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Best Weightlifting Shoes 2017 – Buyer’s Guide

Best Weightlifting Shoes

Are your gains starting to plateau?

Do you wish that you could lift more?

One solution is to get a pair of Weightlifting shoes!

Keep on reading to find out more about the best Weightlifting Shoes you can use to reach your next personal record today!

Best Weightlifting Shoes 2017

Below is a table of the 10 Best Weightlifting Shoes 2017. Each pair of shoes have been recommended for your convenience!

Shoe ImageShoe NameRaised HeelHeel HeightPrice
adidas Performance Men's Powerlift 2 Trainer Shoe (Editor's Choice)Yes0.60" Check Price
Reebok Men's Lifter Pr Cross-trainer ShoeYes0.65" Check Price
Nike Metcon 3 Mens Cross Training ShoesYes0.16" Check Price
Reebok Men's R Crossfit Nano 5 Training ShoeYes0.12" Check Price
Reebok Men's Crossfit Lite LO TR Training ShoeNon/a Check Price
Merrell Men's Vapor Glove 2 Trail Running ShoeYes0.24" Check Price
Nike Men's Romaleos Weightlifting ShoesYes0.75" Check Price
ASICS Men's Gel-Unifire TR Cross-Training ShoeYes1.00" Check Price
adidas Performance Men's Powerlift 3 Cross-trainer ShoeYes0.25" Check Price
adidas Performance Adipower Weightlifting Trainer ShoeYes0.75" Check Price

Too many times guys walk into the gym with their bags full of wraps, straps, bands and chalk, while wearing ordinary gym shoes. You might think that you can do your entire routine just fine in them, but trust me, once you put on a pair developed for weightlifting only and start adding some real weight to the bar, the difference becomes night and day. Your form might be ideal in both cases, but flat soles that dig themselves into the ground and raised heels which ease the pressure on your hamstrings and calves will allow you to squat that extra inch or add another 20 pounds to the weight.

That’s where the right weightlifting shoes come in. Although they’ve been around since the 60s, shoes made especially for weightlifters haven’t taken off until the start of the 21st century. Now there’s a thriving market in which some of the best-known sportswear manufacturers in the world offer models that really help your weightlifting performance.

It’s actually become quite crowded with different lines and versions within a line, and choosing the right first pair or your next pro one isn’t as straightforward anymore. This overview examines ten models, each with a particular set of strengths that shine through when different exercises or additional foot support are concerned.

Be sure to check out the Weightlifting Shoes Buying Guide at the end of the recommendations to help you narrow down your choices even further!

So, why don’t you cool off, grab a sports drink and learn all about your next pair of weightlifting shoes!

1. adidas Performance Men’s Powerlift 2 Trainer Shoe – Overall the Best Weightlifting Shoes

adidas Performance Men's Powerlift 2 Trainer Shoe Review

Weightlifting pushes our bodies to their absolute limit, and if the equipment you use when doing it isn’t up to snuff, the consequences can be serious. You need a wide, stable shoe which won’t buckle in the middle of a walkout, and with the Powerlift.2, Adidas has made sure that this is a thing you’ll never need to worry about.

If I had to describe the shoes using only one word, stable would be it. They’ve been engineered to provide a lot of stability without compromising too much on their flexibility. Perfect for deadlifting as well as squats, they’ll help you hit depth. They have a wide sole made from rubber which firmly grips the surface and won’t let go or slip up without your say so.

The upper is very breathable thanks to holes drilled in it for better ventilation. Interestingly, the heel is lower than what you’d expect with other shoes of this type, which is actually a good thing because it helps with low-bar squats and minimizes compression, keeping them in shape even when you’re lifting herculean weights!

Only the shoes’ straps seem like they might not be able to keep up with the rest in the long run. Their construction seems to be of a lower quality. The insoles you get the shoes with aren’t anything to write home about either, but you can safely replace those with a custom pair.

