Best Deadlift Shoes 2017: Gym Beginner or Weightroom Monster?


Best Deadlift Shoes

When people think about weightlifting, they often don’t consider the equipment required. After all, it’s not as obvious as the sort used by football players. But as with any other competitive physical activity, the right equipment can make the difference between triumph and defeat. Even more important, if you don’t have the right shoes on when you deadlift you are at a higher risk of injury. Protect your body and give yourself a competitive advantage by investing in the right shoes.

Not all athletic shoes are created equal. Too many people think that running shoes can be used for any exercise. The fact of the matter is that shoes made for activities that involve running and jumpy have soft and springy soles that provide cushioning and bounce to athletes. This doesn’t work for weightlifters, who need hard-soled shoes to stay healthy. The energy from your body needs to move up from your feet and into your arms, if you lose any weight into the soles of your feet then you’re not going to reach your full lifting potential.

Knowing that you need hard-soled shoes is just the first step. A good pair of deadlifting shoes needs the right durability, heel height, comfort, and style. In this article, we’ll examine each of these properties and review 9 of the best deadlifting shoes on the market.

Deadlift Shoes Buyer’s Guide


The best pair of shoes for the job is usually the one that you can easily forget about when you’re putting in the work. That only happens when you’re wearing shoes that fit correctly. If a pair of shoes is the right fit, then you aren’t going to be distracted by discomfort. It also makes the experiences just a little more enjoyable, deadlifting is hard enough without having to fight against your shoes. We will try and point out if a shoe runs small or large, so you know what size to buy. Shoe sizing can vary with regards to the shoe as a whole and specific areas, some shoes have open toe boxes and yet still run narrow in the middle. While we can point out irregularities, we can’t say which shoes will fit your feet in particular, so take the time to consider your feet and what they need from shoes in order to feel comfortable. When in doubt you should measure your feet with a tape measure and use a size chart published by the shoe’s manufacturer to see if it will fit you.


Buying a good pair of deadlifting shoes should be an investment. You want shoes that can keep you in comfort and safety for as long as possible. Eventually, all shoes will wear down with use, but we’ll help you find the shoes that will last the longest. To determine how durable a given pair of shoes is we put it through its paces, look at the quality of the materials, and examine how the shoe is put together. When a shoe is crafted using the best materials and methods, it will last longer. The more dedicated you are to weightlifting the more durability matters. If you only lift once a month, you might be able to get away with shabby shoes, but serious lifters tear through poorly made shoes at high speed. Unless you want to waste money buying new shoes every month, you have to take the time to find deadlifting shoes that are made to go the distance.

Heel Height

One of the trickiest parts of shopping for deadlifting shoes is the heel. Most weightlifting shoes have elevated heels. This allows lifters to achieve a deeper squat without sacrificing form. Deadlifts and squats are different, however. With deadlifting, it’s better to have a lower heel, if you want any heel at all. Still, many dead lifters also do squats, so it’s not always the best idea to go without any heel at all. In this guide, we will point out the heel height of each shoe and give preference to shoes that have a balanced heel that will allow for both deadlifts and squats. This will serve the needs of the most lifters, but if you are going for dedicated deadlifting shoes, we would suggest you go with the flatter shoes on our list.


Deadlifting isn’t just about lifting the heaviest objects you can; it’s also about looking good doing it. Sure, staying strong and healthy are the most important things to keep in mind when shopping for deadlifting shoes. But sometimes you’ll find yourself torn between two shoes that are almost identical in practical terms, but you still have to make a choice. This is where style comes in, breaking the tie and giving you the shoes that will make you happy. It’s worth remembering that style is subjective, so we’ll try and describe the shoe as best as we can so you can decide whether it sounds right for you. Our style scoring is also based on the variety of color schemes available. The more options there are, the more likely it is that you’ll find one that fits your tastes.

