Author Archives: Nick

VS Athletics Weightlifting Shoe 2 Review

VS Athletics Weightlifting Shoe 2

The VS Athletics Weightlifting Shoe 2 – the most deserved shoe sequel of all time?

TLDR? A huge upgrade to an already solid weightlifting shoe.

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 features

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.

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. The original’s straps worked, but these are much better. By being further apart, they cover a larger area of your upper foot.

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. Not only in how it looks, but also how it performs.

The attention to detail shown by VS Athletics is really what impresses me. You can tell that they took everything that made the first shoe great and made it even better.

It’s rare to see such a dramatic change in a shoe. And to actually like the changes? That’s even rarer.

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 still lower than competing weightlifting shoes which is a steal. To find a comparable weightlifting shoe will have you spending near two hundred dollars at the least.

If you’re on any kind of budget, they will work with it!

Wrapping up this VS Athletics Weightlifting Shoe II review

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 lower priced = inferior quality.

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

They are now more in line with the prices of mid-range shoes like the Adidas Powerlift 3s/Drehkraft/Inov8 or various Reebok models.

However, since they are weightlifting focused they are an even better deal than those shoes.

And for all the improvements they made to the design and quality, they deserve every penny. They took the Model T version of the shoe and transformed it into a Corvette.

I would highly recommend this shoe to anyone interested in getting into oly weightlifting (clean and jerk, snatch).

From beginners to advanced lifters, you will appreciate this VS Athletics Weightlifting Shoe – they have clearly shown they understand what makes a good shoe.

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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 as I have in the past, rather I want to focus on what Adidas has changed in this latest rendition of one of my favourite 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 flawed at all. For someone considering a purchase, it’s important to know what you’re getting: a fantastic 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.



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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 Reebok lifting shoes 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!


Crossfit Lifter 2.0 Review

Reebok Lifter 2.0 Review

The CrossFit 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.

Let’s look at some of the features of this awesome shoe in more detail.

Getting into the nitty gritty of the Crossfit Lifter 2.0

  • Heel height

The Crossfit Lifter has a heel height of .75″ which is great for 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 heavy lifting.

CrossFit requires a flexible shoe and if they had a typical “solid” oly shoe heel they’d be much worse for the job.

If you are primarily concerned with Olympic lifts I recommend a shoe designed for them like the Romaleo 2 or Adipower.

  • Flexibility

You can tell just looking at the shoe from the Reebok Lifter 2.0 that it is designed for flexibility.

Notice how the sole curves upwards towards the toe of the shoe. A shoe meant purely for olympic weightlifting would never have that upward curve.

It’s a huge boost to your mobility in an intense CrossFit workout.

  • Strap

A strap is such an important part of any shoe for lifting weights. If your foot is moving around at all while you’re doing an intense lift that’s bad news waiting to happen.

Reebok Lifter 2.0 Sole

Smaller things that I like about it

Reebok made this shoe look awesome, and 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 great and I always appreciate that. I can’t list it here because of technicalities, but you will definitely have to pay more for most other CrossFit 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 some of the other Reebok shoes I have reviewed that also have the CrossFit branding, these live up to the name. All of the features of the shoe work together extremely well.

There’s also the women’s version

Womens Reebok Lifter 2.0

Not often does a company make two versions of the same shoe, especially when it comes to lifting.

I think it’s pretty cool because it solves issues like sizing and it comes in different colors.

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!

If you are doing intense exercise. you don’t want to be wearing any more weight on your feet than necessary.

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

Overall opinion of the CrossFit Lifter 2.0

Reebok Crossfit Lifter 2.0 Review

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 essential qualities you would expect from a lifting shoe with a more flexible sole to allow you to kick ass in your workouts.

However, if you are strictly doing powerlifting lifts you should get a shoe that is specialized for that.

To sum it all up

The Reebok Lifter 2.0 are an ideal shoe for CrossFit and are excellently priced for everything they do. They have outstanding reviews that speak volumes for the quality.

I highly recommend checking them out if you want a shoe that can keep up with you in the gym.

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

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

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 shoes 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 into 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 a 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.


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So where are the downsides?

