Best Weightlifting and Powerlifting Shoes for Men

Can you use your running shoes instead of purchasing a separate pair for weightlifting?

You cannot use your running shoes when you are squatting with weight on your shoulders or your back. It is simple; running shoes are padded to absorb shock and impact when you are running. With all that padding, the running shoe does not offer enough support needed when lifting weights.

Running shoes have many qualities that make them ideal for a runner, including lightweight, breathability, comfort, and enough traction.

However, these shoes lack enough heel raise, enough support, and rigidity – qualities that are needed in the best workout shoes for men.

By wearing the best cross-training shoes for men when lifting, you protect yourself from injuries and enhance your performance.

What Makes the Best Workout Shoes for Men?

Weightlifting shoes are designed for just that, lifting weights. Whether you are buying the best training shoes for men or women, you will realize that all these shoes have the same features.

A Rigid Sole and Solid Heel

Weightlifting shoes also referred to as lifters or squat shoes, are designed with a solid heel and a firm sole for maximum support.

You will realize that some of the shoes sport a solid wood heel or any other solid material. This means that the shoe is very stable, ensuring that your foot does not sink into the cushioning of the shoe like it would in a running shoe. Such a shoe ensures your joints are protected from injury and that there is an efficient transfer of power.

Instead of wasting power compressing the midsole of a shoe, a rigid sole and solid heel combo ensure the power is instead used to lift weights.

Unlike the heavily padded running shoes, best men’s cross-training shoes are heavier. This is not a big issue seeing that you lift weights while standing in one position.

A Raised Heel

All good weightlifting shoes have a raised heel. By having a raised heel, the shoes minimize the ankle’s range of motion, allowing you to get into a squat position with much ease.

This is not the typical 0.25-inch heel raise; most heels are raised to 0.75-inches. Heel raise is expressed in terms of a heel-to-toe drop. While the best men’s athletic shoes have a heel-to-toe drop of 10mm – meaning the heel is 10mm above the toes – weightlifting shoes have a heel-to-toe drop of 20mm or more.

A Midsole Strap

Have you ever seen those shoes with laces but still have a midsole strap? This strap ensures that your foot is securely locked in the shoe for comfort when you lift weights.

Most shoes come with a Velcro strap that you can tighten to your liking. This reduces extraneous movements that can cause injury. Note that, slipping or sliding when you are lifting weights interferes with power transfer.

High Traction Sole

You need stability when you are lifting heavy weights overhead. As such, you need shoes with a sole that offers enough grip. Slipping can cause injury, which is why traction crucial in best workout shoes men.

There is a downside to high traction rubber; it wears off faster than hard rubber.

How Else Can You Use Weightlifting/Powerlifting Shoes?

Weightlifting shoes are great for Olympic weightlifting. Most of these shoes are made for Olympic weightlifting. Most of the competitors will sport shoes with raised heels and midsole straps.

You can also use these shoes for heavy squats. A stable sole is also a requirement in deadlifting, but a raised heel is not. While most people prefer to deadlift barefoot, the right weightlifting shoe can be an added advantage when deadlifting.

What Are The Best Weightlifting & Powerlifting Shoes for Men?

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The ASICS Men’s Lift Master Lite is a cross-trainer shoe designed for workout enthusiasts with a busy schedule. With these cross trainers, you do not have to switch shoes after every exercise; you stick with this one pair of shoes throughout the whole workout session. These cross trainer shoes sport high quality materials making them long-lasting. Seeing that they are made of synthetic materials, they lack leather; they are great for vegans. Each shoe is designed seamless, so you do not worry about them splitting at the seams. The mono sock fit system, with which all ASICS shoes are created from, ensures the shoes stretch around your feet and hug them comfortably. 


  • Snug fit
  • Reinforced vamp with ventilation for breathability
  • Easy to put on and remove
  • Combines stretchy laces with mid-sole strap


  • Shoes cannot handle super heavyweights thanks to their cross-training design
  • Only one variant and color is available
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The Inov8 lifting shoes mens are designed stable and with a flexible forefoot for comfort when lifting weights. Their flexibility makes them ideal when transitioning from one functional training to the next. The shoes sport high quality materials making them durable. They feature a rubber toe bumper that offers enough traction during functional moves. Its straps are designed to adjust in micro increments to fit your feet snugly.


  • The strap comes with a BOA dial that adjusts slowly for a secure fit
  • Flexible forefront ensures the shoe can be used for other training moves besides lifting
  • Inov8 designed the shoe with power truss and heel cage technology to ensure it has enough lateral stability and a stable, secure base


  • Relatively more expensive
  • The heel-to-toe drop is relatively less steep
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The Power Perfect III shoes from Adidas are offered at an affordable price, making them ideal for all levels of weightlifters. Each pair is stable enough to support any weight without breaking.

Adidas placed a 0.75-inch heel lift which is tall enough to minimize ankle movement and push your knees forward for ease of lifting. These shoes are designed with a narrow fit making them ideal for lifters with narrow and normal width feet. For stability, they are offered with a solid sole. The mesh panel toe makes the shoes breathable, keeping you dry during weight lifting.


