What We Like
What We Don't Like
Getting stronger and stronger feels great. You'll feel better and look just as good. Once you max out your newbie gains, you'll notice you plateau. This is where a weightlifting belt can help you squeeze out all of your beginner gains.
After many hours of research and testing, we give you a full review of the Valeo Weight Lifting Belt. This belt is 100% genuine leather and a fantastic option for budget friendly lifters. But is this belt good for you? Read on to find out about all of the Valeo Leather Weight Lifting Belt.
Valeo Weight Lifting Belt Review
Valeo is an odd company considering they focus on protective gear for the workplace. Most other weight lifting belt companies offer fitness and sports products. But Valeo’s belts are offerings for heavy duty construction workers.
Surprisingly, some fitness athletes use this belt despite its brand. But, as they say, don’t judge a book by its cover. Valeo products offer great value with the price point. They are not new to work equipment either, with a 40 year history of work gloves and other products.
Valeo offers leather and Nylon types of weight lifting belts. For the sake of safety and proper testing, we will be reviewing the Valeo 6 inch leather weight lifting belt. I performed my tests with this belt and was happy about the outcome. I detail my review with loads of information for you to make a proper decision.
Who Is This Product For?
Valeo started off as a company manufacturing gloves for construction workers. They slowly diversified into ergonomic products and more work gear for specialized jobs. They saw an opportunity to provide customers with lifting belts for better safety. The result is what you see today, a brand with a reputation of putting value before anything.
Their weight lifting belts are for workers that lift heavy on a regular basis. It's not specialized for the gym. If you’re a newbie in your fitness career, this belt will serve you well. It's highly rated and one of the cheapest ones on the market. A lifter with more than 2 years of experience may not gain much from this belt. Especially if you lift more than 300lbs.
The Valeo lifting belt is a leather and suede belt. But, the quality of leather and suede is nowhere near to that of a premium belt. The belt has split grain leather with an inside lining of suede. From the touch and feel of the leather, it's not cheap. You can tell it is still quite stiff and would take some abuse from lifting.
Unlike other weight lifting belts, the Valeo lifting belt is not one single piece of leather. Instead, it has many layers of leather to give it some thickness. The thickness rating for the belt isn’t specified but it looks less than the standard 10mm. With the layers of leather, the belt is stiff. In fact, the belt is stiffer than I expected.
With any premium leather belt, the stiffness is present because of the quality of leather. The Valeo belt is different because the level of rigidity is due to the many layers. The outside layer of suede is soft and non-slip. This follows several layers of leather stitched together.
As with a stiff leather belt, you will take some time to break the belt in. Over the course of your workouts and sets, the belt will endure and bend to your movements. With more bending and twisting, the belt will soften and increase in comfort.
Overview of the Features
Let's talk about the belt’s specifications and features. Because of the build of the belt, you can tell it's durable. I can see why construction workers and trades trust this belt for their jobs. Jobs such as lumberjacks and heavy machine operators prefer the Valeo belt. This belt is ready for right out of the package.
The belt is not heavy, I'd say less than 2lbs. With the padding, I can compare this belt to the Harbinger model. I thought the belt would be dainty because of the build, but I stand corrected. The belt has great construction. Although I don't prefer layers of leather, the belt is stiff and will take some time to break in.
I can't imagine this belt will wear and tear if you use the belt properly. Which brings me to one drawback with this belt. It doesn't have a lifetime warranty as other belts have. But considering the price tag, it's not a terrible waste of money.
The Valeo weight lifting belt has a double prong fastening mechanism. The buckle is all steel. I like the rolling buckle with this belt. I found it to be smooth and easy to take off during my lifts. I'm not a proponent of the double prong system, but I don't mind this one.
Valeo Sizing Guide
Like other weight lifting belts, the Valeo version is available in 5 different sizes. The sizes range from 24 inches to 51 inches for the largest one. Trust me when I tell you, the size of your weight lifting belt is as crucial as how you use it.
Don’t ever try and use your pant size for the measurement of your weight lifting belt. I got the small version and it was perfect. I measured my navel to the thickest part of my waist and it gave me 28 inches. Using my pant size of 32 inches would have been way too big for me. A loose belt is just as worse as a tight belt since it will not provide you enough core stability.
How to Use this Weight Lifting Belt
We tested this belt during a heavy workout to see the true test of the product. I performed squats, deadlifts, and various Olympic style movements. The Valeo weight lifting belt is uncomfortable at first. Probably because of the layers of leather that I am not familiar with yet.
During my squats, I didn’t feel insecure at all and I liked the support. I liked the padded cushion on my back and how wide it is to keep me tight. In fact, the cushion doesn’t centralize in the middle of the back. Instead, the padding goes right to the edge providing comfort all throughout the belt.
The padding is thick, and I normally don’t see that much cushion for weight lifting belts. Again, I see that this belt is for workers who want to protect their back during the job. As a beginner you would enjoy the level of comfort for this belt. But as an intermediate or advanced lifter, you might find the padded belt a little annoying.
As some of our readers might know, I like to test the belt’s comfort when I go down in my squats. As I breathe in and brace I lower my body to squat. At the bottom of my movement, I will breathe out to see if the belt feels uncomfortable. I don’t recommend this for any untrained fitness athletes as this can be dangerous. Nonetheless, the belt didn’t dig into my hips when I blew out, which is a great sign.
I found this belt to be comfortable during my deadlifts as well. The leather gave enough to let me have a nice level of mobility. I didn’t find the belt to be interfering with my range of motion at all. The leather’s thickness was perfect for my size to be perfect for hip hinge movements.
I think the weight limit for any split grain leather weight lifting belt is about 300lbs. Now considering that this belt is not an Inzer or a Eleiko, I wouldn’t try my limits with this product. I found good support combined with mobility with this belt. But I don't recommend maxing out your weight since it will do more harm than good.
The quality and price of the Valeo weight lifting belt scream beginner friendly. This belt is great for males and females looking to get some support during lifts. For ladies, check out our full guide on how to buy a proper belt with reviews. I would recommend the belt to anyone doing Olympic lifts and CrossFit enthusiasts.
If you’re planning to lift more than 300 lbs, I would tell you to get another belt. Don’t get me wrong, the Valeo belt will help you lift more but to a point. Always remember to put safety before anything else. I would recommend a sturdier belt like the RitFit belt.
Maybe you’d like to keep with the leather feel and function. Well if this is the case for you, try the Hawk Powerlifting belt. The Hawk belt is high quality leather and thick enough to withstand heavy weights.
If you’re a beginner who wants a leather belt for support, the Valeo belt is perfect for you. The belt is for novice lifters and anyone who thinks they need support during their every day work. It’s lightweight and serves its function during movements. During my research, I didn’t find the belt to pinch my skin or dig into my hips.
As far as Olympic movements and CrossFitters go, this belt will suit your needs. As long as you keep your lifts to less than 80% of your maximum, I don’t see this belt as insecure. The Valeo weight lifting belt will help you lift more while supporting your spine. You can’t go wrong with the Valeo weightlifting belt if you want value and function.