Which shoes are best for deadlifts? Also, should you lift barefoot?
Best deadlifting shoes

What are the Best Deadlift Shoes for Powerlifting and Bodybuilding?

The deadlift is considered to be the king of all exercises.

Why? Well if you were to only do this one exercise at the gym, it will improve the strength and size of your arms, back, abs and legs. Therefore, I think its really important that you buy a good pair of shoes,  since they go really well with a good set of deadlifts 🙂

So, let's tale a closer look at why you need deadlift shoes, why you should not wear typical sport shoes when doing deadlifts, and the pros and cons of going barefoot.

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Dead-lift Shoes Vs Your Regular Tennis Shoes

Many people don’t understand the advantage of wearing the proper shoes at the gym. I understand that most people would not assume that it is necessary to own a pair of deadlifting shoes. This could be because they think it’s only for professional weightlifters or Olympic athletes. 

Let's take a look at why I recommend you to get a pair of deadlift shoes if you are serious about exercise:

  • Deadlift shoes help increase flexibility in your hips and ankles. Likewise, it is helpful in executing a squat.
  • It offers you better support and balance on your feet.
  • Flat deadlift shoes help you strengthen your core for a more ideal pelvic or upper body alignment.
  • It facilitates proper back spine and a packed neck.
  • Assists in placing pressure and weight on the heels.

Shoes for other sports, like tennis or squash do not support your feet for lifting weights. For example, the heel is seen as elevated, or the sole is highly padded. These do not support your ankles to perform better dead-lifts. 

Is Barefoot An Option For Deadlifts?

You’ll see many people wanting to go barefoot when they do deadlifts, but would that do them any good? Gym goers understand why it's a good idea.

  • With that in mind, it offers better stability with your feet planted on the ground.
  • Also, it strengthens your ankles.
  • Improves your glutes and hamstrings as much of the pressure and force are there.
  • It provides better weight shift.
  • Holds your back better.

But there’s one thing why it’s better to wear shoes that even the best deadlift shoes reviews would say. Notably, that one thing is: shoes keep you safe. Deadlift is the king of exercises. You don’t want to hurt yourself if you can’t handle the weight. As a consequence, If you suddenly drop the barbells the first thing that they will hit is your feet.

What Are The Features To Look For In Buying Dead-lift Shoes?

Sport fitness individuals know what to look for in dead-lift shoes while those who want to begin using them might need help. Anyhow, people write about the best dead-lift shoes reviews out there and here’s our take.

  • The fabric of the shoes must be of high quality while at the same, offers breath-ability to the feet.
  • Outsole must be dense enough to protect feet from any harm or accidents.
  • Inner soles should be really thin for better feet planting on the ground.
  • Tight foot, ankle and heel support. But, the deadlift shoes should allow some room for your feet to breathe.
  • Offers side support when you spread your feet on the ground. This feature also lets you squat nicely when you pressure your feet and glutes in squatting.

Why Is It Paramount To Have Flat Soles?

In a word, flat shoes ensure you maintain a better posture and position alignment when doing dead-lifts.

When your heels are planted well on the ground, it reduces the risk of injury when training with barbells. That being the case, lower proximity to the ground assures you efficiency in performing the lift.

As a bonus, you should only look for non-slip soles. Accordingly, slippery floors like wood and tiles will increase the likely of accidents if you wear the best deadlift shoe without any non-slip features. Of course, you should combine this with non-slip gloves for maximum grip!

What’s The Best Deadlift Shoe For Lifting Heavy Weights?

Unfortunately, there is only a brand or two in the US that specify their shoes as deadlift shoes. Although, other alternatives for deadlifts shoes are wrestling shoes or sneakers like Chuck Taylor’s. However, there are a couple of flat deadlift slippers out there that are used alternatively for the training regimen.

For women, a possible alternative is to use ballet shoes for better feet hold and grip. Or at least, just take note of the following features specified above for you to find the best deadlift shoes.

Deadlifting Shoes to Get and One to Avoid!

Here are the top five best deadlift shoes reviews the site has done for you know to be vigilant in buying out there. Not only we have gathered deadlifts, but CrossFit and wrestling shoes that are ideal for deadlift training.

#1 SABO Deadlift Shoes

SABO is one of the shoe companies that create footwear for specific training regimen. Its anatomy was made indeed for deadlifts. Furthermore, its sole is flat and thin which makes it ideal for better positioning and squatting. I like that it has two lateral straps allowing for an individual fit and precise tuning of tightness for the foot, ankle, and heel.

The makers claimed that SABO is perfect for Sumo deadlifts. They’re quite significant in any lifting workouts.

Pros

  • The outsoles are of high-quality material which makes it durable for use.
  • Its size support lessens your chances of slipping.
  • Supports ankles and maximizes balance and stability when you’re positioning.
  • Perfect for low-bra and high-bar squats.
  • SABO provides excellent traction.
  • The inner soles are super thin, which is close enough to have flat feet.

Cons

  • The Velcro straps sometimes don't work well.
  • It’s too tight at times.

Best for: People who want to deadlift so much that they need greater foot support. SABO offers an excellent high cut upper materials optimal for training. Perfect for beginners and deadlift experts. Since it does not have any sole, it makes perfect tractions.

These also happen to be the deadlift shoes I own! The best available price for these shoes is a bit steep, but they are worth every penny if you are serious about deadlifting.

#2 ASICS Men's Matflex 5 Wrestling Shoe

Wrestling shoes are remarkably good for deadlifts! I kid you not.

Asics has enhanced traction properties in its rubber sole for better foot balance on the floor. Additionally, it wouldn’t let you slip on easily on wooden or tile-based floors. What is more, it provides excellent stability and balance. Also, it keeps your ankle at check when you squat or change positions.

