So, there are loads of different types of belts from Velcro belt, lever belts, ratchet belts, single and double prong and the neoprene back support. All of them are down to personal preference. But some do give you more support than others for instance listing them from
least to most supportive:
- neoprene back support
- single, double prong leather
- lever leather, ratchet
With belts, quality is everything so I have a double prong inzer and a rehband Velcro and neoprene back support. Belts also come in different widths and different thickness. The thicker the belt the more support you get so if your starting out I would start with a thinner belt and as you progress and become more experienced progress onto a thicker belt.
The neoprene belts don't offer much in way of support and give more the individual more confidence with regards to function. What neoprene belts are good for are keeping warmth in certain areas as they have been shown to increase blood supply to areas where they are applied for periods longer than half an hour. So really good on 1 day strongman comps to prevent your back cooling down and preventing injury which is why plenty of strongmen invest in these type of belts.
The Velcro belt gives more than adequate support on all lifts but I tend to use them for more fast running event as I feel it gives me the chance to breath more into the belt than a leather belt. Some athletes like Krzysztof Radzikowski where them all the time so they are not necessarily for moving events. I will find that when my core gets stronger I tend to use this belt more than my double prong.
Ratchets belts are good for giving you the exact tightness you want. They are very adjustable and have can be used for every event. I haven't used one myself but have heard that the strap can be fiddly and you don't tend to take it off once it's on. The other benefit comes if you vary your weight throughout the year.
I tend to use my double prong for my heavy lifts as it helps strengthen my core to manage the heavier weights. I adjust the tightness I have depending on if I'm doing reps or a 1rep max. I like these belts because my weights does vary throughout the year and it's nice to have the flexibility. The difference between single and double prong is that you can tighten a single prong easier. There are are different thickness in belts and the thicker the belt is more restrictive in relation to thinner (10-13ml ) meaning thinner belts are more ideal for exercises like weightlifting movements and deadlift where you don't want to restrict your trunk flexion.
I never get on with my lever belt mostly cause I carry weight around my waste and find they pinch but when it's on I feel locked in as there is pretty much no give in the belt. Also they are easy to get on and off so really helpful for suits. But there is only one setting on these unlike a prong belt where you can adjust it. There are different widths lever belts and the belts where they are quite narrow around the front are designed so your trunk flexing isn't limited so if your a deep squatter this might be a good lever for you. I don't tend to find they give me much support but Worlds Strongest Man athlete Terry Hollands uses it all the time and finds it a very comfortable.
The best way to find out which belt best suits you is either hope someone hands you down a belt or ask to borrow a friends as they cost a lost if you want a decent one.
A tip for when you buy your first leather belt, it will take weeks to break it in so don't worry when get it and it's got no give and cuts in. You need to take some time and roll the belt up tightly both ways to break the stiffness and folding it and standing on the bend and working down the belt and may need to do this every day for a week or two.
Ultimately it's all down to your individual preference as to what belt you try.