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How to Choose the Right Weight Belt for You

Ok everyone, I get numerous requests on how to choose the right weight belt so I will do my best to explain to you what I have learned and what has been passed down to me over the last 36 years in our family business. This post may touch on some of the aspects of previous posts but stay with me here and be sure to let me know if this helps… AND if you are still unclear about what weight belt to get, you will have to call me and I will help as much as I can to build your perfect weight belt,!

How to choose the right style of a weight belt

There are 4 different styles of weight belts that we offer here at GLC.

  1. Power Belt – This belt is 4” (10cm) in width throughout and is, by far, the most popular belt that we produce. Most popularly used for powerlifting due to the maximum surface area to push against in the front. Options will vary and will be discussed at length later.
  2. Training Belt – This belt is either 4” or 6” in the back and tapers to 2.5” in the front. This belt is most popular for Olympic style training, CrossFit, and Bodybuilding. This belt comes in various options which I will discuss in length at the end of this post.
  3. Lever Belt – This belt is 4” (10cm) in width throughout and is actually just a spin off on the Power Belt mentioned above. The lever gives the ability to cinch tighter than one would be able to with the standard prong belt and has a quick release feature to unbuckle at the end of the lift.
  4. Bench/Oly Belt – This belt can be anywhere from 2” – 3” in width. This type belt is most commonly used for benching without hindering the arch and is frequently used for smaller athletes when a 4” belt hits the ribs and/or hips. Options later!

How to choose the correct thickness for your weight belt

This portion of the post might be hard to understand in text but I will do what I can to make it as clear as possible.

  1. 6.5mm – 6.5mm belts are the thinnest belt we make. They are very pliable and comfortable, but they are also the least supportive option. For many general trainees, this thickness offers the best blend of support and comfort. In fact, the 6.5mm belts offer the same level of support as most 10mm belts; it’s just a smaller overall thickness since it isn’t covered in suede. All of our 6.5mm belts are made from a single, solid piece of sole leather.
  2. 10mm – 10mm belts are our best seller and tend to have the best reviews from customers. This is also the belt thickness I recommend to almost everyone due to its feel, functionality, and support. These belts, from all manufacturers (to my knowledge), take into consideration the thickness of the suede used to get to the 10mm of thickness. Two pieces of suede (combined) can be anywhere from 1.5mm thick to almost 4mm depending on the supplier. Our belts are made from a single piece of leather that is approximately 7mm thick and then covered in suede, which brings the total thickness to 10mm. Some manufacturers make their 10mm belts with two pieces of leather and two pieces of suede.
  3. 13mm – 13mm belts are meant for the maximum amount of support but generally are the least comfortable. This thickness is most commonly purchased by competitive powerlifters or anyone that is looking for a more rigid and sturdy belt. 13mm belts with no suede will offer the most support because the leather is the maximum legal thickness for most federations. Please note that a 13mm belt with suede on both sides is about 9-10mm of leather thickness and covered in suede to reach the 13mm goal.

