Best Olympic Weightlifting Shoes

Best Olympic Weightlifting Shoes, December 2021

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Reports suggest that the average American person owns 19 pairs of shoes - but how many of these are gym shoes?

Believe it or not, shoes can make a big difference when it comes to training. Runners need specific shoes to support their feet and ankles during long distance training, while the best deadlifting shoes need height on the heels.

As the fitness market continues to expand, and sports like Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, bodybuilding and powerlifting grow in popularity amongst men and women, more and more well known brands are designing shoes with the needs of these athletes in mind.

With such a broad market of options, it can be difficult to decide which shoe to buy, not to mention time consuming as you switch between tabs trying to compare the details and structure of each shoes.

My intention is to provide you with a comprehensive breakdown of each shoe to give you an easy guide when you are shopping for the shoe to bring your lifting to the next level.

The Olympic weightlifting shoes I am going to review are as follows:

  • Adidas Adipower Weightlifting II 
  • Nike Romaleos 4
  • Reebok Legacy Lifter II
  • Adidas Powerlift 4
  • Adidas Power Perfect 3
  • Do-Win Classic Lifter
  • Reebok Lifter PR II
  • Do-Win Weightlifting Shoe

Don't have time to read? Here's my top pick!

#1

5/5

Adidas Adipower Weightlifting II

Adidas is known for many things, and the Adidas Adipower Weightlifting II is definitely one of them.


Performance, comfort, aesthetics, and prestige are all ways to describe the Adipower olympic lifting shoe and it's my choice for #1 weightlifting shoe.

adidas olympic lifting shoe

Our Top Best Olympic Weightlifting Shoes

1. Adidas Adipower II Weightlifting Shoes (Editor's Choice)

As with a lot of weightlifting accessories, one stands above the rest, and the Adidas Adipower II Weightlifting Shoes are the epitome of what a great lifting shoe should be.

I have a feeling this unbalance in the market will change as brands catch on to the movement of more and more women joining Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, and powerlifting as a way to gain strength and functional fitness. 

  • Heel Height: 20.1mm lift
  • Strap and Laces lockdown closure
  • Strong TPU midsole
  • Rubber Outsole

This is also why when I find a high quality olympic weightlifting shoe designed for men and women, I need to talk about it.

The Adidas Adipower Weightlifting II is a powerful, versatile shoe that benefits all athletes, no matter their gender. 

The Adidas Adipower shoes have a cool history: these Olympic shoes were originally designed for the London 2021 Summer Olympics, and who better to follow when it comes to weightlifting shoe choice than the world’s top Olympic athletes?

The Adidas Adipower Weightlifting IIs improve on that original design to make shoes suited for highly stable and powerful Olympic movements. 

These shoes can boost the performance of male and female weightlifters no matter what weight you are stacking on the bar.

They feature a heel height of 0.79 inches (or 20.1 millimeters) and a secure midfoot strap that is best for Olympic weightlifting movements like the Olympic snatch and the clean and jerk.

It is worth mentioning however that this shoe does not limit its performance to just those two movements; its flexible foot, reinforced heel, breathable material, and natural fit caters to a variety of strength training movements.

As for look, the women’s version of these Olympic shoes go for a more feminine and subtle appearance with a light purple tint. Men have more color options, ranging from black and white, to all black, to a neutral green. 


2. The Nike Romaleos 4 (Runner-Up)

In the world of Olympic weightlifting shoes, Nike Romaleos 4 are a classic and popular choice.

These Olympic shoes boast a high heel lift; the thought process behind this is the higher your heel is off the ground, the greater ankle flexion you are able to achieve, resulting in a deeper squat and allowing for you to perform a more explosive movement from the lowest point in your squat.

  • Adjustable Wide Straps
  • Rigid Midsole and Large Heel Lift
  • Wide Heel
  • Rubber Tread for durable traction

The Nike Romaleos 4 Olympic shoe also provides mid-sole support to give you a firm base while you perform your lifts. They have a durable rubber sole that aims to prevent any movement of your foot weight performing lifts under the barbell, like power cleans, front squats, or squat cleans.

They have a wider heel than other Olympic shoes, which increases the surface area of your foot to provide even more stability.

Finally, these shoes also include an adjustable flap over the midfoot to secure your laces, again increasing stability and security during your most powerful Olympic movements.

In terms of style, you have options with these Olympic weightlifting shoes. The Nike Romaleos 4 come in a white shoe with black trim for a more classic gym shoe look.

