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As coaches, we are often asked questions about weightlifting shoes… “What do they do?”, “Why do I need them?”, “Should I get some?”

To help with understanding the benefits, we've wrote a short piece about this important piece of kit and why they are worth the investment if you train on a regular basis.

What are they?

Weightlifting shoes are a specialist type of training shoe, which are usually sleekly designed with a hard flat sole combined with an elevated heal and straps (or alternative fastening device).

What do they do?

Each of the above design aspects have a specific purpose. Historically made of solid wood, the hard flat sole, now also made of strong plastic and rubber, ensures that you get as much force off the ground as possible. This stability is vital when completing most strength based exercises and especially olympic weightlifting moves. They are a must when wanting to achieve your very best lifts.

When you initially make the change from ‘running’ shoes to weightlifting shoes, the elevated heal (usually 0.5” to 1” in height) will instantly stand out. You will feel the difference when completing your squats, which will become easier and look so much better thanks to the increased range in motion and stability when squatting. You’ll get into a deeper position, your knees will stay wide and overall you’ll notice a big improvement in ankle flexibility.

Last but by no means least, the final stand out difference between weightlifting and ‘running’ shoes, is the straps. These stop you from slipping and give a tight, snug feeling. They also enable you to push against the outer of the shoe, allowing for less force to be lost during the lift.

Do I need them?

All of the above does not mean that you can slack on training! The shoes enhance your performance but they will not hide underlying issues. However, by not using weightlifting shoes, your results will be limited from the hard work and continuous efforts of your ongoing training sessions. So if you are serious about training and weightlifting the short and simple answer is yes, you do need to invest in a pair of these, and trust us, you won’t regret it!


Here are the top 3 weightlifting shoes on the market we recommend to our members at Primal Training Club®.

Entry level weightlifting shoes:

Adidas Powerlift.3 £74.95

They feature a lightweight synthetic leather upper with instep strap for a locked-down fit. The air mesh tongue, collar and lining add breathability, while a high-density midsole and durable adiWEAR outsole provide a stable, consistent base for your lifts.

High end weightlifting shoes:

Adidas Leistung 16 II £179.95There are no limits in these weight lifting shoes. The flexible and strong upper adds stability during lifts, and a Micro-adjusting Boa® Closure System helps you reach your max. The strong midsole keeps you connected to the ground at all times.

Nike Romaleos 3 £165

The Nike Romaleos 3 Men's Weightlifting Shoe delivers the stability and locked-in fit you need for intense weight training. Interchangeable insoles provide soft or firm support to match the needs of your programme.