Information on how to run faster, lift stronger and think deeper

Which belt to buy from Rogue? [Article, free download]

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Mar 10, 2019 4:58:20 AM

Rogue belt overview

Which belt to buy from Rogue?

This article gives you an overview of the Rogue lifting belts and helps you which one to choose. If you don't want to put any thought into this buy the Rogue Ohio belt. This is the best value for money option from Rogue. If you want to spend more time on your research you find 11 different belts in this article.

If you want the most up to date news or ask direct questions, then you can follow me on Instagram.

Download the free Rogue barbell Overview

Which belt to buy from Rogue

The quick and easy answer is the Rogue Ohio Belt. This is the best all-purpose belt from Rogue which is still reasonably priced. If you want to go for a lower budget option choose the Rogue Echo 10mm belt. You will save $50 and still get a proper leather belt, although it is not produced in the US and has lower quality leather and finish.

Buckle up

When you buy  a lifting belt there are usually three different types of buckles available
  • Single Prong
  • Double Prong
  • Lever
The single prong design is the preferred one for belts that are being used by multiple users and want to lift heavy. This buckle is usually found on the 4'' and 5'' belts. One prong means less fiddling around to get in and out of the belt between lifts. 
Double prong design is usually used for the smaller belts. As the buckle is smaller on a 3'' belt you usually need two small prongs to provide the necessary stabilization at the front. While this is great to design a smaller belt it can get annoying when you have to get in and out of the belt between sets. 
Lever belts are a great option when there is only one user for the belt. Lever belts usually have to be screwed in place This makes is a cumbersome solution for the use of multiple athletes.


The budget ranges that make the most sense for buying a weightlifting belt are:
  • Up to $50
  • Up to $100
  • Above $100
In the first category, you will usually find nylon belts or low-quality leather belts. It depends on what you want to use the belt for what the better option is for your personal needs. I personally would rather buy a high-quality nylon belt than a shotty leather belt. If you want to lift very heavy you might want to reconsider your budget to widen your access to proper leather belts.
For up to $100 you will get some Rogue leather belts which are smaller. In Black Friday sales you might get lucky and get the Rogue Ohio Belt just for $100. If you go to Craigslist or eBay you also might be lucky. If you want to wait and luck for a bargain online you will get a proper leather belt for this money.
For above $100 you will get any belt of Rogue's. The good leather belts only will put you back $150 max. If you buy a good belt in the right size you only have to do it once in your life. Maybe save up the extra money to have access to all options and make a decision based on the use case rather than your budget. The only exception is when you buy for your gym. Here you have to factor in that the price will multiply out per person you want to provide a belt to

Leather or Nylon 

Nylon belts are usually cheaper than the leather belts as they are manufactured in China and the material costs less. Leather belts are more expensive as leather costs more than Nylon and it is harder to fully mechanize the production process. Nylon belts are good for recreational lifters, crossfitters, bodybuilders and other high rep, low-intensity workouts. Leather belts are the right choice in low rep ranges where you go very heavy. I would not recommend using a Nylon belt on a one repetition maximum attempt. I have tried it and it does not work.


Leather belts will need to be broken in. When you get them they are usually quite stiff and unforgiving on your waist and hips. Breaking them in is as easy as bending the belt in different directions. The goal is to make the leather smoother so that it sits snugger around your waist. The poorer the quality of the leather o the belt, the longer this process will take. The better the leather, the easier it will be for you to break the belt in.

Tanning ( vegetable, sole)

Here is a video of the vegetable tanning process

3 ships free 

Be aware that the Rogue Belt is a 3 ships free item. As you are buying something of relatively low cost (in Rogue Terms) I would recommend to throw in two more items to get the 3 ships free deal. Some examples are:
Rogue lever belt

Rogue Black Leather 13mm 4'' Lever Belt




Overview of the lever belt

The Rogue Black Leather 13 mm Lever belt is manufactured by Pioneer in the United States. It weighs around 3lb and has 4'' in width. The leather has been vegetable tanned and has a thickness of 13mm. The belt is IPF approved which means that you can wear it wear your lifts when you are competing in the IPF. The Rogue logo is embossed and it is available in black. The edges are beveled for more comfort. The inner side of the belt prevents slipping as it is roughened up leather. 
The buckle also comes in black. The leather pieces are sewn together with a single stitch. The lever itself can be screwed in place to have the best fit for the lifter. To adjust the belt in size you will need to use a screwdriver. In total there are six screws that need to be fixed to make the belt work.

