BarBend HQ has been on a quest to find the best lifting belt for every type of strength athlete. Our mission through multiple sweaty – often heavy – gym sessions was to provide you with direction when choosing the best lifting belt for your needs. The perfect belt for you will be tailored to your lifting style, goals, sport, budget, and comfort preferences.

After every gym session, we’re just like you. We’re strength athletes asking the question, what’s the best lifting belt? We’re continually building our belt arsenal and putting more products to the test. We’ve now reviewed and tested dozens of belts with our favorites listed below.

No matter your strength sport or strength level, this is your definitive guide to finding your perfect belt.

We looked for the best lifting belts in five different categories, then provided a descriptive analysis behind why we chose each included in the lists below.

Best Weightlifting Belts Picks

Best Belt for CrossFit
Schiek Model 2004 Lifting Belt
Schiek Model 2004 Lifting Belt
Schiek Model 2004 Lifting Belt

This lifting belt is designed for versatility and to contour to the body's natural shape to provide support.

Best Belt for Deadlifts
Rogue Ohio Lifting Belt
Rogue Ohio Lifting Belt
Rogue Ohio Lifting Belt

This leather weightlifting belt has a quality finish and stainless steel buckle to ensure durability and trunk stability.

Best Belt for Money
Harbinger 4″ Nylon Lifting Belt
Harbinger 4″ Nylon Lifting Belt
Harbinger 4″ Nylon Lifting Belt

A 4" versatile nylon lifting belt that offers a strong buckle and plenty of velcro for a secure fit.

Best Belt for Squats
Schiek L6010 Double Prong Belt
Schiek L6010 Double Prong Belt
Schiek L6010 Double Prong Belt

A very stable and secure powerlifting belt that utilized a stiff leather construction and double-prong stainless steel buckle.

Best Belt for Weightlifting
Rogue 4 Inch Nylon Lifting Belt
Rogue 4 Inch Nylon Lifting Belt
Rogue 4 Inch Nylon Lifting Belt

A nylon based belt with ample velcro to ensure a versatile, comfortable, and supportive fit.

Why Lifting Belts?

A belt is a useful piece of equipment to keep in your supportive strength arsenal. Belts are primarily used to prevent injury and support the torso during heavier movements. The use of a belt can provide a strength athlete with extra support around the torso to increase a lift’s safety.

Every strength athlete can benefit from choosing a belt that’s catered specifically for their sport. A powerlifter and strongman athlete often want a cylinder styled belt, which is a belt that wraps around the torso equally.This type of athlete will typically want a stiffer, or more rigid belt for strength movements, as they’re often pressing, squatting, and deadlifting.

An Olympic lifter needs a belt that provides support, but also versatility. The typical Olympic belt usually comes contoured, so the posterior is thicker in width than the front of the belt. The stiffness and material of this athlete’s belt usually comes down to personal preference, as this athlete is performing power movements often.

The recreational and functional fitness athlete will often want a belt that provides support, comfort, and versatility. Since these athletes perform multiple movements during a single workout, then they need a belt that holds up well with power and strength exercises.

Different Types of Belt Designs

There are multiples types of belt designs, but from our tests and reviews every belt can technically fall into three major categories: cylinder, contoured, and cone. Each belt has different design attributes to benefit certain types of strength athlete.

Cylinder Belt

This style belt is the same width at every part and covers the torso equally. Belts like the Schiek Model 6010 Double Prong Competition Power Belt and the Rogue Ohio Lifting Belt are perfect examples of this belt design. They are designed to support the back, abdomen, and sides evenly with the same amount of material. Powerlifters and strongman athletes typically sway towards these belts.

Nylon belts also come in this design and provide a little more versatility for the functional fitness athlete or recreational lifter. The Harbinger 4″ Nylon Belt and the Rogue 4″ Nylon Belt are an equal width of 4″ all the way around, but have versatility, as they don’t contain rigid leather.

Tapered Belt

This belt is often favored by Olympic lifters and recreational athletes because it provides the posterior with extra width, but thins out towards the abdomen. The skinnier portion over the abdomen allows the torso to remain mobile while providing support.

Another belt that offers the same contoured make is the Unbroken Designs Stars and Stripes 4″ Leather Lifting Belt. This belt has the contoured design, but has a softer internal lining. A standard, or more basic version of this belt is the Harbinger 4″ Padded Lifting Belt.