When you size up everything you’re getting, especially if you add in the very accessible price, the Powerlifts assert themselves as the best weightlifting shoes around. Practically unmovable, robustly-built and available in many cool-looking color combos, they’ll help you break previous records and look like a champ while doing it.

  • Excellent stability
  • Wide sole with a low heel
  • Breathable upper
  • Flimsy metatarsal strap

2. Reebok Men’s Lifter Pr Cross-trainer Shoe – Best Shoes for Weightlifting for Beginners

Reebok Men's Lifter Pr Cross-trainer Shoe Review

You should never skimp out when your safety is at stake, and having the proper weightlifting shoes is a part of that. On the other hand, shoes used by Olympic athletes can be very expensive. You’ll want a shoe that offers stability and solid performance at an accessible price, and Reebok’s Lifter Pr-s won’t let you down!

In many respects they’re similar to the powerlift since they’re essentially produced by the same company, but some differences do stand out. The Reebok’s heel is larger while still maintaining great depression resistance, and their design is cleaner to the point of being minimalistic.

Real leather is used for the Pr-s toebox while synthetic makes up its back. The quality this gives the shoes is without question as the leather gives you the flexibility needed to put your feet in the correct position quickly, regardless of the exercise. There’s also a TPU strap which holds on to your foot and keeps it from unneeded movement.

The shoes’ outsole is made from EVU as opposed to TPU. Under normal circumstances this won’t make any difference and is even good for helping with squats. It’s only when you start pushing past the 500 pound mark that this might start giving you trouble, so if you’re new to the sport you should be good to go.

For the person that’s just starting out, these are hands down the best shoes for weightlifting. Don’t think that their attractive price is a sign of poor quality – the Pr-s are built to last and take the pressure of many a grueling training session. Don’t be surprised if they grow on you.

  • Good grip
  • Leather construction
  • Outstanding value
  • Aren’t meant for lifting over a certain threshold

3. Nike Metcon 3 Mens Cross Training Shoes – The Best Shoes for Weightlifting and Cardio

Nike Metcon 3 Mens Cross Training Shoes Review

Do you love to weightlift, but spend a considerable time running, climbing or otherwise exercising your heart? A few years ago you’d have to buy a specialized pair of shoes for each, but with the advent of Nike’s Metcon 3, this is no longer the case! They’re the perfect all-rounders that will do a great job whichever way you use them, and save you money to boot.

The Metcons are probably the best shoes for weightlifting and cardio alike. Nike did a fantastic job when they were designing them since they perform above average for both weightlifting and running. They come with an insert made from polymers which grips your heel, adding important stability for squat exercises. The traction provided by the soles is acceptable, and doesn’t slow you down if you want to start sprinting.

The most impressive thing about these shoes is the effortless transition from one kind of workout to another – going from a deadlift to a jog without any adjustments is a snap, and even combining the two in something like a farmer’s walk gives you the confidence that slipping or twisting isn’t going to happen.

Since these are multi-purpose shoes, it’s expected that Nike had to make some compromises. When weightlifting, the rounding present on their soles’ edge decreases their stability a bit. They feel a little stiff when you’ve been running for a while too since their heel isn’t designed to take the long-term shock. Nevertheless, these are weaknesses that pale in comparison to the Metcons’ many benefits.

Although they’re among the pricier entries on the list, the Metcons are a smart investment you’ll wish you made sooner. They’re able to keep up with every cardio or weightlifting workout you throw at them, and since it’s Nike you’ll probably get tired of the style before you’ll actually need to replace them for any other reason.

  • Versatility
  • Good balance between freedom of movement and support
  • Slightly worse at what they do than specialized shoes

4. Reebok Men’s R Crossfit Nano 5 Training Shoe – The Best Weightlifting Shoes for CrossFit

Reebok Men's R Crossfit Nano 5 Training Shoe Review

CrossFit has been around for almost 20 years now, and even though its popularity has skyrocketed, there hasn’t been a shoe designed specifically for this sport for half as long. Then along came Reebok’s Nano and changed the game completely. Four versions later, they’re still the best.

