Reviews Gym Equipment Shoes

8 Best Olympic Lifting Shoes in 2024

Reviewed by: Oleksiy Torokhtiy (21 years of Oly Lifting experience)

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We’re going to discuss the best products on the market, what is worth your money, and what you should look out for when buying shoes for lifting weights in. Let’s start with the most important examples on the market…

Our team, composed of adept athletes, coaches, and medical professionals, has undergone exhaustive testing of 20 pairs of Olympic lifting shoes to curate the list of the 8 top choices! They evaluated the shoes against 8 key factors, dedicating well over 350 hours to the comprehensive testing process.

Alongside their practical assessments, our experts diligently reviewed a plethora of online user opinions. This list is subject to regular updates, so we invite you to share your comments, offer tips, and participate in the ongoing conversation!

Best Olympic Lifting Shoes

Top 8 Best Olympic Lifting Shoes Reviewed

  1. Reebok Legacy Lifter III – Best Overall Olympic Lifting Shoe
  2. Nike Romaleos 4 – Elite Olympic Lifting Shoe for Wide Feet
  3. TYR L-1 Lifter – Premium Specialized Lifting Shoe with a wide Toe-box
  4. NOBULL Men’s Lifter
  5. Reebok Men’s Lifter PR2 – Best Value Affordable Weight Lifting Shoes
  6. Nordic Lifting MEGIN Olympic Lifting Shoes
  7. Inov 8 Fastlift 360
  8. Adidas Powerlift 5
ProductTotalSize and FitMaterialsDurabilityColor OptionsComfortHeel StrengthStabilityValue for Money
Reebok78109.59.59.510109.510
Nike72.599999.51098
TYR72.5999999108.5
NOBULL729.59.598.59998.5
Reebok6798899789
Nordic Lifting6398868879
Inov 86188868878
Adidas5887688678

1. Reebok Legacy Lifter III – Best Overall Olympic Lifting Shoe

Reebok Legacy Lifter III Weightlifting Shoes
  • Heel lift: 22 mm
  • Sole material: All-surface rubber
  • Heel material: TPU
  • Upper material: Textile
  • Sizing: True to size
  • Weight: 660 g

The Legacy Lifter 3 is made for serious weightlifters and delivers a customizable and stable experience. These shoes focus on delivering the best possible performance for deadlifts, squats, and other lifting exercises.

The inflatable pump technology is a fantastic feature that allows you to fine-tune the shoe’s fit according to what works for your lifting routine. Say you’re switching between squats and deadlifts and you want to adjust the fit – you can do it in a snap and you also have the midfoot strap to give you some extra stability. When you combine these two features, you get a pair of shoes that secure your feet in place, which is important when it comes to preventing injuries.

Reebok Legacy Lifter III Weightlifting Shoes Insta
Photo by @pasheka.7

You’ll also find a TPU heel clip and a rigid, supportive midsole piece that provides additional support. The midsole piece is something you’ll definitely appreciate during heavy lifts, but that’s not all! The raised heel is perfect for those who do Olympic lifts, because it provides the best conditions for achieving power and stability on the platform.

As far as the outsole goes, it’s made of rubber and is super grippy and durable. The textile upper is very comfortable and there’s also lining to make the shoes even more pleasant to wear. They are on the narrow side and there’s no wide version available, but the fit is true to size so, unless your feet are very wide, these should work just fine.

Verdict

These are the best shoes on the market – packed with features and made from durable materials, they’ll last for a long time and give great performance with each wear. They receive 78/80 for fantastic support, comfort and grippiness.

78 EXPERT SCORE

These are the best shoes on the market – packed with features and made from durable materials, they’ll last for a long time and give great performance with each wear. They receive 78/80 for fantastic support, comfort and grippiness.


Size and Fit:0
Materials:0
Durability:0
Color Options:0
Comfort:0
Heel Strength:0
Stability:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Customizable fit due to the inflatable pump technology
  • Supportive midsole piece
  • Excellent for Olympic lifts

Could be better:

  • Quite narrow

2. Nike Romaleos 4 – Elite Olympic Lifting Shoe for Wide Feet

Nike Romaleos 4 Weightlifting Shoes
  • Heel lift: 0.78 inches
  • Sole material: Anti-slip rubber
  • Heel material: TPU thermoplastic
  • Upper material: Synthetic paneling with reinforced, breathable synthetic weave outer
  • Sizing: True fit
  • Weight: 592g

The Nike Romaleos are the historic competitor for the ‘best weightlifting shoe’ with the adipowers. They’ve been around for nearly 2 decades and have offered a great alternative to the adipowers for people with larger feet. These are typically wider than either the Adidas or Reebok lifting shoe in the toe box.

