Olympic Weight Set Collars buyers guide

Olympic Weightlifting Shoes buyers Guide: Information you need before you make that purchase

One thing that people fail to realize about Olympic Weightlifting is the importance of the proper equipment. Some people may wonder, “Why do you need special equipment to lift weights?” Well, would you expect an NFL superstar to play without a helmet? How about an MLB slugger to play without a bat? Weightlifting is no different than football, baseball or any other sport in that if you want to be a major player and take your game to the next level, you have to have the right equipment. This article is going to take a look at weightlifting shoes. Firstly, their importance, but also what to look for when purchasing a pair that you will rely so heavily on during your training.

Understanding the need for Quality Weightlifting Shoes

A lot of people go to the gym in their typical tennis shoes, which they believe is great for doing cardio in and then heading over to the weights to begin lifting. However, tennis shoes and running shoes are made for a completely different exercise routine. Companies like Nike, Adidas, Reebok and others, put millions of dollars into the science of these shoes for the specific needs of runners, therefore “running” shoes are NOT for serious weightlifters.Through evolution, our bodies have grown to sustain our body mass and its natural movements. Olympic weightlifters have no idea what that means, because we love to throw heavy weights around in many different directions. With that said, our bodies are not typically prepared to support these type of movements. The design of a quality weightlifting shoe, gives you a strong base and can dramatically increase your ability to lift more weight, while putting less strain on your body as a whole.So the question is, what should you look for when buying a weightlifting shoe?

What makes a good weightlifting shoe?

Comfort and Fit

First and foremost, you are going to want to have a shoe that is comfortable on your feet. No matter how much science, technology, or money that goes into a shoe, if it does not feel comfortable on your feet it will throw off your entire ability to perform at your peak level. When you go to try on a pair of weightlifting shoes, be sure to go through some of the routines that you would in the gym. Get down in a squat position, jump up and down multiple times, roll your ankles to both sides, and any other position you can think of that you may do while lifting. These motions will help you get an idea of what feels best when you are going through the motions with hundreds of pounds of weight involved.
A good shoe should hug the foot; making it feel comfortable and secure, without being tight or constricting. Other Factors to consider include:

  • Does the shoe run narrow or wide
  • Does it supports removable soles
  • How secure are the laces or straps

Understanding Sizing

You may come across the term “”true to size” when shopping. What you need to know is that a standard size shoe is actually your dress shoe size not your tennis shoe. To understand your actual shoe size, go to your closet and pick out you best dress shoe. In most cases you will notice a variation in the sizing between a true “standard” shoe and your everyday walking shoe. As a tip, use your standard shoes size.


While older weightlifting shoes were more of a high-top, modern shoes have changed into low top styles. This is important to factor in when it comes to comfort at the ankle level. Many people believe that high tops provide more stability to your ankle, which helps protect you from rolling or twisting your ankle during movement. However, others will argue that that high top shoes are more constricting and therefore opt for the low top models. Keep both of these considerations in mind as you are trying on weightlifting shoes. While there are other factors to consider, ankle stability is certainly important.


Many people believe that a shoe with a lot of cushion is always better for support. While this is true when it comes to running shoes, weightlifting shoes are typically the opposite. While some cushion is necessary, in some cases it is actually better to purchase a weightlifting shoe that allows you to be closer to the ground, which will make for a stronger and more stable base (depending on your balance level). Even a few centimeters of cushion in the height of the heel can lead to unstable form when lifting.
In recent history, toe shoes have become even more popular in the weightlifting community as they offer the closest traction to the ground that you will find. However, these also put you at much more risk of damaging toes if, say, you drop a weight on them. But, that’s for a future article. What’s important to remember here is that more cushion is NOT always better, as it may be with running shoes where you have constant pounding on your knees. Technology has come a long way and the cushion disbursement of  the modern weightlifting shoes are design to provide support where you need it (most in the heel). Expect to pay a little more for quality.

The look

Although weightlifters are generally more concerned with their exercises than their appearances, it should also be mentioned that an important factor to consider when buying shoes is how they look. I know this might sound ridiculous, but when you are lined up with a mirror or in front of hundreds (or thousands) of fans, you want to have everything appropriately aligned in your mind. Any bit of hesitation or doubt that you have in your abilities, or physical appearance, can have an effect in your overall abilities. With this said, while it shouldn’t be the most important factor, do consider the aesthetic appeal of any weightlifting shoe you purchase.


Depending on your budget price could be a major factor. A good quality weightlifting shoe typical range between $100 – $200. We won’t recommend deviating from that price range because you could be over paying or about to buy a low quality shoe that wont last.
Now that you have a basic understanding of what to look for when buying a weightlifting shoe, our future reviews will take a look at specific models to give you some insight into what others are saying about popular models.


In our next article we look at The AdiPower Weightlifting Shoe. Thanks for visiting the Olympic Weight Set Review, if you liked this article please use our social buttons to give us the thumbs up.

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