Best Bodybuilding and Weightlifting Shoes Reviewed For 2019

Check out these cool, yet functional lifting shoes!

Weightlifting shoes can be a very beneficial training aid that can help you perform better and even add some style to your workouts at the same time.

Now, does everyone need a pair of lifting shoes? Probably not. But, if you’re a lifter who takes his/her performance and progress very seriously, then a solid pair of kicks would definitely be worth the investment.

The benefits of a good weightlifting shoe is undebatable and we’ll explain more on this very subject shortly but if you’re considering a pair, then we have some top-tier picks which will no doubt aid your training efforts.

But let’s quickly discuss the main benefits and other details which you can expect from a good quality weightlifting shoe

Weightlifting Shoe Benefits

There are indeed some notable benefits to wearing weightlifting shoes during certain lifts, like the squat especially.

One study found that weightlifting shoes significantly reduced ankle flexion, increased knee flexion, and resulted in a more upright trunk during an unloaded squat when compared to athletic shoes. (1)

 

But the results also showed that these effects were significantly more pronounced in experienced lifters.

 

And a study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research showed that weightlifting shoes minimize trunk lean which is beneficial for preventing back pain and excessive stress on the back. And the elevated heel is a viable option for strengthening the knee extensors while maintaining proper squat technique. (2)

A weightlifting shoes’ raised heel allows you to get deeper during your lifts which simultaneously improves ankle and shin mobility as well due to the position your ankle is placed in.

And a wider toe box helps with toe splay while a good strap system/BOA tightening system with laces is ideal for ultimate support and stability. But quality absolutely makes a difference for maximum safety and performance. So, we’re offering options that are nothing less than superior quality.

Check Out These Superior Weightlifting Shoe Picks…

  1. Adidas Powerlift.3.1 Cross Trainer

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Adidas is known for making some great athletic shoes but they also make one heck of a lifting shoe with many quality models to choose from. But their Powerlift.3.1 Cross Trainer makes for an excellent choice when it comes to all your lifting needs.

The shoe upper is made from very lightweight and breathable synthetic leather material and you get lots of flexibility and roominess near the forefoot. So, lifting will be very comfortable with these shoes but they’re extremely solid by the same token due to the solid, die-cut midsole wedge.

The shoe has laces and a large strap for ultimate support and secureness.

And the Adiwear outsole ensures long-lasting durability, so this is not cheaply-made shoe by any means. You can essentially do any type of lifting in these from weightlifting to powerlifting and anything else in between. The heel lift is .6”.

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  1. Adidas Adipower Weightlift Shoes

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Adipower are a true crowd favorite and one heck of a beast of a training shoe. And you already know about the quality Adidas puts into their performance footwear.

The Adipower is a rugged shoe with a PU-coated leather upper, TPU midsole and anti-slip rubber outsole that is sure to support your crazy heavy and intense training sessions. The heel lift is .75”.

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  1. Nike Romaleos Weightlifting Shoes

Nike Romaleos are a staple for many lifters due to their durability. The shoe has a TPU heel wedge and rubber outsole that’s tough enough for multi-training activities where ruggedness is crucial. This shoe also has two straps which are secured by a loop system. The heel lift is .75”.

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  1. Inov-8 Fastlift 335 Weight-Lifting Shoe

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INOV-8 is an off-road running brand known for their lightweight and flexible performance footwear. The Fastlift 335 is a standard fit shoe with a heel lift of .65” and a sticky rubber sole and nylon ripstop upper.

The shoe fastens with a lacing and strap system to ensure proper secureness.

And although the INOV-8 may not be the best of the bunch it’s a solid option for versatile lifting situations.

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  1. Reebok Legacy Lifter

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Reebok is another great brand which makes top-tier options for the serious lifter and their Legacy Lifter is a favorite among many. The shoe sports the standard .75” heel lift for versatility.

The shoe has lateral support straps which promote maximum stability, upper support, an EVA midsole, and an abrasive rubber outsole to support high performance.

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  1. New Balance 20v7 Cross Trainer

New Balance is another big player when it comes to athletic footwear and although this model isn’t solely a lifting shoe, it’s a cross trainer option which is effective for multiple activity types.

