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Weightlifting Shoe Shopping

By Holley | In Lifting | on February 21, 2013


When new people come in, or people start becoming more serious about lifting, I often get questions about whether or not to buy a weightlifting shoe and which style to buy. Here are some things you may consider when purchasing a weightlifting shoe: purpose, stability, fit, cost and style. I’ll break down each of those topics below.


Weightlifting shoes provide a very stable platform for you to lift from. If you try one on and stand up,  you will immediately notice a difference in stability. When you’re lifting heavy weight, regular tennis shoes are soft and squishy and deform under the weight. The material in a weightlifting shoe is stiffer and more solid, and really allows you to push against the weight.


What do you plan on doing in your weightlifting shoes? If you will be strictly lifting in your shoes, a more traditional shoe is what you’re looking for. Usually they have a slightly higher heel, are stiff and stable and very grippy. Now that CrossFit has become more popular, there are more “crossover” style weightlifting shoes that provide a stable base, but are also lighter weight and more flexible for doing metcons.


You want to make sure you have the right fit. The toe box on the different styles and brands varies (wider/narrower), so make sure you pay attention to that when reading up on the right shoe. The shoes are also constructed out of different types of materials, so some may stretch over time and fit you differently.


This is an obvious one, determine how serious you are about weightlifting, and how much stability, fit and style are worth to you.


If you care about the style of your shoe, there are plenty of options out there. Some brands only carry men’s style, others have ladies sizes and even come in pink, and if you’re willing to pay for it, some companies even let you customize the style of your shoe.

Now onto the options for styles. I have my own opinions and have done some reading to get others opinions about each style of shoe. All information is broken down in the table below. I have only lifted in the VS Athletics and I had no issue with them. They’ve been a great training shoe and have held up for a couple of years. They are heavy and bulky for metcons, but get the job done for lifting. You can purchase them from a VS Athletics store in Torrance and they usually give a discount. This is a bonus because you can actually try them on before you purchase them. If you have purchased and worn a particular style, please post your experience with the shoe to comments.

Happy Shopping!

WL shoes

WOD 02.21.13

Skills Day

7 Comments to "Weightlifting Shoe Shopping"

  • Gusto says:

    February 21, 2013 at 6:56 AM -

    Cheater Shoes.

  • Amanda says:

    February 21, 2013 at 10:13 AM -

    Sorry this is delayed from yesterday, but something I think everyone needs to know. DO NOT SEND PORN! DO NOT SEND ALCOHOL! Period. There are inspections, and both are strictly prohibited contraband items. Please do not compromise Patrick’s career in the Air Force.

    Ideas… in my squadron, we shared everything, so, while Pat may be on the challenge, minus the weigh-ins, baked goods are a great item to trade. (Note – homebaked cookies stay soft with bread on top. Strange trick but really does work.)

    Quality coffee is great… also Via packets are good – in case he’s on the road.

    We have bottled water everywhere, not necessarily chilled, so whatever add-ins that can help make tepid water taste better, such as tepid Gatorade, are great.

    I’m sure Larabars would go a long way.

    Pre-packaged servings of jerky, nuts, dried fruit would be good… Pat, be careful not to FOD the helo with snacks. 😉

    Magazines, decks of cards, Nerf products.

    Also, any DVDs you don’t want… yes, there is a cottage industry by the locals for “copies” of the movies. But they’re usually a scam/bad copy.

    I hope this helps provide ideas.

  • kyle Orgel says:

    February 21, 2013 at 11:14 AM -

    Forgive my amateur-ness, but what lift is being performed in the picture?

  • Sean says:

    February 21, 2013 at 11:33 AM -

    I’ve been using Risto weightlifting shoes for the past couple of years and they’ve been great. I’ve primarily used them for lifting and only the occasional met con, but they’ve held up well and fit my foot great. I definitely recommend considering them when looking at purchasing your next pair of weightlifting shoes.

  • Holley says:

    February 21, 2013 at 11:49 AM -

    @Kyle – Tyler is performing a jerk, more specifically, a split jerk.

  • Anna says:

    February 21, 2013 at 2:11 PM -

    I love my magic shoes! They aren’t just good for lifting, make a huge difference on pistols and wall balls too!

  • Mike K says:

    February 21, 2013 at 5:00 PM -

    I have the Adidas Power lifter trainers and think they are a great first weightlifting shoe. Fit wise I think they fit true to your shoe size, I tried on Brian’s and was able to order the same size online.

    Overall, the shoes definitely help in many lifts where a solid base is needed. I notice them helping the most in front squats, cleans, back squats, and overhead presses.

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