Best Weight Lifting Belt

After more than 12 hours of research and testing, the best weight lifting belt you can buy today is the Dark Iron Fitness Genuine Leather Pro Weight Lifting Belt. It is an absolute dynamo with 4mm thick genuine leather padding for outstanding lumbar and ab support. It also comes with a generous lifetime warranty and is IPF and USAPL approved for use in professional weight lifting competitions.

Choosing the best weight lifting belt could mean the difference between proper lumbar and ab support with heavy deadlifts or a strained back and a trip to the hospital. Our evaluation focused on available sizes, materials, closure type, thickness, and warranty. We also looked into auxiliary features such as IPF and USAPL approval for use in professional competition. Keep reading to learn more about the Dark Iron Fitness Genuine Leather Pro Weight Lifting Belt and six others that made the cut.

Top 7 Best Weight Lifting Belts

 #1  Dark Iron Fitness Genuine Leather Pro Weight Lifting Belt

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: This is the best Olympic weight lifting belt, made using 4mm cowhide leather with IPF and USAPL approval. For use in competition. It is a great choice for serious powerlifters.

Pros
  • Best for Olympic weightlifting
  • Lifetime replacement guarantee
  • IPF and USAPL approved
Cons
  • Slight odor may be unappealing to some

This weight lifting belt is really sturdy, constructed using 4mm thick cowhide leather that does not bend or warp. It is also 4″ wide, providing ample lower back and abdominal support while retaining its flexibility. This is especially useful with heavy deadlifts and squats that place tons of pressure on the lower spine, making this one of the best weight lifting belts for a bad back. Bonus points for a lifetime replacement guarantee which protects against any issues with premature wear and tear.

We appreciate this weight lifting belt’s IPF and USAPL-certification, the governing bodies for powerlifting that vouch for the product’s safety. Aligning with these two organizations gives us great confidence this belt will work as intended. It also comes in five sizes, ranging from X-Small (23”-31”) to X-Large (41”-49”). You can also try the best ab machine.

 #2  ProFitness Genuine Leather Weight Lifting Belt

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: This weight lifting belt comes with an adjustable, double prong roller buckle and comes in three waist sizes – Small (23”-31”), Medium (32”-40”) and Large (41”-49”). It is a great choice for beginner weight lifters looking to get their feet wet.

Pros
  • Best size options
  • Durable and genuine leather
  • Sturdy two-pin steel belt buckle
Cons
  • Slight odor may be unappealing to some
  • Color may bleed onto clothes

This weight lifting belt is 5mm thick with a comfortable suede lining. While testing, our lower back, and abdominals felt plenty of support, even with ultra-heavy overhead presses. A double-prong metal belt bucket with 5+ double-cut holes along the strap makes it adjustable for most waist sizes.

While testing, this weight lifting belt felt very sturdy, with no slippage while performing a series of deadlifts and squats. Its belt buckle did not press uncomfortably against the skin and our postures felt much-improved thanks to better lumbar support. Our only knock on this weight lifting belt is its 60-day guarantee, which pales in comparison to most picks on our list which offer lifetime warranties. For squats, try the best squat workout equipment.

 #3  Element 26 Self-Locking Weight Lifting Belt

Award: BEST FOR CROSSFIT

WHY WE LIKE IT: This is the best weight lifting belt for Crossfit, constructed of nylon and a self-locking buckle that makes it ideal for crossfit and circuit training buffs who need to quickly put on or remove belts in between exercises.

Pros
  • Great for Crossfit
  • Durable and genuine leather
  • Lifetime warranty & 5 different sizes available
Cons
  • Some users reported flimsy velcro
  • May be too thin for some people

We love this best lifting belt’s 100% nylon construction, which provides ample lumbar and lower back support while retaining its flexibility. Its self-locking mechanism is easy to use – simply pull the buckle to tighten and pull the release roller to loosen. This is especially useful when alternating between heavier compound and cardio exercises in a circuit training session. 5 different sizes are available from extra small (23″ – 27″) to extra large (40′ – 45″)

Kudos for this weight lifting belt’s approval for use in USAW (USA Weightlifting) competitions. USAW is the governing body for weight lifting in the country, with membership required for all participating competitors. That, combined with a lifetime warranty, makes this a winner in our book. You might also like the best door anchor.

