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The Best Shoes for Weight Training

author image Ragnar Danneskjold
A classical Rennaissance man since serving in the U.S. Army's elite 75th Ranger Regiment, Ragnar Danneskjold has worked as a ranch cowboy, a Department of Defense contractor, a strength and conditioning coach, a martial arts instructor, a freelance writer and a horse trainer.
The Best Shoes for Weight Training
A young woman is weight training wearing white sneakers. Photo Credit prudkov/iStock/Getty Images


Athletes spend large amounts of money for the latest advances in training knowledge and equipment. They spend a lot of money on high-tech shirts and shorts and running shoes. Too often, though, they overlook the value of specific shoes for weight training. In the weight room, you need shoes that have a non-compressible wedge sole, a heel that fits snug and provides support.


For as little as $40, you can purchase a pair of Converse's Chuck Taylors that meet the needs of good weightlifting shoes. While they were originally developed as basketball shoes, "Chucks" possess the characteristics that make a shoe ideal for strength training. They have a flat, almost solid sole, unlike the raised-heel, "marshmallow" soles of modern running shoes. They provide adequate support for the ankles and heels and they lace nearly to the toe. This allows you to adjust the tightness of the shoe to fit your individual foot. Look at the Chuck Taylor All-Stars for weight-training shoes if you are a young athlete in high school or are otherwise on a limited budget for training equipment.


Adidas shoes offer a variety of suitable models for weight training. Consider investing in Adidas AdiStar weightlifting shoes if you are a more serious strength athlete and are considering competition weightlifting or strongman events -- these shoes cost around $200. According to Nick Horton, a certified Olympic Weightlifting Coach, the AdiStar is one of the best styles of Olympic weightlifting shoes. This style has a non-compressible sole, provides strong heel support and is designed with a secure strap in the instep -- features that are important for maintaining secure footing as you start and finish a power lift. While these shoes are a big investment, they last up to a decade.


Since the rise in popularity of "functional" fitness, major athletic shoemakers like Nike have increased the availability of shoes for weight training. The Nike products provide a great middle-of-the-road selection for you if you are serious about your strength training, but don't see competition in your future. Nike offers a range of shoes to fit various price points, from the less-expensive T-Lite V RX training shoes to the Romaleos 2 shoes that are twice as expensive. The Romaleos 2 shoes have a contoured heel wedge that supports your foot and allows you to bear as much weight as you can lift without the heel of the shoe compressing or giving in. In addition, these shoes come with two different soles that are interchangeable. For training, there is a flat foam sole that allows your feet to breathe. For competition, there is a stiffer sole that provides more support.

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