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20 Best Squat Belts in 2020
Whether you are new to lifting weights or spend more time in the gym than anywhere else, you know that a squat belt is an important piece of equipment. A squat belt is protective and supportive for you during lifting. It is key that you use proper form, especially when hitting those PRs. A squat belt helps you keep form and reach your goals. While you probably realize that your body is different than everyone else’s, you may not know that this impacts the type of belt that works best for you. It is important to know the differences in all the available squat belts to pick the best option.
What Are the Best Squat Belts?
When looking for a squat belt, some features make some better than others. These include the type of material, thickness, and the buckling system. Belt stitching is important as it makes it more durable. The more stitches it contains, the better the quality. The Pioneer Cut Lifting Belt is one of the best squat belt options because it checks all the boxes in quality material, comfortable suede liner, single prong, and patented buckle closure. This belt has a unique system that gives you the ability to tighten the belt in 0.5-inch increments, making it our favorite.
Review: The Rogue Ohio Lifting Belt is one of the best squat belts for many reasons. One of those reasons is because it is made from vegetable-tanned American leather. This leather is processed, so it is soft but remains firm. This belt is 10 mm thick but is created by hand so that the thickness may vary slightly. The Rogue Ohio Belt does not have any give and will not let your trunk bend. This lifting belt has heavy stitches, and you feel confident that the leather will not fray.
The belt has a single prong closure that allows you to make quick adjustments.
It is 4 inches wide to give you constant support.
The Rogue logo is stamped into the back of the belt and the belt loop.
This belt pinches slightly while you are doing power movements.
This lifting belt is perfect for someone that wants a heavy duty and thick, squat belt.
Rogue Black Leather 13MM - 4
Review: The Rogue Black Leather Lever Belt is, as the title suggests, 4 inches wide and 3 pounds. The vegetable-tanned leather is 13 mm thick. The edges of this leather belt are beveled to improve your comfort. The inside of the belt is rough, so that it does not slip while you are wearing it. This lever belt is held in place with screws. If you want to adjust it, you must use a screwdriver to remove the 6 screws.
This belt is IPF approved and can be worn during an International Powerlifting Federation event.
The entire belt, including the buckle, is black.
The entire belt is sewn together with a single stitch.
This is the most expensive of all the Rogue belts.
This belt is intended for the lifter that is not going to share their belt.
Schiek 3004 Power Lifting Belt - Editor's Choice
Review: The Schiek 3004 Power Lifting Belt is a super firm belt that can match any top leather weightlifting belts. It is made of heavy-duty nylon that has neoprene to reinforce it. The Schiek has a patented design that is angled to fit the shape your back naturally takes. It has another contour at the hips and ribs to give you additional comfort. The Schiek has a broader front to provide extra support for your abdominal muscles. It has both internal and external Velcro closures.
This belt can be washed by hand with mild soap.
It is incredibly soft against your skin.
Includes a buckle that is stainless steel to ensure a perfect fit.
This belt is soft and comfortable but may not be as rigid as some would prefer.
This squat belt is intended for someone that wants to use a belt for multiple movements.
Rogue 13MM Powerlifting Belt
Review: The Rogue 13 MM Powerlifting Belt was one of the first belts created for powerlifters. The International Powerlifting Federation approves it, and you can use it in any competition. The leather on this belt is vegetable tanned, making it soft and durable than the average weight belt cannot match. The inside of the belt is suede to keep the belt from slipping during your heaviest lifts. It has a thickness of 13 mm and is 4 inches wide. It is complete with double stitching, and it comes in black.
This belt is made by hand in the US.
It has a buckle and single prong closure.
You do not have to use a screwdriver to tighten and loosen the belt.
This is a really stiff belt that is not best for Olympic lifting.
This belt is intended for a lifter that is of bigger stature and not best for a smaller lifter.
Dark Iron Fitness Genuine Leather Pro Weight Lifting Belt
Review: The Dark Iron Leather Pro Weight Lifting Belt is constructed of genuine leather of buffalo hide. Buffalo hide is three times stronger than regular leather. Dark Iron was created by a couple of guys who were not happy with the belts on the market. They created a belt that would not rip or stretch and outperform any other belt on the market. This belt is more than half the thickness of a typical belt, but the Dark Horse crew believes you will never miss it.
This belt fits any size lifter perfectly.
There is no break-in time because of the belt’s flexibility.
It includes a heavy-duty red stitch across the belt.
This is a thin belt, only about 4 mm thick compared to a typical belt of 10 to 13 mm.
This belt is intended for a lifter that wants to PR their next lift.
