7 Best Weight Lifting Belts in 2020

Best Weight Lifting Belts
Image by Andy Gin / Canva

Been to the gym recently? If so, you’ve probably noticed people walking around with strange belts on their waist β€” particularly nearΒ the powerlifting racks.

In today’s article, we’ll be looking at the top weight lifting belts currently available this year! Below, we’ve summarized the best weight lifting belts for maximizing your workouts, and then following that section, take a detailed look at each belt. After our roundup, stay awhile and learn about the science behind the support these belts offer. Sound like a plan? Let’s hit it hard.

Our Top Picks: Best Weight Lifting Belts

The following list highlights some of the best weight lifting belts and best weight lifting belt brands. For more information on each belt, continue scrolling to find detailed summaries of each model.

  • Best Overall: Dark Iron Fitness Weight Lifting Belt. Made from premium buffalo hide leather and embellished with solid metal accents, the Dark Iron Belt is a robust and supportive option.
  • Best Budget: Fire Team Fit Weight Lifting BeltLifting on a tight budget? No problem β€” the Fire Team Fit features a contoured nylon design that stands with the big boys.
  • Best Powerlifting: Stoic Weight Lifting Belt. If you’re a serious athlete or competitive powerlifter, you need a high-quality, competition-certified weight lifting belt. The Stoic has you covered.
  • Best for Squats and Deadlifts: Iron Bull Strength Weight Lifting BeltAs one of the widest and thickest leather weight lifting belts around, the Iron Bull will can help you maximize those gains.
  • Best for Big Guys: RitFit Weight Lifting BeltThe RitFit belt comes in various sizes, all the way up to 59″ long! If you’re on the bigger side (all muscle, of course), this is the belt for you.
  • Best Lever: RAD Weight Lifting BeltReminiscent of the golden “strongman” weight lifting days, the RAD Belt (complete with easy-close lever) is a stylish and supportive choice.
  • Best Self-Locking: Element 26 Weight Lifting BeltLifting doesn’t get any easier than with the Element 26, which features a simple self-locking design and comfy nylon interior.

1. Dark Iron Fitness Weight Lifting Belt

The best weight lifting belt overall

Dark Iron Fitness Weight Lifting Belt

Brand: Dark Iron Fitness | Material: Leather | Waist Size: 23″ to 49″ | Colors: 1 | Price: πŸ’°πŸ’°

Dark Iron cut no corners when making this iconic belt. As one of the best lifting belts on the market, the Dark Iron Fitness features entirely premium materials and craftsmanship β€” complete with buffalo hide leather and solid metal accents.

The buckle ingeniously fastens to the outer edges of the belt, which means the middle section is snug. It won’t move up or down as you perform your movements, and the fit is just right, with no digging into the sides or hips.

You’ll barely even feel the belt on your back as you walk around and set up your rack. However, you’ll definitely notice the benefits as you begin your heavyweight routine. Male or female, this belt is made to amplify and improve your lifting game.

  • Premium buffalo hide leather
  • Competition-ready w/ IPF and USAPL approval
  • One of the best weight lifting belts for females and males alike

  • On the thinner side
  • Strap gets in the way during some exercises

2. Fire Team Fit Weight Lifting Belt

The best budget weight lifting belt

Fire Team Fit Weight Lifting Belt

Brand: Fire Team Fit | Material: Nylon | Waist Size: 27″ to 49″ | Colors: 12 | Price: πŸ’°

The Fire Team Fit Weight Lifting Belt is the complete opposite of the Dark Iron when it comes to material. Instead of leather, this belt features fabric construction, which comes with a handful of unique benefits.

For instance, the nylon fabric contours with the natural curvature of the lower back region. The design is widest along the back for optimal spine relief, and thin around the hips and stomach for comfortable wear. This provides an extraordinary level of customized comfort and stability.

And, it couldn’t be easier to use! Simply grab either end of the belt, place it around your back, and join both ends together atop the abdomen while sliding the straps into place. The belt secures via velcro and a slide-stop buckle.

This belt is ideal for nearly every body type, and it provides excellent stability. The major downside is that it’s not quite as durable as leather alternatives.

