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Under Armour Reign Lifter Training Shoes review in essence: stable, comfortable and great for squatting, the UA Reign Lifter looks and feels good. Breathability could be better, but overall, an excellent first try from Under Armour.
After years of bringing out new training shoes — from their first carbon race shoe, the Under Armour Velociti Elite, to the all-round workout shoe, the UA TriBase Reign 3 — Under Armour have finally released their first official weightlifting shoe, the Reign Lifter Unisex Training Shoes.
As a weightlifter myself, I was delighted at the news and the chance to get to put a pair to the test. Although I have to be honest, the fact it had taken the brand this long to release this type of product made me wonder: are they capable of delivering a shoe specifically to a weightlifter's needs and how is it going to live up to other weightlifting shoes out there? Could it make it onto our best workout shoe guide? Read on to find out.
Under Armour Reign Lifter Training Shoes review: Price and availability
Under Armour launched their Reign Lifter Training Shoes in March 2023 and is available to buy now from Under Armour UK and Under Armour US at the retail price of £180/$200 (approx. AU$ 300). In the US they're available to buy in either black or white, whereas in the UK they're currently only available to purchase in black.
Under Armour Reign Lifter Training Shoes Review: Specs
- TPU-injected heel
- Adjustable midfoot strap
- Synthetic leather upper
- Heel height: 9.7mm/.77 inches
- Removable insoles
Under Armour Reign Lifter Training Shoes Review: ergonomics and performance
I had mixed feelings unboxing this shoe; they look very luxurious, at least compared to my Adidas Adipower Weightlifting Shoes (retailer link) and it made me question whether too much thought had gone into its appearance, as opposed to how functional it was. But, I can safely say that wasn’t the case and I should’ve known better (more on that later).
The shoe is made from synthetic leather and, like I mentioned, a lot of thought and detail has gone into how it looks, which you can see in the picture below, from its rubber grip on the strap for easy pulling, to the groove detailing over the body of the shoe, even the heel tag on the back of the shoe is striped.
Despite being discreet in colour, when I first wore them to the gym they did not go amiss amongst the powerlifters, who were pretty impressed. I think it’s therefore safe to say Under Armour have done a pretty good job when it comes to style here. Even though the shoes aren’t overly fussy in terms of colour, and they’ve focused on small, intricate details, they clearly still stand out in a crowd.
I really enjoyed putting these shoes on as they had a lot of cushioning, not just around the collar lining, but even on the tongue of the shoe. I think this is only a good thing, because whether you’re squatting or doing Olympic lifts, you want to feel comfortable. However, on par with comfort is security when it comes to weightlifting shoes and these shoes' mid-foot strap and lace combo, which I personally prefer, made my feet feel locked in and snug. The strap is made from a material similar to a car seat belt and you've got double stitching down the sides to keep it in place.
As you can see in the picture below, the bottom of the shoes, have different patterns on the tread, which gave good traction on the squat racks' wooden floor and I also tested them on my bedroom floor carpet and can confirm I was not slipping and sliding around. I also really got on with the heel height, which was slightly higher than the Adidas Adipower Shoes and allowed me to get deeper into my squat with ease.
The only thing I’m not 100% certain on is the toe of the shoe, which is quite squared, at least compared to my other weightlifting shoe, which has a more narrow, pointed toe. But, I’ve actually found that this shape has helped more with my lifts (but I’ll save that and why for the section below).
Under Armour Reign Lifter Training Shoes review: workout performance
I took Under Armour’s new shoes to accompany my squat sesh and I’m very glad they did. Nerves were high anyway, as I had to use the monolift rather than my regular squat rack, which meant there was nothing to catch the bar (apart from my partner) if I fell. So, it was just down to me and the shoes.
As I mentioned previously, I wasn’t too sure about the squared toe box, but it allowed my toes to splay nicely and create a strong, tripod base for my squat. In more narrow lifting shoes or, worse, non-lifting shoes, this can be more difficult as your foot can become more compressed — so, although I wasn’t keen on the shape initially, it was hugely beneficial.
As was the tread pattern on the sole of the shoe. My gym’s wooden floors are notorious for being very slippy, so the thought of that, as well as being out of my usual squatting habitat, did make me feel slightly nervous. These shoes have great grip though and didn’t budge at all during my squat movement, so I could really focus on pushing through the foot and it’s a worry you can just eliminate from your mind.
Sadly, I can’t speak for Olympic lifts as they’re not in my plan, however, I’d like to think this grip would be appreciated by these types of weightlifters. I really do love the heel height of these shoes though and being slightly higher because, as someone who sits at a desk all day and suffers from tight hips, they allowed me to get in a deep squat with ease.
The faux leather construction of the shoe makes it feel really durable, which I really like. However, it lacked ventilation. No shoes are nice to take off after the gym, especially weightlifting shoes when you’ve been doing heavy lifts, and I found my feet did get pretty hot in these. That’s the only main downfall I’d say this shoe has, unless you’re someone who doesn’t get sweaty feet and, if you do, then you’ll want to let them air a bit first before shoving them straight into your best gym bag.
Just to note, I’m a UK 5.5, but I wore these in a size 6 (as I do in most shoes that don’t provide 5.5). They fit just like my Adidas size 6 shoes. I would say they’re very true to size.
Under Armour Reign Lifter Training Shoes: verdict
I really do think Under Armour deserve applause for this shoe, especially as it's their first of a kind and very different to what they’ve previously released. The TriBase Reign 3 and Reign 5 are probably their best all-around training shoes that are also suited for weight lifting, but when it comes down to specifically just weightlifting, the mechanics of what’s needed is very different to something for overall functional fitness.
The Reign Lifting Shoe is stable, comfortable and great for squatting; it looks good and has an expensive feel (which they are). Since I got sent them, I actually haven’t swapped back to my Adipowers yet, just because I prefer the grip and my squat depth using these shoes. Albeit, if we keep having this mad hot weather, I will be reverting back ASAP.
Do I think it’s worth the price? For some people, it will, but especially those who love Under Armour. It may not have been love at first sight with these shoes, but I can say I definitely love them now.
Under Armour Reign Lifter Training Shoes review: also consider
Although Under Armour don't offer any other specific weightlifting shoes, here at T3 we've reviewed plenty of other functional shoes that can be used for a variety of workouts though, including lifting. For this, I'd recommend a pair of Metcon's, either the Nike Metcon 8 or the Nike Metcon 7. However, if it is just heavy lifts you're looking to do, then I'd go for something more specific, like Under Armour's Reign Lifting Shoe.