Best Weighted Shoes For Your Feet

Weighted shoes are a fascinating invention. 100 years ago if someone told you us silly humans would be weighing down our feet instead of trying to make yourself more agile and lighter – you’d laugh them out of the room. But they’d be the ones laughing now.

We’re now living in the generation of a weighted life – (almost) all types of exercises are better when they’re weighted, just like pull-ups with a weighted belt. Weighted exercises are great for building muscle and increasing your cardiovascular strength. One of the most popular ways to add weights to your walking or running is with weighted shoes.

It’s unsure exactly when weighted shoes were invented, however, one of the earliest US patents we were able to find belongs to Alice E Goetz in 1945, adequately titled – Weighted shoe.

Things have come a long way since 1945, and the weighted shoe has been refined each year, leaving us with this list of some of the best-weighted shoes available today. Enjoy!

The Best Weighted Shoes

The Champion Series Shoe Irons are a set of straps you wrap around your shoes that carry weights. It’s one of Ironwear’s top-selling products and customer favorites. It features an oversized arch securing strap with softbound edges for extra comfort.

There are three double-weight stretch pockets that can hold anywhere between 1/2 lb up to 3 lbs total. Shoe sized between a women’s 6 and a men’s 15 can be strapped with the Champion Series.

  • Constructed with nylon fabric covered neoprene
  • Fit most adult shoe sizes from size 5/6 up to size 14/15

Shoe Irons Cool Mesh Series

The Cool Mesh Series by Ironwear come in as the best value due to their low price, yet fairly similar design to the other weighted shoes developed by Ironwear. They come with the standard 1/2 lb weight increments, up to 3 lb total on each foot.

The mesh used in the straps helps to reflect heat and help keep your feet cooler which sets them apart from the Champion Series. They’re great for stair exercises, weight lifting, walking, as well as jump and speed training.

  • Constructed with porous silver athletic mesh and black neoprene
  • Uses stackable 1/2 Flex-metal weights for comfort
  • Heavy duty rubber strap on bottom of shoe

Ironwear Speed Shoe Irons

The Speed Shoe Irons come in as the Best Premium variety of weighted shoes, as they’re nearly double the price of some of the others on the list. They come with a high-visibility neon green color, for maximum visibility in night circumstances.

Ironwear has specifically designed them for those looking to go fast with weighted shoes, as in running or other intense exercises. As usual, they featured three mesh pockets that can hold up to 3lb in weights in 1/2 lb increments.

  • Uses the Flex-metal® technology for comfort
  • Designed for intense training and faster feet

Ivanko Iron Boots

The Ivanko Iron Boots may seem like they belong in the medieval ages, but they’re one of the only weighted shoe variants that you can really get heavy with. The boots themselves weigh 6.5 lbs, with an additional bar threaded through the boot to hold more weight plates (up to 1-2 depending on the thickness). These would be perfect for heavily weighted leg raises.

  • Wider straps for increased comfort and safety
  • Each boot weights 6.5 lbs including loading pin

Reading before you buy

What are weighted shoes?

Weighted shoes are exactly what the name suggests – shoes which have been specifically made to be heavier than normal shoes. There are several ways shoes are weighted including heavier insoles (not very popular anymore), placing weights directly inside the physical body of the shoe (very expensive method), and the current favorite today – wrapping the shoe in a strap or other device which can hold weight, achieving the weighted shoe mechanism.

Here’s a look at the Iron Boots, a method once wildly popular among weight lifters:

There are a few additional ways you can achieve the same effect of weighted shoes, which can you read about in the weighted shoes alternatives further down.

Typically, weighted shoes can assist the wearer in increasing muscle mass and burning more calories during exercise when compared with wearing normal shoes. This is based on the same principle as using extra weights on a bar during a bench press instead of just pushing your hands up and down in the air.

Please keep in mind, however, that weighted shoes are not designed to be worn for extended periods of time â€“ this can have a seriously detrimental effect on the joints and muscles from being under consistent strain for a long period. Again, compare to lifting weight most people lift them for around 30 minutes to 1 hour, not for an extended period.

Can you burn extra calories with weighted shoes?

Yes, wearing weighted shoes during short periods of exercise will increase the number of calories your body burns. Your body is not used to carrying the extra weight in your shoes, so it requires more energy to undertake the same task. More energy required equals more calories burned.

As such, walking for 30 minutes in weighted shoes will burn more calories than walking for 30 minutes without shoes. Unfortunately, it can be quite difficult to determine just how many more calories you will burn. Another popular exercise to switch out a normal weighted tool with a heavier one is hula-hooping. Weighted hula hoops are more popular thane ever, thanks to their fun factor and ease of use.

Companies and websites that claim you can burn 11.6% more calories and burn 23.3% more carbs, such as StrataSoles, should be taken with a grain of salt.

How can you ensure your safety?

Generally, it is completely safe to walk short to medium distances in weighted shoes. However, as mentioned previously, it can become an overall detriment to your body, such as your muscles and joints, if you walk long distances or wear them throughout the whole day.

On top of that, it’s strongly recommended you do not run with weighted shoes. Running is a far more vigorous exercise and adding unprecedented weights to the sole of the foot can cause the body to lose balance. Losing balance whilst running can result in severely rolled ankles and potentially broken bones.

In saying that, there are some safer alternatives – such as weighted jump ropes. Jump roping is one of the highest calorie-burning exercises out there, and adding a bit of weight on top of the standard jumps will get you sweating in no time.

Are there any alternatives you can use?

Yes, one of the most popular alternatives to weighted shoes is ankle weights. Weighted shoes typically have the weight of the design below your ankle – which can be dangerous if running for walking for longer periods. However, ankle weights generally have the weights placed on or above the ankle, leading to far more stability for the muscles and joints of the foot area.

With that being said, there are some exercises and fitness regimes where weighted shoes remain superior. Hopefully, by reading through our recommend best-weighted shoes to buy, you’re buying decision has become just that little bit easier.

Final thoughts

All in all, if you’re looking to add a little extra weight to your exercise routine, then weighted shoes might just be the perfect addition for you. They’re unique, effective, and can get the job done fairly quickly.

If you have any more questions, feel free to send us an email!

Simon D.


Simon is one of the lead editors at Nice Picker and the author of this article. He’s become fascinated with nice products (a bit too much we think) and loves to see all the different ways they can improve our loves.