Whether you’re a competitive weightlifter or a casual gym goer, you’re going to want to train in the correct shoes. Training in the correct shoes versus the incorrect shoes is like night and day.
Even if you understand how important it is to have a good pair of shoes to lift in, you might have trouble finding a pair that’s right for you. The best shoes for one lifter could be the worst shoes for another lifter. This is because, in addition to a shoe being well-made and having a proper fit, a lifter’s training goals and training style also determine whether a particular shoe is a good choice for them.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best shoes for strength training. We’ll also tell you what things should be considered when buying a pair of strength training shoes and answer some commonly asked questions about them.
Best Strength Training Shoes For Men: Reebok Legacy Lifter 3
- Has a solid TPU heel
- Built to be durable
- Good for wider feet
- Is priced fairly for what you get
- Not the most premium lifting shoe
We think the Reebok Legacy Lifter is the best strength training shoe for men when you consider its quality versus its price. The Legacy Lifter 3 is less expensive than similar strength training shoes while still being well-constructed.
The Legacy Lifter’s strong thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) heel provides stability and ensures that your feet have a solid surface to drive against when you’ve got 100s of pounds of weight on your back or in your hands.
The heel is higher than other weightlifting shoes, giving you more quad involvement and helping to alleviate ankle mobility issues when performing exercises like squats. The shoe’s tarsal strap provides additional stability.
You’ll feel strong and stable in the Reebok Legacy Lifter 3. It’s perfect for heavy lifting, making it a good mid-grade strength training shoe.
Best Strength Training Shoes For Women: Adidas Adipower 3
- Outstanding quality for the price
- Very stable heel
- Great upper construction
- Good weight distribution
- Narrower than some shoes
- More expensive than similar shoes
The Adidas Adipower line has been a top competitor since 2008. The most recent installment, the Adipower 3, is an excellent weightlifting shoe and is perfect for heavy squats and Olympic lifts, making it one of the best strength training shoes for women.
The Adidas Adipower 3 has a strong and comfortable heel that provides superior stability for heavy lifting. Its ankle strap isn’t as strong as the two ankle straps on the Nike Romaleos 4, but that shouldn’t be an issue for most people because the shoe still fits snugly. The shoe also features a multi-layer upper that’s breathable but stable, making it the perfect shoe for tough workout sessions.
The Adipower 3s are designed to be somewhat narrow, so if you have wide feet and are planning on buying this shoe, you might need to go a half size up.
Also, these shoes can be expensive when compared to other weightlifting shoes. This is because you’re paying a premium price for a premium shoe.
The Adidas Adipower 3 is one of the best strength training shoes for women because it offers elite quality and performance.
Best Olympic Weightlifting Shoe: Nike Romaleos 4
- High-quality design
- Visually appealing
- Strong heel and sole
- Flexible and comfortable
- Heavier than other lifting shoes
The Nike Romaleos come from a fantastic pedigree. The Nike Romaleos 1, 2, and 3 were highly regarded weightlifting shoes during their times, and now the 4 is carrying on the legacy.
The Romaleos 4’s design trades lighter weight for stability. The heel and sole are designed to provide excellent stability and an even distribution of force when pushing off the floor, and the double strap design offers even more stability across the top of the foot.
The Nike Romaleos 4 is wider than the Adidas Adipower 3 or Reebok Legacy Lifter 3 (especially the toe box), which is one reason it’s the favorite weightlifting shoe of many Olympic weightlifters.
The 4s retain the same durability and longevity as the earlier Romaleos models. Even with regular use, these shoes should last for years.
If you want to lift in the best Olympic weightlifting shoe, we recommend the Nike Romaleos 4. When performing the Snatch and Clean and Jerk, the support and stability provided by the Romaleos 4 is unparalleled.
Best Powerlifting Shoe: Converse Chuck Taylor All Star
- Very flat, non-compressible soles
- A good “beater” shoe
- Great for deadlifts
- Looks better with use
- Can’t compete with premium shoes
- Has a shorter lifespan than other shoes
The Converse Chuck Taylor All Star is many powerlifters’ favorite shoe to lift in because it has a flat, non-compressible sole, which makes it ideal for powerlifting, and is fairly inexpensive compared to other strength training shoes. The Chuck Taylor high tops also provide mild ankle support, which increases stability when deadlifting or squatting.
