The best weightlifting shoes are crucial for your safety and performance. With so many different styles, brands, colours, and sizes to choose from it can be hard to find the perfect shoe. In this guide, we’ll help you find the perfect pair for your needs.
We’ve limited this guide to shoes that most people can actually get hold of without a tremendous amount of difficulty. So shoes like the Chinese Antas and Japanese Asics 727’s aren’t reviewed, as they can only be ordered internationally and they’re almost always out of stock. Similarly, we’ve not included shoes like the G.O.A.T Adistar 2008’s, which you can only really find from individual sellers, or from Hookgrip for about $800-900
The ‘Purist’ Weightlifting Shoes
Reebok Legacy Lifter II
The Reebok Legacy Lifter II’s have a sleek, modern look that genuinely wouldn’t look out of place in a Tokyo storefront. You’ve got 6 colourways to choose from, ranging from a dark orchid/neon mint combo through to a white/court blue combo, and pretty much everything in between.
You’re looking at about £150 ($210) for a pair, which isn’t cheap, but is worth the money considering the style, build quality and solid customer reviews.
From the lifters we’ve spoken with, the shoes seem to perform really well, offering a good fit in combination with a wide base and tight strap for plenty of stability and support.
We’ve taken the time to go through hundreds of customer reviews, and reports are incredibly positive about the Legacy Lifter II’s durability. The sturdy build quality seems to stand up well even with frequent, hard training sessions.
Sport Science Insider verdict
Overall a solid pair of weightlifting shoes that offer great performance, durability and looks for a fairly competitive price. A great choice for any serious weightlifter.
The Romaleos 4 share a similar look to everyone’s favourite Romaleos 2, with the exception of a now elongated Nike tick, which we quite like. Colourways include black, white and the classic volt yellow.
At £170 the Romaleos 4 are one of the more expensive weightlifting shoes
The Romaleos 4’s do feel extra secure and stable when catching heavy weights, plus they have a fantastic grip system, so you’ll feel well-attached to the floor. We also like the adjustable straps, which give you the option to increase tightness when required. There’s a reason most lifter’s you’ll see on the international stage are wearing Romaleos.
We’ve taken the time to look through hundreds of reviews, and we’re seeing great feedback about the Romaleos 4’s durability and build quality. With that said, they’re a newer model, so it’ll be good to check more reviews in a years’ time.
Sport Science Insider verdict
The Romaleos, as always, are a fantastic choice as a purist weightlifting shoe, offering great performance and solid durability with an eye-catching look. They might be on the expensive side, but they’re well worth the investment for serious lifters.
Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes
The Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes aren’t as sleek, polished or modern looking as the Legacy lifters or Romaleos. With that said, they have a sort of brutal, function-first look, which really appeals to a certain type of die hard weightlifters. To us, these shoes say, “we came here to lift weights and get strong.”
This is where the Do-Win’s shine. At around £80 to $95, they’re incredibly cheap for the performance and durability that they provide.
The Do-Win’s have a solid, wide base with a great floor grip, and a sturdy design that helps you feel secure when lifting heavy weights. Bit of weightlifting history for you, back when US Club Cal Strength was growing and coached by Glenn Pendlay, the Do-Wins were the shoe of choice. If Donny shankle can clean 200kg in them, they’re good enough for you.
These things have been going strong for over a decade now, with hundreds of 4 and 5 star reviews across the internet. We’ve known lifters wear them for 4+ years with no issues. Plus these things feel solid. You can tell they were built to last.
Sport Science Insider verdict
The Do-Win weightlifting shoes are the perfect choice for lifters who just care about lifting, and want a durable, well-performing shoe without having to pay over the odds for a bigger brand name.
The ‘Hybrid’ or Lightweight Weightlifting Shoes
Adidas Power Perfect III
The Adidas Power Perfect III’s offer a classic, simple and understated design, which we really like. Your colour options are white, black, blue and red, and to be honest, they all look great.
This is where the Power Perfects come into their own. At £110 ($156) they’re cheaper than most of the ‘purist’ shoes on this list, whilst still offering great looks, solid durability and good performance.
