More and more people are interested in powerlifting these days. Whether you're powerlifting as a part of your bodybuilding, weightlifting, CrossFit, or strongman regimen, the best way to take it seriously is to be properly equipped - and that means having a quality pair of powerlifting shoes.
In this guide, I'll be reviewing the best powerlifting shoes on the market today, so let's find the right pair of shoes for you.
Table of Contents
- Powerlifting Shoes Compared
- What Exactly Is Powerlifting?
- What to Look for When Buying Powerlifting Shoes
- 7 Best Powerlifting Shoes Reviewed
- Powerlifting vs Weightlifting – What’s the Difference?
- People Also Ask (FAQs)
Powerlifting Shoes Compared
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What Exactly Is Powerlifting?
Powerlifting is a strength sport consisting of three main lift exercises: squat, deadlift, and bench press. Each participant has three attempts at lifting the maximum weight for each of these exercises.
For all three exercises, participants use a single barbell loaded with heavy-weight plates. Considering the weight of the plates, participants must use a weightlifting belt in addition to powerlifting shoes.
Powerlifting is considered to be one of the best sports for developing muscle strength. It requires high force and low velocity movements and it is the ultimate strength competition across more than 100 countries, with the International Powerlifting Federation as the head.
What to Look for When Buying Powerlifting Shoes
These are some of the most important considerations to check into before purchasing your powerlifting shoes:
Durability of Materials
The best powerlifting shoes are made from long-lasting materials and can withstand even the most immense stress. Consider how often you’ll use your shoes and how much wear and tear you anticipate putting them through on a weekly basis to determine if they can keep up with your fitness routine.
There are now tons of material options out there for shoe manufacturers to use. Some powerlifters prefer leather shoes for their durability, but these are also less breathable than other fabrics. Your goal should be to find a pair of shoes that finds the perfect balance of durability and breathability.
Enhanced Lifting Posture
To improve your posture for powerlifting exercises (and weightlifting as well), your shoes should have heels that are higher than the forefoot to improve your balance and provide more stability. An elevated heel is something that can drastically improve your training.
Strong Stitching, Lacing & Strapping
Reinforced stitching is one of the main requirements for buying powerlifting shoes. Don’t forget that you will be undergoing heavy stress targeted at your legs and feet, and you don't want your shoes to fall apart during deadlifts.
The way a shoe laces or straps plays a big role in foot stability. There's single-strap, double-strap, and other lacing models, and each comes with different levels of security for different areas of the foot. For maximal security, double straps and BOA lacing are best, but single straps also provide plenty of support.
The sole is yet another factor that you want to check when buying the best powerlifting shoes. It should be made of a high quality rubber or another anti-slip quality material.
The above requirements are a must if you ask me. However, there are some other things you can consider when buying powerlifting shoes, like a removable insole, design, color options, and type of heel.
The heel should always be elevated, but there are different heel materials to choose from, like EVA, TPU, stacked leather, or wood. EVA and TPU are the most modern, and they're both lightweight yet durable.
Some powerlifting shoes look really nice but have a hefty price tag that simply doesn't fit your budget. Whether you have money to spare or you’re strapped for cash, choosing the right powerlifting shoe should obviously come down to your fitness goals (and what you can afford).
7 Best Powerlifting Shoes Reviewed
With that being said, let’s jump into our list of the 7 best powerlifting shoes on the market.
1. Adidas Men’s Powerlift 3.1
- Lightweight synthetic leather upper for ankle...
- Air mesh collar, tongue and lining for...
- Open forefoot structure and flexible toe for...
- Weight lifting-engineered, high-density...
I don’t think that Adidas needs any special introduction. They have been on the market since 1924, so I felt that the first product on our list would be well represented by the Powerlift 3.1 by Adidas, which are specifically designed for men.
The 3.1’s heel is raised by 0.60” (1.5 cm), which is considered a great heel height for powerlifting and is pretty much a standard feature to look for. The shoes are made of synthetic leather, while the sole is made of anti-slip rubber, so the material is all-around durable. I love that this shoes has an additional air mesh collar and tongue, so your feet will always be able to breathe.
