No matter what type of workout you’re doing, it’s imperative that you have the right gear and footwear. We all know that form is everything when it comes to weight lifting, and without proper shoes, your form and the effectiveness of your lifts will suffer.
If you’re looking for the best women’s weight lifting shoes to help you get the most out of your workout, we have you covered. Although weight lifting shoes tailored specifically to women have only been around since the turn of the century, each year manufacturers are coming out with new models that add awesome value to the market.
Top 8 Best Weightlifting Training Shoes for Women
Today, lifting isn’t just a men’s game, us ladies are in on the action too! We’ve rounded up our 8 favorite pairs and laid them all out for you here. After that, we'll show you what you should be looking for in a great pair of lifter shoes.
Overall rating: 9.9 / 10
The Reebok Women’s Legacy Lifter Cross Trainer is by far one of the best women’s shoes for weightlifting. This pair was designed specifically with Olympic-style powerlifting in mind. Serious powerlifters will rejoice!
There are a 3/4 inch heel drop and dual mid-foot straps that hold your feet firmly in place while lifting. The included Flexcage protections lets you wear them in the box if you choose. The sole is made of genuine rubber that grips the surface firmly, but still allows enough mobility that ankle injuries aren’t a concern.
In other words, you're getting premium support for lifts like squats, power cleans, dead lifts and other explosive workouts. The Reebok LegacyLifters are our #1 choice because they will help you get over the next plateau.
If you live for squats, you’ll truly appreciate the way these shoe help give you the perfect form every time. You’ll also love that the anatomical shape contours perfectly to the shape of your feet and the included antimicrobial liner keeps them smelling fresh, even through your toughest lifts. These shoes don’t just offer awesome lifting support and function, they’re also beautifully designed. There are seven awesome color choices and they run true to size.
Overall rating: 9.9 / 10
If you’re looking for a lifting shoe that does it all – this pair from NOBULL has you covered. While these are technically training/lifting kicks, you can also run, walk, climb, and grind in these should you choose to do so. Just as the name suggests, these shoes are “No Bull,” meaning they are super simplistic in styling.
The upper portion features seamless, one-piece construction and is crafted from their SuperFrabic, which is extremely durable, breathable, and resistant to abrasion. The outsole has a lug pattern that was designed to be used in multiple different environments, which is helpful when transitioning from indoors to outdoors. Furthermore, there are high carbon lateral and medial guards for additional protection on the sidewalls.
These shoes are really popular among women who lift, do CrossFit, and HIIT classes thanks to their versatility and the fact that they provide the kind of comfort and fit you need for all kinds of workouts. There are 13 fun colors to choose from and they run true to size.
Overall rating: 9.9 / 10
These Adidas Women’s Ultraboost 20 Cross Trainers are, without question, the premier choice for women lifters of all abilities and levels. Wearing these will certainly allow you to dial your strength game up a notch. The interesting part about this pair is that they’re not over the top – meaning they are a fairly inconspicuous lifting shoe and they also work really well for running, HIIT, and cardio, too!
These are made to keep you stable. From the narrow fit to the modest cushioning, your feet will be locked, loaded, and ready to take on whatever your workout brings. Additionally, the solid rubber outsole allows you to keep your feet firmly planted. These are hands-down my favorite shoes - I wear them for all of my workouts!
These shoes are simplistic in design and manage to be super lightweight thanks to the upper that’s made from a durable but lightweight canvas. This pair comes in a beautiful lavender color and keep in mind that due to the narrow fit of this pair, you may need to size up a half size to get the best fit.
Overall rating: 9.8 / 10
NOBULL is a brand that we all know and love, and this weightlifting shoe is no exception. The Women's high-top trainer is the latest installment in the series and it’s perfect for those just dipping their toe into the weightlifting space.
The first thing you’ll notice is that these are a good looking shoe that also look like a weight lifting shoe, which is nice for those of us who like to wear our shoes out for different things. These have a wider toe box, minimal cushioning, and plenty of stability and support. We love that there’s a mesh outsole for breathability – something that many lifting shoes overlook.
Thanks to the fact that you can do more than just lift in these shoes and that the price point is relatively low, these are the perfect pair for women on a budget and who are looking to get the most bang for their buck. There are a few different colors to choose from and it’s recommended that you size up a half size to get the right fit.
