The Ultimate Guide To Weightlifting Shoes

The Ultimate Guide To Weightlifting Shoes

Most professional bodybuilders swear by weightlifting shoes. For years, they've increased in popularity through popular sportswear brands. Manufacturers throughout the world work to make shoes that offer the highest level of support when lifting.

When you put on a pair of weightlifting boots, you'll notice an increase in the power and utility of your workout. It helps you by keeping your body in excellent condition

Man Wearing Black Adidas Powerlift Shoes

We'll discuss the usage and benefit of using weightlifting shoes. They are a powerful and interesting addition to one's gym bag. By understanding the information discussed in this article, you'll have a greater understanding as to why weightlifting shoes are necessary if you want to see results.

What Are Weightlifting Shoes?

Weightlifting shoes are a type of shoes that's recognized by bodybuilders and professional athletes. It's a shoe that's durable enough to keep the body aligned when lifting heavy weights. You'll want this support because it keeps your joints and ligaments protected against unexpected movements.

Two features are noticeable in every weightlifting shoe:

Raised Heel

Its main feature is the raised heel. This is a definite advantage because it allows you to squat deeper when doing the intensive lifting. People like this form shoes because it increases the ankle range and makes it easier to do Olympic lifts.

Hard Sole

When lifting over 100 lbs of equipment, you'll want to have something to keep your feet supported. Running shoes fail at this because they allow the body to continue to fluctuate when lifting. A good pair of lifting shoes helps your body stay in composure when there are over 100 lbs of pressure added to it.

example of a high and hard sole on a weightlifting shoe

These two features alone tell you the benefits you'll gain from a good weightlifting shoe. Your body needs something that will help the joints remain stable when lifting. If you want to get a good shoe, make sure that it handles both of these requirements. It will help you gain the most out of your shoes.

What Makes A Quality Weightlifting Shoe?

There are a lot of factors to consider when looking for a useful weightlifting shoe. You'll want to have one that fits most, it not all of your expectations. Keep these factors in mind when you're looking for a quality weightlifting shoe.


There is usually a "True to Size" feature that's on a few shoes. Knowing your "True to Size" shoe size prevents this issue and helps you get a quality improvement to your feet. For a good rule of thumb, you'll want to use your standard shoe size to get the right measurement for your feet.

While your "True to Size" shoe is a bit different than your normal shoe size, it's still a good idea to find your measurements before getting a shoe. Find your dress shoe in your closet that fits you the most and buy a weightlifting shoe based on the size of that shoe.


While price isn't a primary factor in your shoes, it does play a role in how many options you have. A good quality pair of powerlifting shoes will cost around $50-$200. We suggest staying within this range to prevent yourself from buying a pair of low-quality shoes that won't last.

When budgeting, make sure that you'll find a shoe within your range. You don't need to overspend on a pair of shoes. This will lead you into wasting your money on shoes you possibly won't like. When buying, make sure your shoes are good enough to support your body.

The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide To Best Weightlifting Shoes


There are two types of designs when it comes to weightlifting shoes.

Vintage weightlifting shoes consist of a high-top design while modern shoes come in a more low-top manner. There is one important factor when it comes to the ankle level of comfort. Some people believe that high-top provides extra stability in your ankle and prevents your feet from twisting during lifting.

On the other hand, people argue that high top shoes constrict to the user's form. This is why some people are into buying modern shoes. While there are other factors to look for, ankle stability is needed when you want the most out of your weightlifting shoes.


While most weightlifters notice their exercises more than the appearance of their shoe, it's still an important factor to consider. Buying the right pair of shoes helps you remain confident and in control when lifting. Make sure that the shoes you're buying are aesthetically pleasing and useful to get the most out of them.

Fit & Comfort

You'll want to get a shoe that feels good for your feet. No matter how many features are added to your shoe, it won't work if it doesn't fit correctly. If you don't feel comfortable, it will prevent you from working out to the best of your ability.

Woman Wearing Weightlifting Shoes Lifting Weights

When trying out your Olympic weightlifting shoes, make sure to go over the exercises you normally would at the gym. Practice your squat position, jump multiple times, and replicate any other position you'd think of while lifting. This ensures that your shoes will support your body when it's time to lift.

When Is It A Bad Idea To Wear Weightlifting Shoes?

Weightlifting shoes are great for advanced levels of lifting (Olympic lifts, deadlifts, squats, and benches). However, there are a few scenarios that we wouldn't recommend using these shoes. We don't recommend using these shoes for traveling exercises.

Remember, this type of shoe should be used for lifting purposes. While it's good for squats and heavy lifting, weightlifting shoes are limited in other applications.

For instance, you don't want to wear weightlifting shoes for cross fit training. The soles are too hard and unable to work with such a fast amount of motion. Getting the right set of shoes for each type of training will set you apart from the average gym goer who doesn't experience any results.

Types Of Shoes

There are a myriad of shoes used for exercise. However, they are designed and used for different methods than weightlifting shoes. Here are a few alternative shoes that can be used throughout your workout routines.

