Best Weightlifting Belts 2022: Match the Best Belt to Your Goals

Man using a weightlifting belt


Looking for the best weightlifting belt to help you set new PRs? Then you've come to the right place! The ACTIVE Reviews Team is here to discuss what makes a weightlifting belt great, and what you should look for when buying one. We'll also give you some tips on how to choose the best weightlifting belt for your needs.

As always, you'll get our top recommendations for some of the best weightlifting belts on the market today. So, whether you're just starting out with weightlifting or you're a seasoned pro, read on for all the information you need to make an informed purchase.

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The Best Weightlifting Belts - Our Top Picks

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Best Overall Weightlifting Belt - 2POOD Straight Weightlifting Belt

2POOD Straight Weightlifting Belt

SPECS

  • Size: XXS-XL
  • Width: 4"
  • Weight: 0.66 lbs.
  • Material: Nylon
  • Buckle type: Hook and loop

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Let's kick off this list with our pick for the best overall weightlifting belt. In order to be chosen for this category, a weightlifting belt needs to be amazing at a lot of things. It has to have the security of a powerlifting belt, the comfort of a CrossFit belt, and the style that will make it stand out. The 2POOD Straight Weightlifting Belt couldn't have been a better fit (no pun intended).

While it is a hook and loop system, 2POOD features a unique WODClamp that keeps you locked and loaded for the entire set. The WODClamp is able to do this by reinforcing the Velcro strap. Once you're locked in, you're in for good. This extra level of security is going to come in handy if you're attempting a new PR. One thing you won't have to worry about is whether your belt is going to loosen or pop off entirely. Despite the security, the 2POOD belt is surprisingly comfortable, providing just the right amount of thickness to support your back without interfering with performance.

One of the characteristic features of the brand is the selection of colors and designs; not only will you rock the best nylon weightlifting belt, but you'll also turn heads while you do. We also think it says a lot that 2POOD has been voted as the best overall weightlifting belt from the USA weightlifting team.

What We Like

  • The color options: If you love vibrant colors, you'll love these belts
  • Official weightlifting belt of USA weightlifting and supported by the members of team USA
  • Built for athletes but user-friendly for the average weightlifter
  • The best sizing options we've seen
  • Excellent price point for the quality

What We Don't Like

  • Some people might get the idea that the belt is only for athletes or CrossFitters
  • Learning curve for the hook and loop system and the WODClamp

BUY: 2POOD Straight Weightlifting Belt

Best Lever Weightlifting Belt - Rogue Fitness Lever Belt

Rogue Fitness Lever Belt

SPECS

  • Size: XS-XL
  • Width: 4"
  • Weight: 3 lbs.
  • Material: Leather
  • Buckle type: Nickel-plated steel lever

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Even if you've only been a weightlifter for a few months, we'd be surprised if you had never heard of the brand name Rogue. One of the many companies to make their appearance during the fitness boom of the early 2000s, Rogue has outlasted its competition and has become a go-to resource for all things fitness.

All of Rogue's fitness equipment is pretty darn good, but their leather weightlifting belts are easily some of our favorites. Rogue doesn't just pump out average weightlifting belts; take a closer look and you'll see that the R&D team put a lot of time and effort into crafting this lever weightlifting belt. The lever is made from nickel-plated steel and it features a black matte finish. There's also a black suede liner to ensure the belt doesn't move around during those heavy lifts. The cherry on top is that the edges of the belt are beveled to ensure comfort as much as security. If this sounds like one serious weightlifting belt, that's because it is. This belt is made for serious weightlifters.

What We Like

  • Locking system that isn't messing around—this lever buckle isn't moving, no matter how much weight is on your back
  • Designed with comfort in mind as much as performance
  • Rogue is still around for a reason; they make some of the highest quality fitness equipment and this weightlifting belt is no exception

What We Don't Like

  • No one likes this, but like all leather belts, there is the break-in period while the belt contours to your body and gets more comfortable with each wear
  • Not the most beginner-friendly weightlifting belt

BUY: Rogue Fitness Lever Belt

Best Leather Weightlifting Belt - REP Fitness 4" Premium

REP Fitness 4 Premium

SPECS

  • Size: S-XXL
  • Width: 4"
  • Weight: 1 lb.
  • Material: Leather
  • Buckle type: Single prong

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Nothing says old-school weightlifting belt quite like the feel and smell of new leather. Despite all of the latest trends toward new and different materials, leather is still the king of weightlifting belt materials.

