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Weightlifting belts help improve performance and may reduce the risk of injury by stabilizing your trunk and supporting your spine (1).

A well-designed weightlifting belt cuts down on spinal load and aids proper alignment, enabling you to lift more weight (2).

If your work requires heavy lifting, a weightlifting belt can also help protect you against injury on the job.

Weightlifting belts come in multiple designs and materials. For this list of the best belts, we looked at various features, such as fit, cost, construction, and manufacturer’s guarantees. We also took into account consumer reviews and endorsements.

The weightlifting belts featured in this article were selected based on the following criteria:

  • Materials: The products on our list are made from high quality, durable materials designed to support a variety of weightlifting needs.
  • Customer reviews: The products on our list have all been well received and well reviewed by real customers who have provided positive and negative feedback on each belt.
  • Size: The length and width of each belt played a role in their inclusion. We wanted to make sure there were high quality options available for people of all sizes.
  • Price: The belts on this list come in a wide range of price points designed to meet the needs of most budgets.
  • Competition versus recreational use: Some belts on this list are competition approved, while others are better for recreational weightlifters. We wanted a mix of options to suit the needs of different lifters.
  • Vetting: The products 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.

A note on price

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

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $50
  • $$ = $50–$100
  • $$$ = over $100

Best overall weightlifting belt

ProFitness 4-Inch Genuine Leather Workout Belt

  • Price: $
  • Closure type: prong
  • Materials: leather
  • Sizes and waist measurements: small (24–32-in. waist), medium (32–38-in. waist), large (37–44-in. waist), XL (42–49-in. waist)
  • Who it’s best for: recreational weightlifters who want a high quality leather belt that’s a little more flexible than competition-style belts

Leather weightlifting belts are often expensive and can be uncomfortable when first put to use, so when price meets form, function, and comfort, you know you’ve got a winner.

This double prong-style belt features genuine leather and the secure fit you want in a heavy-duty weightlifting belt.

The belt is 4 inches (in.) wide in a cylinder style, meaning it doesn’t taper or change widths, offering the same level of support from the back to the abdomen.

At 5 millimeters (mm) thick, it’s thinner than many other leather weightlifting belts, which makes it slightly more pliable, requiring less time to break in and providing a more comfortable initial fit.

Pros

  • It has a lifetime guarantee and free returns and exchanges.
  • It’s a unisex design with a wide range of sizes to accommodate many body types.
  • The price point is lower than many leather weightlifting belts.
  • The prong closure offers a secure fit for lifts.

Cons

  • The 5-mm thickness may not offer the support that all weightlifters want.

Best vegan weightlifting belt

Fire Team Fit

  • Price: $
  • Closure type: roller buckle with hook and loop (Velcro)
  • Materials: nylon/cotton/polyester blend outer with a neoprene filling
  • Sizes and waist measurements: XS (27–32-in. waist), small (30–34-in. waist), medium (32–38-in. waist), large (38–43-in. waist), XL (43–49-in. waist)
  • Who it’s best for: recreational weightlifters who prefer a contoured fit for more back support and who prefer a more flexible nylon belt over a stiff leather belt

The amount of stability and support you get from your weightlifting belt is largely determined by fit.

To accommodate all body types, the Fire Team Fit weightlifting belt doesn’t have a predetermined set of holes. Instead, it features a Velcro hook-and-loop system so you can adjust the belt’s fit exactly to the circumference of your midsection.

It has a contoured design with a height of 6 in. in the back to between 3.5 and 4.5 in. on the front and sides.

It’s made from a blend of nylon, cotton, and polyester and has a neoprene filling.

Pros

  • This belt supplies a great fit for people of most builds or sizes.
  • It has a lifetime guarantee and is manufactured by a veteran-owned company.
  • Each purchase provides a $1 contribution to a nonprofit that provides support to U.S. combat veterans.

Cons

  • Reviews for the Fire Team Fit weightlifting belt are overwhelmingly positive, but some people report it can dig into the skin during squats.

