Author Archives: Nick

VS Athletics Weightlifting Shoe 2 Review

VS Athletics Weightlifting Shoe 2


Recently the VS Athletics Weightlifting Shoe 2 was released and I gotta say…wow.

I haven’t seen much about them online and they definitely deserve some buzz on this one.

The scoop is that they kept the fundamentals that made the first shoe great (heel height, double straps), while giving them a sleek modern look with an excellent sole.

They probably got tired of people like me ragging on the looks of the old ones! Just take a look at this side by side comparison, it’s like night and day comparing the two.

VS Athletics Shoe Comparison

Looking more in-depth at the VS Athletics Weightlifting Shoe 2

So let’s cover the finer points of the shoe. While being remarkably similar to the first model, these do have an ever so slightly lower heel coming in at 3.2 cm compared to the 3.3 cm of the original.

It’s a difference that is so small you definitely won’t notice and performance won’t take a hit.

I’ve always been a fan of lifting shoes that have straps, and the two hook and loop straps on these are the perfect mechanism to ensure a snug fit on your foot with no movement.

Straps are crucial for olympic weightlifting as they secure your foot more than laces alone. When you’re throwing weight around and jumping, there can’t be wiggle room when you land.

They are better positioned than the original as you can see in the comparison. By being further apart, they cover a larger area of your upper foot.VS Athletics 2 back

Somewhat surprisingly, one of the most dramatic changes aside from the construction of the shoe is the new and improved sole.

It’s no longer a “fuzzy” textured rubber, but a ridged sole designed to keep your foot from sliding forward shown by the ridges on the front.

I’m sure the old design served its purpose well enough, but it is hard to deny that this is better. Aesthetically and functionally.

The back is just more of a stylish platform to put your heel on.

The attention to detail shown by that really impresses me. You can tell that the folks over at VS Athletics know a thing or two about weightlifting.

This shoe is very interesting, because it is rare you see a company release a sequel to a lifting shoe outside of the major brands.

Not only that, but they kept everything the first version did right and improved the areas it was weaker in such as the construction and looks.


VS Athletics Weightlifting Shoe ii Side view

Design changes

An interesting thing to note about the new construction of the VS Athletics 2 is that it is much “cleaner”. It lacks a lot of the seemingly excessive stitching the first version had, which I like a lot.

It’s difficult to say how that will impact long term durability. I don’t see it being an issue though as lifting shoes tend to last for years as long as they’re used for…you guessed it, lifting.

They kept a lot of the mesh (around the upper heel, over the toes / tongue), but got rid of a small amount on the sides that probably added some breath-ability to the shoe.

It’s a negligible difference that I would give up every time for the enhanced looks alone.

Price-wise they are no longer the budget option they once were and that’s not a bad thing. The first version was ridiculously cheap (price wise) compared to other shoes on the market, even years ago.


Further thoughts

When something is too cheap I feel like it’s a natural urge to skip past it because people (myself included) tend to think that cheap = poor quality.

That wasn’t the case with their last shoe, however it might have turned some people away because of that.

They are now more in line with the prices of mid-range shoes like the Adidas Powerlift 3s/Drehkraft/Inov8 or various Reebok models. And for all the improvements they made to the design and quality, they deserve every penny.

I would highly recommend this shoe to anyone interested in getting into oly weightlifting (clean and jerk, snatch). From beginners to advanced lifters, you can appreciate the updated shoes from VS Athletics who have clearly shown they understand what makes a good shoe. Click here to take a closer look at them on Amazon!


Adidas Powerlift 3 Review

Adidas Powerlift 3 Review

The Adidas Powerlift 3 is the latest weightlifting shoe in the Powerlift line. For those of you not familiar, this is Adidas’ mid-range shoe that performs excellently. Even when compared to the higher end shoes, they hold their own.

I need to preface this review by saying this: My first lifting shoe was the Original Powerlift, so I am definitely biased when it comes to these! I don’t think my trust in the brand is misplaced though because I’m not the only one who has had a great experience with them.

I’m not going to cover the basics of a shoe for the gym like I have in the past, rather I want to focus on what Adidas has changed in this latest rendition of one of my favorite shoes.

That said, if you’re a beginner I highly recommend these as an entry level pair. You just might be more suited to start with my beginner’s guide to good lifting shoes article if you are looking for details on the basics.


So what’s new for the Adidas Powerlift 3.0

The Powerlift 2 got a facelift. That’s what it boils down to when you look at the differences. It’s interesting because the new style reminds me a LOT of how Reebok designed their CrossFit shoes. I guess it’s just the modern thing to do.

But you know that’s not a knock on Adidas, because the previous model had it pretty much nailed down, so how much could they really change without calling it something different altogether? They already have the Adipower for Olympic lifting.

Adidas Powerlift 3.0 side view

The rest of the features are virtually the same as before, which is great for lifters of all levels that want to get a little more serious about the gym.

The heel height is the same, so it’s still the great shoe for squatting and bench that it was before. I personally don’t like deadlifting in a raised heel shoe, but that’s just my preference. You definitely can do them without problems though.

The fit is as good as ever. Adidas sizing is pretty true to size, but there are outliers that will have to be more careful before they order to make sure they get the right fit. I’m a big fan of the velcro strap to ensure there is no foot movement when you’re in the middle of a heavy squat. The last thing a lifting shoe should be is loose and that is not an issue with the Adidas Powerlift 3.

So what does the Powerlift 3 not do?

Now that I have heaped on all that praise, it’s only fair that I point out some things that are worth being aware of before you make a purchase, right? I know you probably already have them in your online shopping cart!

So the first thing I want to mention is that they’re not a cross training shoe. The sole is rigid because it is made for stability while lifting. It is not flexible like a running shoe, so you would definitely want to wear a different pair to the gym or track if you plan on doing sprints or jogging. They’re fine for walking of course, but using them for much more would be uncomfortable and eventually lead to injuries.

I also touched on it above, but just to be clear: they are not made for Olympic lifting. Sure, you could do some in them just fine. But if your goal is to be an Olympic lifter then there are entry level shoes like the VS Athletics that you may want to check out instead. This is because the heel height is very moderate in these and is meant for the compound lifts.

Top of the Powerlift 3.0


Putting it all together

I don’t even consider the above to be flaws, but for someone considering a purchase I think it’s important to know what you’re getting: a solid ass lifting shoe. That’s what they are designed for and in my opinion, excel at.

That’s what makes them great. Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced lifter, they are a great shoe that won’t hold you back from making progress in the gym. All while looking pretty stylish in my opinion.

And while they aren’t the cheapest shoe out there, they are very reasonably priced compared to lifting shoes of a similar level. They will last you for years if you take care of them and hundreds of gym sessions.

If you’re in the market for a lifting shoe, you owe it to yourself to check out the Adidas Powerlift 3.

Click here to view them on Amazon and see what else other people are saying!



Reebok Lifting Shoes

Reebok Logo

Reebok is a brand that everyone and their dog is probably familiar with and if you aren’t then you need to step up your game! The company was established way back in 1895, but back then it was known as “J.W. Foster and Sons “. It was only in 1958 that the company was named Reebok by the founder’s grandsons.

I won’t get into the history of the company beyond that because we’re not here for history, we’re here for checking out what lifting shoes they have to offer. If you want to read more about them though you can check out the Wikipedia page. There’s something interesting about knowing where a company got it’s start and how they ended up where they are today.

Reebok started their partnership with CrossFit in 2010 and began a co-branded line in 2011. Here we are in 2016 and it’s no surprise that Reebok lifting shoes have a huge presence and reputation in CrossFit. They make excellent shoes for it and have even made a general purpose lifting shoe that is one of the best for deadlifts, the Crossfit Lite.

Reebok CrossFit Advertisement

So what makes them so good for CrossFit?

Because of its unique high paced nature, traditional weightlifting shoes are less than ideal for CrossFit. It’s incredibly important to be able to move while still having those weightlifting shoe features such as:

  • Raised heel
  • Strap
  • Strong build quality

A regular weightlifting shoe will have a more rigid sole, which as you can probably guess is terrible in this case. You need all the flexibility you can get so the shoe is not only comfortable, but can also hold up to the increased workload.

