Best Olympic Weightlifting Shoes

Reports suggest that the average American person owns 19 pairs of shoes. But, how many of these are gym shoes? And how much time are you spending considering the best gym shoe for your weightlifting goals?

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.

People who train with high intensity interval training of Tabata circuits need hybrid shoes that allow them to jump, run, and lift with strength and stability.

Similarly, enthusiasts who participate in Olympic lifting, whether they are just breaking into the sport or are long time athletes of Olympic lifting, must find a shoe that fits them comfortable while providing them with mobility and stability as they increase the weight on the bar.

As the fitness market continues to expand, and sports like Olympic weightlifting, Cross-fit, 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 shoe.

So, I am putting together this article that will compare the top 8 Olympic weightlifting shoes available to consumers.

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.

Our Top Best Olympic Weightlifting Shoes

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

As with a lot of weightlifting accessories, brands tend to market towards a male audience and we see the consequence of this with the wide array of choices men have when purchasing Olympic weightlifting shoes in comparison to women.

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. 

Adidas Adipower Weightlifting II

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 Weightlifting II’s 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. 

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

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 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.

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.

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

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.

Reebok Legacy Lifter II

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. 

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

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.

The wide variety of options here guarantee that you will find a shoe that suits your style. What really stands out on the body of these Olympic weightlifting shoes is the strap around the mid foot that provides the stability you need and also features the classic Reebok name and logo in an attractive layout.


#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.

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.

Adidas Powerlift 4

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.

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

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. 

In terms of fit, Adidas boasts a more narrow fit with these Olympic shoes, so people who have wider sized feet might want to look further for their perfect shoe.

Style, on the other hand, will appease all lifters: these Olympic shoes feature a sleek design of an all black design with gold branding that will make you look like a high level athlete. 


#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.

Adidas Power Perfect 3

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.

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

Now, how about look? Like all Adidas shoes, these feature the classic three stripes of the brand. The logo is more apparent on the all black shoe, where the white stripes stand out and are complemented by the gold accents.

Alternatively, the Adidas Power Perfect 3’s also offer a choice of shoe with black and grey body with a brighter coral coloured heel.


#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. 

Do-Win Classic Lifter

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.  

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

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 IIs 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. 

Adidas Power Perfect 3

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. 

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

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 end of my review list, do not underestimate the final Olympic 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.

Do-Win Weightlifting Shoe

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. 

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

As for the look, the Do-Win Weightlifting Shoe comes in a simple black and white design. Its reinforced hard plastic heel and synthetic leather with nylon mesh body shows that this Olympic weightlifting shoe is all business.


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.

Because the raised heel puts your toes at a slight decline, be prepared for your squat form to feel unfamiliar.

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.

I always recommend reducing the weight on the bar to something you can perform with confidence when trying out and breaking in new Olympic shoes. 

In all, when shopping for your first or next pair of Olympic weightlifting shoes, you want to be honest with yourself about your commitment to strength training, your available budget, and the features that you are prioritizing.

Whenever you are looking for a lightweight and breathable shoe, a secure shoe with non-slip rubber and mid foot step, or a shoe with durability that will stand up to hitting the platform again and again, with some time and patience you are sure to find what you need.  

FAQs

Which Olympic Weightlifting Shoe Should I Buy?

Alright, so now that you have a more comprehensive understanding of how these eight shoes differ, there are some important factors to weigh before you set your sights on your final purchase.

What sport do you participate in?

If you are a beginner athlete who has not yet found the weight training style that best suits your needs and interests, consider a more general shoe that can easily bounce between olympic training, CrossFit, and powerlifting so that you get more wear out of the single pair. If you are already sure that you are committed to a specific sport, I would recommend buying the shoe that is engineered to best support your performance in that specific area. Keep in mind that while olympic weightlifting shoes can be versatile on the platform, they are mostly limited to strength training exercises: do not try to double up on these shoes by bringing them to your next 5k run.

What Heel to Toe Drop Best Supports your Training?

While the heel raise of olympic weightlifting shoes really varies only slightly, that small change can have a big impact on your training depending on your height and form. People who have limited mobility or struggle to sit back in their squat may benefit from a higher heel raise, up to 1 inch high. A higher heel can also benefit people who perform high bar back squats with a narrower stance, where it is important to keep your chest up during heavier lifts. On the other hand, if you squat with low bar form or a wider stance, you might shop for a lower heel that does not interfere with your ideal bar path. As well, people who are tall generally opt for a heel at a 0.75 inch elevation or higher, and people who are shorter seek slightly smaller heel lifts. Of course, with all of these different variables in mind you might need to experiment to find the best heel height for you, so be patient with this olympic weightlifting shoe journey you have set yourself on!

Our #1 Recommended - Adidas Adipower Weightlifting II

Adidas Adipower Weightlifting II

Adidas Adipower Weightlifting II

The Best Olympic Weightlifting Shoes

  • Supreme Stability
  • Enhanced Comfort
  • Woven Textile Upper
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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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