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 for this Adidas Leistung Review

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

Best Olympic Lifting Shoes

Oly Weightlifting

Here are some of the best olympic weightlifting shoes out there

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

Olympic lifting shoes really aren’t that different from a regular gym shoe. It’s mainly the heel height that is the real difference. 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, I’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!

The Adidas Leistung


adidas leistung oly shoesWe have an unconventional front runner with the Adidas Leistung! The Leistung 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

The Adidas Adipower

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?

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

The Nike Romaleo 2

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

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.


Inov 8 Lifting Shoes

Inov 8 Logo

About Inov 8 weightlifting shoes

Inov 8 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 Lifting Shoes

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 Weightlifting Shoes of 2018

The best weightlifting shoes of 2018
Choosing the best weightlifting shoes comes down to price, features, and performance. A shoe needs to hit that perfect combination of factors that set it above the rest.

Of course, personal preference will be important in deciding the best shoe for you. Whether you’re a powerlifter, olympic lifter or just a regular old gym rat: you’ll find the right one here.

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

RankModelHeel HeightPriceAmazon
1Adidas Adipower.75"$$$$Click here to view the price
2Nike Romaleo 2.75"$$$$Click here to view the price
3VS Athletics 21.37"$$Click here to view the price


Adidas Adipower

Red Adidas Adipower

The Adidas Adipowers are at rank one because they are a top of the line shoe for weightlifting. 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.

The heel height is probably the biggest difference from most gym shoes.

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)

The next factor that sets it apart is the TPU used in the construction of the shoe. TPU is much harder than a non-weightlifting shoe and doesn’t compress as much as cheaper shoes do.

I consider that one of the most important things that set dedicated weightlifting shoes apart from the competition. Compression, when you are moving weight around, is not acceptable in the slightest.

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

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.


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Nike Romaleo 2


Nike Romaleo 2

The Nike Romaleo 2’s come as a natural second for me. The largest similarity between them and the Adidas Adipower is the .75″ heel height.

The materials used for them is almost the same. However, the Romaleos have more of a reputation for being comfortable.

I’m a fan of the two straps used to secure your foot in place. Any kind of unintentional movement in a weightlifting shoe can hinder performance at best and potentially cause injuries.

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. Between 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.

Note that the difference in the soles of the shoes is VERY minimal and plenty of weightlifters enjoy this shoe.


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VS Athletics weightlifting shoe 2


VS Athletics Weightlifting Shoe ii Side view



Formerly, they were one of the ugliest shoes around. However, the second version takes all of the stable fundamentals from the first and dresses them up nicely. (They don’t look like something you found in your grandparent’s garage anymore!)

They also have the tallest heel of any shoe at this list (1.37 inches) which makes them exclusively a weightlifting shoe. It’s one of the most unknown shoes out there that does an amazing job.

They’re one of the most affordable weightlifting shoes on this list by a decent margin. I can’t recommend them enough! Read the more indepth review here.


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Getting the best weightlifting 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 the best weightlifting shoes:

  • 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

  • The 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, it’s really important to pick one that you can feel confident in.

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 great return policy if you get it wrong.

Weightlifting shoes are essential for the gym

I consider these to be the best weightlifting shoes of 2018. I hope my list and description help you make an informed decision based on what YOU need.

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.

Feel free to check out the individual reviews 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 useful!

The Best Deadlifting Shoes Round Up

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.

Deadlifting shoes starting with the Reeboks

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 toe box 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 toe box) 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.

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

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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.

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 colours much easier to choose.

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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
View on Amazon

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 activities (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 deadlifting shoes are designed exclusively for the exerciseand 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’d much rather lift in a pair of shoes over these because they don’t offer any foot support and they look silly.

Plus it seems kind of common sense to at least have a shoe covering your foot in the gym. When weight is moving and there’s any chance of it landing on your foot – any protection is better than none.

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 shoes to deadlift in out there

The Reebok Crossfit shoes are some of my favourite 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 them

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.

However, everyone has different needs which can make choosing the right shoe a little difficult for beginners. For example, a shoe designed with CrossFit in mind will not be ideal for someone only interested in exclusively Olympic weightlifting.