The Romaleos have gotten narrower with the more recent designs. The Romaleos 1 and 2 were very wide, while the 3s and 4s are narrower and more true to fit. They offer an excellent quality similar to the Adipower with a strong TPU heel, great grip, and a strong heel cup for stability in the foot.

The Romaleo 4s are lighter than their predecessors and feel more nimble, but less stable, than earlier models. These are the shoes that are typically best for athletes with wider feet looking for a true to size fit without having to go up and lose stability (as they might have to in Adipowers).

These are breathable and durable, with the strength of sole and good upper materials to last for years. Overall, this is an excellent alternative to the Adipower with a similar material and build quality but with a different design and a wider build to accommodate a wide foot.

These are still more expensive than the Legacy lifter, which also has a similar amount of foot-space. This is why the Romaleo 4s are below the Legacy 2.0 on this list. They offer many of the same benefits but with a higher price – and one that just puts them lower in value for money!

Verdict

While they’re not as well liked among weightlifters as the Nike Romaleos 2, the new Romaleos 4 offer a high-quality build with a lighter construction than the Legacy lifter. They’re well made and high quality, but they lack the defining stability and weight that made earlier models so well-loved.

We give the Nike Romaleos 4 an expert score of 72,5/80 - not as good as the Romaleos 2, but still a great premium shoe.

72.5 EXPERT SCORE

These shoes offer an excellent quality similar to the Adipower with a strong TPU heel, great grip, and a strong heel cup for stability in the foot.


Size and Fit:0
Materials:0
Durability:0
Color Options:0
Comfort:0
Heel Strength:0
Stability:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Very high quality build style
  • 2 Straps for better midfoot stability (unlike other options on the market)
  • Great brand with a good reputation for quality and durability
  • Wider toe box than the Adipower for a true fit on wider feet
  • Excellent stability with a good heel cup – but lighter than the Romaleos 1 or 2s

Could be better:

  • Pricey
  • Narrow toe box
  • Recent versions have more flexible soles, which isn’t always a good thing

3. TYR L-1 Lifter – Premium Specialized Lifting Shoe with a wide Toe-box

TYR L-1 Lifter Weightlifting Shoes
  • Heel lift: 0.8 inches (optimal)
  • Sole material: Anti-slip rubber
  • Heel material: EVA super-dense foam build
  • Upper material: Super breathable mesh, faux leather, and textile weave
  • Sizing: True fit
  • Weight: 635 g

When it comes to specialized athletic apparel, there are very few who wouldn’t recognize the name TYR. They’ve been building their brand name since 1985, and while TYR did initially start off by aiming for the competitive swimming market, they’ve recently expanded into the gym apparel business and swiftly left a mark.

TYR has engineered a premium weightlifting and cross-training shoe with a patent-pending wide anatomical toe-box is an ingenious way of accommodating one’s comfort, non-constrained fit, and giving room for natural toe spread. Especially when there’s strain and pressure under heavy lifts.

The flat wide sole provides amazing support even on the most strenuous of lifts. And the adjustable double strap system furthers the support even more.

They also come with a 0.8-inch (21mm) heel drop which is optimal for allowing an upright torso during lifts. It also improves squat depth. They are unisex and come in five attractive color combinations! These lifting shoes are for those who need suitable toe room during lifts.

72.5 EXPERT SCORE

TYR has engineered a premium weightlifting and cross-training shoe with a patent-pending wide anatomical toe-box is an ingenious way of accommodating one’s comfort, non-constrained fit, and giving room for natural toe spread.


