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How to Buy Powerlifting Shoes as a Surprise Gift

We may be biased, but we think Deadlift or Squat shoes make an excellent gift for a powerlifter. Why? Because they’re are something that almost every athlete will use and appreciate, especially for lifters who have only ever used non-specific shoes for lifting such as converse or vans.

If you’re considering buying a pair of powerlifting shoes for a friend or loved one, you may be wondering how to keep the whole thing under wraps. Yes, shoes make an excellent gift… but shoes that don't fit or don't match their lifting style won’t go down as well.

Don’t worry, we’ve got some tips on how to buy powerlifting shoes successfully as a surprise present.

Take a good look at their current training shoe collection

The best way to buy shoes for someone else is to get a good look at their current shoe collection, especially the shoes they currently train in. The first thing you should check is obviously their shoe size, but there are some other key things to look out for too.

Ask yourself:

  • Do they have specific shoes for specific lifts? Flats for deadlifts and heeled shoes for squats? Or do they do every lift in flat shoes?
  • Have they chosen mainly wider or narrower fitting styles?
  • What color do they seem to prefer? Is it mostly black or white, or do they go for some bolder colors?
  • Do they prefer leather or vegan type shoes?
  • Do they pull conventional or sumo style in the deadlift. Wide or narrow stance in the squat?

The answers to these questions should help you get a good grasp of what they do and don’t like in their training footwear. Once you’ve got a good idea, you’ll hopefully be able to choose something that will fit their feet and their needs while working with the barbell.

Suggestions on size:

We suggest looking at the lifter's current athletic shoes for their shoe size.  Sizing and fit differ a lot among the various brands.  Using a common athletic brands such a Nike, Adidas, Asics should give you a good idea of the lifter's true size as these brands are fairly standard in their sizing.  Please note that Converse Chuck Taylors run big and are not a good indication of the wearer's true size. Generally subtract 0.5 to 1 full size from Chuck Taylors to calculated true shoe size.  If it appears that the lifter is wearing a range of sizes, we recommend erring on the larger size.  

Here are some suggestions for lifting style and fit:

Shoes for wide feet.

Shoes for narrower feet.

Shoes for Deadlift (Conventional).

Shoes for Deadlift (Sumo).

Shoes for Squat.

All round training shoes.

Keep the box (and the receipt)

Of course, shoes can be a very personal choice and many lifters are very fussy about what they train in. When you buy powerlifting shoes as a gift, it’s a very good idea to keep the original box and receipt to hand! That way, if the shoes you’ve chosen aren’t quite right, the recipient will be able to swap them for a pair that are.

Still not sure? Get a gift card

If you’re still not confident about choosing, why not opt for a gift card instead? That way your loved one will have the pleasure of shopping for their new shoes themselves. We now offer MAXbarbell gift cards.


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