6 Best High Top Workout Shoes in 2022

Even if you don’t take ‘a sport path’ literally, you should still care about what you put on your feet while following it. A bad mistake can make you quit pretty soon, and the best high top workout shoes can be a good solution to make your ‘trip’ comfortable and productive.

Nevertheless, choosing a good pair may be a painful process that steals a lot of free time. Hundreds of high top lifting shoes on the market can make your head go round right away, but I’m here to help you out with the list of top products reviewed!

High Top Workout Shoes

Top 6 Best High Top Workout Shoes Reviewed

I have picked the most popular high top weight training shoes on the market to analyze them all and help you choose the best option for your workouts. I gave scores for different characteristics and finally figured out the leader. Find a brief summary in the table below.

ProductTotalDesignComfortMaterial and StitchingDurabilityAnkle StabilityPrice-Quality
Sabo5910101091010
Otomix58.5109.59.510109.5
ASICS5810109.59.59.59.5
Adidas57.510109.59.599.5
Vans579.5109.599.59.5
Converse56.59.5109.5999.5

Now, let’s look into more details! 

1. Sabo Deadlift Shoes – Best Overall

Sabo Deadlift Shoes

Heel lift height: 0.2”

Sole material: rubber

Upper material: mesh and synthetic suede

Sizing: 4.5-13.5 (small fit)

Sabo high top powerlifting shoes become the winner on my list. Since they are designed specifically for the deadlift, I found them the most suitable and beneficial for weight training.

First of all, I’d like to mention the sole. It is made of high-quality rubber with a special pattern to prevent slipping, and it frankly deals with this purpose perfectly well. The grip on the platform is first-class. Moreover, it is really thin to make you as close to the platform as possible.

Also, these shoes have a very comfortable tight fit. The soft material and two fixation straps engulf your feet and ankles so snugly that you may want to leave them on for the entire session. Moreover, all these features provide just the right stability in the ankle which is not limiting but really supportive at the same time.

However, I have noticed a significant drawback which is also often mentioned by other athletes. The durability of the shoe really falls short of all expectations. The lace eyelets are rather poor and may tear after a few months which makes it impossible to continue using the shoes.

Thus, be really mindful and gentle while putting on and taking off Sabo if you want to preserve them for as long as possible. On top of that, the price is not the lowest.  

All in all, Sabo offers the best high top training shoes for the heaviest deadlifts, though they are not the most everlasting option.

59.5Expert Score

100% option to make a reasonable investment and get a decent product.

Design:
10
Comfort:
10
Material and stitching:
10
Durability:
9.5
Ankle stability:
10
Price-Quality:
10
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Thin non-slipping sole for heavy deadlifts

  • Comfortable tight fit

  • Breathable material

  • Good stability in the ankle

  • Firm grip on the platform

Could be better:

  • Poor eyelets

  • May not be durable

Otomix Men's Carbonite Ultimate Trainer

Heel lift height: 0.7”

Sole material: rubber

Upper material: mesh, faux leather

Sizing: (big fit)

Otomix weightlifting high tops are almost as good as our winner. They have tons of approving reviews and passionate fans in the sports community.

I’d like to start by discussing the material. Leather definitely makes this shoe a very durable option. Many weightlifters use Otomix for ages and are completely satisfied with their behavior. 

However, for me, such material along with the construction of these shoes makes them not as comfortable as the Sabo product. They are pretty thick and cover your ankle so may be slightly too hot for summer training. They might not be breathable enough in this case, too. Hence, the upside is the downside at the same time, so choose what is more important for you.

As for the sole, it is the most suitable for general weight training. It is flat and stable but not as thin as the winner. Thus, it might not be the best option if you are looking for the most beneficial shoe for heavy deadlifts. Still, some athletes may find them the best high top crossfit shoes. Basically, it is a very versatile product for the same versatile athletes. 

All in all, Otomix make a good competition for our winner but still fall behind in terms of comfort.

58.5Expert Score

Otomix make a good competition for our winner but still fall behind in terms of comfort.