Best weightlifting belt for experienced powerlifters

Stoic Powerlifting/Weight Lifting Belt

  • Price: $$
  • Closure type: prong
  • Materials: leather
  • Sizes and waist measurements: XS (25–28-in. waist), small (29–32-in. waist), medium (33–36-in. waist), large (37–40-in. waist), XL (41–44-in. waist), 2XL (45–48-in. waist), 3XL (49–52-in. waist), 4XL (53–56-in. waist)
  • Who it’s best for: serious or competition-level weightlifters who need the stability and support of a thick leather belt

If you’re looking for support, the classic design and function of a 10-mm weightlifting belt constructed of leather with a prong closure is hard to beat.

Many leather belts include inner and outer layers of suede for a softer finish and comfortable fit. But the Stoic belt only features a thin inner layer, meaning the 10-mm thickness is made of strong, supportive, premium-grade leather.

For competitive powerlifters, the Stoic belt is competition approved by the major national and international federations.

Pros

  • It has an affordable price point for a premium, competition-approved leather belt.
  • It offers added support, with a 10-mm thickness made almost entirely of leather.
  • The company offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Cons

  • The thickness of the leather may make it more difficult to break in.
  • Some reviewers indicate that the fit isn’t true to size and you may need to size up.

Best budget weightlifting belt

Element 26 Self-Locking Weight Lifting Belt

  • Price: $
  • Closure type: self-locking buckle with hook and loop
  • Materials: nylon
  • Sizes and waist measurements: XS (23–27-in. waist), small (27–31-in. waist), medium (31–36-in. waist), large (36–40-in. waist), XL (40–45-in. waist), 2XL (45–50-in. waist)
  • Who it’s best for: competition or recreational weightlifters who need a belt they can put on and take off quickly for transitions between activities (as in CrossFit)

Element 26’s self-locking weightlifting belt is 100% nylon. It features a self-locking, quick-release buckle. It’s meant for fast transitions. Users say it’s great for medium and heavy lifting.

It’s fully approved for use during USA Weightlifting and CrossFit competitions and has a lifetime guarantee.

Pros

  • It comes in a wide range of sizes to fit many different body types.
  • It’s approved for national and international competitions.
  • To some people, the nylon construction may feel more comfortable than leather.

Cons

  • The nylon construction doesn’t provide the same level of support as leather, and it may not be suitable for all lifters.
  • The hook-and-loop closure is more likely to wear down than prong or lever closures.

Best weightlifting belt for smaller frames

Harbinger Women’s Hexcore Belt

  • Price: $
  • Closure type: roller buckle with hook and loop
  • Materials: mesh and nylon outer, foam inner
  • Sizes and waist measurements: XS (24–28-in. waist), small (28–32-in. waist), medium (32–36-in. waist)
  • Who it’s best for: recreational weightlifters with a smaller frame who prefer a contoured fit and more flexible belt

Female lifters tend to have smaller frames and smaller waists with a wider angle between the waist and the hips. This can make standard weightlifting belts less comfortable.

The Harbinger Women’s Hexcore Belt is 4.5 in. wide at the back, offering spinal support, but it includes a slight contour, narrowing at the abdomen.

The padded foam also makes the belt more comfortable, and the hook-and-loop closure makes it easy to quickly adjust the fit.

Pros

  • It has an affordable price point.
  • It offers a comfortable fit, contoured for smaller frames.
  • It’s sized for most competitions.

Cons

  • The foam structure doesn’t provide the same support as leather or premium nylon.
  • It’s likely not as appropriate for very heavy lifting, but it’s a good starter belt.

Best lever weightlifting belt

Rogue Black Leather 13 mm Power Lifting Lever Belt

  • Price: $$$
  • Closure type: lever
  • Materials: leather
  • Sizes and waist measurements: XS (22–31-in. waist), small (27–36-in. waist), medium (31–40-in. waist), large (35–44-in. waist), XL (39–48-in. waist)
  • Who it’s best for: competition or serious weightlifters who need maximum support from a stiff, stable leather belt

A lever closure allows for more precise fitting and a secure locking system, bridging the gap between the somewhat less-precise prong closure and the somewhat less secure hook-and-loop closure.

This weightlifting belt is designed for serious powerlifters and is competition approved by the International Powerlifting Federation.

