Best Weightlifting Belt 2022

Best WeightLifting Belt, August 2021

The hunt to find a good weight lifting belt is inevitable at some point in your quest for strength.

Often, people will buy their first when they decide that being serious about getting strong means investing money some money in the right gear.

There are plenty of weightlifting belts out there; however finding the right type can be tricky due both quality differences between belts AND personal preferences such as style or size preference, which is why I've done the dirty work for you.

My aim is to make sure my guidance, through recommendations based off of my own experience, of using different brands and styles will show you which is the best weightlifting belt to choose from.

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

#1

5/5

Rogue Ohio Lifting Belt 

The Rogue Ohio Lifting Belt is my top choice for best lifting belts and it's easy to see why.


10mm thick tanned American leather (vegetarian too!), 4" wide body, and a single buckle design make it easy to snugly fit on you and support your body during even the heaviest of lifts.

rogue ohio weightlifting belt

Best Lifting Belts

While there are many lifting belts out there, I've narrowed it down to this list to help you find which ones I like, and which ones are generally considered the best weightlifting belts available!

1. Rogue Olympic Ohio Belt

Rogue are a giant in lifting equipment and have been cranking out some quality products in all areas of strength training over recent years. The Rogue Olympic Ohio Belt is evidence of this.

10mm thick, it is super supportive and durable.

Made from vegetable-tanned leather and, this makes the leather firmer and, in my opinion, makes looks pretty nice too.

The front of the belt tapers down to just 2 inches so there isn’t as much material for the bar to get caught on during the Olympic lifts.

  • 4" Width 
  • 10mm Thickness
  • Single Prong Buckle for Easy Adjustment
  • Vegetable Tanned American Leather

I also like the addition of the buckle guard, which is just an extra piece of leather that slides in front of the buckle to stop anything from hitting that.

These extra features do make for a superb lifting belt. On the downside, you will have to pay for that quality.

If you don't mind spending a bit extra for the quality and longevity you will get out of this belt, this is the one to go for.


2. Texas Belts Longhorn Belt 

Texas Belts Longhorn Belt is a fan favorite and scores highly across the board because of the pliability and support it offers.

This is a bonus as it means that it shouldn’t take quite as long to break the belt in.

You should be getting the most out of it a bit quicker than some of the stiffer belts.

The leather on the Texas Belts does seem to be a bit more pliable but still just as supportive as other belts on the market.

  • 4" Width
  • 10mm Thickness
  • Seamless Roller Buckle
  • IPF-Approved Belt

This is a bonus as it means that it shouldn’t take quite as long to break the belt in. So, you should be getting the most out of it a bit quicker than some of the stiffer belts.

I would highly recommend the Longhorn belt if you have the budget for it. It is a very good belt and comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Beyond that, if you're a competition lifter, the belt is IPF-approved.


3. Rogue Faded 4" Lifting Belt

Once again we have Rogue with the Rogue Faded 4" Lifting Belt.

You'll notice that it's designed very similar to their Olympic belt, which makes it equally good.

Among the similar design features are the double-prong belt, the vegetable tanned-leather material, and classic Rogue lettering on the back.

  • 4" Width
  • 8.5mm Thickness
  • Vegetable-Tanned Faded Leather
  • Double-Prong Buckle

Where this belt differs is the obvious fading on the leather for an aged, worn-in look which is quite aesthetically pleasing.

The Faded 4" Lifting Belt is also only 8.5mm thick, which isn't as thick, but it's not overly noticeable to most. It's still 4" in width so it provides plenty of lumbar support for all your lifting needs.

Coming in at a mere $5 more than the Olympic belt, it all comes down to preference in terms of style and thickness whether you prefer this over my top pick.


4. Toro Bravo Powerlifting Belt

If you do not quite have the budget for the Longhorn, Texas Belts cheaper alternative is the Toro Bravo Powerlifting Belt

This is not quite as high quality as the Longhorn, as reflected in the lower price, but it still is an excellent belt.

In fact, the vast majority of people won’t notice the minor drop in overall quality.

The Toro Bravo only comes with a 1-year warranty, but it'll last longer than that.

  • 4" Width
  • 10mm Thickness
  • Cheaper Than Longhorn Belt
  • Seamless Roller Buckle

I feel the Longhorn is the best belt in terms of overall quality, but due to the lower price - yet still - high quality, I could very easily consider the Toro Bravo Powerlifting Belt the top choice.

Casual lifters and competitors that aren’t at the elite level will do just fine with this one.


5. Eleiko Premium Weightlifting Belt

Eleiko are a huge name in weightlifting. They know how to construct equipment of the very highest quality - including the Eleiko Premium Weightlifting Belt.

