The Top 5 Shoes for Weightlifting (2020)

As in most sports, the right shoes can improve performance in weightlifting. Shoes can make a difference in how much force a weightlifter can generate and force is certainly necessary to propel the barbell up. The cushioned shoes that runners wear are designed to absorb impact (or force), which is counter to what a weightlifter is hoping to achieve: creating and transmitting as much force as possible from the floor.

The right shoes can also help a weightlifter dip into a  deep squat, which will help keep their torso upright. The more upright their torso is, the more likely it is that they will be able to heave their barbell successfully upwards. And finally, a weightlifter’s shoes need to provide traction and stability, which will keep the feet secure and minimize the risk of injury.

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing weightlifting shoes. First, non-compressible, stiff soles are crucial in creating force and transferring it up from the floor and into a weightlifter’s body. Second, while many weightlifters choose flat Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars, a slight heel helps to dip into a deeper squat, which assists with achieving proper form. A heel also serves to prevent injuries, such as strained Achilles tendons and knee injuries. Third, look for shoes with features that provide traction and stability. These features include things like a wider platform to keep feet firmly planted on the floor, a slip-resistant outsole, a reinforced heel, and a stiff, snug upper that is secured with the BOA lacing system or with both laces and straps.

Keep in mind that these recommendations are for weightlifters who regularly clean, jerk, and snatch. If you do weight training as part of a crossfit program, or if you deadlift, other shoes may work better for you.

1. Inov-8 Fastlift 335

Inov-8 Fastlift 335
  • Combining both a lace-up closure and an instep strap for a close, secure fit on these shoes helps minimize injuries.
  • Superb traction allows weightlifters to create more force at floor level without worrying about injuries.
  • A horizontal (Meta-Flex) groove in the outsole, at the ball of the foot, creates a flexion point for unparalleled flexibility in weightlifting shoes. These shoes may be a good choice for crossfit training since the Meta-Flex groove allows for easier transitions.
Inov-8 Fastlift 335

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4.9

2. Adidas adiPower Weightlifting 2

Adidas adiPower Weightlifting 2
  • Although weightlifting shoes are traditionally made with stiff, durable materials like leather, synthetic leather, or PU-coated leather for added stability, the textile upper on these shoes allows toes to splay more easily, which adds to overall body stability.
  • The closure includes both laces and a strap across the instep for a secure, stabilizing fit.
  • The stiff, supportive heel helps weightlifters achieve the deep squats needed to create proper form.
Adidas adiPower Weightlifting 2

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4.8

3. Reebok Legacy Lifter

Reebok Legacy Lifter
  • The large heel-to-toe drop helps weightlifters achieve proper form when squatting, minimizing injuries and maximizing weight lifted.
  • The lace closure plus TWO straps over the instep provides a very snug and secure fit, increasing stability.
  • The grip rubber outsole provides extreme stability for safety.
Reebok Legacy Lifter

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4.7

4. Adidas Powerlift 4

Adidas Powerlift 4
  • The incompressible heel provides the stability needed for weightlifting.
  • The narrow fit, accompanied by a lace closure and a hook and loop strap over the instep keeps feet secure, improving stability.
  • The flexible forefoot accommodates toe splay during lifting and also makes this shoe a good candidate for crossfit training.
Adidas Powerlift 4

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4.6

5. Converse Chuck Taylor All Star

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star
  • The hard, flat outsole makes it easy to drive your feet into the floor to generate force.
  • Flat shoes without a heel are preferred by many for wide-stance squats, deadlifts, and bench press.
  • The wide, flat rubber outsole provides excellent traction, keeping feet securely planted.
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star

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4.4
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