Risto Sports Series 2

Reviewed on November 28th 2010
Updated on March 21st 2014

UPDATE 11/21/2012:

This Model Has Been Discontinued by Risto and replaced with the New Risto Olimpico.

UPDATE 6/21/2011:

The Pink Thunder model has now been discontinued and replaced with the LG Thunder.

UPDATE 1/6/2011:

The Series 2 is now available in a Blue and White model known as “Linea Blanca”.


Picking right up where they left off, Risto has released the new Series 2 weightlifting shoe in the 4th quarter of 2010. This shoe will be the flagship model for all of 2011 and is already receiving praise from crossfitters and the weightlifting community.

The new model has a few changes to the design that make the shoe feel a little more comfortable such as extra padding and a more pronounced heel cup. They still use the dreaded “Risto Size” sizing system with numbers that appear to, but DO NOT relate to EU sizing. So when you buy these you absolutely need to measure both your feet and go with a size that fits your larger foot to ensure a proper fit.

The heel height is still made proportional to the size of the shoe, a Risto only feature. It is also handmade and requires a 30 day process to shape and cure the wood. The leather portions of the shoe are now machine cut and sewn which, in my opinion, is a great improvement because it leaves a nicer looking “finish” to the shoe. Whereas, the previous models were completely made by hand and always had minor imperfections that were a turn off for some buyers.

The biggest change for this model is going to be the updated styling, which looks much better. No more additional stripes on the shoe or silver accents in the laces (wtf was that anyway?). The design is straight forward and pragmatic will little flair, something I find to be a welcomed departure from the mainstream “flash” that brands such as Pendlay embrace. Not to say the shoes aren’t stylish, they just aren’t overdone. Currently the only colors available are black and white and pink and white but a blue and white version going by the code name “linea blanca” is rumored to be due out late December or early January.

The other big difference is the $20 price increase, something we were pretty sure we would see with this brand since they compete directly with Adidas and Nike. They still come in cheaper than either of those brands’ flagship models and an extra $20 is a reasonable price to pay for the quality, durability and overall functionality of this shoe. Risto is now offering these shoes for $119.

The company is still ran by Ivan Rojas and his Wife Gwen but they have since become a fair-trade company. This means all workers employed to make the shoes are paid fair wages and the conditions under which they work are to be acceptable and above-board. In other words, no slave-children are used to make these shoes. So if you decide to buy a pair then you can wear them with a warm and fuzzy feeling knowing you gave your money to a company dedicated to helping others better their lives… or you could just wear them and hit new PRs.


If you are interested in buying the Risto Series 2, RistoSports.com is going to be your best bet. The shoes may be for sale on some other retailers sites, but they are only drop shipping from the Risto warehouse. Lastly, Risto ships internationally to any country so if you are an international customer they will be able to accommodate you. Everyone I know who has purchased directly from Risto has had nothing but good to say about the experience.


  • Superior craftsmanship
  • Very sturdy, comfortable fit
  • Proportional heel height
  • Designed by real weightlifters
  • Socially responsible production


  • Price may be out of reach for some
  • Sizing system can be confusing
  • A little on the heavy side


  1. Anonymous
    09 December 10, 6:28pm

    What is the difference between these shoes and Risto’s Coach Burgener Shoe?

    • WLShoes
      09 December 10, 7:00pm

      The Burgener shoe was just a series 1 Risto in red, white and blue. It came with a t-shirt and a custom bag which is why it was more expensive than the regular Series 1 shoe. The shoe didn’t sell well so Burgener decided to donate all the profit from the sale to charity. The series 2 is an entirely new model.

  2. scottydont
    23 January 11, 1:29am

    I had been lifting in a pair of pendlay shoes previously and just could not get on board with the colors plus the uneven heels were annoying as well. So after a bit of research I decided on the Ristos. Gotta say I really do love them for the most part. I found the toe box to be a bit snug but it has started to loosen up as I wear them. Quality seems to be top notch as long as you don't mind a few irregularities that are bound to happen with handmade items. Lifting in them has been a pleasure and its nice to get some good remarks on my oly shoes for a change.

  3. Chadbrantley75
    01 February 11, 12:34pm

    what is a size 11 in this shoe?