The raised heel serves the exact same purpose as one on a traditional shoe. It helps you to get into position on those weightlifting movements where ankle mobility is a limiting factor for most people. For CrossFit it doesn’t have to be as tall as a regular one, as that would be overkill and probably lead to a lot of instability moving around.

You can’t have a ton of movement without a strap keeping your foot in place. Any kind of movement within a shoe with you’re lifting is dangerous, let alone running and lifting. It’s a simple but very necessary feature to have.

Build quality is essential for a shoe that can survive a while under the workload that CrossFit will put on it. Traditional weightlifting shoes get DEMOLISHED because of their rigid soles not being designed for the range of movement involved. And I’m not talking about cheap shoes here. Reebok uses great flexible materials and design for their line of shoes. Using the right shoe for the job means it will last much longer.

Taking a quick look at the line up

Reebok Nano 5

Reebok Nano 5

The Nano is probably the most popular when it comes to Reebok lifting shoes. I’ve yet to cover it in a detailed review, but I hope to soon because it’s a great shoe for CrossFit.

It features some of the best materials used in shoes these days. Kevlar for support and TPU for the mid sole, you can tell they wanted it to be a performer.

There is also a women’s version for you lifting ladies out there!

I highly recommend you give it a look on Amazon and see what people are saying about it


Reebok Lifter 2.0

Reebok Lifter 2.0

The Lifter 2.0 is another solid shoe. One of my favorite parts of this shoe is it has the forefoot strap that the Nano is lacking.

I think once more people hear about this shoe it will overtake the Nano because of it having more of a weightlifting focus.

Another cool part of this model is that they make a women’s version too. Click here to read my in-depth review of it.

Sound like what you’re looking for? Check it out on Amazon


Reebok Crossfit Lite

Reebok Crossfit Lite

This one is a bit of an oddball on the list. It’s not a great shoe for CrossFit (as you could probably guess by the “Lite” in the name)

However, it is one of the BEST shoes for deadlifting out there. Seriously, I wrote that post and these are great.

The flat sole they have lets you get closer to the ground and helps you drive from your heels. It definitely isn’t ideal for movement though. Read more here

View these badboys on Amazon to read the user reviews

Is that all?

Nope! Believe it or not, I left out two models that I found on Amazon because they didn’t offer anything that one of the three above didn’t offer. Maybe that’s just me being lazy, but I didn’t see any real benefits to them over the above.

One of them was advertised as an all purpose shoe and to me, that’s just a shoe in the gym that isn’t actually good at one thing. I know how cynical that sounds, but you can’t expect a shoe for lifting to be good for cardio. The distinct features both require will make the shoe either ineffective or bad to use for one activity.

My personal pick for CrossFit out of these three would have to be the Reebok Lifter 2.0. It hit all the required features I’d want in a weightlifting shoe while still maintaining the flexibility needed to be mobile. However, if your focus is less on weightlifting then you may want to go with the Nanos.

Reebok CrossFit Pullup

Putting everything together

Reebok offers a solid line up to suit a variety of needs even within CrossFit. Their partnership has clearly been beneficial for both companies since Reebok lifting shoes have become almost synonymous with CrossFit.

They are made of great materials and are not all that expensive compared to the competition, which is always refreshing. It also makes it more feasible to have different pairs of shoes for different activities in the gym if you’re like me and want to focus on different things without breaking the bank.

If you do CrossFit you owe it to yourself to at least check them out. There are other brands out there competing in the same space, but for the price and reputation you get with Reebok it’s hard to go wrong!


Reebok Lifter 2.0 Review

Reebok Lifter 2.0 Review

The Reebok Lifter 2.0 is possibly one of the best shoes for CrossFit around. Its great design of a raised heel, flexible forefoot, and strap make it ideal for high movement workouts.

However, from what I’ve read a lot of people tend to have misconceptions about what this shoe is for. But more on that later! For now let’s look at some of the features in more detail.

Getting into the nitty gritty of the Reebok Lifter 2.0

  • Heel height

The Reebok Lifter has an effective heel height of .75″ which is great for assisting in lifts like the snatch or clean and jerk. However, a complaint that I’ve seen online is that the heel is not firm enough for doing these exercises heavy. Of course it isn’t! CrossFit requires a flexible shoe and if they had a typical oly shoe heel they would not be suited for the movement that it requires. I’m not saying the heel is bad, but if you are primarily concerned with Olympic lifts, get a shoe designed for them like the Romaleo 2 or Adipower.

  • Flexibility

It is immediately apparent when you look at the shoe from the side that it is designed for flexibility. Notice how the sole curves upwards towards the toe of the shoe. A shoe meant purely for weightlifting will not have a curve like that. I don’t mean that as a knock, but rather a plus because it is designed for it! They are definitely not for jogging though as they are still rigid enough to support lifting.

  • Strap

I know it seems like a small feature, but a strap is such a crucial part of any shoe that is meant for lifting weights. It is incredibly important that your foot isn’t sliding around while performing a lift and a strap ensures you have stability.

Reebok Lifter 2.0 Sole

Smaller things that I like about it

Reebok really didn’t skimp on the design of the shoe. Not only does it look good, but there are a ton of colors to choose from. If you’ve read any of my other reviews you know that I like being able to choose different colors! It totally wouldn’t affect my decision to purchase a shoe. Totally wouldn’t.

More seriously though, the price is borderline cheap which is always a nice incentive. I can’t list it here because of technicalities, but you will definitely have to pay more for most other shoes. I’m always looking for the best deals on shoes so when I see that one doesn’t break the bank I have to restrain myself!

Unlike other Reebok shoes I have reviewed that also have the CrossFit branding, these are exceptionally designed for it. All of the features of the shoe tie in so well together to do the job.

Click here to see the latest price and user reviews on Amazon

There’s also the women’s version

Womens Reebok Lifter 2.0

Not often does a company make two versions of the same shoe. I think it’s pretty cool because it solves issues like sizing and also offers the shoe in a nice bright pink.

I know those aren’t huge differences, but the real interesting one is that they weigh different amounts! The men’s version weighs 14.1 ounces while the women’s weighs 12.6. It’s not the kind of difference that is shocking or anything, but a light weight shoe is always good!

Lighter shoes are just more comfortable to wear, and if you are doing cardio you don’t want to be wearing any more weight on your feet than is absolutely necessary.

Click here to see the women’s version and what people had to say about it

Overall opinion of the Reebok Lifter 2.0

Reebok Lifter 2.0 Side View

Reebok did a great job of designing a shoe that performs for excellently for CrossFit and still be used for general compound lifting. The shoe has all the important qualities you would expect from a lifting shoe with a more flexible sole to allow it to perform as advertised.

However, if you are strictly doing powerlifting lifts I would recommend getting a shoe that is specialized for that purpose alone. If you are not doing that then I’m sure this shoe will be fine, but if you want to get every bit of performance possible for heavy squats, deadlifts, and Olympic lifts I would recommend getting a dedicated lifting shoe for that.

You might be wondering why, and the main reason I’m saying this is because the sole is more flexible to be comfortable for cardio/high movement exercises. And it’s not a knock on this shoe at all, because it has glowing reviews and does what it’s advertised and marketed towards! Specialization is just something to be aware of, and totally depends on your goals in the gym. I’m always a fan of a shoe that does what it’s advertised to!

The Reebok Lifter 2.0 are a great shoe for CrossFit and are very reasonably priced. It is hard to go wrong with them as long as you know what you want from a lifting shoe. I recommend them if you are a CrossFitter or even someone who just wants a more diverse shoe that is capable of more than just stationary lifting.

They do an excellent all around job at everything, while offering plenty of stylish colors to choose from at the same time.