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

Determining what YOU need for the gym

Typically the most obvious giveaway of the purpose of any workout 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)

Here are some examples of the above points (The Crossfit shoe being the most flexible, Powerlift being more rigid, and the VS athletics having a taller heel along with the rigid sole)


Lifting shoes for beginners


View the Powerlift 3 on Amazon


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

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

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 price rane. They go all the way from dirt cheap to having to pay 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. It’s just not necessary.

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 to go all in at the start. They’re only going to get worn when you’re at the gym which pretty much cancels out the normal wear and tear of walking around.

But I want the best workout shoe of all time!

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 more than well enough.

Materials typically aren’t much of a concern for a beginner but can be a factor in the shoe 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 but are a nice higher end option out there.

If you are just starting…DO NOT go for the 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! The fit is incredibly important when you’re lifting heavy weights.

Safety is everything when it comes to staying healthy and continuing to make gains in the gym.

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. I personally favor Adidas shoes for this reason.

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 even the slightest bit serious about lifting then I highly recommend them. I won’t act like it’s impossible to lift barefoot, but unless you have a home gym that just isn’t an option. I know I don’t want to smell other people’s feet at the gym.

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 was squishy and compressed under the weight which made me have a very unstable foundation.

Barefoot actually has potential to be better than using tennis shoes because you don’t have the issue of compression. However, you need to have good ankle mobility to squat barefoot correctly without the raised heel of a lifting shoe. It just isn’t a feasible option for a beginner.

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 a pair of shoes with your fitness goals in mind:

  • Workouts with a lot of movement, not concerned with setting personal records and heavy lifting? 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. 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. My original pair of Powerlifts are still in great shape years later.

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

Why You Aren’t Deadlifting More Weight

Deadlift more weight

So you want the secret to 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? (I’m only being a little sarcastic here…)

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

Lifting shoes for women are a little bit harder to find than shoes for men.

However, there are definitely some great options out there!

RankModelPriceAdditional Info
1Adidas Powerlift 3$$Click here to view
2Reebok Women’s Lifter 2.0$$Click here to view
3Inov-8 Women’s FastLift 315$$$Click here to view

The same features that make a good lifting shoe will always apply:

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

It’s really going to depend on your needs in the gym to determine the right shoe.

Here are my top picks when it comes to women’s shoes for weightlifting:

Adidas Women’s Powerlift 3.0

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.


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Now onto the 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 the 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 a noticeable difference. Lighter shoes are just more comfortable to wear, especially if you are doing intense exercise. You don’t want more weight on your feet than necessary.

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


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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.


View on Amazon


Final thoughts on these women’s lifting shoes

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.

Injuries will always set back your progress more than anything else in the gym.

The only real difference from men’s shoes is in size. While that is important, everything else is the same: Heel height, quality, price and sole. Once you’ve got 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 women’s workout shoes. They will get you moving weight in the gym and making progress towards your goals.

Cheap Weightlifting Shoes

Adidas Powerlift 2.0

RankModelHeel HeightPriceAmazon
1Adidas Powerlift 3.6"$$Click here to view
2VS Athletics 21.29"$$$Click here to view
3Pendlay Do-win.75"$$$$Click here to view

So you are looking for a pair of cheap lifting shoes. Maybe you’re a beginner lifter looking to take your lifts to the next level.

Or maybe you just don’t want to spend a lot of money on a pair of shoes for the gym. I can respect that.

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.

A shoe’s cost does 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 or design. 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.

I ranked the shoes on this list purely be based on price. You came here to find the cheapest weightlifting shoes so that’s the most important factor.

Don’t hesitate to spend a little bit more money if it means getting the shoe that you want.

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 oly 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 best choice 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 the full review here


View on Amazon




VS Athletics Weightlifting Shoe ii Side view


VS Athletics Weightlifting Shoe 2 

Next on the list, the VS Athletics 2. This is the updated version that is actually amazing looking compared to its predecessor.

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.

The VS Athletics Weightlifting shoe 2 is 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 the full review


View on Amazon



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

The best cheap weightlifting shoes

The Adidas Powerlift 3 are my personal pick.

All of these shoes have their strong points. The right choice for you will depend on the features you want.

Best of all, it’s easy to get a very affordable lifting shoe these days.

Since you’ll only use these shoes in the gym, they won’t be subject to the wear and tear of a normal walking shoe.

