Best Weightlifting Shoes For Bodybuilding & Powerlifts (Updated 2021)

weightlifting shoes

These weightlifting shoes are great for weight training and bodybuilding to capitalize on all your gains.

For those who lift big, you know how much support you need to continue to thrive inside and out of the gym. What a good pair of weightlifting shoes can do is provide you with something that is comfortable and versatile that also offers great stability and support, especially when you’re under so much weight.

You want to give yourself the best chance at success when you’re at the gym and a solid pair of weightlifting shoes can do just that. Weightlifting shoes are generally hard and flat soled shoes with an elevated heel and straps to allow for adjustability as you seek your desired fit. These bodybuilding shoes are designed to assist in your heavy powerlifts and other forms of training to ensure you remain stable and balanced in efforts to enhance safety and effectiveness of your lifts (1). Once you find a pair that works great for you, there’s no turning back and the gains you seek most will only start to increase.

Here is our list of the Best Weightlifting Shoes for 2021 as we seek to bring you the best when it comes to workout equipment. Don’t settle for anything less than great and this list will provide you with some stellar options from great brands as you look to enhance your training and performance with a great pair of bodybuilding shoes.

Best Weightlifting Shoes For 2021


Best Weightlifting Shoes Overall

The best weightlifting shoes overall will give you the best when it comes to comfort and versatility while still providing great support. A reputable company will produce only top tier products in terms of durability and quality to withstand any workouts.

Reebok Legacy Lifter Li Cross Trainer

Reebok Legacy Lifter Li Cross Trainer is a great overall weightlifting shoe for whatever workout comes your way. The bold new design includes a textile upper for consistent and comfortable air flow to avoid overheating and provide the best feel. The lockdown straps provide for a good all-around fit to match your desired adjustability and the raised heel offers maximum stability. With natural contours, this shoes fits you just right for support and max power with the best position.

Reebok Legacy Lifter Li Cross Trainer is a great lifting shoe to provide support for your ankles and low back. Good sizing and a snug fit ensures comfort and versatility.

Pros

  • Comfortable with natural contours to fit your shape as athletes and lifters
  • Lockdown straps are sturdy and the raised heel is great for stability
  • This shoes works especially great with deadlifts

Cons

  • A bit tight around the toe area for bodybuilding shoes
  • Not the best for squatting

Price: $131.18 – $340.42


Best Weightlifting Shoes For Men

For those men looking for a quality lifting shoe, looking to those options may seem challenging. The best weightlifting shoes for men will provide the utmost support to protect any weightlifter from potential injuries when under so much weight.

SEVE Men’s High Top Weightlifting Shoes

SEVE Men’s High Top Weightlifting Shoes are designed specifically for weightlifting and strenuous exercise in the gym. Comfortable, lightweight, and breathable, the innovative design allows for serious ankle support while also being comfortable and versatile. The flat, solid, flexible rubber outsoles are perfect for supporting immense pressure and the quality ensures these will last you a long time no matter the workout you endure.

SEVE Men's High Top Weightlifting Shoes are designed specifically for weightlifting and are versatile for year round wear. Comfortable and lightweight, these are thick and offer great ankle support.

Pros

  • Designed specifically for weightlifting and hard exercise
  • Great ankle support while still being comfortable and versatile
  • Lightweight and breathable only enhances the effectiveness of these shoes

Cons

  • Sole is flimsy and the shoe may not be wide enough for some lifters

Price: $84.99


Best Weightlifting Shoes For Squats

The squat exercise requires stellar form to avoid injury and with so much weight on the bar, it is important to have a quality shoe working on your behalf. The best shoes for squats as a weightlifter will allow you stay firm and stable in order to knock out any PRs with ease.

Adidas Men’s Fitness Shoes

Adidas Men’s Fitness Shoes are 100% synthetic and the canvas upper increases durability and stability. A reinforced heel locks the heel in for greater support and lace enclosure allows the locked-in fit to be secured with one strap coming across the top. With a strong, stable base and a sockliner for increased comfort, these lifting shoes from Adidas are the best for squatting as you work towards that new personal squat record.

adidas Men's Fitness Shoes are lightweight and stable for a great fit. The air mesh collar, tongue, and lining are great for ventilation.

Pros

  • Great support and reinforcement in the heel for the squat exercise
  • The lace enclosure offers a snug fit on the top of the foot
  • Great for squats with the stability support for lifters

Cons

  • Not much support in the arch and feels to be a tight fit

Price: $129.31


Best Weightlifting Shoes For Powerlifting

Powerlifters need the best in terms of quality for each lift requires the utmost care and attention. Those big powerlifts can seem intimidating, but with the right equipment, like a great pair of shoes, you can get that weight up and see huge gains with your Olympic lifting.

Nordic Lifting Shoes

Nordic Lifting Shoes are great for improving powerlifting performance and heavy workouts. This premium shoe offers good foot support to ensure a powerful workout and greater gains and are built to last under any stress. For those powerlifters or athletes who regularly lift heavy, these can improve posture to promote longevity and keep you physically healthy overall. The smooth, anti-slip sole is designed for maximum stability during all movements to promote the best workout possible.

Nordic Weightlifting Shoes are great for powerlifters to maintain optimal lifting performance. Good foot support ensures a powerful workout and improved posture.