The Chuck Taylor isn’t the highest-quality shoe out there, but it’s reliable and affordable, making it a great “beater” shoe to train in. Many lifters like the rugged look Chuck Taylors have after being worn during many workout sessions. It can be said that the more beaten up they are, the better they look.
The Converse Chuck Taylor is one of the best shoes for powerlifting because it’s flat-soled, reliable, and inexpensive. It doesn’t compress, which could limit your squat and deadlift, and it’s affordable.
Best CrossFit Shoe: Nike Metcon 8
- Heel height: flat
- Heel drop: short
- Heel material: hard-wearing rubber over Nike REACT foam
- Fit: true to size
- Looks great
- Perfect for CrossFit WODs
- Can withstand huge work volumes
- Available in many different colors
- Somewhat expensive
- May be difficult to find certain colors in your size
The Nike Metcon line has been popular since it was first released. It has a sleek, low-profile design that causes it to easily be mistaken for a fashion trainer despite being a CrossFit shoe.
The newest edition, the Metcon 8, is a well-balanced shoe that has the necessary stability and durability for CrossFit. It’s designed to be lightweight, comfortable, flexible, and solid, giving you a strong underfoot for multiple physical activities. It can handle whatever you throw at it, like running or weightlifting. Also, the 8s come in a wide range of colors and can even be customized for a slightly higher price.
The Nike Metcon is still one of the best CrossFit shoes despite having so many competitors. Even after being around for so long, it’s still known for being a high-quality, great-looking shoe.
The Nike Metcon 8 is a versatile shoe that‘s ready for anything you throw at it. Its aesthetically pleasing design allows it to be worn in fashionable or functional settings.
Best Men’s Shoe For Strength Training And Cardio: Men’s NOBULL Black Gum Trainer
- Top-notch design quality
- Useful for a wide range of exercises
- Very durable
- Can be worn casually
- More expensive than many competitors
If you’re looking for a versatile strength training shoe, the NOBULL Black Gum Trainer is a good option. It’s made for every kind of exercise, which includes running, weight training, rope climbing, and any odd exercises and activities that you throw at it. Its active, non-compressible sole and foot support will ensure that you’re safe and stable throughout your workout.
Not only are the Black Gum Trainers perfect for wearing inside the gym, but they’re also perfect for wearing outside the gym as well. They’re fashionable enough to wear with casual clothing, so you won’t look weird wearing them outside of a gym. You can wear these shoes throughout the day, whether you’re lifting weights or running errands in them.
The NOBULL Black Gum Trainer was designed to be reliable, strong, and durable – which should be expected of a 200-dollar shoe. Though it has a hefty price tag, its quality makes it worth its price.
The NOBULL Black Gum Trainer is one of the best shoes for strength training and cardio, so if you’re looking for a pair of premium lifting shoes for your strength and cardio sessions, it’s a great option.
Best Women’s Shoe For Strength Training And Cardio: Women’s NOBULL Black Gum Trainer
- Great for CrossFit
- Excellent construction and feel
- Can be worn in a casual setting
- More expensive than most trainers
We remain impressed by the NOBULL Black Gum Trainer. It’s a top-quality, durable strength training shoe, and if you’re training for both strength and cardio, it’s a one-shoe solution that you can wear before, during, and after your workout.
Stability and comfort during any type of workout are what a good crosstraining shoe should provide, and the NOBULL Black Gum Trainers excel at this, making them better crosstraining shoes than most.
With their high-quality and ergonomic design, the Black Gum Trainers will make your feet feel secure, stable, and comfortable, which is important when performing various activities, such as cycling, running, and lifting weights.
The NOBULL Black Gum Trainers are probably the best women’s shoes for strength training and cardio. They might come with a hefty price tag, but they’re worth it.
Best Shoe For Strength Training and HIIT: Reebok Nano X3
- Heel height: flat
- Heel drop: none
- Heel material: hard-wearing rubber and “Floatride” energy foam
- Fit: true to size
- Strong, solid design
- Built for longevity
- Cheaper than NOBULL trainers
- Perfect for CrossFit
- Lower quality than NOBULL trainers
- Has a more “functional” aesthetic than its competitors
The Reebok NANO has long been the shoe of choice for CrossFitters. This is primarily because this shoe offers a level of versatility that is hard to beat. It can compete with the NOBULL and Nike trainers and has a robust upper design and extreme breathability.
