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Lifting Shoe Recommendations - Wide Flat Feet

I am having a terribly difficult time finding a lifting shoe that will fit me without causing terrible pain. This has been ongoing throughout my many years of training and I’ve reached a breaking point.

I have flat feet (flexible arch) so any shoes will need to be able to fit an insole for arch support. I have a fairly high instep so room in the top of the shoe is helpful, otherwise I can’t tighten laces very much.

I have an extremely wide forefoot and need a big toe box (I wear a 4E running shoe.) Unfortunately I also have a narrow heel and slip/rub out the back of most wide shoes. Some sneakers built on the New Balance SL-2 Last fit fairly well. Nike’s Flex 2 sneakers in a 4E width fit best. Since these are all walking or running shoes they won’t exactly work for lifting.

My gym does not allow bare feet so typically I deadlift in Chuck Taylors, but the narrowness means I have to take them off between sets (it is extremely painful) and can’t really concentrate on the lift very well. For olympic style squats I’d like something with a bit of a heel. I’ve used blocks with chucks before but as you know, this is not ideal. While I can deadlift with flat feet, squatting without proper arch support causes some serious back pain. (Even with no weight and someone double checking for proper form.) My current deadlift is 460 lbs sumo, 445 conventional if it gives an idea of skill level. I tried on some Reebok Nano 2.0s and they were not wide enough in the toe box for me.

I would be extremely grateful if anyone could point me in the right direction and recommend a shoe for me to use for squats, deadlifts, cleanse, and other olympic lifts- even if different lifts require different shoes. Searches have yet to find an answer to this. Thanks!

Romaleos are wider than Adidas oly shoes. The heels felt about the same to me for my size 9s.


have you experimented with different kinds of work boots (not laced up - you don’t want ankle support)

I haven’t tried work boots. Are there any specific pairs that have a stable sole and a slight heel? All the pairs I own have moved over to a vibram style rubber sole.

I’ll see if I can try out some Romaleo IIs. I tried on some rogues and they were not ideal but if I can’t find anything else I’ll go with them. Thanks for the recommendation!

I just learned that these exist:

They are ugly, expensive, and non-refundable if they don’t fit so I’m a little weary of them. They may be the answer for me. Anyone ever try them?

I don’t know anything about them - but they do look good to me. But then I’m more a fan of the old-school effective quality thing than the newest flashiest piece of crap thing that most people are attracted to.

Though I’d love some Adistar’s sniff. I’m sure there are dodgey european weightlifting shoes still being hand made somewhere out there that are far superior…

They do seem to be what you want with respect to wide toe box and narrow heel.

WOrk boots: I was thinking Dr Martins or similar. Vibram makes a good sole. Non-compressible. Just about getting the heel raise you want. Work boots usually had some, I thought. Or maybe you could get a cobbler to make you a pair of shoes the way you want 'em…