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Daniel Mesa

Are Vans Good For Lifting?

If you’re a weightlifter on a tight budget and you need a sturdy pair of shoes for lifting (particularly for squats and deadlifts), Vans are a great option. However, the question still stands as to whether or not Vans can be used for serious weightlifting. 

In this post, we’ll look into the realities of lifting in Vans, including their benefits and drawbacks, so you can make a well-informed choice on if vans are good for lifting. So, let’s find out if Vans are actually beneficial for lifting or if they’re just a marketing gimmick.

Can You Use Vans For Lifting: The Truth

The answer is yes, Vans can be good shoes for lifting. Vans are ideal for squats, deadlifts, and other lifting exercises because of their flat, durable soles. They’re a better value than dedicated lifting shoes and perform better than regular running shoes, making them a great option for casual weightlifters. It’s worth noting that they might not be the greatest choice for professional powerlifters or people looking for advanced performance enhancements.

Pros Of Using Van Shoes For Lifting

When it comes to getting the right shoes for lifting, lifters on a budget have turned to Vans shoes. They are a good choice because they are cheap and easy to get. In this part, we’ll talk about the benefits of lifting with Vans shoes and why they might be a good choice for your workouts.

Easy To Find & Affordable

One of the best things about lifting with Vans shoes is that they are easy to find and cheap. You can find Van shoes in many shops and on the internet, making them easy to get for anyone who wants cheap lifting shoes. Vans shoes are a good choice for those who want to save money without sacrificing quality.

No Cushion

Unlike traditional running shoes or sneakers that often feature thick cushioning, Vans shoes offer minimal cushioning. This absence of cushioning provides a more direct connection with the ground, enhancing stability and balance during lifting exercises. The reduced cushioning allows for a firmer and more stable base, allowing you to control your lifts better.

Great Grip

Vans shoes are renowned for their exceptional grip, thanks to their rubber outsoles. This feature is particularly beneficial for lifts that require a secure footing, such as deadlifts and squats. The reliable grip provided by Vans shoes helps prevent slipping and sliding, ensuring stability and allowing you to focus on executing proper form and maximizing your lifting performance.

Can Be Used For Non-gym Activities

One of the advantages of Vans shoes is their versatility. While they excel as lifting shoes, they can also be used for various non-gym activities such as casual walking or light cardio. The stylish design and comfortable fit of Vans shoes make them suitable for everyday wear, making them a practical choice for individuals who prefer multi-purpose footwear that seamlessly transitions from the gym to other daily activities.

Cons Of Lifting In Vans

vans for weightlifting

Vans can be a good choice for lifting, but you should be aware of the following limitations:

No Ankle Support

Vans shoes typically lack the ankle support found in dedicated lifting shoes. Ankle stability is crucial for maintaining proper form and preventing injuries during heavy lifts. Suppose you have ankle instability or require additional support for your lifts. In that case, it may be advisable to explore alternatives with enhanced ankle support, such as weightlifting shoes with built-in straps or high-top sneakers.

No Raised Heel

Vans do not feature a raised heel like specialized weightlifting shoes. The absence of a raised heel may limit their suitability for certain lifts, especially those that benefit from improved ankle mobility and an upright torso position. 

Exercises like Olympic weightlifting movements (e.g., clean and jerks, snatches) often require a raised heel to facilitate proper positioning and maximize power output. If you frequently perform these lifts, investing in weightlifting shoes with an elevated heel may provide better support and performance benefits.

Not As Safe As Real Weightlifting Shoes

While Vans can be suitable for lifting, it’s important to note that they do not offer the same level of advanced features and performance enhancements as specialized lifting shoes. Dedicated weightlifting shoes are designed to optimize lifting mechanics, stability, and power transfer. They often feature a raised heel, rigid sole, secure straps, and increased stability. 

For competitive powerlifters, weightlifters, or individuals seeking optimal performance and safety during lifts, investing in specialized lifting shoes may be a better long-term choice.

Are Vans Good For Deadlifting?

Vans can be a good choice for deadlifting because they have flat feet and are built to last. The flat bottom of Vans gives you a stable base, which makes it easier to move your weight and grip the ground when deadlifting. 

Vans’ firm grip and stability can help you feel more connected to the ground, which lets you produce more power and get the most out of your performance. But when choosing shoes for deadlifting, it’s important to think about your own preferences and wants. 

Some lifters might like how solid and close to the ground Vans feel, while others might be better off with specialized deadlifting shoes or weightlifting shoes with a higher heel.

Are Vans Good For Squats?

Squats with low bars or powerlifting-style squats can be done well in Vans. The flat sole of Vans gives you a solid base and stability, which lets you transfer force well when you move. The flat bottom also makes it easier to keep your balance and keeps your back straighter. If you primarily focus on low-bar squats or powerlifting-style squats, Vans can offer the necessary support and stability.

But there are a lot of different things to think about when deciding if Vans are good for squats. Weightlifting shoes with a higher heel may be better for people who have trouble moving their ankles or who like to do high-bar or front squats. 

Weightlifting shoes with a higher heel can make it easier to move your ankles and keep your back straighter during these types of squats. When choosing shoes for squats, it’s important to put ease, stability, and correct form first.

Bottom Line: Van For Weightlifting

In conclusion, Vans can effectively lift footwear, particularly for less-serious lifters on a tight budget. Similar to using converse for lifting,they are a sensible option because of their low price, durability, adaptability, and flat soles. It is important to recognize their limitations, such as the absence of ankle support and the elevated heels typically found in weightlifting-specific footwear. It’s important to research and find a pair of shoes that works well with your lifting goals, budget, and personal taste.


Can I use Vans shoes for other workouts?

Yes, Vans shoes are versatile and can be used for various workouts and everyday activities. They suit casual walking, light cardio exercises, and everyday wear. However, for sports or activities requiring specialized footwear, shoes should be specifically designed to ensure optimal performance and prevent potential injuries.

Are there alternatives to Vans shoes for lifting?

Absolutely! Weightlifting and powerlifting shoes are available from several companies. These lifting shoes enhance performance and limit injury risk with elevated heels, secure straps, and sophisticated design. Specialist lifting shoes can give the required support for serious lifters or those who compete in powerlifting or weightlifting.

Are Vans shoes suitable for high-intensity workouts or running?

Running and high-intensity workouts may not suit Vans shoes. Durability and grip are good, but high-impact activities require cushioning and support. Choose running shoes for high-intensity workouts or running. Running shoes cushion, absorb shock, and stabilize to reduce repetitive high-impact injury risk. To maximize performance and avoid injury, use workout-specific footwear.