5 Best Powerlifting Shoes in 2023

Nicholas Rizzo
Nicholas Rizzo on
5 Best Powerlifting Shoes in 2023
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Many workout programs include a form of weightlifting in their exercise lineups. In effect, many training shoes, especially those from big brands like Reebok and Adidas, have features that support weightlifting. 

However, when mere weightlifting escalates into much more intensified powerlifting, the shoe to be used also has to level up. Powerlifting is an entirely different discipline with unique requirements. Weightlifting features may help, but they may not always be enough. It's better to get training shoes that are specially made for powerlifting.

In this article, we take a look at the top powerlifting shoes available in the market. These picks have proven their worth, and they are sure to satisfy you.

How we test powerlifting shoes

Here at RunRepeat, we don't just take our claims and assertions lightly. You can rest assured that the powerlifting shoes we hail as the best are ones that we tried using in actual lifting sessions. They've been tested in real-life scenarios, and they've prevailed!

The following are the other things that we do in order to preserve the objectivity and dependability of our reviews:

  • Refuse shoe sponsorships because our gratitude might cloud our judgment; that just can't be helped
  • Include the inputs of other testers/reviewers in our final review

Best powerlifting shoes overall

What makes it the best?

If you want an excellent entry-level lifting shoe, then the Reebok Lifter PR II is the one to check out. It is an updated iteration of Reebok's original PR weightlifting shoe that highlights stability on the platform. Most recommended for newbies who need more assistance for ankle mobility while lifting and squatting.


  • Comfortable
  • Great value for money
  • Supportive during workouts
  • Stable platform
  • Impressive construction
  • Appealing design
  • Velcro straps ensure snug lockdown
  • Good for powerlifting, weightlifting, CrossFit


  • 15mm only in the heel
  • Quality control is questionable
Full review of Reebok Lifter PR II

Today's best price

Any color
Cold Grey 2 Cold Grey 4 High Vis Orange (FU7983)
Black (FU9444)
Vector Navy/Smoky Indigo/Meteor Grey (FU9442)
Pugry2 Negbas Blusla (GY8438)

Best low-drop powerlifting shoes

Adidas The Total

What makes it the best?

Hands down, the Adidas The Total is a well-built shoe that does what it's intended to do: make lifting safer and more efficient. Reviewers can't find any serious flaws in it, so it's safe to say that you will get your money's worth, and perhaps even more, when you buy this.


  • Great for strength training
  • Good traction
  • Quite stable ride
  • A lot of ground feel
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Functionally spacious toebox
  • Accommodates wide feet
  • Fairly priced
  • Streamlined look


  • Has to be broken in
  • Not versatile enough for non-strength exercises
Full review of Adidas The Total

Today's best price

Any color
Black (GW6354)
Team Royal Blue-silver Metallic-team Navy Blue (GY8917)
Green (HQ1921)
Preloved Blue/White/Lucid Blue (HQ3532)
Navy Blue (HQ3533)
White (GW6353)

Best expensive powerlifting shoes

What makes it the best?

With all the right boxes ticked, the Adidas Adipower 3 is a dependable partner for casual to heavy weightlifting. It brings back fond memories of the original Adipower, which was a very well-received shoe, and still offers some more. Beginners and more experienced lifters alike love training in this model.


  • A good overall performer
  • Accommodating toe box
  • Feels durable
  • Fairly breathable upper
  • Nice stability
  • Nice heel height
  • Dependable grip
  • Attractively streamlined look


  • Too expensive
  • Not for wide-footers
Full review of Adidas Adipower 3

Today's best price

Any color
Core Black/Ftwr White/Grey Three (GY8923)
Tenabl Ftwbla Escmej (HQ3527)
Ftwr White/Core Black/Grey Two (GY8926)
Green (GY8925)
Vivid Red/White/Impact Orange (GY8924)
Preloved Blue/White/Solar Red (HQ3526)
Silver Pebble/Black/Olive Strata (HQ1922)

Best Adidas powerlifting shoes

What makes it the best?

The Adidas Powerlift 5 gives beginning powerlifting fans no headaches. This weightlifting shoe just gives what a lifter needs: stability, traction, and comfort. It's also a good transition shoe for someone who wants to lift with an elevated heel. If you want to know about powerlifting, this shoe is a good opening spiel.


