If you want to spot a seasoned weightlifter in the gym, skip the biceps and check out their feet. Novices might sport old trainers or tennis shoes, but the serious lifters have upgraded to a crucial piece of gear – weightlifting shoes. Just as you wouldn't play football in anything but football boots, or go hiking without proper walking boots, when it comes to lifting, it's time to invest in the best specialist lifting shoes. While great gym training shoes are fine for casual workouts, those committed to serious lifting know the importance of dedicated footwear for optimal performance and increased gains.
You've likely come across weightlifting shoes before, whether on the podium at the Olympics, in the midst of a CrossFit competition, or beneath a powerlifter in the gym. Tailored to enhance safety and reliability during compound and Olympic lifts, these shoes are intentionally designed for support, injury prevention, and stability.
The popularity of weightlifting shoes is grounded in their specific benefits. While your versatile trainers might accompany you from the treadmill to various gym stations, their construction could hinder your performance when handling a barbell; Ordinary trainers with soft soles can absorb the crucial energy needed for an effective upward force during lifts, moreover, they may contribute to ankle instability due to uneven weight distribution, exposing you to the risk of injuries. This is where the importance of a pair of high-quality Adidas weightlifting shoes becomes evident, ensuring a dependable and injury-resistant foundation for clean deadlifts and snatches.
Key elements of the best weightlifting shoes:
The heel is the most distinguishing feature of a weightlifting shoe, typically elevated around 16mm from the ground, catering to various lifting styles and body proportions. This elevation, ranging from 0mm to 22mm, allows users to comfortably reach the bottom position of a squat, enhancing force generation while ensuring stability and mobility throughout the lift. This design eliminates restrictions from the ankles and hips during the full range of motion. Modern lifting shoe heels commonly utilise EVA or TPU, combining lightweight properties with exceptional durability.
The fastening system of weightlifting shoes plays a crucial role, with variations including thick Velcro straps and multi-strap fastenings for a secure fit. While individual lifter preferences may vary, single straps are generally favoured, providing stability and preventing foot movement during the explosive phases of a lift.
There are different types of weightlifting shoes designed for specific purposes:
Olympic Weightlifting Shoes (22mm): These shoes are specifically crafted for Olympic weightlifting. They feature a substantial heel elevation of 22mm, offering lifters crucial support and ensuring an optimal posture is maintained throughout various lifts.
Gym Weightlifting Shoes (16mm): Gym weightlifting shoes are versatile and suitable for a variety of strength training exercises. They have a moderate heel elevation of 16mm, providing stability and support for activities like squats.
Deadlift Shoes (0mm): Deadlift shoes are flat with no heel elevation (0mm). These shoes offer a stable and close-to-the-ground feel, allowing lifters to maximise contact with the floor during deadlifts, enhancing balance and power. Choosing the right type of weightlifting shoe depends on the specific requirements of your training regimen and the exercises you engage in regularly.
|Olympic - 22mm
|Gym - 16mm
|Deadlift - 0mm
|Adidas Adipower Weightlifting III
|Adidas Powerlift 5
|Adidas The Total Shoe
|Adidas Power Perfect III
|Adidas Havoc Deadlift Boots
Best Weightlifting Shoes
Best Weightlifting Shoes for Squats: Adidas Power Perfect III
Best Weightlifting Shoes for Deadlifts: Adidas Havoc Deadlift Boots
Best Weightlifting Shoes for Weightlifting: Adidas Adipower Weightlifting III
Best Weightlifting Shoes for Powerlifting: Adidas Powerlift 5
Best Budget Weightlifting Shoes: Adidas Powerlift 5
Best weightlifting Shoes for Squats:
Squat shoes provide several advantages over regular footwear, such as enhanced mobility, improved technique, increased stability, and a heightened connection with the lifting surface. These advantages collectively contribute to better performance, making the investment in a pair of squat shoes highly beneficial. Selecting the right squat shoes can be challenging due to variations in design, heel heights, closure mechanisms, and construction materials offered by different brands.
The Adidas Power Perfect III stands out to us for several reasons:
• Sturdy and Durable Construction: Adiwear outsole offers the ultimate in high-wear durability.
• Standard Weightlifting Features: It incorporates essential weightlifting shoe features, including a single strap, a .75″ heel, and a reinforced heel cup. These features contribute to stability and support during weightlifting exercises.
• Competitive and Fair Pricing: The Adidas Power Perfect III is competitively priced, offering good value for its features and quality. It provides an affordable option for those seeking a standard yet reliable weightlifting shoe.
