Home » 7 Best Deadlift Shoes | Picks for Powerlifting, Gym, Wide Feet, and More

7 Best Deadlift Shoes | Picks for Powerlifting, Gym, Wide Feet, and More

  • Jake Boly 

When we’re talking about exercises like squats and deadlifts, footwear selection matters. Deadlift shoes can make a big difference when your goal is building a strong deadlift and trying to maximize your performance. When discussing the best deadlift shoes, we have to ask the question, “Best for what?”

When discussing topics like the best deadlift shoes, I like to take the approach that breaks shoe round-ups into certain categories. For example, a recreational lifter or beginner doesn’t necessarily need a pair of more expensive dedicated deadlift shoes that a powerlifter would wear for their sport.

Now, this doesn’t mean that they (beginners and recreational lifters) shouldn’t pay attention to what shoes they’re wearing for deadlifts, more so, that there are other options that would likely fit their needs better and be more versatile/useful for other styles of training. Below, we’re going to break the best deadlift shoes into seven specific categories.

Best Deadlift Shoes for the Gym

When talking about the best deadlift shoes for the gym, I’m referencing shoes that will be best for recreational lifters. These are lifters that deadlift regularly but don’t necessarily plan to compete.

For this lifter, often a pair of deadlift shoes that can be worn for deadlifts and other exercises will be best. This way you’re not spending money excessively on a pair of shoes that you may not necessarily need.

Top Choice: Converse Chuck Taylor All Star

The Converse Chuck Taylor All Star is a tried and true classic for general strength work. Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars offer a 0mm drop which provides your foot with a flat and grounded feeling. In addition to their 0mm drop construction, Converse Chuck Taylor All Star shoes also offer non-compressive soles which are fantastic for heavier lifts.

I like this shoe for recreational lifters because it provides the 0mm drop and stability we’re after with deadlifts shoes and they can be worn for other lifts and on a casual basis. This makes the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star much more dynamic in nature compared to other more specific deadlift shoes.

  • Best For: Recreational Lifting and Casual Deadlifting
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0mm
  • Weight: 14.3 ounces (size 10 high-top model)
  • Read More: Converse Vs Vans

Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star

$60

Converse Taylor All-Star
4.3
Stability
4.7
Versatility
3.8
Durability
4.0

Best For

  • Powerlifting
  • Heavier Strength Training
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Deadlifting

Falls Short

  • For Versatile Training
  • Long-Term Durability

 

Best Deadlift Shoes for Powerlifting

For my powerlifting-specific friends, you likely already have your preferred deadlift shoes that you like to compete and train in. Whether that’s a pair of Converse, Sabo Deadlift Shoes, or a pair of deadlift slippers, what’s most important is that your footwear matches your performance goals best.

For powerlifters, what’s most important is that you’re wearing a shoe you’re confident lifting AND are competition approved. Always check your federation’s guidelines before investing in a new pair of deadlift shoes.

Top Choice: Sabo Deadlift Shoes

Sabo Deadlift Shoes are continuing to grow in popularity due to their durable and deadlift-focused construction. I like this model’s high-top construction and the additional support it provides when pulling. The top strap is velcro so it provides an adequate range of motion and never feels limiting.

The sole is fully rubber with traction geared towards maximizing ground contact in both conventional and sumo deadlifts. If you’re a sumo deadlift-focused athlete, this shoe grips the floor well and there’s never a chance of the lateral side of the shoe folding over when spreading the floor.

  • Best For: Deadlift-Focused Goals and Powerlifting Athletes
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0mm
  • Weight: 14.3 ounces (size 10 model)
  • Read More: Sabo Deadlift Shoe Review

SABO Deadlift Shoes

$89.99

SABO Deadlift Shoe
4.7
Stability
4.9
Durability
4.6
Quality
4.8

Best For

  • Conventional Deadlifts
  • Sumo Deadlifts
  • Powerlifting

Falls Short

  • For Anything That Isn’t Deadlifts!

 

Best Deadlift Shoes for Beginners

Similar to the recreational lifting section above, the best deadlift shoes for beginners will be a footwear option that is relatively low on the financial and commitment side.

Personally, I think a great pair of deadlift shoes for beginners are a pair of shoes that can be worn for other lifting activities, daily life, and not break the bank in doing so.

