Equipment

The Best Women’s Weightlifting Shoes
Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Best Weightlifting Shoes for Women Cover Image
Written by Tracy Thompson

​Weightlifting shoes have been around for decades - men’s weightlifting shoes that is.

Manufacturers have only been producing women’s weightlifting shoes in earnest since around the turn of the century, but each year brings new models and continual improvement.

Today, there are dozens of different women’s weightlifting shoes to choose from.

​It ranges from high-end models that rival anything in the men’s category, to more budget-friendly models.

This footwear nonetheless provides the much-needed support and stability while you’re under the bar.

So, are you looking for the best pair to use during your workouts? Then read on. 

​Below we present our selections for the best women’s weight training shoes.

​Our ​Top Weightlifting Shoes for ​Women

(2019 updated)

​The following are our choices for the best women’s weightlifting shoes on the market today.

Product

​Materials

​Key Highlights

Adidas Women Powerlift 3 150x150

#1 ​Adidas Women's Powerlift 3
​(​Best Overall)

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  • 100% Synthetic Leather
  • ​Anti-Slip Rubber
  • ​Made from high-quality, imported materials
  • ​Promotes lightweight stability
  • ​Anti-slip rubber for maximum grip
  • ​Extra-wide design for a comfortable fit
  • ​Enhances breathability
  • Overall best women's weightlifting shoes
Reebok Women Legacy Lifter 150x150

​#2 ​Reebok Women's Legacy Lifter

(Best for Squats)

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  • ​100% Textile
  • ​High-abrasion Rubber Outsole
  • ​low-profile EVA Midsole
  • ​Recommended ​for squats
  • Heel height promotes optimal squat positioning
  • ​Comfortable and fits great
Reebok Women CrossFit Lifter 150x150

#3 ​Reebok Women's CrossFit Lifter 2.0

​(Best for CrossFit)

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  • ​100% ​Synthetic
  • ​Rubber Sole
  • ​Recommended for CrossFit
  • ​Promotes high power and agility
  • Hook and loop straps ensure stability and maximum grip
Inov-8 Women Fastlift 335 150x150

#4 ​Inov-8 Women's Fastlift 335

​(Best Lightweight Shoes)

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  • ​Imported
  • ​Synthetic​
  • ​FastLift Outsole
  • ​Made from lightweight synthetic materials for better movement
  • ​Fits perfectly with its hook-and-loop strap 
  • ​FastLift promotes maximum and reliable grip
NOBULL Women Trainers 150x150

#5 ​NOBULL Women's Trainers

​(All-Around Cross Trainer)

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  • SuperFabric
  • ​High Carbon Lateral
  • ​Recommended for Cross Training
  • Durable, lightweight, and breathable, thanks to SuperFabric
  • ​Abrasion-resistant

1. ​Best Overall: Adidas Powerlift 3

It’s perhaps no surprise that Adidas are at the top our list since they have been at this weightlifting shoe business longer than just about anyone.

The brand also tends to top many a list of best men’s weightlifting shoes as well, as they know the sport and its specific needs in terms of footwear. 

Adidas Women Powerlift 3

As for the Women’s Powerlift 3: this is a durable, comfortable, extremely stable shoe that doesn’t give an inch even as you ramp up the weight. The Powerlift 3 looks like it means business and it lives up to appearances with solid performance. 

PROS

  • ​Unmatched lateral stability.
  • ​Outstanding build quality throughout.
  • ​Cross compatible with other activities.
  • ​Great women’s weightlifting shoes for all manner of lifts.

CONS

  • ​Not as breathable as some.

The company’s Adiwear outsole is lightweight and comfortable, the fit is a bit narrower than some other women’s weightlifting shoes, and the metatarsal strap ensures rock-solid stability from floor to hold and back again.

The marginally lower heel also makes it more easily adaptable to CrossFit or other activities.

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​2. Best for Squats: Reebok Legacy Lifter

​The Women’s Legacy Lifter from Reebok was designed with Olympic-style powerlifting in mind and fulfills its destiny beautifully.

These women’s weightlifting shoes feature a tough TPU heel, a 3/4 inch heel drop, dual mid-foot straps to hold your foot firmly in place when the stresses are greatest and Flexcage protection that lets you wear then in the CrossFit box should you feel so inclined.

Reebok Women's Legacy Lifter

The genuine rubber sole grips the surface firmly but not so much that you risk ankle injury. 

PROS

  • ​Extra firm TPU sole keeps your heel in place.
  • ​Dual back and forth straps for ultimate lateral control.
  • ​Leather and nylon mesh upper.
  • ​Surprisingly versatile.

CONS

  • ​Heavier than some other women’s weightlifting shoes.

The anatomical shape contours to the shape of your foot and the antimicrobial liner keeps them from becoming odor factories.

If your forte is squats, you'll appreciate the way these women’s weightlifting shoes seem to propel you into the proper upright position.

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​3. Best for CrossFit: Reebok ​CrossFit Lifter 2.0

The challenge for CrossFit shoes is to provide women with the mobility they need for running while at the same time accounting for the heel drop necessary to perform weightlifting exercises like squats.

