7 Best Powerlifting Shoes in 2023

Powerlifting is a physically demanding activity that necessitates strength, precision, and the proper equipment. Powerlifters must not overlook their footwear as an important component of equipment. Proper powerlifting shoes provide the stability, support, and traction required to safely and effectively move heavy weights. With 2023 beginning, it's time to update your shoe game with the best powerlifting shoes available. We will present to you the 7 best powerlifting shoes, highlighting their features, benefits, and why they are a worthwhile investment for any serious powerlifter in this powerlifting shoes review.

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ADIDAS ADIPOWER III.


This shoe is supposed to offer exceptional stability and support during lifts, as well as a high level of comfort and flexibility.

WBCM 7 Best Powerlifting Shoes

Top 7 Best Powerlifting Shoes Reviewed

  1. Adidas Adipower 3 - Top Pick
  2. Reebok Legacy Lifter II - Best For Squats
  3. Nordic Powerlifting Shoes - Best For Deadlift
  4. Reebok Nano X2 - Best For Powerlifting and Cross Training
  5. Sabo Deadlift PRO - Best High Top
  6. Lifting Large Ground Lock - Best Barefoot
  7. Converse Chuck Taylor’s - Best Cheap Option

ProductTotalStabilityMaterialsDurabilityBreathabilityGrip
Adidas49.51010109.510
Reebok Legacy4910109.59.510
Nordic48.59.5109.5109.5
Reebok Nano4810109.59.59
Sabo47109.599.59
Lifting Large46.510999.59
Converse45.5109998.5

1. Adidas Adipower 3 - Top Pick

Adidas Adipower 3
  • Heel Lift Height: 22 mm
  • Sole material: Rubber
  • Upper material: Breathable Ripstop
  • Sizing(true-to-size or fit small/big): true to size
  • Weight(1 shoe): 1.1 lb

The Adidas Adipower 3 is the most recent iteration of the popular Adipower powerlifting shoe line. This shoe is supposed to offer exceptional stability and support during lifts, as well as a high level of comfort and flexibility.

The Adidas Adipower 3's upper is made of breathable ripstop, which is very sturdy and allows for the foot to breathe. The shoe has a single strap across the midfoot that serves to secure the foot and prevent sliding or movement during lifts. The strap is adjustable, providing for a customized fit to suit the lifter's specific needs.

Performing Adidas Adipower 3

The Adidas Adipower 3 has a stiff, non-compressible sole that provides for maximum energy transfer (the transfer from pulling to pushing position) during lifts which is very important for powerlifters because it allows them to lift more weight. The heel of the sole is slightly raised, which aids in correct foot positioning and prevents shifting or sliding. The sneaker also has a wide base and a high-density heel for extra stability and support during heavy lifts.

One of the Adidas Adipower 3's standout features is its flexible forefoot, which allows for a greater range of motion and better flexibility during lifts. The sneaker also has a low-cut design that allows for more ankle mobility while maintaining stability. This makes it an excellent choice for lifters who require both ankle support and suppleness.
49.5Expert Score

The Adidas Adipower 3 is the most recent iteration of the popular Adipower powerlifting shoe line. This shoe is supposed to offer exceptional stability and support during lifts, as well as a high level of comfort and flexibility.

Stability
10
Materials
10
Durability
10
Breathability
9.5
Grip
10

Positives:

  • Sturdy breathable ripstop material which is very strong and improves breathability

  • Low-cut design for both ankle support and stability

Could be better:

  • Not great for people with wide feet

2. Reebok Legacy Lifter II - Best For Squats

UPDATE! Here's a new model - Reebok Legacy Lifter III that can become a true discovery for those who are fans of the Legacy Lifter model, or their Lifters II are already out.

REEBOK LEGACY LIFTER III - MEN'S

Despite the model has lots in common with the Legacy Lifter II, it has a novelty - the pump technology which can be useful for enlarging the volume of the tongue. This feature can benefit athletes with narrow feet by bringing better support and security, so the shoes hug the feet wholly.

The Reebok Legacy Lifter ll is the most recent iteration of the popular Legacy Lifter powerlifting shoe series. This shoe is intended to provide maximum stability and support during lifts, while also providing maximum comfort and flexibility.