Top Choice: Vans Authentic

The Vans Authentic model is similar to the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star in regard to it being a tried and true classic. I feel like most lifters who are interested in powerlifting start with either Vans or Converse and for good reason. The Vans Authentic offers a flat 0mm heel-to-toe drop and can hold their own with heavy loading.

In addition, the toe box is fairly wide in this shoe so most lifters will find them plenty comfortable for accommodating full toe splay and gripping the floor. Outside of being fantastic for static strength work, the Vans Authentic also have a classic and simplistic look for daily wear.

  • Best For: Deadlift-Focused Goals and Beginner Lifters
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0mm
  • Weight: 14.9 ounces (size 10 model)
  • Read More: Vans Vs Converse

Vans Authentic

$50

Vans Authentic
4.2
Stability
4.6
Versatility
3.9
Durability
3.8

Best For

  • Powerlifting
  • Heavy Weight Training
  • Recreational Lifting

Falls Short

  • For Versatile Training
  • For Long-Term Durability

 

Best Deadlift Shoes for Wide Feet

If you have wide feet, then the last thing you want is your foot to feel cramped in your shoe’s toe box when deadlifting. The ability to splay the toes fully and utilize your wider base will be an asset for strong pulls.

For wider footed individuals, one of the best options to look into is barefoot shoes which are also shoes that could technically fulfill any of the sections in this list.

Top Choice: Xero Shoes Prio

The Xero Shoes Prio is a no-frills barefoot shoe designed to tackle gym-focused work. This model has a grippy rubber sole and a removable insole to get even closer to the ground. For deadlift-focused athletes, this is a huge perk to create a high level of connection with the ground when rooting the feet.

In addition, this model’s toe box is plenty wide even for the widest feet and the overall upper is lightweight and breathable. The Prio also has a fair price point of $89.99 USD, which is much less than other barefoot shoe competitors on the market.

  • Best For: Deadlift-Focused Goals and General Training
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0mm
  • Weight: 9.4 ounces (size 10 model)
  • Read More: Xero Shoes Prio Review

Xero Shoes Prio

$89.99

4.7
Stability
4.8
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.7

Best For

  • Heavy Barbell Work
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Casual Runs
  • Barefoot Shoe Newbies
  • Cost Efficiency

Falls Short

  • For Dedicated Barefoot Runners

 

Best Deadlift Shoes for Budget

If you’re trying to save on a pair of shoes for deadlifts, then I would highly suggest actually looking at something like a deadlift slipper. Wait, slippers, what? Yup!

Deadlift slippers are fantastic because they replicate a more barefoot feel and they’re fairly cost-efficient. Plus, if you only wear them for training, then they should last you a while as well.

Top Choice: Lifting Large Ground Lock Deadlift Slippers

The Lifting Large Ground Lock Deadlift Slippers are great because they come at a cost-efficient price and are approved for pretty much every federation’s equipment standards for deadlifting. They replicate a barefoot feeling and their toe box is plenty wide for those with wider feet.

If you’re trying to save money and want an absolute no-frills option and you don’t care about having a physical shoe, then I’d say go with the Lifting Large Ground Lock Deadlift Slippers. They also have additional straps for security for both conventional and sumo deadlifts.

Lifting Large Ground Lock Deadlift Slippers

$29.99

4.3
Stability
4.8
Versatility
3.8
Durability
4.0

Best For

  • Powerlifting
  • Deadlift-Focused Goals
  • Budget-Friendliness

Falls Short

  • Anything Other Than Deadlifting (lol)

 

Best Deadlift Shoes for Sumo Deadlifts

For my sumo-focused friends, when finding a perfect pair of deadlift shoes for your pulling style, you’ll want to consider the sole of the shoe and lateral upper and sole construction.

Most deadlift shoes will work for sumo, however, you have to keep an eye out for some of the more flimsy options which can actually have the upper roll under when pulling and spreading the floor (I’ve had this happen wearing slippers before).

Top Choice: Xero Shoes 360

If you want a fantastic option for sumo deadlifts, then I’d highly suggest checking out the Xero Shoes 360. This model is designed for cross-training, however, I really like the extended sole wrap on the lateral side. Hence why I’m including this model as my top pick for sumo deadlifts.

Like the Xero Shoes Prio, you can remove the insole in the 360 and get super close to the ground. With the full rubber sole and breathable upper, I think most will enjoy deadlifting and training in this model as it does provide a good level of versatility. In regard to sumo deadlifts, the Sabo Deadlift Shoes are also a good option.

