Best Deadlift Shoes Review In 2020 1

Best Deadlift Shoes Review In 2020

As a collegiate athlete who has trained in several small to world-class gyms, I’ve been able to test out different types of deadlifting shoes on the market. 

Been able to lift up to 500 lb while weighing 180 lbs, I can tell these shoes make a huge difference.

Out of the seven deadlifting shoes that we got to test and research, we recommend Sabo Deadlift Shoes because they are made specifically for deadlifting.

With their super thin 2.5mm soles, providing you a flat gripped traction to pull your deadlift from. Despite your feet being close to the ground, the sole is thick enough to provide proper stability and support on your ankles and feet.

They also have a strap that allows you to adjust the tightness of the shoe. This makes you feel like you’re just lifting with your feet.

The Top Deadlift Shoes Reviewed

Product NameAnkle Support/ Completely Flat SolesBest For
Sabo Deadlift Shoe
  • Yes
  • Yes
Best All-Around Deadlift Shoe Option
Inov-8 Men’s Fastlift 325 Cross Trainer Shoe
  • No
  • Yes
Best Versatile Deadlift Shoes Option
Converse Chuck Taylors
  • Yes
  • Yes
Best Affordable Deadlift Shoes Option
Asics JB Elite V2.0 Wrestling Shoe
  • Yes
  • No
Best Stylish Deadlift Shoes Option
Adidas Men’s Wrestling Shoe
  • Yes
  • Yes
Best Perfect Fit Deadlift Shoes Option
Otomix Stingray Boxing Shoe
  • Yes
  • Yes
Best Deadlift Shoes For Ankle Support Option
FitKicks Deadlift Slippers
  • No
  • Yes
Best Deadlift Shoes for Barefoot Deadlifters Option
Vibram five finger KSO trainer
  • No
  • No
Best Deadlifting Shoes For Full Control Of Your Feet Option

Find the Best Deadlift Shoes for You

1- Sabo Deadlift Shoes

1- Sabo Deadlift Shoes

Sabo Deadlift Shoes

Sabo Sports are developers and producers of professional lifting shoes for every type of athlete. For over 20 years, they have designed specialized shoes that are geared towards matching the requirements of that particular sport. Focusing on stable heel zones, snug fittings, laces, and straps.

The Sabo Deadlift Shoes are no different. They are made for deadlift, with the super thin 2.5mm soles, providing you a flat gripped traction to pull your deadlift from. Despite your feet being close to the ground, the sole is thick enough to provide proper stability and support on your ankles and feet.

They also have a strap that allows you to adjust the tightness of the shoe. This makes you feel like you’re just lifting with your feet.

The Sabo Deadlift Shoes is one of the best deadlift shoes on the market. They provide both ankle and feet support that most other competitors don’t have.

Pros

  • Designed specifically for deadlift
  • Thin flat sole that provides you the grip you need without being too far off from the floor
  • Ankle and Feet Support
  • Available in multiple colors and size

Cons

  • Velcro may become loose over time

2- Inov-8 Men’s Fastlift 325 Cross Trainer Shoe

Inov-8 Men’s Fastlift 325 Cross Trainer Shoe

Inov-8 Men’s Fastlift 325 Cross Trainer Shoe

Inov-8 is a footwear, equipment, and clothing brand that creates products for fitness athletes, adventure-seeking hikers, and runners committed to push boundaries and stretch limits. Focused on making each product fast, light, and innovative, which is seen by their graphene design in sports footwear.

The Inov-8 Men’s Fastlift 325 Cross-Trainer Shoe provides the same weightlessness as they promised. The zero-drop design provides you with a stable footing that gives you an excellent base to deadlift from.

They have a larger toe box for individuals with larger feet and those like spreading out their toes, so you feel secure in your deadlift stance.

With their patented stick rubber on the outsole, it guarantees a non-slip grip so you can feel the confidence in your stance when you begin lifting.