The 13-mm leather offers good support for heavy lifting, and the 4-in. cylinder style provides consistent support from the back to the abdomen.

Pros

  • High quality materials and structure offer support for heavy lifting.
  • It has a wide range of sizing to fit many different waist sizes.

Cons

  • It has a high price point.
  • The belt tends to run large, so it’s important to double-check sizing.
  • The thick leather and cylinder style might be uncomfortable for some lifters.

Best prong weightlifting belt

Steel Sweat Weight Lifting Belt

  • Price: $–$$
  • Closure type: prong
  • Materials: leather
  • Sizes and waist measurements: small (25–30-in. waist), medium (30–35-in. waist), large (35–40-in. waist), XL (40–45-in. waist), 2XL (45–50-in. waist)
  • Who it’s best for: competition or serious weightlifters who want a sturdy leather belt that’s easier to put on or take off with a single prong closure

The Steel Sweat belt is made of premium leather and features a 4-in. cylinder style and a 10-mm thickness with a stainless steel single-prong closure, all at an affordable price.

The single-prong system is easier to adjust on the fly than a double-prong setup, making it a good option for people who want the flexibility to adjust a prong belt easily.

The belt is also International Powerlifting Federation compliant.

Pros

  • The single-prong system makes for easy adjustments.
  • It has a more affordable price point than many leather belts.
  • It’s powerlifting competition compliant.
  • Customer service is responsive to concerns.

Cons

  • Reviews are overwhelmingly positive, but some users note that the leather and rivets tend to wear down faster than you might expect.

Best weightlifting belt for quick adjustments

Rogue USA Nylon Lifting Belt

  • Price: $$
  • Closure type: roller buckle with hook and loop
  • Materials: nylon
  • Sizes and waist measurements: XS (26–29-in. waist), small (29–32-in. waist), medium (32–35-in. waist), large (35–38-in. waist), XL (38–41-in. waist), 2XL (41–44-in. waist), 3XL (44–47-in. waist)
  • Who it’s best for: competition and serious weightlifters who prefer a sturdy, nylon belt with a Velcro closure for quick transitions, rather than a leather belt

Rogue’s nylon lifting belt was recently redesigned with input from professional CrossFit athlete Mat Fraser, who won the 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 CrossFit Games.

The back panel is 5 in. high and tapers down to about 4 in. in front. The webbing support strap measures 3 in. across.

Pros

  • Users like that this belt allows them to add their own hook-and-eye patches.
  • It’s made from nylon, has a 0.25-inch thick foam frame, and is comfortable to wear.
  • It also features an antimicrobial interior.

Cons

  • It’s important to use Rogue’s fit guide when purchasing to ensure a good fit. Some users mention that they needed to pick a smaller size.

Best padded weightlifting belt

RDX Padded Weightlifting Belt

  • Price: $
  • Closure type: roller buckle with hook and loop
  • Materials: polyester outer, SpongeX inner padding
  • Sizes and waist measurements: small (28–33-in. waist), medium (33–37-in. waist), large (37–41-in. waist), XL (41–48-in. waist)
  • Who it’s best for: recreational weightlifters who want a more padded, comfortable weightlifting belt with more lumbar support

A common complaint of weightlifting belts, especially for people who aren’t competitive powerlifters or weightlifters, is that belts are uncomfortable and dig into the skin, ribs, and hips.

Padded belts that offer back and abdominal support without the structure of a competition-level belt can be helpful for those who want some support without the discomfort.

The RDX weightlifting belt offers a wider lumbar support area of 6.5 in., tapering slightly through the waist and abdomen. It’s also made of polyester fabric and features SpongeX padding to provide a softer, more pliable fit.

The roller buckle with hook-and-loop closure also allows for a more customized fit.

Pros

  • It’s a comfortable all-around belt for standard strength training sessions.
  • It’s has a customizable fit for overall comfort.
  • It has an affordable price point and is a great belt for noncompetitive strength trainers.

Cons

  • It offers less overall support and isn’t advisable for heavy lifting.

