The Best Weightlifting Shoes for Squats, CrossFit, Flat Feet, and More

Weightlifting shoes have a few advantages over normal training shoes — greater stability, a more beneficial position for mobility and a better "feel" for the surface you’re lifting on (improved proprioception if you’re feeling fancy). If you’re mainly lifting using machines, weightlifting shoes don’t add much benefit because the machines themselves take care of the stability. But if used judiciously, weightlifting shoes are a fabulous tool that can aid with mobility and form while performing free weight movements like squats, presses, cleans, and snatches.

Over the past few years, there has been an explosion of new gyms as weightlifting, powerlifting, CrossFit and more have grown in popularity. With that growth of gyms has come a dazzling array of new lifting shoes all with different heel elevations, strap systems, designs and of course, price points. We’re here to help you navigate through and find the best weightlifting shoe that will fit your requirements. 

Best Weightlifting Shoes

  1. Best Weightlifting Shoes
  • Best Weightlifting Shoe Overall
    1. Reebok Legacy Lifter II
    2. Who Should Buy Reebok Legacy Lifter II
    3. Who Shouldn’t Buy Reebok Legacy Lifter II
  • Best Weightlifting Shoes for Squats
    1. Do-Win Classic Lifter
    2. Who Should Buy The Do-Win Classic Lifter
    3. Who Shouldn’t Buy The Do-Win Classic Lifter
  • Best Weightlifting Shoes for the Money
    1. Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes
    2. Who Should Buy Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes
    3. Who Shouldn’t Buy Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes
  • Best Weightlifting Shoes for Men
    1. Adidas Powerlift 4
    2. Who Should Adidas Powerlift 4
    3. Who Shouldn’t Buy Adidas Powerlift 4
  • Best Weightlifting Shoes for Women
    1. Reebok Legacy Lifter II – Women’s
    2. Who Should Buy Reebok Legacy Lifter II – Women’s
    3. Who Shouldn’t Buy Reebok Legacy Lifter II – Women’s
  • Best Weightlifting Shoe Overall

    What makes the best weightlifting shoe, in our opinion, is a combination of comfort, stability, affordability, and quality materials. We looked for shoes that had good breathability to keep your feet comfortable when doing an entire workout session in a hot garage gym like ours. Stability is also huge, and the main reason many people buy a pair of weightlifting shoes in the first place. The Reebok Legacy Lifter II checks all those boxes, and they look great in our opinion — to boot.

    Reebok Legacy Lifter II

    Reebok has been in the shoe business for years, and their weightlifting shoes have come quite a long way from when they first ventured into the space. The Reebok Legacy Lifter II has a ton of features that improve comfort, performance, and even hygiene. The shoes feature a textile upper for better breathability and comfort as well as an antimicrobial sock liner. 

    The 0.86-inch heel height is taller than many other weightlifting shoes on the market which may help to improve stability and put you in a better position when squatting or doing the olympic lifts. The lockdown straps across the middle of the foot provide a nice secure feel that you can tighten or loosen to your preference. The patterned rubber sole and plastic heel are quite grippy and work to help provide the connected feeling to the platform that lifters are looking for. Speaking of, Reebok included a layer of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) that runs the entire length of the shoe for added stability and confidence.

    Reebok Legacy Lifter II

    Reebok Legacy Lifter II

    Reebok Legacy Lifter II

    An updated version of Reebok$0027s signature weightlifting shoe, featuring solid construction and a raised heel built to traditional weightlifting specifications. This update model also features anti-microbial lining and additional design elements for airflow. 

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    Who Should Buy Reebok Legacy Lifter II

    • Weightlifters who want a high-quality shoe that can last them a long time and take heavy, everyday use.
    • Anyone looking for a higher heel to help them get into the deepest squat possible will appreciate the 0.86-inch heel height — taller than most other shoes on the market. 
    • Athletes that are looking for the most support possible — the lockdown strap, TPU full-length stability plate, and overall quality of construction make these among the most supportive shoes available. 

