6 Best Weightlifting Shoes for Men

What you wear can have a massive impact on your workouts. That’s not to say you have to treat going to the gym like a fashion show, but your clothing and shoes should be comfortable and practical.

When it comes to footwear, a lot of exercisers automatically gravitate toward running shoes.

Running shoes are cushioned, supportive, and flexible, too. But, while they’re suitable for most types of workouts, they may not be ideal if you like to lift heavy weights.

During running, your feet hit the floor with force equal to about eight times your body weight. That’s why shock absorbency is such a desirably quality in running shoes.

But, when you lift weights, that same shock absorbency can be a liability. Your running shoes will compress and distort, which causes foot and ankle instability.

That’s not a problem if you are training with light weights, but under a heavy barbell, instability is the last thing you need.

Weightlifting shoes are much firmer and more stable. While they’re usually not suitable for running, they’re ideal for heavy squats, presses, curls, and cleans.

In this article, we reveal the six best weightlifting shoes for men.

Best Weightlifting Shoes for Men

Adidas makes some of the best weightlifting shoes around. Some weightlifting shoes are very stiff, which makes them supportive but a little uncomfortable.

These shoes are more forgiving and ideal for general strength training as well as weightlifting.

If you want a flexible shoe that won’t collapse under heavy loads, this weightlifting cross trainer is a good choice.

Pros

  • 100% synthetic
  • Breathable, supple upper
  • Non-slip, non-marking sole
  • Comfortable right out the box
  • Metatarsal strap for extra support and stability
  • Raised, solid heel
  • Available in three colors

Cons

  • Quite narrow

2. Reebok Legacy Lifter II Cross Trainer

Reebok is a well-known sports and leisure apparel company.

Weightlifting shoes are a recent addition to their range of footwear, but they’ve managed to produce an excellent shoe that even the most experienced lifter will love.

Well-made, flexible, and very supportive, wearing these shoes will make your workouts more comfortable and productive.

Pros

  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Rubber, non-marking sole
  • Wide metatarsal strap for increased support
  • Available in 11 colors
  • Raised, solid heel
  • Very lightweight

Cons

  • Come up a little small – may need a larger size than normal
  • Quite expensive

3. Inov-8 Men’s Fastlift 335 Cross-Trainer-Shoes

Inov-8 specializes in making innovative sports shoes.

They use the best materials and cutting-edge designs to create shoes that perform as good as they look.

The Inov-8 Men’s Fastlift 335 Cross-Trainer-Shoe is a top-rated product with CrossFitters and is ideal for all types of strength training, including powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting.

Pros

  • Mid-foot strap for increased stability and support
  • Breathable mesh upper with reinforced stress points
  • Very sticky, non-slip sole
  • Flexible midsole
  • Reinforced heel cage for a better fit
  • Wider toe for a more forgiving, comfortable fit

Cons

  • Only available in black
  • Expensive

4. Nordic Lifting Powerlifting Shoes

Nordic weightlifting shoes are a bit of a throw-back.

Made from genuine leather and quite heavy, these shoes are reminiscent of old-style Olympic weightlifting shoes from the 1970s and 1980s.

However, in terms of quality and strength, these shoes are tough to beat. They’re very affordable, too.

Pros

  • Made to last
  • Mesh upper with leather reinforcements
  • Solid, non-slip, non-marking sole and heel
  • Available in two colors
  • Metatarsal strap for more stability
  • Wider toe box for comfort
  • Supplied with a high-quality box for storage
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Plain styling
  • Heavy

5. Core Weightlifting Shoes

While you might not have heard of Core weightlifting shoes, you’ll be glad you have now! These budget-friendly shoes are every bit as god as most more expensive weightlifting shoes and will probably be more hardwearing, too.

The design is very understated, but if you value function over fashion, you’ll love these tough-as-nails, budget-friendly weightlifting shoes.