Pros of the lever belt 

This belt is big and sturdy. If you want to lift heavy often and know your way around correct breathing and bracing this is the right belt for you. The lever makes it very easy to get in and out of the belt while having it very tight. Once adjusted for you, you will have a great piece of equipment. The 13mm vegetable tanned leather support this way of lifting in addition. If you are planning to compete in powerlifting and know how to move a serious weight, this is the belt for you for individual use.

Cons of the lever belt

The most obvious reason is the price. With $145 it is the highest price for a belt in the Rogue portfolio. For this budget, you can also almost get 3x Rogue Echo belts. If you intend to use this belt for multiple people it is also not optimal.  While the lever system is great for an individual lifter it is a complete mess when a belt is shared between multiple people. Every single lifter has to bring a screwdriver, to adjust for their personal needs. Some people might also not like the black color of the belt, as there are no other options from Rogue yet.

Alternatives to the lever belt

If you are willing to spend around $100  for the family you might want to get the Rogue Ohio belt instead. the leather is not as thick and it comes with a buckle which will make it easier for everyone in the house to use the belt in your garage gym. If you are considering a purchase for a commercial gym you might want to buy three Echo belts instead of one lever belt. There is usually only one heavy lifter per gym and they usually bring their own belt. Therefore cover for the weekend warriors and fit moms by providing a few more belts for classes
Rogue faded pioneer belt

Rogue Faded 4 Pioneer Lifting belt




Overview of the faded belt 

This Rogue branded belt from Pioneer is made in the US and comes in brown. At the edges, the brown fades to a black. The leather belt is 8.5mm thick and made of vegetable tanned leather. It closes with a buckle.  The loop is Rogue branded. What is special about this belt is the Pioneer Cut. The holes on this belt run in two parallel lines which enables the lifter to adjust the belt in 0.5'' increments instead of 1.0''. This makes getting it on and off a lot easier. The buckle itself is a single prong. 

Pros of the faded belt 

This belt is a great option for smaller lifters who have struggled with adjusting belts to their ideal size. It can also be a great option for bigger lifters who change their weight a lot and go on cuts. Bodybuilders might also like the challenge of trying to get to the next whole down in their squat sessions when preparing for a meet. With 8.5mm thickness this belt is less aggressive than the 13mm alternatives and can there also be used for Olympic weightlifting.

Cons of the faded belt 

The price is still on the higher end for a belt. Special ideas like the double holes usually come at a special price. This belt is also somewhere in the middle between an Olympic weightlifting belt and a powerlifting belt. You will pay a high price and be left with an all-purpose belt which you could also have gotten for $20 less. If you see no value in the double holes for you, you might want to pick up something else. The inside of this belt is also a bit more slippy than other options.

Alternatives to the faded belt 

A very good alternative to the faded belt is the Rogue Ohio lifting belt. This is the middle of the range and middle priced option that fits all purposes. If you are a Crossfitter you might also want to consider the Ohio Oly belt.  This belt has a bit of leather cut out in the front to make the snatch and clean and jerk easier to perform.
Rogue premium lifting belt

Rogue Premium Ohio Lifting belt




Overview of the premium lifting belt 

The Rogue Ohio Premium belt is one of the many products of Rogue which shows that they take customer feedback seriously and improve on existing designs. The belt comes in 4'' width and brown color. It is 10mm thick and is made os US English Bridle leather. The leather has been vegetable tanned. The edges are finished with black Tuff Kote and a slip-resistant interior texture has been added.
It is great to see that Rogue took the Ohio belt design and improved the leather, stitching, finish on the edges and provided better functionality in the middle.  I have seen this happen many times in the product range of Rogue and makes me happy to be a customer of them. 

