Having the proper weightlifting footwear can elevate your training to a new level, but with so many options, where do you start? You want something that gives you good contact with the ground, stability, and grip — all of which you can find in Nike Blazers.
So, are Nike Blazers good for lifting? The short answer is yes, Nike Blazers are good for lifting as they offer flat soles, good ankle support, grip, style, and just the right amount of cushioning. All of these are important features to look for in good lifting shoes.
Nike Blazers are popular shoes that were first used for basketball. They were one of the first shoes Nike debuted. Over time, they evolved into sought-after shoes for casual use and fashion. Lately, however, they have snuck their way into gyms to be used for lifting weights.
In this article, I’ll cover what makes Nike Blazers great for weightlifting, why you should consider them for your weightlifting routine, and the potential drawbacks of wearing them in the gym.
Reasons to Wear Nike Blazers for Weightlifting
One of the main reasons you may see gym-goers wearing Nike Blazers on their feet is that they have flat soles.
When you are lifting, you want to have a flat and stable surface from which to generate force. This is why wearing Nike Blazers for the gym is a great choice. Their flat soles give you complete contact with the ground. This ensures you push into the ground with your whole foot rather while still feeling stable and balanced.
Learn more about why shoes with flat soles are better than running shoes for lifting weights in Deadlift In Running Shoes: Should You Do It? (No, Here’s Why) and Squatting In Running Shoes: Should You Do It? (No, Here’s Why).
Ankle stability is vital when lifting, as it is part of your body’s foundation, starting from the ground up. If you’re not stable at your base, your ability to get the most out of your weightlifting will decrease.
Nike Blazers are great for the gym because they have a high-top design that provides additional ankle support and stability when performing weightlifting exercises like the deadlift or squat. This helps stabilize your feet, prevent injury, and set your solid base.
Another reason Nike Blazers make good gym shoes is that they have minimal cushioning.
For running, having more cushion absorbs the impact from each stride. However, when it comes to weightlifting, you want your feet to be able to feel and connect to the ground.
Power is generated from the ground up when performing exercises like the squat, meaning you initiate your squat by pushing your feet through the floor. If you can’t grip the floor or the cushioning in your shoe absorbs all the power, you won’t get the most out of your workouts.
The same is true when performing deadlifts. While there are no Nike deadlifting shoes, the Blazers are a good choice if you want Nike sneakers suitable for deadlifts.
Flat soles and minimal cushioning are also some of the reasons why many lifters wear Vans to the gym.
Traction and Grip
Nike Blazers have a rubber sole that provides traction and grip on the gym floor. This is important for exercises like deadlifts and squats, as you need to be able to grip the floor to maintain proper form and avoid slipping.
Often overlooked when it comes to choosing a weightlifting shoe, you want to look good in the gym, and Nike Blazers look great. While style shouldn’t be the main factor when selecting your footwear, feeling good about what you’re wearing can help you feel more confident and motivated during your workouts.
Plus, these shoes look good with almost any gym outfit, so you don’t have to worry about what to wear with Nike Blazers.
Reasons NOT To Wear Nike Blazers for Lifting
Limited Workout Options
While the Nike Blazers may be a good lifting shoe for exercises like deadlifts and squats, they don’t have the flexibility for exercises like lunges or the cushioning to do jumping movements like box jumps.
If you will be doing more dynamic exercises like these in the gym, shoes that are good for both running and lifting may be better because they have slightly more cushioning and are more flexible in the forefoot.
Not Suitable for Everyone
We’ve established that Nike Blazers are good for lifting but may not be suitable for everyone. Someone with limited ankle mobility may struggle to squat to depth in a flat-soled shoe like the Nike Blazers. They may need a squat shoe with an elevated heel to help them achieve a full range of motion.
In continuation of the thought of Nike Blazers not being for everyone when it comes to lifting, these shoes have a narrow shape. Wearing the Nike Blazers on foot at the gym may be uncomfortable for those who need wide shoes.
When wearing a lifting shoe, you want your toes to spread out to maximize balance and stability. With the Nike Blazers, the toe box can feel tight and restrictive if you have wider feet.
Alternatives to Nike Blazers for Lifting
While Nike Blazers are one of the top choices for lifting, many other shoes (including other weight training shoes from Nike) are popular among lifters and check all the boxes of things to look for in a weightlifting shoe.
If you don’t think the Nike Blazers are right for you, try one of the alternatives below.
Nike Metcon 8
One of the more popular lifting shoes, the Metcon 8s, are Nike weight training shoes that are good for lifting and doing cross-training like running. Much like the Nike Blazers, they have flat soles and give plenty of ankle support.
