The best men’s lifting shoes
If you’re serious about lifting weights, a good pair of lifting shoes can make a difference in your training. Not only do they put you in a comfortable athletic position, but lifting shoes give you a strong base for squats, overhead presses, and Olympic weightlifting movements. If you struggle getting to depth during squats, a lifting shoe like the Nike Romaleos can help with ankle mobility concerns.
What to know before you buy men’s lifting shoes
Lifting shoes seem to suffer from sizing inconsistency on the whole. While trying them on is always your best option, pay attention to reviews if you’re buying online. There also seems to be inconsistency in the widths of toe boxes. Lifters with wide feet may want to size up in many situations. Take into account what type of socks you’ll be wearing as well. You want a snug, comfortable fit in your lifting shoes, but you don’t want them being too tight.
Lifting shoes have a fairly high stack height, meaning you’ll be further off than ground than in most casual shoes. You’ll also notice that most lifting shoes have a fairly high heel drop (the difference between the height of the heel and the forefoot). This is ideal for Olympic lifting or squatting, especially for people with poor ankle flexion. While lifting shoes aren’t a substitute for healthy ankle mobility, they can make certain Olympic and squat movements more comfortable.
Not all lifting shoes are made for the same purpose. The classic raised-heel, wide-base lifting shoe is going to do well for Olympic lifters or athletes who like to squat and bench press. However, if you enjoy CrossFit or more high-intensity exercise regimens, you may want to look for a “training shoe.” Training shoes are lifting shoes with a flatter sole and a less-raised heel, made more for explosive athletic movements like those found in CrossFit.
What to look for in quality men’s lifting shoes
A sturdy, wide sole and midfoot allows for a strong base to explode from. You want a shoe that you feel confident in when going through your movements, and a hefty lifting shoe offers you that.
Most lifting shoes will have a midfoot strap (sometimes two), whereas training shoes do not. If you prefer Olympic lifting or heavy compound movements, a midfoot strap will help lock in the fit of your shoe and make you feel more secure. For those looking for training shoes for aerobic activities, a midfoot strap may not be helpful anyway.
Lifting shoes are absolutely something where you get what you pay for. A well-constructed, durable lifting shoe will last for years, whereas a cheaper one may not. You’ll want to prioritize a strong, durable sole and midfoot, as those areas will take the brunt of your lifting efforts over the years.
How much you can expect to spend on men’s lifting shoes
Depending on what you want out of your shoes and how serious you are, you can pay anywhere from $50-$200 for your men’s lifting shoes.
Men’s lifting shoes FAQ
Can I lift in flat bottom shoes instead?
Absolutely! Some lifters prefer flat shoes like a pair of Converse or Vans. If you have good ankle mobility and can squat without pain, flat-bottom shoes may be more comfortable for you. However, if you’re a serious Olympic lifter, you’ll probably want to get lifting shoes.
Are lifting shoes bad for ankle mobility?
No, not necessarily. While you should work on ankle flexion, using lifting shoes isn’t going to hurt you. While working on ankle flexion, you may find you prefer a flat shoe, or you may continue to enjoy the benefits of a lifting shoe with a raised heel.
What are the best men’s lifting shoes to buy?
Top men’s lifting shoes
What you need to know: You truly do get what you pay for when buying high-quality lifting shoes, and the Romaleos stay at the top of the food chain in their third version.
What you’ll love: If you’re a serious lifter looking for a strong shoe that you can trust for explosive movements, the Romaleos delivers that. With a hard heel and wide base, these shoes keep you upright on squats and safe through Olympic movements.
What you should consider: These don’t seem to run true to size. Reviewers seem split on whether they run large or small.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top men’s lifting shoes for the money
What you need to know: While not strictly lifting shoes, these have a hard flat sole and are loved by lifters on a budget.
What you’ll love: Chuck Taylors are loved by lifters because you get a solid sole for a budget price. If you want a no-frills lifting shoe and don’t like a higher shoe with a heel drop, these are great for any exercise, especially the deadlift, bench press and overhead press.
What you should consider: Squats will be hard in these with poor ankle mobility. They aren’t the best for Olympic lifting either.
Where to buy: Sold by Kohl’s
Worth checking out
What you need to know: These light, breathable shoes are great for squats and Olympic lifts, but not too bulky for occasional use in more aerobic exercises.
What you’ll love: The second version of the Adipower is lighter and more breathable than the original version. With a 20-millimeter heel, you’re in a comfortable squatting position without being too high off the ground. A midfoot strap keeps you secured when shooting for personal bests.
What you should consider: Some reviewers feel the toe box is a bit narrow, so choose your size carefully.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Joe Coleman writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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