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You will often see people lifting with a special type of shoe to create less distance from their feet to the floor. Heck, sometimes you will even see people lifting barefoot because they get a better hip drive. Unfortunately, a lot of gyms do not allow patrons to lift without shoes to maintain cleanliness. Knowing this, you need to find a pair of shoes that are suitable for the gym, and particularly for heavy compound lifts. Throughout the rest of this article, I will be ranking and reviewing the best deadlift shoes on the market.
Trust me, I have a tendency to impulse buy when it comes to fitness equipment, but shoes deserve extensive research. In this case, I did the hard work for you so that you can make the decision that best suits your needs.
Factors To Consider
Comfort: Of course you want to have shoes that are comfortable to workout in. Generally, this implies that the shoes will not have to be broken in much after purchasing. If you have flat feet, you probably want to choose an option with more support. However, if you have a normal arch, you can select any trustworthy brand.
Buying The Right Size: It’s imperative that your shoes fit properly. This means doing some research to figure out if the brand runs true to size. Generally, you want a little bit of room between your biggest toe and the tip of the shoe.
Minimal Distance Between Your Feet and The Ground: The main point of weightlifting shoes is to maintain minimal distance between your feet and the ground. Think about how it feels to lift barefoot, and this is what you want to replicate. The flatter your feet are, the better hip drive you will get when exercising.
Style: The appearance of your shoes is not necessarily a big deal, but if you look good you will feel good when exercising. There are plenty of different styles to choose from, so you should opt for something that you will actually wear.
Price: Shoes are going to vary in price depending on their construction and overall quality. I urge you to choose shoes that you can afford. There is no sense in breaking the bank for some good gym shoes.
Asics: A leader in athletic shoes for decades. Asics has plenty of options for good weightlifting shoes, several of which will be covered in this article.
Adidas: Several options designed specifically for weight training. In terms of style, Adidas has a lot of aesthetic options.
Converse: A favorite amongst gym-goers for the timeless style, comfort, and price.
Reebok: Support and comfort are top-notch. There are several different styles ranging from cross-trainers to flatter powerlifting shoes.
Nike: Of course, I cannot forget about Nike. They seem to have shoes for every purpose, and weight lifting is no exception.
Nordic Lifting: Not exactly a name brand, but one that specializes in deadlift and squat shoes. Several different options that vary in style and purpose.
Asics Weightlifting Shoes
In my opinion, you cannot go wrong with this brand. They have been an industry leader for years, and they offer several styles to cater to your needs.
Why I Like Asics:
The quality is top-notch. These shoes will not fall apart on you with regular use because they are built to last.
They are more comfortable than other brands. Most Asics include a gel support system to aid in comfort and shock-absorption.
The brand runs true to size.
Price varies between products, so these are a great choice for any budget. Shoes designed specifically for lifting are typically more expensive than their cross-trainers or wrestling shoes.
My Recommendations From This Brand
Lift Master Lite Cross-Trainer: These are a high end option from Asics that is designed with weightlifting in mind. They are made with 100% synthetic material and feature seamless construction. There is a rubber sole and velcro strap for greater support. I recommend these because they keep your feet close to the ground and they are flexible for all types of workouts.
GEL-Fortius TR 2: This style is more reminiscent of the type of shoes that Asics typically makes. They are infused with gel for optimal comfort and support, but they also lie extremely flat to the ground. In terms of composition, these shoes are 100% synthetic and have a rubber sole. They are very breathable because of the mesh overlay, but if you have wide feet I would probably steer clear of these shoes.
Aggressor 4 Wrestling Shoes: You’re probably thinking “why on earth would I wear wrestling shoes for lifting?” Well, believe it or not, wrestling shoes are some of the best deadlift shoes available to you. The reason for this is because wrestling shoes are designed to be flat, flexible, and have a lot of traction. These are made of suede, and they are a comfortable option whether you have narrow or wide feet.
I find that Adidas has more options than most brands when it comes to lifting shoes. It’s no surprise that their shoes are effective considering their place as one of the world’s top shoe brands.
Why I Like Adidas:
They are affordable for nearly any budget, and the price generally has no negative correlation with the quality.
Compared to most brands, Adidas has a lot of aesthetically pleasing shoes. Many of their styles come in a variety of colorways.
In terms of quality, their shoes are built to last.
They fit snug and true to size but they are also surprisingly flexible.
