There are some weightlifters out there that have never strapped a weightlifting belt to their bodies and have (some would say miraculously) never had to deal with any injury, but the overwhelming majority of serious weightlifters – especially those that are pulling or pushing some pretty serious tonnage – wouldn’t imagine working out without checking out the best weightlifting belt reviews they can find to give them that extra level of safety and stability that they know they need.
After all, there is a reason why serious athletes, professional athletes, and Olympic athletes refused to step foot in a gym without having the best belt they can find in their gym bag or comfortably fitted around their waist.
At the same time, there are so many different weightlifting belt options out there on the market today that trying to find the picture-perfect one can be anything but effortless. In fact, it can be downright confusing trying to differentiate one weightlifting belt from another unless you know exactly what to look for.
Here are just a couple of things that you’re going to want to keep in mind when searching for the best weightlifting belt for you!
You do Not want a weightlifting belt that fits “comfortably”
This isn’t to say that you’re going to want to get your hands on a belt that is going to really agitate you throughout each and every one of your training movements, but the last thing that you want to do is use a weightlifting belt that is comfortable rather than stable.
Expect your new belt to take right into your hip bone and your ribs when it is brand-new, and to continue to do so (but only just a little bit less) after it’s been “broken in”.
Always look for a belt that is at least 10 cm wide and hopefully 10 to 13 mm thick
Thicker belts aren’t always the best (especially depending upon your body type), but as a general rule you’ll always want to get your hands on a belt that is a little bit thicker than the rest of the pack.
Figure belts are going to offer you an extra level of stability that you simply wouldn’t have been able to enjoy with a thinner belt, and those that are extra wide will practically guarantee that you’re able to stay safe even while pounding out the most intense workouts.
Single prong or double prong buckles?
Even though the double prong buckled belts look like some of the coolest belts on the market (there’s just something about their design that looks like it belongs in a gym), the overwhelming majority of serious lifters and trainers out there would recommend that you get your hands on a single prong belt if you have the chance.
No more secure than a single prong belt, double prompt belts can get kind of uncomfortable and are really annoying to put on and take off in a hurry. Make things easier on you without sacrificing any security or stability in the process.
Now that you know what to be on the lookout for, we’re going to share with you a couple of the options that we feel offer the best overall value for those serious about maxing out their efforts in the gym. Here are some of the best weightlifting belt options available on the planet!
Best Weightlifting Belt Reviews for 2015
1. Valeo 4-Inch Padded Leather Belt
While not exactly designed to offer serious powerlifters or Olympic style lifters all of the extra safety, security, and stability that they are looking for when really throwing around serious amounts of weight, the Valeo 4-Inch Padded Leather Belt is perfect for those that are just getting started training with heavier weights or bodybuilders that want to bulk up their beach muscles without packing on pounds and pounds of mass along the way.
- 4 inch wide and ¼ inch thick, this belt is manufactured out of 100% legitimate and authentic cowhide
- Suede lining offers extreme comfort and protects foam lumbar pad in the back
- Double stitching throughout offers an extra layer of durability so that you can use this belt for years to come
- Double security loops help make sure that the excess tale of your belt never gets in the way of your workouts
What’s to like about Valeo 4-Inch Leather Belt
Specifically designed for those that are just getting started in the world of have your weight lifting and really useful for those that are bulking up as bodybuilders, this entry-level workout belt is going to give you everything that you were looking for at a very reasonable price point.
The genuine cowhide leather material offers an extra layer of safety and stability that you don’t get out of synthetic, and the double stitching is also another big boost to this already very attractive entry-level product.
What’s not to like
You aren’t going to find too terribly many people out there in the serious Olympic weightlifting community or powerlifting world that would feel comfortable strapping this 4 inch padded leather belt on before going for a personal record. If that’s not your bag though, you really can’t find anything wrong with this weightlifting belt!
For what it is (an entry-level weightlifting belt) you won’t find anything much better than this. It’s one of the best weightlifting belts for what it brings to the table, and we feel good about giving it a 4 out of 5 rating.