Pros of the premium lifting belt 

The Rogue Premium Ohio lifting belt is the best all-purpose belt you can get from Rogue at this time. It can be used for weightlifters, powerlifter and bodybuilders alike. The new improvements are worth the extra $20 compared to the Rogue Ohio lifting belt, which is also a very solid choice.  The best improvement is the inner texture of the belt that avoids slipping.. That could be a problem with the old Ohio belt.

Cons of the premium lifting belt 

The con is the high price and that you can get more all-purpose belts at a lower quality for groups. If you are looking to equip an entire gym or team of athletes with belts the Rogue Echo might the better choice.. If you buy ten belts that equates to savings of $200 in total which can be used to one more barbell for the gym. It depends on where you set your priorities as the strength coach or for your clients.

Alternatives to the premium lifting belt 

Alternatives in the same price range are the Rogue lever belt and the Pioneer faded belt. The lever belt would be the better choice for serious powerlifters who do nothing but going heavy on the deadlift, squat and bench press. The faded belt can be a good choice for smaller lifter due to their Pioneer Cut system which enables 0.5mm increments in closing the buckle.

Rogue 13 mm Powerlifting belt



Overview of the powerlifting belt

The Rogue 13mm Powerlifting belt was the first Rogue belt especially aimed at powerlifters. The belt is IPF approved and can be used in competition. The leather has been vegetable tanned and the belt is handcrafted in the USA. It is finished with double stitching and the color is black. Suede on the inside of this belt prevents it from slipping during heavy attempts. The belt closes with a normal buckle with a single prong. The belt is 13mm thick and 4'' in width. It weighs 3.35lb. 

Pros of the powerlifting belt

This is the belt for serious lifters who do not want to use a screwdriver to tighten their belt. Everything about this belt is one step up from the Rogue Ohio belt to tailor to the needs of powerlifters. The design is simple and robust. Everyone in your gym or family can use it without having to adjust it. This is a great piece of leather for anyone who is serious about powerlifting.

Cons of the powerlifting belt

13mm thickness is not always ideal for dynamic lifts like the snatch and clean and jerk. This belt provides stiffness which is good for powerlifting but might be a hindrance for Olympic lifting. In addition, it might also not be the best option for very small or compact lifters. Broad and thick belts have a tendency to dig into the rips of the lifter and leave marks and cause discomfort during the lift.

Alternatives to the powerlifting belt

A good alternative to the 13mm powerlifting from Rogue can be the lever belt. It comes in at $20 more but provides a speedier option to get it on and off in a tight way. If you are more of an all-around lifter or crossfitter you probably want to look at the Rogue Ohio or Rogue Ohio Premium belt instead. 

oly ohio lifting belt

Rogue Oly Ohio Lifting belt




Overview of the Oly Ohio lifting belt 


The  Rogue Ohio Oly lifting belt is a special adaptation of the Rogue Ohio lifting belt.  The front has been cut out. This helps for the snatch and clean and jerk to not get in the way.  The belt is made in the USA from vegetable tanned leather. At is 4'' wide at the back and tapers down to 2'' in the front. The Rogue Ohio Oly lifting belt is 10mm thick and comes in brown as a result of the tanning process. 


Pros of the Oly Ohio lifting belt

The Rogue Oly lifting belt has a big advantage, that it is less bulky than the Ohio lifting belt. This gives you more freedom for explosive movements like the snatch and clean and jerk. The single prong design also helps to get the belt on and off easily. 

Cons of the Oly Ohio lifting belt

The belt is not approved for weightlifting competitions like the Rogue 13mm belts. This means that this is a gym only belt. Its specialization also means that it is less versatile than the Ohio lifting belt which costs $5 less. Make sure that your main interest is Olympic weightlifting before buying this belt and that you know what you are doing on the platform already.

Alternatives to the Oly Ohio lifting belt

The all-around standard option is the Rogue Ohio belt. This is the midrange product from rogue I would recommend to everyone. If you want to spend a bit more money go for the Premium Ohio belt. If you are a small lifter you might want to get the Rogue Ohio 3 belt. 