You also have the option of an all black shoe with minimal white highlights that give off a more powerful and edgy appearance. 


3. Reebok Legacy Lifter II (Best Budget Option)

The Reebok Legacy Lifter II Olympic shoes, with their intuitive and detailed design, are sure to catch the eye of passersby in the gym.

These shoes have a serious and confident look that will surely translate into your lifting when you wear them.

These Olympic weightlifting shoes feature a purposeful 0.86 inch (or 22 millimeter) heel constructed by durable Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) that again will provide depth and mobility to your squat- oriented movements.

  • Lockdown Straps
  • TPU Clip and Lifted Heel
  • Textile Upper
  • Grip Rubber Outsole

Stepping away from the norm, these Olympic shoes feature anti microbial lining that may protect your feet from bacteria which is a great option for people whose feet tend to sweat a lot or people who often deal with fungal infections like athlete’s foot. 

Because of its thoughtful design that aims to conform to and care for your natural foot, the Reebok Legacy Lifter IIs are well known for the comfort and versatility they offer their wearer while you are smashing your PRs. 

In terms of appearance, you have four options for colour with these shoes: blue and white, black and white, all black, or grey and black with a really classic brown sole.

As an Olympic weightlifting shoe, you can't go wrong when it comes to Reebok.


4. Adidas Powerlift 4

In all weight lifting sports, whether it be Olympic weightlifting, Crossfit, or powerlifting, being able to perform a strong and stable squat is the cornerstone for success - and so is the Adidas Powerlift 4.

While the right pair of shoes will not make or break your ability to perform a squat, they absolutely can improve your depth, stability, and drive while under the bar.

  • Durable Adiwear outsole
  • Lightweight
  • Heel height: 28 mm (size 9)
  • Product code: BC0347

Adidas Powerlift 4s are a shoe that comes strongly recommended for people who often perform barbell squats to depth.

Specifically, these shoes feature a 0.6 inch (15 millimeter) heel made from a thick and dense EVA foam that allows you to comfortably sit deep and upright at the bottom of your barbell squat during Olympic weightlifting movements.

If you are looking to increase your ability to drive up heavy weights in a squat, these shoes might just be your secret weapon.

Adidas Powerlift 4s are affordable shoes that are well known in the powerlifting circuit.

They are designed with a full outer canvas (think durability: canvas is often used for backpacks and tents) that holds up well when you need a stable shoe.

Despite its durable construction, this shoe is lightweight and does not require much breaking-in. The only downside to the canvas material is that these are not the most breathable shoes on the market.

The slip resistant rubber outsole on these shoes, paired with a thick strap across the front of the shoe to secure the fit, ensure your foot is stable under any weight that you are grinding up. 


5. Adidas Power Perfect 3

This is the third Adidas Olympic weightlifting shoe on this list, which should indicate to you that Adidas is trying to cater to all level athletes and shoe preferences with their Olympic shoe designs.

The benefit of this Olympic shoe, the Adidas Power Perfect 3, is durability that will surely last years of training on the platform, without burning a hole in your pocket.

  • Durable Synthetic Upper and Adiwear Outsole
  • Hook-and-loop Instep Strap
  • Air Mesh Collar 
  • Integral Rearfoot Heel Support

For stability and to increase your mobility, the Adidas Power Perfect 3 Olympic shoe has a 0.75 inch heel and a secure strap that velcros across your mid foot (both standard for the market).

The material is thicker than other shoes I have reviewed, with reinforced leather on the heel and double stitching alongside the shoe, which demonstrates this shoes’ durability.

The raised heel is also made of high density EVA foam which will withstand compression while you perform Olympic weightlifting movements, to ensure you have explosive force when you are standing up from under the bar.

These shoes withstand the test of heavy back squats, power cleans, and clean pulls while having a short break in a period of only a couple of weeks.


6. Do-Win Classic Lifter

If you are looking for a more versatile shoe that will carry you across Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, and powerlifting training as your interests change, consider the Do-Win Classic Lifter.

The performance of these shoes are in their name: they feature a classic design that will help you “win” and smash your PR lifts. 

  • Suede & Mesh Upper w/ Rounded Toe Shape
  • Ventilation for breathability, reduced moisture
  • 2 Hook-and-Loop Tarsal Straps
  • Stacked Leather Heel

These shoes are the original Rogue Olympic weightlifting shoes; they are being relaunched with an updated, intuitive design and stylish vintage appearance. In 2007, these were the first shoes popular lifting brand Rogue Fitness sold, meaning this shoe has a history of cutting edge weight training accessories behind it. 