Reebok Legacy Lifter 2
  • Heel Lift Height: 22 mm
  • Sole material: Rubber
  • Upper material: Synthetic leather and mesh
  • Sizing(true-to-size or fit small/big): true to size
  • Weight(1 shoe): 1.2 lb

The upper of the Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 is composed of a durable and breathable mix of synthetic leather and mesh. The sneaker has two adjustable straps across the midfoot and ankle for a secure and customizable fit. The straps are made of high-quality materials and are built to last through heavy hauling.

Performing Reebok Legacy Lifter 2

The Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 has a stiff, non-compressible sole that provides for maximum power transfer during lifts. The heel of the sole is slightly raised, which aids in correct foot positioning and prevents shifting or sliding. The sneaker also has a wide base and a TPU heel piece for extra stability and support during heavy lifts.

One of the Reebok Legacy Lifter 2's standout features is its flexible forefoot, which allows for a greater range of motion and better flexibility during lifts. The sneakers also feature a high-cut design that adds ankle support without sacrificing mobility. This makes it an excellent choice for lifters who require both ankle support and suppleness.

49Expert Score

The Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 is the most recent iteration of the popular Legacy Lifter powerlifting shoe series. This shoe is intended to provide maximum stability and support during lifts, while also providing maximum comfort and flexibility.

Stability
10
Materials
10
Durability
9.5
Breathability
9.5
Grip
10

Positives:

  • Two adjustable straps across the midfoot for improved stability and comfort

  • Flexible forefoot that allows for a greater range of motion

Could be better:

  • The stiff extremely stiff sole might be uncomfortable for some people

3. Nordic Powerlifting Shoes - Best For Deadlift

Nordic Powerlifting Shoes
  • Heel Lift Height: 35 mm
  • Sole material: Rubber
  • Upper material: Synthetic leather
  • Sizing(true-to-size or fit small/big): true to size
  • Weight(1 shoe): 0.8 lb

Because of their distinctive design and exceptional performance features, the Nordic Powerlifting Shoes are a popular choice among powerlifters. These shoes are specially intended to provide maximum stability, support, and power transfer during lifts while remaining extremely comfortable and long-lasting.

These powerlifting squat shoes have an upper made of high-quality synthetic leather mixed with cotton mesh that increases breathability and are both durable and resistant to wear and strain. The shoe has a wide toe box and a safe lace-up closure for a customized and comfortable fit.

Performing Nordic Powerlifting Shoes

Nordic Powerlifting Shoes have a stiff, non-compressible sole that provides for maximum power transfer during lifts. The heel of the sole is also slightly raised, which aids in correct foot positioning and prevents shifting or sliding. The sneaker also has a wide base and a TPU heel piece for extra stability and support during heavy lifts.

The Nordic Powerlifting Shoes have a unique design that includes a built-in metatarsal strap that serves to secure the foot and avoid lateral movement during lifts. This strap is also adjustable, providing for a more personal fit.

48.5Expert Score

These shoes are specially intended to provide maximum stability, support, and power transfer during lifts while remaining extremely comfortable and long-lasting.

Stability
9.5
Materials
10
Durability
9.5
Breathability
10
Grip
9.5

Positives:

  • Stiff, non-compressible sole that improves power transfer when you lift

  • Built-in metatarsal strap that secures the foot to avoid lateral movements during lifts

Could be better:

  • No pattern on the bottom of the shoe which may decrease traction on some floors

4. Reebok Nano X2 - Best For Powerlifting and Cross Training

Reebok Nano X2
  • Heel Lift Height: 7 mm
  • Sole material: Rubber
  • Upper material: Flexweave
  • Sizing(true-to-size or fit small/big): true to size
  • Weight(1 shoe): 0.6 lb

The Reebok Nano X2 is a cross-training shoe that has been garnering popularity among powerlifters due to its versatile design and stability features. While it is not a powerlifting sneaker, it does provide a number of advantages to lifters.

