When Reebok asked if I wanted to test out the newest iteration of their top shelf Olympic weightlifting shoe, excited was an understatement. Previously, I’d always just get things like shorts and t-shirts to test, sometimes cool, sometimes not. You usually have to return the items after the testing period is up with the option to get paid in Reebok apparel or sometimes they just give you what you were testing back. To my surprise, they sent me the shoes back! Weird, since the shoes are so far from launch, but I’m not complaining. Thanks Reebok, for hooking me up with a pair of the upcoming Reebok CrossFit Lifter Plus 2.0. (Note: These are “prototype” versions of the shoe, but judging by the pictures released in the catalogue, they’ll be the release shoes.)
Eye-catching. I’m not sure people are drawn to them because they look cool or because they’re different than what most people are used to. Personally I think they look great, much better than the original Lifters and Lifter Plus. They look a lot different than the typical modern weightlifting shoe with slimmer lines. The 2.0’s have more of a rounded toe box that reminds me of wearing skater shoes. The upper materials are made from a premium feeling synthetic besides the toe box, which is leather. The styling is on point with the look Reebok has been moving all their CrossFit gear towards, which some might not like, but I do.
The Lifter Plus 2.0 feels like a lot more shoe than the previous iterations did. The base feels wider and the upper feels more cushioned. Naturally, the shoe is going to feel a bit more clunky while walking than the previous Lifters did. My theory is that Reebok noticed that people did WOD’s in Romaleos and Adipowers anyways, so they changed their hybrid shoe to lean more towards the weightlifting aspect. You’ll feel rock solid stability landing in these shoes, but at a cost of being less flexible and a little more heavy; though I haven’t put them on a scale. Not quite Romaleo heavy, but not FastLift light, probably somewhere around the weight of the Lifter Plus. Still a very WOD-able shoe, I’ve put these shoes through their paces and I haven’t had any comfort issues that I wouldn’t get from wearing any other weightlifting shoes while I WOD. Normally, I’ll get aching in my plantar facia from having to repeatedly jump during WOD’s. I’d still stick to WODing in Nano’s and lifting in these. Heel height seems the same at .75 inches. Reaching depth in squats is as easy as it’s ever been in any other weightlifting shoe.
The first thing you’ll notice when you slip these shoes on is that the insole is soft. A little too soft for my liking, but some people like that kind of support. U-Form is present still and remains the same with the “baking” to fit method. As with all the U-Forms, the soles felt more broken-in after the forming process, but the upper didn’t change much. I don’t have the widest or the most narrow feet, but I do have a bunion on my right foot so the roomier toe box is nice. The overall fit is a little wider, but you can really lock your feet into place with the two velcro straps. Size 9 is my general weightlifting shoe size, and these shoes fit me like a glove. For reference, my Nano 3.0 size is 9.5.
I’m fairly certain that when these shoes come out they’ll be priced the same as the original Lifter Plus 2.0 at $175. That puts it in the same range as the other premium weightlifting shoes. Before, it was hard to think of the Lifter as being in the same category as shoes such as Romaleos and Adipowers but I think Reebok has come up with a compelling alternative with the Lifter Plus 2.0. For those of you that need a shoe that accommodates all types of feet and has a little more support than typical weightlifting shoes do, you might want to look into copping a pair of the upcoming Reebok CrossFit Lifter Plus 2.0.
UPDATE: Just for reference, I’ve added pictures of the Lifter Plus 2.0 directly from the Reebok catalog we have at my box, showing that the shoes are pretty much, if not exactly the same shoe. Looks like the intro date on the white colorway is set to be later in the year. 🙂