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We will talk about this further down in our guide. Before we get to that, we want to show you our picks for the top 7 best weightlifting belts on the market.
We’ve done our best to select the models which offer the best bang for your buck. That way you are almost guaranteed to find some thing that fits your needs and requirements.
At the very top of our list sits a belt that is all about business. This is what a true powerlifting belt looks like. Dominion Strength Training went with the fairly standard 3 inch width which has proven to offer the best performance across all disciplines. The belt itself is made out of high quality leather that is 10mm thick. That gives it more than plenty of rigidity for those heavy snatches.
One of the things that really surprised us about this belt is just how straightforward it is. There are no advanced buckles on here, no crazy design features. It’s just a thick weight lifting belt that gets the job done day in, day out. Adjusting the fit is done using the classic, although quite oversized buckle with a single spike.
Holes are spaced out in 1 inch increments while there are 11 holes to work with. This means that you are guaranteed to find a good fit whether you are a guy doing a dirty bulk, or a girl looking to get some core stability. This awesome belt does it all. On top of that, Dominion Strength Training offers a lifetime warranty for these belts and that’s awesome.
Compared to our previous pick, this model from Flexz Fitness looks diametrically different. It is much more complicated, uses an advanced type of buckle, features crazy colors and so on. In reality it’s just a different take on the very same design. Flexz Fitness did take a different approach with all the aesthetic stuff aside. This is a 4″ belt compared to the more standard 3″ models.
The leather itself is a synthetic type and is 10mm thick. Despite being synthetic, it retains all of the necessary rigidity and support even after long periods of heavy use. The lever buckle may come across as a gimmick to more traditional users. However, it is actually a powerful tool that can get you more pressure on a moment’s notice. Instead of having to unbuckle the whole thing to get that extra pressure in there, you can just crank the lever and get it done within seconds.
The belt itself is a unisex design and really does fit a wide variety of sizes quite nicely. That lever mechanism also allows you to quickly release the belt should you need to which comes in handy when you decide to push yourself to the limit.
Moving forward we walk into a more affordable segment of the market. These are the belts that most beginners and intermediate users are most likely going to use. Bear in mind that affordable doesn’t necessarily mean bad. On the contrary, RDX Powerlifting belt is quite impressive. The belt is constructed of a oil tanned nubuck leather. It comes in light brown and black versions which look natural enough to pass the aesthetic test.
The material is robust enough, feels solid in your hand and generally inspires confidence. Much like our previous pick, this one is also a 4″ model. The thickness of the leather is 10mm as expected. The interesting thing about this model is the buckle. Despite being rather affordable, they went with a level buckle. The next logical question is just how reliable that buckle is? After all, it claims the very same functionality as the much more expensive models?
Truth is that RDX used pretty solid hardware for these belts. The buckles aren’t 100% metal but they are pretty robust all things considered. You won’t have any issues no matter how hard you go with your lifts. The belt goes down to 32-34 as the smallest size.
What Dark Iron Fitness delivers with their genuine leather pro weight lifting belt is what we consider to be the optimal bang for the buck in this segment of the market. For starters their claim of genuine leather is true. It may not be the highest quality leather out there, but it is genuine leather that won’t fall apart on you like some of those synthetic leathers tend to. There is a catch though.
Where most belts we have shown you so far feature 10mm thickness across the entire length, Dark Iron’s belt is 5mm thick. Is it going to be as rigid as a proper 10mm leather belt? No. But it will be very close to it. Close enough where the difference is negligible unless you are really moving up the weight class. This leads us to the next thing worth noticing.
This belt is aimed at beginners to intermediate users. Since the belt is using a standard, two prong buckle, there is only so much adjustment available. This is why Dark Iron Fitness ships these in 5 different lengths ranging anywhere from 23″ to 49″. That way you are pretty much guaranteed to find something that fits you.
As we move further down the list, belt designs start defaulting to the simplest yet most proven layouts. ProFitness offers a very similar model to the one we have just talked about. It is also made out of genuine leather and features a 4″ wide construction while the leather itself is 5mm thick. At this price range you might be asking what is the catch? There isn’t any.