Usually Eleiko gear comes at a higher price point so I was surprised to see how cheap this belt is.

The belt is made from leather and only comes in black, with the large Eleiko lettering on the back.

Unfortunately, Eleiko discontinued their Olympic belts, but the Premium WL Belt is a worthy successor.

  • 3.94" Width
  • 8mm Thickness
  • Double-Prong Belt for Secure Wear
  • IWF-Approved

Eleiko's Premium Weightlifting Belt is IWF approved so you have no worries for competition use.

This belts feature a double-prong design. Great if you want some extra strength in the buckle, but can be less speedy to get on and off.

The one thing that I think that's a tiny bit disappointing about this belt is the thickness. It isn’t as thick (8mm) and therefore not quite as supportive as it could be.

However, if you want a perfectly good weight lifting belt at a very good price, then grab this one because Eleiko is a top-tier weightlifting brand.


6. Gymreapers Quick Locking Weightlifting Belt

I've talked about this brand before and they continue to impress me. Gymreapers Quick Locking Weightlifting Belt is another Amazon find that will serve you well.

Ditching leather in favor of neoprene, this belt features a metal buckle and comes in multiple colorways.

Although I'm a fan of leather-material lifting belts, the neoprene is good if you want to wear it without a shirt on.

  • 4" Width
  • Neoprene Material
  • Multiple Colorways
  • Easy Adjustable Buckle

Featuring a roller-style buckle, it's really easy to adjust the strap or take it on/off which helps when you're doing a fast paced workout (ex. WOD/CrossFit, circuit training).

As I mentioned, you can pick from multiple colors, 6 to be exact (Blue, Tan, Black, Grey, Dark Green, Red) which might interest you if you're looking to personalize your workout gear.

I wouldn't put this weightlifting belt in the same league as Rogue, Texas Belts, or Eleiko, but for the price, it's a damn good choice.


7. Rogue Echo 10mm Lifting Belt

One of the classic belts on this list, the Rogue Echo 10mm Lifting Belt, is a good all-around go-to if you're unsure of which one to pick.

Even though powerlifting and Olympic lifting belts can be used for regular lifting, they often come at a higher price.

Fortunately, the Rogue Echo belt is very affordable without sacrificing on quality.

As the name suggests, it's 10mm thick, which I'd recommend for most belts.

  • 4" Width
  • 10mm Thickness
  • Single-Prong Buckle
  • Leather Hide Material

Furthermore, it's 4" in width, so it's checking all of the boxes for the primary features of the best belts. 

Unlike those belts, it only has a single-prong buckle, so while that's slightly less secure, it's not a deal breaker by any means. It features 10 holes and slides in nicely without having to fumble around.

What's really great is that it still uses leather hide material even though it's a more budget-friendly belt which gets a big thumbs up from me.


8. Schiek 2004 Lifting Belt

Possibly not the best lifting belt on the list, the Schiek 2004 Lifting Belt makes up for this by being stylish.

I usually don't care much for the design of my weightlifting accessories, but the Stars and Stripes design was just too good not to show all of you.

That being said, the quality of this belt isn't that close to the others listed, but maybe you're looking for something different.

  • 4.75" Back Support Width
  • Stainless Steel Buckle
  • Velcro for Easy Adjustments
  • Comfortable Fit for Contours of the Body

Immediately, you'll notice the quality isn't as top-notch as the leather belts before it, but it makes up for this by being more pliable, meaning it contours to the body (one of it's best features) making for a more comfortable workout.

Similarly, the simplicity of this belt is it's strongest attribute. Even though it does use a stainless steel buckle, it has Velcro to quickly adjust which is a nice addition.

Likewise, it has 4.75" width for back support which is more than the other belts on this list. 

All in all, it's not an amazing belt, but it's serviceable, and it comes in some cool colors (Purple, Black, Red, Digital Camo, Stars and Stripes) if you want to get a little wacky.


9. Rogue 13mm Powerlifting Belt

Rogue 13mm Powerlifting Belt is the thickest belt on this list, and it makes sense, because you need plenty of support for powerlifting.

Given the thickness, this belt is very durable, and has a standard width of 4".

If you need a heavy duty belt primarily for deadlifts and squats, then this powerlifting belt should be on your radar.

  • 4" Width
  • 13mm Thickness
  • Vegetable Tanned Leather Material
  • IPF Approved

Sharing plenty of features with previously listed Rogue weightlifting belts, the powerlifting belt is made of vegetable tanned leather, and an interior made of suede for comfort.

Best part? It's not just a powerlifting belt in name, it is IPF approved for competition so you can actually use it when it matters.

A single-prong buckle provides good, not great, secure locking and ultimately, it's a very viable choice if you're into powerlifting competitively or otherwise.


10. Rogue USA Nylon Lifting Belt

Last up, we have the Rogue USA Nylon Lifting Belt, which is a crowd favorite for a lot of reasons.

First, it's a great belt that won't break the bank, which is important if you're not looking for a heavy duty belt.

Secondly, it's one of their core lifting gear pieces as it's reliable, so it has plenty of reviews and testimonials.

Thirdly, it's a classic designed weightlifting belt that doesn't try to break the mold - it just simply works.

  • Tapered Width - 3", 4", 5" (Back)
  • 6.35mm Thickness Foam Frame
  • Smooth Buckle and Roller
  • Budget Friendly

Here's where it could be better - the thickness. It's only 6.35mm thick, which is the thinnest of all the belts listed, but it does help keep it lightweight making it more versatile for other activities (ex. CrossFit).

Speaking of CrossFit, it was co-developed by 2x CrossFit Games champ Mat Fraser, so it's designed as a very movement-conscious lifting belt.

A smooth buckle, roller, and strap make it easy to adjust on the fly and the belt tapers from 5" at it's widest (back) to 3" at its smallest (front), so it isn't intrusive on your core during workouts.

The purpose of weight lifting belts

A bulky man wearing Rogue Ohio Oly Lifting Belt

The main purpose of wearing a belt for weight lifting, powerlifting, strongman or any other type of strength training is two-fold.

The first element is of course safety. The belt is there to provide extra stability around your trunk and lower back.

However, the belt doesn’t just “prop” your lower back up and support it that way. 

It works alongside your breathing and bracing techniques, which I will cover later, to increase the amount of pressure around your mid-section.

That extra pressure is what actually stabilizes your spine, not just the belt itself.

The second purpose for wearing a belt is the boost in performance that you can gain out of it. Due to the increase in pressure around your trunk, also known as intra-abdominal pressure, your core is essentially stronger when wearing a belt. Since the belt is artificially making your core stronger, it should allow you to lift more weight than usual when you are wearing it.

Who should wear a weight lifting belt?

A tough question to answer indefinitely. There are quite a few individual nuances that come into play, so all I can give are some factors to take into account and my own suggestions.

Firstly, I will tackle the easy part. The easy part is giving advice to individuals that compete in a strength sport that allows the use of a weight lifting or powerlifting belt.

To these guys, I say you should certainly be using a belt on competition day if it increases the amount of weight you can lift.

In training, it’s a slightly different matter. I don’t think it’s a good idea to become dependent on the belt all of the time.

You will need to wear it and practice using it but I feel that training belt-less for periods of time is a good idea. You can still be insanely strong without the belt, just ask Clarence Kennedy:

Ditching the belt for a while and training belt-less is hard work but if you can get stronger without it, when you put it back on you are likely to even stronger than before.

I don’t recommend too much belt-less training leading into a competition, though. You need to get used to wearing the belt and learning how to get the very most out of it.

For the non-competitive trainee, I think the belt is a very useful tool to push yourself past your limits in training at time. Obviously, it has its safety benefits too so you may want to throw a belt on for your very heaviest sets.

However, the guidelines are similar to the above. Be sure to train belt-less and get stronger without one for periods as well.

Becoming over-reliant on any training tool is not good. You never know when you might forget it or not have access to it for whatever reason.

You should also demonstrate solid technique before using training aids, like a belt, to increase your numbers. To make sure your squat is up to par, you can brush up on your technique by reading my squat guide.

How to use a belt properly for lifting

I already alluded to this earlier, it isn’t enough to just chuck a belt on and expect it to magically support your back and increase your lifts. You need to know how to use one correctly.

Here are the quick steps to using a weight lifting belt correctly:

  • Take a deep breath into your stomach. Your stomach should expand as you inhale and create a firm “belly”
  • Force your belly out hard against the belt.
  • Tense your abs as if something is about to hit you in the stomach.
  • Hold this pushing out and tensing of your stomach throughout the rep.
  • Exhale and reset at the start of each new rep. Do not hold your breath for more than a single rep.

To illustrate these points further, here is a video that explains it by squat university. 

Types of lifting belts

Black Lifting belt

If your belt resembles this one, it's time to throw it away and get a proper one.

I’m just going to cover what I feel are best variations of weight lifting belt for you to consider.

Anything that I don’t cover here probably isn’t worth your while, unless there is an awesome type of belt that I haven’t even heard of yet.

Firstly, avoid Velcro belts. In my opinion, it’s just too easy for them to rip open and come undone or loosen under the pressure you should be exerting into the belt.

I used to use a Velcro belt and the little tearing noises I could here as I descended into a squat paranoid the heck out of me. I was too worried about the belt coming on to concentrate on a proper squat.

Some strongmen competitors may wear Velcro belts underneath their main belts just for some added support. But they still feel the need to wear a stronger belt on top.

Now that's out of the way, on to the types of belts that you can consider.

Powerlifting belts

A person wearing a black lifting belt

Proper powerlifting belts follow pretty much the same styling throughout. They should be the same width all the way around, that will normally be 4 inches as that is the thickest allowable by most powerlifting federations.

Have a thickness of either 10mm or 13mm and made from very stiff/rugged materials. Usually leather or suede coated leather.

 Powerlifting belts, in general are going to be the go-to belt style if you are looking the get the very most out of squats, deadlift, bench presses and overhead presses. If you want a belt for Olympic weightlifting, they are probably going to be too thick, uncomfortable and restrictive for you.

There are then three main sub-sets of powerlifting belts.

#1. Single prong belts

These are the standard kind of belt you are likely used to seeing. They feature a single prong, just like a regular dress belt, that you can use to tighten or loosen as you see fit.

The single prong makes the fairly quick to take on and off. The only downside for some lifter is the fear that the single prong may break. This shouldn’t happen if you buy a quality belt but the worry is enough to steer people towards the next type of powerlifting belt.

#2. Double prong belts

Exactly the same as the single prong in design. However, as you may have guessed, they have two prongs that slot into a double row of adjustment holes on the belt.

The two prongs can be an absolute pain to get in and out of those holes properly. Especially if the belt is tight.

I don’t really like using ta double-prong, I trust the strength of the single-prong enough to go with that instead.

#3. Lever belts

Lever belts have no prongs for tightening and loosening the belt. Instead, they have a quick-release leaver. The lever does make them very quick and easy to get on and off.

The lever is also fixed in the same place each time so you can set it to whatever level of tightness you want and have no trouble getting it on very quickly.

There are some drawbacks to the lever belt design. firstly, is that there is always going to be a higher chance of something breaking when more individual parts are involved. I have seen a couple of videos of levers breaking during lifts but this isn’t a common occurrence.

The second drawback is that you have to unscrew and move the entire lever if you want to adjust the size of the belt. Very annoying for individuals that use different levels of tightness for different lifts.

SBD has recently released a very nice looking lever belt that combats that problem by allowing quick adjustment whenever you like. It looks like an awesome belt but is certainly at the higher end of the pricing spectrum.

Olympic Weightlifting Belts

Man lifting weights and wearing lifting belt

Obviously, these belts are geared more towards those that compete or practice the Olympic lifts regularly.

The difference with these belts is that they feature a tapered design to allow for the extra mobility that the clean and jerk and snatch demands.

These belts will also be made of a thinner and softer material.

Again, in an effort to allow for higher degrees of mobility while still providing extra support for the lifts.

There is a bit of a divide among lifter on whether a belt should be worn for Olympic weightlifting or not. Many will wear it for the clean and jerk but find that wearing a belt for the snatch inhibits their mobility and limits the amount of weight they can lift.

You will have to find that out for yourself.

In my opinion, the powerlifting and Olympic lifting belts are pretty much the only types of belt you should consider.

Powerlifting belts should be looked at by everybody that isn’t performing Olympic lifts. Olympic lifting belts should be the go-to for individuals that are completing the Olympic lifts regularly.

As a side note, crossfitters that wish to wear a belt will probably be better off looking at the Olympic weightlifting style belts. They provide much better and more reliable support than Velcro belts, which seem to be popular in crossfit, but they still allow for extra mobility that is usually required in crossfit workouts.

What makes a good weight lifting belt?

10mm IPF approved thickness belt
10mm IPF approved thickness belt

A good belt must be suited for the purpose you intend to use it for.

You can use the information above to decide which kind of belt best suits your needs.

You must then ensure that whatever belt you choose is allowable in any competition you may currently or wish to compete in down the line.

For example, the IPF only allows belts up to 10mm thick in their classic powerlifting divisions. Check the rules of your federation.

A belt should last you a very long time if you go for quality. High quality belts are going to cost you more but, like I said, they will last a very long time so the investment value is actually pretty good.

All of the belts I have included in this article are of high quality and should certainly be with you for many workouts to come.

Final Thoughts

I know there are a bunch of good belts that probably could have been included on this list. I feel that the ones included really are the best to serve the vast majority of this site’s audience.

There is a chance that I may have just completely missed an absolutely perfect belt, though.

If you do feel that one of my picks could reasonably be replaced by a better belt, let me know in the comments and I will take a look at it.

I want to keep all of my articles up to date with the latest and greatest training gear, so I’m always open to suggestions.

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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