Pros

  • Perfect for powerlifters and other lifters
  • Great for working on posture and supporting gains by offering top notch stability

Cons

  • Heel fit is rather loose and heel height is a bit awkward
  • The single strap doesn’t provide the best fit across the top of the foot

Price: $89.95


Best Weightlifting Shoes For The Money

Fitness equipment and apparel can get expensive and it can be hard to find good products at affordable prices. The right weightlifting shoes for the money will not break the bank and still give you a quality pair for all your needs.

Adidas Men’s Powerlift 4 Cross Trainer

Adidas Men’s Powerlift 4 Cross Trainer are great for lifting and exercise needs offering a stable feel and great support. A regular fit with a synthetic sole, a strong canvas upper is reinforced with a heel counter. A good base allows for more stable lifts and a nice, flat bottom offers a stiff feel with versatility and comfort. For those looking for a quality shoe with nice support and a good price, this shoe from Adidas may certainly be the way to go for all you lifters.

adidas Men's Powerlift 4 Cross Trainer is great for lifting support no matter the workout. A synthetic sole and slightly raised platform allow for the best out of your lifts.

Pros

  • Good stable feel for support and enhanced lifts, like the squat
  • A stiff feel, it still offers comfort and versatility
  • Good style and design for performance and aesthetic for lifters

Cons

  • Won’t work well for running or higher intensity work

Price: $59.99 – $124.99


Best Weightlifting Shoes For CrossFit

Those CrossFit athletes require certain needs given the strain of each exercise. It’s important to know just what you need as a CrossFit athlete because that will determine the type of shoe you buy to increase performance.

Reebok Men’s Legacylifter Cross Trainer

For those looking for a great CrossFit shoe, Reebok Men’s Legacylifter Cross Trainer combines quality construction with a firm foundation with a level of comfort that is hard to find. Overlapping straps offer a great fit along with the lockdown strap and the shoe’s breathability allows for comfort and less moisture build-up. With a versatility to move but also the comfort of a normal shoe, this weightlifting shoe from Reebok is a great one to get you competition ready.

Reebok Men's Legacylifter Cross Trainer can improve your lifts by increasing range of motion. For those serious about lifting, these are great for support and performance.

Pros

  • Firm foundation but provides great comfort and versatility for lifts, like the squat
  • Breathability allows for comfort as well

Cons

  • Tight in the toes and where the laces start to thread, it can dig into the foot

Price: $122.66 – $234.00

weightlifting shoes

Benefits Of Weightlifting Shoes For Bodybuilding & Olympic Lifting

The benefits of weightlifting shoes will make you consider investing in a pair, or even upgrading your current pair, so you get the most out of your workouts.

  • Increased support: These can increase support by providing better traction for your grip to the floor, as well as supporting the foot and the ankle during those big lifts and Olympic lifting (2).
  • Ankle support: Provide a secure, snug fit around your ankle so you can develop mobility and power without putting it in a vulnerable position.
  • Ensure safety of lifts: Work to protect against injury that can keep you out of the gym and hitting PRs during your Olympic lifting and barbell training.
  • Raised heel: Helps with things like flexibility and mobility while also giving you a more comfortable posture with some of these lifts.
  • Boost confidence & style: Looking good is half the battle and a great pair of lifting shoes can increase your confidence as you look like a pro with a stylish pair.

weightlifting shoes

What Else To Know About Weightlifting Shoes

Ideal Heel Height

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 with a .75” lift.

Different Heel Types

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

How We Choose

Our list is comprised of weightlifting shoes we believe will give you the best when it comes to quality, support, longevity, and price. These brands are great and take pride in their products and care of the consumer. While some of these brands are more expensive than others, we believe the quality and longevity of these shoes are matched by comfort and versatility they provide to your lifts. The support these shoes have will enhance your comfort in the gym and allow you to focus on other things aside from your safety.

weightlifting shoes

FAQ Section

What is the best weightlifting shoe?

Reebok Legacy Lifter Li Cross Trainer. This shoe is a bold new design that is comfortable to provide for the best feel. The straps ensure a good fit and the natural contours will match your foot perfectly. These are designed for and will improve support and maximum power.

What are the benefits if I use a weightlifting shoe versus a normal shoe?

What you’ll get out of a weightlifting shoe is something designed for and geared towards weightlifting. When it comes to support, comfort, durability, and use, these shoes are created to help with those big lifts from an elevated heel to provide better traction on the sole. You are working to give yourself better support when under the bar.

How do I decide which shoe is right for me?

This may take some trial and error because each fit is unique to the individual but look for a shoe that fits nicely without being too tight. It is possible to have a snug fit that still allows for movement. Also, look for what you want to use it for. If you’re into CrossFit, look into something geared towards that. Same with powerlifting and bodybuilding. With so many options, it is possible to match one that will work for you perfectly.

Wrap Up

Weightlifting shoes are great to use in the gym to ensure comfort, versatility, support, and longevity as you seek to pack on muscle and work towards that shredded aesthetic. Looking into a pair of lifting shoes will only improve your training and performance and is a great idea if you don’t own a pair. This list contains high-quality and amazing weightlifting shoes to help you towards your goals so check it out today and see which one’s will work best for you.


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References

  1. Legg, Hayley S.; Glaister, Mark; Cleather, Daniel J.; Goodwin, Jon E. (2017). “The effect of weightlifting shoes on the kinetics and kinematics of the back squat”. (source)
  2. Sato, Kimitake; Fortenbaugh, Dave; Hydock, David S. (2012). “Kinematic changes using weightlifting shoes on barbell back squat”. (source)
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Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.