Options for all weight belts

  1. Untreated – Untreated belts are just like they sound: untreated, raw leather. These belts are cut from the bend, split, skived, and assembled. They are the most cost effective belt we offer. These do not have camo, suede or any other upgrades.
  2. Treated – Treated belts are bare leather soaked in our proprietary blend of fish and mineral oils which help soften the leather and give it a darker finish. This is a very popular option and IMO makes the best product.
  3. Stitched – This option is purely cosmetic on a 6.5mm belt and offers nothing more to the functionality or durability of the products. All suede, camo, or 13mm belts will have stitching included as this is one of two procedures that keep the belt together.
  4. Single Suede – First and foremost, suede belts can be customized with embroidery. This is something that we specialize in and have had great feedback because of. We use very expensive and heavy garment suede that is usually around 1.5mm-2mm thick (keep that in mind when choosing your belt). Suede offers no support so, to be honest, it offers nothing more than aesthetics to the product if it is on the outside only.
  5. Double Sided Suede – This is the most popular style because it is the most stylish. Every manufacturer offers a double suede belt. Suede on both sides covers any flaws in the leather and just makes for a badass belt. This option can be fully customized with the option to have different colors on the inside and out, and it can be embroidered. Remember that if you choose a 13mm double suede belt, you are getting 9mm-10mm of leather (support) and the 3mm-4mm is the suede that was mentioned in the Thickness section.
  6. Single Camo – Our camo belts ARE NOT SUEDE. They are a Mil-Spec 1000Denier Cordura Fabric. This fabric does not give so a belt with camo will be more rigid than its suede or non-suede counterpart. These belts will not feel broken in and tend to make the belt stiffer.
  7. Double Camo – Read above. A belt that is ordered with double camo will be the stiffest belt we offer. I don’t recommend this belt to anyone unless they are looking for a really sturdy belt. It will be made with approximately 12mm of leather and the other 1mm is with the heavy duty camo material.
  8. Embroidery – This is what we are quickly becoming known for. We can embroider your name, gym logo, or any other image you want on a belt which is appealing to all. We do not put our logo or company name on anything so you can truly make and belt that is YOURS!
  9. Stitch Color – Your options here are white, blue, red, or black and each one can really make your custom belt stand out. Stitch color will not affect the belts performance, but can drastically change the look so be careful on your choice here!
  10. Edging – Edging is something that comes standard with most belt companies, but I wanted to make it an option for you since this is YOUR belt! This is our most popular option and can really finish off the belt.
  11. Powder Coated Hardware – Everyone has Nickel plated buckles and levers so we decided to expand our offerings. We now have levers and buckles in a matte black finish! The powder coat has been tested and has proven time and time again to not chip or wear so we went forward with offering them to the public. We have had nothing but good reviews on these so I am positive you will like them as well.

Building your perfect weight belt

Use the information above to help you during the process. If you want a cheap and durable belt to last you a long time, go with a simple 6.5mm power belt in treated or untreated raw leather one. If you want to show off in the gym or on the platform, get a suede or camo belt and customize it as crazy as you want. Remember to take in account your torso height and training goals at all times before you spend the money on a belt you don’t need. I will always be available (during normal business hours) to answer any questions or to help you figure out what is best for you!

59 thoughts on “How to Choose the Right Weight Belt for You

  1. Hi

    I’m a bit confused between 6.5mm Thick 10cm Leather Deadlift Belt (Treated) & 6.5mm Thick 10cm Powerlifting Belt (Treated)….are they the same?

    and from what I read in the Q&A, stitching offer nothing in terms of functionality & strength of the belt, right?

    thanks

    Oscar

    1. Hey Oscar,

      They are the same exact belt, I just wanted them on both pages. As for the stitching, you are correct. If offers nothing in terms of strength or functionality.

  2. Thanks for posting this; quick sizing question, my wait measures at 31.5 inches at my bellybutton so I’m not sure if a medium size belt is correct or not. I don’t plan on getting much bigger but if I get smaller will I be able to cinch the belt in enough to provide that tight support? Should I try a small? thanks!

    1. Go with a small for sure. You will probably wear the belt closer to 30″ when you cinch it tight so you will have 3″ to loose or 6″ to gain

  3. Hi, I was wondering if your tri-color lever belt is available to order.

    1. Not yet but getting closer! I am still waiting for new cutting dies to come in.

  4. Hi there

    I measure 42″ around my belly button ive orded a L 10mm leaver belt have I orded the right size?

    1. Yes you should be good!

  5. I have two questions. I’m around a 27-28 inch waist normally and I was wonder what size to get. Also, is it possible to get a belt that is slightly less than 4 inches in width just because I have a shorter torso than usual people? I’m not entirely sure how to go about it.

    1. Hey Johanna,

      I would need you to make sure that you are 27-28 around your naval or where you are wearing the belt and not the waist (you may already mean that, but it gets lost over text). After that is established, at 27-28, i would recommend an XS 22-31″ belt. If you are relaxed at 27-28, then you will wear your belt at around 26-27 once it is cinched tight. As for the width, you can buy the 4″ version and type whatever width you need into the “order comments” section at checkout.

  6. Hello, I just ordered a belt about 15 min ago. Do you have any tips on how to break them in? I have tried running my current belt through the dish washer and that worked fairly well. Any other advice?

    V/r
    Anthony

    1. Hey Anthony,

      The best way to break these belts in is to just work it as much as possible. Roll it, bend it, fold it and repeat. They are just like a new pair of leather boots or a baseball glove. Just takes a little work and time.

  7. Would like to know more info on purchasing a custom 10mm lever belt, please?

    Thank you!