SABO Deadlift Shoes

These are shoes that are made specifically for deadlifting. If you want a pair of very flat shoes that grip the ground nicely these do the job. It also helps that the fit is very nice and true to sizing. With these shoes, you can buy with confidence, the size you see is the size you get.

Since these shoes are made specifically for deadlifts, the heels are almost non-existent. This makes these fantastic shoes for deadlifts, but if you want to do squats or other lifts in them, you’re not going to have the best experience. This makes these shoes very limited in their usage, which will be perfect to some and annoying to others. These shoes are for truly dedicated dead lifters.

The fit is improved by the inclusion of two different straps, so you can get the exact level of security you need. With that being said, the straps aren’t the highest quality. Over extended use, the straps are the first thing that is going to decline. Still, with two of them, it isn’t much of an issue. The laces are also less than ideal, but they are cheap and easy to replace.

The shoes have a distinct look that makes it clear to others at the gym that you intend to deadlift. It helps that the word “deadlift” is literally written across the the overarching strap. The design is nice and simple, and the shoes come in four different schemes. If you like yellow, red, or black, you’ll find a look for you. People with more expressive tastes might be disappointed. Still, this is a minor mark against a shoe that is made specifically for deadlifting. If your main interest is in deadlifting, then these shoes deserve your consideration.

adidas Performance Men’s Powerlift.2 Trainer Shoe

The fit of these shoes is exceptional. If the size varies at all, they’re a bit small and narrow. Still, they are above and beyond most weightlifting shoes in the fit department. In addition to being the right size, they are also comfortable; training sessions are as painless as possible with these on your feet. With these shoes on your feet are resting on a very solid base that will let you take full advantage of the energy you put into your lifts. It won’t turn you into a powerlifter overnight, but this shoe will help you get the most out of every lifting session.

As with other lifting shoes, the Powerlift.2 Trainer Shoe has a heel height of 0.6 inches. This height is perfect for deadlifts, but it isn’t necessarily the best for squats. Still, it’s a balanced height that allows for a wide range of lifting without the need to change shoes between lifts. Great for well-rounded lifters who want to get the most out of one pair of shoes.

The shoe comes in seven different color schemes. There are basic options like black and white and more colorful choices, but they never get too over-the-top. This will suit the average lifter, but if you prefer your shoes to come in complicated neon colors, then this isn’t the shoe for you. Overall, for most people, the classic style will be an added bonus

ASICS Men’s Matflex 4

These shoes may be labeled as wrestling shoes, but they are renowned in the lifting community. There is a lot of overlap between lifters and wrestlers when it comes to what both are looking for in a shoe. Both types of athletes require shoes with minimal padding, preferring hard shoes to the bouncy sort worn by runners and basketball players. These shoes have what dead lifters want, traction, relatively firm soles, and comfort. The one thing that holds this shoe back is the material used to make the sole. The rubber isn’t as hard as it might be, and so lifters will lose a bit of energy into their soles when they lift. Still, the energy lost is minimal. It’s miles beyond tennis shoes; the soles just aren’t as solid as you’d expect from lifting shoes.

As with many lifting shoes, these do not fit exactly according to their size. If you’re buying a pair of these shoes, you should probably go at least one size up from your normal sizing. With that being said, if you get the right size you’ll find that they are comfortable and as wide as the average person could want. It should also be noted that these shoes have no heel support, they’re built to allow feet to lay flat on the ground, as needed by both wrestlers and weightlifters. If you need heel support look elsewhere.

These shoes look nice enough, but they aren’t available in different designs. There is the basic black design with brown soles, and that is it. If you want something colorful you will have to buy a different pair of shoes. But if you want a flat, comfortable shoe that comes in a classic look, then the ASICS Men’s Matflex 4 is for you.

Reebok Men’s Crossfit Lite LO Training Shoe

Most of the shoes on our list are for a range of activities, but these shoes are for deadlifts in particular. They are flat to the ground and grip it well. In fact, at just 0.15 inches of heel height, these are the lowest on our list. You won’t get a deep squat, but if you’re focused on deadlifting as much as possible, these shoes are for you.