  • Best For: Deadlift-Focused Goals and Cross-Training
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0mm
  • Weight: 10.2 ounces (size 10 model)
  • Read More: Xero Shoes 360 Review

Xero Shoes 360

$119.99

Xero Shoes 360
4.8
Stability
4.8
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.8

Best For

  • Heavy Lifting
  • Functional Fitness Workouts
  • Short and Mid-Range Runs
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Daily Wear

Falls Short

  • For Comfort If You’re Not Acclimated

 

Best Deadlift Shoes for Versatile Training

When talking about the best deadlift shoes for versatile training, I’m concerned with which training shoes work best for pulling heavyweight and can also tackle things like functional fitness workouts.

If you’re a functional fitness athlete that wants a pair of shoes to support deadlifts, then make sure you also check out the best cross-training shoes for deadlifts article.

Top Choice: Under Armour TriBase Reign 3

The Under Armour TriBase Reign 3 is a solid versatile cross-training shoe option for tackling heavy deadlifts. This shoe features a 2mm heel-to-toe which is lower than most other cross-training shoes, so you’re not going to feel as though your heel is super elevated in this model.

In addition to the lower heel-to-toe drop, the UA TriBase Reign 3’s midsole and outsole do a fairly good job at limiting overall compression under heavier loads. I’ve deadlifted well over 500 lbs in this model and experienced little compression issues if any at all.

  • Best For: Cross-Training Workouts With Heavy Barbell Work
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 2mm
  • Weight: 11.2 ounces (size 10 model)
  • Read More: UA TriBase Reign 3 Review

UA TriBase Reign 3

$120

Under Armour TriBase Reign 3
4.6
Stability
4.7
Versatility
4.5
Durability
4.6

Best For

  • Heavy Training
  • Agility Workouts
  • HIIT Training
  • CrossFit Style Workouts

Falls Short

  • For Running Long Distances
  • For Having a Higher Heel-to-Toe Drop

 

Deadlift Shoe FAQs

Before investing in deadlift shoes, you may want to explore some of the most commonly asked questions that I field about this style of footwear. This can help you better answer the questions of which shoes you should go for and if they’re worth it.

Are Deadlift Shoes Worth It?

Deadlift shoes can be fantastic supportive pieces of strength gear for deadlift-focused lifters and powerlifters. They support performance by limiting the amount of material that separates the foot from the ground so lifters can optimize their mechanics and overall range of motion.

are deadlift shoes worth it

What I would suggest is exploring how exactly you plan to use your deadlift shoes. As mentioned above, if you’re not super focused on deadlifting, then you may want to look for more versatile options like a pair of barefoot shoes, Converse, or even cross-training shoes.

How Should Deadlift Shoes Fit?

When considering deadlift shoes, regardless of the style of shoe you go for, you’re going to want your model to fit fairly snug, but not be overly tight. A snugger fit will prevent your feet from sliding around in the shoe and help you fully connect with the ground.

As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want anywhere from .2″ to .4″ in the toe box and to select options that align with your foot’s overall width. For example, if you have a wider foot, then you may want to opt for something other than a Converse which has a slightly more narrow build.

Deadlift Shoes Vs Deadlift Slippers

Deadlift shoes and deadlift slippers are designed to do the same which is to support and optimize deadlift performance. The major difference is that slippers will have a much lighter construction overall and they may break down a tad faster compared to shoes that have thicker uppers and soles.

If you’re interested in learning more about deadlift shoe and deadlift slipper differences, then I’d highly suggest checking out my comparison video below!

 

Takeaway Thoughts

When looking for new deadlift shoes, always consider the context in which you plan to use them. Does this new pair of deadlift-focused shoes align with your training style? If so, proceed and opt for the pair that will match both your deadlift and training goals best!

If you have any questions about deadlift shoes or need assistance in finding the best pair for your needs. Drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly).

That Fit Friend is a site that is supported by myself (Jake Boly) and its readers. If you purchase products through affiliates links on this site, then I may receive a small commission on the sale. These commissions help keep the lights on here at That Fit Friend so I can continue to create content and they help me purchase new models to review!

nv-author-image

Jake Boly

I've been in the fitness and strength training industry for nearly a decade. In that time, I've trained hundreds of clients, created thousands of articles, reviewed countless products, and produced a large list of training videos. And truthfully, I'm only getting started! As for my educational background, I have my Masters in Sports Science, Bachelors in Exercise Science, and have my CSCS.

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