Looking to better the flexibility in your back and legs? Squats will no doubt be for you. Just search online for the best exercises to help with your posture and flexibility in your body, and you will be lead to squatting. Now, there are various forms of squats that you can try for yourself, each is as different as the last depending on what you hope to achieve in the gym. Some come with an assist from a machine whereas others demand you pull the weight from the ground directly. Having the right equipment will improve your technique tenfold we promise you that. It might sound unimportant to some, but you’d be surprised to learn how your shoes can affect your form when lifting.

In the wrong environment, you can cause some severe damage to your body, the kind that always lingers. You’ll come to learn this as the article goes on, but there’s peace of mind knowing that you are working out correctly and effectively! We are regular gym-goers and understand the fundamentals that go into squatting. We also understand that to succeed you need to have the right gear. All that power you generate begins at your feet at ground level, so having the right shoes is a priority; think about it, you wouldn’t wear regular shoes when bowling so why should you wear the wrong pair for squatting?

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  • Raised heel
  • Olympic stability
  • Improved posture
premium choice rating
  • Leather
  • Gum rubber sole
  • Hook & loop latch

Our list is composed of both male and female shoes — squatting is universal after all. We should state that the list you see is in no particular order, meaning you should judge each shoe on its own attributes/features rather than a point of comparison to the previous shoe outlined.

View the Best Squat Shoes, Below.

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1. Nordic Lifting Powerlifting Shoes

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The first entry into our list here comes to us from Nordic, a known name in the world of weightlifting. You usually want to have your shoes as flat as possible when squatting, but with these shoes, you’ll find that the power is generated mostly from the raised heel found at the back of the shoe! This shoe promises Olympic stability with every lift, making it one of the more consistent shoes on the market right now for what it does!

Why We Like It

  • Raised heel
  • Olympic stability
  • Improved posture
  • Durable
  • Consistent

Our Verdict

Lift with confidence with Nordic’s powerlifting shoes, one of the most durable products out there right now!

Editor Rating
premium choice rating

2. adidas Men’s Adipower Weightlift Shoes

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Adidas has one of the most effective weightlifting shoes out right now with their Adipower line. These shoes are not only built for high pressure, but they distribute weight so well that you will find they get better the heavier you go! Stability is one of these shoes strongest attributes. The lightweight polymer build makes it incredibly durable as well as breathable. The gum rubber sole provides excellent support for lifting also!

Why We Like It

  • Leather
  • Gum rubber sole
  • Hook & loop latch
  • Lightweight
  • Consistent

Our Verdict

Adidas is a known name for a reason, their Adipower shoe is as sturdy as it is stylish!

Editor Rating
great value rating

3. Inov-8 Men’s Fastlift 325 Cross-Trainer Shoe

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Billed as the lightest weightlifting shoe on the market, the flexibility in this shoe is second only to none. Again, the gum rubber sole of this shoe makes it one of the most consistent weightlifting shoes available right now. Just looking at these shoes gives you an idea on the quality of the stitch and just how durable it is when lifting weights outright! It’s black and white design makes it classy as well as stylish. Inov 8 have had a hand in making so many great products over the years, this is one of them!

Why We Like It

  • Durable
  • Gum rubber sole
  • Sleek design
  • Consistent
  • Cost effective

Our Verdict

The fact that this is a cross trainer shoe means that it can be applied to a lot of activities outside of weightlifting if you wish!

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4. Reebok Men’s CROSSFIT Nano

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This low profile CrossFit shoe is Reebok at their best. Inside the shoe, you’ll find multiple mesh insets as well as logo overlays that give it a signature Reebok look. The DuraGrip toe cap makes it very sturdy once your foot is in the shoe. The synthetic outer material is as comfortable as it sounds. Reebok uses a lot of synthetic materials in their shoes, it’s part of their charm, which only makes this product even better! With a heel height of 2 inches, you can be sure that this shoe will last.

Why We Like It

  • Mesh insets
  • DuraGrip toe cap
  • Synthetic
  • 2-inch heel height
  • Textured outsole

Our Verdict

Not a lot of companies are putting out the same amount of quality as Reebok, we promise you that.

Editor Rating

5. adidas Men’s Powerlift.3.1 Cross Trainer

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Complete with lightweight synthetic leather, the air mesh collar, tongue and lining make it one of the more comfortable weightlifting shoes available right now. If you are planning on lifting heavy, then this will be the shoe for you for obvious reasons. The flat heel provides a perfect platform for you to work over. Equipped with sturdy laces and strap, these are the ultimate powerlifting shoes, the kind that can have you lifting heavy and safely which is why you should be checking these shoes out!

