The ANTA 2 is the latest weightlifting shoe to debut from ANTA the popular Chinese sports equipment company. After the original ANTA weightlifting shoes received high praise, I was super excited to get my hands on the ANTA 2.
More specifically, I wanted to know how the ANTA 2 would compare to some of the market’s best weightlifting shoes. Overall, I’ve been impressed with the ANTA 2’s performance for squats and heavier cleans.
This shoe feels like a blend of the Nike Romaleos 2 and Romaleos 4, which I’ve really come to enjoy. Plus, this shoe has 10 patents, per ANTA, so there’s a lot of cool shoe tech and thought put into this model.
In my ANTA 2 weightlifting shoe review, I’ll cover all of the key details that you should know before investing in this model.
On the market for cross-training shoes, too? Check out my Cross-Training Shoe Finder. This calculator pairs you with the best training shoes per your wants.
Who Should Invest In the ANTA 2?
The ANTA 2 weightlifting shoes have proven to be a strong well-rounded model. This model provides a nice level of stability for squats and it feels lively and secure for things like heavier cleans.
On top of this, the ANTA 2 features a few updates that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed for training. The H-shaped carbon plate and propulsive-focused construction give this model a nice level of ground feedback.
I think if you prioritize having a lot of “feel” when catching heavier cleans and snatches, then you’ll enjoy the feedback that you get from this model. The heavier leather upper construction and dual-strap system also do a good job promoting upper security.
The updated lateral ribbing is also nice for preventing spillover and supporting the “locked-down” feeling that you get with this shoe. I think most lifters and athletes will feel anchored down and secure when training in this shoe.
To shed additional context on this shoe’s fit and performance, this model feels like a blend of the Nike Romaleo 2 and Nike Romaleos 4. It feels like the Romaleo 2 in the context of its upper and the Romaleo 4 with its sole construction.
For serious weightlifting athletes and lifters, the ANTA 2 weightlifting shoes can be a great option to explore, especially if you were a fan of the Romaleo 2s and miss how they fit and perform.
Who Shouldn’t Invest In the ANTA 2?
Throughout all of my training, the ANTA 2 has been a strong model, however, there are a few contexts where I don’t think this shoe will work for some. For starters, the ANTA 2’s price point is pretty high compared to other shoes.
This model retails for around $359 USD which places it as one of the most costly weightlifting shoes on the market. I think if that price is way out of your reach, then you shouldn’t feel bad passing on this model as there are good shoes on the market for less.
In addition, this model does run a little stiff through its sole and if you like more articulation or flexible outsoles with your weightlifting shoes, then you may want to pass on this model.
Sole flexibility can be highly individual and there isn’t one style that is better than the other, but if you do like more flexibility, then you want to look into weightlifting shoes like the Inov-8 Fastlift Power G 380.
- Lifters That Like Higher Heel Elevations
- For Cost-Efficiency
- For Accessory Exercises/Beginners
ANTA 2 Pros
Over the course of my training and testing with the ANTA 2, I’ve found multiple pros and things to like about this shoe.
- Good Stability and Ground Feedback
- Heavier Upper Provides Good Security
- Lateral Ribbing Prevent Spillover and Anchors the Feet Down
The first thing to like about the ANTA 2 is its stability and ground feedback when training. Under heavyweight, this shoe’s midsole and outsole have a nice locked-down and anchored feeling which gives them a nice level of stability.
The TPU heel feels rock solid and in conjunction with the 3-layer insole and thick rubber outsole, I think most lifters and athletes will enjoy how this shoe feels under heavy squats, cleans, and snatches.
In addition to this, I thought this model’s H-shaped carbon plate gave the forefoot a nice level of ground feedback when working through my second pulls and catching weight.
Plus, once this shoe breaks in, I think you get even more out of the sole of this shoe and its blend of features. This model has a lot of niche construction details that add to its performance in the gym and it seems like ANTA sunk a lot of thought into this model.
The second thing to like about the ANTA is its heavier upper construction. If you like weightlifting shoes like the Nike Romaleos 2 for their heavier leather upper construction and dual mid-foot straps, then you’ll enjoy the ANTA 2.
This upper on this model feels durable and it provides a nice level of security. The straps feel heavy-duty and they provided a nice level of security which was great for my first few sessions when I was breaking this model in.
For fans of heavier weightlifting shoes, the ANTA 2 should be right up your alley. Everything on this shoe feels reinforced and I’ve enjoyed the heavier upper and how it performs in the gym.
