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Adidas Leistung 2 Review

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The Adidas Leistung 16 Rio was one of the most asked about weightlifting shoes on the market last year for many reasons. First was that they were the “Official” shoe of the 2016 Rio Olympics, second was that they had the BOA dial enclosure system, third was that they were fairly ugly, and last but not least, no one could seem to figure out what the effective heel height was.  I think it was mainly the latter that created the most confusion about the shoe because most sites didn’t have any concrete information. When I did my review, I had to do a bit of looking around, but I found the Adidas Specialty Sports store which had both the total and effective heel heights. Even still, a bunch of people questioned my source’s authenticity.

I’m not going to lie, the Leistung’s were not my favorite weightlifting shoe. Besides the convenient BOA dial system, there weren’t a ton of redeeming features to me. I was a huge fan of the Adipowers and the Leistung’s just didn’t produce the same magic that the Adipowers did for me. I’m usually a fan of crazy designs, but the upper pattern was just not pleasant to look at and the color wasn’t doing it any kind of favors. The real drawback to me was the heel height, they were my first 1″ heeled shoes and I just couldn’t get used to them. Personally, I don’t have hip or ankle mobility issues and my femurs aren’t long, but my lat mobility isn’t the greatest; slow elbows with the higher heel hindered my performance with the Leistung. Even once narrowly missing destroying my wrist on a clean that was too forward.

Newly refreshed for 2017, we’ve got the updated Leistung 2. While it boasts an updated look and new features, the Leistung at its core, remains the same.

Looks/Construction/Fit:

With the Leistung 2, you get a brand new upper design and material; these shoes look WAY better in comparison to the original Leistung. Carbon fiber in look, the new upper is actually woven synthetic material throughout most of the shoe, that not only looks good, but flexes much better. The TPU heel is basically the same exact thing as it was in the original model, but now is frosted white in color so you don’t get the pink “bleed through” color from the upper. Materials on Adidas shoes are always pretty good and they’re probably only going to get better due to the surge in both training and Adidas as a brand. Both shoes are consistent as far as construction goes and don’t have any odd issues I can complain about.

The BOA enclosure system returns, but with a different purpose this time; now all it just tightens the medial strap versus before when it was the actual lacing system. Shoelaces make their return to the Leistung 2 which in conjunction with the medial strap, make it much easier to get a tighter fit. While much better than the original Leistung, I haven’t quite figured out a way to get a fit where I don’t get any kind of heel slip. Sure, you have to tie your laces now and there’s no where to tuck them in, but I prefer the new/old lacing system to the previous model’s. Those using them for just “squat shoes”, could still probably get away with taking the laces out and just using the BOA dial.

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After having the Leistung 16 in a size 9 and finding the toebox to be on the small side, I decided to get the 2’s in a 9.5. The fit this time around is much nicer and gives my toes plenty of room to splay, without being too big so that my feet would slide around. The midfoot isn’t narrow by any means, but it can be if you need it to be because of the BOA dial medial strap. I recommend getting these shoes in your normal training shoe size. For reference, here are my sizes:

  • AdiPower – 9.5
  • Romaleos 2/3 – 9.5
  • CF Lifters/Legacy – 9
  • Position USA – 9
  • Nano – 10
  • Metcon – 9.5
  • Chucks – 9
  • Ultraboost/NMD – 9.5 or 10

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Performance:

This area is going to be extremely YMMV. I know that there are high level weightlifters that can use the Adidas Leistungs (see – Aleksey Torokhtiy), but personally, I could just not get used to these shoes for Olympic weightlifting. Since the heel construction is the EXACT same as the Leistung Rio 16, performance is pretty much identical. The effective heel height is 1″/24.8mm and the TOTAL heel height is 1.5″/37.8mm. That extra .25″ compared to most Oly shoes makes a huge difference for me. I’m not the fastest under the bar so I’m typically finding myself missing things in front of me when I snatch. On the flip side, when I do make it under in time, I receive the bar in a much more upright torso position. For cleans, my lat mobility isn’t amazing and my elbows are on the slower side, making me catch with low elbows. These are all technical errors on my part and not the shoes being defective. In my opinion, in order to use these shoes to 100% effectiveness, you should be a highly skilled weightlifter.

