10 Pairs of Weightlifting Shoes Sure to Level Up Your Workouts

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Your shoes can make or break your weightlifting workouts. (And no, we’re not just saying that to give you an excuse to go shoe shopping.) “When it comes to your fitness goals, it is not only about the results—but also all the work leading up to those results,” Shayra Brown, N.A.S.M., Blink Fitness personal trainer, says. “Preparation is key! [And] this includes wearing proper footwear.”

But what, exactly, makes a pair of gym shoes great for weightlifting? According to Joe Vega, physical therapist and founder of The Vega Method, you should keep an eye out for four features. First, find a shoe with a stable, non-compressible sole. “The sole of a weightlifting shoe is flat and very stiff, which creates a stable platform with which to lift from,” he says. “Avoid heavily cushioned running shoes which are designed to absorb impact.” Second, make sure it has a raised heel. This should help improve your posture and help you maintain proper form, he says.

Then, you can narrow your selection even further by favoring shoes with straps, laces, or stiff uppers—details that will keep your feet firmly in place as you tackle heavy lifts. And you can finish things off by prioritizing shoes that are breathable and comfortable. Now that you know what makes a weightlifting shoe truly great, there’s only one thing left to do: Snag a pair of your own.

To jumpstart your shopping process, we’ve rounded up the best pairs of weightlifting shoes you can score right now.

In This Article

Best Overall: NOBULL Women's Training Shoes

NoBull Trainer
What We Like
  • Good for weightlifting and cross-training

  • Breathable and comfortable

  • Lined with reflective details

  • Sockliner molds to your foot

What We Don't Like
  • May not run true to size

  • May feel uncomfortably stiff

Who else recommends it? SELF and Footwear News both picked the NOBULL Women's Training Shoes.

What do buyers say? 14,000+ No Bull Project reviewers rated it 4.8 stars or above.

If you’re looking for a killer pair of weightlifting shoes, it’s pretty hard to go wrong with NoBull’s Trainers. Crafted from NoBull’s SuperFabric, the shoes promise to be lightweight enough to keep you comfortable and durable enough to protect your feet. And since the shoes boast classic flat weightlifting soles, they should keep you stable and supported during even your heaviest lifts.

But what really sets the shoes apart is the fact that you can wear them while weightlifting and while cross-training. NoBull designed the shoes’ soles to feel supportive but flexible, giving you the versatility you need to move from slower weightlifting workouts to faster-paced cross-training exercises. It’s rare to find a pair of shoes that can do both of these things well—and that’s exactly what makes these do-it-all trainers worth the buy. 

Material: SuperFabric, mesh | Size Range: 5–11 | Colors: 1

Best Budget: Reebok Nano X Women’s Training Shoes

Reebok Nano X Women’s Training Shoes

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Lightweight and breathable

  • Stable, supportive soles

  • Available in 4 colors

What We Don't Like
  • Not good for cross-training

  • May not run true to size

Searching for a great deal on a pair of weightlifting shoes? Reebok’s Nano X trainers have you covered. The shoes are crafted from Reebok’s FlexWeave fabric, a lightweight material that should feel both breathable and durable. And since the shoes come equipped with wide, flat soles, they promise to keep you steady and supported during all your weightlifting workouts. What’s more, the shoes are lined with plush foam padding along the tongue and collar. So, in addition to being breathable and supportive, they promise to feel pretty comfortable, too.

Material: FlexWeave | Size Range: 5–11 | Colors: 4

Best Splurge: NoBull Leather Lifter

NoBull Leather Lifter
What We Like
  • Crafted from durable leather with sturdy heel

  • Adjustable fit (laces, Velcro strap)

  • Sockliner molds to your foot

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Not good for cross-training

If you’re looking for a set of weightlifting shoes to invest in, NoBull’s Leather Lifters promise to be worth the splurge. The shoes are crafted from durable leather. And unlike other weightlifting shoes, they even boast stacked leather heels. (This means each shoe’s heel is made from a stack of individually cut leather strips, which have been bonded together for a smooth, stable finish.) This hard-to-find feature makes the shoes even sturdier than most—and it also makes them the perfect companion for your toughest weightlifting workouts.

Material: Leather | Size Range: 5.5, 6.5, 7.5, 8, 9–11 | Colors: 1

Best for Beginners: Nike Metcon 6 Training Shoe

Nike Metcon 6 Women's Training Shoe

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Lightweight and breathable

  • Low, flat, and wide sole

  • Removable insert lets you customize heel height

  • Available in 12 colors

What We Don't Like
  • Not good for cross-training

  • May run narrow

There’s no denying it—weightlifting shoes can get heavy and hot. And they take a little while to get used to. So if you’re a first-time weightlifter, consider trying a more breathable weightlifting shoe, like Nike’s Metcon 6. The shoe is crafted from lightweight mesh, which promises to direct plenty of airflow to your feet—keeping you cool and comfortable as you work out. Still, the shoe boasts that sturdy you need while weightlifting. So you can rest assured knowing it should keep you comfortable and supported.

