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One piece of said gear that is most often overlooked are the weight lifting shoes. Today we are going to show you our top picks for the best weightlifting shoes and talk about what each model has to offer.
After we go over those, we will discuss what weightlifting shoes do for you and how you can use them to maximize your gains.
Adidas being at the very top of our list shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Their Adipower weightlifting shoes are pretty much the gold standard for those who want the optimal performance and support. The whole idea behind these shoes is to give you a platform that is easy to use, comfortable for longer workout routines, and capable of facilitating those heavy lifts.
Adidas has used a PU-coated leather upper which ensures good comfort and decent ventilation. The midsole is a TPU design that ensures stability. The heel of the shoe features a 20.1mm lift while the heel height is 33.4mm. The whole heel portion of the midsole looks pretty robust but is actually quite light. Their use of injected polymer has made it possible to have extra support in a design that is pretty lightweight.
Lastly, the outsole is a standard rubber piece that has a decent anti slip texture. Fit is decent, especially considering that there are laces available. However, the hook and loop instep strap is the main way to find the perfect fit. These come in all black, white with black stripes and black with red details. Overall a great shoe for anyone.
Now that we’ve covered our top pick for men, we’re going to show you a very similar and equally as good of a solution designed for women. Reebok Legacylifter lifting shoe is a niche designed piece of footwear that offers great support as well as stability during your lifts. Reebok went with a pretty simple design in terms of visuals. These shoes may not be as complex aesthetically as some out there, but they most definitely have a does of style to them.
The whole two tone thing works rather well. Looking at the way the shoe is constructed, it’s worth pointing out that the upper is very robust. We’re talking perforated synthetic leather design which is fitted with support straps in two key locations. When you put these on and find that right fit, you’ll find them to be super comfortable but also very snug at the same time.
Your foot is locked in once those velcro straps meet each other. The midsole comes in form of injected TPU. The heel piece features a 3/4″ raise and is quite robust. It looks like a solid piece of molded rubber, but it actually features an internal injection molded insert.
Our next pick also comes from Adidas and features a solution that is aimed at those who do more than just lifting. Adidas Powerlift 3.1 Cross Trainer shoes definitely do feature that raised heel, but it is not as extreme as our previous picks. As far as the design of the upper goes, it is pretty straight forward. They have used synthetic leather for the majority of the upper while only the collar and the collar lining are covered with a mesh material.
The stability strap is pretty robust, large and reaching far enough across the upper to give you that locked in feel. Midsole comes in form of a high density wedge that gives you some elevation without sacrificing any stability. The outsole comes from Adidas’ Adiwear line and has been proven to deliver great grip and most importantly, good durability.
Overall the design of these shoes makes them great for working out in general. They have that weightlifting wedge in the heel, but one that won’t impede you from doing other exercises. Also, it’s worth mentioning that while these are men’s shoes, plenty of women have found them quite comfortable. Also, they come in many different colors.
Our next shoe from Reebok is very similar to the Adidas model we’ve just talked about in a sense that it’s a weightlifting shoe that can do other things as well. One thing worth noting is that Reebok went with a more pronounced heel raise compared to Adidas, which is even better in our opinion. They’ve found what we feel to be the perfect balance between the full bore weightlifting shoe and an overall gym shoe.
Reebok Men’s Lifter Pr Cross-trainer is a pretty attractive piece of kit. The upper features a synthetic leather design which is solid from toe to the stability strap. From that point back, you’re looking at mix of synthetic leather and mesh materials. The classic model features an all gray layout with black details. That configuration is what makes this shoe one of the best looking weightlifting shoes you can get.
With that said it comes in different color options as well. The midsole is pretty robust and quite sturdy. This shoe comes with Reebok’s U-Form technology which uses heat to find the optimal fit for the user. That combined with the decent heel raise makes these a great choice for beginners and pros alike.
Nike’s weightlifting shoes are not far behind Adidas or Reebok. As a matter of fact they are on pair of not better in some regards. One of the models that has been delivering good results lately is the Romaleos 3. These are built like a tank and fully designed to facilitate heavy lifting. Nike didn’t really invent anything new or extraordinary with these.