  • Comes in a dozen different colors
  • One of the best cheap weight lifting belts
  • Slide-stop buckle and contouring design provides excellent stability

  • Stretches out over time
  • Initial chemical smell that takes time to dissipate

3. Stoic Weight Lifting Belt

The best weight lifting belt for powerlifting

Stoic Weight Lifting Belt

Brand: Stoic | Material: Leather | Waist Size: 29″ to 48″ | Colors: 1 | Price: πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’°

Channel your inner Stoic with this exceptional powerlifting accessory!

The Stoic Weight Lifting Belt is recognized by many competitive lifters as one of the best on the market. It’s made from thick-cut premium leather, and provides unrivaled grip and traction for all your powerlifting needs.

The belt is held in place by nylon stitching and fits on the body with a secure, single-prong buckle. Lift as high as your body will take you, and enjoy the comfort and stability offered by the Stoic. In a competition? Not to worry. Stoic is IPF, USAPL, and USPA qualified.

Best of all? Stoic offers a five-star experience guarantee.

  • 100% competition legal
  • 6mm full-grain leather w/ metal clasp
  • Unrivaled customer care and service guarantee

  • Sizing runs a bit small
  • Some find that the thick leather is too stiff

4. Iron Bull Strength Weight Lifting Belt

The best weight lifting belt for squats and deadlifts

Iron Bull Belt

Brand: Iron Bull Strength | Material: Leather | Waist Size: 25″ to 50″ | Colors: 8 | Price: πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’°

For those who like suede leather on the exterior side for looks and the interior for grip against sweat, the Iron Bull Strength is one of the best weight lifting belts on the market.

It’s the same width all the way around, and it’s held in place by a double-prong buckle as well as a strap. This option is lightweight and all about high-power. It fits the body very well to make your performance the best it can be at a moderate cost, and in so many beautiful colors!

The Iron Bull Strength is guaranteed to sustain the highest-intensity squats and deadlifts (literally β€” love it or your money back), and it’s one of the best weight lifting belts for bodybuilding overall.

  • USPA & IPL approved
  • Comes in eight stylish colors
  • Extra-wide design w/ thick leather for maximum support

  • One of the most expensive options on the market
  • Some users report receiving belts with rusty hardware

5. RitFit Weight Lifting Belt

The best weight lifting belt for big guys

RitFit Weight Lifting Belt

Brand: RitFit | Material: Fabric | Waist Size: 22″ to 59″ | Colors: 5 | Price: πŸ’°

The RitFit belt is a fabric model that’s packed with power. It goes on the body in a similar fashion to other lifting belts, but there are a few key differences. For starters, this belt is made of waterproof foam. The foam sits on the body gently, providing exceptional comfort when worn over a t-shirt or directly against the skin. You won’t find that on competing belts.

The RitFit also features an extra-large velcro strap that goes all the way around the belt, bordered by thick-stitched edges. Its widest point is a respectable 6″, which provides reliable support, and the entire ensemble is held together with one large buckle.

The best part? The belt is in a lower price range, and it’s an excellent choice for men and women of all sizes (seriously, this belt fits up to 59″ waists). It’s also one of the best weight lifting belts for CrossFit and similar training.

  • Fits waists up 59″
  • Comfortable water- and sweat-proof foam
  • Wide 6″ design provides exceptional biomechanical support

  • Velcro loses cohesiveness over time
  • Basic materials, but it gets the job done

6. RAD Weight Lifting Belt

The best lever weight lifting belt

RAD Belt

Brand: RAD | Material: Leather | Waist Size: 25″ to 42″ | Colors: 7 | Price: πŸ’°πŸ’°

If you’re looking for the most convenient weight lifting belt, you need to go with RAD.

This quality belt boasts double-stitched suede leather construction combined with a clever level mechanism that opens and closes in a pinch. Moreover, the classic sporty design complements your powerlifting workout β€” and it’s not all for show. The belt is 10mm thick and 4″, which provides an excellent level of spinal support. Wear it against your shirt or skin in comfort, thanks to rounded edges and a specialized oil-tanned finish.

While the thick leather means the belt is a bit stiff, you’ve got nothing to fear. If you don’t like the belt, you can return it thanks to RAD’s lifetime warranty. Try it out in the gym, and feel the RAD difference for yourself.