Material: Mesh | Size Range: 5.5–16.5 | Colors: 12

Best for Lighter Lifting: New Balance Minimus 20 V7 Cross Trainer

 New Balance Minimus 20 V7
What We Like
  • Good for faster-paced weightlifting workouts

  • Lined with ventilated mesh panels

  • Stable and supportive

  • Available in five colors

What We Don't like
  • Not suitable for heavier lifting

  • May not run true to size

  • Not cushioned enough for cross-training

Say the word “weightlifting,” and most people imagine a heavy barbell loaded with massive weight plates. And while this is one style of weightlifting, faster-paced strength-training exercises—like kettlebell swings and goblet squats—deserve some recognition, too. So if you’re a fan of this quicker, lighter-weight style of strength training, consider giving New Balance’s Minimus 20 V7s a try. The knit shoes are lightweight and flexible, so they should be comfortable enough to move around in. And since they boast a sturdy sole and low-to-the-ground design, they should also keep you stable as you tackle your favorite weightlifting workouts. 

Material: Nylon-infused yarn | Size Range: 5–10.5, 5–12 wide | Colors: 5

Best for Heavy Lifting: Adidas Adipower 2

Adidas Adipower 2
What We Like
  • 0.79-inch raised heel

  • Breathable and comfortable

  • Fasten with straps and laces

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • Only available in one color

  • Not good for cross-training

If you love to tackle heavy lifts, you need a pair of shoes that are supportive and protective—like Adidas’ Adipower 2 trainers. The shoes boast the classic sturdy soles you’d expect from a pair of weightlifting trainers. But they also come equipped with 0.79-inch raised heels. This added height will set you up for success, helping you maintain proper form as you tackle seriously heavy lifts. And since the shoes are designed with adjustable laces and hook-and-loop straps, they should keep your feet securely in place during even your toughest workouts.

Material: Undisclosed woven textile | Size Range: 5–5.5, 9.5–13.5 | Colors: 1

Best for Olympic Lifting: Reebok LegacyLifter

Reebok LegacyLifter
What We Like
  • 0.75-inch raised heel

  • Lined with ventilation holes

  • Fasten with straps and laces

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • Limited size range

  • May not run true to size

  • Not good for cross-training

Olympic weightlifting is all about tackling heavy, dynamic lifts. So it’s not enough to rely on shoes that are stable or comfortable. You need a pair of sturdy shoes that are built to last and built to support you through your most strenuous workouts—and Reebok’s LegacyLifters promise to fit that bill. The shoes are crafted from durable materials from top to bottom. And they boast classic weightlifting soles, which promise to keep you stable as you lift. Since those soles come equipped with 0.75-inch raised heels, they’re perfect for heavy lifting. And since the shoes come lined with adjustable laces and straps, you won’t have to worry about your feet slipping and sliding inside your shoes.

Material: Synthetic mesh | Size Range: 8.5, 9.5, 10–12 | Colors: 2

Best for Cross-Training: Inov-8 Fastlift 335

Inov-8 Fastlift 335
What We Like
  • Good for weightlifting and cross-training

  • Wide, roomy toe box

  • Adjustable laces and Velcro strap

  • Breathable

What We Don't Like
  • Not very cushioned

  • May not run true to size

Finding a shoe that works for weightlifting and cross-training can be tough. After all, the styles of exercise have very different needs. But Inov-8’s Fastlift 335 promises to bridge the gap masterfully. The shoe’s flat sole will keep you stable and supported as you lift. But since the shoe also promises to be lightweight and responsive, it should give you the flexibility you need to tackle high-intensity cross-training workouts with ease. This versatility makes the Fastlift 335 a particularly great buy. And since the shoe also promises to be breathable, it should keep you pretty comfortable during your workouts.

Material: Synthetic | Size Range: 5.5–11 | Colors: 3

Best for Narrow Feet: Nike Romaleos 4

Romaleos 4
What We Like
  • Raised heel

  • Breathable and comfortable

  • Rigid, stable sole

  • Available in three colors

What We Don't Like
  • Heel may be too wide (despite the shoe running narrow)

  • Not good for cross-training

Nike’s Romaleos 4 has everything you could ask for in a weightlifting shoe. It boasts a flat, rigid sole. (Check.) It comes equipped with a supportive raised heel. (Check.) And it’s lined with adjustable straps, which should keep your feet securely in place as you lift. (Once again, check.) To make matters even better, the shoe is crafted from a breathable woven textile. And since it boasts a textured rubber tread, it should give you plenty of traction on slick gym floors. Though the shoe isn’t specifically designed for narrow feet, it does tend to run narrow. So if you’ve struggled to find a snug fit with standard weightlifting shoes, consider giving these a try. 