Rogue Ohio Lifting Belt



Overview of the Ohio lifting belt

The Rogue Ohio lifting belt is the workhorse of the belts available from Rogue and the longest in production from Rogue themselves.  This was my personal first purchase from Rogue and they did not disappoint. The leather is from the US and worked on in the house. Rogue uses the vegetable tanning process to deliver high quality, well-finished leather. The belt is 4'' wide and 10mm thick. It comes with a single prong buckle.  The colors are brown with white stitching and a silver buckle.

Pros of the Ohio lifting belt

This is the belt to get when you are serious about your training, but do not know yet in which direction it will take you. This belt will last, is safe and will last you for a lifetime. It is also not overpriced and still affordable. It is the best value for money option on Rogues roster. You will not be disappointed with this belt.

Cons of the Ohio lifting belt

The Rogue Ohio belt is not IPF approved so it can not be used in a powerlifting meet. If you want to use your belt in powerlifting and want it from Rogue you need to opt for the 13mm version or the lever belt. For small lifters or for Olympic weightlifting it might be too cumbersome to use.

Alternatives to the Ohio lifting belt

Small lifters might want to opt for the 3'' version of the Ohio belt to avoid that the belt will dig into their lower ribs. If you want to outfit a gym with belts you also might want to consider the Echo belt as you can get two of these for the price of one Rogue Ohio belt. if you can afford to spend $20 more, you can also go for the Premium Ohio belt.

Rogue 3 Ohio belt



Overview of the 3 belt

The Rogue 3'' lifting belt is a slightly smaller variation in the Rogue Ohio lifting belt. Rogue uses the same vegetable tanned leather to produce this belt. The width of this is 3'' while it is 10'mm thick. IT comes with a double prong buckle in a bright zinc finish. The Rogue branding has been placed on the loop and the back, As with most Rogue branded products this belt is manufactured in Columbus Ohio by American hands. 

Pros of the 3 belt

This is the lowest priced Rogue leather belt made in the US. If you want to grab a good piece of leather but not pay more than $100 this is the one to go for. The smaller width can also be beneficial for smaller lifters.  For powerlifters, this might be a viable second purchase after a 13mm belt especially to train the bench press.  Some lifters also prefer a smaller belt on deadlifts for less pinching.

Cons of the 3 belt

The 3'' will not provide as much support for squats as its bigger brothers and sisters. The double prong design also does not help for ease of use. These belts are fickle to get in and out of. You have to weigh up the pros and cons of each option you have. If you are a bigger lifter you might want to invest a bit more money for a more upmarket belt.

Alternatives to the 3 belt

If you are looking for a smaller belt for Olympic weightlifting the Ohio Oly belt might do the trick for you. If you are an average male who wants a great all-purpose lifting belt go for the Rogue Ohio belt or Rogue Premium Ohio belt. Powerlifter can choose the IPF approved 13mm Rogue belts instead. 

Rogue Echo 10mm Lifting belt



Overview of the Echo belt 

The Rogue Echo belt is 4'' in width and 10mm thick. Production for this belt takes place outside of the United States. It comes with a single prong and in black color. The Rogue logo is stitched on in white.  It provides 10 precision-spaced holes. The Rogue Echo belt might not a lot of breaking in based on the quality of the leather and the production process.

Pros of the Echo belt 

A big pro is the price tag. You get a 10mm leather belt for 52.50$. This is nothing to be scoffed at when you are only a weekend warrior or want to get belts for the entire family for Christmas for the home gym. Same goes for equipping a commercial gym. If I was to open a gym  I would get one per rack and invest the money saved compared to the Ohio belt in putting my own gym branding on them. 

Cons of the Echo belt 

For a leather belt, the finish is poor.  This belt is mass produced in a machine in China with lower quality leather. This saves money and comes at the cost of longevity. This belt is more likely to fall apart and let moisture seep in where the finish is imperfect. If you are only using it occasionally or keep it for group use that is fine. If you want to go pro in lifting maybe wait and invest $100 to $150 bucks into something you can be proud of.