    • WLShoes
      01 February 11, 7:18pm

      There is no direct conversion to US sizing. Per the article, you need to measure your foot and follow their instructions for selecting a proper size.

    • 05 January 12, 12:48pm

      I called, and for an 11" foot the correct size would be 45.

    • Doolz
      08 January 12, 11:47am

      They have a chart to give you their size. You'll need to measure your feet. Sounds weird but these are worth the effort.

  4. Girlyanonymous
    26 March 11, 4:31pm

    I am a female powerlifter. I recently broke my toe and also cut it
    badly, I had 3 stitches, after dropping 45 pounds on my foot whilst
    doing squats.

    Sweaty hands, rubber slippery plate and now I am on crutches! So I
    wanted to investigate which shoes I could buy that would give me good
    toe and foot protection so that if I ever drop a plate on my foot
    again, my shoe protects me rather than letting the weight obliterate
    my foot.

    What shoes would you recommend that are good for squatting in but also
    provide good toe protection?

    • WLShoes
      26 March 11, 4:35pm

      You will definitely want a shoe with really stiff leather and a molded toebox. These would be uncomfortable for any types of lifts that require you to bend at the toes, such as a split-style lift, due to the stiff leather. If you are JUST looking to squat in the shoes then you should look at powerlifting shoes. Inzer makes some pretty sturdy stuff.

      But here's a thought: If you have issues with dropping weights on your feet, and all you want the shoes for is squatting, then you could just buy a pair of steel-toed boots much like those that construction workers wear. Problem solved!

    • Lungkuoi
      04 May 11, 10:58am

      Red Wings Steel Toe boots; used by lifters who lift serious-ass weights. Get them NOW !!!

  5. collegeathlete
    27 March 11, 4:12pm

    I've been using these since August 2010 for squats, cleans, and snatch. Awesome material, questional craftsmanship, and poor fit. I'd used Adidas Ironwork IIs for four years previous and they fit like gloves. The Ristos are sloppy. Will go back to Adidas. Also, my heels are black rubber, not exposed wood as shown. Had hoped for more…

    • WLShoes
      27 March 11, 5:00pm

      Fit is going to be an individual thing, people have different shaped feet. I aware of the batches that were made with the black heels; they are still wood underneath just encased in rubber.

  6. Ashley P.
    09 April 11, 12:39am

    I bought the pink shoes for my daughter & she LOVES them. Risto is a well built shoe. The detail in these shoes are pretty amazing. The shoes are stitched on the side with glitter thread so they sparkle in the right light. They also come with a backpack style bag to put them in. That was a total surprise to use but pretty cool to keep the protected. I would like to also add that if you order these by using the foot sizing chart. Then order them 2 sizes bigger than you need. I ordered mine 1 size bigger so she can grow into them & they fit perfect now no room to grow. Lesson learned I will defiantly buy these again for her.

  7. timothy
    10 April 11, 9:55pm

    I bought a pair of these shoes for my son. They were better than expected. Risto shoes are well built & sharp looking. He LOVES them. FYI if you use the sizing chart & your kid is still growing then add 2 sizes to what it says you will need. I added 1 size for room to grow & they fit him perfect know lesson learned. My son has noticed a big difference in his lifting technique compared to his old shoes. Will defiantly buy this brand again.

  8. Seraphim
    15 April 11, 12:11am

    Is the heal .75 or higher?

    • WLShoes
      15 April 11, 3:07am

      Read the review…the heel is proportional to the size of the shoe.

    • Charles Bell
      12 May 11, 9:17pm

      I read the review, but "heel is proportional to the size of the shoe." What does that mean?

    • WLShoes
      12 May 11, 9:21pm

      As stated in the narrative and the video review, the heel is higher for larger sizes and lower for smaller sizes. In other words, the heel height is proportional to the shoe size.

  9. Cole
    24 May 11, 6:59pm

    I just got my risto white thunders yesterday and I was very impressed. The shoes looked great and felt even better. I went off of the sizing chart and the shoes fit perfect. I am a size 10 and a 42 felt great. Also Ivan was incredibly helpful. We ordered 20+ pairs and he was able to work out a nice discount. So risto is a great company to keep in mind if you are doing team orders.