Rogue Faded 4
Review: Pioneer is one of the top manufacturers of lifting belts. They are known for their quality and craftsmanship. With one look at this belt, you know this is a tough belt. It is custom dyed with a faded finish. This belt is 8.5 mm thick and constructed from vegetable-tanned leather. It has a suede interior giving you comfort and support. This belt has the patented Pioneer Cut, which is an adaptation of the standard lifting belt buckle. This belt has holes that create two lines and are offset from one another. This gives you the ability to tighten your belt by increments of 0.5 inches.
This belt provides an exact fit.
It is easy to take off and put on.
Provides superior support and will last you forever.
These belts run large, so you most likely will have to size down from what you would normally wear.
This is a great belt if you are an athlete that does CrossFit.
Review: The ProFitness Leather Workout Belt is 4 inches wide, a typical size for weight lifting belts. The difference here is the belt is a consistent width all the way around. It does not taper in the front giving it additional resistance to tearing. The consistent width provides more support while lifting. The buckle is metal and two-prong, making it secure and completely adjustable. It can be easily adjusted between lifts without much fumbling. This belt will not slip, even during heavy lifts.
Lifetime guarantee on all products, including lifting belts.
Comes with either red or white stitching
Size range makes it great for any lifter.
It is difficult to get the fit right with this belt.
This is for the lifter that wants a high-quality belt at an affordable price; also great for someone new to lifting.
Rogue Premium Ohio Lifting Belt
Review: Rogue took their best lifting belt and made it even better with the Premium Ohio Lifting Belt. The leather of this belt is constructed from the highest grade English brindle. This leather is ultra-durable and resists water and wear. The edges have a double coating increasing the belt’s resistance to moisture. It also gives it a unique contrasting look. The buckle includes the roller that lifters have come to love on the Ohio Lifting belt, allowing for the smoothest transitions.
Rogue considers this their highest performing belt.
The Interior of the belt is rougher to ensure no slippage while lifting.
Double rowed stitching at the top and bottom of the belt increases confidence in durability.
The belt is expensive and may prevent some from purchasing it.
This is an all-purpose type belt perfect for any type of lifting.
Review: The ProFitness Weight Lifting Belt is made of leather, one of the best materials for a weight lifting belt. You do not have to worry about this belt irritating your skin if you do not like wearing a shirt while you lift. The buckle is made of steel and has two pins. The belt has 12 sets of holes that have been double cut to give you many size options. It is 4 inches wide to give you the right amount of back support.
You do not have to spend too much time on size because of the numerous hole options.
Fits any size lifter.
It will not slip once you have tightened it.
The edges of the ProFitness belt tend to be on the rough side.
This is a great belt for those that enjoy being in the gym doing squats and deadlifts.
Rogue 5 inch Nylon Weightlifting Belt
Review: The Rogue 5 inch Nylon Weightlifting Belt gives you 5 inches of support in the back and 3 inches of support in the front. It will match your body’s natural shape to give you more coverage than a more rigid belt. It is lightweight and thin, making it an alternative to heavy leather. It has a steel buckle and a hook and loop fastener, providing easy adjustments and quick removal.
The material is not tough on the body and will not leave marks or indents.
Affordable price tag.
This is a durable belt that can stand up to intense training.
This is an inexpensive belt that is not of the highest quality on the market.
This is a great belt for beginners or someone that suffers from back pain and is looking for light support.
Review: The RDX Powerlifting Belt for Weight Lifting is made of sturdy leather. This company has been in operation for over 20 years. This belt comes with a lever made of chrome that allows you to adjust the belt while on your waist easily. The buckle is durable and will not break or rust on you. It has 10 precise holes evenly spaced for precise adjustments. The belt is 10 mm thick, and the belt is 4 inches wide.
It will not dig into your skin.
The double stitching is professional grade for durability.
The lining is made of suede for enhanced comfort.
This is not the most solidly constructed belt.
This belt is for the lifter that wants a middle-range belt in price and stability.
Rogue 3 Inch Ohio Belt
Review: The Rogue 3 inch Ohio Belt is the perfect belt for the lifter that wants a slightly smaller version of the Rogue 4 inch Ohio Belt. The only real difference between the two is this is an inch thinner than the 4-inch version. It the same thickness of 10 mm. Despite it being only 3 inches, it still provides firm support. This version of the Ohio Belt is constructed of leather derived from vegetable tanning to provide you a soft feel.
The belt will not dig into your hips and ribs if you are a smaller lifter.
There is a reduction of friction during many lifts.
This belt is naturally resistant to water.
There is some break-in time needed; the more you use it, the shorter the time is needed.
This belt is for the lifter that is advanced and has a heavy deadlift, squat, and overhead press.