The Nano X2's wide and stable base is one of its key characteristics, providing a solid platform for lifting large weights. In addition, the shoe has a supportive upper and a reinforced heel cup, which serve to keep the foot secure and steady during lifts. Furthermore it has a Floatride Energy Foam in the midsole which improves the overall comfortability of the shoe.

Performing Reebok Nano X2

Photo by @dragonfit.ir

The Nano X2 also has a good range of motion and flexibility, which can be useful for powerlifters who need to move rapidly between lifts. Furthermore, the shoe is designed to be comfortable and breathable, which can help to reduce foot fatigue during lengthy training sessions.

The Nano X2's cushioning is one possible disadvantage for powerlifting. While it can provide adequate shock absorption for sprinting and jumping activities, it may not be suitable for heavy lifts that require a more solid foundation. This, however, may be a question of personal preference and lifting technique.

48Expert Score

The Reebok Nano X2 is a cross-training shoe that has been garnering popularity among powerlifters due to its versatile design and stability features. While it is not a powerlifting sneaker, it does provide a number of advantages to lifters.

Stability
10
Materials
10
Durability
9.5
Breathability
9.5
Grip
9

Positives:

  • Multipurpose sneakers that can be used for powerlifting and running

  • Wide and stable base which provides a solid platform for lifting large weights

Could be better:

  • Some people may find the extra cushioning uncomfortable for powerlifting heavier weights

5. Sabo Deadlift PRO - Best High Top

Sabo Deadlift PRO
  • Heel Lift Height: 1 mm
  • Sole material: Rubber
  • Upper material: Synthetic leather and mesh
  • Sizing(true-to-size or fit small/big): true to size
  • Weight(1 shoe): 0.7 lb

The Sabo Deadlift PRO is a powerlifting shoe that is specifically made for deadlifting. Because of their unique features and exceptional performance, these shoes are extremely famous among powerlifters and weightlifters.

The Sabo Deadlift PRO's upper is made of high-quality leather and has a safe lace-up closure for a customizable and comfortable fit. The sneakers also have a reinforced toe cap for extra durability and safety during lifts.

Performance Sabo Deadlift PRO

The Sabo Deadlift PRO's sole is what sets it apart from other powerlifting sneakers. The thin and flat sole provides for optimal ground contact and stability during deadlifts. The sole is made of a highly durable, non-slip material that offers excellent grip and traction on any surface.

One of the Sabo Deadlift PRO's standout features is its low profile design, which helps to keep the lifter's foot as close to the ground as feasible. During lifts, this provides for maximum power transfer and efficiency.

47Expert Score

The Sabo Deadlift PRO is a powerlifting shoe that is specifically made for deadlifting. Because of their unique features and exceptional performance, these shoes are extremely famous among powerlifters and weightlifters.

Stability
10
Materials
9.5
Durability
9
Breathability
9.5
Grip
9

Positives:

  • Reinforced toe cap for extra durability and safety

  • Ankle strap and midsole strap adds to the overall stability

Could be better:

  • Not as versatile as other picks on our list because they are mainly made for deadlifts

6. Lifting Large Ground Lock - Best Barefoot

Lifting Large Ground Lock
  • Heel Lift Height: 4 mm
  • Sole material: Rubber
  • Upper material: Synthetic leather and mesh
  • Sizing(true-to-size or fit small/big): true to size

The LiftingLarge Ground Lock is a powerlifting shoe made with powerlifters' needs in mind. The sneaker has a minimalist design and a thin and flexible sole for optimal ground contact and stability during lifts.

The Ground Lock's upper is constructed of high-quality leather, ensuring a comfortable and secure fit. The shoe also has a sturdy lace-up closure that allows for a customizable fit that can be changed to the lifter's requirements.

Performance Ground Lock Deadlift Slippers

The unique sole design of the LiftingLarge Ground Lock is one of its most notable characteristics. The sole is made of a tough, non-slip substance that offers excellent grip and traction on any surface. Furthermore, the sole is intended to be slightly wider than traditional powerlifting shoes, which aids in stability and support during lifts.

Another important feature of the Ground Lock is its overall construction. The shoe is built to last, with reinforced stitching and a sturdy construction that can endure the rigors of heavy lifting. As a result, the Ground Lock is a long-term commitment for serious lifters.