Design:
10
Comfort:
9.5
Material and stitching:
9.5
Durability:
10
Ankle stability:
10
Price-Quality:
9.5
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Great design for weight training

  • Highly durable

  • First-class stability

  • Non-slipping sole


Could be better:

  • Fairly pricy

  • May not be breathable enough in summer

ASICS Men's Matflex 5 Wrestling Shoe

Heel lift height: 0.1”

Sole material: rubber

Upper material: mesh

Sizing: 6.5-13 (true-to-size)

ASICS high tops are designed for wrestling, yet, are beneficial for weight training as well. They can be a perfect match for passionate fans of heavy deadlifts.

The upper material is mesh that really comforts your feet and ankles. However, while being very snug and lightweight, the shoes might not be as durable as expected. Obviously, they are not adapted for heavy weight training. On top of that, I found the seams not very neat and reliable. Still, if your first demand is comfort over quality, give these shoes a chance.

As for the drawbacks, be careful with the sizing. ASICS have a very small and tight fit. You better size up to get the proper shoe. By the way, if you have a wider foot, they may not be the best choice even if you get a bigger size.

Another feature that falls behind our previous competitors is stability and support. As these are not true weightlifting shoes, they don’t fix your ankles firmly in place. I would call them a moderate option. Yet, their flat minimal sole and flexible fit might bring plenty of benefits to your heavy deadlifts.

All in all, ASICS high-top shoes will be a decent option for the deadlift – comfortable and lightweight. They may not serve you for years, though.

58Expert Score

ASICS high-top shoes will be a decent option for the deadlift – comfortable and lightweight. They may not serve you for years, though.

Design:
10
Comfort:
10
Material and stitching:
9.5
Durability:
9.5
Ankle stability:
9.5
Price-Quality:
9.5
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Snug fit

  • Very thin flat sole

  • Fancy look

  • Breathable material

Could be better:

  • Very small and narrow fit

  • Not durable

Adidas Unisex-Adult Combat Speed.5

Heel lift height: 0.1”

Sole material: rubber, suede

Upper material: mesh, synthetic leather and suede

Sizing: 4-16 (true-to-size)

Adidas combat high tops are another popular option among athletes in power sports. It is usually chosen for the deadlift as a good pair of stable flat shoes.

They are really beneficial if you aim to shorten the amplitude to be as close to the platform as possible. For me, lifting in these high tops feels as if I’m barefoot. Still, the sole is made partly of suede, so the grip is not as good as in specific deadlift shoes. 

The material is soft and breathable so it feels really comfortable and lightweight on the feet. Such a shoe might be a good choice for training in hot conditions or if you always like the feeling of being barefoot. 

However, there is a big issue regarding the fit. If you have a wider foot, you better have a look at other options on my list. Adidas high tops are frankly narrow throughout the entire sizing range, so they may be completely uncomfortable for some athletes. The width also makes them difficult to put on and take off.

All in all, Adidas combat high tops are a decent option for athletes with slim feet who are looking for lightweight flat shoes.

57.5Expert Score

Adidas combat high tops are a decent option for athletes with slim feet who are looking for lightweight flat shoes.

Design:
10
Comfort:
10
Material and stitching:
9.5
Durability:
9.5
Ankle stability:
9
Price-Quality:
9.5
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Lightweight

  • Flat thin sole

  • Breathable

  • Many colors available

Could be better:

  • Not suitable for wider feet

  • May be hard to put on and take off

VANS Sk8-Hi Unisex Casual High-Top Skate Shoes

Heel lift height: 0.7”

Sole material: rubber

Upper material: canvas, suede

Sizing: 5-15.5 (women), 3.5-14 (men)

Vans high-top shoes have been a popular choice for gym training for a very long time. They are a starter option that allows you to decide whether high tops are suitable for you while not splashing out on a more advanced product.

Their flat solid sole is a good match for deadlifts if you are a beginner or intermediate lifter. Yet, as you go heavier and get closer to advanced training, you better choose a more specific shoe. The reason is that Vans’ sole is not that thin to shorten the amplitude of your lifts. If you want to be as close to the platform as possible, scroll higher on my list.

