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You wear running shoes for running, right? Cycling shoes for cycling? We thought so. So why aren’t you wearing the correct shoes for deadlifting?
Wearing the correct shoes while deadlifting can increase how much weight you can lift by reducing the overall range of motion, improving your ankle stability, ensuring you feel balanced throughout the exercise, and maximizing the force transfer between you and the floor.
So is the Sabo Deadlift Shoe worth it? The sabo deadlift shoe was our #1 pick in our review of the best deadlift shoes. Not only is the Sabo Deadlift Shoe a minimalistic design, which will bring your foot closer to the floor thereby reducing the overall range of motion, but it will also keep your body balanced, protect your ankle, and ensure your feet don’t slip (important for sumo). We also ranked this shoe as our top pick for lifters with a wide foot profile.
In this article, we’ll discuss why the Sabo Deadlift Shoe reigns supreme over all other deadlift shoes, but first, let me show you the different types of Sabo deadlifting shoes that you can buy.
In a hurry? Here’s Our Top Pick
Sabo Deadlift Shoe – Comparison Table
Sabo Deadlift Shoe – Reviews
Sabo Deadlift Shoe – Buyers Guide
What Should You Look For In Deadlift Shoes?
First and foremost, your deadlift shoes should be equipped with completely flat soles. This will give you more surface area on the floor and therefore you’ll be more comfortable and stable while lifting heavy weights. This will also put less stress on your feet as they won’t be being forced down into the curves of your soles.
Similarly, the soles should be thin so you’re not lifted too high off of the floor. This will make the height of how far you have to lift the weight shorter which will make it easier and will mean you’re less likely to strain your body too much. Thin soled shoes are the next best thing when you can’t go shoeless.
Having said this, the soles should still have enough grip to prevent you from slipping in the middle of a heavy deadlift. The shoes also should offer enough support to your foot and ankles to prevent any nasty accidents occurring. We’ve all rolled our ankles – we don’t want to experience that while deadlifting 250 pounds.
What Should You Avoid In Deadlift Shoes?
Much like there are different features you want your shoes to adopt, there are also ones that you want to steer clear from. These include thick soles due to the reasons we explained above. You should especially stay away from spongy soles that absorb impact as these will throw your stability way off and encourage accidental injuries.
While performing a deadlift, whether it be conventional or in a sumo squat, there will be lots of pressure on the outside of your feet. This is more present while in the sumo position as you’re using your glutes more, and means your shoes need to be strong enough and offer enough support to not falter under all this pressure.
Below we will be taking the Sabo Deadlift Shoes and seeing if they’re up to the task of becoming your new favorite deadlift shoes. Sabo is one of the top powerlifting shoe brands. We’ll be going through their individual features, what’s good about them and what’s not so good, so stay tuned.
Sabo Deadlift Shoes Specification
There are many deadlift shoes out there on the market, so what’s so special about the deadlift shoes that Sabo Sports offers? Below we’ll give you a brief overview of the specifications of the Sabo Deadlift Shoes:
- Dense sole is designed specifically to provide a lot of traction.
- Soles are only 2-5mm thick.
- Plenty of ankle and foot support with two straps to get a precise fit for extra lateral support.
- Side support to hold up well under a lot of pressure.
- Comes in five different colors and 12 sizes.
Sabo Sports is a manufacturer who have been designing and improving their shoes for over 10 years, giving them plenty of knowledge in the market. In fact, it is both a trusted brand and a market leader, which indicates that their Deadlift Shoes are nothing less than the best.
Sabo Deadlift Shoe Features
Foot and Ankle Support
While we’ve been drawing attention to the importance of the correct sole on your deadlift shoes, perhaps the most important factor when choosing your footwear is the foot and ankle support they offer.
While deadlifting there is an immense amount of weight for your ankles to hold up and can put lots of pressure on your body, especially your legs and feet. Typically your legs have more muscle on them which will help prevent this pressure from doing any damage, but your feet and ankles are much more vulnerable.
Sabo Deadlift Shoes offer a high top design made of thick and sturdy material. This is helped by a Velcro strap that enables you to tighten the shoe so it is flush with your body and prevents your ankles from being damaged. In regards to your feet themselves, Sabo Deadlift Shoes have great side support to keep your feet level and protected while in a sumo position.
Want more high top recommendations? Check out my article on the Best High Top Lifting Shoes.
The soles of your deadlift shoes should be made from dense materials and should be the complete opposite of running shoes. Running shoes often adopt a sole made from gel or air cushioning components. When deadlifting your bodyweight, you’re going to want as much stability and surface area on the floor as possible which you won’t be able to get with cushioning heels.
If you’re carrying out a deadlift wearing squishy soled shoes, you may find that they can’t keep up with the weight and therefore will falter underneath you, possibly causing nasty accidents.
Another thing to consider is how much traction you’re going to get from the sole. You definitely don’t want to have your shoes slipping underneath you while you’re holding a bar weighing more than your bodyweight.
Sabo Sports has designed their soles with this in mind and the whole sole is covered in grips to create a lot of traction while you’re training. It is also made of extremely dense material that allows zero give underneath you in a bid to keep you safe from injuries.