  • Good bite on gym floors
  • Stable base
  • Supportive strap
  • Improved materials
  • Well-made shoe
  • Durable structure
  • Breathable upper
  • Fairly affordable


  • Long break-in period
  • Too-stiff sole
Full review of Adidas Powerlift 5

Today's best price

Any color
Guipla Negbás Estoli (HQ3529)
Ftwr White Core Black Grey Two (GY8919)
Vivid Red Ftwr White Impact Orange (GY8921)
Black (GY8918)
Blue (HQ3528)
Tenabl Ftwbla Escmej (HQ3530)
Blue (GY8922)
Linen Green Beam Pink Shadow Maroon (GY8920)

Best Inov-8 powerlifting shoes

What makes it the best?

For many weightlifters, the stability the Inov-8 FastLift 360 delivers is worthy of their commendation. Its dependable traction on gym surfaces and durability didn't go unnoticed too. On the flip side, some were not happy with how tight the shoe fits. Overall, athletes who are serious about weight training enjoy the benefits this trainer brings.


  • Excellent stability
  • Reliable outsole grip
  • Durable
  • Great breathability
  • Appealing design


  • Too tight
  • Stiff
Full review of Inov-8 Fastlift 360

Today's best price

Any color
Black (000919BKGU)
Blue/Red/White (000919BLRDWH)
Khaki (000919KH)
White (000918WHNYRD)

Comparison of the 5 best powerlifting shoes

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Powerlifting is a strength sport that involves three key lifts: the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Success depends on a combination of technique, stability, and power.

A good powerlifting shoe is an essential requirement for powerlifters. These shoes are designed to provide the stability and support needed for heavy lifting. They typically feature a flat, sturdy sole, a secure lockdown, and an elevated heel to enhance lifting mechanics.

This guide will go take you through the many kinds of powerlifting shoes, important things to keep in mind when shopping for a powerlifting shoe, the best brands available, and answers to the most frequently asked powerlifting shoe questions.

What makes powerlifting shoes special

Powerlifting shoes are customized shoes made to support and stabilize heavy lifting during powerlifting contests or training. They are created expressly to improve performance and lower the risk of injury.

One of the main features of a powerlifting shoe is its flat sole. When lifting heavy weights, a flat sole provides a stable base, enabling the lifter to keep good form and lower the chance of injury. The sole is constructed from a firm material, such as rubber or plastic, to enhance stability and grip on the lifting surface.

Another characteristic of a powerlifting shoe is its elevated heel. A raised heel allows the lifter to achieve a deeper squat position and retain a more upright posture thanks to the increased ankle mobility that it allows. The raised heel also lessens strain on the knees and lower back while also enhancing the lifting technique.

Powerlifting shoes fit snugly and securely. This aids in minimizing movement inside the shoe, enabling the lifter to apply greater force to the ground when lifting. The upper of the shoe is often made of sturdy material, such as leather, which gives the foot and ankle support and stability.

Types of powerlifting shoes

  • Shoes with flat soles (zero-drop)

These are perfect for lifters who value simplicity and a small heel-to-toe drop. They are also ideal for deadlifting. With their thin, gripping sole substance, these shoes provide good traction on the lifting surface too. For the best comfort during lifts, the uppers on deadlifting shoes are frequently made of lightweight and breathable material.

  • Hybrid shoes (15-18 mm heel height)

Shoes with a hybrid sole combine the benefits of both flat-soled footwear and heels. They normally feature a flat sole and a slightly elevated heel, balancing stability and ankle mobility.

  • Elevated heels (19-21 mm heel height)

Using footwear with an elevated heel during squats will help lifters maintain a more upright posture. Moreover, the higher heel permits increased ankle mobility, which is advantageous for lifters with weak ankle flexibility. Olympic weightlifting benefits from a higher heel as well since they allow for a deeper squat.

To learn more about the biomechanics of lifting in different types of shoes, see our science-backed guide on lifting shoes.

Benefits of powerlifting shoes

Enhanced stability: Powerlifting shoes provide a strong foundation, lowering the chance of slipping or sliding when performing heavy lifts. The flat or heeled sole can help with balance and stop inward or outward rolling of the feet.

Increased ankle mobility: Heeled shoes can help lifters achieve a deeper squat position by improving ankle mobility. For lifters with low ankle flexibility, this may be advantageous.

Improved form: Using powerlifting shoes can assist lifters to maintain good form when performing lifts, like keeping the chest up while squatting and having the weight centered over their feet.