    Who Shouldn’t Buy Reebok Legacy Lifter II

    • People who are looking for a weightlifting shoe with minimal heel height. These are quite tall and may make you feel pitches forward if not used to using weightlifting shoes.
    • Anyone who is on a tight budget — there are definitely shoes that are cheaper, though they may not be up to the same quality.
    • Athletes with exceptionally small or large feet — these are only available from size 7.0 to 14.0 US.

    While these shoes are among the most expensive on the list, there are good reasons we selected these for our best overall pick. They are made from high-quality materials like a 100% ETC antimicrobial lining around the collar to help reduce heat and abrasions. They’re designed not only to optimize performance but comfort too with a textile upper portion to promote consistent airflow to the feet.

    Best Weightlifting Shoes for Squats

    Squats are one of the universal lifts that seem to be included in every sport and training program. Just as technique is important for getting the most out of your squats, having the proper footwear is a key to gains as well. When looking for weightlifting shoes for squats, the name of the game is stability — and stability again. The last thing you want when there’s a heavy weight on your back is to feel off-balance or have your feet and ankles wobbling.

    Shoes that compress are great for running and jumping because they help to absorb some of the impacts of landing, but that’s not ideal for squats. For weightlifting shoes that are basically made for squatting, you can’t be a classic — that’s why we chose the Do-Win Classic Lifter as our best choice for weightlifting shoes for squats.

    Do-Win Classic Lifter

    As the re-introduction of the classic Do-Win Lifters, everything about these shoes screams old-school weightlifting from the layered leather heel which is very durable to the suede and mesh upper portion of the shoe. The Do-Win Classic Lifters feature a heel height with an approximate 0.75-inch heel-to-toe drop with a larger drop with higher foot sizes and a slightly smaller drop with smaller sizes. The dual lockdown straps (tarsal straps as Do-Win calls them) provide added support over the typical one-strap design. 

    Having the heel made out of stacked leather helps to improve the toughness of these shoes and sounds similar to wooden heels hitting the platform — and who doesn’t love the noise of a nice wooden-heeled weightlifting shoe. These Do-Wins are available in three colorways — black and white, red and white, and blue and white. All three colorways feature suede and mesh uppers along with a rounded toe shape. The one complaint that these shoes get is that they run somewhat small even though Do-Win suggests sizing down a half size from your tennis shoe size. A lot of things have changed in the fitness industry over the past few decades, but this classic is unlikely to go out of style anytime soon. 

    Do-Win Classic Lifter

    Do-Win Classic Lifter

    Do-Win Classic Lifter

    The Do-Win Classic Lifter is true to its name. Sporting a stacked leather heel and a suede upper, it$0027s an ideal shoe for serious weightlifters who also want a wider shoe for tripod foot positioning. 

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    Who Should Buy The Do-Win Classic Lifter

    • Someone who is looking for a durable and stable shoe to support even their hardest of squat sessions — the genuine leather and suede combo does not quit. 
    • Anybody who’s a fan of retro-inspired looks — this revival of a classic has been used on weightlifting platforms for decades.
    • Athletes who want a squat shoe that can stand the test of time and is made from genuine leather, suede, and nylon.

    Who Shouldn’t Buy The Do-Win Classic Lifter

    • Anyone who is looking for more modern materials like poly-plastics since these are made from leather and suede.
    • Lifters that prefer to have an exact heel height. The heel height on these is approximate due to them being made from stacked leather. 
    • Athletes who prefer to have a little bit of ankle support with their weightlifting shoes — these are low-top and the collar goes around the bottom of the ankle.

    These weightlifting shoes are available in a wide variety of sizes from men’s 4.5 US to men’s 14 US and three colorways — black and white, red and white, and blue and white. These shoes are ultra-stable and won’t let you down when you’re chasing that next squat PR.

    Best Weightlifting Shoes for the Money

    So, you’re looking for a solid pair of weightlifting shoes and don’t want to break the bank. If you’ve spent any time looking around at gear you likely noticed that weightlifting shoes vary in price quite a bit from under $100, like our pick, to hundreds of dollars for some of the vintage shoes on the market. For those who like to incorporate weightlifting occasionally into their workouts or are testing the waters to see if weightlifting is right for you, you may want a more cost-effective option for shoes. That’s where the Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes come in.

    Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes

    Do-Win has been in the weightlifting shoe game for decades and has consistently made quality shoes at an affordable price. The Do-Win weightlifting shoes are no exception, and their precision tailoring allows for a custom-feeling fit that infuses years of customer feedback and innovation. These shoes feature a 0.75-inch hard plastic heel that won’t compress under heavy weights and feels extremely solid. The leather upper adds to the durability and nylon mesh helps to improve breathability so even during long sessions your feet stay comfortable. 

    Another notable aspect of these shoes is the wider than usual platform, which helps make these comfortable for those with wider feet. These shoes also feature two metatarsal straps to help ensure the best and most secure fit on your feet. One downside is that these only come in one color option —black with white accents, so if you like flashy colors you may want to look at another option on the list.

    Do-Win Weightlifting Shoe

    Do-Win Weightlifting Shoe

    Do-Win Weightlifting Shoe

    A wider built weightlifting shoe that offers double mid-foot straps and a solid .75" plastic heel, the Do-Win weightlifting shoe has a classic look and an incredibly sturdy feel. It$0027s specifically designed to cater to athletes with wide feet. The single-sole construction adds to the feeling of support. It$0027s recommended purchases order 1/2 size under their normal running shoe size.

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    Who Should Buy Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes

    • Anyone looking to get a good weightlifting shoe that is on a budget will enjoy the price point on these shoes.
    • Lifters who want a wider base to accommodate wider feet and create a broader base of support for their lifts. 
    • Athletes who prefer to have hard plastic as their heel support rather than wood or leather.

    Who Shouldn’t Buy Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes

    • Those who are looking for a more lightweight shoe — a common complaint is that these shoes feel heavy on the feet.
    • Anyone looking for more color choices from their weightlifting shoes since these only come in black with a white accent. 
    • Lifters who prefer the look or feel of a wooden heel — the heels on these shoes are made from hard plastic.

    Do-Win made a great product with these weightlifting shoes. They’re durable, very supportive, and comfortable all at an affordable price lower than almost any other weightlifting shoe on the market. We’ve personally had a pair for nearly three years and they’ve stood up to everything we could throw at them. 

    Best Weightlifting Shoes for Men

    Men and women have different biomechanics in the squat (1) and produce forces differently in the olympic lifts (2). Because of these differences, the shoes that are optimal to use can differ from men to women as well. Generally speaking, men can also somewhat lack flexibility compared to women too. Choosing the right pair of weightlifting shoes can be a total game-changer for your lifting because they can potentially help to put you in better positions and reduce wear and tear on the body. Our pick for best weightlifting shoes for men fit more like a regular shoe than most other options and still provide the support you’re looking for from a good pair of weightlifting shoes.

    Adidas Powerlift 4

    The Adidas Powerlift 4 shoes are like if your favorite pair of sneakers just so happened to be weightlifting shoes too. They’re designed for comfort and are quite stylish in our opinion, but can stand up to tough weightlifting workouts. The lightweight design of these helps to promote that connected to the platform feeling you want when you’re trying to stick a split-jerk or pull under a heavy snatch

    With the redesign of these shoes from the previous generation, Adidas did make these narrower, so those with wide feet may want to explore other options. Other changes made during the redesign include more lightweight and breathable materials to help with the extra sweating that guys tend to do along with a flexible toe box. If you’ve ever had your front foot hit the ground early in a split-jerk, you’ll know that a flexible toe box is very nice to have. The placement of the lockdown strap is also something to note, as the sole strap is located toward the top of the foot rather than the forefoot. The location can help allow for better flexibility in the forefoot area of the shoes, such as in the receiving position of a split-jerk. 

    Adidas Powerlift 4

    Adidas Powerlift 4

    Adidas Powerlift 4

    The brand new updated Adidas Powerlift 4 offers a lightweight canvas outer construction, an open forefoot design, and a strong single strap for stability. 

