[Review] The Best Weightlifting Shoes – Our Top 5 Picks For 2016

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Weightlifting can be quite an uplifting sport, – speaking – especially when you finally get to unearth the larger weights you once thought were impossible. Unfortunately, a good majority of weight lifting enthusiasts never get to achieve their goals, and this is simply because they remain unaware of the basic concepts behind the whole application. Just like running, weight lifting success lies in the physics and the most likely reason why you are stuck at 50kgs, is basically because the shoes you lace up aren’t designed to absorb the shock and hence, ruins your whole posture/technique.

Is it okay to use running shoes for weight lifting? Well, the painful but factual answer to swallow is no, they aren’t and the only way you can boost your lifting performance is by investing in a quality pair of lifters, period. Worth noting is that the popular cushion-soled shoes – mostly used in basketball, running or tennis – you are likely to come across in fitness stores, are categorically designed to absorb the hard impact while running and hence, cannot provide a stable, sturdy base required in lifting weights. In fact, your running shoes will only absorb some of the force intended for the bar and in the process, leave you drained without actually achieving much.

While lifting weights in your Timberland boots or heels may obviously not be a good idea, training in running, shoes can also be equally risky as you now know. Generally speaking, you need shoes that will not only provide a stable surface to help support heavy weights but also shoes that provide good traction to avoid slips, and as you can imagine, most shoes certainly don’t meet these criteria. That said, it is paramount to remember that while most weight lifting shoes will undoubtedly serve the purpose, some can lead to unparalleled success over time. So, what then are the best weightlifting shoes and how can you identify a worthy pair? Let’s have a look.

weightlifting shoes

The Ultimate Weight Lifting Shoes Buyer’s Guide:

Contrary to common perception, weight lifting is a popular sport across the globe, and this can be attributed to the growth of the CrossFit community, Powerlifting’s surging popularity, and Olympic weightlifting. It is, however, a risky venture that requires adequate training and more importantly, the right gear. As you go shopping for your weightlifting gear, here are some few tips about the kicks you need.

  1. First off, you will have to identify your needs and by this, I mean determining what kind of weightlifting you plan on pursuing. For instance, if power lifting is the path you choose to take, there are some great CrossFit lifters from reputable brands such as Adidas and Reebok you can go for. On the flip side, invest in a pair of Adidas Adipower lifters only if you are strictly into Olympic lifting. The main point here is that weightlifting shoes vary significantly, meaning to get the best fit; it would be in your best interest to simply begin by knowing which side of the fence you belong.
  2. Secondly, your experience level should play a crucial role in determining what type of weightlifting shoes to procure. It almost goes without saying that investing a bucket-load of money on weightlifting shoes, as a novice isn’t clearly a smart move. Green lifters can start out with cheaper brands such as the CrossFit Lifter 2.0 as they work their way up. Pro athletes, however, should not hold back and in fact, should only go for the best gear such as the Adipowers by Adidas.
  3. Finally, there is the design factor, of course – just because you want to get in shape doesn’t mean that you should compromise on style. Yes, everyone wants to look good regardless and weightlifters can find comfort in knowing that there are some stylish brands out there, ranging from neon shoes to pink – for the ladies. The black and red color scheme of the Adipowers in particular tickled my fancy. The Nike Romaleos also left an indelible mark. Now that you have a rough idea of what to expect let’s go straight ahead and look at the best weightlifting shoes for 2016.

The Best Weightlifting Shoes – 2016:

Our Pick – The Adidas Performance Adipower:

Unless you live in a cave, you are aware that Adidas is one of the most reputable sports gear brands in the world. In fact, the German outfit was manufacturing weightlifting shoes, even before there was a substantial market for it and hence, explaining why exactly it is one of the top selling brands in this particular niche and across the board. The Adipowers reflect how cool lifters should resemble, with fancy color schemes and a dashing overall design to give them a huge edge over competitors. Just in case you are wondering why they look familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen them on the feet of most Olympic weightlifters – likely what you should also expect in Rio this summer.

The Good:

  • The Adipowers come packing just about everything you would expect from a quality pair of weightlifting trainers. The pair is immensely sturdy, strong and well-crafted to catch your eye from the start. These shoes are designed for athletes and sports enthusiasts that take part in intense Olympic lifting – and don’t necessarily have wide feet.
  • The one thing that struck me with the Adipowers is how effective they are in improving the lifter’s stance. They provide a pretty solid base to help you lift immense weights, without leaving you drained after that. In a nutshell, these kicks are exceptionally flexible in the forefoot, comfortable in the heels and structurally reinforced for strength. If you are also the one to worry about safety during lifting, your safest bet lies in a pair of the Adipowers thanks to a handful of thoughtful features.

