Best Lifting Belt

To help you find the best lifting belt for weightlifting, squats and crossfit exercises, we have tried out a multitude of top products, testing them for comfort and bodily protection, preferring products made from high quality materials, such as buffalo leather, that do not dig into the sides during use. We also liked items that allow for heavy lifting, as much as 600 pounds or more, without breaking or snapping.

The best item we tried was the Dark Iron Fitness Genuine Leather Lifting Belt, which is made almost entirely out of high quality buffalo leather, which can support lifts up to 600 pounds without breaking. It is also extremely comfortable and does not dig into the sides during use, with availability in a wide variety of sizes, up to a 49” waist. Finally, we liked the lifetime warranty on offer. Keep reading to learn more about the Dark Iron Fitness Genuine Leather Lifting Belt and the other products on this list.

Top 6 Best Lifting Belt

 #1  Dark Iron Fitness Genuine Leather Lifting Belt

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: High quality belt made almost entirely from genuine buffalo leather, with available in a variety of sizes, up to a 49” waist, approval by the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) and coming with a lifetime warranty.

Pros
  • High quality buffalo leather
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Available in many sizes
Cons
  • Sizes are for waist and not pants, so be careful when choosing
  • Leather is tough until broken in
  • May not be thick enough for competitive use (4mm)

The Dark Iron Fitness Genuine Leather Lifting Belt is made from genuine buffalo leather, with a high quality design that is just the right thickness for performing deadlifts and squats, among other exercises, without any discomfort. It’s approved for use by the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) and the USAPL, in addition to being available in a wide variety of size options, with a maximum of a 49” waist. We also loved the lifetime warranty on offer.

Though this item does a great job with protecting the spine and supporting lifts of up to around 600 pounds, it is not certified for competitive use, as it is somewhat thinner, at 4mm, than what is found in powerlifting competitions. Additionally, we found that the leather was somewhat tough and inflexible, though it loosened up considerably once it was broken in. To get in shape you also need the best body fat monitor.

 #2  ProFitness Genuine Leather Lifting Belt

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: Leather belt design with a 5mm thickness that is appropriate for both men and women, with an adjustable metal roller buckle and availability in a wide variety of sizes, a feature in line with our top pick.

Pros
  • Adjustable roller buckle
  • 5mm thickness great for both sexes
  • Available in sizes as small as 24” waist
Cons
  • Takes a couple of workouts to be fully broken in
  • Sizes are for waist and not pants
  • 60 day guarantee

This ProFitness Genuine Leather Lifting Belt is a great choice for powerlifting, crossfit routines or any number of related exercises, thanks to a high quality leather design that features an adjustable metal roller buckle. It is 5mm thick, which is slightly thicker than our top pick, and excels as a lifting belt for both men and women. We also liked the wide size options on offer, going as small as to fit a 24” waist or as large as to fit a 49” waist.

Though this is a well made product, it only comes with a 60 day money back guarantee, which is less than the lifetime warranty on offer with our top pick. Also, the sizes available are for the waist and not pants, so be careful when purchasing and be sure to measure yourself. The best posture corrector is also a must to keep your back straight and healthy.

 #3  Element 26 Self-Locking Weight Lifting Belt

Award: BEST FOR COMPETITIVE USE

WHY WE LIKE IT: Fully approved for competitive use by the USA Weightlifting governing body, with a self-locking design to improve stability, a lifetime warranty and availability in a wide array of size and color options.

Pros
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Self-locking design
  • Available in wide array of colors
Cons
  • Sizes max out at 45” waist
  • Must measure waist before purchase
  • Nylon design may not suit all consumers

This Element 26 Self-Locking Weight Lifting Belt is a fantastic choice for those looking to engage in weightlifting competitions, having been certified for competitive use by the USA Weightlifting governing body, making it appropriate for olympic sport. The belt features a self-locking mechanism, which helps support the lumbar region while performing squats and related exercises, and it comes with a lifetime warranty in line with our top pick.

This belt is made from nylon, and not leather, which increases mobility but decreases abdominal pressure, a feature that may not suit the needs of every consumer. Additionally, the maximum size is appropriate for waists up to 45 inches, and our top picks support up to 49 inches. The best smartwatch is another great accessory for getting fit.

 #4  RitFit Weight Lifting Belt

Award: BEST BUDGET

WHY WE LIKE IT: Budget-friendly design that is appropriate to be used by big guys, as it is available in sizes up to a 59” waist, with a 6” wide waterproof foam core and a solid steel buckle, providing extra support.

Pros
  • Best for big guys
  • 6” wide foam core
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Arrives with an odor, though it fades
  • Fairly stiff
  • Velcro can wear out over time

This RitFit Weight Lifting Belt is the best weight lifting belt for big guys, thanks to availability in sizes that support waists as large as 59” and a 6” wide waterproof foam core, which offers superior lumbar support to wider than average frames. It is also extremely budget friendly, while offering plenty of high end features, including a solid steel buckle and a design that is easy to clean, including the capacity to be air dried.

Though the steel belt buckle helps with custom adjustments, it also includes a velcro enclosure, which can wear out over time. Also, we noticed that it arrived with a noticeable odor, though it faded after a few workouts. It’s all about staying healthy, so don’t forget the best thermogenic supplements too.