The Nano X3 has a durable, high-quality design with good cushioning and a mildly elevated heel. The X3 has a stronger sole and better midfoot support than prior NANO models. Also, it’s fairly priced based on its value.
The Reebok Nano X3s are perfect for sled pushing, tire flipping, rope climbing, running, weight training, and more, making them the perfect shoe for a HIIT workout. When you’re doing interval training, they’ll allow you to easily transition from one type of exercise to another.
The Nano X3 is a staple for a reason. It does everything a cross-trainer should do and has a decent price point, making it one of the best shoes for strength training and HIIT workouts.
Best Weight Training Shoe For Flat Feet: Strike MVMNT Haze Trainer
- Heel height: flat
- Heel drop: 4mm
- Heel material: EVA + EPE foam with a rubber contact
- Fit: true to size
- Great ergonomic design
- Buit for comfort and stability
- Perfect for athletes with flat feet
- Good for running
- More expensive than some competitors
- Not the best lifter or the best runner
If you have flat feet, your options for comfortable strength training shoes are limited. The best strength training shoes for flat feet are shoes that are designed to keep your feet in a natural position and offer light support.
The Strike MVMNT Haze Trainer is great for athletes with flat feet. It has an ergonomic barefoot design that provides a small amount of padding to absorb force. This shoe is a compromise between true barefoot trainers and shoes built for explosive ground contact.
The Haze Trainer is less supportive than the Reebok Nano X3 and NOBULL Black Gum Trainer, but it’s designed like this to provide a more natural feel. Its flatness is great for strength training, but it still has enough cushioning for running.
The Strike MVMNT Haze Trainers are a perfect mid-level shoe for athletes that have flat feet. They’ll allow you to perform activities like running and lifting weights with a natural foot posture.
Strength Training Shoe Reviews: Why You Can Trust Our Opinion
We have extensive knowledge about multiple aspects of strength training, including training equipment. We double-check our content for accuracy, do extensive research about the topics we write about, and perform hands-on testing when possible. Our goal is to provide value to our readers, helping them make informed decisions about the equipment they add to their home gyms.
How We Chose Which Shoes to Review
The strength training shoes we reviewed weren’t chosen at random. To choose which shoes we’d review, we looked at the shoes we own and also determined which shoes are most popular by scouring forums, review sites, YouTube videos, and customer reviews on product pages.
We considered what types of strength training shoes would be the most sought-after. For example, many lifters are interested in powerlifting, so that would be a good type of shoe to review. Our goal is to cater to lots of people interested in lifting shoes, regardless of the type of lifting shoes they’re looking for.
Choosing a Strength Training Shoe
Don’t go out and buy a pair of strength training shoes without doing your due diligence. The last thing you’d want to do is spend money on a shoe that isn’t a good fit for you or your training goals. You should treat your investments in strength training equipment like any other investment, doing research to determine whether the investment is good or not. To help you decide what strength training shoes you want to buy, we’ll go over some things you should consider before purchasing a pair:
One of the most important things to consider when buying strength training shoes (or anything for that matter) is what you want to use them for. If you will only be doing Olympic weightlifting exercises, Olympic weightlifting shoes will be best for you. If you plan on incorporating CrossFit workouts into your training routine, a CrossFit shoe will be best for you.
Another important thing to consider when purchasing a pair of strength training shoes is their heel height. Many lifters struggle to squat with flat shoes, especially when it comes to Olympic lifting. Both of the competition lifts in Olympic weightlifting, the snatch and the clean and jerk, require you to drop down into a squat. Heeled weightlifting shoes make it easier to squat, so if you plan on doing Olympic weightlifting exercises or squats, you might be better off choosing a shoe like the Nike Romaleos 4. If you plan on doing Olympic lifting exercises in addition to other exercises that a heel wouldn’t be ideal for, you’ll want to get a versatile strength training shoe, like the Nike Metcon.
