Even though you’re likely to find every gym out there to be filled with guys and gals wearing the latest and greatest in performance fabrics, absolutely loaded down with the hottest workout tech, and always checking out different apps that can track their progress and measure their activity. But you’ll be able to instantly know who was the “real deal” when they search for the best weightlifting shoe reviews they can find.
Probably the most understated yet still critically important part of any serious weight lifters gym bag, the right weightlifting shoe can literally make or break someone’s attempt to blow past a personal record.
If you really want to dig deep, you’re going to want to make sure that you get your hands on the best weightlifting shoe out there for your specific needs – and hopefully will be able to help you do exactly that!
There are three different things that you should be on the lookout for from weightlifting shoes before you pull the trigger, and they are:
The last thing that you should ever worry about while strapping something onto your feet before you attempt to push or pull more weight than you ever have before, is whether or not your only contact with the ground is going to blow apart at the seams when you least expect it to.
Extra High Heel with Room to “Drive”
When you’re pushing or pulling a lot of weight, you’re going to need to be able to get a little bit of extra leverage, and the appropriate heel height is going to give you that extra bump you need when you need it most.
Stable as Possible
You aren’t going to want to flop around with scuba fins, but you are going to want a pair of weightlifting shoes that have as large a bottom as possible to offer you a little bit of extra stability without ever getting in the way.
Best Weightlifting Shoe Reviews for 2015
1. Adidas Adipower Weightlifting Shoes
Adidas has always been serious about offering athletes the kind of performance focused footwear options they need to get the most out of their athletic talents, and these performance weightlifting shoes are certainly no exception.
Manufactured out of top quality construction materials and designed with an elevated heel to help you get that little bit of extra leverage you need without sacrificing stability, these shoes are everything and more that you could ever want out of a set of weightlifting shoes – and then some!
- Produced using high-quality synthetics and rubber construction materials to offer unparalleled performance and durability
- Designed with breathable upper that includes hook and loop strap and lace up options
- Engineered specifically for weightlifting
- Offer injected polymer design in the heel for extra grip
What’s to like about Adidas Adipower Weightlifting Shoes
Though there are a lot of big benefits that these Adidas shoes bring to the table that help them to contend for the top spot as the best weightlifting shoes around, the thing that is most impressive about these has to be how comfortable they are when you have them on.
A lot of weightlifting shoes just kind of feel off, but these shoes feel like your favorite pair of sneakers.
What’s not to like
Honestly, the overwhelming majority of people that own these weightlifting shoes have absolutely no problem with them whatsoever, aside from some minor complaints about them being a little bit too tight. But that isn’t exactly something that is a problem when you’re talking about shoes that need to be as stable as possible while you are lifting.
While there are a lot of other contenders out there for the title of best weightlifting shoe, these Adidas options are close to as picture-perfect as it probably gets. We give them 4.7 out of 5.
2. Adidas Powerlift Trainer Shoe
Another great set of weightlifting shoes from Adidas, these are a little bit more lightweight than the ones that we reviewed above and are specifically designed for powerlifters really looking to go after personal records almost every single time they step into the gym.
Synthetic leather upper and high density rubber lower components on this shoe offer a picture perfect blend of lightweight performance and rock solid stability and grip, something that a lot of other weightlifting shoes really struggle to try and balance.
- Some of the best-looking weightlifting shoes you’re going to come across today
- Single hook and loop instep strap offers extra stability
- Non-marking outsole provides extra layer of traction and grip
- Comfort designed insole make sure you don’t slip and slide while still feeling great
What’s to like about Adidas Powerlift Trainer Shoe
Aside from the fact that these weightlifting shoes look a lot like Adidas sneakers that you can spot anywhere out in public (aside from weightlifting shoes that look like they are weightlifting shoes), the other real standout feature that these bring to the table has to be there incredibly slip resistant lower that guarantees you’ll be able to bite into any floor surface when pushing or pulling a lot of weight.
What’s not to like
Like the Adidas weightlifting shoes we reviewed above, the only real knock against these that they are a little bit on the snug side of things. You might want to get your hands on a size just a half size larger to accommodate for the extra tightness, but overall it really shouldn’t be that big of an issue.
Not quite as polished as the other Adidas shoes that we reviewed above, these are still quite good and deserve consideration when searching for the best weightlifting shoe out there. We are comfortable giving them 4.6 out of 5.
3. Inov-8 Women’s FastLift Cross-Training Shoe
More and more women have been diving headfirst into the world of serious training now than ever before, but the weightlifting shoe community has left them a little bit in the dark up until just recently.
However, even though it took these weightlifting shoes a bit longer to get to market, most would agree that the Inov-8 Women’s FastLift 315 Cross-Training Shoe are some of the best weightlifting shoe options money can buy for women – and would probably stand toe to toe against any of the men’s footwear options as well!
