You wear football boots to play football in and you wear walking boots to walk in. But you wear running shoes to… lift weights? It’s time to invest in a pair of the best specialist lifting shoes.

When you head to the gym, what you wear on your feet matters. While a pair of the best gym shoes is a good starting point for casual gym-goers, any serious lifters out there should consider going one step further with some specialist lifting shoes.

What makes a good lifting shoe?

The importance of good lifting shoes has long been overlooked, but when you wear a pair of specialist ‘lifters’ you will instantly improve technique, biomechanics, injury resistance and strength.

A good lifting shoe has a flat sole to increase ground contact and stability, and the midsole should be firm: if it’s soft it’ll compress under load, resulting in power leaks.

It should also be wedge-shaped, with the heel sitting higher than the toes, which allows you to squat deeper and maintain an upright torso throughout your lifts.

The upper, meanwhile, should be firm, with a little flexibility, to support the feet without compromising comfort.

Best lifting shoes 2023

  1. inov-8 Fastlift 360
  2. Reebok Legacy Lifter III
  3. Nike Romaleos 4
  4. Under Armour TriBase Reign 5

Keep reading for our full reviews.

5 Of The Best Specialist Weightlifting Shoes | Men's Fitness UK

inov-8 Fastlift 360


$185 / £150 /

Grip: 4.5/5
Stability: 5/5
Comfort: 5/5

It’s a brand more commonly associated with trail running than heavy lifting, but it seems inov-8’s footwear expertise isn’t limited to the land of mud and hills.

The Fastlift 360 is everything a lifting shoe should be: stable and grippy, with just enough flexibility for moving with comfort and control.

Best-in-test traction is provided by a sticky rubber outsole, which combines with an ultra-sturdy base to deliver the most secure lifting experience of any shoe in this list.

Product shot of a Reebok weight lifting shoe

Reebok Legacy Lifter III


$220 / £160 /

Grip: 4.5/5
Stability: 4.5/5
Comfort: 4.5/5
OVERALL: 4.5/5

Reebok’s CrossFit pedigree comes to the fore with the newest generation of its much-loved Legacy Lifter.

Comfortable straight out the box and available in a range of colourways, this shoe is a squatter’s dream, with the raised heel – complete with TPU clip for locked-in support – and wide, rubber outsole encouraging complete range of motion.

5 Of The Best Specialist Weightlifting Shoes | Men's Fitness UK

Nike Romaleos 4


$225 / £179.95 /

Grip: 4/5
Stability: 4/5
Comfort: 5/5

After the huge success of the Romaleos 2 (which some consider to be the best ever lifting shoe), and the underwhelming third iteration, Nike is back with a bang with the Romaleos 4.

The usual lifting features are there – wide, high heel; adjustable straps; rigid midsole – but the overall feel of the shoe is what impressed us.

Stability is the most important factor, but that’s paired with genuine comfort matched by few other lifters.

Product shot of an Under Armour lifting shoe

Under Armour TriBase Reign 5


$130 / £130 /

Grip: 4.5/5
Stability: 3.5/5
Comfort: 4.5/5

It might lack the completely flat, lifting-specific outsole of other shoes in the list, but the latest TriBase Reign is still a solid option – particularly if you’re switching from compound lifts to lighter cardio or weights work within the same workout.

The full rubber outsole provides the grip (and wraps up the sides for added stability), while the mesh upper brings the comfort and breathability.

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