Olympic Weightlifting Shoes

These shoes have the highest level of stability. Most Olympic weightlifting shoes come with a raised heel and thicker soles to provide this level of support. You'll want these types of shoes when doing snatch and clean jerks. They'll keep your body stabilized to reach the maximum results of the lift.

Example of Olympic Weightlifting Shoes

Deadlift/Squat Shoes

Deadlifting in weightlifting shoes requires a flat sole. While you can use the average weightlifting shoe for these types of exercises, you'll want flat soled shoes because they offer more force transference. Flat soles are great for low back squats that allow the maximum contact with the ground.

Squat shoes are great because they help you get a full leg workout. Instead of wearing shoes that make your feet flimsy, these keep your feet strong enough to get all the advantages of a strong squat workout. You'll want squat shoes when you want complete control throughout the legs.

Powerlifting Shoes

Powerlifting shoes are a hybrid in between the Olympic and the Squat Shoes. They have a high incline, but not as high as the Olympic weightlifting shoes. It creates a strong squat stance that is not exposed to tipping or falling over. Get these shoes if you want the best form to complete your powerlifting exercises.

Having a strong stance is a huge advantage for bodybuilders. This means that you have a good amount of strength to engage your posterior chain to help increase your lifting ability. Powerlift shoes help those reach and go beyond their maximum weight with form correction.

Multi-Purpose/Cross Fit Training Shoes

Cross Fit training shoes are becoming a popular type of shoe amongst male and female athletes. In fact, they are good for children and are a good entry for junior weightlifting shoes. These shoes grant you the ability to do calisthenics, gymnastics, and Cross Fit.

Pair of Multi Purpose Shoes

Cross Fit uses exercise routines such as Box Jumps and Olympic Lifts. Shoes in this genre have enough stability to lift weights, but also have enough flexibility to improve your speed and do explosive workouts. Think of them as all-purpose shoes that get almost any job done in the gym.

What Activities Should I Use Weightlifting Shoes For?

We believe that weightlifting shoes can handle a various amount of lifting routines. However, they can't do exercises that require a shoe that allows quick movements. Their main purpose is to be used for strength training, bodybuilding, and conditioning.

Here are a few popular sports that wearing weightlifting shoes serves as an advantage:

  • Cross Fit
  • Powerlifts
  • Strength Training

Weightlifting shoes are useful in sports in this category because they keep the user stable. When lifting heavy weights, you don't want your feet to suffer and destroy your balance. Getting a pair of weightlifting shoes help you get the most strength and power out of your workouts.

To be specific, here are a few lifts that are supported by weightlifting shoes. The shoes help by maximizing your strength and performance on these workouts.

  • Overhead Press
  • Squats
  • ​Snatches
  • ​Deadlifts
  • Push Press
Man in Weightlifting Shoes Lifting Weights

Most professional athletes swear by weightlifting shoes to help with their strength training. These shoes help your body remain sturdy when lifting. Make sure to use these shoes when you want to maximize the results of those intense strength training exercises.

Men's Weightlifting Shoes

While men's weightlifting shoes are easier to find, they aren't usually advertised in stores. We recommend getting the shoes a size higher than your natural size. For instance, a men's size 8 will transfer to a size 9 weightlifting shoe.

It's easier for find weightlifting shoes for men in this period. High end sportswear brands (Nike, Adidas, Reebok) create their special rendition of weightlifting shoes. Each shoe with their form of specialized technology to help you get the best out of your workouts.

Women's Weightlifting Shoes

Finding a good pair of women's weightlifting shoes can be difficult. Before modern shoe technology, women had to find their weightlifting shoe size from men. To do this, subtract 1 from your natural shoe size. For Instance, your size 10 will transfer to a size 9 weightlifting shoe.

Today, changes in society has made it easier for women to receive weightlifting shoes to their natural size. We'd recommend getting a pair that allows you to get the maximum range of motion when you are squatting or doing an Olympic lift. The best shoes will help you achieve your strength training goals.

What About Squatting Shoes For Women?

Another thing we've noticed is the increase in the usage of women's squatting shoes. These shoes help improve the overall quality and form of your squats. Make sure to get a pair of shoes that have a flat sole that helps you keep your body in complete control during this exercise.

Woman in Weightlifting Shoes doing Squats

Squatting shoes for women offer the benefit of improving the leg muscles. A good pair of squatting shoes will help If you want to have toned legs and a powerful all around the body. These shoes will help you by improving the motion of your body and your legs to get the most out of your squats.

Why Are Weightlifting Shoes So Good?

This is a common question that is asked in the weightlifting community. There is skepticism that the shoes might not prove the benefits that are advertised. We believe that weightlifting shoes are the best because there are multiple reasons to use them instead of your sneakers.

Reason #1 Weightlifting Shoes Do Have Flat Soles

When lifting weights, you want to have the least amount of compression. That compression causes your body to lose its stability and possibly result in a failed workout. Weightlifting shoes have flat soles making it easier for your legs to remain stable and as strong as your upper body when lifting.