 #4  RitFit Weight Lifting Belt

Award: BEST BUDGET

WHY WE LIKE IT: This is the best weight lifting belt for women, featuring a 6″ foam core and a velcro closure. It is a good choice for anyone who prefers a lighter, more breathable fabric than leather.

Pros
  • Best for women
  • Very comfortable and secure
  • Lifetime warranty & five sizes available
Cons
  • May slide up if not worn properly
  • Not as supportive as leather and nylon

This weight lifting belt really prioritizes comfort, with a 6″ nylon strap and tricot inner lining that supports your lumbar region and abdomen very well. A slightly tapered front places a little more pressure on the abdomen, which is great for deadlifts and squats.Kudos for its lifetime warranty, which protects against any defects in manufacturing.

Unlike the belt buckle Dark Iron fitness belt and the self-locking Element 26 weight lifting belt, this weight lifting belt uses a foam core and reinforced stitching. It is also very light, good for like less intense circuit training exercises with no heavy weights. Sizes are also generous starting from small (22″ -29″) up to XXL (52″-59″). Also check out the best medicine ball.

 #5  Harbinger Padded Leather Contoured Weight Lifting Belt

Award: BEST FOR BIG GUYS

WHY WE LIKE IT: This is the best weight lifting belt for big guys, made out of extremely durable 6″ genuine leather with suede lining and XXL sizing from 42″ to 48″

Pros
  • Best for women
  • Very comfortable and secure
  • Excellent lumbar support & lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Some flimsy inner fabrics may fray
  • Some users experienced skin punching

Thanks to this weight lifting belt’s 4-inch leather and inner foam padding, our back and abdominals felt well supported. A durable dual prong roller buckle also provides adjustable tension using traditional hole pairs. Although we feel well supported, inner foam padding is prone to wear from time to time, so we do not recommend daily use.

Aside from the Harbinger name, we really like the double stitching on the outside and a contoured design also uses a tapered back and a wide front to provide more support to the abdominal muscles. It also comes with a lifetime warranty. The best weight lifting straps are another great option.

 #6  Fire Team Fit Weight Lifting Belt

Award: BEST FOR CASUAL LIFTING

WHY WE LIKE IT: This weight lifting belt comes in extra wide sizing (6 inches) and weighs only 0.6 pounds. It is a great choice for people who prefer a lighter weight belt for casual lifting.

Pros
  • Light weight (only 0.6 pounds)
  • Sturdy adjustable Velcro strap & breathable fabric
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Not for heavy weight lifters
  • Velcro stitching could have better craftsmanship

This weight lifting belt also comes in five sizes – X-Small, Small, Medium. Large, and X-Large covering 27″ to 49″ waists. Its contoured shape provides 6 inches of extra padding across the back and a narrower 4 inches on the sides. Instead of double prong roller buckles, this weight lifting belt also uses Velcro for a quicker and more “accurate” adjustment down to the millimeter.

Thanks to breathable fabric, this weight lifting belt is sweat resistant. We also like the fact it doesn’t pinch the skin as leather belts may on occasion. Lastly, it includes a lifetime warranty, which matches most of the warranties on this list.

 #7  Steel Sweat Weight Lifting Belt

Award: BEST FOR BODY BUILDING

WHY WE LIKE IT: This is the best weight lifting belt for bodybuilding, featuring a 4-inch full-grain cowhide leather with a sturdy single-prong buckle.

Pros
  • Very durable
  • 10mm thickness (thickest on the list)
  • Powerlifting Federation-compliant
Cons
  • Prong hole may stretch with constant use
  • No buckle guard
  • High cost

This weight lifting belt is very durable. Although it carries a single prong (the only single prong belt on the list), its stainless steel roller buckle and screw-in rivets had us feeling well supported during heavy deadlifts and squats. A suede lining also provides extra padding and ‘grip’ while lifting.