46.5Expert Score

The LiftingLarge Ground Lock is a powerlifting shoe made with powerlifters' needs in mind. The sneaker has a minimalist design and a thin and flexible sole for optimal ground contact and stability during lifts.

Stability
10
Materials
9
Durability
9
Breathability
9.5
Grip
9

Positives:

  • Completely flat which is the best for powerlifting

  • Long straps that are great for long arched lifters

Could be better:

  • Not suitable for all foot types because of the narrow fit

7. Converse Chuck Taylor’s - Best Cheap Option

Converse Chuck Taylor’s
  • Heel Lift Height: 18 mm
  • Sole material: Rubber
  • Upper material: Canvas
  • Sizing(true-to-size or fit small/big): Big fit
  • Weight(1 shoe): 0.8 lb

The Converse Chuck Taylor is a classic sneaker that has long been a favorite of powerlifters. While the Chuck Taylor was not originally intended as a powerlifting shoe, its flat sole and durable construction make it an excellent choice for lifters.

These flat powerlifting shoes provide a solid foundation for lifts, allowing for optimal ground contact and stability during heavy lifts. The sturdy canvas construction keeps the foot secure and stable during lifts, and the traditional lace-up design allows for a customizable and comfortable fit.

Performing Converse Chuck Taylor’s

It is a less expensive choice when compared to some of the more specialized powerlifting shoes on the market.

However, it is important to note that the Chuck Taylor has some restrictions. While it provides a stable foundation for lifts, it lacks the support and cushioning found in more specialized powerlifting shoes. Additionally, the canvas construction can wear down over time with regular use.

45.5Expert Score

The Converse Chuck Taylor is a classic sneaker that has long been a favorite of powerlifters. While the Chuck Taylor was not originally intended as a powerlifting shoe, its flat sole and durable construction make it an excellent choice for lifters.

Stability
10
Materials
9
Durability
9
Breathability
9
Grip
8.5

Positives:

  • Very affordable when compared to other products on our list

  • Lightweight and breathable canvas upper allows for a comfortable fit

Could be better:

  • Lacks specialized features specific to powerlifting, such as strap support

Why Get Powerlifting Shoes?

Enhanced Stability

One of the main advantages of donning powerlifting shoes is increased stability. When lifting large weights, a stable foundation is essential to avoid any unwanted movement or wobbling. Powerlifting shoes are built with a flat, sturdy foundation and a wide heel to provide this stability.

A powerlifting shoe's flat sole guarantees that the foot stays in contact with the ground throughout the lift, reducing the risk of slipping or losing balance. The wide heel adds stability by distributing weight equally across the foot, which reduces the risk of rolling or twisting an ankle during a lift.

Powerlifting shoes provide more stability, which is especially essential for lifts like the squat and deadlift, where a stable base is critical for correct form and performance. Powerlifting shoes can help improve lifting technique and prevent injuries caused by instability or imbalance by providing a solid base for the lifter.

Furthermore, the increased stability offered by powerlifting shoes can aid to boost confidence during lifts. Knowing that your feet are secure and stable can help to alleviate any nervousness or hesitation, allowing you to concentrate completely on the lift and perform it with greater precision and control.

WBCM athlet performs exercise in converses

Improved Traction

Improved grip is another significant advantage of powerlifting shoes. To avoid slipping and keep correct form when lifting heavy weights, it's critical to have a firm grip on the lifting surface. The sole materials and construction of powerlifting shoes are intended to provide maximum traction.

Powerlifting shoes' soles are usually made of a non-slip material, such as rubber or high-friction synthetics. This improves your grip on the lifting surface, lowering your chances of slipping and allowing you to keep correct foot placement throughout the lift. Improved traction can also aid in lifting technique by enabling you to transfer more power to the bar or weight and raise heavier loads.

The increased traction advantage of powerlifting shoes is especially important for lifts like the deadlift and snatch, which require a firm grip. When you have a good grip, you can concentrate on the lift rather than fretting about your feet slipping or losing position.

Furthermore, the increased traction of powerlifting shoes can help to reduce the risk of injuries caused by slipping or losing equilibrium. This is especially essential when lifting heavy weights, where even a minor loss of balance or grip can lead to severe injury.