Still, Vans provide a good grip on the platform due to high-quality rubber traction. This point is especially important for your safety and confidence while approaching heavy weights.

Another advantage is the price. Most weight lifting shoes are rather costly and pretty risky to invest in at the beginning. However, Vans are pretty affordable, compared to other options. They might not be so resistant and durable, though.

Anyway, if you don’t like Vans for your workouts, you can easily use them outside the gym. Their design and comfort will definitely come in handy one day. 

All in all, Vans are a good choice for beginners and intermediate athletes who want a time-tested shoe for a reasonable price.

57Expert Score

Vans are a good choice for beginners and intermediate athletes who want a time-tested shoe for a reasonable price.

Design:
9.5
Comfort:
10
Material and stitching:
9.5
Durability:
9
Ankle stability:
9.5
Price-Quality:
9.5
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Affordable and accessible

  • Breathable material

  • Suitable for daily use

  • Plenty of designs available

Could be better:

  • Not very durable

  • Thick sole

Converse All Star

Heel lift height: 0.7”

Sole material: rubber

Upper material: canvas

Sizing: 6-15 (women), 4-13 (men)

Converse Chuck Taylors are also a famous reliable choice for gym training. They are very similar to Vans – their old competitor. Still, for me, they fall behind the previous product a bit. 

Their biggest benefit and the reason why athletes love these shoes is their flat solid sole. It gives desirable stability and works well for deadlifting and squatting. However, they are really thin in the upper area, so don’t choose them for ankle support.

Additionally, they won’t endure hundreds of heavy sessions as they are simply not meant for that. Yet, the price is frankly affordable so some athletes choose to change a pair regularly and don’t betray these old-school shoes anyway.

All in all, Converse high tops are a decent option for basic workouts that won’t stress your budget. 

56.5Expert Score

Converse high tops are a decent option for basic workouts that won’t stress your budget.

Design:
9.5
Comfort:
10
Material and stitching:
9.5
Durability:
9
Ankle stability:
9
Price-Quality:
9.5
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Flat solid sole

  • Affordable price

  • Non-slipping sole

  • Plenty of colors available

Could be better:

  • Not very durable

  • Low ankle support

How Have I Chosen The Best High Top Weightlifting Shoes?

Design

When giving scores for design, I looked at how the brand tries to meet weight training requirements. Of course, pro options are designed for workouts and often have some special properties and innovations, compared to Vans and Converse which are just conventional shoes. Therefore, these two products get 9.5 points whereas the others have 10 points each.

Comfort

Comfort is one of the most basic needs while training. Frankly, all the high-top shoes on the list were comfortable enough. Still, pay attention to your foot peculiarities. If you have a wider form, don’t choose ASICS or ADIDAS, which are designed for martial arts and have a really narrow fit.

Material and Stitching

The quality of stitching and material has a lot to do with shoe durability, overall look, and behavior. All products on my lift are quite good in these terms, however, I found Sabo the most outstanding, neat, and elaborate.

Durability

The most durable option on my list is Otomix shoes. They are made of rather thick faux leather to be resistant and suitable for weight training. Many other options are not designed for heavy gym workouts, so they are obviously not that everlasting. 

On top of that, plenty of high tops are made of mesh to be lightweight and snug. They can’t endure harsh training, though.

Ankle Stability

Most pro high tops provide enough ankle support. The strongest option in these terms is Otomix shoes. Still, Converse, Adidas, and ASICS are rather light products that are not likely to fix your joints firmly.

Price-Quality Ratio

Obviously, advanced high-top shoes provide more benefits for weight training. For me, it is reasonable to invest in Sabo shoes if you are serious about deadlifting. If you need a versatile option, choose Otomix, and in case you are a newbie, start with Vans or Converse – the most affordable shoes.

Why Wear High Tops for Training?

Many athletes find high tops really beneficial for their training. Here are the main reasons. 

