Top 9 best deadlift shoes of 2021

Like the squat, the deadlift is one of the most fundamental exercises you can do.

It’s so fundamental that some people call it the king of exercises. The reason is that it works the entire body. It’s used by people in all sports, and it’s one of the three power lifts.

If you lift heavy and compete in powerlifting, the range of motion becomes an important consideration.

The right pair of shoes matter. They affect the range of motion and support the foot during the movement.

They also help your form. This guide will look at the best deadlift shoes available.

Let’s check it out!

In a Hurry? Here is our top pick:

Quick Answer – The Best Deadlift Shoes

  1. Sabo Deadlift Shoes – Best Overall Deadlift Shoes
  2. Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars High Top Sneaker – Best Budget Deadlift Shoes
  3. Adidas Originals SuperStars – Best Deadlift Shoes For All Training Styles
  4. Reebok Nano 8.0 – Best CrossFit Shoes For Deadlifting
  5. METAL Sport Powerlifting Shoes – Best Powerlifting Shoes For Deadlifts
  6. LiftingLarge Deadlift Slippers – Best Deadlifting Slippers
  7. Otomix Stingray Escape Shoes – Best Bodybuilding Shoes For Deadlifts
  8. Adidas Men’s HVC Wrestling Shoe – Best Wrestling Shoes For Deadlifts
  9. Inov-8 Bare XF 210 V2 – Best Minimalist Shoes For Deadlifts

Reviews – The Best Deadlift Shoes

Sabo Deadlift Shoes – Best Overall Deadlift Shoes

This is our pick for the best overall.  Sabo Deadlift Shoes are made for deadlifting. They’re also good for sumo-style deadlifts. They are high cut and made from synthetic leather and fabric. 

Additionally, they feature a thin sole which allows your feet to be close to the ground for good stability. The sole also provides support, limits excess foot motion and the outsole provides a good grip. 

There are also two straps for increased ankle and foot stability. 

The Sabo Deadlift shoe also has side support to prevent ankle rolling while training.

PROS

  • Specifically Designed For Deadlifts
  • Features A Thin, Flat Sole
  • There Are Straps For Ankle & Foot Support

CONS

  • Some Users Do Not Like The Fit

Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars High Top Sneaker – Best Budget Deadlift Shoes

The Chuck Taylor All-Stars are a deadlifting favorite and our best budget choice. These high tops are one of the more popular shoes used for deadlifting. 

They are made of canvas which provides good ankle support. The rubber sole is flat for good foot stability. 

Additionally, Chuck Taylors are a great choice for budget-conscious deadlifters. If these sneakers have a downside, it’s that there are no ankle straps. 

Still, they do a good job of meeting the criteria of good deadlift shoes, and they do it with budget in mind.

PROS

  • Our Best Budget Deadlifting Shoe
  • Flat Rubber Soles For Stability
  • High Top Design For Good Ankle Support

CONS

  • Some Users Feel The Sizes Run Large

Adidas Originals SuperStars – Best Deadlift Shoes For All Training Styles

These shoes are the best choice for any training style, especially deadlifts.

The Adidas SuperStars have a flat sole that’s good for deadlifting. They also feature a snug, supportive fit with good arch support. They are a combination of synthetic leather and rubber.

The downside is that they are not high tops. Also, there are no straps.

This means that ankle support is limited. Still, the SuperStars work well for deadlifts due to their flat sole design.

PROS

  • Features A Flat Sole Good That’s Good For Deadlifting
  • They Have A Snug Fit
  • Provides Good Arch Support

CONS

  • No Ankle Straps

Reebok Nano 8.0 – Best CrossFit Shoes For Deadlifting

Many CrossFit trainers regularly deadlift using heavy weight. That means they need a shoe that can work for deadlifts as well as the rest of their workout.

The Reebok Nano 8.0 has a flat sole that’s good for deadlifting. They have good arch support and a plastic heel cup that provides good foot stability. The rubber sole helps the shoe grip the floor and provide good traction during heavy deadlifts.

The Nano 8.0 is 100% synthetic with flexweave uppers. The toe box provides good flexibility of the front foot during workouts.

PROS

  • Features A Flat Rubber Sole
  • There’s A Heel Cup For Good Foot Stability
  • A CrossFit Shoe That Works Well For Deadlifts

CONS

  • Limited Ankle Support

METAL Sport Powerlifting Shoes – Best Powerlifting Shoes For Deadlifts

Here’s a pair of shoes designed for powerlifting in general and deadlifting in particular. The METAL Sport Powerlifting Shoes feature a thin rubber sole so your feet are close to the floor. 

The outsole has a textured pattern that helps the shoe grip the floor. Also, they have a high collar that provides good ankle support. 

There’s a metatarsal strap that provides good upper foot protection and stability. 