WBCM WF in flat shoes

Increase Power Transfer

Powerlifting shoes are made with a flat and firm sole to enable for optimal power transfer from the feet to the earth. This is accomplished through a combination of design elements that work together to improve power transmission during lifts.

For starters, the flat sole of a powerlifting shoe keeps the foot in contact with the earth throughout the lift. This establishes a strong foundation for the lift, enabling you to produce maximum force from the ground up. The flat sole also ensures that your weight is spread equally across your feet, which can aid in preventing imbalances or shifting during the lift.

Second, the firm heel of a powerlifting shoe adds support and stability to the raise. This enables you to exert more force through your heels, which can aid in the activation of the glutes and other lower body muscles. The firm heel also aids in the maintenance of proper form and the prevention of any unwanted movement or shifting during the raise.

Powerlifting shoes allow you to transfer more force from your feet to the ground by providing a flat and firm sole with a supportive heel. This can help you lift more weight and execute lifts more efficiently and with greater control. Powerlifting shoes' increased power transfer benefit is especially essential for lifts like the squat and deadlift, where proper form and technique are crucial for optimal performance and safety.

WBCM athlet is performing jerk in flat shoes

Better Ankle Support

When lifting heavy weights, it's critical to have appropriate ankle support and stability, which can help avoid injuries and improve lifting performance. Through their construction and form, powerlifting shoes are intended to provide this support.

The high top powerlifting shoes design is one of their distinguishing features, as it offers additional ankle support. The high top design stretches above the ankle, ensuring a secure fit and avoiding unwanted movement or rolling during the lift. This can help to reduce the chance of ankle injuries during heavy lifting.

Powerlifting shoes, in addition to the high top design, have a sturdy sole and a wide heel, which helps to spread weight evenly across the foot and reduces the risk of ankle rolling or twisting. This provides additional ankle support and stability during the lift, allowing you to keep proper form and technique.

Powerlifting shoes' improved ankle support is especially essential for lifts like the squat and overhead press, which place a significant amount of stress on the ankle joint. Powerlifting shoes can help to prevent injuries and enhance lifting performance by providing appropriate ankle support and stability.

Improved Range Of Motion

Powerlifting shoes are intended to provide a stable base for lifting while also providing for increased ankle mobility and flexibility.

One of the main factors contributing to the improved range of motion benefit is the elevated heel of powerlifting shoes. The elevated heel creates a small angle that can aid in ankle mobility, allowing for greater depth and range of motion during exercises like squats and lunges. This can aid in targeting specific muscle groups and improving general lifting performance.

WBCM performing flat WF shoes

Furthermore, the design of powerlifting shoes is typically more flexible than other types of lifting shoes, which can contribute to the advantage of increased range of motion. The shoe's upper is frequently made of a more flexible material, allowing for more mobility and flexibility in the ankle joint. This is especially useful for exercises that involve a wide range of motion, such as the snatch and clean and jerk.

Powerlifting shoes' increased range of motion can also help to reduce the risk of injury. Powerlifting shoes, by enabling greater mobility in the ankle joint, can help to avoid strains and other injuries that can occur when the joint is restricted or forced into an unnatural position.

How to Choose the Best Powerlifting Shoes

Stability

Powerlifting shoes should provide a solid foundation for heavy weightlifting. Look for shoes with a firm, sturdy sole that equally transfers weight across the foot. To avoid any unwanted movement or slipping during the lift, the shoe should also have a broad base and a secure fit.

Heel Height

Powerlifting shoes generally have an elevated heel to improve ankle mobility and allow for greater depth and range of motion during exercises like squats and deadlifts. Look for a heel height that is suitable for your body type and lifting technique, which should be between 0.5 and 1.5 inches.

Support

Proper foot and ankle support is essential for safe and efficient powerlifting. Look for powerlifting sneakers with a high-top design or straps that provide extra ankle support and stability. For optimum support, a snug and comfortable fit is also essential.

Durability

Powerlifting shoes should be tough enough to endure regular wear and tear. Look for shoes with a high-quality construction and materials that can endure the demands of heavy lifting, such as leather or synthetic leather.

