Let me preface this fun little article by highlighting the fact I'm currently wearing rainbow crocs. Now the awkward stuff is done with. Let's rate some kicks. I did just ask the boys their thoughts, but I'm pretty much just gonna disregard them and give you my opinion. Ok, so we've got 3 loose categories.
Actual functionality for lifting
What they say about the wearer
How they look
Nike TN, Adidas NMD (any runners really): Of all the shoes on the list, these are easily the worst for lifting in. A soft cushiony sole is going to limit foot stability when heavy lifting and some may argue power output as well. Wearer my have bumbag with combination of permanent marker, eccies and shank.
Ryder D-Mak: A minimal flat sole, high ankle support and with exxxxtra cushion. The functionality of this shoe is actually pretty good so once you finish that grapefruit you'll be stable enough to lean into those extra lateral raises. If you tell me these look good, you and your chicken and rice are OUT TO LUNCH!
Sabo Goodlift: As above for functionality. A streamlined and slightly more subtle way to let people know you're serious about lifting weights and consuming anything to do with #lifting.
CrossFit Shoes: Reebok says "I'm an OG" Nike says "I'm better than you" Nobull says "Me and the CrossFit fairies are living in the here and now!" Nothing says "I'm always ready" like seeing some of these bad boys in the wild.
Weightlifting Shoes: Spot on for providing a stable base and support for lifting heavy stuff or possibly a very expensive solution to a lack of ROM. Either real serious about the sport of weightlifting or clutching at straws to finally hit full depth.
Chucks: Possibly the original "lifting shoe" and obviously needs it's respect. Extra points for being a casual go to as well. Long skinny and look like a banana when tied too tight. Really says I mean business and that business is not cardio.
Vans: Another casual go to that doubles as a solid lifting shoe. A bit wider and less bananary than the chuck and thankfully lacks the high ankle. Definitely favours a craft beer over a protein shake. Also, do a kickflip though.
Vivo Barefoots: Full ground contact with great grip. Minimal support or protection. IMO a great shoe to lift in and also a great way to waste money on a shoe to mimic not wearing any🤔
Barefoot: The ultimate alpha move. You've got all the stability, ROM and grip you'll ever need. The only thing that needs protection is these weights you're about to crush.
That was fun, haha. Aside from the runners and soft soled trainers all of the shoes above do a pretty good job and it typically comes down to personal preference. If you're someone with a very limited range of motion or poor stability I'd suggest a heeled weightlifting shoe or something with adequate support (while you go work on that ROM and stability right?). Most of us however will be sweet lifting in something grippy with a relatively thin, flat sole.