This intensive sport requires that your shoes are able to keep you planted firmly to the ground in one moment and launch you into a dash in the next, so it’s no wonder ordinary weightlifting or running shoes just don’t cut it. The Nano 5s were designed with such sudden changes in mind, and they can take a beating.

Their heels are slightly raised, helping you with overhead lifts and other exercises which put major strain on your ankles. Speaking of which, the proprietary NanoShell exterior protects them from sudden side movements and adds to your stability. At the same time, the Kevlar-reinforced upper allows for a wider motion range needed for some of the toughest CrossFit moves.

The Nano 5s have tough soles. This is essential for executing demanding weightlifting maneuvers, but makes them not so great for long running. The fifth version has seen a change in materials used to make the tongue – now it’s built from a synthetic material which will chafe on your ankles after a while if you aren’t wearing full-length socks.

Admittedly, that’s being a little nitpicky. It would take much more than these few specific “flaws” to rob them of the title of best weightlifting shoes for CrossFit, which they definitely are. Even though they’re specialized shoes, you can count on the Nanos’ excellent support and durability in any gym situation.

  • Great ankle support
  • Excellent traction
  • Almost no depression
  • Aren’t suitable for running longer distances

5. Reebok Men’s Crossfit Lite LO TR Training Shoe – The Best Weightlifting Shoes for Wide Feet

Reebok Men's Crossfit Lite LO TR Training Shoe Review

Probably one of the biggest complaints when buying any kind of shoe has to do with the pair not being wide enough. The problem becomes even more pronounced when you need shoes for a task as specific as weightlifting as wider ones are almost impossible to find. That’s why Reebok has teamed up with world-renowned lifter Mark Bell in creating the Lite LO TRs, the best weightlifting shoes for wide feet.

Obviously the best news for people suffering from this condition is that the shoes have an extra-large toebox. There’s a lot of side room to work with, so if you usually feel discomfort with other weightlifting shoes, this is a problem you won’t experience anymore.

The heel has a unique inward drop which helps secure your foot and eliminates the chance of the shoe coming off. Even more grip is provided by a series of small suction cups that line the edge of the sole and a stability zone which helps with stability during external rotation of the hips when doing deadlifts and sumo squats.

The pair I tested had poor stitching in the insides and bits of cloth that were left from the manufacturing process were sticking out. The issue was resolved by getting a replacement pair, so you should make sure that yours are stitched properly.

All in all, these shoes address a specific problem and are sure to find a grateful audience. Exercising with wide feet is challenging enough, and it’s nice to see that a company like Reebok cares enough to make a great product to help you push on.

  • Wide toebox
  • Great for squats and other exercises that require a lot of stability
  • Manufacturing issues

6. Merrell Men’s Vapor Glove 2 Trail Running Shoe – The Best Shoes for Running and Weightlifting

Merrell Men's Vapor Glove 2 Trail Running Shoe Review

I’ve already talked about a few hybrid shoes like the outstanding Lifter Pr, but they were built first and foremost with weightlifting in mind. At its heart, the Vapor Glove 2 is a running shoe that does well on the training mat too. Is there a significant difference?

Their soles are made from Vibram TC-1 rubber that does very well under extreme circumstances. You can do over unders in them one day and run along a difficult trail on the next and feel perfectly grounded in both situations. Although they’re by far the most flexible shoes on the list, the traction provided by the soles is rock-solid.

Their minimalism is most visible with the design of the upper. Paper thin and amazingly breathable, it will help keep your feet dry while giving your toes enough protection for more demanding terrains. The first Vapor Glove had some issues with the upper tearing towards the shoes’ edges. Luckily Merrell has added more padding this time around to resolve this.

You might have a problem getting a good fit out of these shoes if you have wide feet. Overall they are very narrow, especially so in the toebox area. You’ll want to test them out before purchasing if you aren’t sure that they’re comfortable.