Overall the shoes offer a good amount of stability for weightlifting movements (snatches and cleans) as well as squats and deadlifts. They are, however, built as a lightweight or ‘hybrid’ shoe, so they don’t offer the same level as arch support or as sturdy a heel as something like Legacy Lifter II’s or Romaleos 4.
For a ‘lightweight’ weightlifting shoe the Power Perfect III’s are incredibly durable. Not only are there hundreds of positive reviews about their build quality, but one of our staff here at Sport Science Insider trained in a pair 5 days per week for almost two years (including a bunch of sessions on a homemade outdoor weightlifting platform) and his shoes are still going strong.
Sport Science Insider verdict
A fantastic lightweight weightlifting shoe that offers great build quality and sleek styling for a competitive price. A great choice for beginner and intermediate weightlifters, as well crossfit athletes who need a pair of shoes for weightlifting focused workouts.
The Savaleos have a sleek, modern look complete with some sharp lines. They also come in a selection of interesting colours.
At £104 ($147) These are just less than the Adidas Power Perfect III’s, and definitely less than most of the ‘purist’ weightlifting shoes.
The Savaleos have received praise from ex-GB weightlifter Sonny Webster, and offer a decent amount of stability and security when snatching, cleaning and squatting. With that said, they’re designed as a ‘lightweight’ weightlifting shoe, so they don’t have the same level of arch support or as sturdy a heel as you’ll find on shoes like the Romaleos 4’s.
Looking over reviews so far, the Savaleos seem to stack up well in terms of build quality, with no issues out of the gate. With that said, they’re still a very new shoe, so it’ll be useful to check more reviews over the next year.
Sport Science Insider verdict
The Savaleos are a good choice of weightlifting shoe for someone that enjoys weightlifting, but also wants a shoe to do things like box jumps and metcons with a combination of weightlifting and moving/jumping elements.
*Yes, we’ve reviewed these as a ‘lightweight’ rather than as a purist shoe, read on to see why we made that decision.
The Adipower II’s sport a simple, clean design and come in a variety of colourways including black, moss, teal and blue. It’s understated, and we like it.
This is, unfortunately, where the AdiPower II weightlifting shoes really come up short. They cost around £150 ($210) which puts them in direct competition with the Legacy Lifter II’s and the Romaleos.
The problem is that in terms of design, they’re NOT a ‘purist’ weightlifting shoe, because of the excessive flexibility.
This really depends on how you look at the shoes…
If you look at how they’re marketed, as a ‘purist’ weightlifting shoe like their predecessor the AdiPower 1’s, then you’re going to be pretty disappointed by the excessive flexibility in the build.
However, if you look at the AdiPower II’s as a ‘hybrid’ or lightweight weightlifting shoe, you’ll find that their performance is good, with decent amounts of stability, grip and heel support (arguably even more than the Power Perfect’s or Savaleos)
We’ve had a look through hundreds of reviews, and the Adipower II’s come off incredibly well. Design wise, they’re built pretty similar to the Power Perfect III’s, which are very durable. They also feel high quality, which you would expect from a major brand like Adidas.
Sport Science Insider verdict
The Adipower II is a good looking, well-built and decently performing shoe that would suit most lifters, as well as most crossfit enthusiasts.
With that said, it’s hard to know exactly where it’s place is in the market. As a ‘purist’ weightlifting shoe it gets outperformed by the Romaleos, Do-Wins and Legacy Lifters. Yet as a ‘hybrid’ or lightweight shoe it’s 40-50% more expensive than the Savaleos or the Power Perfects II’s.
In our minds, these might be the shoes for you if you’re an experienced crossfit athlete who’s been improving at weightlifting for a while, and your snatch, clean and squat numbers are now respectable enough to warrant some heavier duty shoes, whilst still keeping enough movement for other types of exercise.
No Bull Weightlifting Shoes
The No Bull Lifters utilise leather and wood for a modern take on a classic, old-school style. With looks like these, it’s not just the squats that have got us weak at the knees.
The NoBull Weightlifting shoes are expensive, no doubt about it. At £280 ($400) they’re almost double the price of other top end shoes like the legacy lifters or romaleos.
Worse still, based on what we’ve read, they really can’t justify the price tag.
The NoBull lifters have a solid, wide base which offers good support and grip, as well a firm heel for catching lifts deep in an overhead squat position. With that said, whilst these perform well, reviews suggest that they don’t perform any better than other shoes, making it harder to justify the 2x price.