  10. Gary
    22 June 11, 2:21am

    I was very excited about getting these, but I was a little disappointed. I got a bad pair. Straps are way too long and a couple of the metal grommets were busted. I guess handcrafted doesn't mean what a lot of people thing it does. The shoe is otherwise fine, but I'm just not as thrilled as I thought I'd be. 

    • WLShoes
      22 June 11, 2:28am

      Send them back. If there are any defects at all you should be able to get them replaced without issue.

    • Gary
      24 June 11, 1:47am

      I remember reading somewhere that sending them back would require me to pay shipping. Can't be sure. I bought these nearly a year ago and have been using them heavily. I figured the defects were mostly cosmetic and wouldn't prevent the shoe from working. Since then, the loop on one of the tongues has busted. I know that there were problems with the initial batch, but I'm still soured on the product and I just can't bring myself to buy these shoes again. I'm not planning to do the classic lifts anymore anyway, so I just need a shoe for squatting. I'm selling these Risto to another lifter really, really cheap. He's a football-player and is strong, but he'd never squatted in proper weightlifting shoes till I let him try mine. I'll settle for a pair of Do-Wins or Wei Ruis (which seem to be unavailable in my size just now). 

    • WLShoes
      24 June 11, 2:10am

      If you're just going to be doing squats, I'd go with a different pair of shoes.

  11. Anonymous
    24 July 11, 12:15am

    This is my first pair of weightlifting shoes LG Thunder 2 Series Black and White and I am very pleased with them so far. Plenty of room for my toes and very comfortable. The style is appealing and turning many heads. I purchased mine  directly from Risto and nothing but good to say about the experience.

  12. Bittume_32
    28 July 11, 11:34am

    This is an interesting video clip on importance of wood heels; http://youtu.be/36BhQ2xgUWA

  13. Jasonlane74
    28 July 11, 9:48pm

    Does it really take 30+ days to make and ship this shoe. Or, is that something that has been addressed recently?

    • WLShoes
      30 July 11, 8:29pm

      No, not unless you are ordering a custom shoe. It DOES take 30+ days to actually make a shoe, but Risto keeps plenty in stock in their warehouse.

  14. donnyblaze
    08 August 11, 7:44am

    I had previously purchased both a pair of weirui shoes and returned them for a pair of rogues. I wasn’t totally happy with those either so I purchased these and love them… needless to say the Rogues were shipped back as well.

  15. lilpain
    12 August 11, 3:01am

    Yeah, these are expensive–but most definitely worth it. Once you buy ’em, it’s a cinch you won’t be spending any more money on lifting shoes for a long, long time.

  16. Dmitry Goncharov
    21 August 11, 4:45pm


    Very useful site. Thanks.

    Which shoes would you recommend just for squats and deadlifts? I though of buying these and bumped into your comment that just for squats you'd choose some other shoes.

    regards, Dmitry

    • WLShoes
      21 August 11, 5:13pm

      Well, if you have the money then these are the shoes I would go with because they can be used for any style of weightlifting. Since the price has been lower to $119, they really are the best value in the market right now. If you're trying to stay under $100, then I'd just go with the Adidas PLs

  17. Dmitry Goncharov
    21 August 11, 7:37pm


    Then i'll buy these. I am definitely going to squat in them.

    Do you think they are good for deadlifts too? Or would you prefer something else for deadlifts? Bare feet?

  18. Mark Davis
    01 September 11, 3:57am

    I LOVE these shoes.

    I've used these now for four workouts and am extremely impressed with these shoes.

    Time will attest to their durability, but they certainly seem very well-made. I feel rock-solid at the bottom of my squats – as though my feet were bolted to the floor.

    I measured my feet and used the sizing chart on the Risto website. I recommend everyone do this. I wear a US 11 in dress shoes and my foot length I measured to be about 10.75”. Adding the ½ inch per the instructions, this corresponded to a Risto 43, which is what I ordered. These fit perfectly for my tastes; snug, but not too tight. The tag on the underside of the tongue says, “Size 43 / US 10”, but I do not believe that US number is accurate.

    I had been concerned that the heel would be too high. Using a ruler and my eyeballs, I measured just a hair over an inch for effective heel height for this size shoe. This is about ¼ inch more than what I was used to. That said, they don't feel too tall at all. They feel about right. I've used them for both fast and slow lifts; I've even used them for a heavy set of deadlifts.