Size and Fit:0
Materials:0
Durability:0
Color Options:0
Comfort:0
Heel Strength:0
Stability:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Wide Toe Box
  • Optimal Heel Drop of 0.8-inches
  • Flat wide soles
  • Adjustable double strap for extra stability
  • Considerable color selection
  • Unisex

Could be better:

  • Quite expensive

4. NOBULL Men’s Lifter

nobull men's lifter
  • Heel lift: 18.5
  • Sole material: Rubber
  • Heel material: Stacked leather
  • Upper material: SuperFabric and leather
  • Sizing: True fit
  • Weight: 17.6 OZ (498.9 grams)

These are premium shoes that come at a premium price. The elevated heel with a stacked leather midsole increases ankle range of motion, which means you can squat deeper and your lifts can be more powerful without sacrificing energy. 

The design is very precise and there’s a lot of top-notch leather here. Thai is both a good thing and a bad thing. The leather upper is combined with SuperFabric to combat aggressive wear and make the shoes more long lasting.

SuperFabric is incredibly durable but the leather - not as much if you don’t maintain it. Leather needs upkeep and if you’re willing to dedicate some time to maintenance, you’ll be okay. If not, these may not be the shoes for you. 

nobull lifter instagram
Photo by @smashley_008

They’re stable enough and the wide, flat outsole gives a good base for heavy lifts, allowing you to find your footing and maintain stability during lifts. 

The heel is made of bonded, waxed, and buffed stacked leather, made from individually cut layers. This is done with the intention of providing optimal power transfer during lifts. Truth be told, the attention to detail is impressive, and it’s obvious why the shoes cost as much as they do. 

The insole is anatomical and molded and offers cushioning and support. There’s also a strap that secures the shoe and improves overall fit. And speaking of fit, these fit true to size. 

If you’re wondering if these shoes are for you - it depends. You can’t argue with the fact they are made well and with precision, but they cost a lot, there’s a decent amount of maintenance thy’ll need, and you shouldn’t expect to have them for years and years if your workouts are very intense. 

72 EXPERT SCORE

The elevated heel with a stacked leather midsole increases ankle range of motion, which means you can squat deeper and your lifts can be more powerful without sacrificing energy.


Size and Fit:0
Materials:0
Durability:0
Color Options:0
Comfort:0
Heel Strength:0
Stability:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Made precisely
  • Functional strap
  • Removable sockliner
  • Durable SuperFabric in the upper

Could be better:

  • Expensive
  • Leather needs maintenance

5. Reebok Men’s Lifter PR2 – Best Value Affordable Weight Lifting Shoes

Reebok Men’s Lifter PR2 Shoes
  • Heel lift: 0.6 inches
  • Sole material: Anti-slip rubber
  • Heel material: EVA high-density foam
  • Upper material: Reinforced textile
  • Sizing: True fit but may be a little narrow for most
  • Weight: 408 g

The Reebok Lifter PR2 is a downgrade on the Legacy 2.0 but offers excellent entry level weightlifting shoe design for beginners. It’s also a good choice for a ‘squat shoe’ – perfect for powerlifters and fitness athletes who aren’t doing as much weightlifting but want excellent foot support and a cheaper price.

These are definitely some of the most comfortable weightlifting shoes on the market but they have more ‘give’ than you’d expect from a Legacy lifter. They are far more pliable through the midfoot and front foot, which makes them worse Oly lifting shoes but a better choice for your everyday gym shoe.

Reebok Men’s Lifter PR2 Shoes Instagram
Photo by @memocheche

These are great beginner shoes for non-weightlifting specialists and offer some great support. The upper is very breathable and quite durable, though not on a par with the 3 weightlifting specific shoes above – it has a softer texture and less durability.

The price of these shoes is the lowest on our list so far, which makes them perfect as a place to start if you’re not sure how seriously you want to take weightlifting – or if you’re a powerlifter or professional athlete looking for a hybrid lifting shoe. This saves you money compared to the big investment of a Romaleos or Adipower, and slightly less than Reebok’s own Legacy lifter 2.

The quality is good for the price, but not the best on the market. They’re down here on our list because they’re not as good for Olympic weightlifting, but they’re an excellent beginner squat shoe and for those who want to get some shoes for weightlifting on a budget. The value for money is good, and you’ll have a great time with these shoes if you’re a novice.

Verdict

The PR2 are a very strong shoe for beginner weightlifters and for squatting in. They’re a great choice if you’re trying to improve your lifting and keep your knees, hips, and ankles healthy. They’re not much cheaper than the Legacy lifters, but have a narrower appeal and set of features.

67 EXPERT SCORE

Getting better quality is always better but these could be the perfect budget option if you only need a shoe for squatting or practicing the weightlifting basics. For that reason, we give them an 67/80!