The leather and wood design feels solid and high quality, and similar designs have been known to be incredibly durable. With that said, there are quite a few reddit threads with customers reporting issues, and there aren’t many reviews available online to make an effective conclusion.
Customer Service Issues
We’ve had to add this category because we feel it’s relevant to the discussion. Although NoBull has an incredibly polished social media presence, it’s very common to see comments appear mentioning delivery issues, refund issues, size issues and poor customer service, only for those same comments to be deleted very soon after.
What is the difference between leather lifting shoes vs material shoes?
Honestly, there’s very little difference beyond aesthetics. Both leather and material shoes have very similar performance. Plus, since almost no-one produced leather shoes anymore it’s sort of a moot point.
Should I go for weightlifting shoes or metcons? When is each one appropriate?
That just depends on your goals…
If you want to focus purely on olympic weightlifting (snatches, cleans and jerks) then go for a pair of sturdy weightlifting shoes.
If you want to focus more on crossfit workouts, then grab yourself a pair of metcons.
And if you want to be part-weightlifter, part-crossfitter, then go for a ‘hybrid’ or ‘lightweight’ weightlifting shoe like the Power Perfect III’s.
Pros and cons of lifting shoes
Specific, focused weightlifting shoes are built for maximum stability and support when lifting heavy weights. You’ll feel more stable, more secure and more confident. They also have raised heels, which allow you to achieve a deeper and more upright bottom squat position.
The downsides to these design choices are that the shoes are heavier and are very rigid. Moving at anything beyond a fast paced walk in them feels uncomfortable, and we can only imagine that attempting any type of crossfit or running based workout would be the equivalent of throwing your ankles and knees into a blender.
What are the different types of lifting shoes and who should buy them?
Lifting and training shoes exist on a spectrum that looks something like this…
- Very good for weightlifting but poor for everything else (Romaleos 4, Legacy Lifters)
- Good for weightlifting and sort of okay for most other things (Power Perfect III’s, Savaleos)
- Not so good for weightlifting but good for everything else (Reebok Nanos)
Generally speaking the further you move towards the ‘crossfit’ style all purpose shoe, the less of a true weightlifting shoe the shoe becomes. The Nano’s for example, we wouldn’t really class as a weightlifting shoe, rather as a shoe that you could weightlift in if needed in a pinch.
Where is the best place to buy lifters from / what brands do them?
There’s no single best place to buy from. Major brands include Adidas, Nike and Reebok, whilst smaller niche brands include Position USA and Velaasa, all of which have their own website.
You can also find weightlifting shoes on strength sports online shops such as rogue, witfitness and strengthshop, and on amazon.
Last but not least, if you’re willing to put in the time, you might get some cheaper deals on Ebay.
Are some shoe brands wider than others / do some brand shoes have certain fitting characteristics?
Generally speaking, Adidas shoes tend to be slightly narrower, Nike’s slightly wider and Do-Wins slightly wider again.
With that said, it can vary a little bit model to model, so make sure to check the specific recommendations from the manufacturer, as well as the reviews for that shoe.
What should I look for in a lifter?
A good weightlifting shoe should have a wide, solid and non-compressible base. That base should also have good grip. You should also look for a fairly tight fit, with plenty of rigidity throughout the shoe. A good weightlifting shoe will also have a raised heel, allowing for a better receiving position for snatches and cleans.
Who should by lifting shoes / at what point should an athlete invest?
Everyone should buy lifting shoes as soon as possible. They have a wide, sturdy and non-compressible base, making them far more secure, and much safer than lifting weights in general fitness trainers.
Just look at the reviews for any of the shoes we recommend above and you’ll see hundreds of people saying how much of a difference they noticed when swapping from general fitness trainers to specific weightlifting shoes.
If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:
- Parry, A (2021). Best Weightlifting Shoes Available from: https://sportscienceinsider.com/best-weightlifting-shoes/ [Accessed dd/mm/yyyy].
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Alex is the Owner and Head Coach of Character Strength & Conditioning, and specialises in strength & power development for athletes.
He currently works as a Tutor & Educator for British Weightlifting, and has previously delivered S&C support to gymnastics and swimming talent pathways.