Getting the balance right isn’t easy and not all CrossFit shoes accomplish it.

Reebok Women's CrossFit Lifter

The Women’s CrossFit Lifter 2.0 however, does an impressive job.

PROS

  • ​Breathable leather, nylon mesh upper.
  • ​Single wide metatarsal stability strap.
  • ​TPU heel provides just enough give.
  • ​Extremely comfortable.

CONS

  • ​Can be a bit stiff.

The 3/4 inch drop in the heel is apparent in the way it enables power lifts but somehow melds into the background during running, walking lunges and everything else. 

The wide metatarsal strap keeps your foot solidly in place without being overly restrictive, and the shoes look, quite frankly, beautiful. 

If CrossFit is your thing, then the Reebok Women's CrossFit Lifter 2.0 is one of the best footwear choices on the market. 

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​4. Best Lightweight Shoes: Inov-8 ​Fastlift 335

​Inov-8 prides itself on basing their footwear designs solidly in the science of physiology.

Their shoes are designed to conform to human beings and not the other way around.

Although they made their name on the track, once they delved into the women’s weightlifting shoes arena, they didn't waste any time establishing their bona-fides and their Women's Fastlift 335 is a perfect example.

Inov-8 Women's Fastlift 335

The upper on the 335 is fashioned from ripstop nylon with welded seams.

PROS

  • ​Ripstop nylon upper is lightweight and durable.
  • ​1 1/4 inch heel drop.
  • ​Adjustable metatarsal strap.
  • ​Genuine rubber sole.

CONS

  • ​Basically a one sport shoe.

This makes the shoe both very light and very, very tough. There's plenty of lateral stability provided by the metatarsal strap, and the Power-Truss heel allows you to really dig in on those extreme lifts.

The 1 1/4 inch drop means it's not going to adapt well to some CrossFit workouts, but it will power your lifts like nobody's business. There's also a slightly wider toe box to accommodate spreading that occurs when heavier weights are involved.

If straight up lifting is your thing, there’s a pair of 335s women’s weightlifting shoes with your name on it.

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​5. All-Around Cross Trainer: NOBULL ​Trainers

​In spite of the corny name and aesthetic shortcomings, Nobull takes the manufacture of women’s weightlifting shoes very seriously.

While their lack of a heel drop limits their usefulness in the weight room the Nobull Women's Trainer is otherwise a solid all-around athletic shoe that will serve you well on the track, on the treadmill, when climbing rope, and even in your standard aerobics class.

NOBULL Women's Trainers

Wear them on the tennis court, basketball court, squash court or while hiking in the park.

PROS

  • ​Wear them to the gym, to the tennis court or on casual Friday.
  • ​Moderately priced and highly versatile. A great value.
  • ​Durable as they are comfortable.

CONS

  • ​The look takes some getting used to.

They're built for all-around comfort and performance, and they deliver better than any standard running, CrossFit or weightlifting shoe ever could.

If your thing is not being confined to a single type of athletic endeavor, you'll find the Nobull Women's Trainers to be worthy companions.

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​6. ​All-Rounder for Olympic Lifts: Pendlay 15PFUSSIL

Whereas a shoe like the Nobull women’s weightlifting shoes embraces a minimalist design ethos the 15PFUSSIL Pendlay weightlifting shoe heads in the opposite direction and embraces a kind of overwrought, overcooked maximalism (if there is such a word) that will appeal to some and turn some off.

Aesthetics aside, these are outstanding all-around women’s weight training shoes that have the heel drop you'll need for certain lifts that involve squatting but not such an extreme drop that it's useless for deadlifts.

Pendlay Women's 15PFUSSIL

PROS

  • ​Leather and nylon upper.
  • ​Dual straps ensure your foot is held solidly in place.
  • ​Outstanding breathability.

CONS

  • ​The look won’t appeal to everyone.

From a comfort standpoint, these Do-Win weightlifting shoes exhibit a high degree of breathability, and the opposing metatarsal straps prevent lateral drift while the weight is being tossed to and fro.

They’re a great pair of women's Olympic lifting shoes that will cover you for all manner of lifting, and maybe best of all, they won’t require you to take out a second mortgage to buy them.

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​7. Best Budget Shoes: Converse All Star

Veteran lifters of both sexes have seen their fair share of Converse All Star in the weight room, and that's because they have historically provided a great deal of value. 

Even though they were reimagined from a material standpoint a few years back and are now a bit more expensive than their 20th-century counterparts, the All Star is still a viable budget weightlifting shoe that will serve you well particularly with lifts that don't require a ton of heel drop.

Converse All Stars

PROS

  • ​Improved materials throughout in this new iteration.
  • ​Genuine rubber sole provides needed grip.
  • ​Decent ankle support, light and breathable.
  • ​OrthoLite cushioning on the insole.

CONS

  • ​Be careful where you buy them from.

The biggest difference in the new All Stars is that the canvas upper, while it appears the same as the old models, is now fashioned from more robust canvas that takes a while to break in but ultimately provides much better ankle support.