As for structure, a simple 0.75 inch raised heel, breathable material, and double straps over the mid foot for controlled stability will serve casual to advanced athletes alike.

The heel features classic stacked genuine leather to create a solid base during your heavy lifts, and their cool mesh body will allow for breathability during longer training sessions or all day wear during competitions.

Finally, their rounded toe shape allows lifters with wider feet a guaranteed comfort.  

The Do-Win Classic Lifter comes in bold red, blue, and black designs paired with white trim and a timeless brown heel.

Their suede and mesh body give off an appearance that says vintage meets functional and shows your respect for the sport while embracing new advancements in shoe design. 


7. Reebok Lifter PR II

Next, the Reebok Lifter PR II come recommended for CrossFit athletes looking to smash PRs with a shoe they can trust to carry them from power cleans to snatches to muscle ups to burpees.

These Olympic weightlifting shoes also come at a very affordable price, which is ideal for people who are still experimenting with wearing raised heel shoes during weight training. 

  • Textile upper
  • EVA midsole for lightweight cushioning
  • Rubber outsole for traction and durability
  • Rubber sole

These shoes are the best of both worlds: they offer a 22 millimeter heel to toe drop that allows you to get deep during squat oriented movements, and drive up with the power you need to move heavy weight with proper form.

Also, they feature a breathable and comfortable design on the upper part of the shoe that makes these almost like a running shoe hybrid.

This is excellent for CrossFit athletes because a lot of Olympic weightlifting shoe designs really aim to have a highly structured upper shoe for stability, but the flexible and low cut heel design of the Reebok Lifter PR IIs makes switching to burpees or the calorie bike a lot more feasible and comfortable. 

As well, the single strap over the midfoot can provide foot stability while keeping laces safety secured to prevent them from interfering with your more dynamic and fast paced CrossFit training. 

If you are seeking a traditional and unassuming gym shoe look, these shoes are for you. The Reebok Lifter PR IIs come in grey and white, all black, and a more colorful option of blue, white, and orange to suit all preferences. 


8. Do-Win Weightlifting Shoe

Now, while we have reached the back end of the best olympic lifting shoes, do not underestimate the final weightlifting shoe I want to mention: the Do-Win Weightlifting Shoe.

These Olympic weightlifting shoes are designed with the athlete in mind, boasting intuitive structure and functionality that will have you excited to train with these on the platform again and again. How can I be so sure?

These shoes rose to popularity in the 1990s, meaning Do-Win has had decades to alter and tweak their design to perfect these high performance Olympic shoes.

  • 0.75" Plastic Heel
  • Synthetic Leather and Nylon Mesh
  • 2 Metatarsal Straps
  • Do-Win Single-Sole and Toebox Design

Like the Do-Win Classic Lifters, these shoes feature a double strap over the wearer’s midfoot and 0.75 heel to toe drop (ideal for Olympic weightlifting but less ideal for powerlifters who need a lower heel for low bar squats).

The wide fit of these Olympic shoes allow you to spread your toes and “grab” the floor beneath you, a common cue to develop stability and balance in weightlifting athletes.

Also, these shoes come in at 0.5 kilos in weight, which is a mid-range weight. This weight creates the ideal balance between a lightweight shoe that allows you fluid movements and transitions during more dynamic movements like snatches, and a heavier fit that encourages firm footing during heavy movements like the barbell back squat. 


9. Adidas Powerlift 5 Weightlifting Shoes

Yup, you guessed it, the Adidas Powerlift 5 Weightlifting Shoe is another retread (get it, like shoe tread?) of the Adipower/Adidas weightlifting shoe philosophy and design.

At first glance, you'd easily mistake them for any of the Adipowers, but like the Powerlift 4, they're a tad different.

However, all in all, they're the updated version of an existing, and amazing, weightlifting shoe so it warrants a mention.

  • 15mm Heel Lift Height
  • Slip Resistant Rubber Outsole
  • High-density die-cut midsole wedge
  • Flexible Canvas Upper w/ Mesh Inserts

First thing I'll say is that if you want some really eye-catching flair to your weightlifting shoes, it doesn't get much better than this.

Unique color options are just some of the benefits to this lifting shoe.

A 15mm heel lift height means it isn't as noticeable as the best Olympic weightlifting shoes, but it is good for squats. Similarly, it has a slip resistant rubber outsole and durable midsole wedge for maximum performance.