Cone Belt

This design is possibly the most rarely seen. These belts are contoured on the sides, but offer a thicker posterior and anterior section. In theory, their design is supposed to follow the natural curvature of the torso. The Schiek Model 2004 Lifting Belt utilized this type of belt design to create a versatile, yet supportive belt. A stiffer, or more rigid example of this belt would be the Schiek Model L2004 Leather Lifting Belt.

Multiple Types of Material

When it comes to belt material there are two main choices: leather and nylon. It may seem like there are more types of material, but for the most part every belt starts with a leather or nylon base.

Leather

The type of leather a belt uses will often correlate with how stiff or rigid it is. Leather belts will last longer than their nylon counterparts. Almost every leather belt is tanned and oiled, much like the Harbinger 4″ Classic Oiled Leather Lifting Belt. The way a belt is tanned and oiled can help you predict how high of a quality the belt is. Some belts contain a specific tanning method, like the vegetable tanning process the Rogue Ohio Lifting Belt has.

In terms of leather stiffness, suede belts are often on the stiffer side, which is what the Schiek Model 6010 Double Prong Competition Power Belt uses. There are also softer types of leather belts that bend and hug the waist, which are good for functional fitness styled workouts. An example of this belt would be the Unbroken Designs Stars and Stripes 4″ Leather Lifting Belt.

Nylon

This type of belt typically isn’t known for how stiff it is, but more so for the comfort and versatility it provides. The stiffness of this belt relies on whether the belt has added inserts or has extra width. The Harbinger Contoured FlexFit Lifting Belt has a 6″ width and added kidney pockets, which are made to provide the kidney areas of the torso more support. Another example of a belt that has added lumbar inserts is the Schiek Model 2004 Lifting Belt.

Some nylon belts don’t contain extra inserts, but have extra width for torso support. The Harbinger 5″ Foam Core Lifting Belt provides an extra inch of thickness with a soft comfortable feeling.

Best Belt For CrossFit® Workouts

Schiek Model 2004 Lifting Belt

Schiek Model 2004 Lifting Belt

The Schiek Model 2004 Lifting Belt was our top choice for functional fitness workouts. This belt has a cone shaped design, so it hugs the body well and has added lumber inserts. In addition, there’s two velcro strips to provide a firm, stable hold. This belt was a little tougher to adjust quickly, but the stability and versatility greatly make up for this aspect.

To test a belt’s ability to perform well in WODs and metcon styled workouts, we utilize power and strength movements. Some of the lifts we utilized are the power clean, deadlift, front squat, back squat, and overhead press. These movements are put back to back and rely on time in some workouts.

We look for three different things when testing a belt’s ability to perform in a functional fitness setting. First and most importantly, the stability a belt provides. A belt is worn for its stability, so we watch how the torso is supported through the variety of movements chosen. Second, a belt’s versatility. We watch for mobility issues and times when a belt limits someone’s mobility. Third, comfort and ease of use. This point is essential for testing how quickly you can adjust a belt in-between sets and how it leaves your torso feeling after a workout.

Schiek Model 2004 Lifting Belt
Schiek Model 2004 Lifting Belt
Schiek Model 2004 Lifting Belt
This lifting belt is designed for versatility and to contour to the body's natural shape to provide support.

Best Belt For Deadlifts

Rogue Ohio Lifting Belt

Our favorite belt for deadlifts is the Rogue Ohio Lifting Belt. The belt is made of thick leather with a cylinder design, and is also comfortable on the torso. Possibly the best aspect of this belt was how durable it felt. The unique vegetable tanning process Rogues uses creates a firm belt, but with a little flexibility so you can truly wrap the torso tightly.

The best way to test a belt and it’s ability to perform great with deadlifting is to deadlift, so we did…a lot. Every strength athlete typically has some form of deadlift in their training, so we performed a majority of our lifts from a conventional style deadlift with some sumo pulling. A good deadlifting belt will promote torso stability from all angles as we actively brace into it.

Rogue Ohio Lifting Belt
Rogue Ohio Lifting Belt
Rogue Ohio Lifting Belt
This leather weightlifting belt has a quality finish and stainless steel buckle to ensure durability and trunk stability.