Rogue Echo 10MM Lifting Belt
Review: The Rogue Echo 10mm Lifting Belt gives you exceptional range of motion, allowing you to get deeper in your squat. It is 4 inches wide and gives you an ample amount of support. The belt has a single prong closure that makes it simple and easy to adjust while you are between lifts. One simple pull on the end of the belt slides the prong into the hole, and then you can tighten the belt. There are 10 holes making sure you can find the best fit.
This belt is reliable and secures your back and abdominal muscles.
Comes in several different lengths.
The entire belt, including hardware, is all black except for the word Rogue.
This belt may dig into your hips and sides a little more than might feel comfortable to you.
This is for the lifter that wants a quality Rogue belt but wants an affordable price tag.
Nike Structured Training Belt 3.0
Review: The Nike Structured Training Belt 3.0 is made of nylon and does not come with anything you would typically find on a leather training belt. The closure requires you to hook a strap through a metal loop, bring it back to the start, and Velcro it into place. This belt has plastic inserts to give you more firmness to protect your lower back. It has mesh material that allows your skin to breathe so you do not find your midsection soaked in sweat.
The Velcro may allow you to get a tighter fit than a prong closure.
It will not slip while you are lifting.
The material can soak up some of your sweat, keeping it away from your body.
You have to pull the belt tightly to ensure it is a secure fit.
This belt is for the beginner or occasional lifters and offers an option between typical nylon and leather.
Schiek 2004 Lifting Belt
Review: The Schiek 2004 Lifting Belt is now available in a new pattern. It is called Digi Camo. This belt fits into the natural shape of your body. The back portion has a cone shape that matches the angle of your lower back. It is wider in the front to give your abdominals the maximum support they need. The Schiek Belt has a Velcro fastener that makes it easy to get a secure fit that you can easily customize to fit your waist.
It is lightweight and not at bulky as a leather weightlifting belt.
Comes with a 2-year warranty.
There are contours at the sides to minimize friction.
It does not offer the same rigidity as a leather belt.
These belts are great for the athlete that does CrossFit workouts frequently.
Schiek 2004 Lifting Belt - Tia-Clair Toomey Edition
Review: This Schiek 2004 Lifting Belt is similar to the traditional Schiek 2004 Lifting Belt, except it is the one that Tia-Clair Toomey wears while competing. She is the Fittest Woman in the World, and this is the belt she wears during all her CrossFit lifts. This belt has the yellow and green colors that Tia-Clair wears with the arrow logo on Tia-Clair’s belt. It has the same counters to match the natural shape of your body.
The side contours minimize friction.
It is a lightweight belt to provide you the necessary support.
A wider front protects your abdominal muscles.
It does not offer the same rigidity as a leather belt.
This is the perfect belt for a CrossFitter and fans of Tia-Clair Toomey.
Harbinger 5 Inch Foam Core Belt
Review: The Harbinger 5” Foam Core Belt is a combination of cloth and nylon with some foamed mixed in the middle. The core of this belt is foam to provide comfort and softness. It also provides some give in the material. This belt is 5 inches, which helps make up for some of the support lost in the soft material. This affordably priced belt may not last you a lifetime like other lifting belts will.
The Thick Velcro strap helps to support black and abdominals.
Rounded edges do not dig into the skin.
The soft lining helps hold heat to keep muscles warm during lifts.
It does not absorb sweat well and shifts if you lift without a shirt and sweat.
This belt is great for the athlete that wants to combine lifting with other workouts and not completely load up a super heavy lift.
Spud Inc Pro Series Deadlift Belt
Review: The Spud Inc Pro Series Deadlift Belt is intended to provide you the best comfort during your squats and deadlifts. It has the ultimate stiffness to give you all the support you need. The ratchet is small but mighty with its industrial strength. You can crank it as tightly as you need to. The belt itself is 4 inches in width. This is an updated version of the 2 ply belt as it now has 3 ply.
Offers stitching that is reinforced to give you additional stiffness.
The design reduces friction on your hips at the bottom of your deadlift.
A more affordable option than other belts.
This belt does not give you much room for mobility; it is best for more rigid lifting.
This belt is intended for the lifter that likes to focus on deadlifts.
Spud Inc 2-Ply Deadlift Belt
Review: The Spud Inc 2-Ply Deadlift Belt is a softer, more flexible, yet supportive deadlift belt. It is constructed with nylon webbing that gives you both durability and support. It has a hook and loop fastening system to give you a firm and secure fit. It is designed so that it does not cut into your hips or abdominals while in the bottom of your deadlift.
The fastening system will not open up on you while lifting.