- Smart 16.5 mm heel drop provides gives women weightlifters enough leverage to really go for personal records
- TPU midsole offers strength, stability, and another layer of comfort without sacrificing overall lightweight qualities
- Meta-Flex forefoot grooves provide that extra bit of bite necessary
- Synthetic construction materials guarantee that this shoe will be around for at least two years of peer or more) without any letdown in performance
What’s to like about Inov-8 Women’s FastLift Shoe
An ideal shoe for women that are just getting into training or CrossFit, most that have already tried these shoes complement them on being so lightweight and so comfortable – saying that day closely resemble some of their favorite pairs of sneakers!
What’s not to like
At the same time, there are some complaints that these shoes do not offer the same level of stability and performance that heavier shoes would, but that’s to be expected. Serious powerlifters might want to look elsewhere for the best weightlifting shoe for their specific needs, though those that have just begun to train are going to find these right up their alley.
As far as entry-level weightlifting shoes are concerned, women really aren’t going to find anything better than these. We give them 4.5 out of 5.
4. Inov-8 Men’s FastLift 335 Shoe
The Inov-8 Men’s FastLift 335 Cross-Training Shoe is easily one of the most attractive weightlifting shoes you are going to come across, even if it isn’t specifically designed for those that are going to be pushing a tremendous amount of weight anytime soon.
More of a CrossFit focused training shoe than anything else, you’ll be able to count on these shoes to give you just the right amount of bite and grip when you need it most without sacrificing anything in the stability or performance arenas.
- Ripstop upper guarantees years of durability even after heavy use
- Breathable mesh lining else makes sure that your feet aren’t ever working out in a swamp
- Grippy outsole really provides an extra layer of bite that other shoes do not
- Relatively low price tag allows you to pick up a couple of pairs of these shoes to match every workout outfit
What’s to like about Inov-8 Men’s FastLift 335 Shoe
Some of the most stylish workout shoes you’re going to come across today, these are so much more than just another pretty face.
Engineered from the ground up by people that actually train themselves and built upon the back of decades and decades of training footwear research, these shoes are going to give you the kind of stable platform in a lightweight form factor that so many have been searching for.
What’s not to like
There are really only two downsides to the shoes that some people have brought up in the past, and that is that they are a little bit on the more snug side of things and that they aren’t quite as stable for men that are looking to do a bit of powerlifting as they probably could be. That being said, for what they are – multipurpose training shoes – it’s tough to find anything better.
While there were some additional complaints about the Velcro on the shoes starting to fail in the first generation, new shoes do not have those same problems. Though they may not be ideal for everyone, for those that are getting into training, you’ll have a hard time finding better shoes for the money. We give them 4.4 out of 5 stars.
5. New Balance Men’s Weightlifting Shoe
New Balance shoes have always been designed with athletic performance and stability in mind, which is why the United States Marine Corps issues New Balance shoes to all of their recruits when they get to Paris Island for boot camp.
And while in these particular shoes are quite a bit different than the ones that those new Marines are going to have on their feet, they share many of the same principles – improved stability, keep safe from injury, and offer as many performance boosting benefits as humanly possible.
These weightlifting shoes definitely rank amongst the best of the best.
- Full lace up trainer without Velcro strap offers a cleaner and more comfortable look and feel
- Stabilizing “overlays” offer outrigger support for deep efforts
- Lightweight design and breathability make sure that your feet stay comfortable throughout the entire workout
- Rubberized outsole utilizes Vibram technology for extra bite and grip
What’s to like about New Balance Men’s Weightlifting Shoe
As mentioned above, these shoes are very much designed for athletes across the board, and are specifically engineered to give you as much of a performance boost as possible. Stable, lightweight, and comfortable, these New Balance weightlifting shoes aren’t ever going to feel like they are in the way or letting you down.
What’s not to like
Some people have questioned the overall durability and longevity of these shoes, but a lot of that has to do with how lightweight they are compared to other weightlifting options. Maybe the best weightlifting shoes for serious powerlifters or those chasing personal records and putting up a lot of tonnage, foremost they are going to be as close to picture-perfect as it gets.
We are comfortable giving these weightlifting shoes a 4.3 out of 5 star rating, and wholeheartedly recommend these from New Balance.
6. Pendlay Do-Win CrossFit Shoes
As futuristic looking a pair of weightlifting shoes as you are going to find on the market today, the 2013 Pendlay Do-Win CrossFit Weightlifting Shoes are very popular in the CrossFit community (and it’s easy to see why).
Offering improved stability thanks to the dual strap technology and the real leather construction material throughout, these shoes are a little bit on the heavier side of things but are going to meet and exceed your expectations – especially if you’re into Olympic lifting.
- These shoes run about a half size smaller, so be aware of this factor when ordering
- ¾ inch heel is right in line with Olympic lifting standards and offers an extra boost of leverage
- 100% authentic leather construction material throughout makes these shoes a lot stronger and more durable than some other options
- Have a full 90-day warranty to guarantee construction quality and performance
What’s to like about Pendlay Do-Win CrossFit Shoes
The overwhelming majority of people that have actually put these weightlifting shoes to the test grant and rave about how high quality they are, especially when they slide underneath the squat rack.
Offering the perfect amount of bite and grip without ever feeling like you’re cemented to the floor (unless you should be), these shoes are little bit wider than some of the other weightlifting options and aren’t going to fit quite as tightly on the sides.
