A Buyer’s Guide: The Best Deadlifting Shoes

best deadlifting shoes
Buying Guide

Whether you are one of the few who have actually been able to follow through with your New Year’s fitness goals, or if this has been a long-term achievement process for you, we would like to start by saying congratulations! Now, you are ready to put the stakes a little higher and start getting that total body strength with deadlifting or bodybuilding. We know, it’s a big step and can seem a little scary when you are just getting started but take it from us; you have nothing to fear; especially if you want to make sure to start out with the right equipment. And, no we aren’t referring to the rock had guns you’re toting, but rather making sure you can start your exercise routine safety, starting with the feet and moving your way up. Yup, we are talking about getting some shoes.

Though many of you won’t consider this a particularly interesting aspect of building muscle just remember that good balance and stability starts in your feet, so if you want to start lifting some heavy duty iron you are going to want to make sure your feet stay safely planted to the ground. If you are looking to start weightlifting, or are already a bodybuilder but need a new pair of kicks, you have come to the right place. Today we are going to be talking about the benefits of getting shoes specifically designed for deadlifting/weight training and how to determine which ones are the best deadlifting shoes.

Benefits of Using Deadlifting Shoes

There are several benefits to getting shoes that are designed for weightlifting and the best ones will use this to their advantage when manufacturing. In this section we will briefly go over the primary benefits that weight lifting/deadlifting shoes have over regular running shoes, so if you already know feel free to skip ahead.

The first real benefit of buying shoes for deadlifting is that they will allow you to lift more weight. Not in a crazy marketing gimmick kind of way, but because running shoes have a lot of padding in the sole which is designed to absorb force. This is good for running as it cushions your foot on impact but it is the exact opposite of what you want when weight lifting. The idea in lifting weights is to increase the amount of force you are able to exert, not absorb it. Those little-cushioned shoes of yours are essentially sucking out the energy you need to be able to lift heavier weights by allowing you to generate more power from the floor and apply more force needed to lift the weights.

The other major benefit of getting a shoe designed for weightlifting is that it will give you better stability and form. No one wants to hurt themselves when they are lifting weights; it’s like… a super bad idea. So, manufacturers definitely have this in mind when they make their shoes. They want you to be stable and not slip around with a one hundred pound barbell lifted over your head. A correctly designed lifting shoe will also help you improve your form, which will get you a better workout overall.

Factors to Consider Before Purchasing Deadlifting Shoes

Ok, so knowing that you should get yourself a pair of weightlifting shoes is one thing, knowing exactly what to look for is another. So, in this section we thought we’d be nice and help you out there too. Aren’t we just the best? Yes. Yes, we are.

Raised Heel: We mentioned earlier that a specifically designed weight lifting/deadlifting shoe would help you improve your form and this is done typically by using a raised heel. The heel is designed to realign your torso with your feet when squatting, which will allow you to go deeper by changing your center of balance to your advantage. By repositioning your body slightly, you will be using more muscle groups than you would otherwise which also gives you more force to lift with. The height of the heel will determine where your center of gravity will be and they usually vary between half an inches to an inch.

Strapping: As you may be able to guess the strapping is the particular way the shoe holds your foot in place. This can come in a variety fastening methods though the most popular are laces and straps as this will allow you to tighten the shoe appropriately. The way your foot is secured inside the shoe is so important because you don’t want your foot sliding around inside and throwing the rest of your body off balance. Whatever method works best for you personally is the one you should go with.

Sole: You will notice when looking at weightlifting shoes that the soles are always made from a hard material and will typically be pretty flat. Back in the day, when weightlifting was just getting its start the shoes were made with wooden soles. This is because the hard soles allowed for less resistance between the floor and your foot. Today we have more cost effective materials than wood manufacturers can use to create a hard sole. However, you will still find that it is a staple with these shoes. Additionally, the soles will often be flat. This is for two reasons. One being that flat soles allow you to slide from one position to another, while the second reason is to increase surface pressure from the bottom of your foot. The more of your foot touches the floor the more pressure per square inch you will be able to exert. Some shoes will come with little ridges to allow for a small amount of traction, which is good for ensuring controlled movements and no accidental slips and the effect they have on your ability to exert pressure should be minimal.

Material: The last thing we would like to bring to your attention as far as things to consider is the material. Though wood isn’t used for the soles anymore you should check to see how hard that material is. Also, the shoes uppers and bottoms are commonly made from two types of material, and depending on which one is used there are several features that will change. Leather and fabric are the most common materials. Leather is expensive but will last a very long time and will perfectly mold to your foot for added comfort. Leather is also a very firm material, which will help protect the shoe should it get bumped or scuffed. Fabric is a cheaper option and can often be quick drying or odor resistant so you don’t have to worry about bringing the shoes into your home after an intense workout. Each type presents several drawbacks and benefits, however whichever one you choose will rely mostly on personal taste and budget.

