Home » 10 Best Weightlifting Shoes (2022 Update) | Picks for Men, Women, and More

10 Best Weightlifting Shoes (2022 Update) | Picks for Men, Women, and More

  • Jake Boly 

Weightlifting shoes also referred to as squat shoes and lifting shoes, are a type of footwear that can be useful for lifters from all walks of life. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be a “serious” athlete to benefit from weightlifting shoes.

Much like using cross-training shoes and barefoot shoes for lifting, I think of weightlifting shoes as tools. For example, a weightlifting shoe’s elevated heel will produce a change in exercise mechanics compared to a flat shoe.

Understanding the why behind weightlifting shoes can be really useful because it can then help you better utilize them per your training goals. Weightlifting shoes are like lifting belts, you’re not going to use them every session, but it’s always nice to have them on hand when the time calls.

In my best weightlifting shoes round-up, I’ll break some of my favorite picks into different categories based on a shoe’s performance and the community feedback that I’ve received on different models.

Best Weightlifting Shoes 2022

Looking at new cross-training shoes, too? Try my Cross-Training Shoe Finder. My calculator matches you with shoes that fit your individual needs best.

Best Weightlifting Shoes for Men

When considering the best weightlifting shoes for men, I’m trying to assess two key performance areas. First, I’m looking at a shoe’s stability and security for things like heavy squats and cleans.

Second, I’m assessing a shoe’s fit. Is it wide enough through the toe box? Will it deliver a fit that aligns with the anatomy of men’s feet?

My Top Pick: Reebok Legacy Lifter II

The Reebok Legacy Lifter II is taking my top pick as the best weightlifting shoe for men. This model delivers consistent performance in a variety of training settings and is a good “all-in-one” style weightlifting shoe.

squatting in reebok legacy lifter 2

This model features a stable TPU heel with an effective heel height of 22mm or .86 inches. When it comes to moving heavy weight in squats, cleans, and snatches, this model’s stability is really solid and I’ve used them to compete in now twice.

The adjustable thicker midfoot strap on this model also does a good job of promoting overall foot security. This strap system feels durable and much less clunky compared to the original Reebok Legacy Lifter.

Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 Weightlifting

The toe box in this model has a nice level of maneuverability and I’d describe its fit as neutral. It’s not going to be the best option for wide feet, but for most foot anatomies, the Legacy Lifter II delivers a good fit.

  • Best For: Squats, Recreational Lifting, and Weightlifting (heavier model, FYI)
  • Effective Heel Height: 22mm/.86″
  • Weight: 18.85 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to size (neutral width)
  • First Runner-Up: Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes Review
  • Second Runner-Up: Nike Romaleos 4 Review

Reebok Legacy Lifter 2

$200

Reebok Legacy Lifter 2
4.5
Stability
4.6
Durability
4.5
Quality
4.5

Best For

  • Weightlifting
  • Squats
  • Accessories With an Elevated Heel
  • Heel Height: 0.86″

Falls Short

  • For Functional Fitness Workouts

Best Weightlifting Shoes for Women

To assess the best weightlifting shoes for women, I lean heavily on my girlfriend and my YouTube community for feedback on certain models. I’ll then use this feedback and cross-reference it with my reviews to select top picks.

Since a lot of weightlifting shoes run unisex, their sizing can sometimes be off for women. The models below all do a pretty good job at matching a woman’s anatomical needs while also performing well.

Top Pick: Adidas Adipower III

The Adidas Adipower III is taking the top pick as the best weightlifting shoe for women. This weightlifting shoe delivers a strong performance in the gym for a variety of training contexts.

Adidas Adipower 3 Review

This shoe’s ripstop upper construction does a good job with durability and it delivers one of the better-looking appearances of weightlifting shoes. The TPU heel in this model is stable and feels relatively lightweight.

The midfoot strap is also well-conscted and its construction feels to similar to what the original Adidas Adipower used. For squats, weightlifting, and recreational lifting, the Adidas Adipower III does a good job.

Adidas Adipower 3 Try On and Performance Review

One core reason why this model made the top of this list, though, is due to its last construction. The Adipower III has a neutral and narrower width so it has an “athletic” fit to it when training. I included wider options below if you need more width.

Adidas Adipower 3

$220

Adidas Adipower III Product Shot
4.4
Stability
4.7
Versatility
4.0
Durability
4.5

Best For

  • Weightlifting
  • Squats/Lower Body Exercises
  • Narrow/Neutral-Width Feet

Falls Short

  • For Wide Feet
  • For Cost-Efficiency
  • For Forefoot Mobility

Best Budget Weightlifting Shoes

There’s no denying that weightlifting shoes can cost a pretty penny with the norm for most premium models coming in around $200 USD. That price point is not for everyone, and that’s totally understandable.

