About a month ago I decided I wanted a new pair of Olympic weightlifting shoes as I have been lifting in the same pair of AdiPowers since August of 2014. I started to look at my options and narrowed it down to the following choices:
- Nike Romaleos II
- Nike Romaleos III
- Reebok Legacy Lifter
- NoBull Lifter
- Position Shoes
- Adidas Leistung
There are others, but these are the major brands and models that I found out there. They all have folks who love them and folks who hate them. What follows are just my opinions about the shoes in general. I have small, but fairly average feet (not super wide, narrow, etc.).
- Nike Romaleos II - No longer made but if you can find a pair in your size they may be the shoes for you. In general they are a heavy shoe, and I found them to be stiff and kind of unpleasant on my feet. I have been told they need a few weeks to break in, but it wasn’t worth the risk to me to wait a few weeks and then decide I didn’t like them still. I did try them for over 20 minutes but was just uncomfortable the entire time. More than one WC lifter wears them and likes them.
- Nike Romaleos III - Much lighter than the IIs and more of a new shoe than an upgrade from II to III in my opinion. To me they felt cheaply made and oddly narrow in the toe box (something Nikes are NOT known for). They just did not really fit my feet. I know that some folks on the WC team have them and love them, but they weren’t for me. (I have also read multiple negative reviews about their construction and was definitely worried about them lasting).
- Reebok Legacy Lifter - Reebok’s attempt to break into a full Olympic lifting shoe. Not to be compared to their prior lifting shoes which are much more of a mixed shoe for CrossFit and Olympic lifting. I found them to be only ok. They fit decently, but I just wasn’t blown away. Again, they seemed cheaply made and I was worried about them lasting (with multiple negative reviews online as well). Still, CJ has broken a few records in them so maybe they are the shoe for you? I don’t know anyone personally who has them.
- NoBull Lifter - I wasn’t prepared to shell out $300 for a pair of shoes. Joe Brown had a pair, but ended up selling them and getting the Romaleos IIIs.
- Position Shoes - These look like nice shoes and I know at least one person with a semi-custom pair (extra heel height), but it is the one shoe I didn’t order and try. These have a 1” heel which is higher than the more standard .75”. Definitely well-made and backed by the company!
- Adidas Leistung - These were the last shoes that I tried. Like the Positions, these have a 1” heel. I was a little concerned about how the height change would or would not affect my lifting. Although I don’t have ‘bad’ ankle mobility, I do have some wicked long femurs which may actually benefit from the higher heel. I am a touch worried the heel will put me a little forward when I go to snatch in them, but I think I can adjust to it without much work. These were the only shoes that I put on out of the box and didn’t instantly dislike. They were comfortable to walk around the house in and seemed to be well made. They do have a slightly different closure system that mimics cycling shoes with the micro-adjusting Boa® Closure System. I admit that I had to read the tag to figure out how to use it, but so far I like it and it is guaranteed for life so I am not worried if it was to break. So I bit the bullet, cut off the tag, and lifted in them. So far I like them and I am happy with them. For those currently in the AdiPowers, I think they are an easy change!