There are plenty of leather weightlifting belts out there, but which one is worth the buy? For the best leather weightlifting belt, we wanted a brand that did one thing, and it did well with no frills, bells, or whistles. We wanted to find a brand that made an old-school-style weightlifting belt, emphasizing traditional durability while making it easy for new gym-goers to learn how to lift with a belt. In other words, we wanted a strong belt that didn't require that pesky break-in period.

Introducing the REP Premium Lifting Belt. If you've never owned a traditional leather weightlifting belt before, the REP lifting belt is the ideal starter's belt. Sure, it's built for lifelong weightlifters, too, but we can't emphasize enough how beginner-friendly this belt is. Newbies to weightlifting belts, especially leather belts, tend to get turned off by that break-in period. Just like a nice pair of leather shoes, you need to wear the belt a few times before it fits your body and you can officially deem it as comfortable.

The REP belt removes that break-in period. The vegetable tanned leather they use doesn't just make this belt strong, but it's also flexible, doing away with the need for a break-in period like traditional weightlifting belts.

Comfort aside, let's talk about performance. Not only is this one comfy belt, but it's also built to last. REP doesn't just glue the belt, they also double-stitch the highest quality leather, and then burnish and seal the edges. This ensures moisture can't get into the belt to remove years off its life, no matter how much you sweat. Rest assured that this is going to be your go-to weightlifting belt for a long time.

What We Like

  • An excellent choice for anyone who wants to start using a leather weightlifting belt
  • Built to last—we love the extra attention given to ensuring the belt is around longer than a bulking season
  • Super straightforward design—no learning curve or confusion

What We Don't Like

  • Doesn't have padding in the back—not a dealbreaker but some people prefer that extra padding
  • Standard color

BUY: REP Fitness 4” Premium

Best CrossFit Weightlifting Belt - RitFit Weightlifting Belt

RitFit Weight Lifting Belt

SPECS

  • Size: S-XXL
  • Width: 6"
  • Weight: 0.6 lbs.
  • Material: Ethylene Vinyl Acetate
  • Buckle type: Hook and loop

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Weightlifting belts that you typically use during bodybuilding and powerlifting workouts can't be used as effectively during CrossFit workouts. A CrossFit WOD has two parts: skill work and metabolic conditioning. During skill work, you tend to focus on one exercise—usually a compound movement like squats, snatches, or presses—with a specific number of sets and reps matched to a certain tempo. There's also a time limit to the skill work, which encourages quickness and shorter rest breaks. After this, you move on to a list of exercises that usually include at least one technically complicated movement. Again, you have a time limit to complete as many sets and reps as you can.

Notice the trend here? You're moving around…a lot.

That means you need a belt that can support your form and posture during both heavy and complicated movements while giving you the freedom to move, twist, run, and jump.

The RitFit belt is designed specifically for CrossFitters and people who love functional fitness workouts. The belt is ergonomically designed to fit your body without getting in the way. It's wider than most belts so that it provides the highest level of lumbar support. The belt also has a waterproof foam core, a brushed tricot lining, and soft bound edges.

What We Like

  • Made for CrossFitters
  • All the benefits of a traditional weightlifting belt without the weight or bulkiness
  • Can't beat it for the price point

What We Don't Like

  • Not the best choice for anyone looking to set new personal records for squats or deadlifts 
  • We would have liked to see a double reinforced Velcro strap

BUY: RitFit Weight Lifting Belt

Best Olympic Weightlifting Belt - Rogue Oly Ohio

Rogue Oly Ohio

SPECS

  • Size: S-XXL
  • Width: 4" to 2" taper
  • Weight: 1 lb.
  • Material: Leather
  • Buckle type: Single prong

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To say that Olympic weightlifting involves some of the most technically complicated exercises would be an understatement. Not only are Olympic lifters doing some seriously tough movements, but they are usually performing with weight that's close to, if not at, their one-rep max. Form, posture, and performance all need to be on point, which means any type of belt needs to be designed to help and not get in the way. One of the most important considerations for Olympic lifting is a clear bar path from the ground to the hips and over the head.

Too many so-called Olympic weightlifting belts are too bulky, getting into the way of the bar path, and inevitably making contact with the barbell. There goes that new PR. The best Olympic weightlifting belt would need a ton of support in the back with a smaller front. It would also need to be extremely durable.