Sizing with this weight lifting belt is generous, ranging from small (25″-30″) to XX-Large (45″-50″). Its 10mm leather is also the thickest on the list. We are very confident in the support this weight lifting belt offers. Try some of the best thermogenic supplements too if you want another way to get the abs of your dreams.

How We Decided

In determining the best weight lifting belt to buy, we explored available sizes, materials, closure type, thickness, and warranty. We like weight lifting belts at least 4 to 5 sizes, ranging from X-Small (starting at 24″) upwards of XXL (50″).

Materials are very important, with leather belts providing the most lumbar and abdominal support. A good starting point is a 4mm thickness and 4 or 6-inch wide bands. Nylon with or without foam linings comes second, but sacrifices support for comfort and more breathable fabric.

As for closure type, we like double prong belt buckles, which are easily adjusted and virtually snap and pivot proof.

Thickness is also a consideration. A good starting point is a 4mm thickness by 4 or 6-inch wide bands. Lastly, long warranties are a must. The longer the warranty, the more peace of mind you have with coverage due to manufacturer defects or wear and tear.

Best Weight Lifting Belt Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Material
    Our top choice for weight lift belt material is leather, followed by nylon and foam. Leather is the most durable, with 4mm to 10mm thick options providing more support and less slippage. Nylon weight lifting belts with foam inserts like the Element 26 Self-Locking Weight Lifting Belt provide a more breathable fabric, best for lifting lighter weights.
  2. Thickness
    In short, the thicker the belt, the better lumbar, and abdominal support. Look for belts with a minimum 4mm thickness. Our thickest weight lifting belt, the Steel Sweat Weight Lifting Belt, tops out at 10mm. Be sure not to compromise maneuverability for a thicker belt, as there is such a thing as “too much support.”
  3. Fastening Method
    Weight lifting belts typically use three fastening methods – single/double prong belt buckles, Velcro, or weight lifting belt lever. Pronged belt buckles use traditional prongs and holes to tighten, whereas Velcro uses – well, Velcro. Velcro offers a more dynamic adjustment, “accurate” to the millimeter. However, leather provides overall better support.
  4. Sizing
    The best weight lifting belts come in 4 or 5 sizes ranging from small to XXL. Our #7 pick Steel Sweat Weight Lifting Belt has the most generous size range (25″-30″) to XX-Large (45″-50″), but most belts come within plus or minus an inch or two.

Weight Lifting Belt FAQs

When should you use a weightlifting belt?

A weight lifting belt purpose is that it should be used when carrying very heavy loads that create downward pressure on the spine and lower back. These generally come from performing heavy compound exercises such as squats and deadlifts, which are notoriously taxing on the body.

Why do bodybuilders wear belts all the time?

Using weight lifting belts is a great way to prevent back injuries. It helps keep your spine in place so that you can pack on more pounds without risking injury. It also reduces forward, backward, and side to side bending of the spine, creating more of a need to generate power from your legs, which is the whole point of barbell squats and deadlifts. The best weight lifting belt for a bad back will definitely provide some relief.

Does a weightlifting belt weaken your core?

No, weight lifting belts do not weaken your core. Instead, it properly supports your core by stabilizing your spine and lower back.

What is the best weight lifting belt?

In our opinion, the best weight lifting belt comes in your size, adheres to your own comfort level (think leather vs. nylon), and uses a fastening method that allows you to move as quickly or as slowly as you wish in between sets. Crossfitters may benefit from single prong, self-locking, or Velcro belts, especially with circuit training that involves moving from exercise to exercise in rapid succession.

What other brands do you recommend?

The Rogue lifting belt is an excellent choice. Although it did not make our list, we like it because it offers sturdy 5” nylon belts with an easy-to-use hook and loop fastening method. It also has the most sizes available of any weight lifting belt on the list with six - XS,S,M,L,XL,XXL, ranging from 26” to 46”

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Ray Prince

Diehard UFC/MMA fan and all-around techie who loves to write.

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