Strongmen have different needs when it comes to shoes compared to other strength sports athletes. Powerlifters don’t need to move. Weightlifters need a Weightlifting shoe to compete. Strongmen have multiple events that have different requirements.
Therefore, the best shoes for a Strongman changes based on the events you are doing! That is why I have categorized the best shoe into three different categories. Moving events, moving events on grass, and overhead and stones events.
Best Shoes For Strongman Moving Events
Best Shoes For Strongman Moving Events On Grass
Best Shoes For Strongman Overhead & Stones
Best Strongman Shoes For Moving Events
Evolv Defy Rock Climbing Shoes
Worlds Strongest Man competitor Colm Woulfe states rock climbing shoes are your best choice for moving events. They are lightweight keeping you nimble on your feet for events like carry medleys and allowing plenty of flexibility for events like the truck pull.
These are what he uses as a top-level Strongman competitor. If it’s good enough for him, it’s probably good enough for you! Since Colm bought these shoes, the Evolv Defy have gone through some serious upgrades.
For one, they now have two Velcro straps. These are opposing side straps so they can tighten your shoe even more than just laces. The last thing you want is any movement in your shoe when pulling a 10-ton truck. They also have small loops at the back so you can easily get your heels into the shoe.
This is their rock-climbing shoe with the widest toe box as it doesn’t have the tapered toe. I know how important this is for large Strongmen who usually have wide feet. The Defy Evolv rock climbing shoes have a split tongue which makes them much more comfortable than a stiff tongue that digs into your foot.
The top is made of mesh so these shoes breathe. They won’t stink up your gym bag and will allow your feet to breathe.
What makes the Defy Evolv rock climbing shoes amazing for moving events is their sole. They are made with a system with what the company has coined “variable thickness rand.” They use thinner rubber under high-pressure points of the foot and thicker rubber in high wear zones near the toe so they will last forever.
Quality and Durability
Worlds Strongest Man competitor Colm Woulfe has had his Defy Evolv rock climbing shoes for four years. He uses them exclusively for competition 2-4 times per year. But you can also use them for your events in training.
Even more impressive is that he bought these second-hand. Safe to say, they've been put to the test and have passed the durability test with flying colors. This is a testament to the quality of their rock climbing shoes and if you are wary of animals being used for shoe material, well you can rest easy knowing these are vegan.
Pros & Cons
Best Strongman Shoes For Moving Events On Grass
Asics Lethal Tigreor 4 Rugby Boots
Not all Strongman competitions are held in the local parking lot or driveway of the gym. Some are held on the local grass field. You need to be prepared if this is the case. Rock climbing shoes won’t help you when trying to farmers walk on wet grass. In fact, slipping could cause you a serious injury.
Rugby boots are your best friend in this situation. Why rugby boots specifically? Football boots usually have molds underneath which aren’t long enough to provide stability on wet or soft surfaces.
Rugby boots have metal studs that provide better traction and stability so you can move quickly in your event.
Colm Woulfe uses rugby boots when he competes on grass and is his go-to shoe.
The reason I recommend these Asics is the wide build. Brands like Adidas generally have a narrow boot which is a pain for wide feet. This will be more comfortable for you to wear and move. Further, they are made with genuine leather so they will stretch and mold to your foot. Synthetic leather is stiff and tough and generally uncomfortable.
They also have long metal studs so you aren’t going to slip on wet or soft grass when carrying huge implements in your hands.
Quality & Durability
Because you’re only using these for grass competitions or training, they will last you your entire Strongman career. If you happen to lose metal studs, no problem. They are cheap and easy to replace. They simply screw in and out.
So, if you want longer ones, you can do that as well. As they are made of 100% leather you won’t have a problem with boots falling apart.
Pros & Cons
Best Strongman Shoes For Overhead And Stones
Velaasa Weightlifting Shoes
If you don’t own a pair of Weightlifting shoes as a Strongman, get one. Weightlifting shoes will provide you with the most stability compared to any shoe on the market. Specifically, I recommend the Velaasa Strake Weightlifting Shoes. You can see a full review of the Velaasa Strake Weightlifting Shoes here.
Get the Velaasa Strake Weightlifting Shoes at a 15% discount with my code PRETORIUS15
Firstly, Velaasa Strake shoes have a higher than normal heel height. Usually, Weightlifting shoes sit at 0.75” heel height. These Velaasas have a 0.86” heel height making them great for finding strong positions when picking up stones.
It also means if you have any ankle mobility restrictions the higher heel will allow you to get into deeper positions. These also have a retro wooden heel which absorbs a lot of the shock when moving your feet if you use a jerk style overhead. Regarding their sizing, buy one half or a full size up from your normal shoe size.
Quality & Durability
These are as durable as any high-level Weightlifting shoe. International Weightlifter Mona Pretorius used hers for over 2.5 years training twice a day, traveling internationally with them in her luggage, and competing in them on the international stage.
The stitching is so well done there isn't an issue with shoes falling apart or stitching starting to fray.