They do run a half size smaller though (as far as length is concerned), so make sure that you know that going into this purchase.
What’s not to like
Some have complained about a bit of a lack of ankle mobility support, though most aren’t all that worried about it. The extra heel height really provides for a bit of leverage and extra drive and more than makes up for the ankle mobility support issue by most accounts.
Relatively inexpensive and very high quality for what they bring to the table, don’t be surprised if you agree with most that these are certainly some of the best weightlifting shoe options on the market today. We are going to give them a 4.6 out of 5 star rating without any reservation at all.
7. Reebok Men’s Crossfit Lite Training Shoe
Even with so many high quality and “high technology” training shoe options on the market today a lot of people turn to the classic Chuck Taylors to get the job done when it’s time to really push or pull a mountain’s worth of weight.
Those old-school classics just have the right design and the right about of support throughout to help athletes squeeze every drop of performance out of themselves.
And once you understand that, it becomes so easy to see why Reebok would create their own “clone” of the classic Chuck Taylors – the Reebok Men’s CrossFit Lite TR Training Shoe. It’s a unique blend of old school designed and new school materials, and it works very, very well!
- Evolved “knockoff” of the classic Chuck Taylor design
- Offers and incredible amount of support throughout
- Extra grippy outsole provides a real bite on any floor surface
- Manufactured right here in the USA
What’s to like about Reebok Men’s Crossfit Training Shoe
This old-school design takes advantage of some advanced modern construction materials, and allows these shoes to provide you with an extra layer of support and stability that you just aren’t going to be able to find anywhere else.
Multi-piece construction that has been tied together with double stitching also guarantees that you’ll be able to stay “locked in” to these shoes without fear of them disintegrating when you’re really putting out maximum effort.
What’s not to like
The only real downside to these weightlifting shoes is that they aren’t designed with an elevated heel, and issue for those that are into powerlifting or Olympic style lifting. They are flat-footed workout boots for sure, and that might be a problem for some but not foremost.
All things considered, there is a reason why Chuck Taylors and the Reebok Men’s Crossfit Lite TR Training Shoe are so popular today just as the design has been for the last 50 years or more – they flat out work. We are comfortable giving these workout shoes a 4.8 out of 5 rating!
Choosing from the Best Weightlifting Shoe Reviews
If you’re serious about getting your hands on the best workout shoe your money can buy today, there are going to be a bunch of different options for you to pick and choose from.
Before our money, it really doesn’t get a lot better than the Reebok Men’s Crossfit Lite TR Training Shoe, the Pendlay Do-Win CrossFit Weightlifting Shoes, or the Adidas Performance Adipower Weightlifting Trainer Shoe.
They are (and likely will remain) head and shoulders above the rest of the pack, and any one of them could be called the best weightlifting shoe on the planet without too terribly much argument.
You can’t go wrong with any of them
How Much do Weightlifting Shoes Help?
Weightlifting is an Olympic sport that is practiced by a large number of sportsmen, but also by amateurs who include weight training in their daily routine. Both activities imply lifting very heavy weights that require great strength and a proper body shape.
The main difference between the two is the performance level and the weight type. While barbells are being lifted in weightlifting, dumbbells are essential for weight training. In order to train properly and be able to lift all the weights, appropriate equipment is required, such as special clothing and footwear.
Why is the Footwear Important
Sports shoes should always have two important functions. The first one is to provide the foot the support it needs, gathering the arch and surrounding the entire foot in a tight casing so that the risk of injury is as low as possible. The second function of training shoes is to avoid compression. Especially in weight lifting training, it is crucial to choose footwear that has a pronounced heel.
The “why” is simple. When lifting weights, you need to bend a little forward in order to obtain the best position. A pronounced heel helps you bend easily, just as much as you need to, by bringing the knees a bit forward.
The most important quality of weightlifting shoes is the fact that they don’t compress at all, like rubber or foam sports shoes tend to do. This means that the sole is the most important thing to look for when choosing the right pair of shoes. The sole should be rigid, made of high-quality materials and should provide the wearer great support.
Footwear is crucial in this sport, because the tiniest squish can affect a person’s performance. Therefore, if you are a weightlifter or you are planning to do weight training, avoid running shoes, squat shoes or any other type of shoes with a soft sole as much as possible.
Best Support Possible
As previously said, weightlifting shoes should offer the best support possible. In the event that they do, they are able to properly sustain the arch, the toes, the heel and even the ankle. The feet and legs will not lose their balance and the weightlifter can concentrate on the training.
Under any circumstances, if you are planning to train using heavy weights, do not train barefoot. This is a common mistake that most people don’t see as a potential risk, but the truth is that the bare foot does not provide the body the balance it needs when lifting heavy weights. The same principles apply for squats.
Many beginner weight lifters are not aware of the fact that regular shoes actually prevent a person from lifting more weight. What everyone needs in this sport is footwear that can help produce more force, not absorb the impact, like running shoes do.
Therefore, cushioning is not the keyword in this discussion. Even more, you do not want any cushioning in your weightlifting shoes if you are looking to perform better every day.