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I’ll be honest, the width of my foot is not something I had committed much thought to as an adult. It simply didn’t make an impact on my life… Until I got in to weightlifting!
Weightlifting shoes come in all shapes and sizes, with one of the key differentiators between styles and brands being the width of the shoe. I’ve tried a few different pairs of training shoes over the years and the difference the width makes to the feel of the shoe is significant, and definitely worth considering before you buy.
So there we have it – width matters!
At a glance…
- Every weightlifting shoe fits differently and it is inconsistent even within the same brand
- Nike Romaleos 3 are the best weightlifting shoe for a narrow foot
- Adidas Adipowers are also a slimmer shoe
- Adidas Power Perfect 2’s are better suited to a wider foot
What kind of shoes are good for weightlifting?
To be clear when I talk about weightlifting shoes I am referring to the style with a raised heel meant for lifting in a gym environment. The raised heel helps with form on some power lifts such as low bar squatting, as well as Olympic weightlifting such as clean & jerk and snatches.
We’re not talking about a ‘training shoe’ such as a metcon or Nike Air style shoe. For our purposes the comparatively soft sole is counter productive as it moves around subtly while handling big weights.
So when looking for a weightlifting shoe you should consider:
- Raised heel – you will likely want a raised heel to help you squat with better form. Different shoes have different ‘effective height’ heels which is out of scope for this post.
- Size – you will of course need a shoe that fits the length of your foot. As you won’t be doing any running or covering much distance you MIGHT get away with a smaller shoe than you would normally wear. We did debunk the myth around weightlifting shoes running smaller than standard elsewhere, however, so there is no real need to size down.
- Width – Across your foot most weightlifting shoes will have a strap as well as laces to hold your foot in place. Why does the width of a weightlifting shoe matter? Well, too tight and your foot will be sore, too loose and it will lack stability. This is why width is so key.
Adidas vs Nike – Which is the narrower fitting shoe?
Every shoe model fits differently, so sweeping statements are hard. This is more difficult now as over recent years both firms have evolved their offerings (I think due to the rise in the Crossfit market, but that is just my guess…) which has reshaped their shoe lines – quite literally!
Nike for example used to have the very wide Nike Romaleos 2 show which was like a dinner plate. The Romaleos 3 shoe by comparison is narrow and ‘figure hugging’!
To summarise a few of the popular shoes:
- Nike Romaleos 3 – these run narrow and would be the best weightlifting shoe for someone with narrow feet. In addition their FlyWire fit system helps them hug the foot and provide a tangible feeling of 360 degree support.
- Adidas Power Perfect 2 – my first weight lifting shoes were a pair of these. Reading online at the time Adidas had a reputation for a slim fit compared to the contemporary Romaleos 2. Having used the Power Perfect’s and the Romaleos 3 side by side I can confirm the Adidas shoe is a much wider fit (with a shallower heel raise)
- Adidas Adipowers – these are a slimmer fitting shoe model from Adidas and would be the recommended pair for someone with a narrow foot who wanted to stick with the Adidas brand. I don’t own a pair of these and I don’t find the aesthetics appealing, but they have stood the test of time in the wider weight lifting community.
So the best weightlifting shoes for narrow feet would be the Nike Romaleos 3, or the Adidas Adipowers. I prefer the range of the Nike shoe, so that is the pair I would recommend.
So in summary the best weightlifting shoe for narrow feet would be the Nike Romaleos 3 as they run much narrower than the Romaleos 2 and come with the Nike FlyWire lacing system which really hugs the shoe around the foot. The Adipower by Adidas is another shoe that would suit a narrower foot.
The Adidas Power Perfect 2 is a wider fitting shoe than either of these options, so I would only recommend them to someone with a normal to wide foot.