My Recommendations From This Brand:
Men’s Powerlift 4: Hence the name, these are designed with powerlifting in mind. They come in 7 different colorways with a textile composition. These are lace-up shoes, but they also have a velcro strap for more support. Although these are quite narrow, they are extremely comfortable and lightweight. If you have wide feet, you should have no problem wearing these shoes, they will just feel a little bit more snug.
Adipower Weightlifting li Sneaker: Once again, these are made specifically for pumping iron. Similar to the Powerlift 4, these are lace shoes with a velcro strap, but they only come in 2 different colorways. Although your feet will be very close to the ground in these shoes, the sole appears to be raised slightly higher than the Powerlift 4.
Powerlift 3.1 Cross Trainer: Out of all three recommendations, this style is perhaps the most versatile. These shoes are meant for lifting, but they are also fine for general activewear. The sole is synthetic on these as opposed to rubber for the previous two options. Other key features include 5 different colorways and an airmesh lining for more breathability.
I could not write a guide about deadlifting shoes without mentioning one of the all-time greats, Converse. This brand has been a gym staple since the 1970’s, and there are plenty of good reasons for this.
Why I Like Converse:
They are a timeless option that is guaranteed to be less expensive than other brands.
Although they are great for the gym, you can wear these shoes casually for any purpose.
They are available in nearly every color, and you can select from low-top or high-top.
Great for maintaining flat feet when exercising.
My Recommendations From This Brand:
Converse All-Star: When you think of this brand, you probably get a mental image of All-Stars. They are essentially the “standard” Converse, and they are also my only recommendation in terms of weightlifting shoes. This company offers a variety of styles, but none are as good as the All-Star for ensuring your feet stay close to the ground. Fortunately, they make a high-top and low-top option, so you can choose either option because the soles are the same.
Reebok became its own brand in 1958, and since then they have been a popular choice amongst athletes. One of the best things about this brand is the fact that they offer most of their styles in both mens and womens sizes.
Why I Like Reebok:
They have a long history of producing quality athletic footwear.
There are options available for any budget.
Most of their training shoes feature a Powerbax TPU plate for more stability and comfort.
Several of their models have a slightly raised heel which allows you to go deeper on squats.
My Recommendations From This Brand:
Men’s Lifter PR Cross Trainer: Unfortunately this style is the only one of my recommendations that does not have women’s sizes. Despite this, it’s a fantastic choice for men who are passionate about the gym. The shoe is composed of 100% mesh and synthetic material, and they are low cut. They have a flat rubber sole and they are lace up with one velcro strap. You can buy these in 7 different colorways, so finding a color you like shouldn’t be an issue.
Legacylifter Cross Trainer: A fantastic choice for both men and women. I’d say this is the best quality deadlift shoe you can get from Reebok. This shoe has the most stability out of all the options because it is both lace-up and has two velcro straps. These are slightly more expensive than the PR cross trainers, but all the more worth it. They are composed of textile and synthetic material with a rubber sole.
Crossfit Nano 8.0 Flexweave Sneaker: Although these are not designed specifically for lifting weights, they are still a great choice. In my opinion, these are slightly more stylish than the two other options and also more versatile. The sole sits quite flat to the floor, but the heel is cushioned for greater performance and comfort. There are 20 different colorways which is quite ridiculous but in a good way. These are lace-up sneakers with a synthetic sole, and they are great for both casual wear and lifting.
You probably could have guessed that Nike would be on this list because they make shoes for every purpose. Compared to other brands, Nike is slightly more expensive for weightlifting shoes, but the quality is top-notch.
Why I like Nike:
All of the styles mentioned in this article run true to size.
Their shoes are usually made with synthetic leather to increase durability.
Most models are made with mesh for greater breathability.
They are more comfortable on feet and have better support than most brands.
My Recommendations From This Brand:
Nike Romaleos 3: In terms of quality, comfort, and style, this is one of the best options out there. Although they are a little bit more pricey, these have flywire technology for a locked-in feel. The forefoot is flexible and the honeycomb patterned plate on the base adds stability. They are extremely breathable and the 20mm offset at the heel gives you a better range of motion. There are two different colorways. Finding the right size is sometimes an issue with this model, and they do not offer women’s sizes.
