Weightlifting is an essential part of any training regiment, and powerlifting has been gaining popularity in recent years. For example, the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medal was brought home in 2022 by female powerlifter Hidilyn Diaz, and the sport has exploded in popularity ever since. As important as weightlifting is to any sport, it can be hazardous without the proper gear, and arguably the most important piece of gear is footwear. To lift weights safely you will need a stable base, and to be as close to the ground as possible. With that in mind, we present the Best Weightlifting Shoes available today.
If your weightlifting shoe has too much cushion or is too plush, it will create an unstable foundation for you to stand on while lifting heavy objects. That’s not good. It’s why shoes for weightlifting should be flat, stable and have minimal cushioning, with a wide toe box to allow your toes to splay out. Safety first people.
At WearTesters, we test hundreds of sneakers each year. To put together this list, we found outstanding weightlifting performers that can offer what you need in the gym. We chose highly stable shoes that can grip the floor like no one’s business and remain supportive throughout all lifts. Weightlifting is no easy task for one shoe, but we think you’ll enjoy our picks for the best weightlifting shoes.
Categories are used below so you can easily find what’s important to you. If you know what you need, you can simply click the category link. If not, feel free to browse the whole list.
Best Weightlifting Shoes
Under Armour Project Rock 5
The Under Armour Project Rock 5 is a cross training shoe that’s durable and solid, much like the Rock himself. You can beat these up in the weight room or CrossFit box without issue. The last is wider than most, so wide-footers will find the fit enjoyable. It’s not a great setup for running (stick to short distances) but you’re trading runability for TriBase outsole technology that keeps you stable while you hit big PRs on compound lifts. Oh, and aesthetically, the Project Rock 5 is easily one of the best-looking cross training shoes on the market…and likely the best-looking Rock shoe we’ve seen to date. See the full review. Price: $150
Reasons to buy: Durability and accommodating fit
Reasons why not to buy: Not great for running
Nike Metcon 8
The Nike Metcon 8 is excellent for weightlifting and various exercises in the gym. The Metcon 8 has become a staple for gym-goers over the years, and with good reason. It’s an almost perfect shoe for weightlifting. The Nike Metcon 8 provides a stable base and a flexible forefoot. Lifting PR levels of weight is very doable in the Nike Metcon 8. See the full review. Price: $130
Also, don’t be confused by our score. Our score is an overall rating that takes into account things like cushioning. In this case, the lack of cushion is a plus. If you’re looking at it as a cross training shoe for Metcons, CrossFit, and HIIT as well as weightlifting (which is how we typically rate workout shoes), it’s a 7.5 out of 10. But if you’re looking at it as a weightlifting shoe only, the Metcon 8 is a 9.5 out of 10.
Under Armour HOVR Rise 4
The Under Armour HOVR Rise 4 uses HOVR for the midsole cushion, and it does an excellent job of combining comfort and stability. What contributes most to the stability, however, is the TriBase tech built into the outsole. It keeps the back half of the shoe rigid, so your feet are always planted and steady during heavy lifts or compound movements. The outsole is also durable and grippy on all surfaces, indoors and outdoors. The Rise 4 can handle any typical lift without issue. See the full review. Price: $110
Under Armour TriBase Reign 4
The Under Armour TriBase Reign 4 is one of the best options available for heavy lifters. If you’re one to attempt PRs often or want to push yourself to your limits on a regular basis, the TriBase Reign 4 is a good companion. What’s more, is that wide-footers will be happy with how accommodating and well-fitting this shoe is. The TriBase technology works wonderfully to ensure stability. When doing heavy deadlifting, these handled the job well and posed no problems. The grip is also excellent on gym surfaces. One of the best weightlifting shoes out there. See the full review. Price: $120
Reebok Nano X1
The Reebok Nano X1 is technically a CrossFit shoe, which means that it’s designed to handle a wide variety of different moves. Reebok used their split-finger outsole on the Nano X1. Consider it Reebok’s attempt at giving a traditional training shoe the mobility of a five-toe shoe. The Nano X1 outsole is split in the forefoot enough to allow each toe area to grip the floor independently. The Nano X1 is an excellent shoe for the gym. See the full review. Price: $130
GORUCK Ballistic Trainer
The GORUCK Ballistic Trainer’s upper uses a ballistic Cordura mesh which is soft and flexible. The Ballistic Trainer features Gradient Density EVA foam for the cushion, which means the shoe is more cushioned in the forefoot. At the same time, the heel is more dense and stiff, creating a stable platform while lifting. The traction is also a highlight. The outsole uses three different rubbers. Remember, the GORUCK Ballistic Trainer fits longer than other training shoes, so make sure to go down half a size from your typical shoe size. Read the full review. Price: $125
Converse All Star
The Converse All-Star is a timeless piece of footwear history. It started as basketball shoes in the era of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain and has evolved into an everyday casual shoe. What a lot of people have discovered, however, is that they’re great for weightlifting. The flat base and lack of cushion make these shoes as stable as any shoe. You should be fine if you don’t mind the hard-toe cap. Price: $60
The Nike Blazer looks similar to the shoe just above, but there are key differences. One of the most obvious ones is the material used for the upper. Most pairs are made of leather, which is more durable and supportive. There are also suede hits on some colorways. The cushion is the same as the All-Star: none. It’s as flat as a shoe can get. Regardless, you’ll find it being used in gyms all over the world for its mix of style and ground feel. Price: $105
Vivobarefoot Magna FG
If you’re interested in reaching for a zero-drop weightlifting shoe, this is one of the best and most versatile options on the market. The Magna FG features excellent materials and some grippy traction. Zero drop shoes do take some getting used to, though, so keep that in mind before you decide on your purchase. See the full review. Price: $190
Best Budget Weightlifting Shoes
Nike Renew Retaliation 4
The Nike Renew Retaliation 4 is an upgrade from its predecessor, the Nike Renew Retaliation TR 3, and takes the crown as the best budget weightlifting shoe today. The biggest difference is replacing the lockdown wings with a strap. Although you might be skeptical, the strap locks your feet in so nicely that you’re never unstable for any heavy lifts. It’s lockdown at its best. The Renew midsole, though, performs about the same as the Retaliation 3…which isn’t a bad thing. See the full review. Price: $80
Puma Fuse 2.0
The Puma Fuse 2.0 is a minimalist cross training shoe that’s ultra-stable and packs an insane grip. Where does the insane grip come from? Puma Grip is Puma’s proprietary rubber compound that’s best in class. It sticks to the ground, so you won’t move during lifts.
The stability is also top of the line as the outrigger at the lateral forefoot, raised midfoot sidewalls, and a beefy TPU heel counter combine to keep the foot in place no matter how much weight you’re slinging. The cushion is super thin (don’t run in them), so some people may get too much ground feel for their liking. But for those lifting weights, you can spread your toes inside the roomy toebox and press into the ground for extra force.
The mesh and fuse upper is surprisingly comfy in large part thanks to the sewn-in comfy padded tongue. The Fuse 2.0 is better than the current Reebok Nano X2 AND $30 less expensive. You’re unlikely to find a better weightlifting shoe at this price. Price: $100
Reasons to buy: Stability, Traction, Price
Reason not to buy: Cushion
Thinking of a shoe we should add to the best weightlifting shoes list? We’d also like to hear your thoughts on this list and see your best weightlifting shoes list in the comments. Comment below or message us on Instagram or Twitter.