That added heel height could help you out if your ankle mobility was bad, giving you more angle for your shins, or if you had longer femurs, or even both! When it comes to squatting, high bar requires a little bit more concentration to keep your chest up; if you’re low bar squatting and needed the shoes for mobility, you should be plenty fine. The shape of the outsole and the material Adidas used make the Leistung’s very stable shoes during a squat. Power output while squatting is excellent because that TPU isn’t compressing anytime soon, but since the shoe is so tall, you feel a little disconnected for Olympic lifts. I had a lot of trouble trying to find a balance inside the shoe, being either too far forward or too much on my heels with my toes off the ground. The 1″ heel to toe drop is just too steep in the Leistung for me, compared to the more usable, gradual drop of the Position USA lifters.

The weight of the Leistung 2 per shoe is 17.7oz according to my scale. They’re featherweights (anything is) compared to the Legacy’s, but significantly heavier than the Adipowers, Romaleos or even the new CrazyPower’s.  For a weightlifter or powerlifter, this really shouldn’t be an issue, for a CrossFittter trying to WOD in these shoes, it will be. Not that I would even recommend trying to do WOD’s in these shoes. Having to get set up quickly with the 1″ heel just takes too much effort to do for the weight that you’re typically lifting during a WOD.

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Value/Conclusion:

MSRP of the Leistung 2 is a little higher than most weightlifting shoes at $225. You really have to decide if that 1″ heel will suit your lifting style. Though I think most people will be fine with a more standard .75″ heel, people that need the extra bit of mobility will benefit the most from the higher heel. The 1″ heel to me, is a high risk, high reward kind of thing. It can pay off if you’re more technically sound, but if you’re not, it might be more of a hindrance. Personally, it wasn’t my thing, just like in the original Leistung. If you were a fan of the original Leistung, you’ll probably love the updated model. They’re still an excellent pair of weightlifting shoes, they’re just not for me.

Get  your Adidas Leistung 2 at Rogue Fitness

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Reebok Legacy Lifter Review

The calendar of training shoe releases every year hasn’t changed much over the past couple years. Not that it’s a bad thing, but we’ve been stuck with the same ol’ line ups without anything totally new being released. Though, once in a blue moon something comes out of no where and makes you go “holy s****. We’ve been expecting an update to the Reebok CrossFit Lifters for some time now, but nothing  really prepared us for the announcement of a completely redesigned, dedicated weightlifting shoe from Reebok:

The Legacy Lifters

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The release of these shoes to me honestly comes as a surprise, sort of.  While I’ve always thought the Reebok Lifter Plus 2.0’s were totally competent weightlifting shoes, they’ll always have the stigma of being “CrossFit” shoes. A shame that something so fickle would discourage people to use a great shoe, but that’s the reality of it. Nike and Adidas pretty much have the Olympic lifting shoe market on lockdown, with only a minority straying from the two giants. It’s not that others don’t make great shoes, there are TON’s of excellent lifters that could be platform ready on the market, those are just the tried and true. Using their know how from the CrossFit Lifters, Reebok is looking to cement their legacy (see what I did there?), into the weightlifting world by bringing out one of the best alternatives to the giants, to ever be released.

Looks/Construction/Fit

Reebok’s Legacy lifters are a brand new weightlifting shoe that improves upon much without straying too far from the formula that makes a great oly shoe. At first glance, the shoe looks like a much evolved Lifter Plus, more so like the original than the 2.0. Like most advanced weightlifting shoes, the Legacy’s have a TPU heel rather than wood or leather. The major benefit to this is that TPU is in-compressible, while remaining more lightweight and durable than wood.  Two metatarsal straps are met with another “strap” that the laces join together and completes the foot wrap upper. This provides fitment superior to any other weightlifting shoe. Quite possibly my favorite “feature” of the Legacy lifters is the gap in the velcro in the top medial strap, making it easy to tuck your tied laces in without ripping them to all hell. Such a simple thing that no one has thought to correct, until now.

The materials used for the Legacy Lifters are top quality. The foot wraps are a synthetic material akin to the Lifter series, while the quarter and vamp of the shoe are full grain leather, providing excellent comfort within the shoe. There are no hot spots that rub anywhere inside the shoe. Reebok has added an outside TPU counter to lock your heel in and prevent slippage. The removable insole is  minimal, yet very dense that contours to your foot much like the competition insoles provided with the Romaleos. They’re aren’t padded at all, but I’ve never found the Legacy’s to be uncomfortable during pure lifting sessions.