 #5  Fire Team Fit Lifting Belt

Award: MOST DESIGN OPTIONS

WHY WE LIKE IT: Available in 14 unique design options, including an American flag, with an extremely secure and adjustable buckle that is appropriate for use during olympic training and a lifetime warranty.

Pros
  • Best for big guys
  • 6” wide foam core
  • Highly adjustable buckle
Cons
  • Nylon materials may not suit every consumer
  • Requires naval measurement before purchase
  • Smallest size supports 27” waist

This Fire Team Fit Lifting Belt is the best olympic weightlifting belt on this list, thanks to a supremely adjustable design that helps keep the body secure during heavy lifts, with a hook, strap and buckle combination that offers precise control. We also liked the multitude of design options available for purchase, with 14 different colors and illustrations to choose from. The lifetime warranty is also great and in line with what is found with our top pick.

Though the design options are top notch, the sizes are slightly less varied, with the minimum size accommodating waists as little as 27”, while other picks go as low as 24”. Additionally, this belt is made from nylon, which increases its favorability for olympic training, but slightly decreases usability for everyday exercises.

 #6  Hawk Single Prong Power Lifting Belt

Award: THICKEST

WHY WE LIKE IT: Fantastic item for squats and deadlifts, thanks to a 10mm thickness, the thickest on this list, and an extremely sturdy design that features multiple metal rivets running throughout.

Pros
  • Best for squats & deadlifts
  • Metal roller buckle
  • Sturdy design, with multiple metal rivets
Cons
  • On the stiff side
  • One year warranty
  • Only 2 sizes available, though belt is adjustable

This Hawk Single Prong Power Lifting Belt is the best weight lifting belt for squats and deadlifts, thanks to a number of design innovations, including a 10mm thickness, the thickest to be found on this list, and an extremely sturdy form factor. This sturdiness is enhanced by multiple metal rivets running throughout, the metal roller buckle and the high quality leather used during the manufacturing process.

Though this item is made from genuine leather, it is certainly on the stiff side, though it does loosen up slightly after a number of workouts. Also, there are only two sizes available, small or large, though it does feature 12 individual holes for waist size adjustment.

How We Decided

To help narrow down to the above list, we focused, first and foremost, on build quality, choosing items made from genuine leather, including buffalo leather, and nylon. We avoided some manufacturing materials, such as faux leather, as they did not stand up to our testing process. To that end, we made sure to populate the list with a nice mix of leather and nylon products, to suit a variety of workout types.

We also liked items that were highly adjustable, often featuring a buckle with multiple waist holes, and some that adjusted automatically, which instantaneously match the contour of the waist. We preferred lifting belts that were on the thicker side, as thin as 4mm and as thick as 10mm, making them suitable for powerlifting and crossfit, among other exercises.

As far as sizes go, we made sure to fill the above list with a wide variety of size options, which can fit waists as small as 24” and as large as 59”. We also liked lifting belts that were appropriate for unisex use, as well as certified for use in a variety of weightlifting competitions, including olympic training. Finally, we liked items that came with long-lasting warranties, with several options offering lifetime warranties.

Best Lifting Belt Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Manufacturing Materials
    Lifting belts are made with a wide variety of materials, but for our purposes we looked primarily at leather and nylon models. Leather belts are often less flexible and stiffer than nylon belts, so they suffer slightly in the mobility department. They make up for this by being better at training abdominal muscles, thanks to increased abdominal pressure. Nylon belts, on the other hand, are extremely flexible, making them excel at a wide variety of exercise types, though they are slightly less useful for training the core. Of course, each product varies.
  2. Sizes and Adjustability
    These belts are available in a range of different sizes, made to fit waists as little as 24” small and as large as 59”. To that end, when you are looking to purchase one of these belts, be sure to measure your actual waist, around the naval. Do not go by your pants size as that will likely be an incorrect metric. Additionally, these are belts, so many products offer many opportunities for adjustments, including sliding buckles and multiple waist holes.
  3. Additional Features
    Lifting belts can offer a multitude of additional features, including high quality metal rivets running throughout, for the purposes of stability, and auto-adjust buckle systems. They also come in a variety of color and design choices, with one item on our list even offering the American flag as one such choice. They come standard with lengthy warranties, with many products on the above list shipping with lifetime warranties, should anything ever go wrong in the future.

Lifting Belt FAQs

Is a lifting belt worth it?

Absolutely. Weight training can be dangerous for the spine and these belts help minimize the risk. In addition to safety, they can better single out abdominal muscles, helping increase core strength with repeated use.

How do I choose a weightlifting belt?

It depends on what you are looking to do with it. Are you just looking for additional support while performing regular everyday exercises? You may want to choose a leather belt, as that offers slightly better core performance than nylon belts. Are you looking to seriously train for a future competition? Then go with a nylon belt, as that offers more flexibility.

Can you lift more with a belt?

Research has shown that, yeah, you can lift more while wearing a lifting belt, at least with lower body exercises, such as the squat. More importantly, however, you can lift much more safely while wearing one of the above products, thanks to their spinal protection capabilities.

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Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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