Adidas Leistung Review

Adidas Leistung Review

The most unconventional weightlifting shoe out there

The Adidas Leistung seems to divide people into two groups immediately upon seeing it. Those who think it looks cool, and those who think it’s as ugly as they come. Personally I had mixed feelings at first, but I actually really like the look of it now. One thing is for sure though, it is one of the best weightlifting shoes out there right now! But what makes it so good? Let’s dive into the features of this unconventional beast and find out:

  • The unique boa lacing

The only other shoe I have seen with this kind of lacing system is the Adidas Drehkraft, which also got excellent feedback for this unique lacing system. The biggest question you probably have though is “does it work?” And I have to say the answer is a resounding yes. Replacing the conventional velcro straps that most lifting shoe have is a big move and if this didn’t work they would not be able to compete with other brands.

Adidas Leistung Front View

It is very intuitive to use, you just twist it to your desired tightness and it locks in place. It also makes slipping in and out of the shoe a breeze which is a nice plus to the convenience factor. Let’s face it, it is annoying to lace up a lifting shoe and strap up all the velcro every time you go to the gym. Most of the time I just slip in to the shoe and wrap the velcro strap, but that’s just me being lazy.

Every review I’ve seen of people’s experiences with the lacing is that of pleasant surprise. I guess Adidas really got it right with the Drehkraft as a test run and stepped it up to a full on weightlifting shoe. It’s a great feature that really makes it stand out from its competition.

  • The 1″ heel

This is what separates the shoe from a ton of other ones right out of the gate as well. Most weightlifting shoes have a heel height of .5″, and those more designed for olympic lifting have one that is .75″. The height of the heel allows you to get in position easier and with better form. I always write in my articles how important ankle mobility is, but having a 1″ heel will basically guarantee that you have no issues with it.

  • Excellent build quality

Anyone buying a top of the line weightlifting shoe expects the best quality they can get. And that is exactly what you get with the Adidas Leistung! They are using top of the line synthetic materials along with TPU on the sides for extra support. You definitely do not have to worry about any kind of stability with these when you’re getting into some intense lifting. The synthetic materials also make the shoe very lightweight so you won’t feel clunky at all.

So where are the downsides of the Adidas Leistung?Adidas Leistung Unboxed

It’s honestly hard to say that it has any genuine downsides, but I’ll try my best to keep it real and give some potential drawbacks.

As impressed as I am with the shoe, nothing is immune from a little criticism and it might be the difference in helping you decide if it is the right shoe for you. Let’s check out some things you might want to consider:

  • Looks

Like I mentioned in the beginning, it has a very polarizing look that a lot of people either love or hate. Not only that, it only comes in one color for the time being. However, I feel like the look is distinct and if anything gets attention more than anything. As far as lifting shoes go you could do MUCH worse in the looks department. When it comes down to it, the shoe performs well and that is what matters.

  • Not for a beginner

Beginners are better off building a foundation (of strength and form) before taking the leap to an expensive weightlifting shoe. The main reason here is that the 1″ heel is very different from most other lifting shoes and could be weird to get used to for someone brand new. I’m not saying it couldn’t work, but that it is better to take steps and “progress” to the next shoe when you know how it will benefit your training and performance.

I don’t consider the two points above to be real downsides, just things to be aware of. To me a real downside and sign to not purchase a shoe would be something like poor build quality or too high of a price, neither of which apply here!

Throwing it all together

If you’re looking to take your weightlifting to the next level, you can hardly go wrong with the Adidas Leistung.

The lacing system is a total game changer in terms of functionality and convenience from other weightlifting shoes out there right now. It is surprising how effective it is.

With a 1″ heel you will have no problem getting into positions that require high amounts of ankle mobility. Say goodbye to putting your heels on weights to simulate the effect of a higher shoe heel!

Lastly, with a major brand like Adidas you know you are getting a quality shoe that’s going to last for years to come in the gym. The materials used are top notch for durability and more importantly, stability.

Click here to check out the latest price and user reviews on Amazon

Nike Romaleos 2 Review

Nike Romaleo 2s

The Nike Romaleo 2 weightlifting shoe are Nike’s flagship lifting shoe. Built lightweight and very tough, the shoe it competes the most with is the Adidas Adipower. Let’s see how the shoe stacks up, and if it’s worth adding to your gym bag!

First off, as with any weightlifting shoe one of the most important factors is heel height. The Romaleo 2 comes in with a solid .75″ heel making it a great choice for anyone looking for extra ankle mobility on squats or even olympic lifts. It is a fairly standard height for a shoe of its class.

The next distinguishing feature I want to cover is how it has two straps to lock your foot in place. I really like how they added an extra one making it an even more secure fit. Any extra movement in a lifting shoe is a big detriment to your stability. Most shoes only have one which is sufficient in most cases, but going the extra mile never hurt anyone!

The last factor I want to analyze on the Romaleos 2 is the exceptional build quality from Nike. The heel is made of TPU and contoured so it not only supports your foot, it does so comfortably. Every Nike shoe I’ve worn has felt very good in terms of comfort and this one is no exception. A lot of weightlifting shoes sacrifice that little bit of comfort for function, but when you’re paying for top of the line, it is very nice to have.

The only (slight) downside

The Romaleo 2s are a well-regarded shoe by pretty much anyone who owns them. I’m not sure I have ever seen someone that didn’t love their pair. However, they do have a slight downside to the competition which is price. It isn’t as steep as it used to be, and they aren’t THAT much more expensive than the often compared Adipowers. I suspect they might even get lower in price as there have been rumors about the Romaleo 3s, but who knows when they might come romaleos 2 side view

I think if you’re a fan of Nike and you want a high-end weightlifting shoe this is pretty much a non-factor. You’re still getting a great shoe that doesn’t have anything actually wrong with it!

I can’t say that I would recommend it for a beginner unless you have the disposable income and just want a top of the line shoe. There are plenty of mid range shoes that cost half the price and would serve you just fine. That’s just my conservative side speaking though.

Final thoughts on the Nike Romaleos 2

The Nike Romaleos 2 weightlifting shoes are a solid choice for anyone looking to buy a high end shoe that delivers on:

  • Comfort
  • Quality
  • Heel height

The contoured heel along with the optional two insoles they ship with are extremely nice for the comfort factor. In terms of quality they are not outdone by anyone on the market, they might be the most well made shoes out there. You also can’t go wrong with a .75″ heel as that is ideal for compounds and olympic lifts.

They hold up to any competition thrown at them. Netween them and the Adipowers it basically comes down to personal preference. You really can’t go wrong with either one in my books as they are both fantastic lifting shoes.

I highly recommend these for any experienced lifter looking to upgrade their gym shoes.

Adidas Adipower Review

Adidas Adipower Review

The Adidas Adipower  is the next step up from the adidas Powerlift.2. But if you place these two shoes next to each other, they look nearly identical! And the Adipower costs roughly $100 more dollars. What is the reasoning for this, and does it make it a superior shoe for lifting?

Find out if the Adipower is worth the additional money and will make a difference in your lifts!

Click here to see the latest price and excellent customer reviews

Differences between the Adidas Adipower and Powerlift 2

Let’s start by looking the main differences of the two shoes. The first difference is that the Powerlift.2’s have a .6” heel, while the Adipower has a .75” heel.

With a higher heel it makes it easier to go deeper in the squat and gives you more of that crucial stability for weightlifting movements.

You wouldn’t think that a .15 inch difference would be that significant, but it DOES in fact make a difference in feel and flexibility. Of course this is less of an issue if you have good ankle mobility, but most people need to work on that! (myself included)

Adidas Adipower Heel

The next main difference, is that the sole of the Adipower’s is harder to than the Powerlift’s to compress. The Adipower sole is made of TPU which is a higher grade synthetic. Essentially it’s got the edge of better build quality.

However, for 96% of people (Yes, I made up that percentage on the spot) I don’t consider this to be an issue. Both shoes are built for weight lifting, so it’s not like comparing the compression of a lifting shoe heel to a running shoe heel. It won’t be an incredible difference that makes you question why you bought the Powerlift 2 or anything.