Whether you’re investing in your first pair of weightlifting shoes or you don’t want to spend a ton on weightlifting shoes, below are some of my favorite budget weightlifting shoes for less than $100 USD.

Top Pick: Reebok Lifter PR II

The Reebok Lifter PR II is earning my top spot as the best budget weightlifting shoe. It’s really tough to fault the construction and performance of the Reebok Lifter PR II for its $100 USD price point.

Reebok Lifter PR II Review

Additionally, you can often find this model marked down with multiple colorways on sale, so more than likely, you’ll be able to find them for less than $100 USD which is even better.

This shoe delivers a stable high-density EVA midsole and its midfoot strap has a nice level of security. Plus, unlike other budget weightlifting shoes, both of these construction features feel durable and well-constructed.

Reebok Lifter PR II for weightlifting

The textile upper on this model breathes pretty well and it’s a good “all-in-one” style weightlifting shoe for someone wanting to save. Whether you’re new to weightlifting shoes or you want to save money, this is a good consistent model to explore.

Reebok Lifter PR II

$100

Reebok Lifter PR II Product Shot
4.5
Stability
4.6
Versatility
4.4
Durability
4.3

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • Weightlifting
  • Cross-Training
  • Cost-Efficiency

Falls Short

  • For Lifters That Want a Higher Heel
  • For Construction Quality Control

Best Weightlifting Shoes for CrossFit

When discussing the best weightlifting shoes for CrossFit, I think it’s important to recognize how you’ll be using your shoes in the context of CrossFit.

Do you want a pair primarily for heavy CrossFit training sessions or a pair with more versatility that you can wear in particular WODs where you may be wearing them for multiple exercises? Below are a few of my top picks for different asks.

Top Pick: Inov-8 Fastlift Power G 380

The Inov-8 Fastlift Power G 380 is taking my top pick as the best weightlifting shoe for CrossFit. In the context of CrossFit, this model delivers a consistent, stable, and versatile performance for a few reasons.

Testing the Inov 8 Fastlift Power G 380 for squats

First, this shoe features a stable and lightweight graphene-infused power heel. Compared to other weightlifting shoes, this model has a lighter weight which is great for more dynamic training sessions.

Second, the ripstop upper and graphene rubber outsole are durable and the midfoot strap delivers a solid level of security. From a durability and security standpoint, this shoe does a really good job.

Reviewing the Inov 8 Fastlift Power G 380 for Weightlifting

Third and lastly, this model’s toe box has a lot more maneuverability compared to other weightlifting shoes. This is a big reason why this model is taking my top pick here because blocky and stiff toe boxes can feel rough during CrossFit workouts.

  • Best For: CrossFit, Squats, and Weightlifting
  • Effective Heel Height: 22mm/.86″
  • Weight: 13.50 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to size (neutral width)
  • First Runner-Up: Nike Savaleos Review
  • Second Runner-Up: Adidas Powerlift 5 Review

Inov-8 Fastlift Power G 380

$210

Inov-8 Fastlift Power G 380 Review
4.6
Stability
4.8
Versatility
4.4
Durability
4.6

Best For

  • Squats and Leg Workouts
  • Weightlifting (Clean & Jerk/Snatch)
  • Functional Fitness Workouts
  • Narrow and Neutral Width Feet

Falls Short

  • For Wide Feet

Best Weightlifting Shoes for Strongmat of strongman is dynamic in nature, so in many cases, strongman athletes will look for weightlifting shoes that can also be versatile with their performance.

On top of versatility, weightlifting shoes for the sport of strongman also need to deliver a good level of durability. Below are a few great picks to explore, and these models are also based on the feedback from strongman athletes that I receive on content.

Top Pick: Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes

The Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes are taking my top pick as the best weightlifting shoes for strongman. Honestly, I think the Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes are slept on by a lot of lifters despite being consistent performers year after year.

Testing the Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes for Lower Body Days

This shoe can be a great option for strongman athletes due to its versatile toe box, stable construction, and budget-friendly price. The Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes deliver a stable midfoot and heel for heavy squats and cleans.

Once broken in, the toe box in this model also feels good and delivers a nice level of maneuverability for different training settings. Size-wise, this shoe’s toe box airs on the neutral side and is slightly wider than other weightlifting shoes on the market.