2. Harbinger Padded Leather Lifting Belt
A more serious weightlifting belt than the one that we mentioned above, this all leather weightlifting belt is going to give you an extra lead over level of safety, security, and stability thanks in large part to the extra 2 inches that it offers over a 4 inch belt.
Similar in design and overall utility as the belt that we reviewed above, the Harbinger 285 6-Inch Padded Leather Lifting Belt is specifically for those that are looking to dive into heavier weights, this is a solid entry point for those that are getting started in the world of Olympic lifting but not yet throwing around 300+ pounds quite yet.
- 6 inch weight belt offers extra stability with a contoured design for improved comfort
- Full leather construction includes board backing and suede lining for extra comfort
- Double stitching throughout really looks in the durability of this weight belt
- Comes protected with a full 90 day warranty for your peace of mind
What’s to like about Harbinger Padded Leather Lifting Belt
A very nicely made weightlifting belt, the Harbinger 285 6-Inch Padded Leather Lifting Belt is a step up from the entry-level option that we reviewed above, though not quite the “professional grade” weightlifting belt that serious Olympic style lifters and powerlifters are going to require.
Even still, the overall construction of this weightlifting belt is very impressive, and for the most part you are going to get more than your money’s worth if you decide to go in this direction.
What’s not to like
Some have complained about the overall construction quality of this weightlifting belt and variances in the quality of the leather used, though most have reported that it is a very well-made piece of exercise equipment and something that you should be able to trust.
At the end of the day, this is a decent novice style weightlifting belt, and should give you the kind of support and stability that you need to move larger amounts of weight (though you should step up to something even more heavy duty if you’re getting into Olympic style lifts with 300+ pounds on the bar). We give it a 4.3 out of 5 rating.
3. Valeo VRL Padded Leather Belt
Even better than the Valeo weight belt that we reviewed above, this 6 inch wide and ¼ inch thick all leather weightlifting belt offers a line of extra stability and security than the 4 inch option that the company makes as an entry-level belt.
Now we are really starting to get into the beginning stages of belts for Olympic style lifters that are going to be moving quite a bit of weight, and this belt has been specifically designed for those that are going to be squatting and dead lifting for personal records almost every time out.
- 6 inch wide and ¼ inch thick cowhide is sourced only from the best available materials
- Suede lining protects a foam lumbar pad designed to give you even more stability and comfort than usual
- Full double stitching throughout guarantees that this belt won’t burst apart on you in the middle of a heavy movement or lift
- Price point is very attractive compared to similarly designed but tremendously more expensive options on the market
What’s to like about Valeo VRL Padded Leather Belt
Definitely designed for serious bodybuilders and entry-level Olympic weightlifters, this belt over there when cinched up tight) is going to help align your spine and reduce the amount of pressure you have on your lower back.
Customers have reported that it is a little bit on the uncomfortable side of things when cinched up that tight, but that’s to be expected from a quality weight belt like this one.
What’s not to like
Even though it is one of the best weightlifting belt options you’ll come across at this price point, it isn’t quite as well designed or as engineered as some of the more expensive options available. For someone just getting started though, it’s hard to find a belt better than this.
With its sturdy build quality, it’s relatively universal sizing, and it’s full double stitching, this is as attractive a weightlifting belt option as you’ll come across and one worth investing in. We give it 4 out of 5 stars.
4. Harbinger 5 Foam Lifting Belt
Let’s make one thing perfectly clear right out of the gate – this Harbinger weight belt is definitely not intended for serious women athletes that are going to be throwing around pushing or pulling a tremendous amount of weight.
No, this foamcore weightlifting belt is designed specifically to give women a little bit of extra stability when they are first getting serious about training.
As long as you understand the limitations of this weight belt right out of the gate you are going to find it to be picture-perfect for specific applications – which makes it one of the best weightlifting belts are available even though it isn’t quite as durable or as capable as more expensive (and more uncomfortable) options.