That's exactly what you get with the Rogue Oly Ohio Lifting Belt. (Yep, Rogue made the list twice. Surprised?) Rogue proudly talks about how this belt was made exclusively for Olympic lifters. The Rogue Oly Ohio Lifting Belt is tapered down to 2 inches from 4 inches at the sides and front while still providing maximum support. You'll have more room to move, bend, and hinge as you confidently lift heavier weight. Best of all, there's no worry about hitting the barbell with the belt during a power-driven exercise like the snatch.

What We Like

  • Ideal for serious Olympic lifters or anyone who wants to safely incorporate Olympic lifts into their workouts  
  • Designed and cut to minimize the risk of interfering with the exercise
  • Despite its strength and stability, the belt is comfortable, not requiring a break-in period like most leather belts

What We Don't Like

  • For extra security without increasing the bulk of the belt, Rogue could have added a second prong
  • Lack of color or style variety

BUY: Rogue Oly Ohio

Best Budget Weightlifting Belt - Element 26 Self-Locking Belt

Element 26 Self-Locking Belt

SPECS

  • Size: XS-XL
  • Width: 4"
  • Weight: 1 lb.
  • Material: Nylon, leather
  • Buckle type: Steel buckle

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The term "budget" has unfairly received a poor reputation. Just because something is more cost-effective than other brands doesn't mean it's not high quality.

When we search for budget-friendly options, we don't just find the cheapest price point and call it a day. We look for reliable equipment and trustworthy brands that stand behind their product while offering a reasonable price point. We look for brands that offer a low barrier for entry into the world of understanding and using fitness equipment.

While looking for the best budget weightlifting belt, we wanted to find a belt that provided the same support as some of the most expensive brands. We searched for a belt with a strong foundation, no unnecessary upgrades, and a history of durability and reliability. We wanted to find a belt that would be around for the next several years of tough workouts.

What we found was the Element 26 Self-Locking Belt, and we couldn't believe the level of quality for the price. The Element 26 Self-Locking Belt is a self-proclaimed hybrid weightlifting belt that blends the stability and support of a leather belt with the comfort and convenience of a nylon belt.

This isn't just a great budget-friendly belt, it's also something of an "all purpose" weightlifting belt. From total beginners to serious CrossFitters, this belt has features that will be appreciated by most types of weightlifters.

As the name points out, one of the main features of this belt is the self-locking feature. Instead of a basic and flimsy strap, you get a double-stitched nylon strap with the integrated and patented Self-Locking Buckle Technology. You can feel confident and secure without having to worry about an unreliable Velcro strap or bulky metal buckle.

One of the things that we love the most about the best budget weightlifting belt is the lifetime warranty it comes with. Most of the belts with the lowest price point sell you a belt and wish you good luck with it. Element 26 doesn't just build great belts for a reasonable price point, they also back them up with a lifetime warranty and excellent customer service. This shows real class and trustworthiness in the brand.

What We Like

  • High quality for a low price point
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Self-locking mechanism that ensures stability and support throughout your workout

What We Don't Like

  • No padding in the back
  • Requires a break-in period

BUY: Element 26 Self-Locking Belt

Best Weightlifting Belt for Beginners - Gymreapers Quick Locking Belt

Gymreapers Quick Locking Belt

SPECS

  • Size: XS-XXL
  • Width: 4"
  • Weight: 0.5 lbs.
  • Material: Neoprene
  • Buckle type: Steel buckle

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Our vote for the best weightlifting belt for beginners is the Gymreapers Quick Locking Belt. This belt gets our vote because it meets all of the criteria that we look for when it comes to a belt that is made just for newbies. Above all, the belt needs to be user-friendly. If you can't figure out how to wear the belt properly, you're more likely to hurt yourself and give up on learning how to use the belt. The Gymreapers Quick Locking Belt is as simple and straightforward as you can get. Wrap it around your waist, insert the loop through the buckle and pull it across your body to your preferred tightness. That's it. No worrying about prongs or levers. Just pull and tighten, then you're ready to go.

We really like the quick-locking feature of the buckle, because so many people will have that moment of doubt. No more asking yourself, "Am I doing this right?" The belt is designed to remove that doubt and replace it with confidence with what you're doing.

We also look for the material that's being used. Overall, we think that neoprene and nylon are more beginner friendly than leather. The Gymreapers belt is made from high-quality neoprene and nylon, giving you a modern and professional looking belt that's easy to use.

Finally, one of the features that sealed the deal was the lifetime replacement guarantee from Gymreapers. They are so confident that this will be your go-to weightlifting belt that they are offering you a lifetime replacement guarantee. Just let them know what's going on with the belt and they will send you a new one, no questions asked. Not many companies can say they are that confident in their product.