Testing the Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes for Squats

Another perk of the Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes is their price point and upper durability. This model costs $105 USD (often on sale for $95), so they’re a good shoe to beat up and not feel guilty for sinking a ton of money into them.

  • Best For: CrossFit, Squats, and Weightlifting
  • Effective Heel Height: 19mm/.75″
  • Weight: 13.50 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to size (neutral width), do NOT listen to Rogue’s sizing recommendations, IMO.
  • First Runner-Up: Inov-8 Fastlift Power G 380 Review
  • Second Runner-Up: Reebok Lifter PR II Review

Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes

$105

Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes Product Shot
4.4
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.4
Durability
4.4

Best For

  • Squats (All Strength Levels)
  • Weightlifting
  • Weightlifting Shoe Beginners
  • Accessory Exercises Where You Want a Wedge

Falls Short

  • For Breathability
  • For Sizing and Fit (Per Rogue’s Recommendations)

Best Weightlifting Shoes for Powerlifting

When it comes to weightlifting shoes for powerlifting, every athlete will have their own preferences. Some athletes love competing and training in flat shoes like barefoot shoes or Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars.

While others, like myself, compete in powerlifting with weightlifting shoes. Note, shoe selection for strength sports is all contextual based on what allows you to perform your best. 

Top Pick: Reebok Legacy Lifter II

The Reebok Legacy Lifter II is taking my top pick as the best weightlifting shoe for powerlifting. I’ve used this model for two of my powerlifting competitions and have enjoyed their performance in both events.

Reebok Legacy Lifter II for powerlifting

In the context of powerlifting, you’ll only be using your weightlifting shoes for squats, and sometimes bench if the heel helps you ground your feet for better positioning.

For squats, the Legacy Lifter II is an awesome model and its heavier weight is actually a pro for this. I like how “locked down” you feel in this shoe and they feel like anchors when training and hitting singles for competition.

Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 Pros

The rubber outsole also does a good job at gripping both rubber gym floors and the carpet you’ll likely be competing on in powerlifting. From a stability and security standpoint, the Legacy Lifter II does a great job.

  • Best For: Squats, Recreational Lifting, and Weightlifting (heavier model, FYI)
  • Effective Heel Height: 22mm/.86″
  • Weight: 18.85 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to size (neutral width)
  • First Runner-Up: Nike Romaleos 4 Review
  • Second Runner-Up: Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes Review

Reebok Legacy Lifter 2

$200

Reebok Legacy Lifter 2
4.5
Stability
4.6
Durability
4.5
Quality
4.5

Best For

  • Weightlifting
  • Squats
  • Accessories With an Elevated Heel
  • Heel Height: 0.86″

Falls Short

  • For Functional Fitness Workouts

Best Weightlifting Shoes for Wide Feet

An area where weightlifting shoes have consistently lacked is delivering good models for athletes and lifters with wide feet. It’s low-key pretty insane that there’s not really a good true “wide” option for weightlifting shoes.

I’m not sure whether companies don’t see enough value in this type of footwear and anatomical ask, or if designers don’t realize how a wider toe box can be beneficial for training.

Top Pick: Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes

My top pick for the best weightlifting shoes for wide feet is the Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes. Compared to other weightlifting shoes, the Do-Win model is slightly wider through the forefoot and midfoot.

Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes Outsole Construction

What’s unfortunate about the Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes and their width is that I actually think they’ve been brought in slightly compared to prior iterations. For example, five years ago, my old Do-Win fit a lot wider than the model I purchased earlier this year.

That being said, this model should work for lifters that have feet that air on the wider side. In this context, I would suggest sizing up a half size to ensure you have enough room in the toe box.

Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes Insole Construction

Just note, these are “wider” compared to other weightlifting shoes, but are not truly wide. There’s a dire need for a model with an actually wider toe box, at the moment. If you don’t want to go this route, you could also try adding heel inserts to your shoes.

  • Best For: CrossFit, Squats, and Weightlifting
  • Effective Heel Height: 19mm/.75″
  • Weight: 13.50 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to size (neutral width), do NOT listen to Rogue’s sizing recommendations, IMO.
  • First Runner-Up: Reebok Legacy Lifter II Review
  • Second Runner-Up: Reebok Lifter PR II Review

Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes

$105

Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes Product Shot
4.4
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.4
Durability
4.4

Best For

  • Squats (All Strength Levels)
  • Weightlifting
  • Weightlifting Shoe Beginners
  • Accessory Exercises Where You Want a Wedge

Falls Short

  • For Breathability
  • For Sizing and Fit (Per Rogue’s Recommendations)

Best Weightlifting Shoes for Flat Feet

When it comes to the best weightlifting shoes for flat feet, it can also be tough to find shoes that will both feel comfortable and align with a flatter foot’s anatomy.

