The Sabo Deadlift Shoe, as the name suggests is a shoe specifically designed for Deadlifting, favored by many for its flat, thin sole.
The Sabo Deadlift Shoes are an excellent Powerlifting Shoe, particularly in the Deadlift, however, it is also a great choice for Powerlifters who favor a wider legged, low bar Squat stance.
The shoe provides outstanding stability and security through the combination of the metatarsal and ankle straps and general build quality all around. The extremely flat, thin sole provides an unrivaled base to push from and the high-quality materials used make this an ideal Shoe to have in any Powerlifter’s gym bag.
Sabo Deadlift Shoes General Review
The first point to note is that Sabos only come in Russian/EU shoe sizes. I wear a US size 10, which is equivalent to 43 in Russian/EU sizing.
- Weight – 268g
- Length – 287mm
- Toe Width – 110mm
- Heel Width – 80mm
- Sole Thickness – 10mm
The Sabo Deadlift Shoes come in a variety of colors, and all are quite stylish, in my opinion. The grey variant is my personal favorite, however lime green, blue, white, and red are also available.
Regardless of color, the shoe has a solid, hard rubber sole which is separated into a heel and toe section with a slight raise through the mid-foot.
The shoes are a high-topped design and include a metatarsal strap and a further ankle strap.
Overall, the Sabo Deadlift Shoe is a pretty good looking shoe and doesn’t look out of place in the gym at all. The grey dotted pattern on the side of the shoe is a nice touch and adds that little bit of character without being overly flash, which is a big plus for me.
Rating – 8/10
The Sabo Deadlift Shoes are true to size, assuming you get your Russian conversion right! As mentioned, I got these in Russian size 43, which is equivalent to a US 10, and everything fits as it should.
One annoyance though was getting the shoe on and off as the high-top area around the ankle and leg was very snug. It took having to undo all the laces down to the metatarsal strap just to be able to make enough room to get my foot in and out.
Of course, on the flip side, this made for a very secure fit once the shoe was on so its hard to be overly critical.
Room in the toe box was exactly right for my foot shape, which I consider to be about average. I could wiggle and spread my toes with ease, however, didn’t feel like they were too free.
Overall, there was very little to complain about with the fit, everything was as it should be when the shoe was on. I would have just liked it if it was a little easier to get the shoe on and off.
Rating – 8/10
Like with the fit of the Sabo Deadlift Shoes, there was very little to complain about in regards to comfort, the materials hug your foot to just the right degree without being too constricting and there is plenty of give to allow walking around and other general movements.
The very thin sole could be an issue for some, as you feel every bump and imperfection in the ground, but to be honest, most who wear this shoe will only be wearing it on the platform or around the gym where the floors aren’t going to throw up any unusual surprises!
The shoe is also very lightweight and plenty breathable, so even those with the sweatiest of feet should find the Sabos comfy!
Straps & Lacing
As mentioned, the Sabo Deadlift Shoes have two straps, one covering the metatarsal, or mid-foot area, and the other securing the ankle joint. The metatarsal strap is well constructed and utilizes a metal buckle, which gives a good feeling of quality when strapping up. It appears to be double stitched into the shoe too, so I can’t foresee any issues with the strap breaking over time with repeated use.
If I was being overly critical, I would prefer that the Velcro was only on the last portion of the strap, I.E. not going over the laces. Although I try not to get the laces caught up in the strap, sometimes it’s unavoidable and can lead to them getting frayed unnecessarily.
The upper strap is a good example of this, where the mid-portion is replaced with an elastic material, keeping the Velcro away from the laces.
There are very few Powerlifting Shoes that will rival Sabos in the Deadlift.
That said though, I would have preferred a less stretchy material here, as I would have liked to get a little more tightness around my ankle joint, although this is more of an observation than an issue really.
Onto the laces and they feel very robust indeed. I find with a lot of Powerlifting Shoes that the laces often fall short and just feel incredibly flimsy, however, this is not the case here.
The eyelets have metal inserts from the mid-foot up to the top of the shoe only. I feel Sabo recognized that the shoe is particularly tight here and many would struggle to remove it without undoing the laces, so I am glad they strengthened these eyelets, as I think they would wear out pretty quickly without this.
Overall a very solid effort from Sabo when it comes to the strap/lacing construction & design, however, some minor niggles kept them from achieving a perfect 10.
Rating – 8/10
The Sabo Deadlift Shoes scored well in the Powerlifting Perfection Grip Test, although they did rank quite low on the list.
It is worth remembering that all shoes tested were designed to provide high traction though, so this doesn’t mean that the Sabos are bad by any stretch, there are just more grippy shoes available.
As the Sabo Deadlift Shoes are predominantly a shoe designed for the Deadlift, it only makes sense to start with this lift when assessing their performance, and what a performance at that!
Sabo Deadlift Shoes for the Deadlift
There are very few Powerlifting Shoes that will rival Sabos in the Deadlift, whether it be Conventional or Sumo. The thin sole makes them ideal for reducing the range of motion required to complete the lift, whilst the stability they provide helps you feel incredibly locked into the lift.
As a Sumo Deadlifter, I particularly felt the Sabos shine here. The material around the sides of the shoe provides a stiff support against lateral movement of the foot so I never felt like my foot would spill over the edge of the shoe (a problem that I have noticed in a number of shoes).
Overall, its very hard to find fault in these shoes for the Deadlift and I struggle to think of a Powerlifting Shoe that performs better.
Sabo Deadlift Shoes for Squats
Moving onto the Squat, and as someone who mostly Squats high-bar, I wouldn’t normally choose a flat shoe such as the Sabos over a Weightlifting Shoe with a raised heel.
I do Squat low-bar from time to time though and prefer a wider stance in this instance. Here the Sabo Deadlift Shoes are ideal!
Much like with the Sumo Deadlift, they allow me to ‘spread’ the floor without having to worry at all about my feet sliding out from under me or rolling over the edge of the shoe. As previously mentioned, the toe box has sufficient room to spread my toes out and really grip in.
I don’t really require a lot in the way of ankle flexion when I Squat low-bar, however for those that need the extra mobility, it could be worth considering loosening off the ankle support as the shoe will give some resistance in this case.
Sabo Deadlift Shoes for the Bench Press
In the Bench Press, they do a perfectly good job, however, I prefer a raised heel here so I wouldn’t normally choose a shoe like the Sabos.
Overall, the Sabo Deadlift Shoe is an outstanding choice for Conventional and Sumo Deadlifters alike and low-bar Squatters are very likely to find benefit in wearing these also. If you’re not concerned about heel lift in the Bench Press, they are certainly not going to let you down here either.
Rating – 9/10
Sabo Deadlift Shoes Price
Given how good the Sabo Deadlift Shoe is and the overall quality and construction, I was very surprised at just how cheap they were to buy. I would actually have happily paid more given how good these shoes are overall.
Obviously, prices are constantly changing, however, you can check out the latest prices on Amazon.
Rating – 10/10
Final Thoughts on the Sabo Deadlift Shoes
In the famous words of Ronseal, “It does exactly what it says on the tin”, or on the shoe in this case.
The Sabo Deadlift Shoe is the perfect choice for those looking for a shoe for their Deadlift specifically. It offers so much and for a very agreeable price.
Those who low-bar Squat will also likely find the Sabos suitable here and to be honest, they work great as a general shoe for training too.
I like this shoe a lot, there’s just so much Sabo has got right here. If you’re in the market for a flat-soled shoe and don’t know what to get, don’t hesitate to buy the Sabo Deadlift Shoe, you won’t regret it!