The final aspect to like about the ANTA 2 is the lateral rib structure. This shoe features a deep boot and lateral support around the heel and midfoot which is great for preventing any form of spillover.
I think these features also feel good because they blend well with the heavier upper construction. To be honest, these weightlifting shoes kind of feel like “tanks” on the feet and I really enjoy that about them.
If you constantly find yourself having issues with lateral support in your weightlifting shoes, then I think you’ll enjoy the ANTA 2’s rib structure and how it supports keeping the feet locked down in place.
ANTA 2 Cons
Despite enjoying the ANTA 2’s performance, there are definitely a couple of cons to note about this shoe before investing in them.
- Fairly Large Price Tag
- Stiffer Sole May Not Align With Everyone
The first drawback that comes along with the ANTA 2 is that they’re one of the pricier, if not the priciest modern-day weightlifting shoes on the market. For example, the NOBULL Lifter is the second most expensive shoe on the market at the moment at $300 USD.
The ANTA 2’s price point comes in at $359 USD and this is before shipping, so this is definitely a costly weightlifting shoe. On that note, if this price is going to break the bank, then I’d definitely suggest looking into other models.
While this shoe is a strong model in the gym, I think if you’re not necessarily dying to train in the ANTA 2s, then you’re not missing too much by not dropping close to $400 USD on them.
Another drawback that I could see some lifters and athletes having with this shoe is that the sole of the ANTA 2 runs a little stiff and I think this is due to the thicker rubber outsole, upper, and its H-Shaped carbon plate.
This is definitely a weightlifting shoe that’s going to take a couple of weeks to break in. I noticed around week two is when they started feeling a little more articulative and form-fitting my foot better.
During the break-in process, I did experience a little heel slip in these and I had to crank my straps pretty tight to prevent issues. That helped, but I wanted to make this point known to others investing in this model.
To break down the performance of the ANTA 2, I’ll discuss how they perform in a few key contexts. I’ll share my performance thoughts for them for squats, weightlifting, and accessory movements.
Do note, I’m not an actively competitive weightlifting athlete and if you want a review on the ANTA 2 for that specific context, then I’d suggest also exploring some niche channels on YouTube that align with your individual needs to provide a full picture.
Testing the ANTA 2 for Squats
For squats, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the performance of the ANTA 2. This model’s stability is really solid and I enjoy the heavier construction of them as it gives them a nice “anchored” feeling.
If you like heavier weightlifting shoes for squats, I could see you resonating with this model. The TPU heel gives you nice stability under heavier squats and I don’t think you’ll compression issues whatsoever in this model.
The outsole provides a nice level of traction for most surfaces as well so if you’re squatting on wooden platforms or rubber gym floors, you shouldn’t experience slip issues in this model whatsoever.
I also enjoyed the level of security that you get with the dual mid-foot straps in this model. Compared to other weightlifting shoes on the market, the straps on this shoe have a heavier-duty feel which is great for locking down the feet.
Lastly, this shoe features an effective heel height of 25mm or .98 inches (FYI, this is up 5mm from the original ANTA model). If you’re a taller lifter or like me and you like a higher heel elevation for squats, then I think you’ll enjoy the effective heel height of this.
Testing the ANTA 2 for Weightlifting
When it comes to using the ANTA 2 for weightlifting, I’ve also really enjoyed their performance. Again, I’m not an actively competitive weightlifter, but I have tested these shoes for heavier cleans and lighter snatches.
This shoe is designed with a “propulsive” shape, which is said to make it one of the first on the market. In addition, the H-shaped carbon plate is said to improve energy feedback by 53%, which is oddly specific, and also, in relation to what shoe and context?
All that being said, while I can’t speak to the 53% specific energy feedback callout above, I did like this shoe’s feel and ground feedback when getting into my second during my cleans. Once broken in, the toe box feels lively and springy, which I enjoyed.
I also liked the lateral ribbing in this shoe and how the boot comes up a little higher. When catching weight and having the feet turnover, I never felt like I was losing stability or having any form of spillover due to the upper exceeding the outsole and sole’s width.
While the ANTA 2 performs well for weightlifting, it’s worth noting that they take time to break in. During my initial break-in period, I experienced a little heel slip when getting into the toes during cleans, so I had to crank the straps extra tight which helped. As the sole gets more malleable this should go away for most, but it’s worth noting.