Other things to keep in mind when it comes to weightlifting shoes

Something that is important to keep in mind when purchasing online is sizing. Most products include a sizing chart on the same page.

Almost every shoe brand fits different. Lifting shoes tend to fit more snug and that’s totally normal. (and good!)



If you are ordering from Amazon they are very generous on returns. However, that’s a lot of hassle you can easily avoid.

I highly recommend you pay attention to the sizing and save yourself the trouble altogether.

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 lifting.

What are you waiting for? Get a pair of lifting shoes today and start moving some weight

Furthermore, 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 that suits your needs and lift some heavy ass weight!

Adidas Powerlift 2.0 Review

Adidas Powerlift 2.0 Review

TLDR? This shoe was awesome for its time – check out the Powerlift 3.0 now

I’ll state my bias here: I am an Adidas fan. I have never had a bad experience with their shoes and the Adidas Powerlift 2.0 is no exception.

These are some of the best looking, standard weightlifting shoes around.

The construction is great, and even though the gym isn’t a fashion contest, they offer a ton of color options that look great.

Most gym shoes don’t offer more than two choices when it comes to color.

The strap makes for a tight, secure feel when you’re going into a lift, because your foot is not moving at all.

The distinct heel as shown in the side profile makes a large difference compared to a non-lifting shoe, because it is designed to give you leverage to push from.

Click here to see the latest price and excellent customer reviews

Further details on the Adidas Powerlift 2.0

The heel height is .6″ which is a great sweet spot in my opinion. The only shoes that tend to have larger heels are the ones for olympic weightlifting.

I like these so much because they don’t feel awkward to deadlift in and still help form on squatting immensely.

If your ankle mobility is lacking you should have no issues using these shoes as the heel height is great.

The materials that adidas used for this shoe are lightweight and quality. I’ve had mine for years, and they are my go-to lifting shoe with very minimal signs of wear.

Plus, as you can tell from the pics they look great! I know some people probably could care less what their lifting shoe looks like, but I like having a little bit of style. And these provide plenty!

Things to be aware of before buying

One thing to be aware of is the sizing. From what I have been reading on other people’s experiences with them, some people have issues if they have wide feet, so ordering a half size up can alleviate that issue.

My foot is a little wide, but I have no problems with them. The strap will make up for any negligible difference if the shoe is a little bit on the bigger side.

The flat sole can take some getting used to if you’ve never worn a lifting shoe before. However, they do get a little bit more flexible once the shoes have some time to get broken in that is not much of an issue.

I usually only wear lifting shoes specifically for leg day at the gym and nothing else.

I wouldn’t wear them outside the gym, because they are very specialized for what they do: giving support on a flat surface.

They won’t support your foot walking around. There’s always normal Adidas shoes for that! Proper maintenance of any lifting shoe will make it last much longer.

Final thoughts on the Adidas Powerlift 2.0

Overall, I don’t think there’s a better shoe for most people and the price is great.

The Adidas Powerlift 2.0 are stylish, functional, and affordable. Plus you have the brand recognition so you can have confidence that you’ll get a quality product.

They have been making lifting shoes for YEARS. I always feel like I’m taking a gamble when I shop if I don’t go with a recognizable brand with a proven reputation.

If you’re looking for an entry level shoe or heck, even intermediate shoe for weight lifting I highly recommend them.

You will get more bang for your buck than possibly any other shoe on the market for lifting.


Since I wrote this article, Adidas released the Powerlift 3, which you can check out my more in-depth review of by clicking here.

But I’ll talk about them some here too, because it’s the direct successor to the awesome Powerlift 2s!

Overall, the 3rd version feels more like a stylistic facelift than anything else. The shoe’s overall design is largely unchanged, which is a good thing. I feel like Adidas did an excellent job with the 2 that would be hard to top.

Don’t fix what ain’t broken and all that.Adidas Powerlift 3 weightlifting shoe

The 2s are still a great shoe, so if you see a good price on them you should still get them.

That is unless you’re a fan of the new stylings on the 3s, which are very similar to some of Reebok’s CrossFit shoes in my opinion.

I’ll be honest, I like to wear a lifting shoe that looks good, but the fundamentals that make a good shoe having nothing to do with its looks.