Why do you want to have flat soles? Because flat soles remain sturdy when lifting extensive amount of weights. You'll have improved posture and center of gravity when deadlifting with weightlifting shoes. Get them because the flat soles prevent your legs from tiring out in the middle of a session.

Adidas Performance Men's Powerlift Shoes

Reason #2 Weightlifting Shoes Are More Stable

One thing that people usually want in their shoe is stability. Wearing sneakers and running shoes won't help you stay stable when your body has to lift 100lbs of heavy weight.

There's a different level of stability that comes with different type of shoes.

Running Shoes have the misconception that they provide full stability to the foot. But, this is not always true. The shoes only work when there is a forward and backward direction of motion when running. This means that you won't see stability unless you are running.

Boxing shoes do offer a certain level of stability. But it's only in certain motions just like running shoes. It's designed to provide ankle stability. Boxers move in a lateral direction of motion, and these shoes provide stability in this type of shoe.

Weightlifting shoes provide the stability that works only in stationary motions. It's not like running shoes that have stability when the feet is constantly moving. When you place your force downward, you'll want a pair of weightlifting shoes.

Since weightlifting shoes have a high level of stability, it saves you from injuries. This lack of injuries means that you'll have more time to workout and continue lifting. You'll have more time to focus on your gains and not waste time due to getting injured during your workouts.

Reason #3 Incline Heel Position

Having an inclined heel is perfect for strength training. The heel is about a centimeter high, and it makes squatting easier. Through raising your heel, your body increases its muscle fiber production. Your strength improves because of this and it makes you get the most out of the exercise.

Weightlifting Shoes VS. Barefoot Shoes

Some Cross Fit athletes use Barefoot shoes when lifting weights. While this is dangerous for intense lifts, it does allow the body to treat the foot muscles to move independently from each other. You'll want to have these for exercises that require footwork and light to medium weights.

Weightlifting Difference With Shoes and Without Them

But, barefoot shoes don't offer the same amount of durability than weightlifting shoes. The shoes are great for flexibility but will fail when heavy weights are applied to the bar. Also, they don't have that much stability in areas in or around the foot.

Weightlifting shoes are the best at maximizing your strength. They are recommended for activities that require a lot of lifting and stationary movement. Use barefoot shoes for exercises that require quick movements and medium sized weightlifting.

What Is CrossFit?

CrossFit is a sport and an exercise routine that's completely different than weightlifting. It's a commercialized brand of fitness that's founded by Greg Glassman. The workout program incorporates techniques and routines from all forms of fitness (gymnastics, weightlifting, running, and more).

One reason why CrossFit became so popular is because of the large community behind it. Over thousands of people spoke about their positive results that were acquired through CrossFit. It's a good workout plan, but it's not the same as weightlifting.

If you're looking for a good pair of CrossFit shoes, you're going to want something that's good for all sorts of exercises. Weightlifting shoes have one purpose; strength training. You don't to wear oly shoes when running because the flat sole makes it harder for you to run at an optimal speed.

Woman Doing Crossfit with Weightlifting

Why You Should Avoid Bad Weightlifting Shoes

When doing Olympic Lifts, you should never wear running shoes. Running shoes are great for quick movements, but have no place in weightlifting. Running shoes can cause injuries and is extremely dangerous to use.

When using running shoes, you have a lower level of stability. This soles of these shoes are often squishy. You'll have a harder time learning how to practice good lifting form while wearing them. You won't receive any results due using running shoes when holding the barbell.

Remember that each time you lift, your body exerts an amount of energy to keep it in motion. Using running shoes causes you to waste that energy. It absorbs the force that is placed on the floor. Buying weightlifting shoes like this allow you to transfer your energy into moving heavier weights.

What Makes A Weightlifting Shoe Useful?

This depends on the lifting exercise you plan to partake. What may seem useful to your Olympic Lifter may be different than your powerlifter. However, there are a few things that any weightlifting shoe must have.

Technique improvement is the first thing that makes a weightlifting shoe useful. For instance, it's inclined heel helps you when doing squat routines. Squats are easier to do if you place the weight on the heels. A useful weightlifting shoe should correct your form and improve your technique.

Professional Weightlifter Wearing Weightlifting Shoes

Strength improvements is an obvious benefit of using weightlifting shoes. They push your body further down the ground. For deadlifts, weightlifting shoes keep your body sturdy enough to lift up the barbell without the risk of back injury.

Your weightlifting shoe is useful depending on how it supports your needs. But, make sure that it is sturdy enough to keep your feet positioned correctly. This reduces the amount of injury and helps you perform a useful exercise.


To conclude, we believe that investing in a pair of weightlifting shoes is a wise choice. It improves your range of motion and stability when lifting heavy weights. By keeping the legs planted to the ground, you gain the energy to transfer the weight correctly throughout your body.

Weightlifting trainers believe that weightlifting shoes are ideal for keeping your body stable during heavy lifting. The shoes are designed to stabilize your feet with the hard sole. Ultimately, get a pair of weightlifting shoes if you want to experience the most benefits out of a strength workout.

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