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What is a weightlifting shoe?

First, let’s start with the basics. The key difference between a weightlifting shoe and a generic running shoe is the elevated heel, stable outsole and flat sole. To create this stability, weightlifting shoes are usually made of dense materials such as EVA, TPU and PU. You’ll also find that a lot of them have a wider heel to create a solid base for lifting heavy. The flat sole also assists with keeping you firmly rooted to the ground. As well as an elevated heel (which can vary in height to suit you and your lifting style), weightlifting shoes also commonly feature a midfoot security strap. This adjustable strap that sits on top of your laces helps to promote a snug fit and locked-down feeling when training for added stability. 

Do weightlifting shoes really help with lifting?

Many people find themselves wondering - do weightlifting shoes actually help with lifting? The short answer to this is yes. The correct shoes for the type of training you are doing really can make a difference - here’s how. 

Weightlifting shoes  encourage good form so you can lift heavy

Often, the goal of weight lifting is to increase the weight lifted over time. A good pair of weightlifting shoes will set you up for success, allowing you to smash your goals. The distinctive design features of these shoes naturally improve your form, keeping your torso tall and upright. With this body positioning, you may find it easier to achieve a deeper range of motion when performing your chosen exercises. 

Another distinctive feature of a weightlifting shoe is the solid, flat sole. This allows you to generate maximum power to propel the weight upwards. With great form and more power, you should be able to lift heavier in the long run. 

Weightlifting shoes can help with stability

Balance is an important part of weight lifting. If you are unbalanced, you are at risk of sacrificing your form, which can result in falls or unwanted injuries. Poor balance may also lead to you dropping the weight partway through your chosen exercise, adding an element of danger to the mix. You don’t want to be dropping a heavy weight on your foot!

To prevent falls, injuries and drops, weightlifting shoes have a dense build and wider base. The dense build helps you feel more grounded,  This helps keep you supported from the start of your lift to the very end. Plus, the flat sole allows for a better connection to the ground, keeping you stable as you complete your weightlifting movements. 

Weightlifting shoes can encourage a deeper range of motion

A key characteristic of weightlifting shoes is the elevated heel. This raised heel is designed to reduce the stress on your ankle joint when performing lifts and squats. Instead, it assists with bending more in the knees and hips, supporting your mobility as you lift. As a result, you should be able to perform lifts with greater ease and achieve a deeper range of motion when performing movements like squats. 

Even if you’re just beginning your strength training, setting yourself up with the right shoe for the type of exercises you’re learning can help support good form, prevent injury, and ensure you’re getting the most from your workouts.  


Tips for getting the best fit for weightlifting shoes

With all shoes, the fit is the most crucial thing to consider, regardless of the sport in question. Here are our top tips for getting the right fit. 

Opt for a tighter fit

Want to know the key to a good-fitting weightlifting shoe? They should fit snugly without any major discomfort. The goal is to make sure your foot won’t slide around when lifting, so make sure your foot is filling the shoe nicely. If you have narrow feet, this is something you will need to be particularly careful about.

In saying that, you should still have a little wiggle room in the toe box. You don’t want your toes scrunched up in the front of the shoe when you step into a lift, as this will be uncomfortable and distracting. 

Make sure they are snug around the heel

On a similar note, you should ensure that your foot fits snugly at the heel. If you can fit your finger into the heel of your shoe with ease, it may be too big. When a weightlifting shoe is too big, your heel has the potential to slip out during your exercises. This isn’t great, so make sure your heel is locked in and feels secure. If you are unsure during the try-on period, try replicating a common weightlifting move like the split jerk as a test. 



Pop into your local Rebel store for assistance

Getting the right weightlifting shoe can be tricky if you don’t know what to look for. We recommend popping into your local Rebel store to get a proper fitting from our team to make sure you achieve the perfect fit. Our team can also help you if you have pre-existing foot concerns such as overpronation or flat feet. 