Why We Like It

  • Lightweight
  • Mesh lining
  • Comfortable
  • Flat heel
  • Durable

Our Verdict

A great pair of shoes to own if you want to lift the heaviest of weights. They’re sturdy as well as durable, which is ideal!

Editor Rating

6. Reebok Men’s Ros Workout

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There’s a reason why we have included Reebok multiple times within our list here. Reebok put out nothing but top quality content on the regular. The lightweight mesh upper makes them very easy to move around in and move your feet around as you see fit. The anatomical shape also helps give this shoe some personality as well as stability. Complete with gum rubber sole, this shoe is available in a barrage of different colors for your squatting pleasure. If we were to pick one shoe out of our list as our favorite, it would be this one!

Why We Like It

  • Lightweight
  • Anatomical shape
  • Gum rubber sole
  • Multi-surface rubber
  • Durable

Our Verdict

Consistency is, and we all agreed that this shoe is one of the best featured here for obvious reasons!

Editor Rating

7. Reebok Men’s Crossfit Lifter Plus

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If you find that you sweat an awful lot, then these will be the shoes for you. The full-grain leather found on this shoe makes it one of the best weightlifting shoes out there. Although this shoe locks in your feet, it contains mesh materials that allow your feet to breathe naturally as you train. The anti-friction lining actively works at receding moisture regularly. The flex grooved rubber traction found on the underneath part of the shoe gives you plenty of give across countless terrain. This is a CrossFit shoe so you can wear it for various activities.

Why We Like It

  • Leather
  • Moisture protection
  • Sturdy
  • Flex traction
  • Durable

Our Verdict

We loved this shoe for its ability to keep out moisture and keep your feet from sweating too much when in the shoe.

Editor Rating

8. Inov-8 Men’s Fastlift 335

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Looking for something a little more adjustable? You’ll find that and more in this one. Inov 8 are back again in our list here with arguably the best-looking shoe here. Not only does this shoe look the part, but it does an excellent job in supporting you as you squat. The breathable mesh lining will keep your feet fresh as you squat. The padded tongue and collar make for quite a comfortable fit. We are big fans of the outsole of this shoe as it comes with grippy rubber that provides great traction when you are going about your physical activity.

Why We Like It

  • Synthetic
  • Padded tongue
  • Grippy rubber outsole
  • Mesh lining
  • Durable

Our Verdict

If comfort is one of your major considerations, then this will be the shoe for you!

Editor Rating

9. NOBULL Men’s Training Shoes

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NOBULL promises a lot with their training shoe; run, climb, grind and lift to your heart's content with these vibrant weightlifting shoes. The upper part of the trainer looks to have been made seamlessly given the quality of its appearance and the overall performance of the shoe outright. The super fabric that is embedded within this shoe is applied on top of a base layer that creates a 360-degree shield that will protect your feet across countless scenarios.

Why We Like It

  • Colorful
  • Durable
  • Shield protected
  • Sidewall protection
  • Reliable

Our Verdict

It’s hard not to look at this weightlifting shoe and marvel at it all; it’s fantastic!

Editor Rating

10. ASICS Men’s Lift Master Lite

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The final squat shoe on our list here could be considered the best. If you know of ASICS the brand, then you’ll know just how good they are at producing shoes for the masses. Their lift master lite line is ASICS at their very best. The mesh layers at the top of the shoe have been crafted to increase the breathability of this shoe.

Comfortable is a word we’d definitely associate with this shoe for obvious reasons. This is a weightlifting shoe that will see you through many years of use, we promise you.

Why We Like It

  • Breathable
  • Thin
  • Synthetic
  • Durable
  • High heel

Our Verdict

The thin material found in the shoe allows your foot to breathe naturally, unrestricted as you exercise.

Editor Rating

Buyer’s Guide To Squat Shoes

Welcome to the buyers guide section, a section where we take all of your questions and woes up until this point and squash them! We understand that to anyone, not in the know, weightlifting shoes can come with a lot of confusion, after all, they just look like your standard shoe if not a little bulkier. We’ll cover how we were able to assemble our list here also to give you an idea on how we conducted our research! Let’s start with that.

How we made our List

Our list of 10 was initially a list of 40 shoes. Over the past month or so, we’ve managed to shorten that list exponentially to give you our personal picks for the best weightlifting shoes out on the market right now. We are active people, always looking for some of the best ways of bettering ourselves in and out of the gym in an athletic sense. We had heard of weightlifting shoes before, but we never stopped to ask what makes them cater for this type of exercise alone.

