The 8 Best Weightlifting Shoes to Buy in 2018

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Your footwear probably isn’t the first equipment you think of when you’re getting ready to lift weights. Whether you’re doing deadlifts or squats, you’re more likely concerned with the weights, your belt, and even your music. However, shoes specifically designed for weightlifting can actually be quite helpful for optimizing your workout routine.

The best weightlifting shoes help your feet differently than running shoes do. Rather than supporting your arch for a long jog, lifting shoes give your heel the support and stability it needs to transfer massive amounts of force through the floor. Good weightlifting shoes also help ground you on the floor. Many shoes perfect for weightlifting also have harder soles and good traction.

While weightlifting shoes may not all have the fun styles and designs of running shoes and sporty sneakers, they can add to your success at the gym. Check out these top weightlifting shoes today and find the right choice for your routine. 

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Adidas Men’s Adipower Weightlift Shoes

Adidas Men’s Adipower Weightlift Shoes

Courtesy of Amazon

Sporting the “adipower” text rather than “Adidas,” these shoes show anyone who looks that they’re designed for lifting. The Adipower men’s weightlifting shoes have the sleek sneaker design that Adidas is known for, built with heel and foot support features that are made for the exact needs of a ​weight lifter at any level.​​

The Adipower sneaker has a 20-millimeter lifted heel with a plastic-grooved support system that creates stability for your foot, transfers force well, and adds little weight to the shoes. This heel overlay even sports a rubber outsole to avoid slipping as you lift. The thin, low-cut sneaker has a hook-and-loop strap system to secure the shoe without messy laces. Additionally, the shoe has a TPU midsole for added support and stability. The top of the shoe has PU leather for more comfort, while the entire sole is rubber. This shoe comes in white, black, and red-black designs, and is among the best looking weight lifting shoes on the market.

Best Budget: Converse All Stars

Once a staple on the basketball court and now better known as fashionable footwear, the iconic Converse Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers are actually a great option for ​weight lifters. Priced for popular consumption, these popular shoes are an affordable option for weightlifters who don’t want to shell out the big bucks for specialty footwear from top names in weightlifting shoes.​

Many of the things that make Converse All Stars a bad thing for modern basketball are exactly why they work well for weight lifting. The simple rubber sole, which lacks arch support, is ideal for a power squat or deadlift, where you’re transferring your energy through the foot and want a flat support. Additionally, the minimalist canvas design provides a lightweight and secure design that isn’t going anywhere and doesn’t risk tripping. These shoes come in so many colors and designs. They are available in unisex, men’s, and women’s lines. 

Best Men’s: Reebok Men’s Legacy Lifter

When it comes to giving guys the security and support they need to lift better and more safely, these shoes from Reebok deliver.

The Reebok Legacy Lifter shoes include a classic lace design for initial security and a secondary hook-and-strap system for more stability and lateral support. Lace-up, strap-in, and feel secure to lift!

Additionally, these sneakers have a simple rubber outsole for great grip and traction. You’ll get the benefits of forefoot flex grooves and a low-profile EVA midsole. The back of the shoe is soft and cushioned for comfort while the heel is prominent and designed for lifting compression. This shoe comes in the understated red and gray design as well as flashier black and gold or silver options.

Best Women’s: Inov-8 Women’s Fastlift 325 Fitness Shoe

Inov-8 makes some of the best weightlifting shoes on the market, including the best option for women. The Women’s Fastlift 325 fitness shoes from Inov-8 are an excellent option for any female weightlifter who wants to maximize what she gets out of her footwear. Available in black or a colorful design, these shoes look more like rock-climbing shoes or slippers than running sneakers.

The Fastlight 325 shoes have a bold external heel cage made with Power Trusses for a reliable heel base and lateral stability so that you can trust your shoes when you’re lifting your max weight. Additionally, these sneakers feature both laces and Met-Cradle straps for a two-pronged approach to foot security. Although they’re securely attached to your feet, the Fastlight 325 shoes do not bog you down. These shoes are extremely light, with Inov-8 calling them the lightest available to women. The bottom of these Inov-8 shoes have a “sticky” rubber outsole, herringbone treads, and a Meta-flex composition allowing for jumping as well as weightlifting.

Best for Cross Training: Adidas Powerlift 3.1 Cross Trainer

Many weightlifting shoes are designed to give you the stability you need for lifting, but don’t allow for much versatility or range of movement. In contrast, the Adidas Powerlift.3.1 Cross Trainer shoes let you do it all.

For your weightlifting needs, the Powerlift.3.1 features a “high-density, dye-cut, mid-sole wedge” that both adds stability and is lightweight. Additionally, the shoes both lace up and use a securing strap for added peace of mind. The shoe has a Adiwear outsole for traction, synthetic ankle supports, minimal arch cushion, and a heel support region. For your running, jumping, and other cross-training needs, this shoe also sports a tongue, collar, and toe that all breathe. The shoe has an open forefoot structure and a flexible toe design perfect for activities like CrossFit. The shoe is lightweight and can be used on gym machines and free weights with equal ease. Available in more than a dozen colors or designs, the Powerlift 3.1 shoes are a great option for many multisport athletes. 

Best for Olympic Lifting: VS Athletics Weightlifting Shoe II

Some of the best shoes for a snatch or the clean and jerk are also some of the most simple out there. VS Athletic’s Weightlifting Shoes II come in a basic black design and have very little flashiness to them. However, they have several internal features that easily make them some of the best Olympic-style weightlifting shoes available.

The VS Athletic Weightlifting Shoes II sport external arch supports of the heel for added sturdiness and lateral comfort. The heel lift measures at 3.5 centimeters. Additionally, this shoe has a reinforced heel cup to safely direct your power where you want it. These sneakers include a hard rubber sole and plenty of treads for grip on the floor. These shoes will stay on your feet securely with both laces and a two-piece hook and strap system. These shoes run small and are available in a range of whole sizes. The hard sole and heel support make these shoes particularly great for barbell exercises, but not for any cross-training.

Best Low Top: Nike Romaleos 3

Many of the best weightlifting shoes are low-cut. Unlike basketball or other lateral quickness sports, ankle support is not necessarily important with weightlifting and can cause discomfort or unnecessary weight when added with a high-top cut. The Nike Romaleos 3 are among the best low-cut weightlifting shoes today. These shoes are also stylish, with designs in red, black, and lime green.

The sleek Nike weightlifting sneakers feature a great heel support system with a support heel cup internally and stylized external heel supports for added lateral stability. Additionally, the shoe includes both the classic laces and a single strap for increased foot security. The collar and forefront are breathable with mesh materials and the front features the iconic Nike Swoosh. The shoe comes with two soles—one soft, one firm—so that you'll have the ideal feel for your workout. The rubber outsoles deliver traction while the TPU plate enables lightweight support throughout.

Best High Top: Otomix Stingray Escape Bodybuilding Shoe

While high-top shoes are rarer for weightlifters, those who have ankle issues or want multi-sport versatility in their footwear may enjoy the Otomix Stingray Escape bodybuilding shoes. These lightweight shoes are designed for weightlifting as well as boxing and mixed martial arts. With a suede and synthetic material mix, these shoes are comfortable, durable, and flexible.

The high-top design of the Stingray Escape shoes allow you to lace up from the forefoot to the mid-ankle for extra support and security. The sole of the shoe is thin while the outsole has a great rubber grip, with treads on the toe and heel. Available in black, red, green, and blue, you can match these shoes to your shorts. People who use these shoes love them because of how good they feel on your feet as well as how functional they are for multiple activities. 

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