Overall this is a perfect shoe for lifting and can be used as everyday wear. The Inov-8 provides a minimalist multipurpose shoe that can be used for other lifts and cardio workouts.

Pros

  • Patented outsole that provides a non slip grip
  • Wide toe box that is perfect if you have a wide feet
  • Can be used for any type of terrain or lift

Cons

  • No ankle support

3- Converse Chuck Taylors

Converse Chuck Taylors

Converse Chuck Taylors

Converse’s rise to fame was from their Chuck Taylor’s. They have since expanded to create streetwear, sport, and innovative products that help you create your own authentic street style.

These Chuck Taylors have been one of the staples of powerlifting due to the affordability and how they fit a lot of the requirements for a deadlift shoe. They are also trendy and can be worn casually when you’re not working out.

Their flat soles are rigid and durable, allowing you to distribute the weights evenly on your feet when your deadlift.

Although the shoe body is made out of canvas, it provides a great sense of flexibility for the ankle. It can provide ankle support if you lace the shoelaces tightly. But it doesn’t give the ankle support you want like the Sabo Deadlift Shoes.

If you’re looking for an affordable deadlift shoe that can be worn casually, the Chuck Taylors are perfect for your next deadlift shoe. 

Pros

  • A great choice for individuals that are on a budget
  • Basic ankle support
  • Super flat sole that has no toe drop

Cons

  • Thick soles may feel a bit different as you’re higher off the ground
  • Canvas material is not as durable as other competitor’s deadlift shoe materials.

4-  Asics JB Elite V2.0 Wrestling Shoe

 Asics JB Elite V2.0 Wrestling Shoe

Asics JB Elite V2.0 Wrestling Shoe

Asics is a Japanese brand that has been creating sports equipment for a wide range of sports for over 70 years. Known for their footwear, clothing, and accessories, they have become one of the world’s largest well-known brands.

The Asics JB Elite v2.0 Wrestling Shoe is designed for wrestling, however, they are also perfecting for deadlift shoes. Wrestling shoes have the characteristics and requirements needed for powerlifting. 

Designed by the 3x world champion of wrestling, Jordan Burroughs, it focuses on wrestling traction pods. This allows your feet to grip on the fall, so you get a solid base to pull from for your deadlifts.

As the soles are almost flat, this means there is no heel elevation. This protects you from losing your balance when you lift. It is also lightweight, and the material is made to last. 

With additional ankle support and available in a range of colors, you’ll look stylish. At the same time, you will be able to pull more heavy weights on your lifts.

Pros

  • The thin soles provide stability and a good base to lift your deadlifts
  • The raised collars provides support to the ankle when laced
  • Several different colors to choose from
  • Made by a reputable brand

Cons

  • Soles aren’t completely flat

5- Adidas Men’s Wrestling Shoes

 Adidas Men's Wrestling Shoes

Adidas Men’s Wrestling Shoes

Adidas is a German brand that designs and manufactures shoes, accessories, and clothing. It has become the largest sportswear manufacturer, second to Nike. Similar to the Asics, these shoes are also wrestling shoes.

One of the positives for the Adidas Men’s Wrestling Shoes is the fit. They fit snugly and make you feel like the shoe is an extension of yourself. As it is a wrestling shoe, the sole is entirely flat, which minimizes your feet’ range of motions, reducing the wobbling when you deadlift.

With the lack of cushioning, it gives your feet excellent support while you’re deadlifting. Available in multiple styles and colors, they are a great shoe that you can purchase, knowing they will fit your feet perfectly.

Pros

  • Multiple colors and variety of designs
  • Flat soles that provides additional stability
  • Great fitting
  • Has a high collared design for additional ankle support

Cons

  • More expensive that other competitors

6- Otomix Stingray Boxing Shoe

 Otomix Stingray Boxing Shoe

Otomix Stingray Boxing Shoe

Otomix has been making footwear, martial arts apparel, and fitness apparel for over 32 years. Focused on providing quality products, the Otomix Stingray Boxing Shoes is no different.

