Every shoe is designed keeping a specific purpose in mind and what is seen to be a commonly made mistake is that we tend to use the same pair of shoe for every task. Are you into weightlifting sessions and your old shoes wear and tear very quickly? Then it is time for you to get yourself a new pair of shoes that have been engineered especially for weight lift training and will definitely take your performance to a whole new level. Also, it is advisable to invest once in a good pair of shoes that will last you a long time instead of buying cheap ones that you’ll have to replace repeatedly.
What is So Special about Weightlifting Shoes?
Before buying a pair of shoes, it is important to know how weightlifting shoes are different from others and some of their features. Weightlifting shoes have a very little amount of cushioning and do not compress even when a lot of pressure is applied to them. As a result, they allow the wearer to pull the weights much higher so that they can be easily lifted. Also, these shoes have a raised heel which improves your posture while squatting, making it much more upright and correct. These shoes are much more stable and provide the much-needed support while lifting heavy weights.
The best thing about these shoes is that they allow the wearer to produce a lot of force because they stay in place even when pushed really hard. So, while doing any weightlifting activity or squats or deadlifts, these shoes are ideal. They also activate more muscle which, in turn, improves your performance. The right pair of shoes will manage all your force and see to that it goes in the right direction without any wastage.
Cons of Using Other Shoes for Weightlifting
In case someone uses some other shoes such as running shoes while doing weight lift training, then they are subjecting themselves to unnecessary hazards. These are some of the problems one can face if not using the right shoes for a specific sport are listed below.
- Instability: Walking shoes come with a lot of cushioning that provides additional comfort and doesn’t let the wearer tire out easily. Even though this is a great feature, it is not at all desirable in a weightlifting shoe as you are looking for stability. And if the shoes have cushioning then it will be really hard to predict their behavior which in turn won’t allow you to control the technique and lift weights properly.
- Energy Loss: If the soles of the shoes will absorb all the force you apply towards the floor then it won’t be directed towards lifting the weights. Consequently, even if you give it your best shot, you won’t be able to get the desired result as you’ll lose your power and strength unnecessarily. If the lining of the sole has air or gel, it will reduce the impact which is not what you want while weightlifting.
- The Risk of Injury: When you lift heavy weight, you need as much stability and support as you can get. If your ankle and heel aren’t secure, it will become really hard to balance the weight. And in such a sport, taking all safety measures is mandatory.
Now that I have established how necessary it is to buy the right shoes, not only for a better performance but also to save oneself from any foot injury, let us take a look at the things that will help you buy the best shoes for yourself.
In order to buy the perfect pair of shoes for your weightlifting regime, you must keep a few features in mind that will help you in making the right purchase. But you needn’t worry as I have done the research for you and below I will list all the things you should look at carefully.
- Fit: If it fits perfectly, then buy it. When it comes to shoes, nothing is more important than getting the right fit. It should feel as if it has been designed only for your feet and it should neither be too tight nor too loose. When you are lifting weights, you should feel really comfortable because only then you will be able to deliver a good performance. If the shoe is too tight or it is too narrow then you will feel restricted and uneasy and as a result won’t be able to focus on the workout. On the other hand, if it too loose, your feet might move too much inside the shoe and the heel can also lift which can become very distractingly. So you must know your exact shoe size and then buy a pair that fits you perfectly.
- Type of Weightlifting: It is really important for you to know what kind of weightlifting you’ll be doing most of the time. Because only then you can decide which shoes are perfectly suited to your needs. For instance, if you are doing Olympic weightlifting then you should buy shoes that are designed specifically for that purpose. In case, you are a power lifter then there are various companies such as Adidas and Reebok that offer powerlifter shoes. Or if you are going to do cross training, then you should select shoes that you are comfortable in, while doing different types of exercises and trying new workout regimes.
- Material: After you know the type of weight training you will be doing primarily, the next thing of note is the material used in the shoes. You must not compromise on the quality of material used in the construction because that will determine its longevity. Leather and synthetic material are a good option as they are lightweight and also durable, so they will last you for more than one season. If the material is of not good quality, then you might be able to buy the shoes for a reasonable price but that won’t be a wise decision for the longer run. So, even if it seems like an investment once, it is much better to go for a good quality product that can be worn again and again.