Size and Fit:0
Materials:0
Durability:0
Color Options:0
Comfort:0
Heel Strength:0
Stability:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Some similar design ideas to the Legacy Lifter 2
  • Lower price than other lifting shoes discussed on this list so far
  • Perfect squat shoes for fitness and powerlifting
  • A good balance of value and quality

Could be better:

  • Not as good for Olympic lifting as the previous shoes
  • EVA foam is not as effective for heavy lifting due to compression
  • Lower price does trade off some quality in the heel cup and build-quality

6. Nordic Lifting MEGIN Olympic Lifting Shoes – Excellent Value Lifters

Nordic Lifting MEGIN Olympic Lifting Shoes
  • Heel lift: 1.1 inches (effective)
  • Sole material: Anti-slip rubber
  • Heel material: EVA super-dense foam build
  • Upper material: Super breathable mesh, faux leather, and textile weave
  • Sizing: True to size
  • Weight: 635 g

The Nordic Lifting Weightlifting Shoe (MEGIN) is equipped with a 1.4” inch heel. This is very high and offers more ankle and knee travel than other shoes, which may be useful if you’re very restricted in the ankles, but can be quite a shock when transitioning over from other weightlifting shoes.

This is for squatting primarily, and may cause some technical issues with snatch, clean, and jerk, in some newer lifters. It’s a brave attempt but can easily lead to unwanted forward travel of the knee.

However, these shoes are inexpensive at around half the cost of the Adipowers (depending on your source). It has a single strap, which is not as good for foot stability, but the upper is very breathable and durable. This is fine for powerlifting but not as strong as the Nike Romaleos 4s

The MEGIN are great squat shoes but are definitely more suited for powerlifting and general gym use. They’re a great quality shoe with a durable upper and grippy sole that can withstand regular gym training for years to come – with specific use for powerlifters and bodybuilders.

They’re also relatively wide – more so than the adipower, making them a comfortable choice for a true fit, or a half-size down. These are great for entry level shoes which typically need to offer good comfort and fit to account for fewer premium features.

Nordic lifting are starting to gain traction as a popular shoe manufacturer, so they’re definitely worth looking at if you want to save money and still get some of the best lifting shoes for powerlifting and bodybuilding.

Verdict

These are a great choice if you just need a beginner weightlifting shoe, a squat shoe, or Olympic-powerlifting shoe hybrid. They can be a fantastic introduction to heeled lifting shoes and offer a fantastic build relative to their price.

63 EXPERT SCORE

You’ll be saving money by trading off on premium features and build, but this is fine at half the price of some premium shoes like the adipowers - so they get a solid 63/80


Size and Fit:0
Materials:0
Durability:0
Color Options:0
Comfort:0
Heel Strength:0
Stability:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • High heel can support better mobility in the ankles and uses more quads
  • Great balance of price and quality due to the very low price tag
  • Good stability with a breathable upper
  • A good true-fit with a balanced width and size

Could be better:

  • Not as good as other Olympic lifting shoes with singular design focus
  • Trades off quality and heel cup comfort for price
  • Doesn’t offer some of the premium features of other shoes on this list

7. Inov 8 Fastlift 360 – Affordable Olympic Squat Shoes for Beginners

Inov 8 Fastlift 360 Lifting Shoes
  • Heel lift: 1 inch
  • Sole material: Anti-slip rubber with graphene
  • Heel material: TPU thermoplastic
  • Upper material: Custom ‘ripstop’ high-strength synthetic weave
  • Sizing: True to size but narrower
  • Weight: 360 g (hence the name)

The Inov 8 Fastlift have been an entry level weightlifting shoe since the early days of fitness, when they competed with the original Reebok Lifter shoe. They’re a more flexible and multipurpose shoe that is mostly useful as a squat shoe but can be used as an Olympic weightlifting shoe, with a lower heel and a higher quality build than previous models.

The Inov 8 Fastlift 360 is a cheaper alternative to the Legacy Lifter, the Adipowers, or the Romaleos.

Inov 8 Fastlift 360 Lifting Shoes Instagram
Photo by @its_me_mike_

It doesn’t offer the same premium build, but the price point is significantly lower and it provides a mid-point in the market in a similar way to the legacy lifter. However, this product loses to the legacy lifter since the fit is narrower in the foot by nearly half an inch, which can feel quite restrictive.