Overall rating: 9.7 / 10
If you want to take your lifts to the next level, this pair will allow you to do so. These are the epitome of women’s weight lifting shoes. The outsoles have rubber that works to secure your feet to the gym floor, particularly when you’re lifting heavy. Additionally, there’s an external heel cage and power truss technology that provides lateral stability and a stable base.
We love the additional mid-foot support and hold that you get with the Velcro strap that lies over the top of the laces. You might think that movement would be limited with such a hardcore shoe, but that’s not the case – there’s multiflex technology in the forefoot that allows for easy, comfortable movements and the toe box is extra wide for more toe movement.
There are three color options to choose from and they are designed solely for lighting, not cross-training.
Overall rating: 9.6 / 10
The Crazytrain Ultraboost DNA Cross Trainers from Adidas made our list thanks to their training-specific design that allows a full range of motion in the forefoot while still providing the support you need in the midfoot and heel. These are constructed from a lightweight material and an engineered mesh that allow air to circulate throughout, keeping your feet cool and comfortable – not to mention avoiding the smell of gym shoes!
One of the unique features of this shoe is the multi-surface outsole with the micro-herringbone tread pattern that allows you to change directions smoothly and with ease. There’s also a TPU bar for stability in lateral movements.
Lastly, they added their “boost” cushioning which is their most responsive cushioning to date and one of the reasons why their shoes have become some of the most popular across all workout modalities. There are 4 color options and they run on the large size, so if you are between sizes, be sure to size down by a half size.
Overall rating: 9.6 / 10
This next pair is from PUMA, the activewear company that brings a look and style to the market that’s all their own. This pair can technically be used for cross-training. They feature a narrow fit and strong rubber outsoles that are designed to keep you locked in place.
One thing that we really like about this pair is the fact that they have more cushioning than some of the other pairs on our list, so if you require additional padding and cushioning, these may be a great option for you.
You can easily take these from a HIIT class to the squat rack and get maximum functionality from both exercises. There are three color options to choose from and these run true to size.
Overall rating: 9.5 / 10
This pair from Reebok is designed for CrossFit workouts, but they make a great stand-alone lifting shoe, too. CrossFit shoes are designed to have the mobility you need to go from running to weightlifting in the same workout. This means that they have the support and cushioning you need for running and the heel drop and stability you need to lift – and these accomplish just that.
There’s a ¾ inch heel drop that will power you through your tough lifts, but it somehow manages to not interfere with cardio and running. There’s a wide metatarsal strap that’s designed to keep your foot solidly in place without feeling tight or restrictive.
These are a great looking pair of shoes and with 6 color options to choose from, you’re guaranteed to find a pair that you like.
What to Look for in Women’s Weightlifting Shoes
If you're lifting weights, we recommend the best women's powerlifting gear to get maximum results in the weight room. Whether this is your first go-round with this type of shoe or you’re a lifting veteran, it’s important to know what to look for before you just impulse buy a pair…and let’s be honest, we’ve all been there, done that.
Here’s what to pay attention to and look for:
- Workout Type: Before you even begin your search for the perfect pair of weightlifting shoes, you need to first determine what type of lifting or other activities you plan to do with your shoes. For example, if you’re into Olympic lifts, you need the ultimate stability. This means you should be looking for a pair that has a metatarsal strap with tight Velcro closure to keep your feet secure. Additionally, you’ll want a good heal drop of anywhere between ¾ of an inch to 1 ¼ inch.
- Drop Height: Drop height is the drop in elevation between the heel of the shoe and the toe on the insole. When you have an elevated heel, you gain extra stability when squatting down. The idea is to optimize your physical exertion and project upward force.
- Stability Level: In addition to the stability provided by the heel drop, you’ll want to ensure that you’re getting enough lateral stability to avoid turning or twisting your ankle. The metatarsal strap helps keep you stable and a rubber sole will allow you to maintain a firm grasp on the floor.
- Fit: When it comes to your weightlifting shoes, it’s important to make sure that you have the right fit. Lifting heavy weights is not the time to feel uncomfortable! You need a pair that fits snug without pinching and that’s wide enough to accommodate the natural spreading of your toes when they are under pressure.