WBCM performing types of WF shoes

Traction

A powerlifting shoe's sole should have excellent traction to prevent slipping and sliding during lifts. Look for sneakers with a non-slip rubber or other long-lasting sole.

Comfort

Powerlifting shoes should be easy to wear for long amounts of time. To avoid discomfort and foot fatigue, look for shoes with sufficient padding and ventilation.

FAQ

Is It Better to Lift in Flat Shoes?

Flat-soled powerlifting shoes are popular among powerlifters because they provide a stable base for lifting heavy weights, allowing for greater force transfer and a lower risk of injury. The flat sole can also improve ground contact, which is important for keeping balance and stability during lifts like squats and deadlifts. While some lifters favor a slightly elevated heel for increased ankle mobility, flat shoes can be a good choice for many powerlifters, providing a solid and stable foundation for heavy lifting and improved overall performance.

Why Do People Lift in Converse?

Converse are a popular powerlifting shoe because they have a flat, stable sole that increases force transfer and lowers the risk of injury during big lifts. In addition, they have a low profile and no heel lift, providing for a more natural and stable foot posture during lifts. Furthermore, they are reasonably priced, widely accessible, lightweight, and comfortable, making them a popular choice among many powerlifters.

Can You Run In Powerlifting Shoes?

Running or other types of cardio exercise should not be performed in powerlifting shoes. Their stiff and stable sole can make flexing the foot and absorbing impact difficult, while the elevated heel can change running mechanics and increase the risk of injury. Instead, appropriate jogging or cardio exercise shoes, such as running shoes or cross-training shoes, should be worn. Cross-training sneakers can provide support and stability for a variety of activities, making them an excellent choice for those who perform a variety of exercises such as lifting and cardio.

Conclusion

Choosing the right pair of powerlifting shoes can improve your lifting ability and overall safety. The seven shoes featured in this piece were chosen for their features and benefits, which include stability, traction, power transfer, ankle support, range of motion, and comfort. It is essential to note, however, that everyone's feet and lifting requirements differ, so what works for one person may not work for another.

To discover the best shoes for powerlifting for you, we recommend trying on the Adidas Adipower 3 which is the top pick on our list. Please post any questions or comments about the shoes we've reviewed in the comments section below. We would be delighted to hear from you and assist you in any way we can.

Also read:

References:

  • ARE SPECIALISED WEIGHTLIFTING SHOES ESSENTIAL? // Science For Sport: https://www.scienceforsport.com/weightlifting-shoes-are-they-really-needed-and-what-about-going-bare-feet/
  • Practicing Sport in Flat Shoes// NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8471173/ 
  • The effect of weightlifting shoes on the kinetics and kinematics of the back squat // Researchgate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301550201_The_effect_of_weightlifting_shoes
    _on_the_kinetics_and_kinematics_of_the_back_squat
  • Effects of Footwear on Performance in a Barbell Backsquat // Digital Commons: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijesab/vol2/iss8/61/
  • TThe Importance of Proper Footwear for Powerlifting and Weightlifting // Strive: https://strivepersonaltrainingptglasgow.co.uk/weightlifting-shoes/

Adidas Adipower 3

My name is Ihor and I have been a professional weightlifter since 1996. With over 20 years of competition experience, my resume includes European Champion in 2009 and the silver medalist at 2011's Senior World Championships – 105kg division.

I competed at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.

After hanging up my own competitive lifting shoes, I decided to share my huge background as a coach. I am currently coaching multiple athletes who are competing at national and international competitions.

2 comments

  • Torokhtiy Team

    Hi @Kristian!

    When choosing weightlifting shoes, it’s important to consider a few factors for the right fit. Opt for a size that provides a snug and secure feel without squeezing your toes. Look for shoes with a stable base and solid heel support, which can enhance stability and prevent injuries. Additionally, prioritize shoes with a flexible upper material and proper ventilation to ensure comfort during workouts. Remember, finding the right size ensures optimal performance and reduces the risk of discomfort or potential foot issues.

  • Kristian

    What size should I get for weightlifting shoes?

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