This means some people will be required to compromise on length (going a half size up) to fit the foot properly. Otherwise, the TPU heel and reinforced ‘Ripstop’ upper are both high quality. The only concern here is that there’s no elevated TPU or rubberised front-toe stop, which is a durability feature seen on products like the Reebok Legacy Lifter or the Nike Romaleos.

Verdict

Overall, this is a well-balanced product and offers a great upgrade on the earlier forms of Inov 8 Fastlift and their best weightlifting shoe to date. The difference is a stronger total build, which makes it a great competitor with premium quality weightlifting shoes, but with a lower heel that makes the G380 an outstanding squat shoe for non-weightlifting use!

Like the Nordic lifting, they deserve a 61/80.

61 EXPERT SCORE

Overall, this is a well-balanced product and offers a great upgrade on the earlier forms of Inov 8 Fastlift and their best weightlifting shoe to date.


Size and Fit:0
Materials:0
Durability:0
Color Options:0
Comfort:0
Heel Strength:0
Stability:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Lacks some of the premium quality heel cup support seen in the Adipower, for example
  • TPU heel is a rare sight on less-expensive lifting shoes
  • The lightest product on our list due to streamlined design and graphene reinforcement
  • Great competitor with the Legacy Lifter with a lower heel at 0.6 inches

Could be better:

  • The heel cup is lower quality than premium products like Reebok and Nike
  • Price point is medium, but it doesn’t compete well with the Legacy, for example

8. Adidas Powerlift 5 – Best Affordable Olympic Powerlifting Shoes (Hybrid)

Adidas Powerlift 5 Lifting Shoes
  • Heel lift: 0.6 inches
  • Sole material: Anti-slip rubber
  • Heel material: EVA super-dense foam
  • Upper material: 50% recycled rubber and synthetic weave
  • Sizing: True to size
  • Weight: 436 g

The powerlifts are Adidas’ entry level lifting shoes for general gym use and have been updated with the most recent version to improve durability and construction quality. They offer great style, a comfortable build, and good quality for the money.

While the design is lower quality than Adipowers, these shoes are significantly cheaper and have a similar fit, though a bit wider. The heel of the powerlift is lower than the TPU heel of the Adipowers, a 0.75-78inch (2 cm) heel made of high-density foam. This is a problem for very heavy lifting where it lacks the strength and stability of the Legacy lifter or Adipowers.

The Powerlift is a good lifting shoe for beginners but is not for super-heavy lifters like weightlifters and powerlifters. The durability and heel material will make them a little limited for top end lifting – with the sole and upper separating more easily than in other weightlifting shoes (especially during jerks, for example).

Verdict

These are not the best lifting shoes on the market but they’re relatively cheap and come with the Adidas name on them. This means they’re a great entry level shoe but don’t stack up to some of the historical Adidas cheaper lifting shoes like the Power Perfect 2.

The Powerlift live up to their name: a good shoe for powerlifting, but not the best choice for Olympic weightlifting or serious heavy-lifting athletes. These are 58/80 for the price and purpose!

58 EXPERT SCORE

They are relatively cheap and come with the Adidas name on them. This means they’re a great entry level shoe but don’t stack up to some of the historical Adidas cheaper lifting shoes like the Power Perfect 2.


Size and Fit:0
Materials:0
Durability:0
Color Options:0
Comfort:0
Heel Strength:0
Stability:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • A great value option from Adidas – guaranteeing good build quality
  • Saves a lot of money while offering the core benefits for a squat shoe
  • Makes a great Olympic powerlifting shoe hybrid

Could be better:

  • High density foam is not as reliable as a solid plastic heel and may compress
  • Upper-sole attachment is weaker than in other products with a higher price
  • Not the best shoes for elite weightlifters and rarely seen in professionals

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Weight Lifting Shoe Buyer’s Guide

Why Get Olympic Lifting Shoes?

You should get Olympic weightlifting shoes because they support foot stability, have a raised heel for better mobility and technical performance, and they are far more durable than normal trainers. These make them perfect for regular heavy lifting and the Olympic lifts, which require some very challenging positions.

You can also use Olympic weightlifting shoes for squatting – as most elite powerlifters do. This is because they put the body in a better position to strengthen the legs and maintain good balance in the lifts – especially in the bottom position.