As the Otomix Stingray isn’t a deadlifting shoe, it meets all the deadlifting shoe specifications and requirements. 

One of the best reasons that many deadlifters purchase these boxing shoes is the ankle support and coverage. The extra-tall ankle collar provides the stability and hold that you may need. 

Lightweight with a thinner and flatter sole, it provides you with a great base to deadlift from. The rubber and material are made for boxing and sudden movements, meaning that it is durable against heavy compression.

If you’re looking for a different deadlift shoe feel with excellent ankle support, we recommend choosing the Otomix Stingray Boxing Shoe.

Pros

  • Great ankle support with their hi-top collar
  • Thin and flat soles provide you with the stability you need that reduces range of motion
  • Made with Lightweight and flexible material

Cons

  • Doesn’t have any arch or midfoot support

7- FitKicks Deadlift Slippers

 FitKicks Deadlift Slipper

FitKicks Deadlift Slipper

Fitkicks is a new athleisure shoe manufacturer for men, women, and kids focusing on a minimalistic and ergonomic solution for your footwear. 

If you’re a big fan of deadlifting barefoot, the Fitkick Deadlift Slippers will be perfect for you. The slippers provide a super thin layer between your feet and the ground, enough to protect your feet from any potential germs or fungus.

With a similar feel to wearing a sock, except it provides a better grip on the floor, reducing any chances of your slipping. As the sole has a zero degree toe drop, it gives you maximum stability reducing your ankle or feet from moving around.

These are the best slip-on deadlifting shoes on the market as they are inexpensive and available in several colors, sizes, and styles.

Pros

  • Perfect for individuals that love barefoot deadlifting
  • Affordable
  • Comfy sock-like feel with the added slip-resistance

Cons

  • No Ankle support

8- Vibram Men’s KSO EVO Cross Training Shoe

 Vibram Men's KSO EVO Cross Training Shoe

Vibram Men’s KSO EVO Cross Training Shoe

Vibram is an Italian company that manufactures and produces footwear focusing on providing excellent traction on mixed surfaces. It is always finding new innovative ways to create shoes and footwear soles.

The Vibram Men’s KSO EVO Cross Training Shoe is one of those innovative creations. The shoe has provided a room for the toe box, just like a glove for your feet. This allows your feet to move more naturally when deadlifting.

As you can control all your toes’ movement, you have more flexibility in your feet position and more stability. This often leads to a better lift.

The training sole provides excellent grip while being low to the ground at the same time. Made with durable material, these are the deadlifting shoes you want to get if you want full control of your feet with an additional grip layer.

Pros

  • Perfect for individuals that love barefoot deadlifting
  • Provides maximum flexibility on your toes and feet
  • Material grips on to the floor reducing the chances of you slipping

Cons

  • No Ankle support

Deadlift Shoes Buying Guide

What Is A Deadlifting Shoe

 Deadlifting Shoe

Deadlifting Shoe

Deadlifting shoes are a specialized kind of shoes that is meant to maximize your ability to deadlift. The soles are usually thin and flat, reducing the amount of pulling distance needed.

Since the distance from the floor relative to the athlete is shorter, this allows more weight to be lifted as you have less to pull. 

Most deadlifting shoes are made with material grips onto the surface with patterns and side support on the outsole to minimize slippage.

The Benefits Of Using A Deadlifting Shoe

 Benefits Of Using A Deadlifting Shoe

Benefits Of Using A Deadlifting Shoe

Protects You From Injuries and Maintain Good Posture

When you’re lifting heavier weights you’re more prone to getting injured. Your muscles, bones, and joints have to work together. With deadlift shoes, you’re able to get better posture on your deadlift that helps you stay balanced reducing your chance of getting injured.

With slipping on powerlifting mats are common, these shoes will prevent you from strain, feet slips, or plates being dropped on your feet.

