so on,” she says. “These shoes can be a bit constricting, especially if you have wide feet, so be sure to test them out beforehand.”

Pros

  • stylish enough for casual streetwear
  • various fun colors and patterns available
  • available in standard and wide sizes

Cons

  • might feel too bulky for activities beyond basic lifting exercises
  • may be too narrow for some
  • may not fit true to size

Best for wide feet

Rogue Fitness Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes

  • Price: $$
  • Drop: 19 mm

Rogue Fitness is well known for producing high quality gym equipment, but you may not know that the brand also makes a solid weightlifting shoe.

Thanks to its wide toe box, the Rogue Fitness Do-Win is a great option if you’re looking for a comfortable wide-fit shoe. The shoe also features a dual-strap design that can help keep your foot from moving around while you lift.

According to the brand’s website, the shoe’s 0.75-in (19-mm) hard plastic heel is the preferred height for Olympic lifting — a bonus for competitive lifters.

Pros

  • built for wider feet and competitive lifters
  • double-strap design to keep your foot secure

Cons

  • only one color option
  • may run large (The brand recommends sizing down a half size from your running shoe size.)

Best for narrow feet

Adidas Adipower Weightlifting 3

  • Price: $$$
  • Drop: 22 mm

If you have narrow feet, you may want to consider the Adidas Adipower Weightlifting 3 because it offers a snug fit that can help prevent your heels from sliding around. Like the Adidas Powerlift 5, this shoe features a strap across the top to help secure your foot.

The rubber outsole provides optimal traction to promote stability and support, and the elevated heel can help you get into a good position for squats.

MacPherson lifts in this shoe and says, “I have trouble maintaining an upright posture and getting deep into the squat due to shorter femurs, which is common for many people. If you find you have trouble getting into a squat below parallel, this shoe can help.”

Pros

  • tends to run narrow for a snug fit
  • offers plenty of heel lift

Cons

  • expensive
  • not a good option for wide feet

When shopping for weightlifting shoes, you may want to consider the following factors:

  • Intended use: Are you a powerlifter, or do you need a shoe that offers more versatility for short cardio bursts?
  • Mobility: If you’re participating in weightlifting that includes a cross-training component, such as CrossFit, it’s important to select shoes with enough flexibility to allow for mobility and easy changes of direction.
  • Profile and cushioning: Weightlifting shoes should not have much cushioning because it can interfere with your foot’s engagement with the ground and your power output when lifting heavy weights. A sturdy, flat base with little to no cushioning is ideal for most weightlifting activities.
  • Stability and support: To prevent injury, look for a shoe with a wide toe box and plenty of grip to keep your foot secure.
  • Fit: It’s always helpful to try on shoes before buying to ensure that you buy the right size and fit, especially if you have wide or narrow feet.
  • Price: Weightlifting shoes vary greatly in price, so be sure to consider how much you’re willing to spend on a pair. It’s also worth shopping around to find the best price.

Why do weightlifting shoes have a raised heel?

MacPherson explains, “Weightlifting shoes have a raised heel primarily to encourage a better upright posture, especially during squats. Raising your heel slightly can improve posture and allow a greater range of motion during the squat.”

Can you deadlift in squat shoes?

According to MacPherson, “You can deadlift in squat shoes, but it isn’t advised. If you are performing deadlifts far from your maximum effort, it should be OK.

“Ideally, you’ll deadlift in shoes that are flatter and wide enough to allow you to spread out your toes to grip the ground and create a tripod foot position, which helps you create a good base with your feet. This is true for squatting as well, but some people benefit from the slight heel lift in squat shoes. Deadlifting doesn’t require or benefit from a heel lift.”

Why do people lift in Converse shoes?

Thanks to their flat, sturdy soles, Converse shoes are a versatile, budget-friendly option for lifting. However, MacPherson says they may not suit everyone, especially those with wide feet.

She says, “Deadlifting in Converse shoes has become a trend, but it may not be the best option. Converse shoes are quite narrow and can constrict your feet too much. For lifting, you want to create a wide, solid base by spreading out your toes and creating a gripping stance with your foot. Converse shoes can prevent that.”

Whether you’re a CrossFit enthusiast or a competitive weightlifter or you’re simply looking to add more strength training to your routine, weightlifting shoes are a worthwhile investment because they can help prevent injury and encourage proper form.

We’re confident that by considering your foot shape and the types of exercises you plan to do, you’ll find a shoe that best fits your weightlifting goals.