Get the Best Pair of Shoes for Your Deadlifting Success

Having the right pair of shoes is important to your success in the deadlift. Here are your best options.

adidas hvc wrestling shoes for deadlifting
Best Value

  • High-Top & Real Snug Fit
  • Great Pricing & Flat Sole
  • Shoes Are Highly Versatile

sabo deadlifting shoes review
Best Premium

  • Premium-Built, Deadlift-Focus
  • Highly-Stable & Secure
  • Very Thin Sole, Roughly 3MM

chuck taylor sneakers for deadlifting
Best Budget

  • Flat-Sole & Light Construction
  • Snug Fit, Highly Durable
  • You Probably Already Have It

Why Wear Flat Shoes for Deadlifts?

Best Value

adidas HVC Wrestling

These popular wrestling shoes have very high levels of stability & comfort.

adidas hvc wrestling shoes review

Why We Like adidas HVC Wrestling

For those looking for a tight fit without the SABO price tag, Adidas HVCs fit the bill. These wrestling shoes are well-built and come from a reputable brand, which makes them a popular choice for serious weightlifters. You also have a range of colors to choose from.

The HVCs are a stellar mid-range option for deadlifting with another selling point—they are light and flexible enough for other gym activities as well. This means that you can wear them through your deadlift reps, and then seamlessly start your cardio and HIIT training without changing footwear.

Fit-wise, these shoes tend to run small and narrow, so size up or consider going with a different brand if you have extra wide feet.

Best Premium

SABO Deadlift Shoes

If you're looking for an upgrade option — these are it. Well-built, deadlift-focused shoes.

best shoes for deadlifing sabo shoes

Should You Buy SABO Deadlift Shoes?

Targeted towards people who want serious support, the SABO Deadlift shoes have a double strap design and reinforced sides to keep your shoes tight through every lift. This means that they are similar in design to standard wrestling shoes but branded for deadlifting.

SABO shoes are close to twice the price of most of its competition, and they remain popular both for casual workouts and at the competition level. However, it’s not clear whether you’re really getting twice the value with these shoes compared to traditional low-cut sneakers.

Likewise, be sure you know your shoe size in Russian when ordering so you don’t run into fit problems when you receive them.

Best Budget

Converse Chuck Taylors

Well-built, classic shoes that's ideal for deadlifting.

best deadlift shoes converse chuck taylors

Why We Recommend Converse Chuck Taylors

Chuck Taylors offer a low-cost yet durable option for deadlifting shoes. But don’t let their low price point distract you; many world records for both squats and deadlifts have been set in Chucks. Lifters love how customizable these shoes are. You can choose from half a dozen colors or even design your own pair, complete with custom colors and stitching.

Just keep in mind that these shoes might not withstand the rigors of your workouts as well as more athletic-minded brands. The most common customer complaint is that they start to fall apart fast, so be prepared to invest in new pairs somewhat often.

You’re likely wondering whether you can use your regular weightlifting shoes for deadlifts. The truth is, most people find that their weightlifting shoe’s heel angle isn’t ideal for maximizing their strength output and that they get better results from a flatter sole.

In other words, the slight heel that’s common in weightlifting shoes can cause problems by throwing off your natural range of motion and making you work harder for the same results. For example, wearing a shoe with a two-inch heel would mean you need to lift the bar an additional two inches every single rep.

Likewise, this ankle angle shifts your whole body’s balance and makes it less efficient. Most lifters should expect a 5-10% decrease in weight off the bar when using shoes with a lifted heel. Multiply that by a few dozen reps, and you’ll start to see the problem.

For this reason, it’s better to seek out shoes with flat, firm soles and plenty of ankle support for completing your deadlifts. That’s the go-to style for any lifter who wants to maximize their pulling potential.

Some people go a step further and exercise barefoot or in deadlift slippers that keep their feet even closer to the ground. However, this sacrifices ankle support and is usually best when limited to competitions, rather than regular training sessions.

But regardless of the shoes you choose, make sure you get the right size. It’s critical that you find a pair that offers a snug fit so that your feet aren’t moving around within them and inadvertently increasing your risk of injury.