Provides Support To The Ankle and Joints

Your ankle joints and the middle part of your foot plays a crucial role for your deadlift. These bones must be stable and tight when you move the weight.

Some deadlift shoes have a high collared front strap that provides you the support and the stabilizing you need.

Reduces Your Range Of Motion

Deadlift shoes have thin soles which means that your feet are close to the floor. This allows you to move more weight due to the less distance you have to pull the bar.

Additional Stability and balance

Balance and Stability is crucial when you’re lifting heavy weight. If you begin to move around, you’ll lose momentum, resulting in failing the lift. 

Deadlift shoes keep your lower body stable while providing you a sturdy grip for your feet on the ground. The flat hard soles provide the support you need when standing while the strapped collar keeps your ankles tight and secure.

No Compression

Most standard shoes and athletic footwear have soles that mush into the ground. This is usually to reduce the impact when you walk. With deadlift shoes, it is flat, meaning you don’t have to waste energy to push and power through the compression on your way up.

What To Look For When Purchasing A Deadlifting Shoe

Best Shoes For Deadlifting Shoe

Best Shoes For Deadlifting Shoe

Solid and Flat Soles

A completely solid and flat sole means you have more surface contact with the ground. This allows you to feel more like you have more control and stability when you lift. This results in you creating more force, so you can lift that heavier weight up.

Heel Height

The thinner the soles, the closer you will be to the ground. When your feet are closer to the ground, you don’t have to lift the barbell as far.

Although you can lift barefoot or socks, some commercial gyms may not like this. If you do look to compete in powerlifting competitions, you will have to wear a pair of shoes when lifting. 

Grip and Traction

Your soles must be able to prevent you from slipping. It makes it hard to pull a weight when you have a good stable base to lift from.

Ankle Support and Metatarsal Straps

Metatarsal Straps are the straps that run across the middle of your foot, providing extra support laterally. This reduces your feet from sliding outwards when you deadlift. The tighter feel provides extra stability when you lift.

Snug Fit

When you deadlift, your shoes should feel compact and comfortable around your foot. Limited movement is recommended, however make sure they aren’t too tight. When they are too tight, it limits your range of motion and mobility that could alter your technique.

FAQs for Deadlift Shoes

Deadlift Shoe Versus Deadlifting Barefoot

Deadlift Shoe Versus Deadlifting Barefoot

Deadlift Shoes Vs Going Barefoot

Being close to the floor has many benefits when deadlifting. As it limits the range of motion and reduces the extra few inches to pull the weight up. 

Going barefoot allows you to be closer to the floor however you don’t have any midfoot or ankle support. You may also be more prone to slipping as you don’t have a grippy outer sole that most deadlift shoes have.

Most commercial gyms don’t allow barefoot training. However, if they allow it, you’re more likely to be in contact with germs and fungus on the floor.

If you’re looking to compete in a powerlifting competition, you will need a deadlift shoe.

Overall, if you’re looking to have the stability and support that you need to deadlift without worry about any potential risk of injury, we recommend a deadlift shoe.

Why Regular Shoes or Shoes With A Heel Is Bad When Deadlifting

Spongy Soft Soles

Most athletic shoes or running shoes have gel-filled or spongey soles. These soles are great for absorbing the impact of a pavement when running but it is not beneficial for deadlifting.

When you’re deadlifting, you need to have maximum stability throughout your foot. As the spongy soles compress easily, it is more likely to be unstable with a heavy load as there is more compression on the shoe.

This may lead to an ankle or foot injury. 

Thick Soled Shoes

Even if the sole is flat, if it’s too thick this can be a problem. This means you have to pull the bar further away from you.

Poor Lateral Support

When you’re lifting heavy weights, you’ll have a lot of pressure on the outside of your shoes. This is natural if you’re using your glutes correctly to prevent your knees from caving in.

If the deadlift shoes aren’t durable enough or supportive enough, it will wear out fast.