Where they differ is that the Nike Metcon 8 has an elevated heel and more cushioning. Having an elevated heel puts you at a greater advantage to squat deeper due to the increased range of motion at the ankle.
However, having more cushioning could be a disadvantage due to the inability to “feel” the ground.
Converse Chuck Taylors
Chuck Taylors are a great alternative to the Nike Blazers if you want a classic weightlifting shoe. They have a flat sole and lack cushioning like the Blazers, but where they differ is in the ankle support. While the high-top versions can be laced up to the ankle, the material is not as durable as seen with the Nike Blazers.
Still, Chuck Taylors are a good option if you’re looking for an expensive, flat-soled gym shoe.
Learn more about why Chuck Taylors are good for lifting in Why Do Powerlifters Wear Converse Shoes?
Adidas Powerlift 5
You could turn to a traditional squat/Olympic weightlifting shoe like the Adidas Powerlift 5s. While they can run a little small, they provide a lot of support for your ankles, and with a flat rubber sole, they hit all the things you want in a lifting shoe.
They have an elevated heel for better squat depth and a metatarsal strap for added ankle stability. The material of the shoe also allows for some flexibility, so it’s not stiff, allowing you to do exercises like lunges or split squats without restrictions.
What to Look for in Lifting Shoes
The best weightlifting shoes are designed to help with technique and reduce injury risk by providing better stability, support, and safety while training. To find the best ones, you need to look for some key features:
A flat and firm sole made of rubber will keep your feet stable, allowing you to use your whole foot when pushing through the floor during your workouts.
Some weightlifting shoes will have a raised heel to help with technique on certain exercises, like the squat, snatch, or clean. This elevated heel helps increase your ankle mobility so that you can squat deeper while maintaining proper form.
When picking a lifting shoe, you want to find one that has a secure fit and prevents your foot and ankle from sliding around in the shoe while you’re lifting. Having something like an ankle strap can help secure your foot in place. This added ankle support would help prevent injury.
Durable and Flexible Material
You want a shoe made of high-quality material like leather, synthetic leather, or canvas that can withstand all the wear and tear that comes with lifting but is also flexible enough to allow for proper foot movement and range of motion while you’re lifting.
The shoes you pick for the gym should be comfortable, as you’re going to be wearing them often enough. There’s no sense in picking shoes that don’t feel good on your feet, as that will certainly affect your motivation and even your lifting mechanics.
Pick a lightweight shoe, ideally .5-1.0 pounds, as you’re already going to lift heavy weights in the gym. You want to avoid adding unnecessary weight to your workouts. This is especially important if you’ll also be doing exercises like running and jumping because you don’t want heavy shoes weighing you down.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Nike Blazers Good for Deadlifting?
If you want Nike deadlift shoes, the Nike Blazers are a perfect choice. While they’re not a true deadlift shoe, the flat sole helps to get you in the proper deadlift position and helps to distribute the force you generate evenly across your feet.
Are Nike Blazers Good for Squats?
Much like the deadlift, you want a shoe with a flat sole to squat in so you can generate force through your whole foot. The Nike Blazers are good for squats because you can grip the floor, which increases the stability of your squat. Plus, the rubber soles increase traction, so your feet won't slip while squatting.
Do Nike Blazers Provide Enough Support During Lifting?
Nike Blazers provide enough support during lifting, as the laces run up the ankle to lock the feet in place, and they are made of durable material so you won't slip out of them.
Are Nike Blazers Good for Running?
Nike Blazers are not good for running because of their flat sole, lack of flexibility, and the minimal cushioning in the shoe itself. If you were to try to run in them, they wouldn’t feel comfortable, and you’d feel restricted with each stride.
Final Thoughts: Are Nike Blazers Good for Lifting?
When picking the proper footwear for weightlifting, you want to find shoes with a flat rubberized sole for traction and grip, ankle support for stability, and limited cushioning to have full contact with the ground.
So, if you’ve seen Nike Blazers on people at the gym and you are wondering if they are good shoes for weightlifting, the answer is a resounding yes because they check all these boxes. And because they have a stylish design, you don’t have to wonder how to wear Nike Blazers because they look good with any gym outfit.
However, they have a narrow toe box and aren’t ideal for all exercises. They’re best for lifters with narrow feet and for doing squats and deadlifts.
About The Author
Chris Cooper is a certified personal trainer through the NSCA and a massage therapist in New York. He has over 17 years experience blending the two worlds to work with clients in their pursuit to get stronger and move pain-free as they return from injury. He runs his coaching services through CoachChrisCooper.com.