- Weight: While doing weightlifting, you do not want anything that pulls you down. And a pair of heavy, bulky shoes would do exactly that. It is essential that you go for lightweight shoes that are very comfortable. In fact, most weightlifting shoes are designed using materials that provide durability without having too much weight. Synthetic materials and polymers are usually used in such shoes as they are comparatively lighter materials. Synthetic leather is also a good option as it lasts long and is quite tough. Some shoes have a special designing in their midsoles, such as a die-cut design that allows the sole to be lightweight and provides a comfortable grip as well. Even the heel should be non-compressible but light so that it doesn’t add to the overall weight of the shoes.
- Foot Flex: Contrary to popular belief, there is, in fact, a lot of movement is required in weightlifting. In case you need to catch a weight or a heavy ball, you’ll need to be on your toes, get the weight and then fall back on your heels. Only a shoe that is flexible in the forefront region will be able to allow this sort of movement. And as there is practically no cushioning in these shoes, they can be quite tiring if worn for too long. So, a shoe that is flexible and gives enough room to your feet for the necessary bit of n movement would be absolutely perfect. Finally, also keep in mind that the heel of your foot must be securely placed and shouldn’t lift while exercising.
- Comfort: This brings me to the next feature which is actually a pre-requisite for most shoes. Only more so for weightlifting shoes as it is undoubtedly a tedious sport. And here I am talking about hours and hours of training sessions and if you have to be on your feet for long periods of time, then having a comfortable footwear is a must. Also, while weight training, you will be required to do some warm-up exercises as part of your daily routine and for that you will require shoes that provide stability and comfort simultaneously. Especially while doing squats, the majority of the weight comes on the toes and after that on the heel, so only stable shoes will be able to bear the pressure without any compression.
- Stability: If you are a serious weight lifter then you will undoubtedly know the importance of stability in shoes. When you’re lifting so much weight above your head then you must be cautious about keeping your feet in place. The Adidas and Nike shoes in this review have been known to provide the best stability possible and as a result, they are quite popular among lifters. Most shoes have a dual closure above the laces that ensure proper stability and support. Also, if the lining is single throughout then it is much better and the lesser the cushioning, the better it is suited for weightlifting.
- Durability: If you want shoes that last you more than one season then you should take a look at the material and design to make sure that they can withstand all that pressure. Synthetic leather can last a long time and won’t undergo much wear and tear. If the shoes have softer materials, they might feel more comfortable initially but won’t last a long time. Sturdier materials have a longer break-in period but will eventually be better in the long run as they will last you a long time.
- Olympian and Power Lifts: If you are preparing for the Olympian weightlifting competition then two lifts: snatch and clean and jerk, are what you will have to do. Both these require a lot of movement so you will want a shoe that can easily accommodate all the added weight and pressure that your feet will undergo. And you are doing the power lifts then the main focus will be on deadlift and back squat. For these movements of the body, all the weight should be equally distributed throughout the body. This will only be possible when you have shoes that can support not just your weight but also the weight that you have lifted high in the air. And in case you bend down, then again enough support should be given to your ankles so they don’t twist.
- Appearance: Even though this is the last one on my list, it cannot be ignored. You should buy shoes that look good on you because if you feel good, chances are that you will be able to perform better. Also, if your entire look is cool and chic, it will be an added boost to your confidence which would further help to improve your performance. If you like subtle shades then the Pendlay trainer is a good option, whereas if you are looking for bright colorful shoes, then the Reebok CrossFit lifter is a really good choice.
Now that you all about the things that are important for making a good purchase, I will review some of best products on the market to narrow down the search for you.
Reviews of the Best Weightlifting Shoes of 2016
Adidas Performance Adipower Weightlifting Trainer Shoe
On top of my list is this amazing weightlifting shoe from Adidas that provides just the right amount of stability and support that you’ll need during your training session. These have been specifically designed for workout sessions, so they are lightweight and very comfortable. The leather on the upper part of the shoe is coated with PU to provide additional support and comfort. The instep strap has an adjustable hook and loop design for convenience. The outsole is made of rubber, therefore anti-slip, reducing the risk of foot injury. In the outsole, there are vent-flow openings as well for breathability as it allows air to enter the shoe and dry sweat. Additionally, there is a power strap on top of the laces to keep your feet securely inside the shoe whiling lifting heavy weights. These durable shoes are true-to-size and will fit your feet snugly.
