I’ve trained in Nike, Adidas and Inov-8 weightlifting shoes – and each had its advantages and disadvantages.



The Adidas are best for me because they don’t restrict my foot movement. I don’t feel any resistance or drag when my feet move out for the catch of the snatch, clean or jerk. When lifting in Adidas, the lifts feel athletic. I recommend Adidas to anyone who moves their feet during the snatch and clean.

White nike


The Nikes are more stable.  They make me feel a firmer hold on the ground. They are nice to squat in, but my feet feel almost stuck to the ground when I try to move them out in the snatch, clean and jerk. For lifters who don’t move their feet – Nikes are likely the better shoe for weightlifting.

Heel height also plays a big role – and Nikes usually have higher heels. A higher heel should help squat lower, but may make it harder to move the feet. When changing shoes, if the heel height is different from what your body is used to, it may hurt your knees at first and may slightly change the direction of your pull, since the foot is angled differently.

The Inov-8 hurt my feet. The few times I’ve wore them I had bad workouts and twisted my ankle on the jerk. They are less expensive though. If you like to own shoes that will never get dirty because you’ll never wear them, then these are for you.



Check out these foot movements – Ilya Ilyin is the only one I notice in Nikes, and it looks like his feet have a hard time moving:

From what I remember, Ilya Ilyin likes the Nikes for their stability. Tatiana Kashirina and Vasiliy Polovnikov both prefer the Adidas because they move easier. Most Russian lifters prefer Adidas actually, and a lot of Chinese prefer the Nikes. Different lifting styles, different bodies – different shoe preference.

To each their own. Do you have different experiences with these shoes for weightlifting? Got any other suggestions? Let me know!

Yasha Kahn
Weightlifter, coach and now: blogger. I've traveled around the world sharing my weightlifting knowledge and experiences. I look forward to the next adventure.
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