    -John

    1. Email me at Matt@generalleathercraft.com with any questions you may have.

  8. Hello do you ship to spain?

  9. Hi, I have a few questions regarding the 10mm Thick 10cm Lever Power Lifting Belt (Double Suede). I measure 33 inches around my belly button. I assume it would be best to buy a small. Is that correct? Also, if I were to order a plain single colored belt with black edging, approximately how long would it take before I receive it? I live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    1. At 33″ I would recommend a small. At 33″, you will most like wear the belt at closer to the 32″ range when you cinch the belt tight and obviously, at 32″ you will be almost a perfect Small. Any belts that do not have embroidery will ship quickly (3-5 business days)

  10. Hi, I am looking to purchase a customized belt for my sister for christmas. How long will it take to get it made?

    1. And I’m thinking to get Golden State Warriors color scheme with its logo and a message. Is that possible?

      1. The logo itself is trademarked by the NBA so I will not be able to use it exactly, but I can probably get close.

    2. Through the Holiday season, our embroidered belts are taking around 4 weeks to complete.

      1. Anyway to speed up the process? It would be a neat Christmas present.

        1. I have a lot of orders in house that I am trying to get out by Christmas. It is not that your belt takes a long time to make, it takes me a long time to get to the order to make it. Hope that makes sense.

  11. Hey Matt,

    I’m thinking of getting a 10mm Thick 10cm Lever belt, I mesure at 38″ around my belly button completely relaxed. Should I get a Medium or Large?

    Thank you,
    Olivier A.

    1. Hey Olivier, The safest bet is to type a note in the order comments that you want the middle hole to be 38″ and we will make the belt to fit. If you would rather a normal size, I would recommend a Medium if you plan on losing any weight and a large if you plan on putting on weight.
      Hope this helps!
      Matt

      1. Thank you for the extremely quick reply! I will take your advice and ask for the middle hole to be 38″. I’ll submit my order right away. Thanks again!

  12. Hi,

    My waist is 34 at my bellybutton. I am not sure if I should go with the medium or small. Also, you mentioned in the post that the 10mm is the most popular, would that still be the case with a lever belt or would you need measure my waist differently.

    Thank you!

    Nathaly

    1. Hey! If you are 34″ around your naval tight, make a note in the order comments to make your belt 39″ Long from end to end (for a lever belt). That will get you close to the center hole so you have room on both sides.

  13. I’m wanting the power belt 10″ lever belt and I measure right at 40 which puts me at a medium but the highest end. I was wondering if I should get the large?? I’m new at this please help.

    1. Def a large 35″-44″. 40″ will put you right in the middle

  14. Hi, my waist measures right about 28″ which puts me at the lower end of small. Should I buy a small or extra small? I have tried on my friends medium and the lowest hole was too loose.

    1. Hey Daniel,

      If you are 28″ around your naval (where you will be wearing your belt), I would recommend the XS unless you plan on getting bigger. If that is the case, order a Small and request the middle hole to be 28″. You will need to make this request in the order notes section at checkout.

  15. I want to surprise my wife with a belt. She mainly used the belt for squats and deadlifts. She has roughly a 24″-26″ waist. What belt would be best suited for her application?

    1. Hey Luis, this may seem like an odd question, but how tall is she? I ask this because with that small of waist, I assume that she is fairly short and you may want to look into a 3″ power belt. Let me know on that part but I would recommend either the normal 4″ (10cm) power belt or special request a 3″ version.

      1. Hi Matt,

        I’ve got a 29″ waist and am 5’1″. I plan on using the belt for deads and squats…can you please make a recommendation for me? This’ll be my first belt, and there are so many choices…I don’t want to choose the wrong one.

        Thank you!!

        1. Hey Christina,

          Kimberly here, being a smaller in stature woman I would not recommend a 4″ belt. I think it would rub your hips and ribs. So I suggest a 3″ belt. You can order any belt you want on the website and in the order notes section (on the checkout page) request it be cut to 3″. I also do not recommend a 13mm for your first belt. Stick with the 6.5mm or the 10mm. I hope this helps. Let me know if you need anything else. You can get me quicker at matt@generalleathercraft.com
          Kimberly

  16. So the suede on the outside is purely cosmetic. Does the inner suede layer have a function or is it more cosmetic as well.