Pros

  • Breathable mesh upper with reinforced stress points
  • Non-slip EVA sole and heel
  • Metatarsal strap for additional support
  • 5-inch heel raise
  • Light and flexible
  • Very budget-friendly
  • Minimalist design
  • Heel loops to make them easier to put on

Cons

  • Only available in black
  • A little on the narrow side

6. Adidas Powerlift 4 Weightlifting Shoe

A lot of so-called weightlifting shoes are actually cross-trainers. Yes, you can wear them for weightlifting, but they’re not made solely for that purpose.

Adidas Powerlift 4 weightlifting shoes are the real deal and are made specifically for weightlifting and heavy strength training.

If you want a dedicated weightlifting shoe, this could be the model for you.

Pros

  • Specialist weightlifting shoe
  • Rubber, non-slip sole
  • Raised, solid heel
  • Breathable upper with reinforced stress points
  • Very hardwearing
  • Light and flexible
  • Metatarsal strap for increased stability
  • Available in 15 colors/designs
  • Worn by elite weightlifters

Cons

  • Come up small/narrow, so you may need to upsize

Buyers Guide

Not sure how to go about choosing the right shoes for your workouts? We’re here to help!

Features

Weightlifting shoes are quite different from other types of athletic footwear.  Look for the following features before parting with your hard-earned cash.

  • Solid, raised heel for deeper squats, better ankle mobility, and greater stability
  • A flat, non-slip, non-marking sole
  • Breathable upper
  • Mid-foot strap for a better fit and more support
  • A wide toe box for comfort
  • Supportive arch but with minimal cushioning
  • Reinforced stress points in the uppers

Fit

Shoe sizes can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and even from model to model.Nordic Lifting Powerlifting Shoes

Read the reviews to determine if you’ll need to up or downsize to get the perfect fit.

Remember, too, that your feet spread when you’ve got a heavy weight in your hands, so you should take this into account when choosing your shoes.

Weightlifting shoes don’t tend to stretch much, so you need to make sure they fit properly right out of the box.

If possible, try before you buy or order a couple of different sizes and return those that don’t fit perfectly.

Price

Weightlifting shoes can be very expensive, but you don’t have to break the bank to buy the perfect workout footwear.

Some lesser-known brands make great shoes, even if they aren’t available in lots of different styles and colors.

Don’t feel you have a spend a lot of money on a pair of weightlifting shoes. Price is not always indicative of quality or functionality.

Purpose

Are you a dedicated weightlifter, or do you want a pair of shoes that you can use for other activities?man doing push ups smiling

“Real” weightlifting shoes are very stiff, often heavy, and have very little shock absorbency, so even walking short distances can be uncomfortable.

So, decide if you need a pure weightlifting shoe or would be better off with a more forgiving cross-trainer.

Finally, if possible, try shoes from different manufacturers for a direct comparison.

Shoes that look similar can feel and perform very differently.

You’re going to be spending a lot of time in your weightlifting shoes, and the last thing you want is to buy something that detracts from your training.

Try a few different models to find your perfect workout shoe.

Bottom Line

If you’ve been working out in running shoes, it’s time to upgrade your wardrobe and get some dedicated weightlifting shoes.

You’ll notice the difference immediately, and your workouts will be more productive and safer, too.

After switching to weightlifting shoes from running shoes, most exercisers are amazed at just how much more stable they feel during their workouts.

The raised heel on weightlifting shoes means you can squat deeper, and the solid soles and metatarsal straps mean that you’ll feel like you’re nailed to the floor rather than wobbling all over the place.

Good weightlifting performance starts with a stable base!

There are lots of makes and models of weightlifting shoes to choose from, and some are definitely better than others.

Also, what works for one person may be entirely unsuitable for another, as we all have different shaped feet. So, be prepared to shop around to find the best shoes for your needs.

However, be aware that weightlifting shoes aren’t really suitable for cardio.

They’re generally too stiff and don’t have the cushioning you need for comfortable cardio workouts.

If you want something for mixed modality workouts, cross-trainers are probably a better choice. Visit the Fitness Equipment Reviews homepage for more expert product reviews and information. 

Patrick

Patrick

Patrick Dale is an ex-British Royal Marine and owner and lecturer for a fitness qualifications company. In addition to training prospective personal trainers, Patrick has also authored three fitness and exercise books, dozens of e-books, thousands of articles, and several fitness videos.

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