It’s a small difference that to the right person is worth it. (Strong powerlifting goals in the gym, for example)

The rest of the shoe is rather standard for a weight lifting shoe, and the quality you would expect from Adidas. A lot of people consider the Adipower to be the “gold standard” of weight lifting shoes, and while it would be impossible to go wrong with either model, it will last you for many years.

They have been making weight lifting shoes for a long time so it’s got a design that has been proven to be effective and refined from years of producing. And I have to admit, the designs and colors they offer are very good looking.

Adidas Adipower Sole

In conclusion, the Adipower…

So it boils down to how serious you are about weightlifting and personal preference.

I think they’re a great purchase as an entry level shoe or for an advanced lifer trying to get the most performance possible.

That’s a rare thing to be able to say about a lifting shoe in my opinion. If money is a factor then you won’t regret going with the Powerlifts either, though. They are my main lifting shoe (have been for four years) and I will use them until I have an excuse to upgrade to the Adipowers.

I don’t do the clean and jerk or snatch much so it just isn’t quite as important to me at this point.

Adidas Adipower Top View

To me you are paying for a performance increase and slightly better build quality. And that’s not to make the Adipower’s sound bad at all, because it is a top of the line weight lifting shoe in my book.

However, for most people it won’t make a huge difference. If you are a powerlifter or olympic lifter trying to squeeze out every pound possible, then this is a great shoe for an upgrade!

This review became more of a comparison than intended it to be, but I see that as the best way to differentiate the two and tell you WHY they are different rather than just give a nearly identical review due to the extremely similar nature of them.

Enjoy, and check them out on Amazon for yourself to do further comparisons and see what other people have to say!

Click here to see the latest price and excellent customer reviews


Best Olympic Lifting Shoes

Oly Weightlifting

Having the best olympic lifting shoes possible is extremely helpful for keeping progress consistent and form on point. The criteria for them is just a little bit different from a regular lifting shoe because of the different exercises an Olympic lifter is going to do. Seems pretty obvious, right? Here are the main things I’m going to be looking at for these shoes to be considered the best:

  • Heel height
  • Build quality
  • Price

The heel height is important because Olympic lifts require a lot more ankle mobility than regular compound lifts like the squat do. That means in general that a shoe with a higher heel is going to be better for oly lifting. That being said, this factor is very dependent on the lifter as well. Everyone has different flexibility and it’s my opinion that it is something that everyone can improve on. But why not get a shoe that helps the process dramatically?

Build quality is also a huge factor in deciding the good from the great oly shoes. Some shoes even feature a wooden heel that for a long time was considered to be top of the line, but synthetic TPU heels do the job just fine. It’s really important to pay attention to a brand’s reputation when it comes to quality to see if there have been defects or poor construction. When one person complains it might not mean much, but when one hundred do you know there is a problem!

Lastly, we’ll be considering price as well. I’m a very conservative spender by nature and want to get the most bang for my buck. I have no problem paying for top of the line equipment, especially footwear. But if I can get a mid-range shoe that performs just as well and costs 2/3rds of the high end that is a HUGE plus!

All of these factors will be considered in the list with heel height and build quality having the largest impact on how they are ranked. Price is there too, but it’s not a primary concern when you are looking for the best oly lifting shoe possible.

Let’s get into it!

RankModelHeel HeightPriceAmazon
1Adidas Leistung1"$$$Click here to view the price
2Adidas Adipower.75"$$Click here to view the price
3Nike Romaleo 2.75"$$$$Click here to view the price

adidas leistung oly shoesWe have an unconventional front runner with the Adidas Leistung! This new shoe is basically an upgraded Adipower.

Despite some people thinking it’s ugly, I think it looks pretty cool! The “boa” closure system it uses instead of laces is surprisingly easy to use and great for getting a snug fit.

The heel is 1”, higher than the other two shoes on the list by ¼ of an inch which is pretty significant. That along with its other features tell that it was designed very precisely for Olympic lifting.

The build quality is excellent as you would expect from Adidas with TPU being not only used for the heel, but also the sides for extra control and stability.

I just wrote a very indepth review on the Leistung you can read here

Check it out on Amazon for more pictures and user reviews

adidas adipower weightlifting shoeComing right in second we have the Adidas Adipower. The Adipower has a fantastic reputation not only as a weightlifting shoe, but also for an oly shoe as well. So why is it in second place?

Well for Olympic lift purposes its heel is .75” which is not bad, but compared to the Leistung leaves a little to be desired.

I recently came across a site where someone has their pair modified to have a larger heel!

To its credit though, the shoe has come down in price since its release and is a good deal cheaper than the Leistung is. On a list of shoes competing to be the best oly shoe though, it isn’t enough to overtake it!

Obviously the Adipower is still a great shoe with build quality to match you would expect from Adidas. It has been around quite a while and there are a ton of great feedback for it. Read the full review here

Check it out on Amazon for more pictures and user reviews

nike romaleo 2 weightlifting shoeLastly we have the Nike Romaleo 2s, classically seen as the rivals to the Adipowers. Still considered to be a great shoe for lifting, it also has a .75” heel.

It also features two straps instead of one which I am a big fan of for stability purposes.

However, compared to the Leistung it doesn’t give it an advantage and it’s the MOST expensive shoe on the list.

Unfortunately the price holds it back significantly from being a more appealing shoe. The biggest points in its favor are the comfort factor and lightweight.

Also good to note is that it comes with two pairs of insoles, one that is soft for training and one that is more stiff for competition. For the best price look it up on Rogue Fitness, the Amazon seller is over-charging!

Final thoughts on the best olympic lifting shoes

I truly think this list is made of best oly shoes on the market right now. For the three factors listed above (Heel height, build quality, and price), it is very easy to rank the shoes. Heel height was crucial, because Olympic lifts are much more dependent on heel mobility than other lifts are.

The Leistung will probably come as a surprise to most people, because it certainly did to me. Having an effective heel height of 1 inch gave it a big advantage. Build quality between these shoes is very high as you might expect from big name brands like Adidas and Nike. However, all of the shoes have distinguishing features about them that take a unique approach.

That much was a draw. But what was a really clear factor was the price of the shoes. Even in a list where the main focus is the best shoe, not the cheapest. The Leistung are not a cheap shoe, but when you want the best then price takes a back seat.

The Romaleo 2s are just a little bit more expensive than the Adipowers, but I am sure that alone makes them a tougher buy. The shoes are arguably VERY close in technical specifications, yet I know which one I would buy purely based on price.

I try to be as objective as possible when I make lists. I like both Adidas and Nike a lot, as I own several pairs of shoes by both of them. However, when you look at the factors it is very clear where these shoes belong on the top three.

Hopefully you now have some idea of the best Olympic lifting shoes out there to get in the gym with and put in some work!


Inov 8 Lifting Shoes

Inov 8 Logo

Inov8 lifting shoes are some of the best cross-trainers on the market. If I had to guess I would say it’s because their background is in running shoes more so than lifting. Inov 8 has great reviews on Amazon and a reputation for quality.

They only have one weightlifting shoe line for both men and women, the Inov8 Fastlift 335. I guess that means this is going to be a short page! It is probably unlikely, but I hope they add some more shoes to their line up in the future so I have more to write about. The design of this shoe is fantastic and a more lifting oriented shoe would probably be one of the best on the market.


Inov-8 Men's FastLift 335 Cross-Training Shoe

Looking at the Fastlift 335

The Fastlift has a great design for lifting. Namely the raised heel with a height of .75″ and forefoot strap. The raised heel will really allow you to get into position for squatting, as well as olympic lifts like the clean or snatch. The strap is also crucial to stopping your foot from moving in the shoe while completing a lift. Stability is by far the most important thing to have when you’re doing heavy compounds!

The synthetic material also gives the shoe a lot of flexibility, which is great for CrossFit and other high movement exercises like box jumps, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t use them for running because they aren’t made for it. But for bursts of movement? Definitely. If you want to read my in-depth review on the fastlift 335 you can see it here

On a less important note, I also like the variety of colors they offer. You’re not limited to black or white. You can go to the gym in style!

