One of the first decisions that you’ll have to make upon deciding to buy a weightlifting belt is whether to opt for a nylon belt or a leather one. There are pros and cons to going both routes. What you choose will depend on your personal preferences and what type of lifting that you are doing.
Leather belts are the mainstay of weight lifting belts. They have been around since the first person decided to wear a belt while they were lifting and still continue to be a favorite today for good reason. These belts don’t just look tougher than their nylon counterparts, they are tougher. They offer unmatched support to help you lift the biggest weight possible and for this they are a favorite among people doing deadlifts and squats.
On the downside, many times the rough edges of the leather will irritate some people’s skin, particularly if their skin is sensitive. Today though, you can find many padded leather belts with softer edges that are designed to literally take the edge off of this. Leather belts also aren’t always able to be closed to fit certain body types because they need to use a pin and hole system to close the belt. Because of this, you should always try on your belt before you leave the store or shop at an online realtor that has a good return policy.
While nylon belts don’t have the same history that leather ones do, they are becoming increasingly popular with weight lifters. They are generally a little softer on your skin, which appeals to many people. They also grant you a little bit more freedom of movement than leather belts do. This is a plus for many power lifters, who need extra support, but are also trained and do not want their belt restricting their explosive movements.
The downside of nylon belts is that they don’t offer nearly as much support as leather belts do. Because of this many people shun them in favor of what are sometimes equally comfortable padded leather belts.