Quick Tips to Know Before Purchasing

Though it is good to look for a shoe that does not pad your foot the way sneakers or joggers do be sure to stay away from barefoot shoes. They simply don’t give you the stability you need in order to safely lift heavy weights.

Regardless of what the rest of this article may say, the important thing in lifting weights is to make sure you have a pair of shoes designed for the task. Don’t wait on finding the perfect pair, just go out to the store today and get some if you are serious about lifting. You can always upgrade to a better pair later, but every day you go without you are doing yourself a grave disservice and potentially putting yourself in harm’s way, and who has time for that? Ordering a simple pair of shoes online doesn’t take nearly as long as a hospital visit. Just saying. If you are new to the world of weightlifting just be sure to get your hands on a pair of lifting shoes, you can boost your ego with an upgrade later.

The Best Deadlifting Shoe

If you are ready to get rid of your old deadlifting shoes and get an upgrade here is our list of the top five we think the market has to offer. Though all of the shoes listed here are good options for one reason or another we will give you our personal opinion of which one we think is the best by the end.

1) SABO Deadlift Shoes

 

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First up on our list we have the SABO Deadlift Shoe. Let’s take a closer look at what kind of features it’s bringing into the competition first.

  • Made with fabric and leather.
  • Laces and straps for added fitting.
  • High-cut upper for ankle support.
  • High-density non-marking out-sole.
  • Lifted heel.

 

The Breakdown of Features

These weightlifting shoes by SABO are made with a combination of fabric and leather for comfort and durability with the added combination of laces and straps for the best of both worlds in securing your foot in place. The high-cut upper is designed to give your ankle improved support and stability with a high-density outsole to increase pressure from floor to weights. Finally, the SABO Deadlift Shoes have a lifted heel to get the most out of your sets.

The Advantages of the Product

The biggest advantage to going with the brand SABO, in general, is that they make some of the thinnest soles you can find in a weightlifting shoe, which is right around the three-millimeter range. And the Deadlift is certainly no exception. It uses a combination of fabric and leather for durability, breathability, and keeping the shoe as lightweight as they can. The high-cut upper wraps around your ankle giving some added support and protection in order to ensure there are no accidents. This shoe is ideal for those who may have issues with rolling their ankles. Finally, the SABO features a lifted heel, which will greatly improve your squatting and clean stances and help align your torso with the floor.

The Disadvantages of the Product

The only disadvantage to this shoe is the limited range of motion that the high ankle support effects. Overall, we would consider the high ankle support a good thing, however if a wide range of motion is your priority then you may want to go with a lower support.


2) adidas Performance Adipower Weightlifting Trainer Shoe

adidas Performance Adipower Weightlifting Trainer Shoe

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Next up in our number two spot we have the highly recognizable brand in fitness, adidas Performance Adipower Weightlifting Trainer Shoe. Let’s see what this tried and tested brand has to offer.

  • Synthetic leather and fabric.
  • Laces and straps for added fitting.
  • Rubber soles with lightweight polymer.
  • Ventilating openings for comfort.

 

The Breakdown of Features

This shoe brought to us by adidas uses synthetic leather and fabric for a super lightweight shoe with a high degree of flexibility. This shoe also features the laces with the straps for adjusting the shoe to fit your foot perfectly and securely. The soles are made of a hard rubber and a lightweight polymer for a hard sole that doesn’t weight your foot down. The heel also raises for the best in balance and the synthetic material displays air holes in the side to vent your shoes.

The Advantages of the Product

One of the best advantages this shoe has over the competition is the ventilation it has set up in the synthetic material. This will help keep your foot dry and prevent the development of fungus and other unpleasant foot problems. A well-ventilated shoe will also be more odor resistant, so you won’t have to worry about bringing your shoes home with you or how badly they might stink up a locker. Don’t get us wrong; they might still have some odor issues; however, it will just be reduced. The synthetic materials also allow the shoe to be very flexible meaning it is more likely to fit oddly shaped feet or that you won’t have as much of an issue finding a comfortable spot for your foot to securely tie in while inside the shoe.

The Disadvantages of the Product

The only disadvantage with this shoe is how flexible it is. Though this is good for a wide range of movement it will not help your foot stay in place within the shoe should it not be a perfect fit. It does have the laces with the straps to help adjust to this issue. However, it is our personal opinion that the material the shoe is made from be more firm and add some more stability to the positioning of your foot.