If you are looking for a shoe that isn’t strictly for compound lifts, I think they are a great choice. You can see more pictures and the user reviews on Amazon here



Best Weight Lifting Shoes

Best Weight Lifting Shoes

My criteria for the best weight lifting shoes is price, features, and performance. For a shoe to be good for the gym it needs to hit that perfect combination of factors that set it above the rest. Of course, personal preferance will also play a roll in what the best shoe is for you. Whether you’re a power lifter, olympic lifter or just a regular old gym rat: you’ll find the right one for you here.

I will cover my reasoning for why I ranked each shoe where I did, but feel free to check out my reviews of all these shoes for a more in depth look.

Just because a shoe isn’t at the top of my list, doesn’t mean it isn’t good in its own right. It might be the best lifting shoe for you. Let’s jump into it!

RankModelHeel HeightPriceAmazon
1Adidas Adipower.75"$$$$Click here to view the price
2Nike Romaleo 2.75"$$$$
3Pendlay Do-Win.75"$$$Click here to view the price
4VS Athletics1.29"$$Click here to view the price


Red Adidas Adipower

The Adidas Adipowers are at rank one, because they are a top of the line shoe for squats. These are pretty much considered the “gold standard” of lifting shoes that have earned their reputation over the years from being such high quality and good at what they do.

With a pronounced effective heel height of .75″, they make a great choice for an olympic lifting shoe as well.

They are also the most expensive shoe on the list, but not by such a large enough margin to bump them down a rank. They are a clear pick for the best lifting shoes around. Read more

Click here to see the latest price of the Adipowers and read the customer reviews


Nike Romaleo 2

The Nike Romaleo 2’s come as a natural second for me. As the main competitor of the Adipowers, it is still an excellent shoe. Overall, they share a lot of similarities (.75″ heel). The materials used for them is almost identical, however the Romaleos have more of a reputation for being comfortable. Nike always puts a lot of emphasis on feel which is a huge plus.

Note that the difference in the soles of the shoes is VERY minimal and plenty of weightlifters enjoy this shoe. They make a natural choice for someone looking for a comparable weight lifting shoe that isn’t made by Adidas. I’m also a huge fan of the two straps they use compared to the 1 of the Adipower. Read more

For the best prices check out the Romaleo 2s on


Pendlay Do Win

The Pendlay Do-Win’s are a great, unique shoe for lifting. However, what’s keeping them from being second on the list is that they are a little more expensive than the Powerlift 2s, and not quite as ‘entry level.

However, the Pendlay line as of the time as this writing is defunct. So these probably won’t be making a come back any time soon, if ever. I will keep this page updated if I find anything out, but they are probably selling out their remaining stock on these.

Still an excellent weight lifting shoe though for someone who knows what they want. I could see a more experienced user having a preference for them over something else. Read more

Click here to see the latest price of the Do-Win and read the customer reviews


VS Athletics


And lastly the VS Athletics. They are a function over form shoe with that one thing in mind. Probably by far the least stylish shoe on this list, however they are cheap and do a good job at their primary focus: lifting.

They also have the tallest heel of any shoe at this list (1.29 inches) which makes them exclusively a weightlifting shoe.

No one wears a lifting shoe outside of the gym anyways, so it’s kind of a moot point. Definitely a great shoe for someone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money. By a decent margin, they are the cheapest shoe on this list. Read more

Click here to see the latest price of the VS Athletics and customer reviews


Getting the best weight lifting shoes possible is important if you want to be able to push yourself in the gym and do it safely. If you’ve ever tried to lift in a normal pair of shoes, it’s far from ideal. A shoe meant for lifting will provide you with stability, and the support you need to effectively squat.

When I first started lifting I used some squishy tennis shoes and it was just crap for squatting. They were obviously designed for absorbing the impact of a tennis court, not holding up a 300+ pound load. It kind of hit me that I needed a pair of shoes strictly for the gym.

It’s a question I see a lot of online. “Do I need a pair of shoes for lifting?” Well if you are serious about going to the gym, absolutely. A good pair of lifting shoes will last you for MANY years.

Important factors in a weightlifting shoe:

  • Raised heel

This is essential for a shoe meant for doing squats, because it helps those of us (yes, including myself here) with less than ideal ankle mobility. It’s one of those things that is going to be personal preference to a certain degree, but will inevitably help you to achieve good squatting depth comfortably.

You can squat in a shoe with flat soles just fine, but that may take more time to get used to and not help as much for squats. Generally the higher the heel the more preferable the shoe is for squats and olympic lifts such as the snatch and clean and jerk.

Adidas Adipower Side

  • Wide toe box, good ankle support

Because your heel is raised in a lifting shoe, it’s also important that you have ankle support. This is pretty much a given since the two go hand in hand, but some shoes skimp on this. A wider toe box not only makes for a more comfortable fit, but aids with the overall stability of the shoe.

Nike Romaleo 2 Sole

  • Non-compressible sole

Probably the biggest and most important difference between a shoe meant for lifting and pretty much any other shoe. The non-compressible sole provides a LOT more stability compared to a running shoe, and ensures you have something to push from that won’t absorb energy and stability from your lift. A solid connection with the floor to push “through” it is essential when squatting. It basically extends the area your foot takes up on the floor.

Also a big factor to consider when purchasing is your level experience with them. If you’ve never owned a pair before then it’s really important to pick one that you can feel confident with being the right fit and price for you. For example, a shoe with a wooden sole probably wouldn’t be the best choice for a beginner lifting shoe!

I highly recommend choosing a brand that you already have a pair of shoes with so you know what to expect in regards to their sizing. Of course you can always go out on a limb because Amazon has a very nice return policy if you get it wrong.

Weightlifting shoes are essential

I think it would be hard to go wrong with any of these shoes, and hopefully my list and description help you make an informed decision based on what YOU need. I tried to be as objective as possible so the list isn’t just one of my personal favorites. At the end of the day it’s all based on your preferences and what you want from a weightlifting shoe.

Whether you have wide feet or narrow feet, prefer a raised heel or flat sole, there is so much on the market that you can find something exactly for your preference. If you are looking for a cheaper alternative to the shoes listed above, click here to view my picks for cheap weightlifting shoes.

If you are looking for a little bit more in depth look at each shoe, please feel free to check out the reviews of them on this site to get a better idea of what each shoe is about.  Even though I consider the Adipowers to be the best weightlifting shoes, they all have their pros and cons that make them unique. Thanks for reading, please share with other aspiring lifters if you found it informative!

The Best Deadlift Shoes

Franco Columbu Deadlift

The best deadlift shoes will put you as close as possible to the ground with a flat heel. Not that you can’t do them with a raised heel, but it is a little more difficult for sure. I can definitely tell a difference personally when my heels are flat as it makes it much easier to pull from them.

If you are looking for deadlift shoes that can allow you to get into position better and pull more weight you’ve come to the right place!

This page will probably read like an advertisement for Reebok. They make the only good flat soled shoes made for lifting that I could find online with their Crossfit Lite line.

I looked for other brands just to offer a wider perspective, but there aren’t any except for wrestling shoes which have oddly shaped soles that aren’t ideal for deadlifts. While obviously you can deadlift just fine in a shoe with a heel, it just doesn’t feel as good as pulling from a flat heel.

Also, don’t be thrown off by the “Crossfit” in the title. I am fairly sure that’s just marketing to appeal to a wider audience, because these definitely are not designed for CrossFit compared to their other shoes like the Nano, Lifter 2.0, or Sprinter 2.0.

The CrossFit Lite has a wide toebox and a flat sole with a great design to really grip the floor. Details like that are most likely from the design inputs from Mark Bell and Chris Duffin, both accomplished powerlifters.

There are two models to choose from, the LO and the high top version. While the fundamental aspect of the shoe (flat sole, wide toebox) is unchanged, the feel between the two will be different.