Improved power transfer: By lowering the amount of energy lost during lifts due to shoe compression, the harder sole of powerlifting shoes can help produce more power.

Injury prevention: By offering stability and support during lifts, powerlifting shoes can assist prevent injuries. By encouraging appropriate form and weight distribution, they can help lessen stress on the knees and ankles.

5 factors to consider when buying powerlifting shoes

1. Type of Lifting

Think of the types of lifts you will perform most frequently. Will you mostly be bench pressing, deadlifting, or squatting? Choose the pair of shoes that best meets your demands because different shoe kinds are made with different lifts in mind.

TIP: If you will be doing all three equally, go for a hybrid shoe (15-18 mm heel height).

2. Heel height

When choosing a powerlifting shoe, the heel height is an essential consideration because it can impact your ankle's mobility and stability during lifts. Regarding heel height, keep the following in mind.

  • Think about the kinds of lifts you'll be doing the most frequently. Heel heights may need to vary depending on the lift. A flat-soled shoe may be preferable for deadlifts whereas a heeled shoe may be great for squats.
  • Consider how flexible and mobile your ankles are. Shoes with heels might assist you to achieve a deeper squat stance by enhancing ankle mobility. A heeled shoe could be a smart choice if your ankle flexibility is limited.
  • Stability: Choose a shoe that offers the best stability possible during lifts. For certain lifters, a heeled shoe may be more stable, whilst, for others, a flat-sole shoe may offer superior stability.
  • Comfort: While choosing a heel height, take into account your level of personal comfort. While some lifters might favor flat-soled shoes, others could find heels to be more comfortable.

3. Fit

Powerlifting shoes need to fit correctly; they should feel snug and comfortable without being overly tight. Make sure to try on a range of brands and sizes to discover the one that fits your foot form the best.

Decide on the appropriate size for your foot. While a loose fit can result in instability during lifts, a tight fit can impede blood flow and make you feel uncomfortable. Be sure to assess the shoe's width, especially if your feet are wider. Choose a shoe that fits comfortably and accommodates the shape of your foot.

You should also take into account the toe box's dimensions. While a spacious toe box might offer better flexibility and comfort, a tight toe box can restrict foot movement and be uncomfortable.

Look, too, for a shoe with a secure heel fit that maintains the heel in place during lifts. Your performance may be impacted if your heels fit loosely.

Be aware that some powerlifting shoes could need some time to break in before they feel comfy. Before wearing the shoes for max lifts, make sure you give yourself enough time to get used to them.

See our guide on how to properly measure your feet to find out the right shoe size.

4. Sole Material

The sloe material impacts the durability and traction of the sole. Consider the durability of the material to make sure the shoes will last despite frequent use. Opt for a shoe with a gripping sole that offers strong traction on the lifting surface. A sticky sole can help prevent slipping or sliding during heavy lifts, which can enhance stability and reduce the risk of injury.

Sole durability is also important. To make sure the shoes will withstand frequent use, take the sole material's durability into account. A strong sole material can sustain the abrasion and wear of frequent lifting while offering enduring support.

The weight of the sole material can have an impact on the overall weight of the shoe. In order to increase agility and quickness while lifting, look for a lightweight sole material that won't add extra weight to the shoe.

The amount of energy wasted during lifts due to shoe compression can be influenced by the sole material's thickness. Reduced energy loss from a thinner sole material during lifts might enhance power transfer.

If you want a more minimalist shoe, pay attention to the sole material's flexibility. More range of motion and a more natural feeling can both be achieved with a flexible sole material.

5. Support

Powerlifting footwear should offer sufficient support to prevent injuries when lifting. In addition to a rigid sole that supports the foot and ankle, look for shoes with extra support elements like straps or laces to keep the foot in place.

Take into account the shoe's support components, such as straps or laces. They can contribute to the support during lifts and aid in keeping the foot in place. A shoe with a secure heel cup that holds the heel in place during lifts is ideal. This can enhance stability and stop heavy loads from rolling or sliding.

Pay attention to the size and form of the toe box because a small or restricted toe box can restrict foot movement and cause pain or damage.

Top powerlifting shoe brands

Nike: Nike offers a variety of powerlifting footwear, with the Nike Romaleos being the most popular. Both powerlifters and weightlifters love these shoes because of their dependability, stability, and support.