What We Like

  • Quick-locking buckle is user friendly and provides plenty of support
  • An excellent starter belt that allows the user to learn how to use a weightlifting belt
  • Lifetime replacement guarantee

What We Don't Like

  • No additional padding
  • Requires a break-in period for new users

BUY: Gymreapers Quick Locking Belt

Best Nylon Weightlifting Belt - Rogue USA Nylon

Rogue USA Nylon

SPECS

  • Size: XS-XXL
  • Width: 5" with taper down to 4" in the front
  • Weight: 0.7 lbs.
  • Material: Nylon
  • Buckle type: Hook and loop

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Leather belts might be the OGs of weightlifting belts, but let's hear nylon out. One of the downsides to leather belts is the bulkiness. The bulkiness might be necessary depending on which sport you're in, but if you're new to lifting or simply maintaining with no big performance goals, nylon can provide the same support without feeling like you're carrying around a spare tire around your midsection.

Leather belts are amazing, but they do limit what you can do. If your goal is to throw around some serious weight during the Big Three (squats, deadlifts, and bench presses), then a leather belt can't be beat. However, if you aren't going for new personal records and you want to incorporate twisting and high-intensity movements into your workout, a leather belt is only going to get in your way. A nylon belt on the other hand, moves with you without interfering.

Whether you want a slimmer belt for your less grueling workouts or you want one that can keep up during functional fitness training, a nylon belt is a great investment. Probably not a surprise to see them again, but Rogue takes our pick for the best nylon weightlifting belt. This belt is unique because Rogue had help from athlete Mat Fraser, who competed and won for five straight years in the CrossFit Games. Obviously, Mat knows his belts, and he knew exactly what to suggest and stay away from when designing this one.

This nylon belt was designed to comfortably move with you from station to station during CrossFit workouts, but it can also provide the lumbar and abdominal support you need during Olympic lifts. The Rogue nylon weightlifting belt comes with numerous upgraded features including an improved roller and buckle for easier adjustments, a thicker foam frame for more comfort and support, and a section to customize your belt.

What We Like

  • They consulted a professional CrossFit athlete when designing and making the belt
  • Upgrades and improvements made based on real-world training feedback
  • Ability to customize your belt

What We Don't Like

  • People might believe that only CrossFit athletes can use this belt, even though it was designed for everyone who is interested in a nylon belt
  • Might take some getting used to, especially if you're only familiar with smaller belts or leather belts

BUY: Rogue USA Nylon

Best Weightlifting Belt for Powerlifting - Iron Bull Strength Powerlifting Belt 10MM 4"

Iron Bull Strength Powerlifting Belt 10MM 4

SPECS

  • Size: XS-4XL
  • Width: 4"
  • Weight: 1 lb.
  • Material: Leather
  • Buckle type: Single prong

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There are plenty of belts out there that claim they are designed for powerlifters, but few brands are truly dedicated to the sport quite like Iron Bull Strength. First, Iron Bull uses premium quality A-grade leather and black oiled buffalo hide. In other words, this is one tough belt. It has to be, given the workouts that powerlifters put it through.

Like several of the other belts on this list, Iron Bull doesn't worry about fancy upgrades or add-ons—it wants to provide you with a belt that is going to faithfully show up and deliver through all your toughest workouts. And that's exactly what this belt can do. Aside from being tough as nails, it features a soft natural suede interior. You get the best of both worlds here: durable and comfy.

The Iron Bull Strength weightlifting belt for powerlifters has a single prong system, and given how strong this belt is, a single prong is more than enough to secure your posture and form during the heaviest lifts.

What We Like

  • The brand specializes in this type of equipment
  • Solid powerlifting belt and as straightforward as it gets
  • Designed and made specifically for powerlifters and powerlifting workouts

What We Don't Like

  • There is probably going to be a break-in period with this belt
  • Pretty run of the mill as far as looks and design

BUY: Iron Bull Strength Powerlifting Belt 10MM 4"

Best Weightlifting Belt for Deadlifts - Dominion 3" Leather Belt

Dominion 3 Leather Belt

SPECS

  • Size: XS-XL
  • Width: 3"
  • Weight: 1 lb.
  • Material: Leather
  • Buckle type: Single prong

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We would argue that there are two exercises in particular that are associated with a weightlifting belt: the squat and the deadlift. Both are essential exercises, but for this, we wanted to focus on the deadlift. With that said, our choice for this category can be used for both deadlifts and squats equally. But what makes a great deadlifting belt?

