What Deadlifting Shoes Should I Wear and Why?

What Deadlifting Shoes Should I Wear and Why?

Flat sole (chucks) – molded sole flat shoes,  solid heel weightlifting shoes or running shoes?
Running shoes are just that running shoes, designed to cushion your feet against impact with soles that compress and spring back, all things a powerlifter doesn’t want. This will rob the lifter of that vital power at the bottom of a squat or the start of a Deadlift.
Flat sole canvas uppers rubber sole, Chuck Taylors and the like.
Price. – Chucks aren’t that cheap but the copies are and range from $20. Starting with a flat sole that doesn’t compress means you don’t waist vital energy and power compressing your shoes soles when you apply power to get the bar moving off the floor, with the added bonus of a more advantages starting position with the shoulders in line with the bar.
There’s not to many disadvantages for a conventional deadlifter apart from slight heel height (around 13/15mm) but with a sumo deadlifter, Grip is the biggest concern( most of these shoes were designed as court shoes so the rubber is harder)  and with the tendency to roll over the edge of the shoe, the wider the starting position more critical this can become. In saying that most of us have used them in the past with no real problem.


Deadlifing Shoes – Flat molded sole shoes
Price Starting at around $60 – $190
Most of these shoes have been design as deadlift shoe with softer rubber soles and suede uppers.
The heel height from 10mm meaning an even better starting position.The grip is excellent on the surfaces that powerlifterd train and compete on (wood/rubber/carpet etc) For the wider sumo lifters the extra grip is very reassuring.
Apart from the cost I don’t see any. Some lifters are using them as squat shoes as well, with success.


Solid sole and heel weight lifting shoes
Price starting at $115 through to $450
Like the molded sole Deadlifing Shoes  the solid soled Weightlifting Squat Shoes do not compress at the bottom of the  Deadlift, this is the main advantage.
It’s not unusual to see weight lifting shoes used with a conventional deadlift, but the extra heel height can compromise the starting position by tilting the shoulders to far in front of the bar.
Depending on the height of the heel (20mm to 45mm IPF max is 50mm) even a 35mm heel can move the shoulders forward by 75mm this doesn’t matter to some lifters but Sumo deadlifters can find stability is an issue


Kevin Strachan

Kevin Strachan has been involved in Powerlifting and strength training for more then 30 years. He has been a NZ Champion and record holder (powerlifting) in 4 weights classes and 3 age divisions. Currently Masters (3) - 60 plus. Over the last 10 years he has dedicated his time to coaching some of NZ top powerlifters though to a world level. IPF Raw World Championships 2016 Squat - Bronze Bench - Bronze Deadlift - Bronze Total - Bronze 3 x NZ Powerlifting Master Records