The Vapor Gloves are the best shoes for running and weightlifting, in that order. Having a tight grip helps much in either sport and their other features, while geared more towards running, help make them a viable weightlifting option if you don’t want to spring for a 2nd pair.

  • Extremely flexible
  • Excellent grip
  • Might be too narrow for some people

7. Nike Men’s Romaleos Weightlifting Shoes – The Best Nike Shoes for Weightlifting

Nike Men's Romaleos Weightlifting Shoes Review

Ever since they’ve created a buzz back at the Beijing Olympics, Nike’s Romaleos have been a staple of weightlifting shoes for world-class athletes and serious competitors. They’ve undergone some changes since then which have only made their outstanding performance better.

Unlike the Metcons, these shoes are meant to be used for weightlifting only. Everything about their construction – the stiffness, great arch support and the way you can tightly secure them, has been engineered to give you superior lateral support and overall firmness. The Romaleos come with two different insoles – one pair is for training purposes, and the other, stiffer one is meant for Olympic weightlifting competitions since it provides better grounding.

The heel is made with TMU and is therefore lightweight, and it doesn’t depress easily. The polymer used in it is also transparent, making the shoes look even better. Another advantage this material gives is that the shoes’ pitch remains the same regardless of their size because it is so pliable.

There isn’t much to complain about with the Romaleos, which isn’t surprising given that they’re the best Nike shoes for weightlifting. The only “problem” you might experience with them is sizing – if you have wider feet, staying true to your size will probably be OK. Otherwise, consider buying half a size down.

The competition between Nike and Adidas in the weightlifting world is a stiff one. Nike’s Romaleos are a definite contender for overall best weightlifting shoes, and certainly the best Nike has ever produced. If you’re looking for a pair to count on either at your local gym or in a world-class competition, there’s no need to search any further.

  • Superior stability and groundedness
  • TMU heels
  • Sizing issues

8. ASICS Men’s Gel-Unifire TR Cross-Training Shoe – The Best Weightlifting Shoes for Flat Feet

ASICS Men's Gel-Unifire TR Cross-Training Shoe Review

Flat feet are the other major problem many people are faced with. Standing or walking for hours on end are murder for flatfooted people without proper shoes, and something as straining as weightlifting might seem impossible for them. ASICS is aware of the problem though, and its Gel-unifire Cross TR line is a smart answer for weightlifting as well as cross-training in spite of it.

Arch support is the thing you’ll love these shoes for the most. You’d need to use orthotics in other weightlifting shoes to maintain it, but the TR3’s midsole elevates your arches and keeps them stable. It maintains a stiff form under the large pressure deadlifting or walking out can cause, letting you maintain perfect form with no pain whatsoever.

Once you’re done with the weights you can just as easily use them on the treadmill or in an obstacle course. Even if your training regimen has you doing box jumps and a lot of sideways movements, the range of motion you can get out of the TR while feeling both stable and supported is impressive.

The arch support might be just what your flat feet need, but if they’re wide too, the TR3s may not be the shoes for you. Their fit is very narrow and the toebox is tight. They’re also a bit stiff, which favors their use in weightlifting. They won’t loosen up much after a while, so if you were planning on using them to run in too, the stiffness might become a problem.

The added flexibility and superior design of their arch support makes these the best weightlifting shoes for flat feet. Get yourself a pair, and you’ll be able to tackle more challenging exercises than before without hesitation or fear of discomfort.

  • Excellent arch support
  • Wide range of movements
  • Might be too narrow for some people

9. adidas Performance Men’s Powerlift 3 Cross-trainer Shoe – The Best Weightlifting Shoes Under $100

adidas Performance Men's Powerlift 3 Cross-trainer Shoe Review

Adidas dominates weightlifting with many different lines that have specific aspects of the sport in line. The Powerlift line appeals to beginners and the budget-conscious because of the incredible price / performance ratio I’ve already mentioned while reviewing the Powerlift.2. So, what’s new with version 3?

