Wearing traditional tennis shoes or running shoes just won’t cut it during heavy, tough weightlifting workouts. That’s why it’s important to track down the best women’s weightlifting shoes for you.
Weightlifting shoes typically have a higher heel allowing you to maintain proper upright form during deep squats and other lower-body moves.
For lifts other than squats, you may want to opt for a flat, minimal sole. Additionally, weightlifting shoes need to have minimal cushioning, and we’ll describe why below.
Wearing sturdy weightlifting shoes is vital to having epic strength training sessions, and these options below are going to be the top options for the best women’s weightlifting shoes.
What are the best women’s weightlifting shoes?
The best women’s weightlifting shoes are going to depend on your personal preference and your personal goals.
As someone who lifts weights 3 to 4 times a week (read my story here) but is not a powerlifter or an Olympic lifter, I prefer a more functional cross trainer shoe like these. These shoes are ideal for a woman who is lifting weights multiple times per week but does not have any goals of entering a weightlifting competition or powerlifting competition.
However, if you are someone who is a powerlifter or someone who is maxing out the major compound lifts like deadlifts or squats several times a week, you will want to invest in shoes designed specifically for weight lifting and specifically for the type of lifts you are aiming to perform.
These are a great budget-friendly option for deadlifts. For deadlifts, you are going to want to look for a flat, minimal sole with grippy, rubber bottoms. This will give you more control and power in your lift.
For squats aim for a shoe with the high heel, wide toe box, and metatarsal strap like these.
The Best Women’s Weightlifting Shoes
Below are the best weightlifting shoes for women, but you might also be interested in our list of the best workout shoes for women after checking out these recommendations.
We chose the Nike Metcon Trainer as the Best Overall shoe option because it’s sturdy, with a flat sole, very minimal cushioning, has a wider toe box, and the price point is reasonable for most people.
This is the perfect introductory weightlifting shoe for women that are just starting their weightlifting journey or even for seasoned lifters who prefer a versatile shoe.
The Nike Metcon looks aesthetically pleasing and doesn’t scream “weightlifting shoe”, so you can wear these shoes in places other than the gym. If you’re someone who values shoes and doesn’t have the budget to buy a new shoe for every different activity, then this is an important feature.
- Versatile — can be used for all types of weightlifting and worn outside of the gym
- Mid-range price-point
- Ideal cross-training shoe (important if you engage in other forms of exercise)
- Large toe box
- Mesh outer material (breathable)
- Flat platform with a 4mm offset (relatively flat!)
- Sole is flat, grippy, and hard
- Firm rubber heel (limits compression during heavy lifts)
- Nice-looking shoe
- The heel may not be quite high enough for some people (although you can stand on risers or plates)
- Make sure you order from a trusted retailer
The below video showcases some of the great reasons why the Metcon is such an ideal for lifting weights (this video focuses on the men’s shoe, but the benefits are the same for both men’s and women’s shoes.)
We chose Adidas PowerLift Cross Trainer as the Runner-Up for the best women’s weightlifting shoe. This cross training shoe has a higher heel than the Nike Metcon allowing for more optimal squat positioning. In addition, the strap prevents foot movement within the shoe which keeps your form sturdy and safe during heavy lifts.
Tip: consider going up a half-size since these shoes run a bit small and are a bit more narrow than normal shoes
- 0.55-inch stacked heel for ideal squat form
- Velcro metatarsal strap to prevent foot movement within the shoe
- Extremely sturdy and firm
- Strong grip to limit foot movement
- Available in half sizes
- Bright, fun color options
- The heel rise may not be quite as tall for serious squatters
- May be too stiff and narrow for those new to weightlifting shoes
We chose Inov 8 FastLift 335 as the Best Investment because the shoe is ideal for improving your deep squats and increasing the load and what you can squat. The heel height clocks in at an ideal 0.65 inches so your form will be optimal for squats. The shoe is sturdy with a wide toe box allowing you to maintain a firm, sturdy form when hoisting heavy weights.
- 1.25-inch high heel for great squat form
- Velcro metatarsal strap to prevent foot movement within the shoe
- Bright, fun color option
- Wide toe box
- Very sturdy and stable, keeping your foot in place during heavy lifts
- So well-made, they should last many years
- May help increase squat loads
- Sturdy, yet comfortable
- Grippy rubber FastLift outsole
- Breathable mesh lining
- Padded tongue and collar for comfort
- May be out of some people’s budgets
- Can’t be used for anything other than weightlifting
We chose Converse Chuck Taylor as the best budget-friendly option because this shoe clocks in usually under forty bucks. In addition, many beginners love the flat heel and minimal look and feel of the shoe. This is a sturdy shoe and it’s also aesthetically pleasing you can work inside and outside of the gym if that is your preference.
- Great price point
- Sturdy, flat sole
- Zero heel-toe drop
- Extremely minimal
- Versatile and stylish — can be worn in and out of the gym (but they’ll wear down quicker this way)
- Grippy, rubber sole for stability
- You can wear them to the gym, so you don’t have to bring a special pair of shoes
- Little to zero cushioning to affect your lifting stability
- No raised heel for squats
- The sole may be too narrow for some
- May not be ideal for wide-stance lifts like sumo deadlifts
Related: Best Fitness Trackers for Women
How to select the best weightlifting shoe for you
The most important question to ask yourself when choosing the best women’s weightlifting shoe is this:
Will you JUST be lifting weights in these shoes?
If you plan to do other activities — like CrossFit, circuit training, walking, or more — you’ll want to purchase a cross trainer like these.
However, if you’re a serious lifter and are very interested in making gains in your squat and deadlift, you’ll want to invest in a shoe made specifically for lifting weights.
