Top 10 Best Squat Shoes in 2020

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.

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Name

Features

Price

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Reebok Nano 9 Cross Trainer Shoes

Reebok Nano 9 Cross Trainer Shoes

Multicolor Options

Mimics an ideal squat shoe

Can be used for short sprint

$$

Reebok Men's Lifter PR Cross Trainer Shoes

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

Adidas Powerlift Men's 4 Shoes EF2980

Comfortable from first use

Firm Heel

Snug-fitting

$$

Otomix Men's Stingray Escape Shoes

Otomix Men's Stingray Escape Shoes

Ankle Support

Suitable for all indoor activities

Extremely flexible

$$$

Nordic Lifting Powerlifting Shoes

Nordic Lifting Powerlifting Shoes

Professional Grade

1-year warranty

$$

Adidas Men's Powerlift 3.1 Shoes

Adidas Men's Powerlift 3.1 Shoes

Firm Heel

Ideal for narrow feet

Flexible toe space

$$

Nike Men's Fitness Shoes

Nike Men's Fitness Shoes

Most flexible squat shoes

Rubber sidewalls for extra protection

$$

Adidas Men's Powerlift 4 Cross Trainer Shoes EG5175

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

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

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.

Firm Soles

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.

3. Material

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.

4. Weight

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 Nano 9 Cross Trainer Shoes

Key Features:

  • 30 Color Options Available
  • Uni-sex Design
  • Rubber Sole
  • Wide Body

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.

PROS

  • Enhanced rubber grip allows more stability
  • Lightweight and contouring upper part
  • EVA foam helps in short sprints

CONS

  • Not for people with narrow fit

2. Reebok Men's Lifter PR Cross Trainer Shoes

Reebok Men's Lifter PR Cross Trainer Shoes

Key Features:

  • Dual Rubber Sole
  • 5 Color Options Available
  • Hook and Loop Closure
  • Full grain Leather Toe
  • Air mesh tongue

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.

PROS

  • One of the Most Comfortable Shoe out there
  • Great Value for Price
  • Cushioned Collars ensures ankle comfort, mobility and stability

CONS

  • Needs some time for the shoe to break-in around the foot

3. Adidas Powerlift Men's 4 Shoes EF2980

Adidas Powerlift Men's 4 Shoes EF2980

Key Features:

  • Rubber Sole
  • 13 Colors Available
  • Hook and Loop Closure

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.

PROS

  • Firm heel provides stability
  • No break-in period required
  • Snug-fitting upper part promises confidence

CONS

  • The upper part shrinks together when laced tightly

4. Otomix Men's Stingray Escape Shoes

Otomix Men's Stingray Escape Shoes

Key Features:

  • Rubber Sole
  • High-top ankle support
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Thin Sole

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.

PROS

  • Comfortability extends even to the ankles
  • Better grip for ground feeling athletes
  • The whole shoe is of breathable material

CONS

  • Not ideal for people who seek stability from shoes

5. Nordic Lifting Powerlifting Shoes

Nordic Lifting Powerlifting Shoes

Key Features:

  • Olympic Stability
  • Professional Grade Quality
  • Hook and Loop Closure
  • 2 Color Options Available

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.

PROS

  • These shoes are suitable even for lifting 500lbs+ weight
  • The stitching and build quality are sturdy to withhold stress for long time
  • 1-year manufacturer’s Warranty

CONS

  • Not fit for other athletic practices

6. Adidas Men's Powerlift 3.1 Shoes

Adidas Men's Powerlift 3.1 Shoes

Key Features:

  • Synthetic Sole
  • Hook and Loop Closure
  • 10 Color Options available

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.

PROS

  • Die Cut midsole for the greatest squat stability
  • Open room for toes
  • Comfortable and Durable

CONS

  • Not fit for wide foot or for short sprint

7. Nike Men's Fitness Shoes

Nike Men's Fitness Shoes

Key Features:

  • Rubber sole wraps up around the sides
  • 15 color options available
  • Deep grooves in the outsole

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.

PROS

  • Very Flexible to move around in
  • Decent stability with firm midsole
  • Comfortable and breathable

CONS

  • No Velcro to provide the best stability

8. Adidas Men's Powerlift 4 Cross Trainer Shoes EG5175

Adidas Men's Powerlift 4 Cross Trainer Shoes EG5175

Key Features:

  • Synthetic Sole
  • Mid- top ankle support
  • Hook and Loop Closure
  • Upper part made of canvas

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.

PROS

  • Perfect fit for even smaller feet
  • A bang for the buck
  • Unique Design

CONS

  • Not ideal for even small sprint

9. Adidas Men's Adipower li Cross Trainer Shoes DQU25

Adidas Men's Adipower li Cross Trainer Shoes DQU25

Key Features:

  • Synthetic Sole
  • Rubber Outsole
  • Hook and Loop Closure
  • Woven Synthetic Upper

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.

PROS

  • Flexible forefoot, stable rearfoot
  • Durable against abrasion and long lasting
  • Ideal for who likes regular fit

CONS

  • Not the most stable or comfortable one

10. Inov-8 Mens F-lite G 300 Cross Trainer Shoes

Inov-8 Mens F-lite G 300 Cross Trainer Shoes

Key Features:

  • Graphene enhanced outsole
  • 5 Color Options Available
  • Graphene Infused Internal Lifting Stabilizer Midsole
  • Knitted Upper part

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.

PROS

  • Extremely Durable sole and body
  • Flexibility within the cage
  • Ideal for rope climbing

CONS

  • Not the most stable or comfortable one

Bottom Line

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.

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