Alternatives to the Echo belt 

This is the belt at the chasm between hobby and passion. If you only want to protect your back a little for occasional workouts you can also look into Nylon belts which save you even more money. These also can be worn with greater ease.

Rogue US Nylon Lifting Belt



Overview of the US Nylon belt

The Rogue USA Nylon lifting belt is fully manufactured in the USA and was created together with CrossFit champion Matt Fraser. The back panel is 5'' in width and tapers down in steps to 4'' and 3'' for the Nylon support strap. The velcro closing system comes with a smooth buckle and roller for quick and easy adjustments. This belt comes in three color variations; black, camo and gray/red. It can also be further customized with velcro patched near to the buckle. The inner foam frame has a ripstop exterior and antimicrobial inner material.

Pros of the US Nylon belt

This is the upper range option for Nylon belts. You will still be buying out of the USA and support the production in Columbus Ohio. This belt also gives you more options to make the belt look cool and fit your overall appearance. Especially for Crossfit WODs which go not that heavy on the movement, but require support, this can be a good belt. For many reps, the nylon will not be as aggressive as a leather belt on your body and it is easier to run around in it.

Cons of the US Nylon belt

A nylon belt that closes with Velcro gives a lot less support than a 13mm string of leather that might even hold up a bullet. I would not recommend squatting one repetition maximum attempts with a nylon belt on. In addition, you will need to replace these belts more often when the Velcro gives in. 

Alternatives to the US Nylon belt

If you are more into strength than overall conditioning you might want to consider the Rogue Echo belt instead. This is the cheapest rogue branded leather belt in the arsenal. If you don't care where the belt is manufactured you can also look int the Nylon belts in 5'' and 4'' width. They are only half the price of the US version.

Rogue 5 Nylon Weightlifting belt



Overview of the 5'' Nylon belt

This is the Rogue branded version of the 5'' nylon belt. This belt includes a hook and loop fastening system and comes in black. It also includes a steel tensioning buckle to make it easy to adjust the belt quickly. 

Pros of the 5'' Nylon belt

The biggest pro is the price of only $21. This belt will support beginners in the squat, deadlift and bench press. It is also a good option for anyone with back pain or just occasionally lifting to protect the back. Crossfitters will find it a good option to ease lower back fatigue on high rep WODS with light weights. The nylon will be more forgiving to your body than leather and leave fewer marks.

Cons of the 5'' Nylon belt

You get what you pay for. The Rogue branding on this belt is neither stitched nor embossed. Be prepared that it will wear off quick when used heavily.  I have worn Nylon belts on heavy squats and would not recommend it. Once you start squatting more than your own bodyweight for reps it is time to go for leather., if you were a belt.

Alternatives to the 5'' Nylon belt

If this belt is too big for you, you can also go for the smaller 4'' version. If you are willing to invest into a leather belt but do not want it to dig into your ribs as much, you might want to look at the 3'' version of the Ohio belt. If you prefer something produced in the states there is also an upgraded version of this Nylon belt for double the price which is exclusively produced in the US.

Rogue 4 Nylon Weightlifting belt




Overview of the 4'' Nylon belt

The Rogue 4'' Nylon belt is a smaller version of the 5'' version. The nylon belt comes with a quick-adjust stell tensioning buckle and hook-and-loop fastening system. It is available in black and with Rogue branding on the back of the belt. 

Pros of the 4'' Nylon belt

A big pro of the 4'' Nylon belt is the price and the versatility of use. This belt can be used for any kind of lighter lifting and even heavier attempts for beginners. It can be easily taken on and off during WODs.  It can also be of advantage if you want to save your ribs from bruises which can easily happen with leather belts.

Cons of the 4'' Nylon belt

You get what you pay for. The branding is only printed not embossed or stitched onto the belt. Expect it to come ff under heavy use. I personally also would not recommend to squat or deadlift anything about 300 pounds 

Alternatives to the 4'' Nylon belt

If you want a leather belt which is less aggressive on your ribs try the 3'' Ohio belt or the Oly belt. Another option is the  US produced Nylon belt.