- Budget: Everyone has different budgets and different amounts they’re willing to spend on a pair of weightlifting shoes. The good news is that you can snag a quality pair without breaking the bank. Also, if you really want a pair that gives you the most versatility, you can choose a pair that works well across a variety of workouts. A good cross trainer can be all you need to excel in any activity.
What Are the Benefits to These Specific Shoes?
You might be thinking, “wait, do I really need a pair of weight lifting specific shoes?” Here’s the deal, the best women’s shoes for weightlifting provide the following:
- Proper form and positioning: The number one cause of injury while lifting weights is poor form and alignment. A pair of dedicated women’s lifting shoes will help to ward off any injuries by forcing your body into the proper form and alignment throughout every movement. For serious lifters, this is invaluable.
- Ankle stability: The last thing you want to do is turn your ankle as you lift. Many lifts involve adjusting your footing throughout. Without proper ankle support, you’re susceptible to injury. If your ankles are unstable or weak, consider a pair with a higher cut that will provide some additional support.
- Improved performance: Between the raised heel, extra grip, and the metatarsal straps on these shoes, you can achieve a much higher level of performance than you could in a regular pair of shoes. Essentially, you can get the most out of each and every workout.
What are the best women's shoes for weightlifting if you have a foot injury?
First and foremost, if you have a foot injury, it’s important that you see a doctor before resuming activity to make sure that you’re doing so safely. With your doctor’s consent, you may resume your lifts, but it’s important that you have a supportive shoe that minimizes the risk of aggravating or worsening your injury. The shoe that you need will depend on what type of injury you have. Be sure to consult with your doctor, or shoe specialist.
I’ve heard Chucks are a good choice for weight lifting, is that true?
No, in fact, Chucks are not a great choice because they do not have a raised heel, which is one of the most important components when it comes to lifting form. Chucks will not allow you to execute power moves with proper form. Now, if you’re a novice lifting and don’t lift extremely heavy, you may be able to get away with a basic pair of Chucks because they do have decent cushioning, but we still recommend a more advanced shoe.
Is it ok for women to wear men’s weight lifting shoes?
Yes and no. The main difference between a men’s shoe and a women’s shoe when it comes to weightlifting is that the ones designed for women are slightly narrower. If you have a wider than normal foot, you may find that the women-specific pairs are a bit snug. In that case, it may be worthwhile to check out a pair of men’s. Just make sure you pay close attention to sizing and get the size that best fits your overall foot.
What shoes should I buy if I plan to do other activities?
If you’re planning to do more at the gym than just lift, like CrossFit, running, circuit training, HIIT – you’ll want to buy a cross trainer like this pair. That said, if you’re a serious lifter, it’s worth your investment in a shoe that’s made specifically for lifting.
Can I wear running shoes to lift weights?
You shouldn’t. The problem with wearing running shoes while lifting is that there is a lot of cushion in running specific shoes that will cause your feet to sink down during a lift. This becomes a problem because you then absorb some of the force of the weight.
With weight lifting specific shoes, the cushioning is minimal so you’re not having to fight back against sinking into your shoes. Additionally, these shoes have the right form to allow for perfect posture i.e. higher heels to achieve the perfect squat position.
What’s the best affordable weight training shoes?
If you’re looking for a pair of shoes that’s affordable and that you can wear through a variety of workouts, giving you the most for your money, we recommend this pair because they work across a variety of workouts and will last a long time. You can also check out types of gym bags that have shoe compartments, so you aren't lugging around a bunch of gear to the gym every day.
The Bottom Line
If you’re a beginner or only an occasional lifer, you can probably get away with just about any gym shoe. However, as you start bumping up your weights and adding to your lifting routine, it’s wise to invest in a good weightlifting shoe. All eight of the options we listed above have their own unique benefits and style, leaving you to decide which ones will work best for your body and workout style.
If your main goal is to improve your overall fitness and lifts, this pair is an excellent choice. That said, if your focus is on lifting heavy and stepping your game up, this pair is by far one of the best.
Grab a pair and get lifting, ladies!
Learn even more about our #1 overall choice at Reebok's website!