3) Inov-8 Men’s Fastlift 325 Cross-Trainer Shoe

Inov-8 Men's Fastlift 325 Cross-Trainer Shoe

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Coming up at number three is the Inov-8 Fastlift Cross-Trainer and here is what we have to say about it:

  • Made with synthetic fabric.
  • Very flexible.
  • Lightest shoe for weightlifting.
  • External heel cage designed for stability.

 

The Breakdown of Features

The Invo-8 is made with synthetic fabric much like our previous entry and is also a very flexible shoe with the laces and mid-step locking strap for added security. This shoe also boasts that it is the lightest shoe on the market right now that is available, and it achieves those bragging rights by using the lightest in materials technology. This shoe also features an external heel cage to give the heel all the support it needs in order to elevate the body and align the torso properly.

The Advantages of the Product

The major benefit of synthetic fabric is that it is cost effective to produce and highly breathable. This means that the shoe over all will commonly be less expensive to purchase, and the material will be aerated better for comfort. Additionally, the Invo-8 features a heel cage is designed to elevate the user high enough to align their torso with their stance and allow for deeper squats. This can activate different muscle groups and allow for more force in pushing the weight upward.

The Disadvantages of the Product

The disadvantage to this product is that like some previous entries so far the material used for the upper and midsole are flexible. This makes for a comfortable fit but can also cause the foot to slide around unpredictably.


4) adidas Performance Men’s P1245 Powerlift.3 Cross-trainer Shoe

adidas Performance Men's Powerlift.3 Cross-trainer Shoe

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Here is our number four spot we have another entry from adidas with the Powerlift.3 Cross Trainer, let’s take a look and see if it is offering anything new.

  • Made with synthetic fabric.
  • Made with rubber sole.
  • Laces and straps for added fitting.

 

The Breakdown of Features

Much like the previous entry with adidas the Powerlift is also made with synthetic material and keeps lightweight maneuverability in mind with the thin upper support. It also features very thin rubber soles with a small lift in the heel for better balance and an open foot front for better ventilation. Finally, it features what we have come to expect in a weightlifting shoe with the double action of laces and mid-step strap to make sure your foot is secure.

The Advantages of the Product

Much like it’s cousin in the our number two spot, the adidas Powerlift Cross Trainer features improved ventilation as one of its major benefits. Only this time they are being ventilation to new heights. Ok, maybe we are going a little overboard there, but the ventilation is definitely improved. Better ventilation means less foot irritation and it also lowers the probability of your feet stinking after you’re done training. The mesh covering around the toe lets air move in and out of the shoe easily for a breezy, comfortable fit.

The Disadvantages of the Product

Unfortunately, much like the previous entry the major disadvantage to this product is the lack of support you get from the shoe. The low ankles allow for a wide range of motion however if you have an issue with weak ankles or have a propensity to roll on them the lower heel is not for you. Also, the flexibility of the material doesn’t inspire much confidence either.


5) Reebok Men’s Lifter Pr Cross-trainer Shoe

Reebok Men's Lifter Pr Cross-trainer Shoe

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And rounding off the list in our number five sport we have another familiar name in athletics with the Reebok Lifter Pr Cross Trainer. Let’s take one last look at the competition before announcing our winner.

  • Made with synthetic leather and fabric.
  • Laces and straps for added fitting.
  • Contours to your foot.
  • Uses anti-friction technology.

 

The Breakdown of Features

Like we have grown accustomed to seeing on this list this shoe features a combination of synthetic leather and fabric with the laces and midsole strap for increased support and stability. The aforementioned shoe also uses a heat-activated material that contours to your foot without needing to break it in first and is also anti-friction.

The Advantages of the Product

Easily the coolest thing about this shoe is the technology it uses to reduce friction and the amount of time needed to break it in. Using a heat activated material the inside of the shoe will contour to your foot for the most comfortable fit imaginable without the arduous process of breaking in the shoe. This shoe is perfect for those you prioritize comfort, as it will be virtually impossible for the shoe to fit strangely.

The Disadvantages of the Product

The only disadvantage we can see with this product is the same technology that allows the shoe to be so comfortable might be the very thing that could make it a bad choice. Though, you should know that we have not personally tested this shoe our impression is that it might affect the pressure you are able to exert into the floor with the type of padding or material used for the u-form technology.


The Final Verdict

We believe that the best deadlifting shoe is the SABO Deadlift shoe due to the superior quality of material and the use of a secure lace and strap tightening method. This improves the safety of the user by allowing them to tighten the shoe in place as well as tighten it around the center of their foot to ensure that the shoe does not stay too wide. But, don’t just take our word for it, in each title entry there are links you can follow to check out the details for yourself, as well as what other customers have to say about it. Good luck and pump those irons.

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