  • Easy on, easy off lever
  • Classic and sporty colors
  • Premium 10mm leather construction with rounded edges and oil-tanned finish

  • Stitching frays over time
  • Lever can be tricky to close all the way

7. Element 26 Weight Lifting Belt

The best self-locking weightlifting belt

Element 26 Weight Lifting Belt

Brand: Element 26 | Material: Nylon | Waist Size: 23” to 45” | Colors: 5 | Price: πŸ’°πŸ’°

With sleek looks and slick self-locking functionality, the Element 26 rounds out our list of best weightlifting belts.

How’s it work? Simply wrap the belt around your waist, slip the strap into the self-locking buckle, and you’re good to go. It offers consistent intra-abdominal pressure throughout your entire workout routine. When done, pull the quick-release roller, slide it off, and you’re ready to hit the showers. Just like that.

Aside from the metal buckle, the Element 26 is made entirely of nylon, which is more flexible and comfortable on the skin than leather (at the expense of durability). It also brings the total price of the belt down to around $30, which is an incredible bargain for a USAW-approved model. Used by top pros in the industry.

  • Competition-approved
  • Convenient self-locking mechanism
  • Quality design with comfortable nylon construction

  • Sizing issues; may need to choose a size down
  • Thin design isn’t ideal for those who appreciate thicker belts

What Is a Weight Lifting Belt?

A weight lifting belt is a workout accessory that wraps around your waist and abdominal area. You adjust it like you would a regular belt, except it’s much wider, often made with padding for enhanced ergonomics.

Their purpose is simple: weight lifting belts support your lower back during high-intensity lifts. How? Wearing a weight lifting belt increases intra-abdominal pressure, which causes the muscles around your spine to contract. When these muscles contract, they take on some of the weight-bearing responsibilities typically reserved for the lower back, delivering much-needed support around your spine while working out hard-to-target muscles in your core region. The result? Greater stability and increased strength. It’s a win-win for your body!

What to Look for in the Best Weightlifting Belts

One of the Best Weight Lifting Belts With Dumbell
Image by Dvoinik / Canva

Weightlifting belts all share a common goal: to support your back and spine during intense lifting regimens. That said, some are better than others.

When it comes to something as important as your physical health, you really can’t take any chances. While all the options on our list offer enough support for the average lifter, there are things you should keep in mind when choosing the right option for your routine.

1. Material

First of all, you need to decide whether you want a leather weightlifting belt or a fabric weightlifting belt. Leather belts are exceptionally durable, with a high-quality look and feel. While they’re stiffer and less comfortable than fabric belts, this can be a boon during powerlifting exercises, as it provides extra stability. As you might expect, leather belts are pretty expensive.

Fabric belts, on the other hand, are an excellent option for mid-weight lifters and those on a budget. If you choose a quality brand, durability shouldn’t be an option. Moreover, they’re typically much more comfortable to wear, especially if you opt for a model with a cushioned interior (obviously).

We recommend both types of belts equally β€” it all depends on your particular routine and needs.

2. Size

Size matters. No, seriously. Weightlifting belts are all about support, and a belt that doesn’t fit can be dangerous.

Every belt on our list comes in a range of sizes, ranging from XS to XL. Check the specification charts on the product pages to discover what size is best for you. Also, consider diving into consumer reviews to ensure that sizing is as-expected. Sometimes, you may need to go a size lower or higher, depending on the brand’s standards.

3. Functionality

The best weight lifting belts offer various features and gimmicks. From specialty designs to unique closures, belts range as much in features as they do in width.

If you’re into maximum performance, consider a belt with extra-thick leather padding and a width of 5″ or more. If you’re more into comfort, choose a fabric belt with a cushiony interior that feels nice against the skin. And if you’re always on the lookout for the next best thing, consider a self-locking or lever belt. These come in leather and fabric variants, and make lifting more comfortable and more convenient, all while supporting your back.

No matter which type of belt you choose, your weight lifting practice is sure to improve. So go hit the gym, and slay those reps!

Our Process

For this guide on weight lifting belts, our team spent 4 hours researching the most popular options from over 35 brands and manufacturers big and small. We then read about one hundred user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each belt. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 7 weight lifting belts on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.

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