The Bad:

The Adipowers are among the very rare products you simply can’t lay a single fault on. They adopt superior engineering techniques and unlike some of the kicks’ predecessors from Adidas, these pairs can win you some medals if well used. However, the average price of $250 can seem hefty to some.

In Conclusion:

In conclusion, these lifters retain the design and performance edge from predecessors – that made the Adistar a top-seller – with a handful of innovative tweaks to make them the best lifters on the market. There must be a reason why these are the main kicks on Olympic weightlifting stages, right? If you truly want to put your money where your mouth is and invest in quality lifters with good traction, comfort, and sturdy base, there’s no other place to look other than the Adidas Adipower way.

Runner Up – The Nike Romaleos 2

Being Nike’s flagship weightlifting shoes, the manufacturer certainly had a point to prove, and they did in more ways than most imagined. It is, however, not surprising that the leading sports gear manufacturer would come up with such kicks in the first place. According to experts, these are the lifters that simply bridge the gap between the Adipowers and the rest of the market. Designed particularly for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Romaleos entail the perfect combination of features, to make them worthy of the second spot on our list. Of course, you can expect cool looking kicks as is the norm with most Nike shoes, and the color schemes specifically had me looking forward to wearing them. So, what exactly makes these lifters worth your money? Let’s have a look.

The Good:

  • Some lifters are just too heavy – considering the sturdy construction of lifters in general – while others, well, look to drift away from the conventional and end up being too light for any serious weightlifting. The Romaleos, though, are just right. They are not the heaviest weightlifting shoes on the market, nor are they the lightest meaning you can be guaranteed of a comfortable experience regardless of the weight you’re lifting. The fact that they are not the heaviest kicks, though, shouldn’t fool you into thinking that they are soft in any way.
  • Lifters should be tight and by this, I mean that they are meant to fit with absolutely no room for your feet to wiggle. That said, it is worth noting that not investing in a quality pair of lifters can lead to some health challenges mainly fungal infections. The Nike Romaleos 2 fix this by providing sufficient levels of aeration to keep your feet safe from nasty infections; more so for those who train for hours non-stop.
  • Moreover, these are some of the most comfortable and safest pair of lifters you can own. For instance, they come sporting a contoured TPU wedge to create a snug heel that is comfortable for every lifter regardless of how wide their feet are, and this combined with a reinforced mid-foot, makes up for a comfy weightlifting session. Also, these kicks are pure eye-candy – makes you consider wearing weight lifters even on casual days.

The Bad:

Unfortunately, the Romaleos still have a long way to go before they can match up to the cream of the crop – read Adidas Adipower. However, the fact that there is a lifter rivaling the iconic brand above is commendable in the first place. If they continue making quality lifters or even tweaking the Romaleos series in future, they should be alright down the line.

In Conclusion:

In a nutshell, the superior build and innovative design alone pushes these lifters into any discussion regarding the best weightlifting shoes. The shoes are technically an upgrade from any other brand not named Adidas and if you are seeking good lifters to score you points in competitive weight lifting stages including the Olympics, consider the Romaleos as a viable option. True, they don’t come cheap, but they are more affordable compared to our pick above.

2nd Runner Up – The Adidas Performance Powerlift 2.0 Trainer:

Once again, Adidas proves why it is the undeniable King of lifters. The Adipowerlift is more or less the basic and affordable alternative to the Adipower and I still couldn’t even make up my mind between the Powerlift or Romaleos by Nike. The shoe is certainly no push over and in fact, give the Romaleaos lifters above, a run for their money any day. In a nutshell, this is the perfect fit for the CrossLifitng community, besides those who need a light-weight, yet, stable shoe for improved performance.

The Good:

  • For starters, the Powerlift has a sufficiently wide base, which is well complemented by an extra grippy sole to keep you rooted to the ground regardless of what amount of weight you are lifting. The WL-grade stability levels enhance maximum floor contact which is paramount in achieving even weight distribution. Moreover, the midfoot area is made of a die-cut wedge of high-density foam and hence, providing significant equilibrium with the least amount of compression possible.
  • Similar to the Nike, the Powerlift designers, of course, considered your well being by providing superb levels of aeration. The manufacturer curved out a breathable light mesh on the upper parts of the shoe, alongside using highly durable synthetic leather parts for better foot conditions. The Powerlift is a really good option for those making a lifting debut or perhaps, athletes that require upgrading to better lifters for enhanced overall performance.

