If you’re like me when I was just getting into the world of lifting weights, you might find yourself wondering:
How much do lifting belts cost, and why is there such a big price gap between them?
The cost of a lifting belt depends on 4 factors: (1) whether you’re looking for a stiff leather belt or something more flexible made of nylon, (2) how thick you want your belt to be, (3) what brand you’re looking to purchase, and (4) whether you need a sport-specific belt or something for casual gym use.
Below, I’m going to discuss these factors in more detail so that you aren’t getting scammed into over-paying, as well as pose some other questions you should ask yourself to see if a belt is worth it.
- A lifting belt can cost anywhere between $25-$300. The average cost for a leather lifting belt is about $110. The average cost for a nylon lifting belt is $40.
- If you are a competitive athlete (powerlifter, Crossfitter, Olympic weighlifter, etc.) you can expect to pay more for a lifting belt because only certain brands are approved for competition use. Competition belts are no less than $100.
- A lifting belt with a lever closure is going to be 10-50% more expensive than a prong-style closure mechanism.
5 Factors That Determine The Cost of A Lifting Belt
1. Sport (Crossfit vs Weightlifting vs Powerlifting)
Before we discuss all of the features of the belt itself that may affect its cost, it is important to note that lifting belts cost different amounts for different sports.
Typically, lifting belts can be broken down into those for Crossfit, Weightlifting, and Powerlifting.
A CrossFit athlete’s belt is made of a more flexible, nylon material. These are typically the cheapest belts on the market, as they cost the least to make and are not incredibly complicated.
An Olympic Weightlifter might also use a nylon belt, but is more likely to use a thinner, leather belt that is around 7mm thick. These are more expensive than the nylon belts, but less expensive than the thicker leather belts.
Finally, a powerlifter is more likely to use a leather belt that is either 10mm or 13mm thick with a lever or prong latching mechanism. These are typically the most expensive lifting belts on the market.
The reasons why each of these belts are priced the way that they are will be discussed below.
2. Material Quality (Leather vs Nylon)
What the belt is made of, and the quality of the material, is the biggest and most obvious driver of price when it comes to lifting belts.
Obviously, you pay more for lifting belts that are more durable, and made out of higher quality material.
From my experience, this typically means that leather belts cost more than nylon, since leather is a more premium and expensive material.
Further breaking this down, leather belts made from one solid strip of leather are more expensive than those made of multiple strips that are glued together.
Again, this is simply because single strips of leather are more costly for the manufacturer, and are much more durable, so companies can charge more money.
Latching Mechanism (Prong vs Lever vs Velcro Belts)
Similar to the material quality, the price of a lifting belt usually varies based upon the latching mechanism that the belt has.
There are typically three types of latching mechanisms used on lifting belts: Prong, Lever, and Velcro.
Prong belts are very similar to an everyday belt that you would use for your pants, and have a much simpler mechanism than lever belts. Since they only require a few pieces of metal for the prongs, they are simpler and cheaper to produce than their lever counterparts.
On the other hand, lever belts are typically more expensive, as they are more costly to produce than prongs. They are typically the belt of choice for strongman and powerlifting competitors, and offer a combination of the secure locking of a prong belt with more convenience and quickness.
Finally, belts may also have a Velcro latching system. Velcro is only available on the more flexible, nylon belts that are typically used by CrossFit athletes. These are usually the cheapest belts on the market, since both Nylon and Velcro cost much less than leather belts and the prongs or levers associated with them.
If Velcro is used, I would recommend looking for reviews that show how durable it is. The last thing you want is a Velcro belt that starts to fray, or wear out, after a few uses. Even if it is the cheapest of the three latching systems, you still want to ensure that you are paying for high quality materials.
Branding, as in any other type of product, affects the price of a lifting belt. You should remember that you often get what you pay for.
Clearly, more well-known, trusted brands usually offer high-quality products, especially compared to cheap belts (like some you find on Amazon or in Walmart) made by obscure brands that you may have never seen before.
Established brands like Inzer, SBD, Gympreapers, and Rogue are trusted by strength athletes around the world. As such, they have a much greater incentive to create high-quality products that serve their athletes and gym-goers properly.
These brands also have more resources to test and research their belts, their belts are made of quality materials that cost more to manufacture, they usually have a loyal following that is willing to buy their products, and they may even sponsor athletes to promote their belts.
All of these factors can allow them to charge more. But the cost is justified because they’re superior products.
I always recommend researching a brand as a whole before you buy a lifting belt from them. For example, if you are a powerlifter, you may want to look into whether or not a brand’s belt is approved for the federation that you want to lift in.
Note: All Gymreaper belts are approved by the IPF for powerlifting competition.
