The TYR L-1 Lifters are high-end weightlifting shoes with solid specs and performance. These shoes have a wider toe box than most to increase comfort and natural support. With dual straps and a rigid heel clip, they’re ultra-secure for all lifts. The 21mm TPU heel offers excellent stability and is great for squats and other movements.
Who It’s Right For
Things to Consider
The TYR L-1 Lifters snagged the attention of the weightlifting shoe market when it announced a design with a wide toe box.
Unlike other shoes that commonly have narrow toe boxes, the L-1s were purpose-built with toe splay in mind.
Aside from increased comfort, the biggest benefit of a wider toe box is increased stability through a more natural foot placement.
But does it live up to the hype?
In this review, I’ll cover everything you need to know about the TYR L-1 Lifters. I’ll share the pros and cons and compare them to the Reebok Legacy Lifter 3s.
Let’s dig in.
TYR L-1 Lifter Review
The TYR L-1 Lifters are premium weightlifting shoes with a 21mm heel and wide toe box. They offer great security via dual straps and a rigid heel clip. They fit true to size and perform well for all lifts.
I’ve tested a lot of weightlifting shoes at Garage Gym Lab – these have become some of my favorites.
I’m impressed with their stability underfoot and their security through the heel and midfoot.
The wider toe box is a great feature that I appreciate, but I don’t think it impacts performance as much as some may expect.
I love several of TYR’s design decisions, like the dual straps, but others leave some room to be desired, in my opinion.
Let’s have a look at the specs and jump into the review.
- Heel Height: 21mm (0.83″)
- Weight: 19.2 oz (size 10)
- Straps: Dual
- Heel Type: TPU
- Removable Insole: Yes
- Outsole: Full Rubber
- Toebox Width: Wide
- Sizing: True to Size
- Colorways: Four
The TYR L-1 Lifters are generally well-constructed with a simpler design and fewer materials than some others. The shoe includes consistent gluing, reinforced seams, and a heavier build than most.
While I love these features, some areas could be improved, including the strap thickness, tongue length, and laces.
The L-1 Lifters have a thick leather upper that feels quite different than some weightlifting shoes with ripstop and other synthetic fabrics. You may notice these shoes break in over time, so don’t be surprised if they feel awkward at the crease during the first few wears. This crease quickly becomes less apparent, making for a comfortable overall experience.
Unlike many weightlifting shoes that include several materials throughout the upper, the L-1 Lifters are mostly constructed with one piece. This simpler design creates a clean look and may enhance long-term durability.
With a thicker upper, I was concerned about the shoes’ breathability. However, TYR included 42 perforated holes in the toe box to address that. I’ve found them more breathable than the Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes, which are also leather, but without perforations.
The mesh tongue on the L-1 Lifters is very comfortable, but I wish it were longer. There isn’t much space above the top strap, creating less room for lacing.
Speaking of lacing, I think these laces are a bit slippery. Plan on double-knotting these laces because single knots will come untied very quickly. However, since double knots are thicker, the shorter tongue doesn’t play as nicely.
Midsole & Heel
Like others in this class, the TYR L-1 Lifters have a durable and non-compressive TPU heel. Regardless of what you’re squatting, this thermoplastic polyurethane heel should provide all the support and structure you need.
The heel height of these shoes measures 21mm, which falls between the Nike Romaleos 4 (20mm) and the Adidas Adipower 3, Reebok Legacy Lifters, etc. (22mm). While I prefer the 22mm height overall, it’s splitting hairs and doesn’t make a meaningful difference.
In addition to the heel drop, the structure extends well up the back of the boot. The extra rigidity increases security and limits the risk of heel slippage. Having tested dozens of lifting shoes, I feel the L-1s are among the best in this department.
A grippy outsole is a requirement for a quality weightlifting shoe, and the L-1 Lifters pass the test. Although the Adipowers perform slightly better here, you can confidently wear these shoes on rubber gym floors or wooden platforms.
The dual-zoned outsole has a unique look, but I’m not sure one pattern outperforms the other.
I’m impressed with how flat these shoes sit. They remind me very much of the Adipowers, and I appreciate how anchored I feel in them. Coupled with the wider toe box, it makes for an excellent lifting experience.
The most notable feature of these shoes is the wide toe box. Designed alongside Squat University’s Aaron Horschig, the TYR L-1 Lifters were made with an anatomical toe box.
Many weightlifting shoes, including the Nike Romaloes and Adidas Adipowers, have narrow toe boxes that limit toe splay. With more room to spread your toes, the L-1s intend to enhance support through natural foot placement.
I noticed an immediate difference when I put these shoes on, but mostly from a comfort standpoint. The wider toe box may have positive performance benefits, but I don’t think you should expect to increase your numbers just because of it.
The other important feature of these shoes is the dual strap system. Where some weightlifting shoes only have a single strap, the L-1 Lifters have two to lock down the midfoot. I’m a big fan of this system and think TYR was smart to add it.
However, the straps are thinner than others and generally feel less substantial. I’d like to see them use thicker nylon that also isn’t as slippery. That said, they added two Box-X stitching zones to each strap to bolster durability. I also appreciate the longer velcro surface area, which is great if you have to ratchet these down.
Overall, these are some of the best-performing weightlifting shoes I’ve tested. Since buying them, they’ve become a favorite of mine, especially for squats.