The fit of the shoes is very nice. They are true to size and made of comfortable material. They don’t come with straps, but the shoelaces are well made and capable of securing your feet nice and tight. This also means that they are easy to get in and out of, perfect for changing to a different pair of shoes for squats and other exercises.

These aren’t the coolest looking shoes. The four colors they come in look nice enough, but the overall design doesn’t feel like a “weightlifting shoe.” That can be a good or bad thing, you can wear these just fine with most kinds of street clothes, though the lack of support means you should probably just wear them when lifting. Simply put, these shoes are made for deadlifting, and that’s how they should be used if you want to get your money’s worth.

adidas Performance Men’s Powerlift.3 Cross-trainer Shoe

These shoes are made for lifting, and it’s clear from the design approach. They have everything a lifter could want, anti-slip soles that grip the ground, elevated heels to help with squatting form, and a solid design that helps channel all your energy into the weights themselves. The one thing holding them back from a full-hearted recommendation is the heel height. With a 0.6-inch elevated heel, they are very good for squats but not necessarily as good for deadlifts. They are great as overall lifting shoes, but anyone looking for deadlift-only shoes might want to look elsewhere.

These shoes are nicely designed to run a bit large. Most will want to order a half a size smaller to achieve the best fit possible. They are also a little on the narrow side, so if you have wide feet, you might want to look elsewhere. But if you are able to get these shoes in the right size, you will find that they are very comfortable and make the weightlifting experience just about as enjoyable as it gets.

In terms of style, these shoes really run the gamut. The basic design of the shoe is nice and clean. If you get the black and white or red and white shoes, you’re going to be able to wear them with just about anything. But then there are the more “out there” designs that are mostly covered by a sort of cloudy/camo designs that looks dirtier than anything else. Fortunately, with ten color schemes, there’s a style for everyone with these shoes.

ASICS Men’s Lift Trainer Cross-Trainer

These shoes may be labeled as cross trainers, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t ideal weight lifting shoes. ASICS is definitely catering to weightlifters with these, and they are a good investment for anyone who deadlifts. These aren’t for runners, even if they are so comfortable you’ll want to wear them even when you’re done lifting.

The heel height of these shoes is very moderate. At 0.6 inches high, it’s flatter than many lifting shoes, so it’s better than average for deadlifts. The shoes are also very firm for cross trainers, but they aren’t as firm as other shoes. You might lose a little bit of energy using these. It will be minimal, but noticeable for hardcore lifters who are used to shoes specifically designed for deadlifting. The other issue that you might run into is durability. The shoes are definitely well made, but the material will start to fall apart after around nine months of consistent training. Keep this in mind as you decide if they are worth the money.

These shoes only come in one style, and unfortunately, it isn’t the best look. We’ll start with the pros. The combination of red, black, and white is fairly appealing. It’s not overly bright or busy, so most lifters will be able to wear them confidently. Unfortunately, the specifics of the design are a little bit much, and the style feels like a throwback to the 90s. This isn’t a deal breaker; it’s just a little disappointing given all the great things about this shoe. Still, if you don’t mind the way these shoes look you’ll have a great lifting experience with these on.

Reebok Men’s Lifter Plus 2.0 Training Shoe

This shoe’s biggest strength is its durability. It is made from a higher grade of leather that is designed to maintain form even after extended use. You can use these shoes regularly for a year and experience only minimal wear and tear. This makes the shoes a good investment.

In terms of fit, these shoes are known to run a bit big, especially in the toe. It can be tricky getting the right size, if you order a smaller size than normal you might find they’re too narrow. The sizing is definitely a little idiosyncratic, but it does mean that these shoes are a good fit for some uncommon foot sizes. The Lifter Plus 2.0 comes with two straps for optimum foot security. You can tighten it without worrying about it snapping under pressure, even after extended use.