Best weightlifting belt for greater range of motion

Rogue 3″ Ohio Belt

  • Price: $$$
  • Closure type: prong
  • Materials: leather
  • Sizes and waist measurements: small (21–28-in. waist), medium (26–33-in. waist), large (31–37-in. waist), XL (34–41-in. waist), 2XL (38–45-in. waist)
  • Who it’s best for: competition or recreational weightlifters who want the stiffness and support of a leather belt, but prefer a narrower profile; particularly good for people with smaller frames or shorter torsos

The vast majority of leather weightlifting belts (and even non-leather options) feature a 4-in. or wider support across the back. While some taper around the sides and abdomen, it’s unusual to see belts that are narrower all the way around.

The Ohio Belt features a cylinder style that’s 3 in. all the way around with a two-prong closure system.

The 10-mm thick leather belt offers the same support found in wider belts, but it provides more freedom to bend and move while wearing it. This is particularly helpful for people with shorter waists or smaller frames.

Pros

  • It has a narrower width for easier movement and greater range of motion through the torso.
  • It’s compliant with the International Powerlifting Federation.
  • It pinches and digs less into the ribs or hips during heavy lifting.

Cons

  • For people who prefer greater stability and support, a 3-in. belt is unlikely to feel as secure as a 4-in. belt.

Here is a closer look at how each of these products compare.

MaterialsClosure typeSizes and waist measurementsPriceWho it’s best for
ProFitness 4-inch Genuine Leather Workout Beltleatherdouble prong• small (24–32-in. waist)
• medium (32–38-in. waist)
• large (37–44-in. waist)
• XL(42–49-in. waist)
$recreational weightlifters
Fire Team Fitnylon/cotton/polyester outer; neoprene innerVelcro• XS (27–32-in. waist)
• small (30–34-in. waist)
• medium (32–38-in. waist)
• large (38–43-in. waist)
• XL (43–49-in. waist)
$recreational weightlifters
Stoic Powerlifting/Weight Lifting Beltleathersingle prong• XS (25–28-in. waist)
• small (29–32-in. waist)
• medium (33–36-in. waist)
• large (37–40-in. waist)
• XL (41–44-in. waist)
• 2XL (45–48-in. waist)
• 3XL (49–52 in. waist)
• 4XL (53–56 in. waist)
$$serious or competition weightlifters
Element 26 Self-Locking Weight Lifting BeltnylonVelcro• XS (23–27-in. waist)
• small (27–31-in. waist)
• medium (31–36-in. waist)
• large (36–40-in. waist)
• XL (40–45-in. waist)
• 2XL (45–50-in. waist)
$competition or recreational weightlifters
Harbinger Women’s Hexcore Beltnylon and webbing outer; foam innerVelcro• XS (24–28-in. waist)
• small (28–32-in. waist)
• medium (32–36-in. waist)
$small-framed recreational weightlifters
Rogue Black Leather 13 mm Power Lifting Lever Beltleatherlever• XS (22–31-in. waist)
• small (27–36-in. waist)
• medium (31–40-in. waist)
• large (35–44-in. waist)
• XL (39–48-in. waist)
$$$serious or competition weightlifters
Steel Sweat Weight Lifting Beltleathersingle prong• small (25–30-in. waist)
• medium (30–35-in. waist)
• large (35–40-in. waist)
• XL (40–45-in. waist)
• 2XL (45–50-in. waist)
$–$$serious or competition weightlifters
Rogue USA Nylon Lifting BeltnylonVelcro• XS (26–29-in. waist)
• small (29–32-in. waist)
• medium (32–35-in. waist)
• large (35–38-in. waist)
• XL (38–41-in. waist)
• 2XL (41–44-in. waist)
• 3XL (44–47-in. waist)
$$competition and serious weightlifters
RDX Padded Weightlifting Beltpolyester outer; SpongeX inner paddingVelcro• small (28–33-in. waist)
• medium (33–37-in. waist)
• large (37–41-in. waist)
• XL (41–48-in. waist)
$recreational weightlifters
Rogue 3″ Ohio Beltleatherdouble prong• small (21–28-in. waist)
• medium (26–33-in. waist)
• large (31–37-in. waist)
• XL (34–41-in. waist)
• 2XL (38–45-in. waist)
$$$competition or recreational weightlifters with a smaller frame/shorter torso