This shoe's special extra-wide design allows the user to spread the toes without feeling any pain. Another great addition is a removable insole, so you can add your own sole footbed if there's another one you prefer.
The 3.1 shoes come in various colors ranging from black to bright pink. These are definitely some of the best powerlifting shoes on the market, but just be aware that they tend to run slightly small, so it might be a good idea to order a half-size up.
2. Nike Romaleos 3 XD Weightlifting Shoes
- Flexible forefoot allows natural range of...
- Flywire technology provides a locked-down...
- Honeycomb-patterned TPU plate for a stable...
- Dynamic strap wraps the midfoot for a...
The 2nd sneakers that made it to our list of best powerlifting shoes are the Romaleos 3 XD weightlifting shoes by Nike. The company was founded in 1954 and is extremely well established for all fitness apparel, including shoes. Formerly known as Blue Ribbon Sports, the Nike brand has made it to the top over the years.
But enough about the brand, let's talk about the shoes. These are made of synthetic leather, a honeycomb-patterned TPU plate, and a durable rubber outsole. The heel is lifted and designed specifically for weightlifting and powerlifting. The version 3 XD comes with one wide dynamic strap that wraps at the mid-foot securely and comfortably.
Thanks to Nike’s flywire technology, the Romaleos 3 XD will feel very lightweight while also standing up to any powerlifting challenge. According to the manufacturer, they are excellent for flat feet, so if you struggle with your arches, this pair is a great choice.
3. Adidas Men’s Adipower Weightlifting Shoes
Another pair of powerlifting shoes by Adidas that are worth considering are the Adipower weightlift shoes. These shoes are made of PU-coated leather. The heel is raised slightly higher than the last by 0.78” (2 cm), which is great if you prefer more elevation.
The outsole is made of high-quality anti slip rubber, so you won't have to worry about slipping or sliding. They do not have a very wide toe box, so if you have wide feet, you’d be better off with a different model.
The adjustable hook-and-loop strap allows for great feet stability and support. All in all, these are a great pair of powerlifting shoes, but I don't love that they only come in a somewhat unappealing color scheme.
4. Nordic Lifting Powerlifting Shoes – Megin
- POWERLIFTING SHOES - Maximum Lifting...
- PROVIDES OLYMPIC STABILITY - Good foot...
- LONG-LASTING QUALITY - Built to last, even...
- IMPROVE LIFTING POSTURE - Perfect for...
The 4th on the list are powerlifting shoes by Nordic Lifting.
Unlike Nike and Adidas, this brand has only been on the market since 2013, but since then they have established their reputation quite well. They focus on weightlifting and powerlifting equipment and cross-training accessories - like the Megin shoes.
The heel is raised 1.37 inches (3.5 cm) while the toe elevation is 0.47″ (1.19 cm). The shoes come with reinforced stitching, which prevents the stitches from popping even while lifting an immense load. The sole is made of a rigid and smooth anti-slip rubber material so that you can remain stable on any kind of floor.
I love that these come with a Velcro strap at the mid foot, but I personally find it to feel slightly cheap compared to the rest of the shoe. The good news is that the price is right, and that doesn't even stop the manufacturer from included a 1-year warranty.
5. Reebok Men’s Legacy Lifter Sneaker
The 5th shoes on our list of the best powerlifting shoes are the Legacy Lifter Sneakers for men by Reebok. The brand has been on the market since 1958, which makes it clear that this is a shoe manufacturer that can be trusted.
The shoes are made of 100% textile and synthetic leather. The Legacy Lifter Sneakers have 3/4 inch (1.9 cm) heel lift and they come with stability straps as well as lateral support straps. These are specially designed with a full-length, low-profile EVA mid sole, which is made of anti-slip rubber for lots of grip and good traction.
Another great feature from Reebok is the forefoot flex groove design. There are grooves along the forefoot that allow you to walk naturally, even with the raised heel. They’re also designed a little wider, so if you have wide feet, you'll definitely want to consider these.