    Also, I really like how the treated leather looks. Is there a difference between the leather layer of the 6.5mm and the 10mm power belts? Basically, will there be a difference in support between them?

    1. Hey Keith, Good questions!

      The inside is a bit more functional as it can provide a bit of comfort and it will slip a bit less while wearing a singlet.

      Second question – They are the same TBH. The leather we use is the same for all non 13mm belts so they will offer the same support.

  17. I’m 6′ even and already have a 4″ belt for squatting and pressing. Looking for something smaller for deadlifting that won’t hinder my range of motion as much. Is the 2″ or 3″ deadlift belt a better bet? Thanks

    1. go 3″. It will cover more space without hindering the ROM

  18. hi , iv just ordered a medium , my waist measures 36″ , the belt i wear at the gym is 33″ from the end to the hole , is medium the right size ? thanks

    1. Honestly Paul I would change that to a small if you plan on losing or maintaining your current weight/build. If you are planning a bulk, go Medium but otherwise I think small is best at 33″. If you want to shoot me an email, just reference your order number and explain that you are 33″ and we will make the belt to fit.

  19. Hi
    I’m just wondering if the 6.5mm thick 2” lever bench belt is purely for benching or can i use it in the other 2 lifts and is the whole belt thickness 6.5mm or is it just the leather and not including the double suede ?
    Also, will this belt give me the same amount of support as the 10mm lever belt ?
    Cheers

  20. Hello I was wondering if I should get a 6.5mm double suede belt or a 10mm. I am between 6′-6’1 with a 31-32″ waist at the belly button. Would small or medium fit me best? And would the 10mm hinder my ROM on squats or deadlifts?

    Thanks (Don’t know if my comment posted earlier)

    1. Hey Erik,

      The 10mm belts are 6.5mm double suede belts. Two in the same so you are good to go there! At 31″-32″, go small. 10mm belts are pliable enough you shouldn’t have any issues getting into position.

  21. Hi I just have a question about the double sided camo. I’m looking for a very sturdy belt and am looking at your dobule camo belts. You say they are much stiffer than your suede counterparts. Will they always be very stiff or do you mean the break in period is just much much longer than your suede belts?

    1. They will become softer with time but never as soft as a suede belt

  22. I forgot to add this part to my last comment. Is there any chance you have examples of what the different camo options look like?

    1. Shoot me an email and I will find you some pictures.

  23. Hi, I measure 32.5 to 33 inches around my navel. Do you recommend the small? I am 5.0 feet tall. Please let me know if I should order the small or medium. I am planning on using the belt for squats mainly. Which belt should I purchase? Please let me know. Thanks

    1. Yes at those measurements, I think a Small is the best fit!

  24. Hey Matt!!! Super stoked I found your company and this article!! My man and I will be ordering two custom belts to rep our clothing line we just launched!! Thanks for the info on sizing and whatnot in the comments! Keep up the great work!!!

  25. Hey there-
    I’m a 148 pound equipped lifter. I pretty much maintain within 5lbs of my contest weight. My waist measures at 31″ at my belly button. Can you tell me what size you would recommend and would it be the same whether single prong or levered?
    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Tracey,
      Kimberly here, when you order there is a section for order notes on the checkout page, put in that section that you want the middle hole to be 31″ and we will do that for you. Just order the small and put that in the order notes. I suggest the single prong unless you have used a lever belt before. The levers have to be removed and reset for certain lifts or squats so sometimes it is easier with the single prong.

  26. Hi –
    I am a female – 4’11, 101 lbs, and have a 26.75″ waist – I’m concerned that a 4″ belt may be too wide and will hits my ribs/hips. What do you recommend for powerlifting (I think a 2.5″ belt may not offer enough support). I am looking for a lever belt.

    thanks for your advice!
    ~Jackie

    1. I would suggest a 3″ belt. It is our most popular with the women smaller in stature. You can order any of our belts on the website, and in the order notes section, on the checkout page, request it be cut down to a 3″ belt.

      Kimbrly

  27. Hey Matt! Very interested in getting a belt for squatting/deadlifts in the gym, I am not a powerlifter. Which belt would you recommend for someone who just wants some support, tired of checking out the belts that are provided at the gym. Thanks Matt!

    1. If you want a basic functional belt. I would go with a treated power belt. It will be inexpensive and serve its purpose for a long time!

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