Not only would it be a pity to pay for a belt that you cannot use in competition, but you can usually bet on an approved belt being made of higher-quality materials. This is because all federations that have strict equipment guidelines will implement some type of mandatory specifications, and will test the belts so that you don’t have to.
A final factor that may affect the price of your lifting belt is the thickness of the belt itself.
As a general rule of thumb, a thicker belt is a more expensive belt. This just makes sense, as you have to pay a little bit more money when you get a little bit more of a product.
For example, Gymreapers’ 10mm Lever Belt is $110, and their 13mm Lever Belt is $130.
Thicker doesn’t necessarily mean better for most people though, as 13mm would be far too thick for most people - unless you’re an elite-level powerlifting competing in the heavy weight category.
As such, it is important to know what level of thickness you may need and how that can affect the price of a belt that you are looking to buy.
Cost of Leather Lifting Belts
As I mentioned, leather lifting belts often cost more than their nylon counterparts. This is primarily due to the actual cost of the materials that the belt is made out of. Leather costs the manufacturer more than nylon.
That said, leather lifting belts are typically more durable, rigid, and supportive than nylon belts, so many lifting belt users are willing to pay the higher cost.
The pricing of leather lifting belts can typically be broken down into three categories: $50-$100, $100-$200, and $200+.
Personally, I would not recommend a leather belt under $50, as I find these belts do not provide adequate support for what they should be designed for, and are made of too low a quality to be worth a purchase.
A leather belt in this price range is usually either a cheaper and thinner powerlifting belt, or a weightlifting belt.
Some examples are:
I believe that the average person looking to buy a leather lifting belt can find everything they need in this category.
Belts in this price range can satisfy powerlifters, olympic lifters, and regular gymgoers alike, and almost always provide the best value and quality for price.
Of course, it is important to consider how much you will use the belt and your goals for it, but I do believe that belts in this price range can satisfy nearly every person’s needs.
A leather belt for $100-$200 that is well-researched and from a reputable brand will be incredibly durable, will last an incredibly long time, and will be more than adequate for your heavy training sessions.
Some examples of high-quality lifting belts in this price range are:
Leather Belts that Cost More than $200
There are a few belts that cost more than $200. These are primarily the SBD 13mm Lever Belts (over $300) and the Rogue Premium Ohio Lifting Belt ($200).
Both brands market these belts at a premium with new and improved features compared to their competition, including premium leather construction, improved latching mechanisms, and more comfortable finished edges.
However, many lifters agree, myself included, that the cost isn’t justified.
Unless you have extraordinary disposable income, I do not recommend such extravagant belts to anyone. While they may boast certain advancements, the essence of a lifting belt is to support your core under heavy weights, and I believe these belts do not do this so much better than the other mentioned belts that would require you to pay double, or even triple, the price.
Cost of Nylon Lifting Belts
Nylon belts, as mentioned above, are much cheaper than leather lifting belts.
These belts are great for functional workouts, weightlifting, and are preferred by recreational lifters. Typically, they boast versatility, comfort, and a light-weight design.
While these belts do not provide as much support as their leather counterparts, they serve their purpose equally well, and are able to do so at a fraction of the price.
Some examples of great nylon lifting belts that I am a fan of are:
- The Gymreapers Quick Locking Weightlifting Belt, which boasts premium back support and a wide variety of colours and patterns
What Is The Cheapest Weightlifting Belt You Can Buy & What Are You Sacrificing?
The cheapest nylon weightlifting belt you can buy is the Rogue 4” Nylon Weightlifting Belt ($22).
The cheapest leather lifting belt you can buy is the RDX 4” Weight Lifting Belt ($30).
While these may both be great belts for beginners, I do not recommend buying a belt solely based on it being the cheapest available.
If you buy these belts, or any very cheap belts like them, you are sacrificing durability, comfort, hardware finish, and overall value.
Typically, these belts will not last nearly as long as quality, reliable belts in the upper price ranges, and may fall apart sooner than you would anticipate.
I believe that making sure your belt provides adequate value and security for the price you pay is the most important consideration when looking for a weightlifting belt, and you should not sacrifice your chance at safety to save a couple of dollars.
Remember, you get what you pay for.
What Is The Most Expensive Lifting Belt You Can Buy & What Are You Paying For?
The most expensive lifting belt that you can currently buy is the SBD 13mm Lever Belt ($300+).
As mentioned earlier, this belt boasts a patented gliding lever, which provides greater adjustability than normal lever belts, but retains the ease and tightness that makes them desirable.
This belt is IPF approved, which means that competitive powerlifters can use it on essentially any platform, and is 13mm thick to provide ultimate support and reliability.
SBD also states that it is designed with integrity in mind, and the belt contains some plush red suede and a sleek black oiled leather finish to maximize comfort and aesthetics.
While this belt is the most expensive on the market, I believe that you are mainly paying for the name brand and the recognition of such a desirable belt, and it does not serve its purpose better than other cheap, but still high-quality, counterparts.