Sizing of the Legacy’s is dead on to all of the Olympic lifting shoes I’ve ever used in the past. I got a size 9, that fits me like a glove and was immediately comfortable out of the box. This is the same size that I got my AdiPowers and Romaleos in, but with those two shoes there was a break in period where the toe-box had to loosen up. The Legacy’s shape resembles the Romaleos more, but your toes don’t get bunched up in the front of the shoe and the heel-toe drop feels more gradual, though it is greater. Once again, the Legacy’s are very comfortable for lifting and just cruising around the gym, though they are just as clunky to walk in as any lifting shoe.

Keep in mind that these are performance shoes! When wearing them, there should not be any space in the front of the shoe; your toes shouldn’t be jammed together either. The last thing you want is your foot sliding around inside of them during a lift. If this is the first weightlifting shoe you’ve ever looked into, a good rule of thumb is to get them the same size you’d get your Converse Chuck Taylors or just half a size down from your standard training shoes.

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Performance/Features

Besides fitment, the most important part of a weightlifting shoe is the effective height of their heel. The benefits of having a raised heel is so that you can catch in a more vertical torso position, you can correct errors, and you can keep your toes down better throughout extension. Height of the heel is subjective, some prefer higher, some lower, but most can agree that around 3/4″ is the safest choice for most people. On the contrary to the current popular picks and from what they’ve produced in the past, Reebok has chosen to go with a 22mm drop, which equates to .86″, though most sites say 3/4″ effective heel height. It definitely feels slightly higher than the shoes with a 19mm/3/4″ heel, but that’s too close to call and to most people it will probably just feel the same. I can tell you is that the heel for me feels perfect, just as this height did on the Position 2.0’s. Catching cleans forward was a big problem I had with the Adidas Leistung’s 1″ heel, which isn’t an issue in the Legacy lifters.

Response in the Legacy lifters is excellent. Due to the nature of the hard TPU heel,  you can count on perfect power delivery throughout your lifts, whether it’s just squatting or snatching. The TPU heel does have a taper in it probably to reduce a bit of weight, but extends out to a full 82mm at it’s widest point. The width and density of the outsole paired with the locked down fit the full foot wrap upper provides one of the most stable lifting experiences ever on a shoe, definitely any shoe I’ve used. The platform is easy to maintain balance throughout the foot with, and you’ll never feel like you’re going to tip over in any direction. The Exoframe does a great job keeping your heel seated. Inside the shoe, the insoles have a bit of arch support that you can really push into to squeeze out a bit more energy. They are indeed removable if you wanted to insert custom orthotics.

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Adding on to the stability of the Legacy’s is just the sheer heft of the shoe. They’re about 20.3 oz per shoe, which makes them quite possibly the heaviest oly shoe at the moment. They’re bricks compared to the Romaleos (16.8 oz) and AdiPower’s (15.7 oz). Touching down in these gravity boots feels like someone poured cement in your shoes, you really don’t move around much after landing. Beware that the weight is substantial enough so that it could affect the ability to move your feet and is definitely going to be an issue if you’re looking to do a WOD in these shoes.  Not to mention that these are some pretty stiff shoes, granted mine are not even close to broken in. My first WOD in these shoes was just lifting, but even still, my feet got pretty achy after a few minutes in. I couldn’t see it going well for you doing box jumps, running or double unders in the Legacy’s.

The outsole of the shoe is nothing special and I would say is the other weakest area of the shoe. My platform at home sucks and is riddled with dust, it can make the most grippiest outsoles lose traction. I had some issues slipping around at home, but you shouldn’t have any issue on a legit platform and even the rubber diamond cut flooring I have at my gym performed okay. This could be an issue with the bottoms not being worn in at all, so take this with a grain of salt.

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Value/Conclusion:

Reebok has really hit the nail in the head with the Legacy lifters as a serious weightlifting shoe. These are no doubt, the most stable pair of lifting shoes available on the market, that also don’t look like they’re from the early 1900’s. At $200, they’re meant to contend directly with the other big name weightlifting shoes (though you can usually find any of those on sale for much less), and they trump many of them in almost every way. I’m sure the Legacy’s will see much use in the competitive weightlifting scene and might actually come to be a staple shoe.

