Are Weightlifting Shoes Worth It?

Getting into weightlifting is tough enough sometimes to even find a gym or if you go the home gym route at the time of this writing free weight prices are skyrocketing then you want to add weightlifting shoes into the mix. Weight training used to be very cheap to do and you even did it barefoot if you wanted to now with technology new methodologies and strategies the times are ever changing.

pic of our weightlifting shoes

So are weightlifting shoes even worth it?

In the beginning weightlifting shoes are absolutely not worth it in the least. You are better off lifting in barefoot or socks if possible or something like cross trainers. If you are a wrestler use your wrestling shoes or even converse. It is not until you reach new heights and start thinking about competing that you would consider getting weightlifting shoes as they are expensive, but they do have their benefits as well. 

When you reach a point that little things matter when competing where they extra 10 lbs will put you into top 3 places it is certainly time to start making some investments in weightlifting attire where shoes will be one of those big investments. Weightlifting shoes will give you extra stability and help transfer the power and explosion when needed. Arnold always lifted bare footed so depends on your goals with Powerlifting vs something like Bodybuilding.

We asked this below to actual weightlifters from different backgrounds (Powerlifting, Olympics, Bodybuilding) to get their perspective below so check it out.

We highly suggest you shop at a place like Amazon where you can try something out and return no questions asked if you don't like it. You can find the top Weightlifting Shoes by CLICKING HERE!

Below are the Top Sellers on Amazon as well: 

Are Weightlifting Shoes Worth The Cost (According To Real Weightlifters)

So we didn't want you to take our word for it so we scoured the internet going to weightlifting forums, groups and sub reddits to get the info you need and want. We curated this information meaning nothing has changed except any spelling or grammar where needed.

Real Weightlifters

1. HangryLifter142 “Necessity” – I see weightlifting shoes as a necessity for weightlifting, just like you need running shoes for running. Another way to look at it is throwing everyone on a curve since weightlifting is advantageous to a specific body type, and weightlifting shoes even the playing field. Also, the human body didn't really evolve from lifting crazy weights overhead and the shoes allow you to activate more of your musculature into the lift.

2. RyanPaiva “If serious yes” – There's no way anyone seriously training in this sport should be using anything other than true weightlifting shoes. Anything else and you'll be practicing bad technique. It simply can't be done 100% correctly in sneakers. Most have rounded heals and rounded toes for running and that's super bad for weightlifting.

3. WeightGurus17 “Icing on the cake focus on the cake first” – If you look at footage of elite lifters from the 1950s & 1960s you might be surprised to find that many of them weren't wearing what we'd consider to be weightlifting boots – and yet they still lifted considerably more than the average lifter from our modern era. Shoes don't make you strong – they are just the icing on the cake. Concentrate on the cake.

4. TheGrnLantern “Don't hesitate if you have the money” – So about 3 years ago when I started to do oly lifts, I got a pair of Adidas Powerlift. I instantly noticed the difference. I didn't realize it until I used them, but the stability is a HUGE improvement. These shoes are classified by many as “crossfit shoes.” They are flexible in the midfoot and the heel compresses at high weights. Well recently I switched to AdiPowers which is a real weightlifting shoe, and once again I noticed huge improvement! My feet feel like they are glued to the floor. My feet don't move left, right, up, down, nothing. Considering that you will always be pushing through your feet, a solid and stable base is of utmost importance. Don't shy away from shoes, even if it's a hybrid shoe you want to start with.

5. Ulixes707 “Can make instant gains” – I instantly added 5kg to my clean from going barefoot to Adidas Power Perfect II. Squatting feels more natural too.

6. Galanothmvp “Totally Worth It” – I have a pair of Adidas Powerlift 2's they have held up for about 2 years and I still haven't replaced them. For me they are totally worth it, they really help me on my squats because I have poor ankle mobility. I noticed a huge difference when I got them in only squats, I think this is because I've torn ligaments in my right ankle on 3 separate occasions – so my opinion is definitely biased.

7. N6q6emxm “Yes worth it” – Worth it. I got some Wei-Rui shoes for about $89 when I was first squatting in the upper 200s and the difference was palpable. Different mechanics and being glued to the floor in a solid wood-soled shoe is cool. They're ugly like bowling shoes and have lasted four years.

8. Jamieson22 “Start with cheaper weightlifting shoe” – I started with a pair of Vans and got Adidas Powerlift 3.1 for like $45 last year. I like them quite a bit and they are comfortable. Definitely a nice solid base. Also have wide feet and they fit well. The Adidas seem to go on sale quite a bit so worth keeping an eye out (check amazon – lots of variation depending on size/color).

