Tag Archives: olympics

Foost Fitness Lifter Review

The last time I can remember stretching, before I got into CrossFit, was probably around when I played high school volleyball. Ain’t nobody got time to stretch at Globo Gym. That compounded with all the ankle sprains and sitting down playing video games have done a good amount to negatively affect my mobility. Even still, I know I’m still better off than most, so at times it’s hard for me to emphasize with others that have really bad mobility.  As a coach, I say the best thing you can do for yourself is just put a little bit more effort into your stretching and myofacial release, but that just takes time. The other option is to get yourself a pair of Olympic weightlifting shoes in the meantime.

Picking a pair with the right heel height takes a bit of luck. Not everyone is going to need or be able to lift with a high heel and vice versa. Foost Fitness is aiming their lifter at the people that have poor mobility, typically found in beginner CrossFitters. The main draw to the Foost Lifter is their 1.28″ heel height, currently the highest heel in a weightlifting shoe (that I know of), wooden heel or not. They’re still a new company without any history behind making Olympic weightlifting shoes, but if their big gamble works out, it could shake up things in the world of Oly shoes for both beginners and seasoned vet’s alike.

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Looks/Construction:

I opted for the new canvas Foost Lifters mainly because they were new and different, but personally I think the leather versions are much sexier looking. Surprisingly, the canvas model actually costs a little bit more than the leather ones do! The canvas upper is a little bit more plain looking, not something you’d wear to a ball, but it doesn’t look bad at all. In fact, a ton of people have said that the Foost Lifters look pretty bad ass, in which I’d have to agree, just not as much as the leather ones do. The strap and C-Frame on all of the canvas models is brown, which I think accents very nicely, especially with the red, blue and black colorways I’m not quite sure what type of wood is used for the heel, but I’m pretty sure it’s not stained or anything, but it does have a unique look about it. These shoes are made in Brazil, so it’s probably a tree native to their country. Sadly, my lifters didn’t come with the cool rope laces shown in the pictures, but just plain black ones instead.

The materials used on the canvas model Foost Lifters are good enough, but not great. I wouldn’t go comparing these to a pair of any other top shelf lifting shoe in terms of finish. Honestly, I’m not surprised being that they’re such a small startup company, but it’s definitely an area they could improve on. The overall construction of the shoe feels well built, but the quality of the materials isn’t quite top quality. The upper fabric came a little bit dirty, got crumpled up looking really fast and the leather strap feels a little bit flimsy. The wood heel looks au natural, literally like they just chopped up a tree and put it in the shoe. It is carved into a design, but it’s not smoothed out well and mine has some divots in it, not to mention there are some dark spots that almost look like the wood was rotting. It might sound like I’m nitpicking, but it’s a crowded playing field and I haven’t seen these issues on any other shoe before, especially ones that cost $200.

I’m sure sourcing materials must be a pain in the ass; I’ve heard import taxes to Brazil are outrageous. The Foost lifters are well built and definitely don’t feel like they’re going to fall apart or anything, they’re just overshadowed by the build quality of some of today’s top lifting shoes.

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Fit:

Duck footed people rejoice, these are the shoes you’ve been waiting for! If there’s anything I could say about the Foost lifters, it’s that they’re wide shoes! Even with a pretty in between shaped foot, I find the Foost’s extremely comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. The toebox is one of the widest I’ve come across in an olympic weightlifting shoe and lets the toes splay comfortably. There’s a ton of padding around the ankle collar and a stiff embedded heel cup which keeps your feet from shifting laterally, but make sure you lace the shoes up or you’ll get a tiny bit of heel slip. The tongue is also nicely cushioned without any hot spots up top. The lacing scheme doesn’t have anything fancy going on, but works well enough to get a locked in fit. The strap extends up through the lateral side and holds the midfoot really well.