The CrossFite Lite LO

Reebok CrossFit Lite LO deadlift shoe

Now this model is going to be ideal for people who want some freedom around their ankles, and a shoe that is more similar in feel to Chucks. Click here to view it on Amazon

As you can see the lacing goes up quite high on this model to really strap your foot in place.

The Crossfit Lite

Reebok Crossfit Lite Deadlifting Shoes

While the performance between the two models is going to be the same, which one would be more suited to you depends on the kind of feel you want out of a deadlift shoe. Click here to view it on Amazon

A huge plus to this line of shoes is that there is a women’s version of both of these.

Most lifting shoes don’t offer that, which makes sizing and alternative colors much easier to choose.

The Comparison to Chucks

Chuck Taylors - Note the best deadlift shoes out there

A lot of people hear about Chucks being great shoes for the gym. However, when you start using a shoe designed for deadlifts like the CrossFit Lite the differences stand out sharply. Here are some key points that make the Reeboks stand out:

  • Increased stability from the wide toe box and ankle support
  • Lower to the ground
  • Solid build

I don’t doubt that Chucks work for some people, but I have a feeling if they tried these they wouldn’t be going back. It just offers more for a lifter.

Cons of the CrossFit Lite deadlift shoes

Pros and Cons of these deadlift shoes

No shoe is perfect for everything. If one was, everyone would wear the same pair for day to day walking, jogging, lifting, job interviews etc. Just like I show you the good in the shoes, I want to also show you some of the drawbacks. I don’t consider them major, but everyone will have a different opinion on that!

  • High movement activites (jogging, jumping etc.)
  • CrossFit Branding
  • Lack of a raised heel (making squats harder than regular lifting shoes)

First off, it is not a shoe designed for running. It just doesn’t have the support to do so and would be very uncomfortable, possibly leading to injuries. It is a very specialized shoe so it just comes with the territory.

Secondly, some people could be put off by the CrossFit branding. For the record I have absolutely nothing against CrossFit (when it is done safely), I think anything that gets people in the gym is awesome.

Lastly I just want to emphasize that they won’t be the best shoe in the world for squats because of the lack of a raised heel. This is going to vary from person to person, because everyone has a different degree of ankle mobility.

Again, these minor drawbacks that I don’t consider to be deal breakers at all. It just helps to know EXACTLY what you’re in for when you’re making a purchase. The best deadlift shoes are designed for deadlifts and they will perform that task well!

Other options

Deadlift slippers

I couldn’t bring myself to recommend any deadlift slippers. Firstly, they aren’t shoes so you might as well just lift in your socks. Secondly, for the price you might as well just buy a pair of deadlifting shoes.

I know that some gyms have a no sock showing policy and that would probably be the only reason to ever buy a pair of these. I would much rather lift in a pair of shoes over these because they don’t offer any foot support and they look silly.

When I feel really feel like sticking it to the man I deadlift in my socks. No one’s said anything so far.

Conclusion on the best deadlift shoes out there

The Reebok Crossfit shoes are some of my favorite deadlift shoes available on the market.

And unlike most things with a single choice available, that isn’t a bad thing in this case. They have an excellent design help you get as low to the ground and stable for pulling a ton of weight.

They have no real drawbacks because they do what they’re supposed to. Deadlifts.

They’re also extremely low cost which makes them a great choice to have in addition to another pair of lifting shoes, it isn’t like you have to pick one over the other. I highly recommend them.

Lifting Shoes for Beginners

Weightlifting shoes for beginners

How to find good lifting shoes for beginners

It can be hard to tell what the right pair of lifting shoes is for a beginner. Between the actual features and advertising hype, what actually matters? With a little guidance anyone can find good lifting shoes for their needs in the gym.

Everyone has different needs which makes choosing the right shoe extremely important. For example, a shoe designed with CrossFit in mind will not be ideal for someone only interested in weightlifting.

It might sound like a “Gee thanks, Captain Obvious” kind of statement, but if you’re a beginner then it might not be.

There’s a lot of overlap between all the shoes out there for lifting, but for each specialization there are significant differences.

Determining the differences

Typically the most obvious give-away of the purpose of any lifting shoe is the sole. That is arguably the most important factor, and here’s why:

  1. A flexible sole is designed more for movement, rather than stability (Usually resembles more of a running shoe sole)
  2. A rigid sole prioritizes stability over movement (Usually one flat piece of material)
  3. Some shoes mix the two together, often cross trainers designed for CrossFit (The front or back will have some flex, with the other side being rigid)

Weight lifting shoe comparison


The thing is that a shoe that tries to do too much usually fails to achieve anything.

That’s why I consider picking a shoe based on your goals in the gym essential to avoiding injuries and performing as well as possible.

A beginner weightlifting shoe shouldn’t be used for CrossFit, or vice versa.

Additional factors to be aware of

So now that we’ve compared between the different types of shoes out there, let me go into a little bit more depth on what makes a good lifting shoe for a beginner.

In addition to the three categories above, there are other factors to consider before making a purchase.You don't have to break the piggy bank!

  • Price
  • Materials used
  • Brand / Fit

Lifting shoes have a fairly wide range of price ranging from dirt cheap to paying a premium for the brand name.

If you’re a beginner there’s plenty of room in between and you DON’T need to buy the top of the line shoes like Adipowers or Romaleos unless you have the budget.

Personally I tend to not invest in something until I know I’m going to do it for a long time. Lifting shoes are the kind of thing that will last you for many years, so you don’t have go all in at the start.

A lot of the cheaper options are surprisingly good and some mid-range ones as well. Click here for a list of cheap lifting shoes that will do the job.

Materials typically aren’t much of a concern for a beginner, but can be a factor in the shoes comfort and looks. 90% (I just made up that estimate on the spot) of shoes will be synthetic and that’s fine. The shoes that are made of materials like leather are few and far between.

Definitely not a realistic choice for a beginner to go with a hand carved wooden heel with a leather exterior weightlifting shoe imported from Japan. I’m only exaggerating a little bit, that is actually a thing.

A lifting shoe is typically going to fit a little snug. Notice I didn’t say tight. There isn’t supposed to be any movement within it while you’re walking or performing an exercise. Most companies will tell you if a shoe runs true to size or is half a size small, so pay attention to that!

It can also save you a lot of time if you know how a brand’s shoes tend to fit you. I realize this is only an option for major retailers like Nike, Adidas, or Reebok though. It’s better than going off of nothing though.

If purchasing a brand you don’t have a pair to compare with, you should always look at their sizing chart to minimize your chances of getting an ill-fit. Returns aren’t the end of the world, but they are a hassle no one wants to deal with.

Do I actually need lifting shoes?

Arnold Lifting Barefoot

                                                       Unfortunately, lifting barefoot will not make you look like Arnold.

If you are serious about lifting then I highly recommend them. I won’t act like it’s impossible to lift barefoot, but I think it’s definitely something that just works better for certain people.

When I started going to the gym I used tennis shoes to squat in. Even with the small amount of weight I was using at the time, I could tell that it wasn’t safe and my form was definitely crap. The sole just compressed under the weight which made me have an unstable foundation.

Barefoot is better than using tennis shoes because you don’t have the issue of compression mentioned above. However, you need to have good ankle mobility to squat barefoot correctly without the raised heel of a lifting shoe.

It also lacks the stability a lifting shoe can add to your lift with the increased surface area you have wearing one. Forget about doing olympic lifts without shoes!

Putting it all together to find the right pair of shoes

Lifting Shoes

There are a lot of different options out there when it comes to choosing the right shoe for your needs in the gym.

Choose with your fitness goals in mind:

  • Workouts with a lot of movement, not concerned with setting personal records? Get a shoe with a flexible sole. (Reebok Crossfit Shoes are great for this)
  • Want to strictly work on the big three? (Squat, Deadlift, Bench) Get a rigid sole shoe with a raised heel around half an inch. (The Adidas Powerlift 3 are a good example)
  • Olympic weightlifting? Badass. Make sure you get a shoe with an even more exaggerated heel (Take a look at the VS Athletics Weightlifting Shoe 2)

The great thing is you don’t have to break the bank to get a good pair that will last for years, so don’t get sucked into the hype for the more expensive ones! Don’t ignore the lesser known brands putting out great shoes. VS Athletics, Pendlay (defunct as of writing) are two examples that come to mind.