Metcon Sport Training Shoe: Nike’s description of this product indicates that these were made for heavy lifting and explosive movements. With this being said, there’s no doubt that these are great for deadlifts and squats. One great feature about these shoes is that they are easy to slip on and off. There are no laces, but instead there is a customizable single strap across the midfoot. For being mesh shoes, these are surprisingly durable because of the synthetic skin around the toe area.
Metcon Repper Dsx Cross Training: Yet another great option from the metcon product line. These shoes have a more casual appearance because they are not designed specifically for lifting. Despite this, they are a great gym shoe due to the flat sole and durability. These shoes are completely lace-up and the least expensive option of all my recommendations from Nike.
If you’re not a fan of name brands and would rather have a shoe from a company that caters to weightlifters, then this is for you. They do not have a line of several different models, but the two models that they do make are fantastic. Although they are marketed as squat shoes, there’s no doubt that this brand makes some of the best deadlift shoes.
Why I Like Nordic Lifting:
Trusted brand that caters specifically to powerlifters.
They have “olympic-level stability”, your feet will not move even a centimeter when performing big lifts.
These shoes are built to last because of the reinforced stitching.
Nordic Lifting offers a one year warranty on all of their shoes, which is unheard of for most footwear brands.
My Recommendations From This Brand:
Nordic Lifting Powerlifting Shoes for Heavy Weight-Lifting: The option you should choose. This model is the company’s best seller, and for a good reason. In fact, these shoes have over 400 5-star reviews on Amazon. They are both lace-up and velcro, and the stability is top-notch. Color choices are limited as there is only a blue and black option. Nonetheless, they are stylish and effective for lifting more weight.
Crossfit Variation: This is the only other option from Nordic Lifting, and they are quite similar to the latter in terms of style. Personally, I think these are designed as more of a cross-trainer or basic athletic shoe, but they would be fine to lift in. Both models have the same 1-year warranty and are the same price.
How To Make Your Decision
All of the options listed here might be a lot to take in, but let me assure you they are all great choices. Remember that shoes for lifting are not a necessity, but they can definitely help you out if you are passionate about making gains.
When it comes to deciding on the best weightlifting shoes for your needs, you should take into consideration the factors mentioned in the beginning of this article. To recap, those factors are:
The Price – There are budget options and expensive options. I encourage you to select shoes that you can afford. There is no sense going into debt over a pair of sneakers.
Comfort – Nobody wants shoes that are uncomfortable to walk around in, especially if you’re wearing them to the gym consistently. All of my recommended options are comfortable, you should make your decision based on your own research.
Quality – Do you want shoes that are going to last you 1 year or 5 years? Durability is important, so take a look at the shoe materials before you make a purchase.
Sizing – Make sure that the brand and model you choose has your size available. More importantly, check to see whether the brand runs true to size.
Effectiveness – Essentially, do the shoes do what they’re designed to do? This means that the sole should be relatively flat to offer you greater stability on big lifts. The shoes you buy should give you a better hip drive on deadlifts and squats.
Style – If you’re a sneakerhead or someone who is passionate about the style of their shoes, then this is definitely a factor to consider. Some makes and models have way more colorways compared to others.
Once you take all these factors into consideration, you can select a pair and be on your way. Believe me, weightlifting shoes definitely make a difference in your overall performance.
Money an issue? No problem.
I completely understand if you’re trying to save as much money as possible on gym-wear. Although several of the options in this guide are inexpensive, I think one brand in particular really stands out.
Converse All-Stars are likely to be the least expensive choice you could make. These shoes don’t have all the bells and whistles that other brands might have, but they are just as good. There are 20 different colors available on Amazon in both low and high top.
Converse are particularly good for deadlifts and squats because of how flat they are. From personal experience, I can also say that they tend to last a long time. If money is an issue, this is definitely the brand that I would recommend.
Good deadlift shoes will provide you with stability and flatter feet for a stronger hip drive. Most of the time, if you make the switch, you will be able to lift more weight. All of the brands and recommendations mentioned in this article are great choices if you’re struggling to make a decision.
A solid pair of shoes is often an after-thought for most gym-goers. Even if you don’t lift heavy, you can benefit from any of these shoes for general athletic purposes. In fact, they are also one of the best options for suspension trainers because your feet stay put.
Remember to do your own research before making a purchase. Although I covered most of the main features for each brand, there is always a chance that certain shoes won’t appeal to you. As always, if you’re completely new to exercising, you should consult your physician before starting resistance training.