6. Sabo Deadlift Shoes
- New anatomical last was created especially...
- New non-marking outsole is made of high...
- Two lateral straps allowing for an individual...
- High cut upper and materials optimal for...
Even though they're completely unlike any of the other shoes reviewed so far, the deadlift shoes designed by SABO Sports deserve a spot on our list. SABO Sports is a Russian company that focuses on weightlifting equipment. They are mostly known because of the shoes they manufacture, so that's a great start.
The Sabo deadlift shoes, as the name suggests, are especially made for deadlifting. They are constructed from synthetic leather and the newly non-marking outsole is made of high-quality material that's especially designed for traction. These are the only shoes on our list that do not have a lifted heel, so if you prefer a flat sole, this is the pair to go with.
They come with two lateral straps so that you can easily tighten them according to your preferences at the ankle and heel. The outsole is designed with additional side-support, allowing you to spread without your feet or ankles rolling over.
7. Inov-8 Men’s Fastlift 335 Weight-Lifting Shoe
- OUTSTANDING GRIP - Outsole rubber holds...
- ENHANCED STABILITY - External Heel Cage and...
- MID-FOOT HOLD - A Velcro strap over the top...
- FLEXIBILITY - META-FLEX technology in the...
The last shoes that made it to the list are the powerlifting (and weightlifting) 335 shoes for men by Inov-8. The manufacturer - Inov-8 has - has been on the market since 2001. They make mainly shoes, but also offer clothing and accessories like socks, gloves and head wear. Overall, they are pretty established and quite popular.
These shoes are made of synthetic leather, and just like the others, they include an anti-slip rubber feet. The heel lift is 0.65″ (1.65 cm), which is pretty standard. These have been labeled as a great "beginner weightlifting" shoe by the brand, so if you're new to powerlifting, you'll definitely want to consider these.
To guarantee your foot will not move inside the shoe, an adjustable hook-and-loop has been added for total lock down. The collar and tongue are made of plush materials, so your feet will be comfy while staying protected. However, these have been known to loosen overtime, so if you plan on doing lots of powerlifting sessions per week, maybe look elsewhere.
Powerlifting vs Weightlifting – What’s the Difference?
A lot of people are confused about the difference between weightlifting and powerlifting. While you might assume they're synonymous, there are actually a few differences.
Both powerlifting and weightlifting are primary forms of competition in strength sports. The main difference is that powerlifting uses three lift exercises (deadlift, squat and bench press) while weightlifting focuses on one lift, which is one movement of the barbell (loaded with weight plates) above the athlete’s head.
Another detail is that the single movement of weightlifting is composed of three smaller parts – snatch, the clean and jerk. One thing that the both sports have in common, though, is to lift as much weight as possible, and therefore both require a quality pair of shoes.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Are powerlifting shoes worth it?
Because these are specialty shoes designed for handling heavy weight and stress, powerlifting shoes tend to be more expensive than your standard workout shoes. So are they worth it?
Yes! In fact, most powerlifters wouldn't be caught dead wearing a pair of non-powerlifting shoes. They're not just designed to look good; they're specifically made to keep your muscles and joints safe as you lift as much weight as possible.
Is it better to squat in flat shoes?
There's a common misconception about squats, and it's that flat shoes are best for the squat movement. While some people find flat shoes more comfortable for performing squats, shoes with a slight heel elevation can improve ankle mobility and overall stability.
Where can I find quality powerlifting shoes for the right price?
Whether you're looking for powerlifting shoes, a weightlifting belt, or another piece of fitness equipment, Amazon is a great source. Many brands offer discounts on Amazon, shipping is almost always free, and Prime members get delivery for most products in just 2 days.
That, ladies and gentlemen, concludes the list of the 7 best powerlifting shoes on the market. Make sure to always check the correct sizing guidelines and recommendations before ordering.
Each pair of shoes can be used for weightlifting as well, so you're in luck if you're looking for a cross trainer. Our favorite is the Adidas model, but you can't go wrong with any of the reviewed shoes.