The Best Nike Shoes for Weightlifting

Buying Guide

For support and stability during a tough weightlifting workout, lace up in a pair of good weightlifting shoes. Check out the top Nike styles to wear for your next lifting session.

Last updated: 21 September 2022
4 min read
The Best Nike Shoes for Weightlifting

To reap the benefits of weightlifting, there are a variety of different exercises to incorporate into a routine that involve various muscle groups and movements. Proper weightlifting shoes will provide traction to help avoid slipping, as well as a low, flat and wide heel for stability. Read on for Nike weightlifting shoe recommendations, plus how to find the right pair for you.

Here's a summary of Nike weightlifting shoes mentioned in this article:

RELATED: Nike's Best Training Gloves for Your Toughest Workouts

Firm Cushioning in the Sole

Focused cushioning underfoot will help keep your feet comfortable, stable and supported. Look for shoes with foam cushioning that feels firmer in the heel of the shoe and softer in the forefoot to help absorb shock from high-impact movements.

Wide, Stable Heel

For maximum stability, opt for a shoe with a wide heel, which creates a secure base for heavy lifts. For more explosive movements, a slight lift in the heel can help add power.

Breathability

Look for weightlifting shoes with a lightweight mesh upper, which helps increase airflow to the feet when a lifting session heats up. Match a breathable shoe with a pair of sweat-wicking workout socks, and you may leave your workout with less sweaty (and smelly) feet.

Traction

A slip of the foot—especially while carrying heavy weights—can be dangerous and cause injury. Weightlifting shoes with proper traction can help lifters feel safe and secure on their feet. Look for rubber treads and defined traction patterns on the bottom of the shoe, which will help you keep your footing on all types of surface at the gym.

Straps

Some weightlifting shoes, such as the Nike Romaleos, are made with a built-in, adjustable strap over the laces to help add security to keep your feet in place as you lift. While not absolutely necessary to have in a weightlifting shoe, some athletes prefer shoes with straps. While shopping for a new shoe, consider trying an option with straps and an option without straps to see which you prefer.

Versatility

Because some weightlifting routines or classes, like cross training, involve working the entire body, a versatile shoe can be beneficial. For example, the Nike Metcon is an all-in-one weightlifting shoe that addresses a range of needs throughout a workout. The Nike Metcon 6 offers a wide, flat heel for stability during weighted exercises, but it also provides a removable Hyperlift insert in the heel so you can adjust the heel height from one set to the next. It also features a rubber tread on the outsole and up the side of the shoe, providing traction on the ground and grip for exercises such as rope climbing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need Specific Shoes for Weightlifting?

Wearing a shoe that is designed specifically for weightlifting can offer performance benefits and help keep the feet and body safe and secure during a workout. Unlike running or walking shoes, which are designed for maximum impact absorption and forward motion, proper weightlifting shoes will provide traction to help avoid slipping, as well as a low, flat and wide heel for stability.

Can I Wear Running Shoes When Lifting Weights?

There's a big difference between running shoes and training shoes—they shouldn't be worn interchangeably. Running shoes are designed to provide shock absorption and support forward movement. They're often designed to be lightweight for runners to move speedily along the road or track. Weightlifting shoes, on the other hand, are built for multi-directional movement and stability, often with a low, flat and wide heel and rubber traction on the sole. It's best to wear running shoes for running or walking—not for weightlifting.

Can I Lift Weights Barefoot?

Lifting weights barefoot is possible but can be risky without proper training and supervision. While bare feet are as close to the ground as possible and can provide natural traction to keep you balanced, you'll find support, traction and stability with a flat weightlifting shoe, while still keeping the feet close to the ground. If you choose to go barefoot, bear in mind that walking around the gym barefoot could expose your feet to bacteria or fungi already on the floor. Also, if you happen to drop a weight on an exposed foot, you have a higher injury risk if you're not wearing shoes.

For more expert tips and workouts, check out the Nike Training Club App for athletes at every level.

Words by: Lesly Gregory

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