Most sports treat the correct footwear as a magic, all-important key; after all, you’re not going to see any serious Strava trackers running around the common in any old sneakers. But weightlifting shoes are still a bit of a rarity on the gym floor. Now, there’s a number of reasons for this, mainly the lack of choice on the market. But if you’re serious about making gains on the squat rack, there’s progress to be made in the investment.
Take a study from Arizona State University as evidence, with researchers finding that lifters wearing weightlifting shoes while squatting were able to reduce both their overall trunk lean — saving themselves a great deal of stress on the lower back area — and increase their foot segment angle, helping to create greater muscle excitation in their knee extensors.
This is all to say specifically-designed weightlifting shoes have the potential to prevent injuries while performing stressful heavy lifting movements, and help you build muscle week on week. So, here’s six weightlifting shoes to consider in your quest for heavier heights.
6 Of The Best Weightlifting Shoes To Work Out In
Adidas Adipower Weightlifting II Shoes
When it comes to shoes specifically designed for weightlifting, German sportswear giant Adidas is a real one-stop-shop, with a wide range of styles to suit all needs. These Adipower weightlifting shoes stand out from the roster thanks to a bold Tiger-like colourway, but have some serious weightlifting cred behind them thanks to a foot-hugging, reinforced upper, a midfoot strap to lock yourself down, and a flexible forefoot to give you room to splay those toes on the heaviest of loads.
And if you need any more reason to invest, they’ve also been made with 50 percent recycled materials.
Vans Authentic Shoes
Ah, we’re throwing a curveball in early, but to many serious about their gym-going the Vans Authentic’s are a long-time favourite (along with the skatewear brand’s rivals Converse). This comes from a number of factors, but mainly the zero-drop that has been a vital aspect of the Vans silhouette since the 1960s.
Zero drop means there is no drop in the sole of the shoe from the heel to the toe, which provides great stability for lifting, along with maintaining the natural positioning of the foot. The honeycomb sole is also great at providing a no-slip foundation, while Vans in general are the sort of durable, comfort-first shoes that weightlifters dream about.
Reebok Legacy Lifter II Shoes
These futuristic weightlifting shoes from Reebok are giving us strong Buzz Lightyear vibes, which bodes well for those of you looking to lift those weights to infinity and beyond. Looking past the spaceman looks, Reebok has made weightlifting shoes a speciality of theirs in recent years, and these are a high-quality example of the brand’s prowess, with a sturdy upper that will keep it’s shape, all-important strapping, and a raised heel for increased stability.
Inov8 360 Womens Weightlifting Shoes
Born and bred in the British Lake District, Inov-8 made its name in the world of trail running. But all that shoe grip know-how has been put to good use in it’s range of weightlifting shoes, which have plenty going for them in the race against the big boys.
So what do we have here? Well, coming in at just 360g, these are supremely lightweight shoes. There’s also a number of interesting features to set them apart, including an eye-catching heel cage for support, all of which adds up to a weightlifting shoe that can more than hold its own.
Nike Romaleos 4
Whether it’s AF1s or Alphaflys, Nike sure do know how to make an attractive sneaker. These weightlifting shoes are first and foremost a damn cool piece of footwear then, almost mimicking the brand’s techwear sub-label ACG, with those lacquered, Alien-like soles and mesh uppers.
Although don’t be fooled into thinking this is a shoe with no substance, as the wide double straps and chunky heel are just the specs you need to be looking for when picking up a new pair of weightlifting shoes, offering the stability on the gym floor that will get those weights lifted.
New Balance Minimus TR
New Balance don’t specifically make weightlifting shoes like Nike, Adidas and Reebok do, and so you won’t see any of its styles with that trademark strapping. However, what it lacks in shoes specifically designed for lifting very heavy weights, it makes up for in cross-training footwear like the New Balance Minimus TR, which are designed for those looking for an all-round great training shoe to take them through every class at the gym studio.
Expect supreme comfort then in the premium liners which allow you to train without wearing socks, and an especially firm grip that makes them ideal for regular weightlifters, strap or no strap.