In essence, this shoe embodies the characteristics expected from a traditional weightlifting shoe, with added durability, stability and a reasonable price point.
Best weightlifting shoes for deadlifts:
When it comes to deadlifting, beginners using old Converse shoes is a common sight, but for the best performance, we recommend considering more specialised options: Adidas Havoc Deadlift Boots - While not technically classified as weightlifting shoes, these boots are ideal for deadlifts due to their grippy flat soles and excellent ankle support - crucial for maintaining the right posture and start position during deadlifts.
Looking for a more budget-friendly option? Titan Deadlift Slippers for Men and Titan Deadlift Slippers for Women are suitable for conventional deadlifts. However, they are not recommended for sumo stance deadlifts as they lack ankle support and may result in foot slippage, compromising your power off the floor.
Best weightlifting shoes for Olympic weightlifting:
The Adidas Adipower III Weightlifting Shoes stand out among serious lifters for their exceptional balance of support and comfort. Featuring a 22mm elevated TPU heel and a breathable upper, these shoes offer durability, grip and added security with a midfoot strap. These are ideal for powerlifters and Olympic weightlifters, especially those seeking the highest heel with a clean aesthetic.
Best weightlifting shoes for Powerlifting:
For powerlifting enthusiasts, the Adidas Powerlift 5 has to be the ultimate choice thanks to its distinctive features; The notably thick outsole provides exceptional twist resistance and ensures incredible heel lockdown, promoting strong and steady stances during powerlifts. With a thickness of 5 mm, surpassing the 3.9 mm average, the outsole not only contributes to durability but also signifies extended longevity compared to other lifting shoes. The Adidas Powerlift 5 ensures stability, durability, and overall performance in powerlifting.
The Adidas Powerlift 5 also earns our recommendation for Best Budget Weightlifting Shoes. With a modest heel elevation (16 mm), these shoes strike a balance between stability and support, making them ideal for beginners getting used to heel elevation while embarking on their lifting journey. Despite being affordably priced and lightweight, they pack substantial features that not only aids in squatting and lifting but also adds versatility, allowing users to engage in a variety of gym exercises.
Best Weightlifting Shoes UK: Q&A
Do I need to wear weightlifting shoes when lifting weights?
While many individuals may lift weights using everyday footwear, those consistently lifting moderate to heavy loads will find specialised weightlifting shoes offer distinct advantages. These shoes prioritise a secure foothold with extra-sturdy materials, often incorporating features like wide Velcro straps for adjustable and secure fits. A firm heel counter stabilises the rearfoot area, ensuring stability during lifts. The shoes provide a wide and stiff platform, enhancing stability with a non-compressible sole unit reinforced by a slip-resistant rubber outsole. The raised heel, ranging from 16mm to 22mm, enables deeper squats without stressing the ankle. Endorsed by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), these shoes are the preferred choice in elite weightlifting competitions, emphasising their efficacy and performance benefits.
Are weightlifting shoes worth it?
Weightlifting shoes offer several key benefits:
Elevated Heel: The raised heel in weightlifting shoes facilitates maintaining proper postures during compound and Olympic lifts. Finding the right heel height is crucial for getting into the power position with ease and maintaining leverage.
Solid Base: Weightlifting shoes provide a sturdy foundation for catching weight, typically made of hard materials like plastic or wood. This stable base enhances security throughout the lift, supporting the lifter in maintaining necessary postures.
Ankle Support: Crafted from materials like leather or rubber, weightlifting shoes offer additional ankle and foot support. Some designs incorporate extra straps for enhanced support, contributing to a secure feeling and more efficient power development.
Improved Mobility: The combination of elevated heel, solid base, and ankle support contributes to improved mobility in the ankle, knee, and hip. Enhanced mobility is crucial for proper power production and posture maintenance, especially in complex lifts like squats and Olympic movements.
Improved Safety: Heavy and complex lifts increase the risk of injury, weightlifting shoes act as a preventive measure. Shoes providing support and a stable base can decrease this risk by helping the body maintain proper positions. Conversely, shoes with rubber, unstable bases and insufficient support may lead to poor positioning and an increased risk of injury.
What shoes should I deadlift in?
When deadlifting, opt for shoes with a flat profile, a thin sole for better ground feel, reliable traction, and sufficient ankle support. Our top recommendation for deadlifting is the Adidas Havoc Deadlift Boots.
What are the best shoes for gym training?
The ideal shoes for general training in the gym should offer breathability and light support. These features allow for better grip on the floor, promoting balance during various strength and conditioning exercises. Additionally, these versatile shoes are suitable for a wide range of gym activities.
Posted by Ant Bayliss on