I know when I started getting serious about lifting, buying a proper pair of shoes was an instant boost to me in more ways than one.

Hopefully this article has been informative and helps you get going on the quest for gains.

Why You Aren’t Deadlifting More Weight

Today I want to share with you the guaranteed way to deadlift more weight in no time flat. Before I go any further, I have to warn you that this is a method that people have neglected to share and have kept secret for many years. Are you ready for it?

Deadlift more.

Alright, I’ll admit that’s pretty vague and could mean a few things. More weight? More times a week? Both?

Before I answer that, it’s important to recognize that there are three crucial parts of training. These can vary wildly in how they work depending on how experienced you are and other factors. Those three things are volume, frequency, and intensity.

  • Volume refers to how many reps you do of an exercise
  • Frequency refers to how often you do that exercise
  • Intensity refers to how heavy you do an exercise

For a beginner to intermediate lifter, you can get by doing almost any combination of the above and see progress. However, as you get past the “noob” gains phase things start to get a little more difficult and you have change your approach to keep making progress.

There are some general things about the above that pretty much everyone “knows”. For example, high volume routines are used for hypertrophy, high intensity and low volume is used for strength training, and more often than not frequency takes a backset to the other two. I know I didn’t pay enough attention to it for years!

Frequency is important not only for size gains, but also strength. Most beginners start off on a three day split that hits each muscle group once. That can work for a while, but past the beginner phase it rapidly becomes ineffective.

Putting it into practice

Now, let’s apply what we now know for a bigger deadlift. For strength you’re going to want to train with a high degree of intensity, low volume and do it multiple times a week (high frequency) I would say a minimum of two days a week deadlifting if not more will make you MUCH better at it than one.

You can take that same line of logic and even deadlift four to five times a week. This means not doing any other compounds and purely focusing on deadlift. Each workout should work up to a max, because you’ll be setting PRs almost on a daily basis. No drop sets or anything.

That’s a pretty hardcore approach that few would take, but any GOOD program will have you doing these lifts multiple times a week. Hugely popular programs for high frequency training include PHUL, PHAT, PPLx6. If you don’t have enough frequency you essentially become a jack of all trades, master of none. If you want fast progress in something, you have to give it enough focus.

The most important factor: recovery

Frequency isn’t the only key though to building a bigger deadlift though. If you aren’t eating enough food and getting enough protein you are sabotaging yourself more than any program can help. The harder we go in the gym, the more we have to replenish what was taken out.

What also ties into recovery is sleep. Sleep is the body’s time to repair itself and if you aren’t getting enough you won’t be making as much progress as you could be. Honestly, these two factors are 2/3s of getting stronger and bigger. The training is just the catalyst for change!

Additional exercises

As with any compound movement, you can use accessory lifts to help bring up your main lift where you struggle. I don’t want to over-emphasize these because if you want to get stronger at a lift, you do it more. Whether that’s bench, squat, or deadlift. So while I’m going to list a few helpful ones for deadlifting, you don’t need to go crazy with them. Just do what will benefit you the most.

  1. Rack pulls

Rack pulls are great for working on locking out the weight. Given the shorter range of motion, you can typically pull more than your actual deadlift on these. Keep the intensity high and volume low as this is a strength accessory, not a volume exercise.

  1. Weighted Hyperextension

If you have weak erectors, this is an excellent exercise to bring them up to speed. Just like with rack pulls if you haven’t done these before you may want to start out just doing bodyweight before doing them with weights to get a feel for them. I recommend doing these on non-deadlift days because they are very taxing on the lower back.

  1. Bent-over rows

Rows are one of my favorite lat-building exercises because you can use them for bodybuilding OR strength training just by changing the reps and weight used. I recommend using double overhand grip to train your grip strength while doing these.

Equipment accessories

Wearing a belt is a huge game changer. A lot of people think a belt is just for safety, which is more of a secondary purpose to the main one: giving you something to build abdominal pressure with. When you press your abs against a belt it allows you to generate more force than you would be able to otherwise. Important note here: don’t cheap out on a belt. Buy a solid powerlifting belt from a company like Inzer.

Flat soled shoes can help you pull more from your heels than a standard weightlifting shoe. Being closer to the floor instead of raised at an angle does help. Usually these shoes are pretty cheap compared to other shoes making picking up a pair very feasible without spending much. I wrote an article on the best deadlifting shoes you can check out to get an idea of what’s out there.

The last key part of pulling a bigger deadlift is your grip. If you only use a double overhand grip, you quickly find out that it’s a VERY limiting factor. I highly suggest using it as long as you can and when reaching the heavy sets switching to a mixed grip (one hand over, one hand under). With chalk, this will give you a secure grip to let you use your full strength.

Straps are always an option too, I just prefer not to use them because I feel like I would neglect to keep building grip strength. If I can’t pull the weight with a mixed grip it’s probably for the best!

Summing it all up

It is very easy to make lifting more complicated than it really is. Different programs, diets, and a million details in between. If you take anything away from this article it should be three things:

  • Deadlift more often
  • Eat a ton of (good) food
  • Sleep well

The rest of the details are just the icing on the cake. If you follow those guidelines it is impossible to not pull more weight! The beauty is all of three those apply to anything in the gym. Focus on your goals specifically and watch how much faster you achieve them.

Hopefully this article gave you some ideas to try. No one is the same, and experimenting is the best way to find out what works best for you.

Women’s Lifting Shoes

Women's Lifting Shoes for the gym

What are the options when it comes to women’s weightlifting shoes?

Lifting shoes for women are a little bit harder to find than shoes for men. If I had to guess it’s probably just due to supply and demand, more men lift weights than women.

However, there are definitely some great lifting shoes out there designed for women.

Just because a shoe is marketed for men does not mean that women can’t wear it, it just makes sizing a bit more difficult. The same features that make a good lifting shoe still apply:

  • Heel height
  • Quality
  • Price
  • Sole designed for the activity (flexible or rigid)

Those features will always apply when it comes to making an informed decision.

So if you’re an online shopper it might make more sense to go with the women’s version of a shoe so you don’t have to deal with guessing the right size and returning shoes.

Amazon has a great return policy if you purchase through them. My Prime membership has paid for itself each year extremely quickly.

There are some great lifting shoes for women out there for just about any gym activity, whether you plan on strictly doing weightlifting or crossfit. All of these shoes have good ratings, so it’s just a matter of picking the right one for your needs.

I’ve also reviewed most of these as well, so if you’re looking for an in-depth review of them you can check that out.

First, let’s take a look at the women’s shoes for weightlifting:

Adidas Women’s Powerlift 2.0

Adidas Women's Powerlift 3

The women’s version of the Powerlift 3.0 is an excellent buy.

Its fair price and excellent construction will provide a great experience for novice and intermediate lifters alike.

Although it is almost a carbon copy of the men’s version, the only difference is that it is a little bit lighter.

(And it’s a lightweight shoe to begin with) The heel height is very moderate at .6”, which is great for comfortably getting more squat depth without compromising usability for deadlifts or general comfort.

I highly recommend them just based on my experience with Adidas lifting shoes. You won’t regret buying these for your compound lifts.

Click here to view the price and all the great reviews on Amazon

Pendlay Do-Win Women’s Weightlifting Shoe

Pendlay Do-Win Women’s Crossfit Weightlifting Shoes

Another solid shoe that is almost the exact same as the men’s version.

The only distinction is the sizing and color it comes in. This shoe is a little bit more expensive than the Adidas Women’s Powerlift 2.0, which is probably because of the materials used.

It uses genuine leather and heavy nylon mesh to provide a flexible, but strong shoe. The heel height of this shoe is a little bit higher at .75”, which is still pretty standard for a weightlifting shoe.

I don’t have anything negative to say about the shoe other than it’s weird to me that they branded it as a Crossfit shoe. It is very clearly strictly for weightlifting because of the way it is made.