Below are some decent options for lifters with flat feet in need of weightlifting shoes. I tried to select picks that will accommodate your feet, while also being strong performers.

Top Pick: Reebok Lifter PR II

The Reebok Lifter PR II is taking my top pick as the best weightlifting shoe for flat feet. I like this model for flat feet compared to others due to its midsole and heel construction.

Reebok Lifter PR II Performance and Lifting Review

This shoe’s EVA midsole provides a nice level of stability throughout the forefoot, midfoot, and heel, and the midfoot doesn’t taper a ton like other weightlifting shoes.

Additionally, the heel and midfoot wedge in this model is a bit less aggressive compared to other weightlifting shoes featured on this list. The lower heel height and less aggressive wedge can be a bit more comfortable for flat feet.

Reebok Lifter PR II Performance Review

Outside of these characteristics, I also like the performance of the Reebok Lifter PR II. It’s a good intro weightlifting shoe and pick fmore dynamicallythat train in a more dynamic manner.

  • Best For: Flatter Feet, Budget-Shoppers, Squats, and Recreational Lifting
  • Effective Heel Height: 15mm/.6″
  • Weight: 12.90 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to size (neutral width)
  • First Runner-Up: Adidas Powerlift 5 Review
  • Second Runner-Up: Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes Review

Reebok Lifter PR II

$100

Reebok Lifter PR II Product Shot
4.5
Stability
4.6
Versatility
4.4
Durability
4.3

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • Weightlifting
  • Cross-Training
  • Cost-Efficiency

Falls Short

  • For Lifters That Want a Higher Heel
  • For Construction Quality Control

Best Weightlifting Shoes for Beginners

If you’re new to weightlifting shoes, it can be pretty overwhelming when navigating which model to invest in. Most beginners likely don’t need to invest in the most expensive pair of weightlifting shoes on the market.

In fact, a good budget-friendly pair of weightlifting shoes will often fit the bill perfectly (beginners, also check the budget section above!) and give you a good base to then jump from for your next pair.

Top Pick: Adidas Powerlift 5

The Adidas Powerlift 5 is taking my top pick as the best weightlifting shoe for beginners. This model delivers a strong performance in the gym and has a price point that sits around $120 USD.

Adidas Powerlift 5 Performance Review

This model features a high-density EVA foam heel and midsole, which is plenty stable for most beginners getting into weightlifting shoes. The midfoot strap on this model also does a good job supporting foot security when training.

The flexible mesh and canvas upper also do a good job of supporting this shoe’s breathability. I also like the rubber outsole and the level of tread you get with the Adidas Powerlift 5 on rubber gym floors, wooden platforms, and machines.

Testing the Adidas Powerlift 5 for weightlifting

Another reason why I like the Adidas Powerlift 5 for beginners is their overall versatility. They do a good job for a variety of training contexts so if you’re trying to figure out the “when to wear” for weightlifting shoes and your training, they’re a good pick.

  • Best For: CrossFit, Squats, and Weightlifting
  • Effective Heel Height: 15mm/.6″
  • Weight: 14.40 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to size (neutral width)
  • First Runner-Up: Nike Savaleos Review
  • Second Runner-Up: Reebok Lifter PR II Review

Adidas Powerlift 5

$120

Adidas Powerlift 5 Product Shot
4.3
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.3
Durability
4.3

Best For

  • Beginner Powerlifters
  • Recreational Lifters
  • Budget-Conscious Shoppers

Falls Short

  • For Wide Feet
  • For Quality

Best Weightlifting Shoes for Narrow Feet

When testing and assessing the best wetwo criteria are drivingeet, there are two criteria driving my decision-making process. First, do the shoes actually work for narrow feet and will they provide the security narrow feet need?

Second, I assess how the shoe performs across the board, and ask questions like, “Is it worth investing in for lifters with narrow feet?” And, “Does it have good durability?”

Top Pick: Nike Romaleos 4

The Nike Romaleos 4 is taking my top pick as the best weightlifting shoe for narrow feet. Compared to other weightlifting shoes, this model does a good job for narrow feet for two specific reasons.

nike romaleos 4 performance and price

First, the fit of this model is what I would describe as neutral with a bias towards being more narrow. Second, the upper volume in this shoe is pretty low so it gives you a snug fit through the midfoot and toe box.