Powerlifting Gym Training

How To Choose The Best Olympic Weightlifting Shoes?

You choose the best Olympic weightlifting shoes based on their benefits-per-dollar, which comes from the cost, the strength of the heel, the stability they provide, the materials and build quality, and then how well they suit your intended style of training (powerlifting, bodybuilding or Olympic weightlifting).

The best lifting shoes offer more benefits for the cost and suit your needs. Keep your own style of training, experience levels, and budget in mind. All of the items on our list today have a place, but the one that suits you depends on these personal factors.

Olympic Lifting Shoes

You should always choose quality if possible, as the best Olympic lifters are going to see significant use. You may own the same pair for years, and buying for quality prevents you buying twice – which is why our top 4 options are all premium lifting shoes.

If you want to go on a hunt for your own pair of lifting shoes here are the things that you need to look out for to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

Tips From the Champ

When choosing weightlifting shoes, your top priority is stability and a snug fit (without sacrificing comfort). Look for a heel height that will enable you to keep your torso in an upright position. If you want to further the stability, then look for shoe straps. If you also want your shoes to last longer, then look for ones with good-quality stitching.

Oleksiy Torokhtiy
Oleksiy Torokhtiy

Olympic Weightlifting Champion

1. Size, Fit, and Comfort

Ensure the shoe doesn’t run big or small. It needs to be a snug fit without causing discomfort. The better the fit, the better the stability and transfer of force. Having a good fit also helps prevent injury. And having comfortable sportswear will prevent you from performing the best you can. You don’t want uncomfy shoes breaking your focus and concentration. Adequate padding, a breathable material, and quality supportive insoles will help with increasing shoe comfort.

2. Materials

The shoe material should be top quality, such as leather or synthetic reinforcements, to ensure a balanced mix of breathability and longevity. If the materials used are of high quality, the shoe will be better able to withstand the pressures and stress of weightlifting. 

Preparing For The Training

3. Durability

Look for strong stitching. Reinforced straps and good-quality materials will help with the longevity of the product and maximize its mileage.

4. Heel Strength

You want your heels to be non-compressive and solid. The heel will be your platform for lifting — thus, it needs to be well-made and well-designed. Solid and elevated heels will help keep your spine straight.

5. Stability Features

All the pressure from weightlifting ends up at your feet. They are the pillars of your stability that allow you to do lifts safely. You don’t want those pillars slipping, or moving in the crucial moment. Look for lifting shoes that have straps. It’s even better if they have multiple straps.

Weightlifting workout

6. Value for Money

If money isn’t an issue, then simply pick the best ones. But if you’re looking to get the best bang for your buck, then find which criteria are important for you, and find a delicate balance of performance and durability. But regardless of your personal preference when it comes to sportswear, you should never neglect size, fit, and comfort!

7. Color Options

If money isn’t an issue, then simply pick the best ones. But if you’re looking to get the best bang for your buck, then find which criteria are important for you, and find a delicate balance of performance and durability. But regardless of your personal preference when it comes to sportswear, you should never neglect size, fit, and comfort!

Olympic Lifting Shoes: FAQ

Are Olympic Weight Lifting Shoes Necessary?

Olympic weightlifting shoes are not necessary, but they’re the best shoes for any Olympic lifts and are required to lift the most weight with the best technique. Some competitors will use non-lifting shoes such as Nike Metcons or similar, which are flat-soled.

The heel lift, heel cup, stability, and sole construction are perfect for weightlifting. They have none of the compression and force-waste that you’d get lifting in normal trainers, tennis shoes, and other shoes.

Olympic shoes aren’t necessary but they’re functionally necessary: if you want to lift the most, in the best way, with the best effect, then you should use them.

Torokhtiy Weightlifting Squats

What Shoe Brand Do Pro Weightlifters Wear the Most?

Most professional weightlifters use Nike, Adidas, or Reebok. These are the best premium weightlifting shoe builds, while some like Anta and Asics have specific popularity within different countries (China and Korea respectively).

Adidas are the most commonly seen shoes for professional weightlifters because they have the widest range of shoes and the longest production history. Adidas offers a range from entry level to super-premium, meaning that they’re the most common shoes.

Nike and other brands are getting more exposure since they released the original Romaleos, and the Savaleos are also becoming more popular.

