Weightlifting shoes will become necessary once you’ve decided you’re serious about lifting. But, shoes can differ depending on your level of training and how much you’re willing to spend. That’s why we’ve split up our top choices into three categories: entry-level, mid-range, and top-tier weightlifting shoes. Entry-level shoes will cost less but offer a good foundation to start with. Mid-range shoes are durable, affordable, and offer good performance. Of course, top-tier shoes will be the most expensive but will allow you to reach the peak of your potential. If you haven’t yet though, read through our article on how to choose weightlifting shoes for advice and tips on selecting shoes. But, if you already know what makes a good pair of weightlifting shoes, you can go on ahead and find out what our top picks are. Here are, in our opinion, the best weightlifting shoes.
Best Weightlifting Shoes (Prove Us Wrong)
Best Weightlifting Shoes – Entry-Level
If you’re just starting off, it probably isn’t wise to break the bank on a pair of really expensive shoes right off the bat. Lucky for you, there are a few brands that offer entry-level shoes for the novice. They are budget friendly, minimal, and offer a stable platform with which to lift from. The only drawback is that they might not last as long as other more expensive shoes. Here are the best entry-level weightlifting shoes, all for under $100.
First, we have the VS Athletics II, offering great support and a solid and stable sole. They look pretty plain though and aren’t made of the most durable materials. Retails at $90, although you can probably find their previous model at a discounted price if you look hard enough.
Next, we have the Adidas Powerlift 3 which feature an extra wide and solid sole. The upper is made of lightweight, breathable synthetic leather while the heel is around half an inch, perfect for starting off. $90
After that are the Chuck Taylor All-Stars. Wait a minute, you might ask. You mean those minimal basketball shoes? Yeah, those are the ones! They feature a flat, hard rubber sole, which works perfectly for weightlifting while being versatile enough for walking or working out. Their canvas construction is also surprisingly durable as well and they are a fraction of the cost of dedicated weightlifting shoes. In fact, even heavy weightlifters prefer Converse as they have a flat sole offering an almost barefoot feel. ~$50
Completing our list of entry-level shoes are the Adidas Drehkraft, which is German for ‘torque’. A BOA steel lacing system and flexible sidewalls come standard for customized fit and comfort. They’re also very well-built and should last you a while. ~$80
Best Weightlifting Shoes – Mid-Range
If you consider yourself a pretty good lifter (only you can decide that), you might want some mid-range shoes. These should offer a balance of both performance and durability without costing too much. Mid-range shoes run around $100-$150.
An old school classic are the Risto Olimpicos, which feature a wooden sole and full grain leather. They are lightweight with forefoot flexibility and hand made in Ecuador when you order. Natural rubber and wood are made from locally sourced materials. $139
Then we have the Pendlay Do-Win, with a 3/4″ heel and solid straps to keep you secure and comfy. The base is also wider than most shoes, giving you a more stable platform to lift from. ~$129
Next, we have the Inov-8 FastLift 325, which are flexible in the forefoot with a snug heel cage. They offer light weight, lateral stability, and versatility. Comes with a heel height of .65″. $160
After that we have the Reebok Crossfit Lifter 2.0, which are sort of like a hybrid shoe for weightlifting and Crossfit. They have a flexible forefoot but a hard, non-compressible sole for lifting. Features dual straps for support and anti-friction lining to reduce moisture and heat. They’re pretty versatile to say the least. $125
Best Weightlifting Shoes – Top-Tier
If you are either rich or live and breathe weightlifting (you pretty much live at the gym), you’re probably looking for the best equipment. That’s where you have top-tier shoes, the best of the best, the crème de la crème, you get what I’m saying. They offer superb stability even while you have a couple hundred pounds over your shoulders. Shoes in this category run a cool $200.
Without question, the supreme leader of weightlifting shoes are the Adidas Adipower. With a trussed plastic heel and 19mm heel drop, they are snug, comfortable, flexible, and highly breathable. You’ll have no problem looking and feeling good with heavy weights overhead. Save them for weightlifting only though, since the snug fit doesn’t make them suitable for walking around a lot. $200
Following closely behind are the Nike Romaleos 3, which are the successor of the Romaleos 2. Like the Adipowers, the Romaleos also have a trussed plastic heel, good forefoot flexibility, and plenty of support. Flywire cables, a midfoot strap, breathable upper, and interchangeable insoles make them secure but also comfortable. Most lifters who don’t go for the Adipowers opt for these. $200
Coming in next are the Inov-8 FastLift 370 BOA, which are very similar to the FastLift 325s but feature a few additional goodies. Besides the external heel cage, Power-Truss technology for lateral stability, and .65″ heel height, they also have dual BOA dials for micro adjustments in fit. Perfect for adjusting tension and comfort. $200
Then there are the Reebok Legacy Lifter, featuring a glossy TPU heel, dual straps atop lacing for support, and a breathable leather and mesh upper. Heel drop measures in at 3/4″, perfect for Olympic weightlifting. $200
Best Weightlifting Shoe Brands