The Bad:

If you prefer heavy lifters to keep you feeling rooted at all times, these are not the shoes to spend your hard-earned cash on. However, they are perfectly light for individuals that are undeterred by how much the shoes weigh.

In Conclusion:

Generally speaking, the Powerlifts are a really safe bet, especially if you are on a budget. At just under $100, you can own a quality pair of lifters that can comfortably place you among the pros. They firmly fit into the category of affordable lifters, offering great bang for the buck. Adidas knows a lot more than we do when it comes to this niche, and with this, you can almost always never go wrong with a pair of kicks from the manufacturer.

Also Great – The Reebok Lifter 2.0:

As you may have noticed, this review has so far been dominated by some of the most iconic brands in the sports gear industry and for good reason. While Reebok is now owned by Adidas, the brand has over the years proved to be quite a reputable brand with lots of quality products to show for. As its name implies, it is specifically designed for Crossfit enthusiasts that include more than just your ordinary Olympic lifting movements. That out of the way, let’s have a look at how this lifter, made our cut.

The Good:

  • Unlike your conventional standard lifters, the Crossfit Lifter 2.0 is a hybrid and this means that it entails a flexible forefoot sole to contour to most foot types. This innovative design enhances effectiveness in double-unders, box jumps and other essential polymetrics, which can provide a challenge at times. The sheer flexibility this shoe provides, allows you to do what exactly you want to in regards to weight lifting movements.
  • The slew of pace-setting technologies adopted in crafting the CrossFit Lifter includes enhanced aeration features, around a highly durable synthetic leather material to keep it going for years. Regardless of being a hybrid, you can expect to come across your ordinary lifters’ components such as a heel lift and bottom-up support for stability. Those also interested in lightweight lifters can check out these kicks by Reebok.

The Bad:

Regardless of being highly durable, these CrossFit lifters are shockingly light. They indeed cater to the thorough needs of the dynamic Crossfit community, however, feeling grounded in the hybrid kicks can be an issue with those used to heavy lifters.

In Conclusion:

There is just so much you can say about these amazing Crossfit lifters by Reebok. The fact that they rank among the top five lifters on the market goes a long way in projecting the quality and superior engineering techniques adopted. Generally speaking, they are adequate for almost every weightlifting purpose and can be regarded as ideal for those not yet decided on the path to take as a weightlifter.

On a Budget Option – The Inov-8 Fastlift 335:

You are likely familiar with the brand as a renowned running shoemaker, with a string of quality products to prove their reliability. Inov-8 decided to venture into the less popular weightlifting shoe market, and it paid off hugely thanks to the Fastlift 335. These kicks are designed specifically for those that want to stand out with bold-looking lifters. The shoe is quite a looker indeed, and odds are you will instantly find a color scheme you like in the range. That said, let’s have a look at why it deserves a place on our list.

The Good:

  • Despite the use of new technological features synonymous with most premium brands, the 335 is affordable. At just under $75, this is technically the best, cheapest lifter you can settle for, with all the right specs and features required to succeed in your weight lifting journey. Unlike the brands above, the manufacturer saw a gap in the low-end market and decided to capitalize on it.
  • Moreover, it is among the most comfortable shoes I’ve tried out thanks to its flexible design that incorporates a structurally reinforced midfoot area. Similar to high-end models, the 335 also entails a reinforced heel plus edge support for stability purposes. Given its lightweight nature, it is a particularly sturdy shoe; you can rely on to take you to greater heights.

The Bad:

Like most brands, the 335’s have yet to find a way to counter the weight distribution challenge as well as the Adipowers or Romaleos for instance. They do have a solid base, though, and are stable enough to put anyone into the higher stages of weightlifting competitions.

In Conclusion:

In a nutshell, the 335’s by Inov-8 are a great starting point for individuals looking to map out their lifting career. They are beautifully crafted, with innovative technologies to prove their worth in the tough niche regarded as a monopoly. More importantly, however, they reflect great value for money thanks to their pocket-friendly price tag. In short, you are good to go once you part with just under $75, and considering what you would part with for the above brands, this is quite a bargain.

Wrapping it Up:

There are some other good weight lifting shoes on the market, and you can use the tips stated earlier on, to identify a quality pair. However, your safest bet as a lifter seeking to go pro only lies in the above five kicks. Weightlifting is one of the more risky sports, and hence, investing in a quality pair is the only way you can be guaranteed of a safe experience overall.

 

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