Should I Deadlift in Weightlifting Shoes?

You should not train conventional deadlifts in your weightlifting shoes – but they’re perfect for snatch pulls and clean pulls. These are weightlifting-specific deadlifts that are used to train the positions of the classic lifts and strengthen the legs, hips, and back to lift more weight.

Weightlifting shoes are bad for conventional powerlifting-style deadlifts since they pitch your balance of weight forwards and lack the flat foot favored for heavy deadlifts. They make any deadlift more like a clean deadlift, which is not useful for most powerlifters.

Weightlifting shoes emphasize the use of the legs, which isn’t always good for deadlifting, but some powerlifters do lift in heeled shoes. This is down to personal preference but – for most people – flat shoes are best for deadlifts.

Conclusion

The best Olympic lifting shoes are the Reebok Legacy Lifter III: they offer the best compromise of quality and price that lets more people get into the Olympic lifts – or just heavy squats – with the best equipment. This lets you get more results for less money, and that’s our focus.

Alternatives like the Adidas Adipower weightlifting shoes or the Nike Romaleos can be used for super-premium training but don’t offer much more than the Legacy lifters. They’re also specific to the shape and size of your foot, while the Legacy lifter is more universally well-fitted.

You can get a cheaper choice if you’re looking for squat shoes, with brands like Inov8 and Nordic lifting offering interesting alternatives. The entry level market also includes the powerlift and PR2, which may suit your budget for a beginner weightlifter, fitness enthusiast, or Powerlifter.

Keep your needs and style of training in mind, and always focus on what you’re getting for each dollar you spend. We’ve put value for money first, and that’s put the Legacy lifter first on our list!

Also read:

References:

  1. 6 Olympic Lifting Movements // SMAI:
    https://www.smai.com.au/blogs/news/6-power-lifting-movements
  2. Conventional Deadlift Video Exercise Guide // Muscle & Strength:
    https://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/deadlifts.html
  3.   doi: 10.1080/02640414.2016.1175652. Epub 2016 Apr 20.
  4. The effect of weightlifting shoes on the kinetics and kinematics of the back squat // National Library of Medicine: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27096286/
  5. The effects of squatting footwear on three-dimensional lower limb and spine kinetics // Science Direct: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1050641116302322
  6.  The effect of weightlifting shoes on the kinetics and kinematics of the back squat // Journal of Sports Sciences: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301550201

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With over 20 years in Olympic Weightlifting, our team does its best to provide the audience with ultimate support and meet the needs and requirements of advanced athletes and professional lifters, as well as people who strive to open new opportunities and develop their physical capabilities with us.

All products we select are primarily approved and tested by the Olympic Weightlifting Champion Oleksii Torokhtiy. Under his guidance, we provide honest and reasonable assessments of the products we review by checking their characteristics, packaging, design, comfort and durability features, and general product rating. We select products from only high-quality and trusted sports brands, thus vouching for their quality.

The product testing process is described in more detail here

Ihor Shymechko

Author: Ihor Shymechko
Pro Olympic Weightlifter, Coach

Experience: 26 years
Best Results: Snatch – 208 kg,
C&J – 240 kg

Ihor has been a professional weightlifter since 1996, boasting over two decades of competition experience. His notable achievements include clinching the European Championship in 2009 and securing a silver medal in the 105kg division at the Senior World Championships in 2011. Ihor represented his country in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Summer Olympics. After retiring from competitive weightlifting, he transitioned to coaching, leveraging his vast experience to guide athletes who now compete on both national and international stages.

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Oleksiy Torokhtiy

Reviewed by: Oleksiy Torokhtiy
Olympic Weightlifting Champion

Experience: 21 years
Best ResultsSnatch – 200 kg,
C&J – 240 kg

Oleksiy Torokhtiy is a professional athlete boasting 20 years of experience in Olympic weightlifting. With multiple European and World titles under his belt, he has showcased his prowess in two Olympic Games (Beijing 2008 and London 2012). Upon concluding his illustrious career, Oleksiy dedicated himself to coaching. By 2022, he had conducted over 200 weightlifting seminars worldwide. He is the visionary behind an international sportswear and accessories brand known for its motto, “Warm Body Cold Mind.” Additionally, he is an esteemed author and the creator of a series of training programs and eBooks.

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