What Do Gymreapers Belts Cost on Average?
On average, Gymreapers Leather belts cost around $110-$130.
This prices them extremely competitively in the market with other leather belts of similar quality; however, unique to Gymreapers is their incredible colour and pattern selection.
Many other high-quality leather lifting belts only provide one colour or pattern option (except for Inzer), but Gymreapers provides upwards of 10 choices in both 10mm and 13 mm thickness, as well as in both lever and single prong latching mechanisms.
It is important to note, for our resident powerlifters, that Gymreapers leather lifting belts are now IPF and USPA approved. This means they can be used in any competitions and are held to the same equipment standards as the SBD belt (without breaking the bank).
Otherwise, Gymreapers nylon lifting belts are priced in the $30-$40 price range, and they even offer dip belts for $40 and thinner leather olympic lifting belts for $60.
How Much Do Used Belts Cost & Is This Worth Considering?
Finding a used weightlifting belt for decent pricing is heavily dependent on your area, but you can find some older belts for under $50.
I recommend used belts as an option for those who are on a tight budget, but need the benefits of a quality lifting belt. Such as a low-income student who is also an advanced lifter in need of a supportive and durable belt.
It may take some time and effort, but I would always recommend buying a used and broken in, but well-maintained, belt that is made with high-quality materials if your only other option is buying a new but cheap, low-quality belt from a non-reputable company.
I recommend looking on EBay for used belts, checking your local FaceBook Marketplace, or even asking connections at your local gym. You never know when someone is casting aside a perfectly good belt.
Is A Lifting Belt Worth It? 3 Things To Consider
After you have done your research on why you should use a lifting belt, the ways it can benefit your strength, and whether or not they are safe, you may still need to consider some factors as to whether or not a belt is worth it for you, specifically.
These factors include:
Your Training and Sport
As I mentioned above, you should first consider the type of lifting that you do and how it will have an impact on the belt that you are considering.
Powerlifters and strongmen competitors are going to prioritize thicker and more secure belts. In contrast, crossfitters or olympic lifters may prioritize a lighter, more flexible belt that can handle a variety of movements.
Your budget is always a key determining factor in what type of lifting belt you should get. There is obviously a wide price range in this market, but there is clearly a good reason for that.
Once you have determined what type of belt you need, you may discover that this belt does not fit your current budget. This is when I would recommend one of the following steps:
- Wait for a sale. You can often find many quality belts at a reduced price during big blowout sales, such as Black Friday.
- Patrol your used markets. Look online, ask people at your gym, as you never know when you can find a diamond in the rough.
- Share with a lifting partner. If you and your partner both are in the market for a new belt, it might make sense to split the cost and go in together.
- Save up and take your time budgeting for your belt of choice. Fitness is a marathon, and not a sprint. If none of the above options work for getting your ideal belt, I would recommend taking your time and saving up rather than pulling the trigger on a cheaper option that may not suit your needs.
Design and Type
Even though belts are primarily functional, you may take into account different aesthetic choices that make your belt more desirable.
This is where companies that give plenty of options and a wide selection are your best friend, like Gymreapers.
You further need to consider what type you are looking for.
As mentioned above, there are many different types of belts that have different shapes, materials, mechanisms, and overall uses.
You need to understand what design attributes best suit you in order for your belt purchase to truly be worth it.
Other Belt Resources
For more resources on lifting belts, their safety, and the differences between them, see these other resources:
- Are Lifting Belts Safe? Yes, Follow These 6 Rules
- Leather vs Nylon Lifting Belt: Which Do You Need (Pros & Cons)
- Lever vs Prong Belt: Which Do You Need? Pros & Cons Explained
Frequently Asked Questions
What Makes A Lifting Belt More or Less Expensive?
The main features that make them more or less expensive are material quality, company branding, thickness, and the sport they are designed for.
Are Powerlifting or Weightlifting Belts More Expensive?
Typically, Powerlifting belts are more expensive than Weightlifting belts. This is because powerlifting belts need to be more secure and rigid, so they are made from more expensive materials, such as thicker leather, and can have more advanced latching mechanisms.
Can You Still Get A High-Quality Lifting Belt Under $100?
Yes! Most high-quality nylon lifting belts for Crossfit and Olympic Weightlifting are under $100. However, if you want a high-quality and durable leather powerlifting belt, you will be spending slightly over $100. For example, Gymreapers selection of leather belts costs $110-$130.
Does A More Expensive Lifting Belt Allow You To Lift More Weight?
No, the most expensive belts on the market are not magic. They don’t automatically enable your body to lift more weight than some of the more affordable belts. Just make sure that whatever belt you are buying is durable, reliable, and comes from a reputable brand that you can trust to make a product that will do its job.
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