If you often find that you’re sliding around in weightlifting shoes or as though you can’t get them tight enough, I don’t think you’ll have these issues with the Nike Romaleos 4.

Nike Romaleos 4 for squatting

The Romaleos 4’s TPU heel provides a nice solid base to lift on and this shoe’s dual strap system provides a nice level of midfoot security. For squats, weightlifting, and recreational lifting, the Nike Romaleos 4 does a good job.

Nike Romaleos 4

$200

nike romaleos 4
4.4
Stability
4.8
Durability
4.3
Quality
4.4

Best For

  • Weightlifting (Snatch and Clean & Jerk)
  • Squats
  • Exercises Where a Heel Wedge Is Desired

Falls Short

  • For Wider Footed Athletes
  • For Cost-Efficiency

How Should Weightlifting Shoes Fit?

When sizing weightlifting shoes, I often suggest having around a .5 inch of space at the end of your toe box. This is typically a good metric to work off of for most weightlifting shoes.

Having around a half inch of space will typically give you enough room in the toe box to not feel cramped, but it will also allow you to tighten your shoes enough to prevent sliding into the toe box when training.

How should weightlifting shoes fit

Before investing in new weightlifting shoes, I’d highly suggest making sure the shoe aligns with your foot anatomy. Some shoes will have different upper volumes and widths, which will make them better or worse for your individual needs.

My advice is to always look at reviews on a shoe’s product page for feedback from others and to cross-reference with other long-form reviews. You can also always reach out to me if you have additional weightlifting shoe questions.

How to Clean Weightlifting Shoes

To properly clean weightlifting shoes, I’d suggest using a spot clean technique. This is what I also recommend doing for training shoes and it’s a cleaning technique that should help you get more out of your shoes.

Since weightlifting shoes cost a little more than traditional training shoes, it can be super useful to prolong your investment by taking good care of the shoes and keeping them relatively clean.

How to Clean Weightlifting Shoes

  • Step 1: Grab a washcloth, a soft soap (void of harsh dyes and fragrances), and some lukewarm water.
  • Step 2: Wipe down and spot clean areas that have signs of dirt buildup by putting a little soap on your washcloth and getting it a little damp.
  • Step 3: After you’re satisfied with your work, remove the shoe’s insoles and place them in a dry area.

By doing this every few months, you can easily make your weightlifting shoes last longer and get more for your investment. For gym bag users, it can also be a good idea to either open your gym bag post-training session to let it air out or to remove your shoes entirely.

When to Use Weightlifting Shoes

There can be multiple reasons why you’d want to use weightlifting shoes in the gym and for your training. A weightlifting shoe’s use will typically be based on how you train and your anatomical needs.

Generally speaking, you’ll use weightlifting shoes for the following:

  • The Sport of Weightlifting (snatch and clean & jerk)
  • Strength Sports Like Powerlifting, CrossFit, and Strongman (if you like squatting with an elevated heel)
  • Squats
  • Accessory Exercises Where An Elevated Heel Is Desired

Weightlifting Shoe Spectrum of Specificity

A weightlifting shoe will essentially replicate what a heel wedge does for your training. That being said, there are countless reasons why and when you’d want to use weightlifting shoes for your training and this will be based on your individual needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:
Can beginners wear lifting shoes?

A:
Absolutely. Weightlifting shoes can be useful for lifters from all walks of life. For beginners specifically, they can be useful tools for teaching strong squat mechanics.

Q:
Should you deadlift in weightlifting shoes?

A:
When it comes to deadlifting in weightlifting shoes, I always liken it to the classic saying, Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. A weightlifting shoe can add more range of motion to your deadlift and alter your deadlift setup mechanics.

Takeaway Thoughts

There are countless weightlifting shoes on the market and each model has its own list of pros and cons. Weightlifting shoes can be useful tools in the gym and for your training based on your individual needs.

When looking into new weightlifting shoes, I’d highly suggest checking out the differences that exist between the market’s current models to ensure you find a pair that fits your needs best.

If you have additional questions on any of the weightlifting shoes featured in this round-up, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend).

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, written thousands of articles, reviewed over 100+ pairs of training shoes, and have produced a large list of training videos. I live and breathe fitness and training gear, and I think it's important that reviewers walk the walk with the gear they're testing. As for my educational background, I have my Masters in Sports Science, Bachelors in Exercise Science, and have my CSCS.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.