Powerlifting Shoes

Running shoes:

When choosing shoes for powerlifting it is important that you AVOID cushioned shoes such as running shoes. The sole of the running shoes will absorb and decrease the amount of force against the floor used towards moving the weight. As well cushion shoes create unstable surface that can make it hard to balance and could lead to stability loss-induced injuries [1]. 


Weightlifting shoes:

Weight lifting shoes have stiff non compressible sole with a raised heel(about 2.5cm) and a rubber bottom(to prevent sliding). Some benefits include:


  • Squatting deeper as the shoes allow for the knee to move forward towards the toe and help the hips lower which allows for more of an upright chest position which can also help decrease lower back pain.
  • Having a raised heel can also keep the foot in a neutral position and decrease tension in calf muscles and help those with poor ankle mobility. 

Bench Press:

  • For those who have a huge arch when they bench, this allows for you to bring your feet further back without having your feet coming off the ground.


Some shoe recommendation include addidas adipower, adidas power lifts, Nike Rolemo.

The cross training shoes such as Nike Metcon do provide a 4mm heal raise but the raise is not enough to help those with poor mobility and it is still debatable as to whether or not these shoes may benefit lifts such as squats. 


Check out barbend to find out the best weightlifting shoe for you



Flat soled shoes:

Flat shoes such as Chuck taylors are cheap ane provide non-compression rubber sole. Another popular option is Ryderwear shoes which offer ankle support. The disadvantage to flat shoes for squatting is that it is not recommended for those with low ankle mobility. However, for those with good ankle mobility and are back squatters, these shoes can aid in sitting the hips back more and knees do not move as far. 



Flat sole shoes can be beneficial for those who squat wide but it is important that the shoes have metatarsal straps and shoe with good sole gripping on the side to allow you to push against with heavier loads.


Some people recommend flat sole shoes that have more grip such as Sabo shoes. 


The common shoes for deadlifts are Chuck Taylors or Ryderwear. However they are 0.5 inches thick sole. Shoes such as Sabo shoes or deadlift slippers have thinner soles which will allow for you to be closer to the ground and less distance to pull. 

The gripping of the shoe becomes more important to sumo pullers in that more side grip support is needed to ‘spread the floor’.  As well metatarsal straps on the shoes can help with the side support. Adidas Wrestling shoes and SABO shoes are some examples.