The 3s keep everything that made the 2 good!

Click here to view the Powerlift 3s and read what people are saying

Best Weightlifting Socks

Weightlifting socks are always a must for any heavy lifting session.

They help keep your shoe tightly fitted as well as protect your shins from getting scraped while deadlifting! (Bloody shins may look cool on powerlifting competitors, but are not fun to actually have)

Not to mention, they can look pretty stylish if done right!

I highly recommend going with a decent brand like adidas, Under Armour, Nike etc. The reason being that you’ll get a longer lasting, more comfortable sock if you pay a little bit more up front for it.

This is one of those times where quality matters more than saving a few bucks.

I’m all for going cheap when I can, but when it comes to clothing it really just comes back to bite you when they last half as long or don’t fit properly.

Uncomfortable clothing is worse than paying a little bit more.

Here are my weightlifting sock recommendations to check out in no particular order:

BrandLengthCostView it
Under Armour All Sport PerformanceOver the calf$See More
MOXYKnee high$$See More
AdidasShin high$$See More

Under Armour weightlifting socks

Let’s start with the Under Armour socks. They are taller than average compression socks made of a great mix that is 83% Polyester.

I was surprised when I came across these because I use to avoid Under Armour for being a little bit more expensive than other clothing companies.

However, that’s not the case with these.

Also, since purchasing more Under Armour apparel, I have to say I am very satisfied with how well everything is lasting. Built well and comfortable.

They are actually the cheapest on the list, although none of the socks are particularly expensive. These would be a great choice for the gym or any sport because the length is right and they are well made.

I haven’t had a bad experience with Under Armour clothing, so for a middle of the road price on some olympic weightlifting socks look no further.

View on Amazon

MOXY Knee High Performance

These socks were designed with deadlifts in mind. They are high quality and very thick to ensure that the bar does not scrape your shin on the way up.

They are also a little longer than the Under Armour socks as they come up to the knees. Great for crushing some lifts at the gym, but I wouldn’t want to be caught dead wearing them outside of there.

They also have a fantastic length for weightlifting competition. That being said, my favorite part of this sock is all the designs they have for them!

You can show some personality instead of plain socks which is pretty cool.

Look at some of these designs:

MOXY deadlift socks

If you’re a serious powerlifter and want some protection, these deadlift socks are the way to go.

View on Amazon

Adidas Men’s Cushioned Crew Socks

These aren’t marketed as weightlifting socks by definition, but they are the main pair that I wear to the gym so they made the list anyway.

They look and feel great (as you would expect from a cushioned sock) and I find that they do a fine job protecting my shins while I’m lifting.

One of my favorite things about these socks is they aren’t as thin as some of my other ‘athletic’ socks. This has two main benefits:

  • Basic protection from scrapes
  • Better fit inside my shoes

Obviously, they don’t offer near the protection that the MOXY socks do as they don’t come up as high.

They get the job done for me without being overly heavy though.

View on Amazon

These are some of the best weightlifting socks

That’s really about it when it comes to weightlifting socks on Amazon. And since they are just socks, it’s easy to break down:

The Under Armour socks are a little bit more affordable and all-purpose, and the MOXY are made specifically for deadlifting and offer more padding.

The adidas are a little bit more pricey, but extremely comfortable and multi-purpose.

As long as the socks come up reasonably high and are sufficiently thick,  they will get the job done.

I’m the kind of person who likes clothing designed for specifically for what I’m doing. That being said, it’s not the biggest necessity in this case.

Here’s the key to finding good socks for the gym:

  • Moderate to high thickness
  • Height (They come up past your shins, or close to it)

The thickness has two purposes: to prevent your foot from moving around in the shoe (in the case that the fit isn’t the best) and protecting your leg from the bar.

The height of the sock is just to increase the area you are protected from the bar coming up on deadlifts. They’ll also double as massive sweat catchers. (If you sweat a lot, make sure you wash them on time)

Personal preference is key as well, because if you’re not comfortable then what’s the point. I think all three socks here should offer everyone a viable option.

At the very least, hopefully, give you an idea of what you want to get out of a workout sock for the gym.

As long as those two conditions are met, you will be good to go and ready to lift some weights with the best weightlifting socks possible!