Actually, not that much. A few complaints customers have had with the earlier model have been addressed and their look has received a small update in the form of different side vents. What this means for you is that they have improved ventilation and better ankle stability thanks to a much thicker metatarsal strap.

Other features remain more or less the same – their lower than average heel, light weight and innovative weight distribution are all present. Expect to perform all weightlifting exercises with the same confidence, and push for a little more with the help of the improved strap.

These are outstanding shoes for squats, and perform well with other weightlifting exercises. Don’t expect to run a mile in them though as they weren’t meant for it anyway. Also, if you work out heavily each week, the pressure put on their soles might cause them to start coming off after a while.

The Powerlift.2s are slightly less expensive and that played out in their favor when picking the overall winner. Add a couple of bucks and a few extra features to that template though and you get the 3rd version. They’re marginally less cost-effective, but the improvements over their predecessor make them technically the best weightlifting shoes under $100 today.

  • Everything good about the Powerlift.2 plus some minor improvements
  • Soles might start to come off after some use

10. adidas Performance Adipower Weightlifting Trainer Shoe – The Best Weightlifting Shoes for Squats

adidas Performance Adipower Weightlifting Trainer Shoe Review

Ah, the Adipowers! When you first start researching the best weightlifting shoes for squats or anything else really, chances are you’ll see the ton of praise they get at every turn. I’ll add my voce to the chorus as well, with just a little hesitation that doesn’t have anything to do with the shoes’ performance.

They’re Adidas’ top-tier shoes for weightlifters and you’ll regularly see athletes in the Olympics wearing a pair. Unmatched in the stability they offer and in the benefits they add to your form no matter how well it is executed make this no real surprise.

Their TPU heel is what started the trend we see today and has managed to hold its own when it comes to giving you a rock-solid base to stand on. Combined with the PU-infused leather of its upper, they become airy, adaptable shoes with a weight that’s just a little on the heavy side of perfect.

The Adipowers’ only flaw, if you can call it that, is their price. You’ll have to pay more than twice as much for them as for some of the other excellent shoes in the guide. They are professional shoes and their price reflects this. Whether or not you feel it is justified will depend on your skill level, and your budget.

Athletes who are serious about the sport have been satisfied with the Adipowers for a good while now. The advantages they bring to the table, or rather to the rack, warrant much more space to write about. Needless to say that if you do take the plunge and buy them, the Adipowers won’t disappoint.

  • Peerless stability
  • TPU heel
  • Well-balanced
  • Price

Weightlifting Shoes Buyer’s Guide

You’re probably itching to go grab a pair straight away, but before you do, here are a few pointers to keep in mind before you buy.

  • Heel Height – The standard heel height for men’s weightlifting shoes is ¾ inches, but there are both lower and higher heels available. Which one is right for you depends mostly on your physique and on the type of exercises you’ll be doing the most. Low heels are best for shorter people with smaller legs and for doing low-bar squats. The opposite is true for high heels. For most of us though, the standard option is good enough.
  • Size and Number of Straps – Straps give you that extra bit of ankle support. Every weightlifting shoe comes with at least one, positioned around the tongue’s upper part. Some, like the Romaleos, have a 2nd strap closer to the toebox, or an extra thick one. Keeping the ankles locked into place is important for maintaining proper form, so consider more than one strap if you feel you need it.
  • Sizing – the bane of shopping for any kind of shoe online, sizing can be an issue for weightlifting shoes too. The advertised size will often not feel the same as the one you’re used to wearing, which can lead to frustration and lengthy returns. There’s not much you can do about it other than try the shoes out in person, or shop with a merchant that has a good policy on returns.
  • Foot Shape – Some of the best weightlifting shoes in the guide might end up not being right for you if you don’t consider the specific shape of your foot. Wider feet require a spacious toebox and a bigger midsole. Adequate arch support is essential for flat feet so training doesn’t cause discomfort. Take a close look at the features of the shoes you’re interested in to find out whether they’re made with your particular condition in mind.
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Best Weightlifting Shoes 2017 – Buyer’s Guide


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