I think the best part about how the Foost’s fit is how flat the inside of the shoe is, omitting the fact that the drop is 32.5mm. There is no arch support or anything, no contours really inside the foot, just a nice open space for your feet to do their thing. The insole is thin and just good enough to give you a little bit of comfort but if you wanted a competition feel, you could just take it out. Back to the drop, the Foost’s have the highest heel on the market at 1.28″ or 32.5mm, which is pretty apparent by how the shoe looks, but doesn’t feel as apparent when you’re using the shoes. It drops down very gradually from the heel to the toe without any harsh ledges, something that I really like from the Positions.

I got the Foost’s in a size 9.5 US, which fits me right on the money. The point of the toe box does a very good job accommodating Morton’s toe. Here are my sizes for reference:

  • Legacy – 9.5
  • Romaleos 2&3 – 9.5
  • Positions – 9.5
  • Adipowers – 9.5
  • Leistung – 9.5 (tight)
  • Nano – 10
  • Metcon – 10
  • NoBull (& Lifter) – 10

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Performance:

Where the Foost’s make up for the lower quality materials, they make up in performance. As some of you know, I’m typically not fond of higher heels on weightlifting shoes. Before trying these shoes out, if you would have asked me what I thought about a shoe with a 1.28″ heel, I would have laughed in your face, but these are the real deal and have mostly changed my mind about a taller heel.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there is anything wrong with higher heels, I just personally haven’t had the greatest success lifting with them. A higher heel is good for a few things, mainly for mobility reasons for people that have poor ankle and hip mobility. It can be beneficial for people that have longer femurs to help them sit back more easily. For me, they help me keep pressure down on the middle of my foot and keep my toes down through the second pull. Certain shoes where the drop is more pronounced make me rock back and forth. The added mobility lets me catch with a much more upright torso position since I can sit a bit further down in my squat, which really helps me lift on those days where I’m feeling extra tight.

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Most all Olympic weightlifting shoes are stable, but the Foost’s are on another level. Lateral stability is quite possibly the best, if not tied with some of the best shoes I’ve used. Landing on their extra wide base feels rock solid, like the shoes were magnetic towards the ground. The TPU C-Frame does a great job of keeping your feet where they need to be without making the shoe feel any bulkier than they already are. No need to worry about split jerks, the forefoot of the shoe is extremely flexible, at least on the canvas model; just make sure you strap down the medial strap because your feet might slide into the wide toe box. The rubber outsole doesn’t look like it has any kind of special treading, but it’s amount of grip is actually one of the best features of the Foost’s, traction on dusty wooden floors to smooth rubber mats is excellent.

Responsiveness is what you’d expect of a wooden heeled shoe – 100%. Wood provides some of the most solid platforms you can possibly get in a shoe, it’s no wonder it was the choice for years and years until people switched to cheaper to manufacture TPU. The Foost lifters are my preferred squatting shoe now because I can really sit back and let my hamstrings take over. Note that I squat high bar, your experience may vary with low bar. When I’ve got to squat high numbers for volume, I’m definitely putting on the Foost’s. Even though they’re a bigger shoe overall, they’re not the heaviest, not the lightest either at 18.45oz for a men’s 9.5. Still, they don’t feel that heavy on the feet like Legacy’s or ANTA’s do. I’d say they most closely resemble Romaleos 2 with a much taller heel.

Catching snatches deep with an upright torso is a dream because of the added mobility and stability of the Foost’s. I’ve always had an issue with taller heel Oly shoes pitching me forward when I catch cleans (because of my lat mobility), so I didn’t think I would like cleaning in the Foost’s. I’m not going to lie, I’m still adjusting to the height, but if I just take a moment to solidify the placement of the bar on my shoulders, I’m able to clean well enough without worrying about having to switch shoes. The pros of the Foost’s make me want to get better with cleaning in these shoes.

I did do the WOD “Amanda” in the Foosts and PR’d my time by a lot, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that these are good shoes to WOD in. I was throwing up that 135 snatch in Amanda and catching it without much effort, but that’s pretty minimal movement. They’re flexible in the forefoot, but you’re not going to want to run or bound in them. You can definitely use them for gymnastics and weightlifting based WOD’s just fine though. They breathe as well as most Oly shoes do, not well – which is fine for Oly sessions, but not great to do a WOD in.