Overall, a solid choice for any lifter.


10. Nike Savaleos

In similar fashion to the Romaleos, the Nike Savaleos are a versatile weightlifting shoe that can be used for your entire workout if need be.

Even though all of the shoes on this list (minus one we'll get to at the end) are designed specifically for Olympic lifting, powerlifting, etc., it's good to have an all-around gym shoe.

It does have a 15mm heel lift, so you'll need to get used to it if you want to workout in it, but the possibility is there.

  • 15mm Heel Lift Height
  • Lockdown Hook-and-Loop Strap
  • Rigid Midsole Construction
  • Padded Mesh in Heel

Nike Savaleos look very similar to the Romaleos, but I'd actually argue the Savaleos are much sleeker looking, with more of a running shoe aesthetic mixed with a traditional weight lifting shoe.

It features a lockdown hook-and-loop strap for secured wearing, a nice rigid midsole construction so that there's plenty of support for heavy lifts, and padded mesh in the heel to protect your feet from wear and tear.

Really, you can't go wrong with the Savaleos if you want a mid-range priced lifting shoe that can be worn as a general use gym shoe.


11. Adidas Adipower III Weightlifting Shoes

You might be surprised to see the Adidas Adipower III Weightlifting Shoe so far down the list, but let me reassure you, it's not because of quality.

Simply put, it comes down to preference because the Adipower II and Adipower IIIs are very close in terms of quality.

The Adipower IIIs has the same heel lift and look identical, with some minor differences.

Identical soles, identical strap placement and style, and 33mm stack height.

  • 20.1mm Heel Lift Height
  • Strong TPU midsole for support
  • Strong Breathable Ripstop Upper
  • Velcro Strap and Laces lockdown closure

Where the Adipower II and Adipower III differs is in some minor cosmetic changes. Notably, the heel loop on the Adipower III is located lower, which is really inconsequential to the shoe quality, but maybe it's something you'll like.

The cosmetic changes make the shoe look more modern, it has more detailing, especially on the heel lift, but ultimately, it's a stylistic choice if you prefer the IIs or IIIs.

One major factor is that the Adipower IIIs are more expensive, but the comfort and secureness of the shoe have a slight edge over the Adipower II.


12. Nike Metcon 7

Now for something entirely different - the Nike Metcon 7.

I know what you're thinking, "This isn't a weightlifting shoe at all!" and you're right, but it's also one of the best all-around training shoes out there.

I included this shoe on the list because it can very much be used as an Olympic weightlifting shoe if you want something that can be used for anything your heart desires.

  • Tab Locks down laces with hook-and-loop closure
  • React Foam for a comfortable, cushioned base
  • Grooves in sole let forefoot bend naturally
  • Lightweight Mesh w/ textured overlays in high-wear areas

Designed like a running shoe, the Metcon 7 is perfect for CrossFit, weightlifting, running, walking, or just a wearable shoe with wonderful heel support.

It's also a very sleek looking shoe and works well as a daily wear shoe, but don't be mistaken, it works incredibly well for all kinds of activity. It even has rubber wraps on the side to help with rope climbing, so that's pretty cool!

If you need a lightweight, well-designed, versatile cross-trainer shoe that can easily be used for Olympic weightlifting, deadlifitng, or powerlifting, then the Nike Metcon 7 is a good all-around choice.


Final Thoughts

When I first started training with Olympic weightlifting shoes after always lifting with flat shoes, I was surprised by the different feeling and new positioning that the raised heel of Olympic shoes allows for.

There is a break in period with Olympic weightlifting shoes because they put your body into a new squat position, so be patient as you work to build the muscle memory required to perform your squat safely and correctly.

Buying the right Olympic weightlifting shoe is one of the best choices you can make for your fitness goals, hopefully I've helped you 

Our #1 Choice - Adidas Adipower Weightlifting II

Adidas Adipower Weightlifting II

The Best Olympic Weightlifting Shoes

Adidas Adipower Weightlifting II
  • Supreme Stability
  • Enhanced Comfort
  • Woven Textile Upper
  • Get the BEST price now!
Denver Matheson
 

I spend a lot of time at the gym and even more time in the kitchen giving my body what it needs to repair itself and grow stronger. The third most important place for any athlete is their research zone. That's exactly why this site exists, to help me share all of the information I've learned throughout the years just like people did for me in the first place!

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