There were a couple of us working on this article, one of us obviously wrote it but as far as the research goes, this was a joint effort. Our team consisted of around half a dozen of our friends/colleagues who all consider themselves relatively fit and healthy themselves. We all went away and conducted our own research on the best squat shoes out there, we would then share our findings in a group chat.

Catalogs, online sources and word of mouth were our primary sources of research. If there was a shoe that appeared appealing to us, we noted it down. We actually had to stop ourselves because we were just adding so many shoes into our list which was only adding to our list of things to do! Once we had our list of 40, we then began trimming, eliminating any shoe that was too similar to some of the others in our list that we deemed better for whatever reason.

At this stage we had around 17 shoes to deal with, so we moved on to the next step in our master plan: buying each pair of shoes and testing them out firsthand! Each shoe was tested not only on its own attributes on paper but physically also. It was important to us that we had a mix of both male and female weightlifting shoes here so that our article could appeal to a much larger demographic.

All of us tried squatting with weights and then removing the weights to squat normally wearing each shoe. We would grade each shoe out of 10 after trying it out using just our bodies to get an all-around idea on how each shoe handled each set. Some of us are stronger than others, so we made sure to switch the shoes and then discuss what we liked/what we didn’t like. This allowed us to finalize our list.

We tried not to mess around with our list once it was complete as we felt like it was perfect as it was/is in its current state. There are plenty of other options out there for you to try if none stand out to you; this list is not gospel, but it has been put together by people who squat frequently enough to consider ourselves experts.

How much do Squat Shoes Help?

There’s an awful lot that can go wrong when squatting. Technique is key in perfecting your squats, bad form will only lead to long term injury. When you are squatting, all the energy you are generating comes from the ground up, which starts at your feet. Keeping your feet nice and flat is instrumental in working out properly. You can squat without weights, but if you want to see lasting results, you should be looking at squatting with weights.

These shoes are designed to keep balance set right in the center of the shoe. The flat surface on the bottom is purposeful in that it allows you to distribute the weight of your body equally once your feet are in the shoes themselves. Most sneakers/shoes you might wear in the gym are at an angle or use the wrong sort of materials on the bottom that only impede your form once you begin squatting.

Weightlifting shoes have been designed to withstand a lot of punishment, specifically from the weight that your body is going to be carrying as you squat down. Most shoes will hold when squatting with a heavyweight, the only difference here is that the insoles aren’t that cushioned which gives you a lot better traction on the ground, allowing your body to workout more effectively.

The straps/laces found in these shoes are a lot sturdier also. You’ll also find weightlifting shoes to be a lot heavier, this is a purposeful decision from the designers. The heavier the shoe, the more balance you’ll have when in a squatting position. Most shoes have higher support around the ankle, this allows you to get a lot more grip under your feet!

How to Squat in Weightlifting Shoes?

There’s no difference really in how you squat in these shoes versus using any other pair of shoes in the gym or at home. Squatting requires you to bend your knees and drop your body down to the ground without falling over. Once you have gone as far as you can go to the ground, you then pull your body back to a standing position. Squatting can take quite a long time to master depending on certain factors that revolve around weight, posture, and balance.

It’s important that you are spacing your feet out equally, you should have your feet in line with your shoulders. The further your legs go the fewer results you will see. It is important that you generate all the power from your legs rather than the top half of your body. Your glutes will definitely play a role here as this is one of the main spots you’ll feel a burn. If you find that your back is taking the rough of the lift, then you should check your form immediately.

When to use Squat Shoes?

Simple answer: when you’re squatting obviously. This is not limited to weights/non-weight versions of squatting either. These shoes can be worn whenever you are in the gym looking to work on your back/lower body. You should only really want to buy these shoes if you are actually going to use them. If you find that you aren’t squatting enough to warrant a purchase, then that’s fine. These shoes can be expensive depending on where you buy them.

Try not to use these shoes when you are working out generally. These shoes have been designed to handle a lot of punishment and are a little heavier than your standard sneaker/shoe. This is why you should be cycling between different shoes for different days depending on what you are wanting to do on that particular day. This will also keep your shoes smelling fresh as you won’t be wearing the same pair constantly.

Expert Tip

When squatting you always want to keep your head up — everyone knows this — but if you find that balance is an issue, rotate one of your hands so that one hand is over the bar and the other is under. This will allow you to lift heavier with better control over having both hands holding the bar the same way.

Did you know?

Squatting targets multiple muscle groups in motion! Not only are you making your back stronger, but you’re also assisting your general balance when on your feet! Those that squat consistently have found that they’ve grown taller due to the changes in their posture!

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