Adidas: The Adidas AdiPower and Adidas Powerlift are two of the company's best-selling powerlifting shoe types. These shoes are designed to give a solid foundation and enhance power transfer during lifts. In 2022, the brand also released a flat, zero-drop shoe that is ideal for deadlifting - Adidas The Total.

Reebok: The Reebok Legacy Lifter and Reebok Lifter PR II models are part of Reebok's powerlifting shoe lineup. The elevated heel and snug fit of these shoes promote stability while lifting.

Inov-8: Inov-8 provides a variety of powerlifting shoes, such as the Inov-8 FastLift and Inov-8 Bare-XF types. These shoes are known for their comfort, flexibility, and light construction.

SBD: SBD is a UK-based company that focuses on producing equipment for powerlifting, including shoes. Powerlifters frequently choose the SBD Powerlifting Shoe because of its stability, toughness, and support.

Rogue: Rogue is a well-known producer of shoes for powerlifting and other strength and conditioning gear. Lifters favor the Rogue Do-Win and Rogue Legacy Lifter models due to their assistance and stability.

How to extend the lifespan of your powerlifting shoe

The quality of the shoe, how often it is used, and the weightlifting intensity all affect how long your powerlifting shoes last. A pair of powerlifting shoes can typically last from six months to two years if they are properly cared for.

Here are some tips to help extend the life of your powerlifting shoes:

  • Wear them only for lifting: Powerlifting shoes should only be used for lifting; wearing them for other purposes could result in unneeded wear and tear.
  • Properly store them: To protect them from deterioration from heat or moisture, store your powerlifting shoes in a cool, dry location.
  • Regularly clean them: Clean your weightlifting shoes frequently to get rid of perspiration and dirt that might collect and smell bad or deteriorate.
  • Rotate between pairs: Changing up your shoes will give each pair a chance to recover and keep its shape if you frequently use your powerlifting shoes.
  • Replace them as necessary: You should consider replacing your powerlifting shoes if you observe substantial wear or tear, or if they are no longer stable or supportive enough.

Frequently asked questions about powerlifting shoes

Are powerlifting shoes necessary for lifting?

Although powerlifting shoes are not technically necessary for lifting, they can have a big impact on lifters' performance. Powerlifting footwear is created to enhance stability, support, and traction during lifts, assisting lifters in maintaining perfect form and avoiding harm.

Powerlifting shoes offer a strong foundation for lifts, lowering the possibility of slipping or sliding during difficult lifts. The feet's ability to roll inward or outward can be reduced thanks to the flat or heeled sole. By minimizing the energy lost through shoe compression, the firmer sole of powerlifting shoes can also help generate more power during lifts.

So, while lifting without powerlifting shoes is doable, we don’t recommend it. Wearing a dedicated lifting shoe can improve your performance and reduce your risk of injury. 

Can I wear my powerlifting shoes outside of the gym?

It is not advised to wear weightlifting shoes outside of the gym. Powerlifting footwear may not offer the support or comfort required for other activities because they are made exclusively for lifting. A powerlifting shoe's sole is made to provide stability and traction on lifting platforms. Wearing them on concrete or asphalt might result in severe sole wear and tear, shortening the shoe's lifespan and decreasing its efficiency during lifts.

To enhance stability and power transfer during lifts, powerlifting shoes are typically made with little padding. As a result, they may be painful when walking or standing for extended periods of time since they do not sufficiently absorb trauma.

Should I go up a size in powerlifting shoes?

To achieve the best fit, stability, and performance while lifting, it's critical to select the proper size for your powerlifting shoes. Although going up a full size is not necessary, some lifters might want to get a slightly larger size to account for foot swelling during lifts or to provide a more comfortable fit.

Nicholas Rizzo
Nicholas Rizzo

Nick combines 10+ years of experience in the health and fitness industry and a background in the sciences in his role as the Fitness Research Director. During his competitive powerlifting years his PRs have him sitting in the top 2% of bench presses (395 lbs), top 3% of squats (485 lbs) and top 6% of deadlifts (515 lbs) for his weight and age. His work has been featured on Bodybuilding.com, LiveStrong, Healthline, WebMD, WashingtonPost, and many more. Along the way, collaborating with industry leaders like Michael Yessis, Mark Rippetoe, Carlo Buzzichelli, Dave Tate, Ray Williams, and Joel Seedman.