  • High heel to enhance lifting
  • Great value for money
  • Long-lasting
  • Snug fit for all sizes


  • Strap ring made of plastic which feels uncomfortable when the shoes are tightened
  • Not ideal for users with wide feet
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These are shoes for lifters who do a lot of squats and deadlifts. They are designed for lifters with narrow and normal width feet. Each pair sports a booty style with a midsole strap for a snug fit. They are designed for lifting, but their forefront flexibility makes them ideal for other moves as well – though they are not comfortable enough to be worn more than a few hours. The sole of these shoes is constructed sturdy enough not to compress under any weight. Below this is a solid heel that gives a high energy return when you are lifting.


  • Solid and stable heel to facilitate heavy weight lifting
  • Comfortable construction with a midsole strap
  • Modest drop for lifters who prefer a heel that is not so high


  • Only brightly colored options are available
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This shoe is designed for powerlifting, deadlifts, squats and leg presses. The shoes sport the signature Nordic shoes design, high quality, and affordable pricing. If you have wide feet, these shoes will fit you snugly. They are well made to last long. Although their insole slips a little, the shoes fit snugly when you are lifting weights. The toe area is made of a mesh panel for breathability to keep you dry during a workout. They feature a very high heel with a flat sole.


  • Ideal for lifters with wide feet
  • High heel to enhance correct lifting posture
  • Breathable mesh toe for breathability
  • Nice packaging and presentation


  • The high heel makes them less ideal for deadlifting
  • Insoles can slide when you are lifting
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Nike Romaleos is designed simple but with all the design feature from Nike’s line of weightlifting shoes. They come with a great combination of style and durability. The shoe comes as the second design of Romaleo weight training shoes men. With a few improvements, this shoe has been made better and more comfortable for lifters.


  • The wide selection of sizes available
  • 11 different colors and styles available to choose from
  • Simple hook and loop closure for ease of use
  • Specially contoured heel for added comfort
  • Relatively light in weight


  • Relatively pricier
  • Designed for Olympic style lifting and not regular powerlifting
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Reebok created these shoes basically as utility shoes, but they look fashionable. While the shoes are offered at an extremely affordable price, they do not compromise on quality and performance. The Lifter Plus 2.0 are no-nonsense full-grain leather shoes made to last long. Made of genuine leather, the shoes feel comfortable and are strong enough to last through strenuous weightlifting.


  • Sports a simple hook and loop closure for a snug fit
  • Four different color schemes available for selection
  • Perfectly balanced for added comfort
  • Anti-friction material lines the inner part of the shoe to ensure no slipping or sliding


  • Designed for lifters with wide feet
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These Nike men’s weightlifting shoes are designed for lifters who love to do a little bit of everything. It is a single pair of shoes that you can use to perform all functional moves in the gym. These shoes are offered in a variety of styles – ideal for all lifters whether they need shouting color schemes or subdued colors. Each shoe is designed with a combination of synthetic material and mesh, making them easy to clean and breathable enough to keep you dry during weightlifting.


  • Versatile cross-training shoes for weightlifting and climbing
  • Dual intensity foam lines the insole for comfort and support
  • Breathable mesh to keep your feet dry


  • Shoes a little small at the toe
  • Shallow design not ideal for those who prefer shoes that cover the ankle
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These shoes are no designed like any other weight training shoes mens; at first glance, you may not like their design. However, their unconventional design utilizes the latest innovation to give you a weightlifting experience that you will love. Each pair is designed to offer a great combo of flexibility and stability; they will not feel so rigid, and neither will they feel flimsy. Their outsole features high abrasion rubber that stays strong and lasts long as long as you take good care of it.


  • Shoe features lateral support to ensure you do not sink too low when lifting heavyweight
  • Sports a unique heel design that makes it ideal for all lifters
  • Comes with reinforced midsole straps to offer a good hold for squats and deadlifts


  • They are designed for lifting and may not be comfortable in other forms of workouts
  • Shoes are weighty
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Just like the Reebok Legacy Lifter above, Adidas Leistung 16 features an odd design. However, the odd design ensures that you get comfortable lifts all the time. In this shoe, Adidas borrows the best aspects of all their weightlifting shoes to give this shoe the best of everything. Granted, you can use the shoe in nearly all forms of functional workouts. It comes with a unique closure system, the BOA closure, where you adjust the straps in micro increments for a snug fit. This means that you do not have to worry about loose laces.


  • Features injected polymer fillers to flex when you dig your heels in
  • Vented cutout beneath sole enhances traction
  • Interior lines with breathable material to keep you dry
  • Offers great arch support


  • Only available in one color


This list of best weightlifting/powerlifting shoes men is by no means exhaustive; there are many great training shoes to choose from. You can choose shoes designed specifically for weight training or choose the best men’s gym shoes designed for cross-training.

Cross trainers are a great compromise; they are sturdy enough for lifters but versatile enough to be used for other forms of exercise. When shopping, decide how you will be using your shoes and then pick the shoe that meets your needs succinctly.

Last updated on October 16th, 2019 Team

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