However, there are no ankle straps. Still, the Metal Powerlifting Shoes provide good support and are well-designed for deadlifting.  4.5 Stars.

PROS

  • Features A Thin Rubber Sole For Good Contact With The Floor
  • There’s A Textured Pattern On The Bottom For Improved Grip
  • These Shoes Include A Metatarsal Strap That Protects The Upper Foot

CONS

  • Not For The Budget Conscious Deadlifter
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LiftingLarge Deadlift Slippers – Best Deadlifting Slippers

The LiftingLarge Deadlift Slippers are powerlifting-legal and competition approved. They’re designed to help you get lower to the ground for a better lift. 

These slippers are for both standard and sumo-style deadlifts. 

There are two velcro straps for better lateral support when performing the sumo-style deadlift. 

For lifters with high arches, there are longer straps that allow a tight fit. 

Finally, the rubber bottom grips the floor for more stability, and the toes are covered for safety.

PROS

  • Legal For Competitive Powerlifting
  • Designed To Support Standard & Sumo Deadlifts
  • Features A Covered Toe Section For Safety

CONS

  • Some Users Feel The Quality Is Poor

Otomix Stingray Escape Shoes – Best Bodybuilding Shoes For Deadlifts

These shoes are a good choice for deadlifting even though they are bodybuilding shoes. This is because they have a thin sole made of rubber that puts your foot close to the floor. 

The Otomix Stingray Escape Shoes also have an outsole designed to grip the ground. 

This means you will lift from a firm platform. These shoes are designed to be lightweight yet durable. They are manufactured using synthetic and leather material with extra ankle support. 

Besides powerlifting, these shoes are meant for any type of training.

PROS

  • Versatile Shoe That’s Designed For Deadlifting, Training Of All Types & Wrestling
  • Lightweight & Sturdy Design
  • Thin Rubber Sole For Good Floor Contact

CONS

  • Some Users Feel The Shoe Stretches Out Too Much

Adidas Men’s HVC Wrestling Shoe – Best Wrestling Shoes For Deadlifts

Wrestling shoes are a good choice for deadlifts because they have a thin sole. 

The Adidas Men’s HVC Wrestling Shoe has a rubber outsole designed to provide a good grip and stability. This lightweight, durable shoe is made of synthetic leather and suede. 

The HVC Wrestling Shoe uses a special elasticized cover system for the laces to keep them out of the way while you are training.

PROS

  • Lightweight, Durable Design
  • Thin Sole Made Of Rubber
  • Provides A Good Grip On The Floor

CONS

  • May Not Fit Users With Wide Feet

Inov-8 Bare XF 210 V2 – Best Minimalist Shoes For Deadlifts

Some individuals deadlift barefoot because it provides superior contact with the floor. 

The Inov-8 Bare XF 210 V2 shoes are minimalist shoes. This is because they bring the foot very close to the ground and provide a barefoot feel. 

The Inov-8 Bare XF 210 V2 has no heel drop, and no cushioning. This is another similarity to training barefoot. They feature a wide toe box that lets your toes spread. 

The outsole has a sticky grip that provides firm support while deadlifting.

PROS

  • The Outsole Provides A Sticky Grip
  • Minimalist Design Provides A Barefoot Feel
  • Thin Sole Puts The Foot Close To The Ground

CONS

  • Some users Feel The Sizes Are Off

Buying Guide – How to choose the best deadlift shoes?

What Are Deadlifting Shoes

There’s only a handful of exercises that work most or all of the body. Deadlifts are one of them. They are similar to squats in that they work virtually every muscle in the body.

If you deadlift using heavy loads, reducing the range of motion can make a big difference. This is especially true for powerlifting where even a few inches matter.

Deadlift shoes have flatter soles that save a few inches by putting your foot close to the ground. At the same time, they provide good foot and ankle support. One of the things a deadlift shoe does is shift your weight onto your heels. This is where your weight needs to be while deadlifting. This helps you stay stable and balanced.

Why Deadlifting In Your Regular Athletic Shoes Is Not A Good Idea

Besides adding height, regular athletic shoes provide too much cushioning and elevation. They do not provide the support you need for deadlifting. This leads to instability and a range of motion that has limited control. 

Combine that with the lack of support, and there may be a risk of injury. Deadlift shoes are designed with all aspects of the exercise in mind. 

When you execute a deadlift, the bar stays in contact with your body throughout the range of motion. This will distribute the load over your center of gravity more efficiently.

What happens if you let the bar come off your body? Your lats and upper back will need to work harder to stop you from falling forward.  The problem with wearing regular athletic shoes is that the sole will rock your foot back and forth. This is easier on the foot for running or jogging. However, if your foot rocks when you deadlift, you will struggle to maintain your balance. You’ll lose your balance and have a hard time keeping the bar connected to your body. Additionally, there’s a chance of injury. That’s not what you need when you pull a heavy bar from the floor.