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​What to Look for in Women’s Weightlifting Shoes

weightlifting shoes for women

Though there isn't much difference between women's and men's weightlifting shoes, some criterias to look out for include:

  • ​The shoe should reflect your workout type - Before you decide on a pair of weightlifting shoes, you'll need to determine what type of lifting you'll be doing. With Olympic lifts, force radiates in all directions so you'll want a metatarsal strap or straps with firm Velcro closure. You'll also want 3/4 of an inch to 1 1/4 inch of heel drop. For straight up deadlifts you want flat lifting shoes like the Converse All Star.
  • ​Drop height - The drop height is the drop in elevation between the heel of the shoe and the toe on the insole. An elevated heel provides additional stability when the lifter is squatting down. This added stability is key to optimizing your physical exertion and projecting upward force.
  • ​Stability - Beyond the stability provided by the drop heel in women’s weightlifting shoes you need to ensure lateral stability to avoid turning your ankle. The metatarsal straps help prevent lateral instability as does a nice rubber sole that takes a firm grasp of the floor.
  • Fit - Humans weren’t designed to lift twice their body weight over their heads. To ensure you can focus your energy where it belongs you can’t afford to be distracted by uncomfortable or ill-fitting women’s weightlifting shoes. Look for a fit that is snug without pinching and wide enough to accommodate the spreading that occurs in the foot when it’s under extreme pressure.
  • Value - Everyone has a slightly different idea of what represents value, but in a general sense, a good value is a shoe that provides robust stability, comfort, and performance without costing an arm and a leg.

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​What are the Benefits?

You can still find the occasional old-school lifter who saunters up to the weight in bare feet. Most, however, are more than willing to forego old-school values in favor of the new-school benefits provided by women's powerlifting shoes. Those benefits include:

  • Proper positioning - One of the primary causes of weightlifting injuries was and is poor alignment of the torso. Women’s lifting shoes can help prevent debilitating back injuries by forcing the body into proper alignment from the time you address the bar to the time you drop the weight and step off.
  • ​Ankle support - Many women (as well as men) require extra ankle support to prevent them from turning an ankle as they lift. Some lifts involve numerous adjustments of your footing, and if you plant one foot at a slightly awkward angle, the ankle can turn, producing a very serious injury. High cut women’s weightlifting shoes can help prevent this type of calamity.
woman deadlift
  • ​Ankle support - Many women (as well as men) require extra ankle support to prevent them from turning an ankle as they lift. Some lifts involve numerous adjustments of your footing, and if you plant one foot at a slightly awkward angle, the ankle can turn, producing a very serious injury. High cut women’s weightlifting shoes can help prevent this type of calamity.
  • Establishing good habits - Whether you are an accountant, a doctor or a weightlifter, it's essential to build good habits that will enable you to optimize your results. When you make the effort to get and wear the right shoes when you lift you're helping to ensure your efforts aren't wasted and that you're not needlessly exposing yourself to injury.
  • ​Improved performance - Both the raised heel and the metatarsal straps on women’s weightlifting shoes are more than mere decorations. They help drive a higher level of performance which enables you to reach your health and fitness goals.

FAQ

Do weightlifting shoes for women make a difference?

Yes, weightlifting shoes for women make a difference, especially for the deep squat moves that are often required.These specialist shoes have a higher heel sole section which makes it easier for you to get into a very low squat position without causing too much strain on your ankles.

Are Chucks still a good choice for women’s weightlifting?

No, Chucks are not a good choice for women’s weightlifting because they don’t have a raised heel section. While they are light and comfortable, with reasonably good cushioning, they won’t help you get into those very low to the ground squatting positions required for many power moves.

What’s the difference between male and female weightlifting shoes?

The main difference between male and female weightlifting shoes is that the ones made for women are generally slightly narrower fitting. This is mainly down to the fact that the average woman’s foot will be narrower. Unless you have a wider than average foot, it’s best to stick with a shoe for your gender.

​Our #1 ​Lifting Shoes For Women Is...

​The act of lifting enormous amounts of weight for no other purpose than building muscle is unnatural.

As such you need to make sure you do what's necessary to protect yourself from injury while maximizing the physical returns from your efforts.

The Adidas Women's Powerlift 3 is the most effective women's weightlifting shoe on the market and will help you achieve your goals while cradling your feet in comfort and safety.

From the unparalleled stability to first-rate materials, to the way it grips the floor and its remarkable versatility, it's put together in a package that has it in prime position as our choice for best women’s weightlifting shoes. 

Adidas Women Powerlift 3
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​Adidas Women's Powerlift 3

Our #1 ​Overall Women's Weightlifting Shoe

  • ​Made from 100% synthetic leather
  • ​Materials are imported and are of high-quality
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    ​Experience maximum grip with the Anti-Slip Rubber
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    ​Fits comfortably with its extra-wide design
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    ​Promotes breathability

About the author

Tracy Thompson

I'm a fitness trainer dedicated to promoting a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle. I was a track-and-field athlete during high school, but during my post-college years, my weight skyrocketed due to lack of discipline. Now, I've helped thousands of individuals achieve their fitness goals. You can read more about me here​.

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