Inov-8 Men’s Fastlift 335 Weight-Lifting Shoe
Next one on the list is this lightweight shoe made of nylon which is extremely flexible still provides quite a lot of stability. The sole is made of rubber and is anti-slip, its meta-Flex system makes it extremely comfortable. It has a mesh lining for ventilation and it comes in three different colors so you can have your pick. It also has a molded footbed of 3mm which provides underfoot comfort. It sports the EHC and Power Trussa technologies that ensure additional support and stability, especially in the heel and mid-foot region. The heels of these shoes are very solid and sturdy, ideal for a good weightlifting session. The materials used in its construction are of prime quality and if you care to invest in these stylish shoes, then they will surely last you a long time.
Reebok Men’s Crossfit Lifter Plus 2.0 Running Shoe
Available in as many as 16 different colors, these swank shoes will make you look smart and at the same time provide the superior grip required for lifting. Made of full-grain leather, they have an anti-slip rubber sole and a flex grooved outsole. Sporting the heat-activated U-form technology, these will mold to your feet just as if they are designed only for you. A manual is included in the package with detailed instruction about the baking process so that the perfect space is created in them for your feet.
Covering the laces are two hook and loop closures so that your feet remain in place even when you lift very heavy weights. It also has an anti-friction lining to keep your feet happy and comfortable. These shoes are extremely well constructed with a solid heel that doesn’t easily compress even when pressure is applied.
Nike Men’s Romaleos Weightlifting Shoes
Made entirely of synthetic material, these funky shoes from Nike are so durable that they can withstand even the toughest weightlifting sessions. Being very lightweight and flexible, they have been designed in such a way that your feet get the perfect support and stability. The upper part has an integrated lacing which is covered by two hook and loop closures to keep your feet securely in place and restrict too much movement within the shoe.
On top of the shoe, there is an elastic, allowing for better flexibility. Two separate outsoles are included in the package: a stiff one for weightlifting tournaments and a softer one that can be used for training. The heel is made of contoured TPU which ensures a better fit and the flat rubber outsoles prevent wear and tear. These shoes come in 7 vibrant colors and even though they are a little expensive, definitely worth trying.
Adidas Drehkraft Weightlifting Shoes
These swanky shoes from Adidas sport the Boa Closure system which ensures a snug fit and can be easily adjusted as and when required. Its designing is such that the entire platform remains stable and allows you to give a much better performance while lifting. The upper part of the shoes is made of synthetic material due to which they are lightweight and very comfortable. The heel has been specifically configured to give maximum stability without adding bulk to the shoes.
The mid-sole has a die-cut wedge to keep your feet securely in place. It has an attractive outer design with three stripes that also supply durable support. Finally, the Adiweartm outsole makes sure that floor contact is consistent and equal pressure is distributed throughout the length. If you are into serious weightlifting, then you must take a look at these shoes that incorporate the latest technological advancements for a better performance.
Amber Crossmaxxe Men’s V1.0 Olympic Weight Lifting Shoes
This pair of shoes has been specifically designed for Olympic weightlifting training and is extremely solid and sturdy. The upper part has a mesh pattern and it is constructed of synthetic leather, therefore, it is lightweight and durable at the same time. These shoes are reasonably priced and their size runs 40% larger than normal fits but you needn’t worry about that because in case the shoes don’t fit you perfectly, they can be immediately exchanged for a different size. It has a comfortable lining and two instep straps that will keep your feet secure and snug. There is also a weight distribution plate that offers more support and the midsole wedge has a die-cut design and also a traction pattern for a superior grip. The one-inch heel is quite sturdy and works well for workouts.
2013 Pendlay Do-Win Crossfit Weightlifting Shoes – Men’s Gray Weight Power Lifting Shoe
Last but not the least on my list are these leather shoes from Pendlay that feature a single sole design throughout their length which makes them strong and flexible at the same time. The best thing about these shoes is that they come with a 90-day warranty, so in case there is any wear or tear, they can easily be replaced within the warranty period. The height of the heel is ¾ inches which is ideal for Olympic lifting.
It sports a heavy duty nylon mesh throughout the structure which allows for considerable breathability and comfort. Their fit runs half a smaller than a regular running shoe, so keep that in mind before buying. In case you get the wrong size, the company will easily exchange the product for a different one. There are available in three different color combinations, so you can buy one that complements your personality.
In this review, I have tried to throw light upon all the features that determine the quality and longevity of a good quality lifting shoe. Considering the range of options and models that are available in the market, choosing the right shoes can be quite a task. Never do the mistake of wearing running or canvas or some other shoes while doing weight lift training. You should buy shoes that been engineered for this purpose so that they will make your performance and take it up a notch. That is why I have reviewed some of the best products on the market that you must check out. Hoping all this will help you in making the right purchase and you will be able to buy the best shoes for yourself.