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    Who Should Adidas Powerlift 4

    • Athletes with narrower feet will appreciate that these shoes were designed with a narrower platform to fit narrow feet better.
    • Lifters who prefer a comfortable and stylish shoe will appreciate that these were designed to fit like an everyday sneaker.
    • Anyone looking for a lightweight weightlifting shoe — these are made with a lightweight canvas upper and optimized for breathability.

    Who Shouldn’t Buy Adidas Powerlift 4

    • Athletes looking for a weightlifting shoe with a tall heel. The effective heel height on these is 15mm (0.59 inches), which is lower than most other weightlifting shoes on the market.
    • Anyone who prefers to have two lockdown straps for extra security and tightness — these only have one strap.
    • Lifters with wide feet should look elsewhere as these were specifically designed for a narrower fit. 

    These weightlifting shoes were designed with comfort and form in mind. The open forefoot design coupled with the cuts in the midsole wedge allows for flexibility in the shoe, unlike many other weightlifting shoes on the market that have a whole-foot bottom plate. The Adidas Powerlift 4 is also lightweight and breathable helping to prevent unnecessary fatigue. Adidas recommends sizing up a half a size from your normal shoe size when ordering, but an entire size may be necessary for those without narrow feet to accommodate for the shoes being designed to be more narrow than others.

    Best Weightlifting Shoes for Women

    Women’s weightlifting has grown exponentially in the past few years thanks in great part to some CrossFit competitors turned Olympians like Alyssa RitcheyTia-Clair Toomey, and Morghan King. That said, men and women have different needs when it comes to the type of footwear they don because of biomechanical (1) and force production (2) differences. Having a shoe with a higher ankle and slightly higher heel may be helpful for women when competing in weightlifting. That’s why we chose the Reebok Legacy Lifter II as our pick for best weightlifting shoe for women.

    Reebok Legacy Lifter II – Women’s

    The Reebok Legacy Lifter II was designed for the female weightlifter and it shows. The higher collar support and beefed-up Achilles pad offer more ankle support than other shoes. The shoe is molded in an anatomical shape that naturally contours the foot for maximum support and power output to prevent wasting energy. It features a thicker lockdown strap over the midfoot for added support and an antimicrobial sock liner to prevent bacteria and smell. 

    The heel is slightly higher than the industry standard of 0.75 inches and sits at 0.86 inches instead. This is done to help compensate for the larger hip to quadriceps angle that women naturally have (3). The shoes also have a textile upper section for increased comfort and breathability — nicely reducing weight compared to leather and helping to prevent uncomfortably sweaty feet. Lining the shoes on the inside is a full foam lining for added comfort when moving the feet aggressively and quickly as is needed in weightlifting. 

    Reebok Legacy Lifter II for Women

    Reebok Legacy Lifter II for Women

    Reebok Legacy Lifter II for Women

    Reebok$0027s signature weightlifting shoe is engineered with updates for stability and performance on the platform. This version of the shoe features an ETC anti-microbial lining, achilles padding, and a high-grip rubber outsole great for explosive movements.

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    Who Should Buy Reebok Legacy Lifter II – Women’s

    • Athletes who want a higher heel than most other weightlifting shoes will appreciate the 0.86 inch heel height on these shoes which help to keep you more upright during your lifts.
    • Anyone who is looking for maximum stability from their shoes — Reebok made these with a wider lockdown strap and higher ankle support than many other shoes. 
    • Customers who want to have a connected feeling to the platform at all times will appreciate the full-length stability plate and rubber outsole to provide extra grip and stability.

    Who Shouldn’t Buy Reebok Legacy Lifter II – Women’s

    • Anyone on a tight budget may want to consider other options as these shoes are one of the more expensive options.
    • Athletes who prefer a lower heel height and find that taller heels make them feel unbalanced or off-center — the heel height on these is taller than most other shoes.
    • Lifters who prefer a more flexible shoe may want to look elsewhere as these are built to be fairly rigid with the full-length stability plate and hard plastic heel.

    Weightlifting in America has had much success in the past two Summer Olympic games thanks to the female athletes, and if you’re interested in weightlifting these ar

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