Stability

Most high-top shoes have a very stable sole. It is flat and solid, so you can feel the ground pretty well. On top of that, they usually have good rubber traction which provides a firm non-slipping grip on any surface for additional stability. It is especially important for the deadlift or squats.

Ankle support

One of the main purposes of high tops is ankle support and stability. Since they cover this area well, they give you an extra sense of joint safety and confidence. You may feel this value best while performing the sumo deadlift. Also, you can easily regulate the compression by tightening up laces and straps.

Different mechanics

Some athletes use high tops with a flat sole in order to alter the mechanics of some exercises. For example, squats performed on such a heel put more tension on your glutes and develop your ankle mobility whereas Oly shoes activate quads and help your joints in case of poor mobility.

Vans for lifting

How to Choose the Best High Tops for Training?

In order to choose the best high tops, analyze your needs and expectations according to the following criteria.

Sole

Most high tops have a zero-drop sole. However, some products still have quite a thick layer dividing you from the platform.

If you need to shorten the amplitude in the deadlift, choose shoes with a minimal sole. You will feel almost barefoot while lifting in them.

Still, if you are just a regular gym goer, any sole thickness may work equally well for you.

Material

Most brands mostly use mesh for their high-top shoes if they are designed particularly for weight training. Such material is really breathable and comfortable, however, not as durable as someone may expect. Thus, manufacturers usually add some suede or leather parts in the most fragile areas. 

Canvas, used for Vans and Converse, is not very durable as well. Therefore, if you want your high tops to be as resistant and everlasting as possible, choose thicker options with more leather or suede on the top.

Ankle Support

Most workout high tops provide good ankle support. They are pretty thick in this area and have extra straps to regulate the compression. It may be a significant bonus for the sumo deadlift and other exercises which demand high stability. 

Still, some athletes prefer maximum flexibility and don’t want anything to restrict their moves. In this case, choose more lightweight shoes, for example, Vans and Converse.

Sizing

Always read the recommendations on choosing the best size. Some high tops have a small fit, still, you need to size down for others. Also, pay attention to your foot form. If you are going to buy high tops designed for martial arts, remember that they tend to be really narrow and may not be suitable for a wider foot.

Mid-Top Vs High-Top Shoes

The main difference between mid-top and high-top shoes is ankle support and stability. The first type doesn’t go higher than the ankle whereas the latter one covers it completely and fixes your joint in place for additional stability.

Still, mid-top shoes are far more versatile and allow you a wider range of motion. Analyze your training needs and personal peculiarities and try out both if you can to choose the best option.

FAQ

Are Converse high tops good for lifting?

Yes, Converse high tops are good for basic beginner and intermediate lifting. They are especially good for the deadlift. Still, if you are an advanced athlete, choose a specific type of shoes for your particular sport.

Are high-top shoes good for CrossFit?

High-top shoes are okay for CrossFit. Still, they have a flat sole while a raised heel is better for different snatches, cleans, and jerks.

Why use flat shoes for lifting?

Flat shoes shorten the amplitude which is a benefit for the deadlift. They also provide more stability and can alter the mechanics.

Can I squat with high-top shoes?

Yes, high-top shoes are good for moderate squats. They are stable enough and can alter the mechanics for your needs. Yet, a raised heel is more effective for advanced heavy squats.

My Verdict

All in all, if you need professional high tops for the heavy deadlift, grab the Sabo shoes and load the bar! 

If you want decent high top squat shoes, check out Otomix – the runner-up. And if you just want to test the waters, pick Vans or Converse as a starter option.

Do you choose high tops for your workouts? Share your experience below!

Also read:

References:

  • Why Do Powerlifters Wear Converse Shoes? // Powerlifting Technique:
    https://powerliftingtechnique.com/why-do-powerlifters-wear-converse-shoes/
IRON BULL BELT

BEST-Sabo Deadlift Shoes

My name is Oleksiy Torokhtiy. I am a professional athlete with 20 years of experience in Olympic weightlifting. I have won multiple European, and World titles and have taken part in two Olympic Games (Beijing 2008, London 2012).