Use our size charts when shopping online

If you are shopping online, pay close attention to the size guides located on each product page. We understand that getting the right fit online can have its challenges, which is why we offer free online returns. If you receive your shoe and find it isn’t fitting quite right, simply send them back and try again.

The range of weightlifting shoes at Rebel


Nike is a globally renowned sport shoe brand that many of us already know and love. Nike shoes come in a wide range of styles that boast grip, stability and comfort. 


adidas designs weightlifting shoes that enable you to lift heavy. Featuring lightweight designs and unmatched stability that will keep you grounded during your lifts. 


Asics have been in the shoe game for a long time and know their way around a weightlifting shoe. Flat soles? Check. Stability? Check. Timeless designs? Check. Asics shoes ticks all the boxes. 

New Balance

New Balance shoes come in an extremely wide range of styles to suit everyone. Crafted from sturdy yet breathable materials, they are perfect for keeping you grounded during your weightlifting workouts. 

Under Armour

If you are looking for a fresh, modern take on the weight lifting shoe, Under Armour shoes have got you covered. With impact-absorbing midsoles and maximum ground contact, you’ll be smashing your personal best’s in comfort and style. 


Utilising PUMAgrip outsole rubber, Puma shoes will make you feel unstoppable during your workout. Featuring an array of functional design features that will have you feeling stable and supported during your lifts. 


Although not classed as a traditional weightlifting shoe, Converse has now become a common shoe choice for many people who lift. This is largely due to their minimal cushioning and flat sole, which maximises your connection to the ground.  In particular, the Chuck Taylor Hi is a popular style choice, with additional ankle support. 

Frequently asked questions about weightlifting shoes

Is it better to lift weights with shoes on?

When lifting heavy, some people prefer to go barefoot. There are a few reasons for this, with the main one being that it activates more muscle support and power. It can also strengthen the muscles and tissue in your feet over time. 

However, not wearing shoes offers less protection, which is important to note. If you attempt to lift barefoot, you have to be extra careful in case you accidentally drop the weight on your foot. If you are a beginner, this method probably isn’t the safest option. It can also result in foot overuse injuries if you are practising your weightlifting regularly. Your local gym is also likely to frown at this sort of behaviour, so don’t be that guy! 

Why do people lift in Converse?

These days, it isn’t uncommon to see people in the gym lifting in Converse. Although weightlifting shoes can have tons of benefits, some people tend to reach for Converse shoes if they already own a pair. Due to their flat soles and minimal cushioning, they can help the wearer feel connected to the ground. The feeling of your foot being in contact with the floor can help people feel more balanced and stable. Plus, the rubber sole has the added benefit of providing a good grip. If you do choose to go down the Converse route, consider a pair of high tops due to their additional ankle support. 

Can I wear running shoes for weightlifting

If you are lifting heavy weights, it is recommended to stay away from running shoes! Running shoes have a lot of cushioning and arch support, which is good for runners but not so good for weight lifters. This additional cushioning creates a barrier between your foot and the floor, which can negatively impact your balance.

How do I know whether I need weightlifting shoes?

A good way to determine whether you need weightlifting shoes is to ask yourself the following: are you doing weekly squats, clean & jerks, snatches and deadlifts? If so, then you are the perfect candidate for weightlifting shoes. 

Weightlifting shoes are also great for people who are just starting out, as they can help you get your form correct straight off the bat. As we mentioned previously, they can help improve balance and allow you to ensure you are using the correct muscles for the most effective workout. 

Ready to get a pair of weightlifting shoes?

Good shoes are the secret to excelling at any sport and weightlifting is no exception! Not only will they improve stability but they will also help to improve your form while lifting. It also reduces the strain on your ankle, helping you achieve a greater range of motion in your squats.

Once you have found a pair of weightlifting shoes that are the perfect fit, you’ll be ready to get lifting. Choose from a range of quality brands such as Nike, adidas, Asics and more at Rebel Sport. Shop online or in-store today and get one step closer to achieving your weightlifting goals.