Disrupts Your Center Of Gravity

When you’re deadlifting, you want the barbell and weight to be close to your body at all times. This requires a stable base that doesn’t not wobble or move. 

Regular shoes have elevated heels that help your feet sway back and forth while providing the cushion for impact. However this can disrupt your center of gravity by making you lean forward.

This puts more load on your lower back and lat often leads to rounding. As a result, you’re more likely to get injured if you don’t use proper deadlifting shoes.

Can you Deadlift In Squat Shoes or Olympic Weightlifting Shoes

Squat Shoes or Olympic Weightlifting Shoes have elevated heels which alters your center of gravity.

This makes you more likely to rock back and forth resulting in you more likely to lose balance.

We don’t recommend using squat shoes or olympic weightlifting shoes for deadlifting.

Why Do People Take Their Shoes Off When Deadlifting?

Barefoot Deadlifting is one of the best ways to get your feet as close to ground as possible. A few inches can be the difference in pulling heavy deadlifts.

However, you don’t have ankle and feet stability or protection from dropped plates or bars.

The advantages of barefoot deadlifting is:

  • Alleviates an anterior weight shift.
  • Helps to shift your weight back.
  • Better engages the posterior chain (glutes/hamstrings).
  • Gets you closer to the floor, which equates to a shorter distance to lockout.

How To Deadlift Properly With Deadlift Shoes

The deadlift is one of the best total body movements for building muscle and strength. While wearing deadlift shoes, you can maximize the amount of weight you can lift as it’s designed for the deadlift.

Here is how you deadlift properly with deadlift shoes:

  1. Begin standing with your feet shoulder width apart and grasp the bar using your hands just outside of your knees.
        1. You can make sure you have the correct grip by placing your thumbs against the outer part of your knees. Run them down until they touch the bar and that is your ideal hand position.
        2. For grip we recommend two positions; Double Overhand Grip or Mixed Grip. 

    Double Overhand is when both palms are facing towards you. This grip ensures you don’t get any muscle imbalances with your back and ensures it trains your grip strength and forearms.

    Mixed Grip can be used when you’re lifting a heavier weight. When you’re lifting a heavier weight, it tends to slip if you don’t have any chalk or straps

  2. Keep your head in a neutral position when you set up the lift and throughout the whole lift. You can do this by looking forward with your eyes. Fixate to a spot on the ground a few meters ahead of your feet and focus on keeping your chin up and head in the same position throughout the lift.
  3. Maintain a strong spine throughout the lift by keeping your chest up and your core tight to prevent your torso from hunching forward over the bar.You can engage the core by breathing deep into your belly and holding your breath. Then brace your abs hard as if you’re being punched in the stomach.
  4. Now begin lifting the bar up by driving your hips forward and keeping your back flat

Conclusion

Deadlift shoes can be the difference between failing and getting that heavy weight up. With minor changes such as being a fewer inches closer to the ground can be more beneficial than you think.

While you can go bare feet, you risk the chance of getting disease and fungus from your gym’s floor.

Finding a quality flat pair of shoes with durability, thin soles, and ankle protection is necessary for lifting heavy.

Out of the seven deadlifting shoes that we got to test and research, we recommend Sabo Deadlift Shoes because they are made specifically for deadlifting.

With their super thin 2.5mm soles, providing you a flat gripped traction to pull your deadlift from. Despite your feet being close to the ground, the sole is thick enough to provide proper stability and support on your ankles and feet.

They also have a strap that allows you to adjust the tightness of the shoe. This makes you feel like you’re just lifting with your feet.

If you’re looking for a shoe that has the same feeling as deadlifting barefoot, the FitKicks Deadlift Slippers will be perfect for you. The slippers provide a super thin layer between your feet and the ground, enough to protect your feet from any potential germs or fungus.

With a similar feel to wearing a sock, except it provides a better grip on the floor, reducing your slipping chances. As the sole has a zero degree toe drop, it gives you maximum stability reducing your ankle or feet from moving around.

 

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