Doing so many reviews, I’ve come to find out that there is no such thing as the perfect shoe and the Legacy’s might not be for everyone. In this case, the sheer heft of the shoe is it’s double edged sword. If you’re good about moving  your feet, then the Legacy’s will no doubt reward you with amazing stability and balance. If you’re one of those lifters that kind of drags their feet and isn’t quite there technique wise, you might struggle a little bit at first, but if you keep grinding through, you’ll have one of the best pairs of weightlifting shoes out there. Remember that while you can WOD in these shoes, I wouldn’t recommend it; they’re just not agile enough to stay comfortable with a bunch of movements.

Should you buy the Legacy lifters?

If you’re a weightlifter, there’s no question in my mind that you’ll love the Legacy’s. If you’re a novice lifter looking for your first pair of oly shoes, you might want to stick with one of the CrossFit lifters until you get your technique down. By the time you’re due for an upgrade, the probably lighter Legacy 2’s just might be out already.

Buy your Legacy Lifters here!

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Nike Romaleos 3 Leaked Photos!

Coop over at GarageGymReviews.com managed to get his hands on some leaked photos of the upcoming Nike Romaleos 3! Make sure you guys go check his site out!

Here’s what I’ve observed from these scans:

  • Looks like Nike’s going with around the same height and TPU material for the heel, minus the weird ribbing from the 2’s.
  • Despite only having one medial strap, Flywire has made its way to the Romaleos so getting a tight fit should not be an issue with just a single strap. I hated that the top strap was super long anyways.
  • Looks like they’ve added padding at the Achilles area to prevent heel slip.
  • Tons of ventilation up front, looks a lot better than the little squares the 2’s had.
  • Not a big fan of the swoosh placement, looks like soccer shoes.
  • The best looking colorway is definitely the white. Not a huge fan of the blue or the orange-ish red one (a bold red would make it look better).

There are plenty of videos of Anthony Pomponio testing these out in a murdered out colorway, but if you look closely you can see the same details here.

What do you guys think of the Romaleos 3? They’re a definite cop for me!

Reebok Lifter PR Review

Back when I purchased my first pair of weightlifting shoes, I had done a ton of research  before landing on the original Adidas Powerlift Trainers. Honestly, what drove my decision back then was price. Weightlifting shoes don’t come cheap, but they should last you quite some time before you’ll have to replace them. Back then I didn’t see that value and I was still shocked at the $120 price tag of Nano’s (look at me now). Four years later and there is still a lack of affordable weightlifting shoes. Reebok is looking to change that with the Lifter PR’s, coming in at a solid $90 price tag, but are they a solid weightlifting shoe?

The Adidas Powerlift hasn’t changed much aside from the way it looks. It’s still got a .6″ effective heel height, EVA outsole, $90 and for some reason it’s still called the Powerlift. That being said, it’s still a great weightlifting shoe and even top level weightlifters in the Olympics were rocking them in Rio. The Reebok Lifter PR’s share pretty much everything that make the Powerlift’s so popular, but have a few thoughtful changes. Since Adidas is the parent company, it’s not surprising to see a variant of the Powerlift’s branded Reebok’s way. What is actually surprising is that it took them so long to do it.

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Construction & Looks:

Though the price tag is significantly lower that most oly shoes, the Lifter PR’s are an exceptionally well built shoe. The quarter/back of the shoe is made from a synthetic leather while the vamp/toebox is made with real full grain leather. This is a huge step up from the Powerlift’s because leather tends to conform with your feet better and is also usually more flexible. Not even the Lifter 2.0’s have a leather toe box, so this is a step in the right direction. Good thing, because I found this area a little stiff to break in and also a bit narrow.

Cuts must be made to keep the cost down, so the heel’s construction is mainly EVA and rubber. There is a TPU plate connecting the upper to the outsole for a bit more stability, but I don’t think it does anything to help keep the outsole from depressing. Like the Lifter 2.0’s and the Powerlift’s, there is only a single “Thermo TPU” strap that covers the whole midfoot. It does a great job of locking your foot down, though it’s a little flimsy compared to the Lifter 2.0’s. The insole is a bit softer and thicker than on the Lifter 2.0, as U-Form also makes a welcome return. The weight of the shoe is 14.4 oz, so they’re featherweights compared to other oly shoes.