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Value/Conclusion:

So what do you get for the $200-$213 you’re paying for the Foost lifters? While they don’t stand up to the competition as far as materials used, they trounce most other lifters in performance. Comparing heel height performance just comes down to preference, but from a guy that doesn’t really like higher heels, I have to say the Foost’s are legit. If you had piss poor mobility, the Foost’s are a no brainer. It’s tough having to put your money on a shoe that’s so new, relatively unproven, that you can’t try on, but I’ll put my name on it that you’ll like the Foost’s.

By purchasing into the Foost’s, you’ll be helping a smaller company grow, which in part will lead to better materials and manufacturing. Right now they do have some issues filling inventory as they’re growing. Honestly, I didn’t think I would like the Foost lifters as much as I do, despite the slightly lower quality materials on the canvas models, I’d say they’re in my top 2 favorite lifters (#1 is Position). I’ve got a pair of the leather models on the way, so when that comes I’ll update with how those feel.

If you’re looking for a ROCK solid stable weightlifting shoe with a taller heel, you need to check out the Foost Lifters.

The Good:

  • One of the most stable and responsive Olympic lifting shoes.
  • Wide toe-box is comfortable.
  • One of the best outsoles in terms of grip.

The Bad:

  • Canvas upper isn’t that nice.
  • Durability is yet to be seen.
  • Can’t really try them on anywhere.

The Ugly:

  • 1.28″ heel height might not be for everyone.
  • Shoe looks good from far, but…just okay from close.
  • Production is a little light.

Get your Foost Lifters here!

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Adidas Leistung 2016 Review Weightlifting Shoes

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Adidas has one of the longest histories of any manufacturer when it comes to weightlifting shoes.  Just watch some of the top weightlifters in the world and you’ll probably see them wearing the hugely popular, but now defunct AdiStars. Then came the Power Perfect 2’s, followed by the also immensely popular AdiPowers which is still very much a staple in the CrossFit community today. The AdiPowers were Adidas’ major departure from your tried and true weightlifting shoe design, featuring a new TPU heel and just a more contemporary design overall. Not too long ago, Adidas almost silently released their first BOA dial shoe, the Drehkraft, which combined the new lacing system with an upper that blended the AdiPower and Power Perfect shoes. Something about it prevented that shoe from ever really getting popular (it’s kind of ugly), but if you’ve ever used anything with the BOA dial system, you’d know that it’s insanely convenient. Adidas has just dropped the Leistung, their official shoe for the 2016 Rio Olympics, also their most technically advanced shoe yet; but does technical mean they’re any good?

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Visually, the Leistung’s are interesting to say the least. The upper is a new synthetic material coupled with some mesh ventilation spots towards the front of the shoe. I’m not a hipster weightlifter that needs leather, but what can be great about synthetic uppers can also be slightly problematic for some, as they tend to not stretch out very much. You can end up with a really locked down fitting shoe, or an overly tight shoe depending on who you are (more on this later). The quality of the material is excellent and construction is top notch, they definitely feel like a $225 piece of equipment. As with the AdiPowers, you only have one colorway to choose from as of right now; returning is the solar red color. The only breaks you get from it are the clear TPU heel, black BOA dial and white stripes. It’s loud and some people are going to have issues with this, but personally I like loud. What really makes the Leistung’s stand out though, is the “triaxial design” which is really just Star of David patterning that goes literally all around the shoe, even the heel is half a hexagon shaped. Maybe it’s lost on me because I’m not religious, but I do think it’s kind of weird. I think if you saw the shoes from afar, you’d think  they’re actually pretty sweet looking shoes.