Call us strict, but we believe that if a belt is going to specialize in one exercise, and one of the most technically complicated movements at that, it better be designed by an actual weightlifter. Having real-world knowledge and years of training experience put into a belt makes all the difference. Next, we are looking for the perfect fit. Remember what the deadlift involves: the hip hinge movement. That means a bulky belt is going to get in the way, but a tiny belt won't provide enough support for you to tap into the intra-abdominal pressure. Lastly, the belt better be made to last.

Well, that's exactly what we found with our pick for the best weightlifting belt for deadlifts: the Dominion 3" Leather Belt. To our first point, the Dominion 3" Leather Belt was designed by weightlifters who are all too familiar with setting PRs on the deadlift. This isn't a brand that churns out carbon copies of what they think might work. This is a brand for weightlifters, by weightlifters. As for the perfect fit, Dominion's deadlifting belt is 3 inches in width with a 10 mm thickness. That's exactly where most people want to be. There's no bulkiness getting in the way, it's not too stiff, and there's plenty of room for support.

Finally, the Dominion 3" Leather Belt is made to last. This fully adjustable belt features 11 holes, making it easy to tighten or loosen based on your goals and your physique. This belt is designed to be one of the last deadlifting belts you'll ever buy. Just in case it doesn't, you're in luck—Dominion provides a no-risk lifetime warranty. If your weightlifting belt doesn't last throughout your lifting career, they will repair or replace it at no cost to you!

What We Like

  • Dominion is a brand for weightlifters that was created by weightlifters
  • Strong and solid belt that is designed to provide full support during deadlifts without getting in the way or interfering with the bar path
  • The brand stands behind their products with a lifelong replacement guarantee

What We Don't Like

  • You're going to have to break in the belt
  • Pretty bland as far as color and design

BUY: Dominion 3" Leather Belt

FAQs About Weightlifting Belts


What type of weightlifting belt is best?

There are two main types of weightlifting belts: those made from leather and those made from nylon. Leather belts are generally considered to be the best type of belt, as they're more durable and offer more support. Nylon belts are lighter and usually cheaper, and while they do provide plenty of support, leather is the preferred material if you're lifting a lot of weight plates.

In general, if you're just starting out with weightlifting, a nylon belt may be a good option for you. Nylon is also the preferred belt for workouts like CrossFit that require a lot of movement in between sets. But if you're looking for a belt that will last and provide maximum support, leather is the way to go.

Do weightlifting belts actually work?

Yes, weightlifting belts actually work! They help to support your lower back and abdominal muscles, which can prevent injuries. Wearing a belt can also help you to lift heavier weights, as it allows you to build up intra-abdominal pressure, giving you something to push against as you come up from the eccentric part of the movement. This can lead to better results in your weightlifting workouts.

So, if you're looking for a way to improve your lifts, a weightlifting belt is definitely worth it.

Is a thicker belt better for lifting?

Not necessarily. A thicker belt might offer more support, but it can also be more uncomfortable to wear. Depending on your exercise selection, a thicker belt can also interfere with the bar path during an exercise. It's important to find a belt that is the right thickness for you and what your workouts will consist of.

If you're just starting out with weightlifting, a thinner belt that provides enough support might be a good starting point. As you get more experience and you start pushing bigger plate numbers, you can move up to a thicker belt, but only if you feel like you need more support.

When should I start wearing a lifting belt?

Everyone has a different answer to this question. Some people recommend wearing a belt from the very beginning, while others suggest waiting until you're more experienced.

We believe that if you're just starting out, you may want to try lifting without a belt first. This will help you to get a feel for how your body moves and what type of support you need. What's more, you'll build up neuromuscular connections, strength, and raw power on your own. Once you reach a point where your form starts to dip because of the weight load, then you should consider a weightlifting belt.

Should I squat with a belt?

Continuing with the point above, yes, you should squat with a belt, but only after you've built up enough of your own strength, power, and posture.

Some people get into a bad habit of growing dependent on the weightlifting belt. This is not what you want! The idea is to use it as an aid in your workouts, but you shouldn't be leaning on it like a crutch.

With all that said, squats are a great exercise for building lower-body strength, but they can also be tough on your lower back if you're going really heavy. Wearing a belt can help to support your back and prevent injuries, assuming you are using proper form.

If you're new to squats, start without a belt first. Once you get the hang of the movement, you can add a belt to help you lift heavier weights.

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