The 0.75-inch heels on these shoes are tied for the highest on the list. The heel is also made of a material known as PEBAX TPU, which we found to be one of the softer materials used in weightlifting shoes. This means that you’re going to lose more energy than you should when wearing these, which is unfortunate.
The design of the Lifter Plus 2.0 is reasonably attractive, but the color choices aren’t for everyone. There are three options, but none are the basic black and white most shoes come in. There’s yellow and black, blue and black, and black and orange. They all look nice enough, but there’s nothing to write home about.

While we’ve looked at a number of CrossFit shoes that work perfectly as weightlifting shoes these lifters are better suited for cross training. They will get the job done, but they aren’t the best option for serious weight lifters.

Reebok Men’s Legacy Lifter Cross-Trainer Shoe

To begin with, the sizing on these shoes is excellent. They run a bit large, but it’s not too much of an issue. Their best feature is probably the fit, it holds onto your feet like few other shoes. The fit is augmented by the inclusion of two different straps. With these shoes, you can be sure that the tightness is just to your liking. Add in some thin but effective padding, and you get shoes that are very comfortable to wear around the gym.

The main issue with this shoe is its heel height. If you are looking for a shoe specifically for the purposes of deadlifting, then you might be put off by the 0.75-inch heel height. It makes these shoes one of the highest on our list. They are great for achieving a nice, deep squat. If you want to do the deadlift and squats, this shoe can be a good investment, but purists will want a shoe that’s a bit flatter. It should be noted that despite the words “cross-trainer” in the title these shoes are made for lifting and not running.

The overall style of these shoes is nice and clean, although the color schemes are limited. They come in two color options, white and black and black and gold. The golden option may seem a little ostentatious, but they do look pretty cool. Good for minimalists, not as great for people who want more colors or a primarily black shoe without the shiny gold accents.

adidas Performance Adipower Weightlifting Trainer Shoe

These shoes provide you with a great fit. The shoe is very true to size, if you’re a man who knows his shoe sizes you can feel very confident buying them. In addition to the fit they also offer added comfort thanks to the air allowed in by the VentFlow technology. This isn’t to say that the fit is perfect, the toe box has a little more space than some might like. It should also be noted that these shoes are among the heavies on our list. This isn’t a big problem for weightlifting shoes, but it may be a problem for some. Still, these shoes are very comfortable to wear, and that goes a long way.
As comfortable as these shoes can be overall, they do offer one issue for powerlifters: their heel height. At 0.75 inches high, these shoes have very high heels, which can be a problem with deadlifts. They don’t make deadlifting impossible, it can just be a little awkward having to lean forward to compensate for the height.

These shoes are only available in two styles, but they are two good looks. One is red and black while the other is black and white, both classic schemes that will satisfy the vast majority of tastes. Still, these aren’t for people who prefer flashy shoes that grab attention; these are more likely to blend in than stand out.

One other issue is durability. These shoes have a decent life expectancy, but there are more durable options out there. If you are an especially hardcore lifter, these might not last long enough for you. Still, for the average lifter, these shoes get the job done in comfort and style.

Conclusion & Recommendations

One of the first things you have to decide when shopping for weightlifting shoes is how you’re going to be using them. Will you be using one pair for deadlifts and squats or will you bring two pairs to the gym so you can wear the best possible shoe for each activity? If you want a shoe for deadlifting and deadlifting alone, you should go with our top pick, the SABO Deadlift Shoes. If you want a well-rounded shoe, then the adidas Performance Men’s Powerlift.2 Trainer Shoe is perfect for your needs.

With those two recommendations, out of the way, every shoe on our list comes with its own set of pros and cons. Be sure to check out the individual scores to see which shoes appeal to your unique need. You should also remember to be careful when choosing the right size of shoe, no matter which you end up picking. If you’re not working out in the right size of shoes, then you’re potentially putting yourself at risk. When you find the right type of shoe in the perfect size, you will have everything you need to take your deadlift game to the next level.