While I still prefer a 22mm heel, the 21mm height on the L-1s feels great for all squat variations. Combined with the flatter outsole, I feel completely locked down whether I’m performing front squats, back squats, split squats, etc.
The extra rigidity in the boot goes a long way toward limiting heel slippage during more dynamic movements. Olympic weightlifters will likely appreciate this added security, especially when paired with the dual midfoot straps.
While I think the wider toe box can positively impact performance, I don’t think it’s as amazing as some of the marketing may indicate. It’s true that you can spread your toes more, which may increase support. For example, you may recover better if you get too far forward in a squat.
However, I haven’t noticed a meaningful difference in my ability to hit certain numbers compared to narrower shoes. Ultimately, I think the biggest benefit is general comfort. Those with neutral or wider feet will likely find the L-1s more comfortable than others. Conversely, narrow-footed lifters may feel lost in these.
Aesthetically, the TYR L-1 Lifters have a simple design and a clean look. I especially like the white shoes with the gum soles, but they didn’t have my size when I bought them. Still, the all-black with red accents looks great.
TYR also sells a Squat University version with gold accents and a unique navy/turquoise cosmic edition. I expect more color variations in future releases.
You can see each of the current options below.
TYR L-1 Lifter Sizing
The TYR L-1 Lifters fit true to size, but the toe box width may cause issues for those with narrow feet. If you have neutral or wide feet, I recommend ordering as you normally would. For example, I wear a 10.5 in trainers and a 10 in lifters. The 10’s fit me perfectly.
As someone with a neutral-width foot, I find these very comfortable. However, I caution narrow-footed lifters because you may feel lost inside of these. With the L-1s having a true-to-size length, simply sizing down will unlikely result in a better fit.
If you have a narrow foot, I recommend the Adidas Adipowers, Nike Romaleos, or Reebok Legacy Lifters over the L-1 Lifters.
TYR L-1 Lifter vs. Reebok Legacy Lifter 3
The Reebok Legacy Lifters have become one of the most popular weightlifting shoes. With solid specs, good performance, and a clean aesthetic, there’s a lot to like. In fact, they’re some of my favorites. If you’re trying to decide between the two, there are a few key differences to consider.
Starting with the toe box, the TYR L-1 Lifters are wider by the same margin as the Reeboks are to the Adipowers and Romaleos. While the Legacy Lifters are a solid neutral-footed option, they still may feel tight for wider feet. Both fit true to size, but I recommend the L-1s if you have a wide foot. Alternatively, I recommend the Legacy Lifters if you have a narrow fit.
In terms of foot security, I feel the L-1’s shine compared to the Reeboks. I love the double straps and the longer velcro. This was one of the issues I mentioned in my Legacy Lifter 3 review. While the Reebok’s have the classic Pumps in the tongue, they do little to increase tightness, and the heel clip isn’t as rigid.
I like the slightly higher 22mm heel on the Legacy Lifters, but the difference isn’t all that meaningful. Both shoes have a non-compressive TPU heel, but the TYR’s have a flatter overall profile, which I prefer. The outsole is grippy on both, but I give a slight edge to the Legacy Lifters.
The Reebok’s are also 3 ounces heavier, which has pros and cons. I like them for stationary squats, but the lighter L-1s may perform better on more dynamic Olympic movements. This is especially true for those with slower foot turnover.
Ultimately, these are two of my favorite weightlifting shoes. Although I tend to favor the L-1 Lifters for my foot anatomy, the Reeboks are better for those with narrow feet. The L-1s are slightly less expensive, but your size may not be readily available in your preferred colorway.
The TYR L-1 Lifters receive positive reviews. They haven’t been around as long as some others, but users love the wider toe box and the stability of the heel and dual straps. A couple of reviewers at Rogue pointed to durability issues concerning outsole separation.
Pros and Cons
- Wide toe box improves stability and comfort
- Very stable 21mm TPU heel
- Dual straps enhance security and midfoot tightness
- Midrange weight increases versatility
- Solid and grippy outsole improves traction
- Not great for narrow-footed lifters
- Some users have reported outsole separation after extended use
The TYR L-1 Lifters are the most used weightlifting shoes in my rotation. I love their comfort and stability, and their performance is similar to or better than other options.
However, there are some areas I’d like to see improved. While I love the dual strap system, the thinner nylon doesn’t feel as durable. I’d also prefer a slightly longer tongue and less slippery laces.
Construction-wise, I appreciate the simple leather construction and am a big fan of the secure feeling from the heel through the midfoot.
Considering these are less expensive than some shoes, the L-1 Lifters represent a solid value, especially for those looking for a wider profile.
FAQs about the TYR L-1 Lifters
How do the TYR L-1 Lifters Fit?
The L-1 Lifters fit true to size for most foot anatomies, but their wider toe box is best for lifters with neutral or wide feet. Narrow-footed lifters may want to consider other shoes because sizing down could create issues with length.
Do the TYR L-1 Lifters Perform Well for Squats?
The L-1 Lifters are ideal for squatting because of the flatter outsole, 21mm heel height, and wide toe box. The extra room for toe splay increases comfort and may help create more stability for some users.
Are the TYR L-1 Lifters Good for Olympic Weightlifting?
The shoes are strong performers on Olympic movements due to their enhanced security through the midfoot and grippy outsole. The heel height and wider toe box are also favorable features for Olympic lifting.