Affordable price tag.
Best for strongman type activities.
This is not the ideal belt if you need more flexibility for your lifts.
This belt is for the all-around lifter that is looking for a middle of the road belt.
Why Use a Squat Belt?
Once there was a time when only powerlifters and Olympians wore weight belts. Those days are long gone, and now when you look around any gym, you will find a good amount of lifters wearing them. There seems to be a lot of confusion about whether or not a squat belt actually helps you during a lift. They can be incredibly helpful, especially if you need more support for your back or you have some weakness. A squat belt can help you in two ways. One is it helps to reduce the stress on your low back. The second is it can prevent you from hyperextending when lifting overhead. A squat belt compresses the abdominals and causes pressure, which gives the bones in the lower back more support. This helps to reduce the stress put on your lower back. The pressure in your abdominals also helps to reduce the amount of compression on your lower back during a lift. When you wear a squat belt, it helps you become more aware of your back’s position. While it may seem simple, just feeling the back pressed against your skin may be enough to make you think about the position your back is in. It helps you activate your muscles and keep a good posture. A squat belt can limit the movement of your back and prevents you from twisting and bending in ways that you should not. If you are new to lifting, a squat belt can help you learn to squeeze your muscles properly. When you squeeze your abdominal muscles, you are helping to stabilize your body.
How To Wear a Squat Belt?
If you are going to wear a squat belt, it is important that you wear it properly to make it useful to you. It is important to note that you should only wear your belt while actively lifting. It is taxing on your body and not the best idea to wear it when walking around the gym. Your squat belt must be tight to work properly, and this can cause an increase in your blood pressure. You want to be sure to loosen or remove your belt between lifts. The key is to wear a belt when you are using your back during a lift, such as a deadlift, or you may cause your back to hyperextend, such as with a military press. It is somewhat a personal preference where you wear your squat belt, but it should be positioned to cover your erector and abdominal muscles. This usually places it about 1 to 2 inches above your pelvis. This creates a maximum amount of intra-abdominal pressure. If you place the squat belt too low, it may rub against the top of your pelvis and cause discomfort. If you place the squat belt too high, it can pinch and put too much pressure on your abdomen. You want to be able to completely expand and contract your abdominal, oblique, and erector muscles.
How Much Does a Belt Add To a Squat?
Wearing a squat belt can be an effective way to protect your back while providing additional support. There is another benefit to using a squat belt, and that is the gains you may see. In general, using a squat belt can add about 25 pounds to 50 pounds to your maximum squat lift. Those of us that lift know that is a huge amount by simply adding a squat belt. Before you go out and buy a squat belt, try to add 50 pounds to your squat max and then attempt it, pause and keep reading. Other factors help you increase your max squat, in addition to the squat belt. Your experience in training and lifting matters here. If you are an experienced lifter, you can see gains because you already know how to squat properly. If you are newer to lifting, do not throw more weight on the bar simply because you have a squat belt. You must be smart and make smart jumps in weight. Your age and history of injuries also matter. I am sorry to tell you, but the older you are, the fewer gains you may see. If you have injuries, especially in your back, do not load up your bar. Be smart and start with a weight that is lighter than you think it should be. Then fo up slowly. Allow your injures to heal and protect your back. Learn proper lifting form and technique, and you will see your PRs increase.
Can I Squat Without a Belt?
Yes, you can squat without a squat belt. It is possible, and many people will not use a squat belt. There are many different opinions on whether a belt is good or bad. It is always a good idea to provide support for your back and remove as much stress from your back as possible. Many lifters only wear squat belts when they are lifting heavy. There are times when it may not be necessary to wear a squat belt. If you are lifting lightweight and you can stabilize your back and abdominal. Keep in mind that wearing a squat belt may cause your blood pressure to rise. If you have high blood pressure or a heart condition, you want to wear a squat belt on limited occasions. There are some lifts when you do not need a squat belt because it will not provide you any assistance. If you are doing leg extensions, pull-downs, or bodyweight movements, you will not see any benefits from a squat belt.
Conclusion / Summary
There is our list of the best squat belt options. Personal preference makes a difference when it comes to selecting the right squat belt for you. As you grow and become more experienced as a lifter, you may find your needs and wants change when it comes to a squat belt. You may decide you want a different belt for different movements. You must pick the right squat belt that helps support your back while removing pressure and giving you the most comfort. We hope this article has given you some insight into squat belts and leads you to the best one for you.
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Michael is a fitness expert and professional home/garage gym builder. His tutorials, guides, and reviews are backed up by his own experience and will definitely help you achieve your goals. He also loves putting mayo AND ketchup on the pizza for some reason!