Material: Undisclosed woven textile | Size Range: 8.5–16.5 | Colors: 3

Best for Wide Feet: New Balance Women’s Minimus Prevail Cross Trainer

New Balance Women’s Minimus Prevail Cross Trainer

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Available in standard and wide sizes

  • Breathable and comfortable

  • Wide toe box

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • Limited size range

  • Available in only one color

If you have wider feet, it can be tough to find a pair of weightlifting shoes that fit just right. Thankfully, New Balance has made it a little easier. The brand’s Minimus Prevail is a classic weightlifting shoe—complete with a sturdy flat sole. And since the shoe is crafted from a breathable knit fabric, it promises to keep your feet cool and comfortable every time you work out. The shoe’s lace-up design will help you get the snug, secure fit you need while weightlifting. And its textured sole promises plenty of grip. Also nice? The shoe is available in both standard and wide sizes. So instead of looking for a shoe that just happens to run wide, you can find one designed to fit your foot exactly.

Material: Undisclosed woven textile | Size Range: 7–8, 9.5–10.5 wide | Colors: 1

Final Verdict

NoBull is a best-in-class brand, and its Trainers do not disappoint. The shoes are sturdy enough to support you through heavy lifts, flexible enough to cross-train in, and breathable enough to wear comfortably. For context, this kind of versatility can be hard to find when you’re shopping for weightlifting shoes—and that’s exactly what makes these triple threats so special.

What To Look For in a Weightlifting Shoe

Stable Sole

Vega explains; “When lifting, there is a high amount of force coming down on the body, all of which is supported through the feet. If your feet do not have the proper, firm cushioning needed to handle the force, you will not get the full benefit of the exercise and may even wind up injured. If you do have the money to invest in a good pair of weightlifting shoes, it would be well worth the cost. The difference it can make in your overall technique and lifting ability can be dramatic. Therefore, in any lift, the last thing you want is an unstable surface.”

And that’s why it’s so important to find a weightlifting shoe with a flat, stable sole. Stay away from the plush, responsive cushioning you’ll find in classic gym shoes. And favor harder, flatter, and sturdier soles, instead.

Raised Heel

Some weightlifting shoes come with raised heels. According to Vega, these heels typically range from 0.3 inches tall to 1 inch tall, and they can help you improve your weightlifting form—especially if you’re tackling more challenging lifts. “The higher shoe heel lets the lifter settle down into a deeper squatting position because the ankle joint has an increased range of motion,” Vega says. “A deeper squat leads to a stronger, safer form and increased strength gains.”

Snug, Stable Fit

Any time you’re working out in a shoe, you want to make sure that the shoe fits you properly. And that doesn’t just mean finding a shoe that feels comfortable—it also means finding a shoe that will keep your foot stable and secure as you exercise. “Most weightlifting shoes have an ankle strap or two (alongside laces) to securely lock the foot down and prevent it from moving,” Vega says. So keep an eye out for these adjustable fit features. And consider favoring shoes with stiff uppers as well, as these can “add lateral support and improve stability,” according to Vega.

Breathability and Comfort

Stability is important. But if your shoes are so uncomfortable that you never feel like wearing them, they’re just about useless. So be sure to consider comfort and breathability as you shop. Breathable fabrics, ventilation holes, and mesh panels can go a long way in keeping your feet cool and comfortable. And moisture-wicking liners can keep sweat from pooling in your shoes as you work out.

  • What qualifies as a weightlifting shoe?

    For something to be a proper weightlifting shoe, it needs to have a stable base. That means finding something with a sturdy, flat sole—and avoiding the responsive padding that cushions most gym shoes. Many weightlifting shoes also boast raised heels, which can help you maintain proper form—especially during more challenging lifts. And many also come lined with adjustable laces and straps.

  • How often should you replace weightlifting shoes?

    Depending on how you work out, how often you work out, and how hard you work out, your weightlifting shoes could last you a long time—or no time at all. Brown says she’s had weightlifting shoes that have lasted her 3–4 years, even when she was working out 5–6 days a week. But Vega says you may want to replace your shoes more frequently—about every 8–12 months. Focus on how your shoes feel during your workouts; if they’re no longer adequately supporting you, it may be time to trade them for a newer pair.

  • How should weightlifting shoes fit?

    Weightlifting shoes should fit snugly across the length and width of your foot. “Weightlifting shoes should be long enough so there is no room at the heel, with just enough space in the front to fit your foot without having to curl your toes,” Vega says. “Width-wise, the shoes should be very tight.” So your heel should touch the back of the shoe, and your toes should touch the front of it—but the shoe shouldn’t be so tight that your toes have to curl for the shoe to fit on your foot.

Meet the Expert

Shayra Brown is a NASM-certified Blink Fitness personal trainer.

Joe Vega is a physical therapist and founder of The Vega Method.

According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find any weightlifting shoes from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at contact@byrdie.com and we will evaluate the product ASAP.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. The 11 Best Weightlifting Shoes for Women, According toPersonal Trainers. SELF. https://www.self.com/gallery/best-weightlifting-shoes

  2. The 10 Best Weightlifting Shoes, According to a FitnessExpert. Footwear News. https://footwearnews.com/feature/best-weightlifting-shoes-1203191444/

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