If you are new to the world of physical exercises and have recently opted to become an active member of the gym, congratulations and a warm thank you, for you have taken the first step towards a healthy, happy tomorrow.
With obesity becoming an epidemic of its own and diseases related to it reaching a record high throughout the world, it is high time we understand the necessity of athletics and physical exercises.
One does not even need the gym or all fancy equipment to start a healthy lifestyle. Freehand exercises are the right choices, to begin with. Among the freehand activities, one of the most popular is squats.
Squats are strength-building weight training exercises and are useful to reach the back and leg muscles. Even the basic squats can help you in improving balance, body postures, and fatigue.
Not to forget, the squat is a compound exercise and can crush calories similar to running or cycling. Now, the essential gear for any training is shoes. Even with freehand exercises, you need a good pair of best squat shoes that support you through all your needs.
Choosing a pair of shoes and even understanding your needs is a maze on its own, even for experienced people.
We know what a dilemma and a nightmare it is to find yourself amid thousands of shoes across tens of categories.
Do not worry; we have got you covered as we will discuss what's so special about squat or weightlifting shoes, how you shall choose, and a narrowed down list of the best squat shoes you can buy.
Reebok Nano 9 Cross Trainer Shoes
Mimics an ideal squat shoe
Can be used for short sprint
Reebok Men's Lifter PR Cross Trainer Shoes
Made Specifically for squatting
Ensure Comfort, Mobility and Stability
Good Value for Price
Adidas Powerlift Men's 4 Shoes EF2980
Comfortable from first use
Otomix Men's Stingray Escape Shoes
Suitable for all indoor activities
Nordic Lifting Powerlifting Shoes
Adidas Men's Powerlift 3.1 Shoes
Ideal for narrow feet
Flexible toe space
Nike Men's Fitness Shoes
Most flexible squat shoes
Rubber sidewalls for extra protection
Adidas Men's Powerlift 4 Cross Trainer Shoes EG5175
Unique Anime Design
Fit for small feet
Adidas Men's Adipower li Cross Trainer Shoes DQU25
A regular fit shoe
Decent grip, stability and flexibility
Inov-8 Mens F-lite G 300 Cross Trainer Shoes
Sturdy, durable and long lasting
Supports lifting, also decent runner
What's Special in Squat Shoes? – The Science
So, there are different variations of athletic shoes. You might think that the companies bring out so many shoes types just to increase sales, and all these are gimmicks. You might be right.
However, all of the shoes actually come with their own benefits. A considerable amount of money and time has been spent on the R&D of each shoe.
Maybe the brands even find new edges to advertise the shoes through the R&D, but that's not without engineering a boost in performance, comfort, or at least confidence through the placebo effect.
Weightlifting shoes have been designed specifically for squats and lifting weights, not deadlifts, though. Besides the weightlifting shoes, cross trainer shoes are also used by the lifters and squatters.
Cross-trainer shoes as the name suggests have been designed so that it has all the attributes to fit into most gym exercises.
The Heel - Where The Magic Happens
A shoe can be typically divided into 3 parts, the upper part, the midsole, and the outsole. Along with these parts, a weightlifting shoe also has an extra heel lift. This reinforced elevated Heel is the main game changer for squats.
With its help, you can be assured that your feet will remain firmly in place, get a boost in lifting weights, and help you in the controlled movements. The Heel enables you to squat deeper while keeping the upright chest position.
The squat shoes' soles are not soft and flexible like running or walking shoes because the cross trainer or weightlifting shoes are constructed to provide more force from the ground while maintaining stability.
Wide, Rugged Upper Part
The upper part of such shoes is more expansive than others so that you can freely move your toes within the shoe.
It is also more rugged as one of the shoes' primary functions is to protect your legs from dropped weights or accidents. Such shoes also come with a single or two metatarsal straps to ensure the shoe fit perfectly all around.
Best Squat Shoes (Buying Guide)
1. The Fit
Heads up, when you will try on squat shoes for the first time, the chances are you will not feel comfortable in them at all. The design and architecture of the weightlifting shoes are quite different from your day-to-day sneakers and so wearing them will feel a bit weird.
