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- Best overall: Nike Metcon 7 X
- Best for competitive lifting: Nike Romaleos 4
- Best for cross-training: Reebok Nano X1
- Best for squats: Reebok Legacy Lifter II
- Best for powerlifting: Adidas Powerlift 4
- Best style: Converse Chuck Taylor All Start High Tops
- Best for wide feet: Rogue Fitness Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes
- Best for narrow feet: Adidas Adipower Weightlifting II
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.
According to Holly Roser, certified personal trainer and owner of Holly Roser Fitness Studios in the San Francisco area, weightlifting or training shoes are an important investment for several reasons.
“Running shoes have too large of a support cushion on your feet that will potentially cause injury,” she explained.
“So if you’re performing lateral movements or cross-body movements in running shoes while lifting weights with these on, you’re risking rolling your foot and spraining an ankle.”
Weightlifting shoes not only help prevent injury but also promote good form and technique.
Plus, many are versatile enough that you can still use them for other activities, such as indoor cycling or jumping rope, Roser said.
We rounded up the best shoes for weightlifting based on Roser’s insights and recommendations, as well as 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 are highly rated for being durable and reliable.
Here are the 8 best weightlifting shoes of 2021.
- Price: $$
- Pros: wide range of sizing options, durable materials, versatile for different activities
- Cons: limited color options
The Nike Metcon 7 X is a flexible, durable, and supportive option for a wide range of weightlifting and cross-training activities.
Plus, because it’s made with Nike’s React foam, the shoe can also be used for high intensity cardio bursts.
The shoe offers a wide, flat heel to give you stability while moving between exercises, as well as durable rubber treads for ample traction. The lightweight mesh upper helps keep your feet cool.
“This shoe is great for kettlebell swings, squats, lunges, deadlifts and anything in between,” Roser said. “It offers a neutral base of support, which will also allow you to move quickly through a HIIT class or treadmill intervals.”
Best for competitive lifting
- Price: $$$
- Pros: lots of size and color options, quality features for serious lifters
- Cons: not built for other fitness activities
If weightlifting is your main activity, then the Nike Romaleos 4 is the shoe for you.
Featuring a wide base, a hard heel, a noticeable heel-to-toe drop, and adjustable broad straps, the Nike Romaleos 4 provides plenty of stability and support, so you can fully focus on your power cleans and snatches.
The shoe is also designed with minimal flex in the upper portion, which further contributes to a solid base for explosive lifts.
Best for cross-training
- Price: $$
- Pros: versatile for various activities, wide range of color and sizing options
- Cons: not great for running longer distances
Reebok Nanos were designed specifically for CrossFit, and the latest model is no exception.
The Reebok Nano X1 is built to help you jump, climb, lift, and run short distances with ease — and without having to swap out your shoes.
In addition to a soft and durable upper for optimal support during quick movements, the shoe provides lightweight and responsive cushioning with its Floatride Energy Foam.
“This is a lightweight shoe, which will feel great on your feet through every strength training move,” Roser said. “You’ll love the style and function of these while you do side lunges, stability work, TRX, or while doing twisting movements.”
Best for squats
- Price: $$$
- Pros: ideal for taller people; hard, flat sole and wide base offer extra stability
- Cons: may not fit true to size (some reviewers say to size down, while others say to size up)
Squats might seem like a move you could do with any shoes, or even no shoes, but to ensure proper form and technique, you’ll want to choose the right footwear.
The Reebok Legacy Lifter II is one of the best options because it’s built with a taller heel that keeps your hips properly aligned as you descend toward the ground while also supporting your ankles to keep you from leaning too far forward.
As a bonus, the elevated heel makes the shoe a good fit for taller lifters with longer legs who need extra stability.
Best for powerlifting
- Price: $$
- Pros: can be used for various weightlifting exercises, stylish enough for everyday wear, wide range of sizes and color options
- Cons: synthetic textile upper promotes breathability but may not be as durable as other materials; not a good shoe for running, according to reviewers
Based on the name, it’s no surprise that this shoe is great for powerlifters who need support for a variety of moves such as squats, snatches, deadlifts, and clean and jerks.
The shoe is also relatively affordable without compromising the quality of your workouts, though some reviewers complain that the shoe needs to be replaced more often than more expensive options.
Additionally, keep in mind that because this shoe is designed with a thin heel wedge for powerlifting, it’s not suitable for cross-training.
- Price: $
- Pros: stylish enough for casual street wear, various fun colors and patterns available
- Cons: might feel too bulky for activities beyond basic lifting exercises, may not fit true to size
You’re likely familiar with these shoes, because Converse Chuck Taylor High Tops have been around seemingly forever for casual wear.
Turns out, these high top shoes are also great for lifting, because the wide toe box provides stability while the added ankle support helps keep pressure off your joints.
Plus, the shoe’s minimally cushioned sole promotes balance and optimal weight distribution.
Best for wide feet
- Price: $$
- Pros: built for wider feet and competitive lifters
- Cons: only one color option, may run large (website recommends sizing down a half size from your running shoe size)
Rogue Fitness is well known for producing high quality gym equipment. However, 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 ideal if you’re on the hunt for a comfortable wide-fit shoe.
According to the brand’s website, the shoe’s 0.75-inch (1.9-cm) hard plastic heel is the preferred height for Olympic lifting, which is a bonus for competitive lifters.
Best for narrow feet
- Price: $$$
- Pros: double-closure system can make for an ideally snug fit for narrow feet; good for squatting, according to reviewers
- Cons: minimal color options
If you have narrow feet, you’ll want to consider the Adidas Adipower Weightlifting II shoe because it offers a snug fit to prevent your heels from sliding around.
The shoe is also equipped with an adjustable double-closure system featuring laces and straps, allowing you to get a fit that’s firm without being too tight.
Finally, the Adipower Weightlifting II’s rubber outsole provides optimal traction to promote stability and support.
There are several factors to consider when shopping for weightlifting shoes, including:
- Intended use. Are you a powerlifter? Or do you need a shoe that offers more versatility for short cardio bursts?
- Mobility. According to Roser, it’s important to choose a shoe that’s somewhat flexible and allows you easily pivot in any direction.
- Profile and cushioning. “Your weightlifting shoe should [also] be flatter on the ground to help your deadlifting and squat form,” Roser explained. “These tend to be the lower-profile type of sneaker with less cushion all around.”
- 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.
Whether you’re a CrossFit enthusiast or a competitive weightlifter or are 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 on performing, you’ll find a shoe that best fits your weightlifting goals.