Looking for some new gym gear to ring in the new year? Consider a pair of weightlifting shoes.
If weightlifting is a regular part of your workout routine, we highly recommend trying a pair of weightlifting shoes (no, they’re not just for Olympians). Contrary to common thought, you shouldn’t be wearing the same type of shoes you wear to run or hike as during your weightlifting session if you want to get the most out of your workout and prevent injury.
The main benefits of upgrading to weightlifting shoes is stability, safety, and comfort. You’ll immediately notice a difference when doing standing movements like squats, deadlifts, or overhead presses because these shoes provide better stability than normal sneakers thanks to a low-to-the-ground feel and a slightly raised heel. This design also ensures that you keep a strong posture, improving your overall performance and safety while training.
Check out some of the best pairs of weightlifting shoes for men below.
1. Nordic Lifting Powerlifting Shoes
These weightlifting kicks from Nordic Lifting take our #1 spot thanks to a simple yet high-quality build, a very reasonable price tag and a versatile fit. They feature a 1.4-inch heel that provides correct posture during heavy lifts like squats and deadlifts, plus extra strong stitching that won’t bust under stress — even after months of use. They come very highly-rated with 4.6/5 stars and over 450 reviews, largely thanks to the sturdy toe box and overall width that offers a snug fit for most feet.
2. Reebok Lifter Pr Cross-trainer Shoe
Lifting on a budget? Check out these shoes from Reebok. They come in at just under $80, which provides some considerable savings compared to other classic weightlifting shoes (cross-trainers excluded) that typically hover around $100. But although the kicks are on the affordable side, quality isn’t sacrificed. A thermo TPU midfoot wrap provides a secure fit, while an anti-friction lining reduces heat and moisture buildup. This means less sweat, stink and blisters.
3. Adidas Men’s Powerlift 4
We all want to look good in the gym, which is why these Adidas are another one of our favorite lifting shoes on the market. They have a stylish, minimal look with bold colors and Adidas’ signature three stripes on the toe. But they also deliver performance-wise with a flexible toe, a supportive foam heel wedge and a premium nylon material.
4. Reebok Crossfit Nano Sneaker
BEST CROSS TRAINER
If you like to warm-up with a jog at the gym or do crossfit workouts in addition to lifting, go for a cross-training shoe (instead of classic weightlifting shoes). We suggest these Nano sneakers from Reebok because they strike a practical balance between versatile athletic kicks and lifting shoes, allowing an easy transition between activities. They feature Reebok’s nanoweave fabric that keeps your feet cool and dry, plus enough stability for Olympic lifts.
5. Puma Tazon Cross-Trainer Shoe
Some lifters prefer a lace-up design over classic weightlifting shoes with straps. It offers a more “normal shoe” feel, which also means lace-up shoes are typically good cross-trainers. We like these Puma’s because they have a sturdy, durable construction for weightlifting, but can still be used as cross-trainers if need be. They come very highly-rated on Amazon with 4.4/5 stars and over 1,600 reviews, so you can buy assured that customers are satisfied.
6. Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Low Top
BEST EVERYDAY SHOE
No, we didn’t put Converse Chuck Taylors on here by mistake. The iconic sneaker is actually a favorite of weightlifters who don’t want to invest in real weightlifting shoes thanks to a slim, flat design. Plus, you don’t have to carry around an extra pair of shoes when you go to the gym. At under $50, they’re also very affordable, but we only recommend them if you don’t lift too often, or if you’re a beginner.
7. Otomix Stingray Weightlifting Shoes
High-top sneakers provide more ankle support (ideal if you’re prone to ankle sprains or breaks). Some high-tops, such as these Otomix shoes, double as wrestling and MMA shoes as well as lifting kicks. They feature a flat sole for feeling the floor while you lift and a supportive ankle that laces all the way up for a secure fit. Reviewers are big fans, saying the added ankle support is great for serious movements such as squats and deadlifts.
8. Nike Romaleos 3 XD
If you want the best-of-the-best, go for Nike’s Romaleos weightlifting shoes. They utilize a honeycomb pattern on the sole for lightweight support, plus a flexible forefoot that bends and flexes with your feet, giving the sensation that you’re not wearing anything. If you’ve been lifting for a while — or want to break a plateau — high-end shoes like these are a great investment.