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Deadlifts are one of those powerlifting exercises that you need a perfect posture for – make one mistake and it could be the difference between making or missing the lift. It’s a technique that also puts an extreme amount of weight and pressure on your legs and ankles, so keeping your feet secured to the ground is absolutely essential.
That’s why it’s really important that you're wearing the correct shoes for deadlifting, which are sturdy, can take a bit of a beating and most importantly will keep you rooted to the floor even under heavy weights.
So should you wear wrestling shoes for deadlifts? Wrestling shoes have all the features you need to safely and successfully carry out the deadlift, including having high ankle support, a flat sole to minimize the range of motion, and a grippy outer sole to prevent slippage.
Designed to be tough, flexible, breathable and offer you support for your feet and your ankles, they are ideal for deadlifts and a variety of other exercises in the gym, like squats. But, with so many wrestling shoes available to choose from, how do you know which is the best pair for deadlifting?
To make things a bit clearer, we’ve compiled a collection of the best wrestling shoes for deadlifts available, along with a buying guide that gives you all the information you need to look out for before making your purchase.
Keep reading to learn more, and pretty soon you’ll be amazed at how a pair of wrestling shoes will totally change your deadlifting game!
If you’re in a hurry and need a pair of weightlifting shoes that will help you stay firmly in position as you deadlift, then check out our top pick below.
In a hurry? This is our winner!
Wrestling Shoes for Deadlifts – Comparison Table
Wrestling Shoes for Deadlifts – Reviews
Wrestling Shoes for Deadlifts – Buyers Guide
Wrestling shoes are the ideal choice for deadlifts, and will provide you with a strong grip on the floor, keeping you rooted to your position and helping you get that perfect form. But, as with all gym clothing, there are a few things you need to consider before settling on your final decision.
We’ve put together a list of key points that you need to keep in mind when you’re shopping around, and some features that are absolutely essential to look for, so that you can get the perfect pair of wrestling shoes the first time round.
The first thing to make sure of when you’re purchasing a pair of wrestling shoes for deadlifts is that they fit comfortably. Too loose and your feet could slide around inside of them, causing you to lose traction. Too tight and they’ll be uncomfortable, which could cause you to easily lose concentration.
A common complaint from people ordering wrestling shoes online is that they run a size too small. With that in mind, it’s always worth checking the measurements provided by the brand, and comparing this to your usual size, then ordering accordingly.
Don’t be tempted to ignore the size you’re being recommended by the brand either and order your usual size. This could lead to you getting the wrong size and having to go through the annoying process of having to send them back for a replacement, which will only delay you being able to get on with your training sessions.
There are a couple of material choices available to you when looking for wrestling shoes as well, and ultimately the option you choose will come down to personal preference. However, different materials provide different benefits, so it’s worth looking into.
Leather is a good option to go for in a wrestling shoe, as it is naturally tough and durable, and can take a good beating before it starts to show signs of wear and tear. Leather is also naturally waterproof, so if they accidentally get wet or end up having drops of sweat on them, this won’t leak through to your feet.
Many wrestling shoes are constructed using specially formulated synthetic materials that have been designed to ensure durability, whilst also giving you a lightweight feel and ensuring that your feet are able to breathe whilst you train. Synthetic materials are also a good choice to go for, especially if you’re planning on training several times a week.
When you’re performing deadlifts, it’s imperative that your feet are kept securely on the ground. Even a little slip when you’re holding a heavy weight could cause serious injury to your back, legs, arms or neck, so it’s important that the shoes you choose have got a decent sole on them in order to prevent this.
The first thing to be sure of is that the soles are made of a sturdy, non-slip material. Rubber is definitely the best option for this, and is found in the majority of wrestling shoes. A rubber sole will keep you firmly in place, even under heavy weights, and will provide you with the stability you need as you lift.
Another good thing to look for in a sole is the tread patterns that it has. Multiple tread patterns are designed to grip extremely tightly to multiple surfaces, and will prevent any sliding or slipping.
Take a look at how the soles are attached to the shoes as well. Soles that have been glued in place are the most common design available, and are extremely sturdy, but you should always make sure that the glue that has been used to create the bond is as strong as possible.
Some wrestling shoes feature soles that are sewn in place, or use a mixture of sewing and gluing. These are a great choice, as they will be far more durable and will be less likely to split, crack or come away from the main body of the shoe.
You’ll also notice that soles also come in varying thickness, and this can actually have an impact on your performance. Typically, thicker soles are not as ideal because it means you will need to pull the barbell extra distance off the floor. This is why many powerlifters choose to deadlift wearing a minimalistic shoe with a flat sole. Some powerlifters even like to deadlift barefoot (most gyms don't allow this though).
As with all weightlifting moves, your feet need to be kept securely in place in order to keep your position and posture correct as you lift. With that in mind, any wrestling shoes that offer additional support for your feet or ankles is always something to look out for.
One of the most overlooked supportive features in a shoe is the way that it fastens. Without a doubt, the best type of fastening to go for in a wrestling shoe for deadlifts is a lace-up closure. Laces give you the opportunity to secure the shoes to your feet as tightly as is comfortable, and more often than not will lace all the way up to the ankle to provide extra support there too.
If you’re concerned about your laces coming undone, or excess lace hanging over the tongue of the shoe and potentially causing you to trip up, look for a shoe that features a lace garage. This allows you to safely and comfortably tuck the ends away, removing all risk of injury.
Additional ankle support is another really good feature to look for when you’re shopping for wrestling shoes to wear when deadlifting, and this is often incorporated into the design as a padded collar or tongue.
Some shoes also have reinforced seams, which doesn’t only offer extra support for your feet and ankles as you lift, but also strengthens the shoe overall, making it more durable and extending its life. If you're a sumo deadlifter, you'll want to ensure you have an adequate amount of high ankle support, which is another reason why wrestling shoes are great for deadlifts.
We cover this more in our article on the best deadlift shoes for sumo.
It’s pretty much guaranteed that you’re going to be getting your sweat on as you train, so a pair of shoes that allows your feet to breathe whilst you're working out is a really good feature to keep an eye out for.
This is usually incorporated into shoes by using an overall mesh fabric, or a series of mesh patches, that allow airflow to pass through the shoe and keep your feet cool. Mesh panels also give a place for sweat and moisture to evaporate away from, stopping it building up and causing an uncomfortable experience, as well as reducing any odors.
If you want to stand out at the gym, then you might want to look for a pair of shoes that offer you the chance to purchase them in a variety of colors. After all, everybody is different, and your individuality should be allowed to come through whatever setting you’re in!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are wrestling shoes good for deadlifting?
Wrestling shoes are a fantastic choice for deadlifting as the majority of them have strong, rubber soles that will keep you rooted to the spot and prevent you from slipping or sliding under a heavy weight. They also tend to be made from really durable materials, so they can take a good amount of strain without showing any signs of wear and tear.
Can I deadlift in bare feet?
Deadlifting in bare feet is not recommended as the build up of sweat and moisture on your feet could easily cause you to slip underneath the weight, which could lead to very serious injury. The best shoes to wear for deadlifting are wrestling shoes, as the soles will keep your feet in the correct position, and they’ll also help to reduce and prevent sweat build up around your feet whilst you train.
If you’re a wrestler looking to get into powerlifting, you may also be interested in the following article: