What shot-put shots are best for men, women and kids?

The shot put has been an Olympic track and field event since Athens, Greece, in 1896. The shot is a heavy metal ball about the size of a grapefruit, and the goal is to hurl it as far as possible with an action that looks more like shoving than throwing. In the Olympic Games, the regulation weights of these small cannonballs are 16 pounds for men and 8.8 pounds for women. In middle school, high school and college events, the shots are lighter.

Shot-put shots come in different diameters

Generally speaking, the larger the better, because when a shot is too small, you’re likely to throw it like a ball rather than use the proper technique. When a shot is too big, though, it will slip in your hand. Don’t overlook the importance of shoes made specifically for men’s and women’s track and field events.

Measure your grip

The correct diameter for you is the one where the shot rests on the pad of your palm and your fingers are in the proper throwing position. Those with shorter fingers prefer shots with smaller diameters and those with longer fingers need larger ones. As athletes grow, their hands get bigger and they need shots with progressively larger circumferences to maintain optimum contact areas and push zones.


  • Cast iron: In spite of its strength, cast iron slowly chips away over time. The pitted areas will rust and scrape your neck and hands unless they’re coated with something.
  • Brass: Brass is an alloy made of copper and zinc. As a shot material, it is soft enough to dent but too smooth for some to get a good grip.
  • Stainless steel: It is very expensive and, like brass, too smooth for maximum performance and too easy to dent.


Shots come in weights from 6-20 pounds. The three regulation weights used most often by shot putters are the easiest sizes to find. When training, shot putters often use heavier shots than the ones they use in competition.

  • 6 pounds: These are made for children and smaller people. 
  • 8.8 pounds: This is the size used by women’s Olympic and U.S. National shot putters.
  • 16 pounds: This is the standard weight for Olympic and U.S. National men’s teams.

How to put a shot

  1. Hold the shot at the base of your fingers in your dominant hand.
  2. Rest the shot where your neck and jawline meet.
  3. Coil your body as you turn your back to the target.
  4. Bend your hips and knees.
  5. Thrust your body toward the target as you uncoil it.
  6. Push the shot away from your neck in a single, uninterrupted motion, using your entire body.

Best shots for use in the shot put

Best shot for beginners

Best Nelco Scholastic 6-Pound Iron Shot

Nelco Scholastic 6-Pound Iron Shot

What you need to know: This budget-friendly option is a great choice for those just getting started with shot putting.

What you’ll love: This unisex shot is primarily intended for younger, smaller shot putters but can be used by all ages and athletic abilities.

What you should consider: The 3.66-inch diameter is for smaller hands.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best shot for high school sports

Best Crown 12-Pound Cast Iron Shot

Crown 12-Pound Cast Iron Shot

What you need to know: This shot is regulation-size for high school track-and-field events.

What you’ll love: It’s precision-made to a 114-millimeter diameter. It is balanced for optimum performance, extremely durable and is a bestseller on Amazon.

What you should consider: Some complained about its packaging. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best shot for men

Best Gill Athletics Cast Iron 16-Pound Shot

Gill Athletics Cast Iron 16-Pound Shot

What you need to know: This 16-pound shot is the size used by Olympic male shot putters.

What you’ll love: It has an official weight stamp engraved in it itself and comes in weights from 6-20 pounds for training and building strength.

What you should consider: Sooner or later, the paint chips and peels.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best shot for training indoors

Best Crown Sporting Goods 6-Pound Indoor Iron Shot

Crown Sporting Goods 6-Pound Indoor Iron Shot

What you need to know: The soft polyvinyl shell of this indoor shot is safe to use at home. because it doesn’t mark up your floors.

What you’ll love: It’s great for lightweight speed training because it has the same heft as an iron ball and does not require you to change your grip or technique. The smooth surface has no dents or blemishes.

What you should consider: The lighter weight means the diameter is a bit larger than standard.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best shot put carry bag

Best Crown Sporting Goods Shot Carry Bag

Crown Sporting Goods Shot Carry Bag

What you need to know: It looks like a laptop shoulder bag with a curved and heavily reinforced bottom.

What you’ll love: This heavy-duty nylon bag is big enough to carry two shots and two discuses to your practices, competitions and meets. It has two inner compartments and an adjustable carry strap. The included guide demonstrates proper exercises for a variety of applications. 

What you should consider: The bag is water-resistant, not waterproof.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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