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Following suit of the AdiPowers, the Leistungs have a non traditional TPU heel. I guess by today’s standards that might be traditional though. However, unlike the former, the Leistungs have a 24.8mm/.97″ heel height. I knew right away that the heel was higher just by looking at the shoe and preliminary use. For me, the .75″ heel height of the AdiPowers is fine and that’s what I’m used to and I never got comfortable with the higher heel of the Leistungs. Power delivery from the TPU heel is excellent, as there is absolutely no give. Snatching felt fine, but for me, I noticed myself catching cleans on my toes. Subjectively, having such a high heel might be beneficial to you if you’ve got terrible mobility, but personally it was more of a detriment for me. Again, I find this interesting because I assume the majority of athletes competing in the Olympics to have stellar mobility.


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Sizing of the Leistung’s should be the same as  your AdiPowers. However, I found the Leistung’s to be slightly more narrow at the front toe box area. Once again, don’t expect that to loose up all that much due to the synthetic upper. I can’t actually recommend sizing up too much either because you wouldn’t want your toes sliding around in the shoe. Again, the BOA dial system is uber convenient, and I think this is the lacing system of the the future, it does have it’s caveats though. The “micro-adjustments” only really go one way, if you over tighten, you’ll have to reset the dial completely by pulling it out and re-tightening. Not a huge detriment, but it’s worth noting the dial only goes one way. Since it’s a competition shoe, the fitment should be snug all around, but probably where the Leistung’s falter the most is that there’s a bit of heel slip. It could be due to the heel being overly tall, but I noticed my heel starting to lift out of the shoe even from just walking around and it even pulls my ankle socks down. Just imagine what it feels like to split jerk and have you heel feel like its coming out of the shoe; not pleasant.  One thing I must say of the synthetic upper is that it is extremely flexible. Not to mention that it manages to be even lighter than the Romaleos; mine are a size 9 and they’re 16.54 ounces.


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Adidas made some interesting decisions with the overall design of the Leistungs; I know this whole review sounds like a lot of nitpicking, but that’s how it has to be.  The AdiPowers are a fantastic shoe to follow, not to mention the competition has excellent shoes out there as well. Depending on mobility for the most part, the Adidas Leistung’s could be a very good shoe for you, subjectively. You could tell that I’m not particularly in love with the Leistung’s, but I don’t think they’re without a purpose. Even higher level weightlifters could benefit from the above average heel height, but I’m writing this from a functional fitnesser’s perspective, who at the same time, tries to not rely on weightlifting shoes. Even still, I don’t believe the Leistung’s are worthy of an upgrade if you already own AdiPowers or Romaleos. The heel height can be a double edged sword, but the heel slippage is unforgivable especially considering this shoe is going to be used on the biggest world stage.

My advice to  you if you plan to try them out still is to find a place with a really good return policy.

Get your Adidas Leistung at Rogue Fitness!

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Again Faster Klokov Competition 20kg Olympic Barbell Review

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Dmitry Klokov.

The name says it all. World, national, and Olympic championship weightlifter and all around beast of an athlete.  Obviously, anything that has to do with weightlifting that has his name on it, you should probably want.  It feels like an eternity since it was announced at last years CrossFit Games, but finally, the Again Faster Klokov competition barbell (and bumper plates!) are here…and it was worth the wait.

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Specification wise, this barbell is a beast, like the man himself. 264k PSI tensile strength steel is just ridiculous.  Seriously, don’t count on ever bending this barbell, if you tried.  All that strength though wouldn’t mean too much if the barbell was stiff like a powerlifting bar, but more on that later.  Like any legitimate competition barbell, the Klokov bar uses 5 needle bearings to keep the collars spinning for days, but they’re also paired up with bushings to enhance the durability making it functional fitness friendly.  The shaft is coated with a hard bright chrome finish; though not the prettiest of chromes I’ve come across as it looks more dulled akin to bright zinc, it should still serve it’s purpose of protecting against corrosion and scratches.  Of course the Klokov bar would meet all IWF weight and dimension specifications, but also includes IPF markings, making it even more all purpose.  Like most barbells that have been coming out, the collar has a groove for interchangeable bands for easy identification and looks.