Find the Best Fit in Your Weightlifting Shoes
When choosing the best women’s weightlifting shoe for you, you’re going to want to find the shoe that feels sturdy on your foot, but allows your toes to stretch and move while also allowing your feet to grip the ground.
One tip for finding the best tip is to remember that weightlifting shoes tend to fit more snugly than traditional running shoes. And because your feet do tend to swell slightly during a workout, you may want to size up. One way to keep your feet snug during your lifts even if your shoes are slightly larger than normal is by using the metatarsal strap that you commonly see on weightlifting shoes.
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Find the Best Feel in Your Weightlifting Shoes
You want your weight lifting shoe to feel sturdy around your foot but you do not want it to be too constricting. When you try on weight lifting shoes you will usually immediately notice that the feel is a bit stiffer than running shoes that you have more control during your lips.
You do not want a cross training shoe which with a large amount of cushioning because your heel will sink into the cushion during your lift, which will limit your power during your lift. Not only will you not be able to lift and control as much weight, but you also won’t feel as safe or sturdy.
Trust me — you’ll notice the difference when you put on a shoe made for weight lifting after wearing running shoes!
Choosing the Best Heel Height in Your Weightlifting Shoes
For exercises like deep or overhead squats, you’re going to want a higher heel height for ideal ankle mobility and upright back. In general, a good heel height for deep squats is going to be about 0.55 to 0.65 inches. However, a heel height higher than 0.65 is great, as well! When your heel is stacked, it forces your posture and spine into the ideal position for deep squatting.
However, if you want to perform other types of exercise in your shoes (like CrossFit or cardio), you can opt for pair of cross trainers with a flatter heel and simply stand on a pair of plates or risers during your squats.
Are Converse shoes good for lifting weights?
Yes, Converse shoes are great for lifting weights, especially for deadlifts!
People love to lift weights in Chucks because they are flat and minimalist. They provide a sturdy, stable base for your feet on the ground to drive into during a deadlift.
They are extremely minimalist with no extra material and a bare minimum sole which is ideal for weightlifting.
Other people may not like lifting in Converse because they may feel too narrow. However, once you break in a good pair of Chucks, they really are great for deadlifting!
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What shoes are the best to squat in?
For squatting, you’ll want a shoe with a higher heel. However, if you opt for a shoe without a high heel, you can always place plates or risers like these under your heels.
These shoes have a high heel of 1.25 inches and are absolutely ideal for squats. Additionally, they are extremely sturdy and won’t allow your foot to move during the lift which can prevent injury. However, if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly shoe, check these out.
What shoes are the best to deadlift in?
In comparison to squat shoes, the best shoes to the button are going to be the shoes with the flattest sole so that your foot is as close to the ground as possible.
This allows you can to grip the ground with your feet and use as much force as possible to pull the weight off the ground. When you’re deadlifting with a raised heel, this makes it harder for you to pull that weight off the ground.
Can I wear running shoes for weightlifting?
Ideally, you should not wear running shoes for weight training because there is so much more cushion in running shoes which causes your feet to sink down during a lift. This is a problem because you absorb some of the force of the weight. Imagine trying to squat on a very unstable surface like a BOSU ball. Not only would it be unsafe, but it would also be much more difficult to lift heavy weight!
With weight lifting shoes, the cushioning is minimal so you’re not fighting back against sinking into your shoes. In addition, weightlifting shoes typically have flat soles for deadlifts or higher heels for squats (depending on your workout) that make your posture ideal for lifting heavy weight. The best women’s weightlifting shoes that we have listed above are going to make your lifting sessions that much more powerful, safer, and effective.
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What are the best cheap weight training shoes?
The best inexpensive weight training shoes are probably to be Converse Chuck Taylors. These shoes are generally under $40 which is a more budget-friendly option for most people. As mentioned previously, they are sturdy, minimalist shoes with a great flat sole.
What are the best shoes I can wear for cardio and weight training?
For cardio and weight training, you’re going to want to select a cross trainer shoe the most ideal cross trainer shoe is going to have less cushioning than a traditional running shoe. An ideal cross trainer shoe for cardio and weight training would be these.
Benefits of Wearing Women’s Weightlifting Shoes for Strength Training
The benefits of wearing weight lifting shoes for strength training rather than traditional running shoes or tennis shoes are that they are much safer and you can lift much heavier weight in the shoes because of the way they are built with the flatter sole less cushioning and higher heel.
If you’re simply lifting lighter weights and are not aiming to increase your weight loads then you probably just need a pair of cross trainers. During your weight lifting sessions however if you are dressed in an increasing your squat for deadlifting weights and you will deftly need to invest in a pair of weight lifting shoes for women.
Anytime you are trying to lift heavy weight on an unstable surface it can be a recipe for injury, which is why weightlifting shoes are so important if you have any plans of increasing your weightlifting game
Final Thoughts on the Best Weightlifting Shoes for Women
While you can probably get by with lifting light weights in regular running shoes, as you start to add weight and focus on the big lifts, you’ll want to invest in a good weightlifting shoe.
The 4 shoes lifted above are top-of-the-line and are going to be great picks, but finding the best women’s weightlifting shoes for you can all boil down to personal preference and personal goals.
If you’re interested in improving your lifts across the board, the Nike Metcon Trainer will suit all your needs. However, if you’re specifically interested in improving your squat, try the Adidas PowerLift or the Inov 8 FastLift. Finally, if you’re looking for a minimal, budget-friendly shoe, the Converse Chuck Taylor is also a solid choice for the weight room.
Happy lifting, ladies!