The upper is knitted with ‘Meta support’ and you also have a Vibram rubber outsole for maximum traction during performance.

The shoe has a 4mm heel drop and only laces so it’s not comparable to the other raised heel lifting shoes on the list but if you need something for everything then you can’t go wrong with the New Balance 20v7 Cross Trainer shoe.

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  1. Nordic Lifting Powerlifting Shoes

    Nordic Lifting Powerlifting Shoes for Heavy Weightlifting - Men's Squat Shoe - MEGIN 1 Year Warranty (12 US, Black)

If you want one of the most hardcore weightlifting shoe options that look super cool and will stand up to aything, then you may want to consider the Nordic Lifting Powerlifting shoe. It’ll provide you with maximum support and non-slip outsole.

But perhaps the biggest thing which separates this shoe from others is that it has a 1.4” heel lift.

These premium quality lifting shoes are a first choice for the most hardcore.

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  1. Reebok Lifter Pr Cross Trainer

The Reebok Lifter Pr is uber cool in that it has a U-Form heat-activated, thermo TPU wrap which forms to your foot upon wear which means there’s no break-in time. The upper is mesh and synthetic material for breathability plus a leather toe and single strap. The heel lift is .6”.

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  1. Converse All Star High Tops

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Why are converse on the list? Well, It’s very common to see people training in these shoes because they’re flat, rugged, and more stable than athletic training which have a lot of cushion.

Converse allow you to absorb and drive your weight into the ground which is good when lifting heavy weight. However, they’re not going to have the same benefits as the other shoes listed (at least for squat performance) due to the lack of a solid, raised heel.

Although, Converse are ideal for deadlift performance due to their flat outsole and they prevent you from leaning too much forward which you don’t want during the deadlift.

But they’re still a great option for lifting in general and much more preferred over athletic trainers.

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What’s The Ideal Heel Height For A Weightlifting Shoe? 

The standard heel height for a lifting shoe is about .75” but many shoes also go up to an inch (ideal for Olympia lifting) and even down to .6”-.65” which are more beneficial for deadlifts.

But .75” is a good height for weightlifting in general (especially squat type movements) and is versatile for most lifting activities. So, you could say it’s like a hybrid since the heel isn’t low or particularly high either.

Now, certain physical attributes, goals, movement, and lifting technique will ultimately determine which height you decide to go with. So, there’s no perfect, one-size-fits-all shoe option for every individual.

But, chances are, most people would benefit from using a standard weightlifting shoe at with a .75” lift.

Different Heel Types

There are weightlifting shoes with wooden, stacked leather, plastic, EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) and TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane).

But, the shoes on our list use mostly TPU midsoles with some using EVA and other solid material. These materials are very durable and provide a very stable and solid base which you need in a weightlifting shoe which athletic shoes do not provide.

Strap System 

Most weightlifting shoes have laces by default but straps (one or two) are often included for additional security. When lifting heavy weight you want your ankles and feet to be as secure and stable as possible since they are the base.

The choice to have one or two straps really comes down to how secure you prefer your lifting footwear to be. Two will result in maximum secureness but it’s not always necessary.

And some shoes have a BOA tightening system which allow you to turn a dial to get a tighter fit.

Final Thoughts

You can’t go wrong with any of the weightlifting shoes listed. The quality of these options are up to par for most training sessions and activities but different lifters may have a preference when it comes to comfort, stability, and performance.

But, taking your budget into account, there are good options for everyone who desires to improve their lifts with the help of a weightlifting shoe.

 

References:

 

1-Legg, Hayley S.; Glaister, Mark; Cleather, Daniel J.; Goodwin, Jon E. (2017-3). “The effect of weightlifting shoes on the kinetics and kinematics of the back squat”. Journal of Sports Sciences. 35 (5): 508–515. doi:10.1080/02640414.2016.1175652. ISSN 1466-447X. PMID 27096286.

2-Sato, Kimitake; Fortenbaugh, Dave; Hydock, David S. (2012-1). “Kinematic Changes Using Weightlifting Shoes on Barbell Back Squat”. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 26 (1): 28. doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e318218dd64. ISSN 1064-8011.

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