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The knurling probably one of the most important aspects on a quality barbell, is medium.  It’s not as deep as the Rep Fitness Excalibur, but not as light or fine as the Rogue weightlifting barbell either.  I find that it was comfortable enough to hit repetitive lifts without tearing up my hands.  Once again, I’m not a huge fan of aggressive knurling, as I consider myself a crossfitter.  A weightlifting buddy of mine commented on the barbell, wishing that it had more aggressive knurl.  While the center knurl is not as pronounced as the outside knurl, it’s still enough to provide a bit more grip while in your rack position, but also irritate your neck after repeated cleans.  If you’re not a fan of center knurling, sorry guys, the Klokov bar has it but it’s not anything I would consider to be detrimental to recommending the barbell to crossfitters as its not chew-up-your-collarbone sharp.

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In the YouTube video of Klokov introducing the barbell, he talks about the whip really getting started at 180kg (396lbs!); most of us normal lifters probably aren’t going to be getting anywhere near this weight.  EDIT: While the bar has a decent amount of whip, it’s a bit more stiff than I would have liked out of this barbell.  I have used other barbells that were more whippy than the Klokov bar, and I think the super high tensile might hurt this bar more than it helps it. The way I clean, I end up hitting the bar mid thigh and it hurts like hell compared to other bars that ricochet off. I wouldn’t as far to say that this is as stiff as a power bar, but I think they could have sacrificed a little bit of steel strength for some whip.

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Sleeve rotation is a big deal when it comes to lifting.  The smoother and faster the collars turn, the easier it’s going to be to get under the barbell.  Even after not cleaning for a good month due to an injury, I was still able to clean fairly heavy and not miss a single lift.  Since it is a needle bearing barbell, you’re going to get increased performance in this area compared to bushing counterparts, but they aren’t the smoothest.  In the spin test video with the weight on it, you can see the barbell rocking around on the J-cups while the plate is in motion.  I don’t know if this is just my barbell or a problem with the new design.  Construction is nice, what you’d expect from a higher end barbell; you’ll get a solid sounding thud versus clanging when you drop the barbell with any kind of quality weights.  There’s very little play when moving the sleeves side to side.  While the fit is great, the finish is just average.  As I mentioned before, the coating isn’t the most brilliant of all the barbells I’ve used, nor is it the most even.  This is something that I noticed on the bar at the CrossFit games when I first saw it, and really wasn’t corrected.  Not the bad at all, but I expected a little better.  I guess there has to be some trade-offs somewhere, as I get to the next point…

…the PRICE.  For the money, you will not find a finer barbell. The 15kg version comes in at $300 before shipping and the 20kg at $320.  Shipped to California, the price ended up being just south of $370.  I thought that shipping was a little much there and e-mailed Again Faster about it.  They gave me a $10 refund which was nice, but still that shipping is a little excessive.  Altogether though, it’s still cheaper than any other quality bearing barbell, and still a steal.

If there was another thing I could comment on, it’s that the quality of shipping packaging is pretty awful.  The tubing was pretty flimsy and arrived broken with one whole end missing; causing one end of the barbell to get pretty dinged up and scratched.  I know the shipping company has a lot to do with this, but I feel it’s up to the seller to provide adequate shipping containers, since you are paying good money for these things, and they’re not cheap.  My Again Faster Team Barbell 2.0 arrived in the same shape, as well, except since that one wasn’t chrome coated so the end of it got chewed up really badly.

“Demand the impossible!”.  A quote by Dmitry Klokov, and perfectly describes something that he and Again Faster were able to achieve with this barbell.  You won’t find anything even remotely close to this price point that is going to deliver you close to the same specs this bar will. If you’re an advanced lifter, this barbell is for you. General purpose and CrossFit, it’ll do the job but just be aware that it’s not going to be as dynamic with anything up to 100kg.  Minor issues and shipping containers aside, the Klokov competition barbell is one hell of a bar to beat.