It gives ample comfort and support to the feet, ankles and mid foot. ASICS says it provides a tight fitting shoe, yet its breathable mesh provides feet with the proper ventilation.

Pros

  • There is no padding in the foot which makes deadlifts easier.
  • Let alone, all the pressure is on the heel, especially when you lift.
  • Additionally, stabilizes your core for easy lift.
  • The flat shoes provide excellent gripping on the floor.
  • Notably, it helps in posture and body alignment.

Cons

  • The shoes are too narrow, which can be uncomfortable to wear.
  • Speaking about this, it doesn’t offer better breathability.
  • Ankle support is comfortable and light, but it’s not that tight to support it.
  • Would be better if the shoes would be tight around the heel and midfoot.
  • Careful with side steps. Sometimes, side soles won’t have those tractions or gripping that you’d like.

Best for: People who exercise lightly, and who are on a budget. This shoe is the cheapest on our list. It’s difficult for people who do regular regimen training as it tires the feet quickly. In fact, most people clamored that it’s too little, narrow, and tight with no room for air. But it has great gripping properties. 

#3 Reebok Men's Crossfit Lite TR Training Shoe

Reeboks have a rubber sole that prevents you from slipping in any kinds of floorings. Moreover, its side feet have grip textures to avoid any side slips. It has heel clip features for greater response and shifting. The shoe also has the stability and balance it can give you when lifting weights.

Pros

  • Reebok’s material is of high quality and considered as durable.
  • It is designed well to increase stability when lifting weights.
  • The shoes are created to aim for more towards powerlifters.
  • Offers stable footfall and are quite comfortable and breathable.
  • The shoe is not only for deadlifts. It provides durable rubberized toe protection with its textures that is ideal for other high-intensity exercises.

Cons

  • Stitching of the nose to the toe areas are an issue.
  • Silver rings near the nose fall off quickly.
  • Toe area is quite large.

Best for: People who want to do more than just deadlifts. The shoes support more than just weight lifting but another training regimen like burpees, mountain climbers, skiers, and more. Its versatility to do more exercise makes it favorite among gym goers. The only downside, they happen to be the most expensive on our list!

#4 Adidas Performance Men's Powerlift and Cross-Trainer Shoe

Adidas’ fabric is of synthetic leather which promises durability and at the same time breath-ability. It has a little raise on its sole and but would deliver stability on your stance and balance on the ground. 

One of the more popular shoes in our gym, we have seen fitness aficionados seem to wear the shoes regularly.

Best for: People who want go quality, but also don't want to break the bank.  A great shoe to catch on a sale for those looking to do light exercises or floor training are ideal when using the shoes. Be careful with your deadlifts on a slippery floor. Though the material might protect your from weights falling, it doesn’t mean that it won’t hurt 🙂

Pros

  • It supports you in your squats.
  • Not to mention, it offers stability if you transition from one position to the other.
  • It's comfortable and is quite breathable to the feet.
  • It assists in better back positioning.
  • As a matter of fact, it is better with high-bar squats.
  • Perfect for any exercises other than deadlifts.

Cons

  • It is tricky for deadlifts because you seem to lean forward when lifting the barbells.
  • For people with wide feet or long toes, it could be a problem because it hits the shoe.
  • On the other hand, it is too stiff.
  • All the same, it is a bit challenging with low-bar squats.

#5 Adidas Wrestling Men's Combat Speed 4 Wrestling Shoe

Adidas wrestling shoe has a mesh that is quite breathable. Meanwhile, its synthetic leather provides protection for your feet and supports your ankles when you deadlift. The shoe is comfortable but not really ideal for deadlifts. It will work but we would rather you find another option.

Adidas’ wrestling shoe has extra midfoot support, making it a decent shoe for general exercise activity, just not really suited for deadlifts in particular.

Pros

  • Good grip with the floorings without being sticky like some rubber sole shoes.
  • Offers good ventilation to the feet.
  • The outsole is dense and ideal for foot protection.
  • Supports the ankle and mid-foot when performing deadlifts.

Cons

  • The shoes are not water-resistant. It will bum trainers during winter season if they want to use them.
  • A bit slippery on wooden and tile floors.
  • After a couple of use, you can see that it quickly wears out.
  • Too narrow for the feet.

Not Recommended for Deadlifts: People who only train for weightlifting can make use of the shoes. However, for those who wanted deadlifts to be a part of their regimen, it would be a lot trickier.

The shoes may offer core strength and be quite helpful in squat positions too. Nonetheless, we are talking about deadlift shoes here, not general exercise shoes. 

What Is The Best Deadlift Shoe For You?

As each person has his or her preference, the best deadlift shoe can’t be determined. All of the shoes listed above have different features that work well with deadlifts, except perhaps the Adidas Wrestling Shoe . 

This review was based on input from readers, fellow gym goers, and personal experiences. I hope that you were able to identify the best shoes for your needs.

If you don't want to buy through Amazon, we can also recommend using Dark Iron Fitness, as they have some excellent deadlift shoes.

Final Thoughts

Among the top five shoes listed above, it seemed to be that the crowd favorite is the SABO Deadlift Shoes. Close to barefooted deadlift training, it offers more protection as the outer sole is made of high-quality material yet offers breathability to your feet. If you don't want to buy through Amazon, we can also recommend using Dark Iron Fitness, as they have some excellent deadlift shoes.

Finally, a few tips to keep in mind.

  • Have somebody take a look at your Velcro straps and customize it for you to have the desired fitting that you want.
  • If the shoes are new, it may seem a little too tight.
  • Protect your feet from getting blisters by wearing socks or placing band aids on areas where it bumps. 

If you liked this article, or have any comments or suggestions for me, please leave a comment below!

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