If you’re thinking about walking up to the squat/weight rack wearing Converse or Vans, we’d like you to think twice. You may think you don’t need much besides lifting chalk and a belt, but shoes are actually a big part of your ability to execute clean and safe lifts. Your body needs to be in perfect sync to avoid overextending or putting excess pressure on certain body parts.
Your first thought is, why won’t regular sneakers or running shoes work for weightlifting? They do to some respect, but not to the fullest extent. Weightlifting, and sometimes cross fit shoes, are designed to give your ankle a broader range of motion through a raised heel. They also form a more stable shape around your foot in order for you to safely squat down and push back up.
There are some brands of weightlifting shoes that come in women’s version, and we’ve marked those below. Women’s weightlifting shoes are going to be very similar to their male counterparts, but you have to do a little more digging to find more.
What Should You Look For?
There are core features that you should be on the lookout for when considering weightlifting shoes. If you pay attention to the following features of weightlifting shoes, you will greatly increase your chances of finding the shoe for you and execute great lifts.
- Heel height—Average is about .75″ but the range is anywhere from .3″-1″.
- Durability & construction—Your shoes should withstand more than just one or two lifts with all the bending and crouching happening.
- Strapping—Straps located towards the tongue of the shoe will help with stability and ankle support
Here are our recommendations for the best weightlifting shoes of 2017.
The Romaleos are a widely used weightlifting shoe, enjoyed by weightlifters for its all-around capabilities. There are three different versions of the Romaleos, the ones, twos, and threes. The three’s are the newest version and haven’t been widely tested by the weightlifting community. However, the original Romaleos are well-regarded due to their overall foot supports. Two straps and a .75″ heel arch give you some of the best power and comfort among weightlifting shoes.
The later two versions of the Romaleos are very similar to the original with the exception being that the three has only strap. This strap is larger and fits across the middle of lacing.
The Metcon 3 is commonly advertised as a CrossFit shoe but works just as well in weightlifting. Check out our review of the Metcon 3 shoe where we put it up against the Reebok Nano 7.
The Adipowers are widely lauded among the weightlifting community for their comfortability. Aside from supporting your foot during lifting, your foot needs to be pain and irritation free. The Adipowers are lightweight and flexible. They’ll take a little getting used to but that will come when you break them in for the first time. Compared to popular name brand shoes like Nike, the Adipowers are much easier to adjust to.
What a lifter will like about the Adipowers is that they are constructed with lightweight polymer for added structural strength and a comfortable midsole.
Pendlay’s Do-Win’s do in fact win our hearts. With two straps and a single sole design, they are incredibly well balanced and structurally sound for a weightlifting shoe. Don’t count on Nike, Adidas, and Reebok to produce only the highest quality of shoe. The Do-Win’s are a good fit for people with wide feet, a common problem that manufacturers are trying to adjust to.
With a .75″ heel height, the Do-Win’s are perfect for both beginner and experienced weight lifters. The Do-Win’s are notably popular among olympic weightlifters for being a durable and overall reliable shoe for constantly repeating the heaviest of lifts.
Like the Do-Win’s, the Plus 2.0’s employ a double strap design, providing extra support for your foot as you conduct your lifts. Why do you need such support for your feet? The straps on the 2.0’s keep your foot from performing any unnecessary movements or hyper extensions.
If style is also part of your search, the Plus 2.0’s are going to a smooth and sleek looking design. The more rounded toe area at the front of the shoe will give you extra room and comfort if you’ve got wide feet or you constantly feel restricted by the shoe you have now.
The MX608V4’s don’t look like your average weightlifting shoe, but take it from the thousands of happy wearers of this shoe—it’s awesome. The heel drop is around 10mm, still around the average for weightlifting shoes. What they lack in strapping they make up for in support and structure. New Balance shoes are renowned for their wide base and bulky makeup, which makes them look like any normal shoe, but they go far beyond that.
For weightlifting, the MX608V4’s are well liked for their tall heel arch, giving the lifter added power in his or her lift.