However, now Pendlay’s partner that was producing these has gone out of business, so as far as I know these are no longer being made.

I have not yet done a review on the women’s version, but you can view my review of the men’s version here

Click here to view the latest price and user feedback


Now onto the women’s CrossFit shoes

Reebok Women’s Lifter 2.0

Reebok Women's Lifter 2.0 Weight-Lifting Shoe

This is another great shoe that is designed with more mobility in mind, but still has thew features you would expect from a weightlifting shoe. It still has a solid strap to keep your foot in place, and a .75” heel to help you power through compound lifts.

The biggest difference between this and the men’s version of the shoe is that this one is significantly lighter.

The men’s weighing 14.1 ounces and this version weighing 12.6. It’s not gigantic, but worth noting.

My favorite aspects of this one is the affordable price and the weightlifting components it has while being a more multi-purpose shoe. Read more

Click here to see the price and what people had to say about it

Inov-8 Women’s FastLift 315

Inov-8 Women's FastLift 315 Cross-Training Shoe

These shoes offer some distinctive color schemes and great features to make them a force to be reckoned with.

The midsole is made of TPU, a very strong plastic also used in the heel of the far more expensive Adidas Adipowers.

They are also one of the lightest cross-training shoes I have come across, weighing in at 11 ounces. That makes for a great shoe for moving around in during CrossFit workouts.

They also feature the parts of a weightlifting shoe you’d want for those Olympic style lifts, with the raised heel and strap. They’re sure to help your form and allow you to move with style.

This is probably the lightest lifting cross-trainer on the market, so I highly recommend it if you do CrossFit.

Click here to see the price and user reviews


Final thoughts on these women’s lifting shoes

All of these shoes are great gym shoes for women. It’s important to know what goals you have going into the gym, because strictly weightlifting shoes will have a more rigid sole than cross-trainers.

Specialization is key when it comes to lifting effectively and safely. You definitely would not want a rigid sole shoe to do intense CrossFit workouts! Besides being really uncomfortable, it would also leave you open to unnecessary injury.

Which one will be right for you depends entirely on how you work out. Hopefully after reading this article you can see that the distinction between men’s and women’s versions of shoes is very small.

The only real difference is in sizing (and while that is important) everything else is the same: Heel height, quality, price and sole. Once you’ve gotten all these factors down then finding what you need is a piece of cake!

I think it would be hard to go wrong with any of these shoes. They all have glowing reviews on Amazon and will get you moving weight in the gym!

Cheap Weightlifting Shoes in 2017

Adidas Powerlift 2.0

RankModelHeel HeightPriceAmazon
1Adidas Powerlift 3.6"$$Amazon
2VS Athletics1.29"$$$Amazon
3Pendlay Do-win.75"$$$$Amazon

So you are looking for a pair of cheap weightlifting shoes. Maybe you’re a beginner lifter looking to take your lifts to the next level, or you just don’t want to spend a lot of money on a pair of shoes for the gym.

Either way, there are some good options out there for you to choose from that will save you some money. It’s really not necessary to dump a lot of money on a pair unless you have very specific tastes or you just have a huge preference for the top shoe models.

Now as a general disclaimer, a shoe’s cost may not always reflect its quality accurately. Some cheaper pairs of shoes can do the same exact thing that a more expensive one can. In some cases the extra cost is justified in materials / design, and other times it may just be the brand or style that drives the price up.


Don’t smash that piggy bank just yet!

The nice thing about purchasing a less expensive pair to start with, is that you can get an idea of what works for you. And then when you have more experience, you can buy something different or more expensive.

The rankings I use for this will purely be based on price. You came here to find the cheapest weightlifting shoes, so that’s the most important factor that I am using to determine the order. Don’t hesitate to spend a little bit more money if it means getting the shoe that you want, because a lifting shoe will last you for a long time to come as long as you treat it right.

The breakdown of the most affordable lifting shoes:

Adidas Powerlift 3 weightlifting shoe

Adidas Powerlift 3

I had to recently update this section because of the release of the Powerlift 3. They aren’t very different aside from the looks, and still hold the top spot on this list.

For not much more money than the others, you can go with my personal favorite lifting shoes for the price. The Powerlift 3s are remarkably similar to the Adipowers (which are some of the best shoes for weightlifting, in my opinion) The main difference being the heel heights of the two shoes.

They have the standard raised heel which helps a lot for hitting proper depth on squats and provide stability on the compound lifts. If you’re looking for an olympic lifting shoe, I’d like to direct your attention to the VS Athletics. The heel height on these just doesn’t lend itself to olympic lifting.

These are probably the most bang for your buck if you’re willing to spend a little bit more than the Crossfit Lites.

I have had a pair of Powerlift 2s for years and they have yet to let me down. That means the Powerlift 3s have to be good, right? Adidas has been making lifting shoes for a long time, so there’s a lot of tried and true design in the shoes they offer. (There’s my personal bias at least) Read more


Click here to see the price and read the customer reviews



VS Athletics Weightlifting Shoes


VS Athletics Weightlifting Shoe

Next on the list, the VS Athletics. This is the last sub $100 shoe, and it takes a very no frills approach. It is very plain and has a straightforward reputation of getting the job done that it was designed for.

The biggest difference you’d find between this and the Powerlift 2s, would be that this one has a slightly higher heel than the average weightlifting shoe, and two straps for stability instead of one.

It’s also designed specifically for olympic lifting. So if you’re looking to get into it, this is one of the best shoes to do it with!

If you have ankle mobility issues, then this shoe would be a great choice to help you hit proper squat depth. Read more


Click here to see the price and read the customer reviews


Pendlay Do Win Weightlifting Shoes


Pendlay Do-win weightlifting shoe

For the last shoe on the list and the only one over $100, these offer excellent leather and nylon mesh construction with a raised heel.

This version is an improved one over the previous 2007 version with a better sole.

The most distinct difference between this shoe and the others on the list, is probably the more expensive materials used / quality construction of the shoe. You will have a difficult time finding comparable lifting shoes for the same price.

It is probably more designed for experienced lifters than anyone else, but is still a good shoe at a reasonable price. Pendlay is a company with a great reputation behind all of their products. Read more


Click here to see the price and read the customer reviews


In conclusion, cheap weightlifting shoes can be just as good as expensive ones

Adidas Powerlift 2 weightlifting shoe

The Adidas Powerlift 3 are my personal pick.

All of these shoes have their strong points, and the one that is the right choice for you will depend on how much you’re willing to spend and what features you are looking for in a shoe. I would not go any cheaper than the shoes listed here, as any of these will last you years if you take care of them.

For two of the three shoes listed here costing less than a hundred dollars, you can get a very affordable weightlifting shoe to get the job done.

Also remember that just because a shoe costs less, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t offer as much as a more expensive one. Most people don’t need an expensive shoe to start doing heavy weightlifting.

Plenty of powerlifters use regular non-premium shoes to lift in. These are generally only used in the gym, so they aren’t subject to the wear and tear a normal walking shoe is. A long as you take reasonable care of them, they should hold up for a long time to come.

Something that is important to keep in mind when purchasing online is what the manufacturer suggests when it comes to sizing. This is usually listed in the description on Amazon. Almost every shoe brand fits different, and lifting shoes especially tend to fit more snug because they try to minimize how much your foot moves within the shoe.


If ordering from Amazon they are very generous on returns, but that’s a lot of hassle that can be easily avoided. Pay attention to the sizing and save yourself the headache of waiting for returns to process.

These shoes are the best you can get for the money before you have to start spending significantly more. They should provide a great starting point for anyone looking to get more serious about weightlifting. If you stick with it you can always upgrade later! The great thing is, you most likely wouldn’t have to because all of these shoes are solid.

The biggest factor between them is are you doing olympic lifting or just regular compound lifts. Pick a shoe with the right heel height and you will be good to go.

I hope this list was informative and helps you find an affordable pair of shoes to start moving some weight in the gym.

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