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Earlier this week, we explained why it’s time you stopped lifting weights in running shoes.
Like basketball, golf, tennis and most other specialized activities, strength training necessitates its own type of shoe. It’s tempting to anoint an old pair of Asics your “all-purpose athletic trainers,” and perform deadlifts in them after running a few miles, but you’re risking injury.
Most running shoes are designed with maximum foam to give joggers a pillow-like ride. It reduces the stress from your heels striking the pavement thousands of times in an hour. But that’s also what makes lifting in them so dangerous: imagine squatting heavy weight while standing on a Tempur-Pedic. Weight training requires stability in the lower half. Your feet should be able to spread out and grip the base of a flat-base shoe, which in turn, should be able to reliably grip the floor.
To that end, it’s time to look elsewhere for footwear that holds up in the gym (wherever your gym may be right now). Below, we’ve selected seven of our favorite sneakers to wear for lifting weights.
Converse Chuck Taylors
Seriously. Lifters swear by them for a reason. The rubber base is flat and grippy, laced-up canvas legitimately offers all the support you need for static movements in the gym, and the look is as classic as it gets. Oh, and they’re crazy affordable.
Vans Old Skool
Same deal as the Chucks. Canvas sneakers and skate shoes are a total dark horse at the gym. We’ve lifted primarily in the Old Skools, but the Classics work great as well.
Reebok Nano X
The Nano series is tied to Reebok’s decade-long relationship with CrossFit. So, while this is a perfect lifting shoe (check that close-up of the base), it’s also geared towards cross-training if that’s your thing.
UA Project Rock 2 Training Shoes
Designed with insight from the man who calls the gym his “Iron Paradise.” This shoe maintains the boxy base lifters look for in a sneaker, while offering a bit more of a heel counter than we’re used to seeing. That’s meant for responsiveness during squats, and side hustles like HIIT.
This young brand is already an internet darling for its lightweight, tough-as-nails training shoes, which are made from a seamless one-piece layer called SuperFabric. There are carbon guards built into those sidewalls, too, if that floats your boat, which it should.
Nike Metcon 6
Nike makes a fantastic lifting shoe because it makes a fantastic everything. The Metcon 6 continues the favored features of its predecessors — minimal heel-to-toe drop, firm outsole — while adding an all-mesh upper.
SABO Deadlift PRO Shoes
Online weightlifting shop Maxbarbell carries these bad boys, which are the preferred shoe of scary Russian powerlifters, so you know they’ve gotta be legit.
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