- Synthetic construction material makes this weight belt very breathable and comfortable
- Ultralight foamcore protects backs without stressing or straining them
- Flexible adjustment makes for a truly universal fit
- Design has been engineered specifically for women just getting started in the world of training
What’s to like about Harbinger Women’s Lifting Belt
You simply aren’t going to find a lighter weight weightlifting belt and this one.
As mentioned above, a weightlifting belt this lightweight should only be used in very specific applications and not trusted to help during serious lifts, but for those just getting started, it’s going to be as close to picture-perfect as it gets. And you can’t beat the price tag!
What’s not to like
The only real knock against this weightlifting belt is that it might falsely advertise itself as something stronger or more stable than it really is. But as we’ve talked about a handful of times already, so long as you know exactly what this weightlifting belt is capable of – and what it isn’t – you won’t find it to have any unexpected surprises along the way.
Definitely inexpensive (and very comfortable), this is the best weightlifting belt for what it brings to the table. We give it 4.6 out of 5 stars, with some caveats we’ve mentioned above.
5. Leather Competition Power Belt
Now this is a weightlifting belt!
Definitely designed for serious athletes, weekend warriors, and powerlifters that are really looking to crank up the intensity and the workload, this weightlifting belt ranks amongst the very best of the best and it’s easy to see why.
Manufactured out of high-end construction materials, double stitched all over, and the perfect width and thickness to really take on serious amounts of tonnage without sacrificing your lower back along the way, there’s a lot to like from this leather competition power belt.
- 100% genuine suede leather throughout
- 10 cm wide and 9 mm thick, it’s strong, durable, and offers a lot of stability
- Ideal dimensions for powerlifters and Olympic style lifters
- Double prong stainless steel buckle really locks you win
What’s to like about Leather Competition Power Belt
It’s going to be tough finding a better powerlifting belt than this one, that’s for sure.
At 10 cm wide and 9 mm thick, this is exactly what you’re looking for when you’re getting prepped to go after a personal record in the dead lift or while squatting, and you shouldn’t have anything to worry about as far as stability is concerned.
What’s not to like
The price tag may be a bit of a hang up for some, and that’s easy to understand. This is definitely one of the more expensive weightlifting belts you’ll come across, but most would agree that it is worth every single penny.
If you are attempting to move quite a bit of weight (300 pounds or more), you simply cannot do so without having one of the best weightlifting belts strapped around your midsection. This belt gets the job done, which is why we give it a 4.8 out of 5 stars.
6. Brute Belt Nylon Belt
A little bit of a hybrid weightlifting belt, this belt is not only going to give you an extra level of stability when pushing through some of the more intense workouts that really put stress and pressure on your lower back and core, the Brute Belt also doubles as a dip belt as well.
- One of the most versatile weightlifting belt designs you’re going to come across
- Manufactured out of high quality military grade ripstop and Cordera construction materials
- Effortlessly holds up to six 45 pound plates (270 pounds) so that you can dip to your hearts content
- Locks in without any wiggle room so that your lower back is as stabilized as can be
What’s to like about Brute Belt Nylon Belt
There simply isn’t a more intelligently designed and versatile weightlifting belt on the market than this one.
The Brute Belt is not only the best weightlifting belt manufactured out of nylon and other military grade construction materials, but it’s also the best dip belt as well. It’s nice to be able to do two things at once with a single piece of equipment, and this belt will definitely allow you to save a bunch of space in your gym bag going forward.
What’s not to like
The only downside that has been reported about the Brute Belt is that you have to take the dip belt cord off when it’s time to use it for deadlifts and squats. This can get a little bit tiring pretty quickly, though it does use a simple but secure mountaineering type fastener to get the job done.
It’s two in one versatility makes it one of the most attractive weight belt options you’ll come across, and certainly one of the best weightlifting belts that’s been released in the last five years for sure. We are comfortable giving it a five out of five star rating, and think you’re going to love it!