They did however push the existing design to its limits with great materials and design solutions. The upper is a combo of perforated synthetic leather which offers plenty of ventilation all along the forefoot which isn’t something you see too often these days. Following the contrarian design, Nike has left the rear of the upper pretty much closed off aside from the collar. The collar area is made of a tight mesh material.
Moving on to the midsole we see a honeycomb patterned TPU insert which definitely adds to the stability of the shoe. Once you strap these down, you will definitely feel locked in. The heel is elevated as expect and features a fairly standard amount of raise. We are looking at 20mm of elevation, which is on par with their most dominant competitors out there.
Our next pick comes from a brand that isn’t as known outside the weightlifting community like the others on our list. Inov-8 brings a great performance at a decent price point. Needless to say this is a full on lifting shoe. One thing we liked right off the bat and what differentiates it from most other models on the market is the upper design. Instead of going with full on synthetic leather, Inov-8 used a nylon ripstop material which does a few things better in our opinion.
For starters it is much lighter than synthetic leather. The next valuable trait of this material is its ability to breathe. As you can probably tell from the pictures, these don’t have any mesh portions anywhere on the upper, that is because ripstop material is usually very breathable. At his point you are probably wondering how softer ripstop affects fit? The answer is that there is a negligent negative effect compared to standard synthetic leather.
Once you tighten the instep strap, you are pretty much locked in good. The midsole is great and features their Power-Truss heel that gives you solid elevation in the rear. Finally, the outsole is made anti-slip rubber design.
Asics is a brand that often times carries more affordable yet every bit as capable solutions no matter what your intended application might be. Same applies to their weightlifting shoes. Lift Master Lites are a shoe designed to cover a wide span of activities. It can serve as a weightlifting shoe but also a general purpose fitness shoe.
Asics went with a synthetic leather upper that features strategically implemented mesh sections in the forefoot area. The midfoot strap doesn’t really reach as far as we would like it to, but it generally does a good job when it comes to locking in your foot and preventing any unwanted movement during heavy lifts. Looking at the heel of the midsole, you will notice that it isn’t as raised as it is the case with some of the models on our list.
This is where its hybrid nature comes out to the foreground. Even so, you are getting a solid lift in the rear which ensures good stability and support during your lifts. Last but not least, the color options available are pretty limited. You’re looking at an all black upper with a contracting Asics logo and red details around the collar.
Weightlifters and powerlifters alike tend to use a lot of accessories in their daily routine. If you walk into an average gym, chances are that you will see people using weightlifting belts, gloves and other gear. It isn’t uncommon to see people using a few sets of gloves.
Despite all of that, you very rarely see casual weightlifters wearing weightlifting shoes. Here’s the thing. If those people talk how they are serious about the sport yet don’t have a pair of weightlifting shoes, chances are that they aren’t as informed as they’d like to thing.
Weightlifting shoes are an essential part of any gym gear for anyone who does cleans, jerks or snatches on the regular. Why? because these shoes will straight up allow you to lift more weight.
Running shoes, which is what most people use in gyms these days, have a pretty massive flaw. They were built for running. Lifting heavy weights just so happens to be the complete opposite of running in terms of how your feet interact with your shoes.
Running shoes are made to cushion the impact as you run, which means that their insoles, midsoles and outsoles are generally soft. When you’re lifting heavy weights, that softness only means that you are now snatching weight on a less than stable platform. Weightlifting shoes have rigid midsoles which have very little give.
On top of that, the upper of the shoe usually comes with a tightening strap which helps you lock down your foot even further, thus preventing any movement. Another important benefit of this type of shoe is the raised heel.
Having a raised, rigid heel allows you to drive harder into the ground and shift the balance of mass more towards your heels instead of the ball of your feet. All these effects together allow you to drive that weight harder from the ground up, thus lifting more weight.
Weightlifting shoes are among the most overlooked pieces of gear you get as a weightlifter. The sooner you’re introduced to them, the better. Models we have shown you today are by far some of the best you can get right now.
While there are some pretty decent affordable options out there, we strongly suggest that you keep with the proven brands and models with positive track records. Also, if you don’t feel like committing to full bore lifting shoes, definitely look into some of the hybrid models we have added to our top list. They work great on their own.