The elevated heel will particularly feel out of place but that’s okay and with time you will get used to it. Make sure the shoe fits tight within your feet and also at the same time have ample space in the toe region so you can move the toes freely.
2. The Heel
The core difference maker of the best squat shoes is the heels. Not only the heels should be strong and firm, their height is also equally important. The typical size of the heel is .75 inches.
If you have short legs and torso than lower than the standard heel is recommended. Go for higher heels if you have long legs and torso.
Lower heels provide greater flexibility and mobility whereas higher heels allow for narrow stance and high-bar squats. Remember you can also adjust heel height by adding heel lifts.
We have talked about the anatomy of squat shoes in the previous section to give you an idea of the components that will be serving you. So, you understand what’s important and remember those while buying the shoe.
Remember, you want a strong firm feel that will allow you to hold the ground, transfer the power from and to the ground. You should also see that there are mesh materials here and there within the shoe for breathability.
Yes, weightlifting shoes are supposed to be heavy than the usual ones. There are two reasons behind it.
One, as you can guess the shoe has more layers and components, also they are made intentionally heavy to give you the sense of stability and attached to the ground.
Top 10 Best Squat Shoes in 2020
1. Reebok Nano 9 Cross Trainer Shoes
Reebok’s Nano Series has been one of the most popular trainer shoes out there. With the previous versions they focused more on the versatility. This time however, they came up with the perfect lifting and squat shoes.
The upper part is made of mesh fabric and ensures breathability. The 9 also has a wide body to allow to position the toes as flexibly as you like.
2. Reebok Men's Lifter PR Cross Trainer Shoes
The PR lifter shoe has specifically been made for lifters and squatters. It features premium design and architecture, carefully crafted to provide comfort and stability at every points. Your toes will love the leather pocket whereas the sturdy top providing security also has tongue mesh for air flow.
3. Adidas Powerlift Men's 4 Shoes EF2980
Powerlift is the ideal contender of the PR lifter from Reebok. The Powerlift 4 has been a huge hit among the lifters and squatters, and most users agree that their performance has actually improved with the use of the shoe.
4. Otomix Men's Stingray Escape Shoes
Otomix Stingray isn’t your regular athletic shoes, nor the design neither the build. It comes in 9 colors, made in a combination of leather and synthetic materials. The thin sole means that the shoe is there only for the comfort, and mobility. The stability depends on your own, and you will feel the ground.
5. Nordic Lifting Powerlifting Shoes
As by the name you can guess, the company itself specializes in making lifting equipment. So, it is no surprise that their powerlifting shoes, made specifically for lifting, squats, leg presses are in par with the quality required for the professional athletes.
6. Adidas Men's Powerlift 3.1 Shoes
Adidas hit the roof with their Powerlift 3.1, and even after the release of 4.0 many people are still opting for this old veteran. This one doesn’t have such wide body as like the newer one, and is ideal for people with narrow fit.
7. Nike Men's Fitness Shoes
Nike’s Fitness Shoes has one of the most identical design out there with the rubber sole all around even to the upper sides. They are one of the most flexible lifting shoes out there.
8. Adidas Men's Powerlift 4 Cross Trainer Shoes EG5175
Adidas made a different set of Powerlift 4 for Japan, and no wonder those are good too! Instead of the rubber sole they used synthetic here, and the shaft is also higher. Besides this, they feature a cute look, just like they are straight out of an anime.
9. Adidas Men's Adipower li Cross Trainer Shoes DQU25
Another dedicated shoe for lifting and squatting. This shoe uses a combination of synthetic and rubber to provide the best stability and also the feel for it.
Synthetic soles say stay put and firm, whereas rubber outsole gives the feel of being in grip. Made specifically targeting the people who wants a regular fit shoe which gives just a little support for squats.
10. Inov-8 Mens F-lite G 300 Cross Trainer Shoes
Inov has taken up its game by the extensive use of graphene in its trainer shoes. The shoe also comes with lifting stabilizer making it one of the most rugged, durable lifting shoes.
Forget about all the hassles of going to test each and every squat shoes out there in your quest to find the best one all around. Instead, spend those times to really practice and squat.
Choose the one you like the most, order it, and test if it really goes along with the buying guide we mentioned. If not, return it and order another pair. You will find your mate within this list.