ProFitness has simply found that line between price and performance where you get the most out of their gear. In all honesty, we didn’t expect this belt to stay in place especially under heavy loads. The most usual issue with cheaper belts is that they tend to run up during use. This one doesn’t do that. It stays in place surprisingly well.
We can attribute this to the way it was designed but also the finish of the leather. Speaking of design, these come in 4 different lengths just like our previous pick. You can go anywhere from 24″ to 49″. In other words this is a unisex belt that works for both men and women. At this price you can’t really expect diverse aesthetics, but these do come with colored thread.
Our last two picks belong to the synthetic side of the market where manufacturers are no longer using faux leather. Instead most of these belts are made out of different nylon fabrics. That has its drawbacks. As you can probably tell just by looking at this particular model, this design lacks the rigidity and stiffness we mostly associate with full bore leather belts. Does that mean that these belts are pointless? No, absolutely not.
It means that you are getting an alternative solution that gets the job done. It is important to understand the pros and cons of softer belts and how they can help your core stability. Fire Team Fit has cut these in a way that leaves extra support to your lumbar area. Finding the right fit comes down to taking proper measurements and selecting one of the 5 available sizes.
Since they are made out of nylon fabrics, these belts come in a variety of awesome colors and textures. One thing worth noting is that Fire Team Fitness takes a percentage of sales and donates it to Marine Corps combat veterans. They are one of the few brands in this arena who are actively supporting combat veterans.
The very last pick on our list comes in form of a women specific belt that gets the job done on a very tight budget. We are talking very affordable range of belts which features that same soft design. This time around they have added a foam core. The foam padding is some 5 inches wide while the belt itself is right around 3″ wide. Thickness wise, you are looking at plenty of padding.
As we have already mentioned earlier, this is a semi flexible belt. The added back support definitely helps although it’s arguable whether or not you would want to go for max values with this rig. The buckle is a solid piece of steel that doesn’t give. The whole velcro fit adjustment works rather well although it is questionable how long you can keep exploiting regular velcro before it gives up.
Truth be told, at this price that should really be much of a concern. Harbinger offers these in three sizes catered to women. The sizes range from the X Small 24″-28″ to Medium 32″-36″. In other words, pretty standard. As far as aesthetics go, you have three simple solid color options to choose from.
Weightlifting belts used to be and still are something of a mystery for many weightlifters. We say this even though belts are among the most utilized gear in the gym next to maybe weightlifting gloves. The reason why we say that belts are mysterious is because not many people actually know what their actual purpose is, how to properly use them and what to look for in a good belt.
One of the main misconceptions is that weightlifting belts are there to provide you with physical support as you lift. Like a brace of some sort that adds artificial core stability during your workout. That is not the case.
What weightlifting belts are designed to do is stimulate your own body to provide core stability by applying pressure to key areas. The muscles in your core are stronger than any belt you can find, but sometimes they just need a bit of help.
This brings another interesting subject. Which belts to choose and what makes a good belt?
Choosing weightlifting belts comes down to two things – figuring out what your actual size is and finding a model that fits your budget. The general guidelines are as follows. Never use your pants size to gauge your belt size. Instead take a measuring tape and measure your waist.
Using the size of your pants as a guide is a surefire way to end up with a wrong belt. Our most sincere advice is to stay away from super wide belts as they do very little for you. That wide padding kinda works with softer synthetic models, but generally you’d want a 3-4″ all leather, 10mm thick belt that features a buckle design of your choice.
Lastly, just like with weightlifting shoes, style also plays a miniscule yet important role in your selection process. Find something that you like looking as much as you like using.
Weightlifting belts are one of those accessories you don’t think you need, but later wonder how you ever managed without. They definitely make the whole process of powerlifiting and weightlifting that much safer overall. The models listed above include ones we found to be the best on the market right now.
Our criteria for this category came down to good value at a reasonable price. We feel that we’ve achieved just that. Once again, make sure to take proper measurements and choose the belt accordingly. There is nothing worse than an ill fitting belt. It’s an injury waiting to happen.