What Are The Benefits Of Deadlifting Shoes

Better Form

As noted, deadlift shoes put your foot closer to the ground. This is important when you’re performing heavy deadlifts. It creates a good connection to the ground and improves foot stability. The closer you are to the ground, the less distance the bar has to reach lockout.

This allows you to have a stronger posterior chain. Also, you can push through your heel easier. Finally, you can achieve better weight distribution. These factors lead to good form and a safe, effective deadlift.

No Compression

The thinner soles used on deadlift shoes won’t squish into the ground from the added weight. This means you have a sturdy platform to pull through, instead of having to pull through the compression.

Stability

Stability while deadlifting is critical. This is especially true if you’re pulling heavy loads. As a point of reference, serious deadlifters might be pulling at least 3x their body weight. (1)  Deadlifting shoes provide support in three areas: the midfoot, arch, and ankle.

Metatarsal Support

There are five bones in the middle of the foot. Some deadlift shoes have a strap that supports this area. This is a metatarsal strap. This strap provides a tight fit over the middle area of the foot. Additionally, a metatarsal strap prevents any unnecessary movements in the foot while deadlifting. Metatarsal straps will vary in width, thickness, and type of material.

Arch Support

The best deadlifting shoes will have a slightly raised arch. This works with the metatarsal strap to provide good stability. The slightly raised arch eliminates any open space inside the shoe. Furthermore, the metatarsal strap tightens the shoe. This helps pull the foot closer to the floor.

Ankle Support

Deadlifting shoes also help keep the ankle joint secure. This prevents unwanted movement to the inside or outside. It also allows enough ankle dorsiflexion as you set into the deadlift. Ankle straps are a single strap that wraps around the shoe. They may vary in width and thickness depending on the shoe.

Reduced Injury Risk

As noted, if you are using your running sneakers to deadlift, you may be setting yourself up for injury. This is due to the free range of ankle motion, instability, and lack of foot support. Using regular shoes creates a weak link.  If you have a weak link in one area, it impacts the entire body. It also impacts your exercise performance. Deadlifting shoes reduce the risk of injury. They do this by eliminating foot and ankle rolling. They also eliminate unnecessary weight shifting, and instability. These problems are the result of wearing ordinary sneakers.

The Right Shoes Improves Your Results

Deadlifting shoes can improve your technique and your deadlift strength. Because the right shoes bring you closer to the ground, your form will be better. This means improved muscle activation and in turn more power, strength, and size.

What To Look For In A Deadlifting Shoe

The Weight Of The Shoe

A deadlift shoe should be lightweight. You don’t want to add to your deadlift weight. For some trainers, shoe weight won’t matter. If you’re a competitive powerlifter, every ounce matters.

Shoe Durability

Durability is an important factor in a deadlift shoe. The sole should consist of dense material with zero compression when under a deadlift load.

Heel Height

There should be no heel height. The “heel-to-toe drop” in most shoes is usually high. In a deadlift shoe, the height of the heel should be low to nonexistent. As noted, the low height provides support.

Sole Thickness

The sole of the deadlift shoe consists of three parts:

  • The Insole – This provides an inside layer of cushioning. It also separates your foot from the midsole. Some shoes have an insole that can be removed or no insole at all. Others are non-removable.
  • The Midsole – This is the part of the shoe that absorbs shock. The shoes with the thinnest sole do not have a midsole. While this matters in some sports, it’s not an important consideration in a deadlift shoe.
  • The Outsole – The bottom of the shoe should have a good tread pattern and provide a good ability to grip the floor.

Quality Of Construction

Good shoe quality is always a consideration when buying any type of shoe. After all, you want to get what you paid for. Deadlift shoe quality includes how well they are manufactured, how well they perform, and how long they last.

Conclusion

There are few shoes made for deadlifts. Yet, several types of training shoes can work. 

Our best overall pick are Sabo Deadlift Shoes. These are one of the few shoes made only for deadlifts. They feature thin soles for low to the ground foot placement. They also support the foot and include two straps, a metatarsal, and an ankle strap. 

If budget is a concern, the Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars High Top Sneaker are the best choice. The All-Stars are old-fashioned high tops with a flat sole and good ankle support at a budget price. 

Are you a bodybuilder that deadlifts consistently? The Otomix Stingray Escape Shoes have a thin sole yet provide good support. The outsole provides a good grip to the floor. This is important for deadlifts and any style of training.

Many training shoes work well for deadlifts. This includes specifically designed shoes to the right training shoes.

You take your training seriously. Use our guide to find the best deadlift shoes for your goals.

Happy Training!

References:

  1. Deadlift Standards for Men and Women (lb) – Strength Level
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