Testing the ANTA 2 for Recreational Lifting
When it comes to using the ANTA 2 for accessories, I find the ANTA 2 to be a little hit or miss. Truthfully, if you’re not buying these for squats or weightlifting and you want a weightlifting shoe that works really for accessory movements, too, you might want to explore other models.
The reason I say this despite the ANTA 2 being a strong-performing model for the above contexts is that its price point is pretty high for non-specific athletes. For example, you could get a really strong weightlifting shoe for $159-259 less than the ANTA 2.
That’s a pretty steep price difference for anyone wanting a shoe for squats here and there and for exercises like hack squats, leg presses, and quad-biased training.
On top of this, the stiffness of the ANTA 2’s sole may not resonate with lifters and athletes wanting a weightlifting shoe that can be a little more articulation for more dynamic training.
For example, I’ll use weightlifting shoes here and there for quad-biased walking lunges. When performing these, I’ll typically want a weightlifting shoe that has more flex through the toe box to accommodate the mechanics of the movement I’m after.
That all being said, the ANTA 2 can work for more recreational training contexts, but with its higher price point, I think most lifters and athletes can get a similar performance with a shoe that doesn’t cost nearly as much.
ANTA 2 Sizing
In the ANTA 2, I think most lifters and athletes should be safe going true to size in this model. The length fits true in this shoe and the width is relatively neutral in nature with a decent upper volume.
If you’ve worn ANTA weightlifting shoes before, then I think you should be safe going with the same that you’ve traditionally worn with them.
Getting more specific, if you have notably narrow feet, then you may want to go down a half-size, but for neutral-width feet and slightly wider feet, I think true to size is the call.
And on the note of wider feet, the ANTA 2’s toe box isn’t the widest in the game, so you may want to actually explore other models like the TYR L-1 Lifter if you’re worried that you may feel limited in these.
- ANTA 2 Sizing Thoughts: True to size for most.
If you have additional questions about the ANTA 2’s sizing and fit, drop a comment below or on my YouTube channel and I can try to help you out accordingly.
For the ANTA 2, you can expect to pay around $359 USD for this weightlifting shoe. Compared to other models, the ANTA 2 is comfortably the most expensive modern-day weightlifting shoe on the market.
Now, I think if you’re invested in weightlifting or love the ANTA brand, then the price could be worth it if it’s not going to break your bank. Plus, this shoe’s durability feels solid so for serious athletes, they should last a while as well.
For everyone else who is either not fond of that price point or specific with their training, then you can definitely find other premium weightlifting shoes for a lot less than what the ANTA 2 will cost you.
For example, the Reebok Legacy Lifter III, Adidas Adipower III, TYR L-1 Lifter, and Nike Romaleos 4 are all deemed as more premium models and they have price points around $200-220 USD, so while they’re not cheap, they’re less than the ANTA 2.
On top of this, if you’re not sure if weightlifting shoes are even for you and you’ve landed on this article and want to save money, then you may want to explore shoes like the Do-Win Weightlifting shoes or Nike Savaleos that have price points around $100 USD.
- Lifters That Like Higher Heel Elevations
- For Cost-Efficiency
- For Accessory Exercises/Beginners
There are a lot of cool and unique construction details that go into the ANTA 2. Below are some of the main features to note about this shoe that can influence its performance and durability.
- Effective Heel Height: 25mm/.98 in
- Weight: 22.75 oz
- Removable Insole: Yes
- Lateral Ribbing
- H-Shaped Carbon Plate
- Full Rubber Outsole
- “Propulsive” Shape/Last Construction
- 3-Layer 3D Insole
- Dual Mid-Foot Straps
- 4 Core Eyelets
I’d also suggest checking out the construction details for this model on its product page. If you have additional questions about the ANTA 2’s construction, drop a comment below.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q:Do the ANTA 2 fit true to size?
Q:Are the ANTA 2 good for weightlifting?
While the ANTA 2 isn’t the most cost-efficient weightlifting shoe on the market, I can see it being a viable option for serious athletes and lifters. This shoe feels durable and has a heavier-duty construction.
On top of this, ANTA notes that there are 10 patents on this shoe, which I think adds to its uniqueness and its overall performance when moving heavier weight.
Since this shoe is pretty pricey, I don’t think it’s going to resonate with everyone and it does run a little more stiff so it may also fall short for athletes that like lightweight and flexible weightlifting shoes.
If you have additional questions about the ANTA 2, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend).