Best Shoes for Squats


When you get into the routine of going to the gym or working out consistently, you notice areas that need improvement. This awareness doesn’t mean it’s your form that needs to get better, although it may as well. Moreover, at times you realize that your equipment needs an upgrade.

This realization can lead you to start a search for the best weightlifting shoes on the market. Although you have shoes that you have been using during your workouts, are they working as you need them to be? For some people, in particular, you may wonder what the best shoes for squats are.

There are many products available to help you meet your workout needs. At times it can be overwhelming with all the choices that you have to make. This guide will help you determine the appropriate option for your squat and weight lifting needs.

What to Look For

When searching for new weightlifting shoes, it is crucial to know the difference between a standard athletic shoe and a weightlifting one. It can be easy to confuse the various types available, but they all have distinct features you should be aware of during your research.

  • Grip: This is the most critical element for weightlifting. A typical athletic shoe has some traction on the bottom, but a weightlifting shoe has a much higher amount. This grip allows you to lift more weight due to the stability of your feet.
  • Lightweight: Having less padding in your squat shoes is better. Many models available have very minimal amounts of padding and can even be considered “barefoot” shoes due to the thin material they are made of.
  • Heel height: Different body dimensions call for heel heights of varying sizes. The height of the shoe’s heel also depends on your weightlifting stance and flexibility levels.

How Long Do Weightlifting Shoes Last?

The length of time that shoes will last will depend on the frequency in which you use them. You often replace running shoes after running a certain amount of miles in them. However, weightlifting shoes don’t get as much use as running shoes. Therefore, they can last much longer. The best way to know that it is time for a new pair is to pay attention to the shoe’s construction. When it starts to crack at the heel or the straps begin to break, it is time to start the search for a new set.

Where Can I Purchase Weightlifting Shoes?

Although most sports apparel stores will carry a few options for weightlifting, you are not likely to find a large variety. Weightlifting shoes are specialty items and are not sought out as often as Tencross-trainers or running shoes.

The avenue to take to find more choices would be online. You will be able to compare all the different features and designs to decide what will work best for you. Additionally, you can read reviews from current and past users to see how their experience went.

Best Shoes for Squats

With the basic information of what you need to look for in a weightlifting shoe and how long a pair will last, here is a listing some of the best shoes on the market. All shoes are created differently, with some offering premium features and others being more barebones.

The best route to take is to decide what you want to get out of the shoe and compare it with models and brands available for your dimensions, stance, and flexibility.

Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 Cross-Training Shoe

Inov-8 Men's Barefoot Running Minimalist Cross Training Bare-Xf 210 V2 Shoes, Black/Gum, 9.5
  • LIGHTWEIGHT NATURAL FIT - Updated materials, now lighter with better breathability and more room for toe splay and a pure feel
  • FLEXIBILITY - Meta-flex technology allows natural flexing in the forefoot and the new Adapterweb cradle lacing system holds your foot secure in the shoe- both ensuring the shoe moves naturally with the foot
  • GRIP - The 3mm outsole composed of inov-8's patented sticky rubber compound and designed with maximum surface area coverage provides minimal disjunction between foot and surface
  • DURABILITY AND PROTECTION - Updated 360 degree Rope-tec delivers traction and durability on rope climbs while the Italian blown rubber toe bumper provides protection
  • STABILITY - Zero drop heel and the Y-lock heel system means more proprioception and stability when weightlifting or performing functional movements

The Inov-8 Bare-XF 210 Cross-Training Shoe is a highly rated weightlifting shoe. It affords the lifter protection while allowing them to reach their full weight potential by being lightweight and flexible.


  • Lightweight
  • Flexible
  • Multiple color options
  • 3mm outsole composed of the brand’s patented rubber compound
  • Meta-flex technology
  • Zero drop heel
  • Y-lock system
  • Two interchangeable footbeds
  • Removable cushion
  • Bare feet shoe style
  • Mesh outer material


Adidas Men’s Powerlift 4 Weightlifting Shoe

adidas Men's Powerlift 4 Weightlifting Shoe, White/Black/White, 11.5 M US
  • Heel height (shoe plus insole height): 28 mm (size 9)
  • Narrow, snug fit; Lace closure with a hook-and-loop strap
  • Canvas upper for soft comfort and durability; Open forefoot and flexible toe design
  • Adiwear outsole offers the ultimate in high-wear durability
  • Lightweight, locked-down feel

These popular squat shoes allow you to keep your feet planted and locked in place when lifting high weights. The Adidas Men’s Powerlift 4 Weightlifting Shoe gives you the confidence to push your limits while providing for your safety.


  • 14 color options
  • Canvas outer material
  • Rubber sole material
  • Narrow fit
  • Midsole wedge
  • Wide instep strap
  • Non-compressable soles
  • Nonslip grip
  • 1-inch heel height


Adidas Men’s Adipower Weightlift Shoes

adidas Performance Adipower Weightlifting Trainer Shoe,Black/Light Scarlet/Tech Grey,16 M US
  • PU-coated leather upper for comfort and support and Heel lift: 20.1 mm; Heel height: 33.4 mm (size 9)
  • Adjustable hook-and-loop instep strap for rearfoot integrity
  • Comfortable textile lining
  • Weightlifting-engineered chassis with lightweight injected polymer for structured strength
  • Anti-slip rubber outsole; Heel overlay for superb lightweight stability; VentFlow openings in outsole for comfort

These 100% leather shoes are built to last. The Adidas Men’s Adipower Weightlift Shoes have many premium features that provide comfort and stability during your workout. Additionally, developers focused on weightlifting specifically in creating this shoe, making it conducive to your regime.


  • Leather material
  • 1mm heel lift
  • 4mm heel height
  • Rubber sole
  • Hook-and-loop instep strap
  • Textile lining
  • Weightlifting chassis
  • Lightweight injected polymer
  • Anti-slip grip
  • Ventflow openings
  • Heel overlay
  • Two-color options
  • Heavy load support
  • Mesh tongue and collar
  • Power strap
  • Flexible toe

Adidas Men’s Powerlift.3.1 Cross Trainer

adidas Men's Powerlift.3.1 Cross-Trainer Shoes, Utility Black/Black/White, (4 M US)
  • Lightweight synthetic leather upper for ankle support and durability
  • Air mesh collar, tongue and lining for maximum breathability
  • Open forefoot structure and flexible toe for enhanced comfort and breathability
  • Weight lifting-engineered, high-density die-cut midsole wedge for lightweight stability; Lace closure with wider strap for tight fit
  • Adiwear outsole offers the ultimate in high-wear durability

The Adidas Men’s Powerlift.3.1 Cross Trainer has a broad base. This intentional design allows you to spread out of your foot to secure a proper and stable stance while lifting. The addition of a wide strap gives you the ability to lock down your fit.


  • Ten color and pattern options
  • Made from synthetic materials
  • Ankle support
  • Leather upper
  • Breathable material throughout
  • Midsole wedge
  • Open forefoot structure
  • Flexible toe
  • Lace closure
  • Lightweight design
  • Durable materials
  • Locked-down fit
  • ½ inch heel height
  • Competition approved


Reebok Women’s Legacylifter Cross Trainer

Reebok Women's Legacy Lifter, Rosette/Sunglow, 8.5 Medium
  • Imported
  • Rubber sole
  • Shaft measures approximately low-top" from arch
  • Reebook Shoes
  • Imported

t is pretty standard for people to use shoes labeled as gender-specific in a unisex fashion. Many women will purchase shoes specified for men and will buy a size that translates to their dimensions. Although this is common, there are times where features aren’t as conducive to the opposite gender due to typical body build or other factors.

The Reebok Women’s Legacylifter Cross Trainers are designed with women in mind specifically. This shoe provides a tight, slim fit and a heavier product weight to accommodate women’s stability needs.


  • Lace-up closure with strap overlay
  • Rubber sole
  • Six style options
  • Synthetic leather material
  • Heavier design for stability
  • 22mm heel height
  • Tight-fitting

How Do You Care for Weightlifting Shoes?

Specialty shoes, like those for lifting, are made from many different materials. It is not always feasible to throw these types of shoes into the washer to eliminate the bacteria build-up and smell.

However, there are specific methods used by frequent lifters that can preserve your shoe and keep them fresh.

  1. Newspaper: the build-up of moisture in your shoe can cause bacteria to grow if allowed to set in after working out. By taking a piece of newspaper and bunching it up inside of your shoe, you will pull out the moisture before it has the chance to dry into the shoe.
  2. Shoe Trees: these come in different materials, but the most commonly used ones are plastic and cedar. If you insert a shoe tree into your weightlifting shoe after use, it will stretch to retain the shoe’s shape and expel moisture from the materials.
  3. Dryer Sheets: as a way to rid your shoe of odor, you can place dryer sheets inside. This method will cover up the smell that builds up after frequent wear.
  4. Shoe Deodorizer: this ball can be placed inside of your shoe. Once there, it helps eliminate bad smells by deodorizing the soles and interior.
  5. Air Dry: depending on the climate you live in, you can set your weightlifting shoes outdoors in between workout sessions to naturally air out the smells and bacteria inside. In circumstances of freezing temperatures or high humidity, this isn’t a recommended method.

Can I Use My Weightlifting Shoes for Other Workouts?

Due to the design of this particular shoe, it is not recommended for use in other forms of exercise. The slight padding and large heel are for the specific purpose of stance stability. Additionally, the grips are to keep you from extra movement while working with a heavy weight.

Using weightlifting shoes for running or cardio or even low-impact activities like pilates could cause damage to your ankles, feet, and legs. Lifting shoes often have no arch support, which is crucial in other forms of exercise. Furthermore, they are used for such brief periods that comfortability is not a feature that they come with. If you were to walk a mile in weightlifting shoes, you would be in a lot of pain in the end.


When you notice that your lifting workout needs improvement, don’t automatically think that your performance is to blame. More often than not, our choice of footwear is the problem that needs correcting. Thankfully, this is an easy fix that you can resolve online from your personal computer.


There are many options available when it comes to selecting a weightlifting shoe. In paying attention to your body’s dimensions, flexibility, and natural stance, you can narrow down the footwear choices to what works best for you. With the proper fit and design, you can level up your workouts like you weren’t able to previously.

Last update on 2021-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API