Here are some of the factors to consider when purchasing a weightlifting belt:

  • Try them on: It’s a good idea to try on several different types of belts before you buy. Look for a belt that makes you feel secure and is comfortable on your frame.
  • Leather takes time: Keep in mind that if you opt for a leather weightlifting belt, you’ll have to break it in. You may experience some chafing and bruising during this time. If you like the feeling of durability that leather provides, this may be worth it to you.
  • Is the belt competition approved? Not all weightlifting belts are approved for competitive weightlifting tournaments or championships. If you plan on competing, double-check the belt requirements on each event’s website before you buy.
  • Take measurements: The safest, most effective weightlifting belt is the one that fits you perfectly. Don’t go by your pant’s waist size. Instead, measure your midsection where the belt will sit while wearing clothes. Always go by the manufacturer’s size guide when purchasing a weightlifting belt.
  • Consider your budget: You can find high quality belts in almost every price range, but you may have to flex a little on requirements if your budget is lower. Prices are affected by factors like the materials used, name brand recognition/reputation, and competition approval.
  • Pay attention to reviews: Before paying for a weightlifting belt, make sure you take some time to look through the positive and negative comments on the products you’re considering, and be realistic about taking the bad with the good.

Weightlifting belts provide a structure for your abs to push against while lifting, which helps stabilize the spine. They also stop spinal flexion.

For this reason, avoid wearing them during exercises such as situps, planks, or lat pulldowns.

Be sure to correctly position and tighten the belt before use. Avoid wearing your belt under your stomach, even if it’s most comfortable there. Make sure it’s snug but not so tight that you can’t easily contract your abdominal wall.

To position your belt effectively

  1. Take a deep breath and hold it in.
  2. Brace your abdominal wall.
  3. Position the belt firmly against your abdominal wall and pull it in slightly.
  4. Fasten your belt.
  5. Breathe out.
  6. Readjust if you’re unable to breathe comfortably.

Care and cleaning

If you have a leather belt, use a leather cleaner or oil soap to clean it when needed.

Most vegan belts can be handwashed in warm water with any laundry detergent. You can also spot-clean them.

Weightlifting belts don’t take the place of training. If you’re new to the sport, working with a coach or seasoned weightlifter can help you get a handle on the basics and help you avoid injury.

Some lifters recommend using the Valsalva maneuver breathing technique while weightlifting with a belt (3).

Talk with your trainer about the types of techniques that will best support your practice.

You may not need to wear a belt for every lift. Many weightlifters recommend not using a belt with loads you can readily support.

Some weightlifters feel that relying too much on weightlifting belts can weaken your core. If this is a concern, try using your belt only when getting used to lifting larger loads.

When should you start using a lifting belt?

Generally speaking, you should start using a weightlifting belt when you’re lifting as much or more than your bodyweight for lower body exercises, and you’re closing in on your bodyweight for exercises that require overhead extension.

This guideline varies based on which types of exercises you’re performing, but generally, if you’re squatting your bodyweight, you should start using a belt.

Likewise, if you’re performing overhead lifts (like an overhead press) with 75% of your bodyweight or more, it’s a good idea to use a belt to help with core stabilization.

Should I wear a belt when I bench?

Most people don’t really need to wear a weightlifting belt while performing a bench press, especially if your strength training routines are mostly health- or recreation-focused.

That said, bench press requires core stabilization, and a belt can help remind you to keep your core engaged.

Additionally, if you’re trying to max out on bench press, or lift more than you typically would, the extra support of the belt may help you lift more than you would without a belt.

How tight should a weightlifting belt be?

You want your weightlifting belt to be fairly snug. It should feel tight, but not so constrictive that you have a hard time breathing.

Essentially, you don’t want to be able to fit your hand between the belt and your skin easily, but you still want to have control of your core muscles so you can engage them and brace your abdomen against the belt for more power and control.

Weightlifting belts are designed to safeguard your spine and support better performance.

There are many great weightlifting belts out there in a variety of sizes, which are made from both leather and vegan materials.

However, regardless of which belt you decide to buy, make sure it fits you correctly.