The midsole is the material that lies between a shoe’s insole and outsole. It’s the part of a shoe that’s responsible for providing shock absorption and cushioning. When strength training, you want your shoes’ midsoles to be non-compressible, meaning they’ll be able to withstand the heavy weights placed upon them without compressing. You also want your shoes’ midsoles to be durable, meaning they’ll retain their form even when being placed under heavy loads on a consistent basis.
The outsole is the bottom part of a shoe’s sole, and it’s also the part of the shoe that makes contact with the floor. The outsoles of weight training shoes should provide adequate grip so the wearer doesn’t slip when performing exercises. Also, the outsole should be durable enough to not break apart after consistent use. The last thing you’d want is for your shoes to start “talking” while you’re trying to lift, right?
Is the shoe durable enough to be able to tolerate the stress that is placed upon it during a training session? This is an important question because strength training shoes can be expensive, and you don’t want to have to replace them every few months. And even if your shoes are inexpensive, you probably still wouldn’t want to have to constantly replace them.
It’s important to determine whether the shoes are actually worth their price based on what you’re trying to use them for. If you don’t take weight training very seriously, it might not make sense to buy the most expensive shoes out there. Conversely, if you plan on being a competitive lifter, it wouldn’t make sense to buy inexpensive, cheaply-made shoes that will hinder your performance.
The final thing that should be looked at is the opinion of other people who own the product. What are people who own the shoe saying about it? Are there a lot of people saying the same thing? If there are tons of people saying the same thing about a shoe, there might be some validity to what they’re saying.
Frequently Asked Questions
In this section, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about strength training shoes we’ve come across during our research for this article:
Should I Buy Lifting Shoes?
If you plan on lifting weights, you should buy a pair of lifting shoes. They provide the midsole support necessary for lifting heavy loads. The midsoles of many other types of athletic shoes are too compressible, so they aren’t ideal for strength training. The type of lifting shoes you buy will depend on your goals and budget.
Should I Wear Flat or Heeled Shoes When Lifting Weights?
Whether you should wear flat or heeled lifting shoes depends on the types of exercises you’ll be performing. For example, if you’re going to be doing Olympic-style squats, you’ll probably be better off with shoes that have a heel. If you’re going to be deadlifting, it depends on your preference, but many lifters prefer flat shoes for the deadlift. If you’re going to be doing a lot of functional or machine-based training, you’d be better off wearing flat shoes.
Can I Wear Running Shoes for Strength Training?
We don’t recommend that you wear running shoes for strength training. The midsoles of running shoes are meant to provide comfort and support while running, so they’re not stable enough for lifting weights. If you go from lifting in running shoes to lifting in weight training shoes, we guarantee you’ll notice a difference.
Can I Run In Strength Training Shoes?
In addition to not lifting in running shoes, we also don’t recommend running in lifting shoes. The midsoles of weight training shoes don’t provide the amount of cushion necessary for running, which could potentially result in an injury. Also, it would be difficult to run in heeled weightlifting shoes.
What Are the Best Weight Training Shoes?
Did you even read the article? Just kidding. For the best strength training shoes available, you can check out our reviews above. We mention some of the best shoes available for general strength training, Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, powerlifting, and other strength training activities.
Where Can I Buy Strength Training Shoes?
You’ll find that most strength training shoes are only sold online. In many places, it’s difficult to find brick-and-mortar-only stores that sell weightlifting shoes. At best, you might be able to have them shipped to a store for pickup. Some of the best places to look for strength training shoes online are Rogue Fitness and Amazon.
The Bottom Line
With so many different training shoes available, choosing a pair to buy can be a daunting task. In this article, we’ve reviewed some of the best shoes for strength training that are available. There are others out there, but the ones we reviewed are some of the most popular. Additionally, we also went over the things that should be considered when choosing a new pair of lifting shoes.
Hopefully, we’ve made it easier for you to make a decision, and now, you can put more of your attention toward training. Whether you’re looking for a pair of weightlifting shoes to help you set a new squat PR or you’re a beginner that’s new to strength training, we hope that you gained something from reading this article.
Jay is not just a writer; he’s a seasoned strength enthusiast with two decades of dedicated training under his belt. Whether he’s crafting engaging articles, reviewing cutting-edge equipment, or sharing his personal fitness anecdotes, Jay’s writing resonates with a diverse audience, from seasoned gym enthusiasts to beginners eager to embark on their own transformative fitness paths.