7. Valeo VLP Belt
Bodybuilders that aren’t looking for too terribly much extra stability (but just a little bit of extra protection when squatting, dead lifting, or hitting their muscles in the lower back) are going to be quite pleased by everything that this Valeo VLP Performance low profile weightlifting belt brings to the table.
- 4 inch wide waterproof foam core weightlifting belt is very comfortable
- Low-profile “torque ring” closure keeps everything cinched nicely during low to mid emphasis workouts
- Rolled edges make for a more comfortable weight belt while exercising
- 100% machine washable
What’s to like about Valeo VLP Performance Low Profile Belt
Simple, straightforward, and perfect for its intended purpose (which isn’t Olympic style weightlifting), this belt should offer a bit of extra stability to those that need it without going overboard.
What’s not to like
The torque ring closure system isn’t exactly the stable list around, and this weight belt isn’t going to give you all of the extra stability that you’re looking for in a more professional grade belt, that’s for sure. Even still, for what it is, it’s more the best weightlifting belts for those that aren’t really “getting after it”.
Though not quite as impressive as some of the other weightlifting belts that we’ve reviewed on this list, for those that aren’t going to be throwing around to terribly much weight and are just looking for a little bit of extra stability will be quite pleased with this particular option. We give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Choosing from the Best Weightlifting Belt Reviews
Trying to find the best weightlifting belt is hopefully going to be a lot easier now that you’ve had a chance to look at some of the top options.
For the money, it’s really difficult to find anything better than the Brute Belt, the Valeo VRL 6-Inch Padded Leather Belt, or the Leather Competition Power Belt. They are definitely the best of the best (least as far as we are concerned), and give you the most bang for your buck!
How to Properly Wear a Weightlifting Belt
Weightlifting belts are some of the most popular accessories among weight lifters and people who train using heavy weights. These accessories come with a series of benefits and should be worn all the time by those who train constantly.
Few people know what the role of a weightlifting belt is and the majority thinks that its purpose is to support the lower back. In reality, weightlifting belts are meant to stabilize the spine and reduce the tension that is put on it while lifting very heavy weights.
Moreover, weightlifting belts help moving more weights by creating better biomechanics. Also, we all know that squatting is crucial when lifting weights. Well, it has been scientifically proven that belts increase the activity of the muscles while doing the squats, allowing the trainee to lift more weight.
How many belt types are there?
There are three common types of belts that weightlifters wear. The first is the sturdy, thin belt. This type tends to be narrower and is suitable for moderate lifts.
The second type is the thick, sturdy belt that is used for heavy lifts, squats and deadlifts.
The third type is the Velcro lifting belt which can be found in a variety of models. This one is not going to provide enough back support but it is better than nothing, especially for newbies.
How to use a weightlifting belt the right way?
When wearing a weightlifting belt, it is important to know where to place it. Positioning it right at your stomach’s mouth or on your lower abdomen is not going to help.
What you want to obtain when lifting weights is great spine support. The belt should be tight enough to provide you the support you need, but you should be able to breathe easily in it.
In the event that your belt is too tight, you will not be able to contract your abdominal muscles properly while lifting.
Don’t forget to hold your breath the moment you start lifting – literally. Holding your breath helps you increase the thoracic-abdominal pressure. This way, you will be able to actually lift more weights.
Breath control should be exercised and practiced properly, though. This means that you should expand your abdomen when taking in a large breath. If you try to do the same when positioning your belt, you will definitely get it right from the very first time.
If you were wondering which belts are better for everyone, the answer is simple. Bulky, thick and strong belts are the best choice for anyone who wants to get proper spine support. If placed correctly, this type of belt is capable of helping you reach limits you didn’t know you can cross.
The design is the least important thing when it comes to weightlifting belts. There are amazingly good-looking belts on the market that are made of various cloth types and Velcro but they are practically useless. They are too thin and flexible to be able to pressure your abdomen in the weightlifting process.
In conclusion, it is healthier and more practical to wear a weightlifting belt, even if you can’t always notice its effects.