9. Highspeedchase762 “Wrestling shoes” – I only wear wrestling shoes. I already had them and I’m cheap. I’m squatting 365 for reps now.

10. Klizz “Test before making the purchased” – Easiest way to test it out is to simply do some bodyweight squats on the balls of your feet. Just lift your heels an inch off and squat down. If you suddenly feel more comfortable and upright, then heeled shoes are going to feel incredible. If you don't feel a difference from flat feet squats, then they're not likely to help you.

For me they were a game changer. All of my squat variations felt better with them. Remaining upright became a breeze, comfort and explosiveness out of pause squats greatly improved, and my stance became more narrow as that was the best for me now that I could actually squat like that.

I recommend the Do-Win shoes from Rogue. They're relatively cheap at 95$, very stable, and comfortable enough.


Overwhelming coming in at 93% recommend a weightlifting shoe or at least a flat likeness to a wrestling shoe. That went a lot different then I thought, but there is an issue with this. Most all of them have been lifting for a long time and probably didn't use them in the beginning. So unless you have issues with ankle support and mobility we highly suggest you at least start without. It is okay to try them out on Amazon or somewhere that allows returning them no questions asked. Going barefoot or using something with less support will actually strengthen your feet so when you do make the switch to weightlifting shoes it will be that much more of a gain.

Are Weightlifting Shoes Necessary

Absolutely 100% not necessary people in the 50's and 60's did not use them and were able to lift a ton of weight. Weightlifting shoes aren't going to do the work for you so you should start without them and gain momentum before making any purchases like this. Arnold Schwarzenegger did not use weightlifting shoes and look at everything he accomplished. It can give you an edge with competition, but make sure you reach a point where you need that edge first.

Weightlifting Shoe Related Questions

Do Weightlifting Shoes Make A Difference?

Yes weightlifting shoes make a difference for those that have put the hardwork into lifting and form before considering the purchase. A lot of pros will tell you to get them right away and that is fine when you have plateaued and reached a point where you need them. They will help you transfer power and complete your form so they are worth the purchase just make sure you are dedicated first.

Are Weightlifting Shoes Cheating?

Weightlifting shoes are specifically built for competitions and have been around many years with established brands like Nike and Adidas now making them. So they are absolutely not cheating at all just like powerlifting suits are not cheating. They have a place in the sport just like running shoes do in that sport. The shoes aren't going to make you lift that weight, you still have to put the work and time in.

Why Are Weightlifting Shoes So Expensive?

Weightlifting shoes are expensive because they are very specialized shoe for a specific niche. Not everyone lifts weights and especially competes in the sport of Powerlifting. Running shoes are cheaper because almost anyone can use running shoes for purposes outside running. Weightlifting shoes have certain dimensions and built out of very high quality materials with the purpose to last. You shouldn't have to replace them that often either if you only use for lifting.

Why Do People Lift In Converse?

People lift in Converse and have done so for many years because of their flat sole, high ankle support and lastly because they are cheaper then weightlifting shoes. With flatter heels just like being barefoot you are more connected to the ground and can actually spread your toes to further your explosion out of the squat position. With the added higher ankle support you get that extra feeling of stability that allows you to push harder.

Are Vans Good For Squatting?

Vans are very good for squatting because they are firm and the flat sole helps a squatter transfer that energy and explode out of the lower position. This is the reason they also work great for deadlift as well, but they shouldn't be used for your bench or any cardio.

Do Squat Shoes Help Knee Pain?

Squat shoes do help with knee pain because of several different reasons. They help get your feet aligned correctly while providing extra stability taking that extra weight off your knees especially when you starting to explode back up.

Should Weightlifting Shoes Be Tight Or Loose?

Weightlifting shoes should be pretty tight especially when you first get them. We recommend wearing them around to get used to them and help stretch them out a bit. You don't want them so tight they are cutting off the circulation in your feet, but you need them to allow for little movement because they are supposed to provide major stability. Get some that have a no questions asked return policy so you can try for a bit.


Tab Winner

We are fun loving family that lives on a small farm and tries to be healthy. We are not fitness fanatics we are just trying to keep things simple especially with how busy our lives are. We have a few horses, a few dogs, and a young daughter along with a big extended family. Follow us on our journey. I hope you enjoy the website. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. Please check back for updates!

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