These are great looking shoes and I’m a fan of the minimalist design of the upper. They are not CrossFit branded shoes so there’s no crazy print all over them; the only logo is at the rear of the shoe and it’s not an eyesore either.At the moment, there’s only the white colorway available to buy, though Rogue has a couple more on their site that are pending release.

Reebok’s shoe fitment is all over the place and I think the Lifter PR’s are the weirdest of them all. I typically wear a size 9 in all of my oly shoes and the PR’s are still about a half inch too big in this size, whereas the Lifter Plus 2.0’s in this size fit perfectly. These shoes run abnormally long, so you might want to go a full size down. Fitment of oly shoes should be fairly snug.  A few of my shoe sizes for reference:

  • Nano 6.0’s – 10 (9.5 fits, but is snug)
  • Metcon 2’s – 9.5
  • Chucks – 9
  • Speed TR – 9
  • Oly’s – 9

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Performance:

Back when the original Powerlift’s came out, there was a bunch of talk about how an EVA outsole wouldn’t perform well for power delivery due to it being compressible. While that’s true compared to wood or TPU, it doesn’t make the outsole of the PR’s soft at all. You can depress the outside ridges of the outsole with your fingers, but the center is packed incredibly densely and does not give. Unlike wood or TPU, if land on the outside ridges of the shoe, it can depress; but unless you’re squatting over 500lbs the outsole should be plenty hard enough for you. If you were squatting over 500lb’s, you wouldn’t even be looking at an entry level shoe anyways. At the weight I’m pushing, the PR’s perform as well as any other oly shoe and I’m never at a loss of power.

Another thing that didn’t exactly wow people with the Powerlift’s was the heel height being .6″, with the majority of popular oly shoes being .75″. Those with mobility issues would benefit with a higher heel, but it’s a subjective thing, as I prefer a slightly lower heel. Comparing the two shoes side by side using stock pictures, it looks like the angle of the drop of the PR’s could be a little bit more aggressive than on the Powerlift’s. On the bottom of the left shoe, it says 22mm, which would be roughly .85″. UPDATE: The total heel height is 22mm and the drop is 15.5mm, making the effective heel height the “same thing” as the Powerlift’s at .60″. When I measured the Powerlifts, I came up with only an 11mm differential! Making them only .43″.

Compared to other model of oly’s I have on hand, it feels like:

  • Lifter Plus 2.0 .75″ – PR’s feel taller, differential feels more steep.
  • Romaeloes .75″ – Feels shorter.
  • Position 2.0 .85″ – Feels very close, but slightly shorter.
  • Inov-8 370 .65″ – Feels taller
  • Adidas Leistung 1″ – Feels shorter


 Sounds crazy, but with the exception of the Romaleos, all signs point towards it being actually being around .85″. That would be a huge departure from the Powerlift’s and even the Lifter 2.0’s. There’s also variances in overall shoe heights to keep in mind as well.  This is not concrete information and I’m not going to give up the search to find out what it actually is, but lifting with the heel of the PR’s felt just about the same to me as it does in other shoes, excluding the Leistung.

The PR’s have a heavily emphasis towards the midfoot, so jumping feels natural and they should be okay to WOD in since they’re a lot less clunky feeling. Toe off feels comfortable, but when you shift your heels the whole front of the shoe lifts off the ground. Due to the compressible nature of the heel, you won’t feel as planted to the ground as you would with TPU or wood heels; a trade-off for a bit of mobility. You should be fine if all you’re going to do is just squat in these shoes, but they’re less stable compared (a little forward) to my current oly shoe of choice, the Position’s.  I’ve had mainly positive lifting sessions in the PR’s, so I’m not that worried; it’s just something to get used to.

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Value:

Let’s get something straight, I don’t think these are the best oly shoes I’ve ever worn, but for $90, they’re great. Obviously  they’re not going to perform better than than shoes that cost double the price, but that doesn’t mean they don’t serve a purpose. Would I take them over my Position’s? Depends on what I’m doing I guess. If I have to WOD in oly’s, I’d take these any day. If I’m just lifting, I’d go with something a little more stable like the Positions or Romaleos. If you’re looking into your first pair of oly’s, don’t want to break the bank, or lifters you can WOD in, the PR’s should suffice, though I would probably do a little bit of shopping around for some discounted Lifter 2.0’s (or even Plus’).

Click here to get your Reebok Lifter PR’s!

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