The sole another incredibly important feature to look out for when buying deadlift shoes. Thin soles make the distance you have to lift the weight shorter, which will prevent straining the shoulders, the knees, the ankles, the back and the glutes – or your whole body, really!
This is why you should not deadlift in squat shoes.
Like we said earlier, many people who deadlift like to do so with bare feet or only wearing socks. However, if you have a strict gym or deadlift in a garage or basement with poor flooring, thin soles are the way to go.
Sabo Deadlift Shoes have a sole of only 2-5mm thickness, which is incredibly thin and optimal for deadlifts. You’ll feel as though you’re wearing mere socks, but with all the support of excellent deadlift shoes.
Like any training gear, you’re going to want your deadlift shoes to be made of durable materials while still remaining breathable and comfortable. Sabo Deadlift Shoes are made with a mix of synthetic leather and fabric, which is a great compromise between sturdy and comfortable.
The most durable areas of your deadlift shoes need to be around the ankle, side support and straps, and that is exactly where Sabo Sports has positioned it. This gives you the most support around your foot and ankle and ensures your straps aren’t going to stretch or come loose thanks to flimsy material.
Sabo Sports has used fabric around the rest of this shoe with pinprick holes in it to keep it breathable. The last thing you want is sweaty feet while you’re training as 1. This may cause slipping and therefore accidents, 2. It could become uncomfortable quickly, and 3. It’s a little embarrassing.
Overall, these shoes are simultaneously durable and breathable in all the right places, making them perfect for training and performing deadlifts.
Why Should You Buy These Shoes?
Now, we know what you’re thinking – are these shoes a one-trick pony? No one wants to spend a reasonable amount of money on one pair of shoes that they can only use for one specific purpose, do they? Furthermore, you don’t want to be switching shoes in the middle of your training session.
Although this is subjective and all dependent on your personal preference, let me be the one to tell you the good news – many people consider the Sabo Deadlift Shoes to be perfect for lots of other lifts that you do in the gym, so you won’t have to take a bag full of shoes with you. Hooray!
Although they can be used for other lifts and exercises, these shoes are made primarily with deadlifting in mind, which makes them optimal for this specific lift. This means that there are no other features included with other sports in mind that may make them less suitable for deadlifting, so if this is the primary lift you’re wanting the shoes for, this is a big benefit.
There are two lateral straps on these shoes – one that goes over the ankle support to give even more support, and one that goes over the top of the foot to reinforce the fit and side support. This reinforces the excellent support already present and reduces the risk of injury, keeping it to a minimum.
Why Shouldn’t You Buy These Shoes?
While these shoes are listed with pros, there are also a few setbacks concerning them as well. Let’s begin with a contradiction – even though we said that these shoes are great for other lifts and you won’t need to take lots of shoes with you to the gym, the Sabo Deadlift Shoes are actually not that great when it comes to squats.
This is because there is little to no foot support and no heel, which is beneficial when performing squats because it helps keep your calves and glutes in use, making your workout more effective and beneficial.
Having said this, this is another factor that is down to personal preference and some people actually don’t want a heel when they’re squatting. Of course, if you do want that added incline and additional workout, you could always stand on the balls of your feet which arguably gives a better calf workout in itself.
Another setback is that their two straps, while made of durable synthetic leather that will be difficult to stretch and ruin, are made with not the highest quality Velcro. This means that there is the potential for them to come undone while you’re training. However, the only way for them to come undone is for them to fully open, so you will know that they need adjusting.
It is not possible for them to merely come loose, which would be more likely to not be noticed and therefore cause potentially dangerous accidents.
Finally, as the soles are so thin and flat the Sabo Deadlift Shoes are not recommended for use outside. This means you may have to take them off and put them on inside of the gym to prevent them wearing too much and becoming less effective. This also means that you can’t use them while training outside which some people prefer.
Other Sabo Sports Deadlift Shoes
Although we’ve been talking about the classic and highly popular Sabo Deadlift Shoe, Sabo Sports said ‘Why stop there?’ and brought out four other deadlift shoes to ensure everyone was catered for. We’ll give you a brief description, each design’s pros and cons, and how they compare to the Sabo Deadlift Shoes.
Overall these are excellent deadlift shoes manufactured by a trusted brand that have plenty of experience in the market. This is evident from their Sabo Deadlift Shoes, thanks to the many beneficial features. These include the optimized sole, the perfect mix of breathable and durable material, and the foot and ankle support given.
Many people have said that how much they’re able to deadlift has increased by a substantial amount, indicating how important it is that you wear the correct gear when training.
Having said this, they also have a few drawbacks such as the limited versatility and their cheaper materials used. Although this can impact your training, there are simple ways around both of these setbacks and, in our mind, aren’t necessarily deal-breakers.
To conclude, which deadlift shoes you wear is all up to personal preference and you may need to conduct some trial and error research before finding your perfect pair. However, the Sabo Deadlift Shoes are an excellent place to start thanks to their reasonable price point and raving reviews.