Best Belt For The Money

Harbinger 4″ Padded Leather Belt

The Harbinger 4″ Padded Leather Belt is the best belt for your money. This belt starts around $21.99 and has a similar design to other leather weightlifting belts, such as the Eleiko Olympic Weightlifting Belt. There’s double stitching around the whole exterior and the leather is somewhat stiff for the price. Also, there’s a double prong stainless steel buckle that suggests the buckle won’t bend easily or break fast.

In order to test a belt’s impact on the wallet we look for three main belt characteristics. First, we compare prices of other belts on the market that have similar makes. Similarities come in the form of construction, design purpose, and special features. Second, we look for clues that indicate a belt’s durability. We considered things like double stitching, extra bolts, stainless steel buckles, and other aspects that suggest a durable make. Third, we hypothesize what type of athlete would invest in the belt. Recreational, sub-elite, and elite lifters are all speculated into our pricing judgement.

Harbinger 4″ Padded Leather Belt
Harbinger 4″ Padded Leather Belt
Harbinger 4″ Padded Leather Belt
A durable leather belt with a reinforced metal buckle and additional back padding for comfort.

Best Belt For Squats

Schiek Model 6010 Double Prong Competition Power Belt

The Schiek Model 6010 Double Prong Competition Power Belt is our favorite belt for squats and is designed for powerlifting athletes. This belt is extremely rigid, offers a cylinder design, and doesn’t bend easily under pressure, which was great for low-bar squats. The buckle is a double-prong heavy stainless steel that’s double stitched, so it felt durable from the very first use.

When we test a belt’s ability to perform well during squats we perform two different types of squats and these are the front and back squat. If the belt is designed for powerlifting specifically we’ll also low-bar squat to check a belt’s ability to resist forward lean and keep the torso’s rigid posture.

We look for three specific characteristics of a belt’s ability to hold up well during a squat workout. First, we look at a belt’s stiffness, or how rigid it feels on the torso. A good squat belt won’t flex or bend with any form of torso movement. Second, we check how the belt fits around the torso. Equal tension around the torso is typically better than a contoured design. Third, we check the buckle and durability. Heavy squats exert a lot of pressure into a belt, so checking a belt’s ability to withstand prolonged stress is important.

Schiek L6010 Double Prong Belt
Schiek L6010 Double Prong Belt
Schiek L6010 Double Prong Belt
A very stable and secure powerlifting belt that utilized a stiff leather construction and double-prong stainless steel buckle.

Best Belt For Weightlifting

Rogue Fitness 4″ Nylon Belt

The Rogue 4″ Nylon Belt was one of our top picks for weightlifting. We liked that it’s a versatile nylon option and offers a decent level of torso support. The construction of the belt is durable with a fair amount of stitching around the outside edges, and there’s a good amount of velcro surface area to pull the belt as tight as you need. Also, we liked the stainless steel buckle this belt uses.

To test a belt’s ability to perform well for weightlifting we use a variety of movements, which include the front squat, power clean, power snatch, and overhead press. All of these movements are relevant to movements and lifts an Olympic lifter will be performing on a regular basis.

When using these movements to test a belt’s ability to be great for weightlifting we look for two things. The first aspect we look for is the belt’s ability to keep the torso stable in the catching and front rack position. A solid weightlifting belt will provide support and prevent the torso from excessively flexing. The second aspect we look for is the belt’s ability to support range of motion and not limit it. A good weightlifting belt is often contoured to be made skinnier in the front, which allows a weightlifter more mobility when catching weight.

Rogue 4 Inch Nylon Lifting Belt
Rogue 4 Inch Nylon Lifting Belt
Rogue 4 Inch Nylon Lifting Belt
A nylon based belt with ample velcro to ensure a versatile, comfortable, and supportive fit.

Best Lifting Belt – Wrapping Up

There are so many belts on the market that a strength athlete might find themselves overwhelmed when looking for their perfect fit. If you breakdown your selection into multiple categories, then the process can become easier. For example, take the above sections and rank them into what’s most important to you.

You can also use this list of the best lifting belts:

Different types of strength athletes will have different needs and requirements. If you take the time to figure out what type of training you’re doing most, then you can help ease the belt selection process. We’re going to continue to add to our comprehensive list to constantly provide you with the best information when selecting your perfect belt.