Best Shoes For Squats in 2018 Reviewed & Rated

I recently received this questions from a friend: what are the best shoes for squats in powerlifting and weightlifting? Funny enough, the guy was wondering whether construction boots (good old myth) would be good for squatting. Like my friend above, most athletes fail to tap into the power of squats shoes in experiences such as barbell back squat.

Squats shoes have heel lifts that allow your torse to remain upright and engages your quadriceps muscles more. Also, the shoes will cut the level of shear stress that lands on your lumbar spine. After 32 hours of research with different squats shoes, I trust that Converse “Chuck Taylors” by Nike is the Best Shoes For Squats for most people.

Reviews: Best Shoes For Squats in 2018

1. Nike Romaleos 3 Power Lifting Shoes


I consider Nike Romaleos 3 a classic for many reasons. I’ve been six months into the Nike Romaleos 3 now in weightlifting and squatting. Therefore, I am now comfortable doing and educated review now.

It was somehow odd receiving requests to review Romaleos 3, the first day I wore them. I delayed the review as I wanted to break them in a get a good grip on its performance.

I have been lifting competitively for about three years now.  All this time I’ve been competing, I wore Romaleos 2 model every day and sometimes twice a day. The reasons for the switch to Romaleos 3, was that I noticed a lot of wear on the sole and they had gotten stretched compared to when I first got them.

I felt that it was a bit difficult to break into Romaleos 3 compared to Romaleos 2, but he was about 4-5 work out sessions. I love the black and coupled white theme, but for most me – there is some black! The 15.8 oz Nike Romaleos 3 has a TPU heel wedge that has a contour to enclose the heel and thus offering you a secure fit.

It has uniquely designed flat rubber outsole that will lessen heel wearing. It comes with 1 hook-and-loop closures, and a synthetic upper will allow your foot to be safely locked while you squat.

My Verdict

Nike Romaleos 3 is fantastic for squatting and weightlifting, particularly due to its high heel and the super hard sole that will keep you connected to the ground. Further, compared to the Romaleos 2, the Romaleos 3 does not have a hollow area on the sole’s underside.

It is a sturdy shoe with some durable leather and also its lightweight overall. Despite having a large percentage of synthetic material, Nike Romaleos 3 is a unique looking shoe brand.

 

Initially, I was training on the Olympic shoes before graduating to Chuck Taylor. , I will love some bit of heel when bench-pressing. Squats will improve your blood’s circulation, enhance burning fat, and strengthen your leg muscles. Besides the rack and weights, effective Squatting requires that you have the right shoes. Good squatting shoes will enhance your stability and stability while you work out.

2. Reebok Men’s Crossfit Nano 8.0 Flexweave

In January 2017 Reebok released the Nano 7.0 and it quickly became the least well-received Nano. Therefore, in July 2017 Reebok released a mid-season Nano update with the Nano 8.0 which fixed the issue being upper being too stiff. A unique feature, and which is helpful in your squatting, is the innovative bootie construction.

Notably, Nano 8.0 comes with a bootie that is entirely separate from its outer shoe material. I initially was skeptical of the bootie. But, I have loved it for its comfort and flexibility. However, the separate bootie could become loose.

The additional cushioning in the Nano 8’s midsole will enhance you squatting movements with its superior flexibility. The enhanced cushioning will significantly improve your squatting as the midsoles will be more responsive.

On functionality, I tested the Reebok Nano 8.0 with back squats. I must state that I liked how the shoe’s sole is hard and doesn’t give in. Further, the heel cup gave me additional support. Therefore, I was confident while sitting in clean and getting up from the hole during the squats.

The cross-weave design in Reebok Nano 8.0 is just amazing. It’s a bit rougher compared to other models, and it is highly breathable, durable and flexible. Despite being tough when I touched it, I noted that it easily flexed around my foot.

Verdict

I must state that flexibility and durability in the Nano 8 are its strongest points for squatting athletes. Notably, Nano 8 has some commendable softness around its heel, bootie and toe, which was great for my squatting.

I needed a comfortable toe splay, and luckily the Nano 8 comes with a wide toe box for the wide fit purpose. However, some athletes do not like that the cross-weave material sits separate from the bootie and that it could become loose.

3. Adidas Performance Powerlift.3 Cross-Trainer

Powerlift.3 is labeled cross-trainer, but they are great for powerlifting and squatting. Most athletes report that the Powerlift.3 offer adequate support and that they are stable for squatting.
The Adidas Powerlift.3 is one of the budget powerlifting shoes. Notably, I had purchased this shoes since I had ankle flexibility and was aiming to reduce this with a right shoe.

Despite the Powerlift.3 being classy and having some heel height, I would not recommend it for deadlifting.

Powerlift.3 provides a stable platform, and it increases the range of squatting motion and ultimately increases my strength.

The shoes will not just be great for squatting but even some leg front too. Further, they helped me effectively use my heel.

However, Powerlift.3 are great for squatting but not recommended for beginners. As a beginner, you’d require to first work on your mobility to improve your squat form and ankle flexion before buying the Powerlift.3.

Size-wise, Powerlift.3 is a fit reasonably true to size compared to the kind of size that is available in converse. Also, it’ll offer you top stability.

Verdict

Powerlift.3 offers a Flexible toe, a removable insole and has an Open forefoot. Also, I find the shoe to be highly an aesthetic shoe, which might not be a very popular opinion out there.

However, I believe that they are genuinely well-constructed and it has a synthetic leather upper with additional perforations at its front part to offer better ventilation.

Its 0.6-inch heel is excellent for squatting and helps you maintain a more upright position all the way during the movement.

4. Chuck Taylor converse – Cheap squat shoes

What to look for in a squatting shoe?

Heel elevation            

Squatting shoe have a stable base and enable athletes to get to greater depths during Olympic lifting or squatting. I can now archive highly comfortable and deeper squat.

An elevated heel gives me additional support. Further, with the heel is elevated, my knee tends to have less dorsiflex and thus my knee gets increased flexion.

Considering the heel differences, squatting shoe gives a variety to choose from but the regular heel elevation is 0.75″ and the range being from 0.3″ to 1″.

To archive a more upright upper body and achieve adequate squat depth, some of my friends would use some inserts to increase the heel height over the 0.75″.

Most shoes such as running sneakers will come with rubber heel that is compressible, and this is not the kind of heel you’d want near your squats.

Squatting shoes will have heel shoes being: wood, TPU, stacked leather, and EVA. Therefore, you might want to practice discretion and check your squatting shoes preferences, mainly when deciding on the heel type to take.

For the strapping or lacing system, most athletes require having the best for top security. It’s either the BOA lacing, double strap, or single strap.

Resources 

  1. Weightlifting shoes 101 by Kilgore L & Rippetoe M.
  2. Kinematic changes using weightlifting shoes on barbell back squat by Sato, Fortenbaugh, & Hydock.
  3. Effects of Rearfoot Position Bilateral Squatting by V Power and A Clifford
  4. Barbell Back Squat with Weightlifting Shoes vs Barefoot by Anthony Josefsson