    A comment about imperfections mentioned in the review on this site: Yes, I have two or three marks in the wood heel blocks that look to me like small chisel gouges. Also a scrape in the leather of the left metatarsal strap. That's it. I do not view these blemishes too negatively. They are merely artifacts of the fact that these were actually put together by human artisans using hand tools. Kind of cool, really.

  19. Phil
    04 September 11, 7:37am

    Best lifting shoes I’ve ever worn in over 30 years in the iron game!

    Rock-solid stability, superlative quality throughout, excellent and very adjustable fit. Though I’ve only owned ’em for a short time it’s pretty evident they’ll last a lifetime–the quality is that good in every respect.

  20. michael
    13 October 11, 11:20am

    They’re great. Plain and simple. I use them for Kettlebell Sport and they really help on heavy jerks. Buy them.

  21. MarylandDC
    28 November 11, 8:47pm

    I bought these shoes and they came in too small. Took two weeks to ship. The sizing chart is completely off. The initial pair of shoes were TOO small causing an uncomfortable tight fit. I decided to get one full size bigger and they fit fine. However, those were a dud as well. There's a cosmetic error that makes it a pain in the ass in only one shoe to walk in (the cosmetic error near the heal causes a sharp stab near the heal and would make it a pain in the ass to do cleans with). The other shoe fits and feels great. However, I did not pay however $120 for one functional shoe. Sadly, I wanted these to work but I don't think I'll ever be doing business with a company that's slow to respond to e-mails and apparently takes pride in cosmetic errors that cause functional errors in the shoes themselves. Paid a total of $30 shipping just to return these shoes twice. I would avoid these like the plague because the company behind these shoes seriously set the bar as low as possible in quality control and customer service.

    Risto = A gamble.

  22. george
    29 November 11, 12:12am

    Does anyone know where the shoes are made?

    marylandDC – you've giving me second thoughts about ordering.

  23. george
    29 November 11, 4:53pm

    After a bit of research I found out that they are made in Columbia – there's a good youtube video showing how the shoe is made. They seem to be solid shoes but form the various online reviews I've read, they have some slight quality control issues.

  24. Alois
    03 December 11, 3:53am

    Frist, their website is mind numbingly slow! But that has nothing to do with the quality of the shoe….
    Second, Can the owner of this website disclose if they are getting any financial benefit for form the Risto company, just out of curiosity.

    I just bought a pair of "White Thunder's". I am excited for them to come for some oly-lifting… Lets see how they fit. I will post my customer service experience and timeframe from when I ordered to shipping to receiving etc…

    My size is US 12…. 11.25inches… I ordered Size 45.

    • wlshoes
      03 December 11, 4:31am

      Yes, their site is horribly slow at times. Do let us know how the shoes work out… that is after all what this site is here for!

      You can view our Legal page at the link below for more information on disclosure and our reviews. I can tell you upfront that our reviews are not "bought" – if that were the case then we'd give everyone 5 stars and tell you to buy whichever shoe you think looks the best!

    • Alois
      09 December 11, 6:28am

      Got them in the mail today. I originally ordered 44 but left a voicemail and sent an email to go to size 45 after reading and re-reading the instructions!
      On the box was written 45….. whew is how I felt as I didnt' want to return a shoe that is too small.
      Open the box and in a Risto bag are the shoes.
      I remove the newspaper packing (Dated May 2010 from Columbia)
      Put the shoes on and they fit absolutly perfect.
      White on Black. Simple. Not flashy. Not dorky. They mean business.
      I immediatley go to the gym to do squats.
      The felt great.
      I am happy after only one workout. I will post in the summer after 6 months of wear and tear. But so far. Very pleased.
      My only gripe is that they are holding themselves back. They need to higher a consultant to work on advertising and website design. With the whole power-lifting/crossfit trend coming around they need to jump on it! Hand made lifting shoes… what a market to have!

  25. Peter Hegeman
    09 December 11, 11:52pm

    These show some pretty sketchy workmanship. On mine the straps were way too long from the start, and the velcro was poorly attached. I didn't complain about these, because I needed the shoes and I thought the defects were superficial. After six months of relatively light usage, however, several eyelets pulled out of one shoe. My email with photo got no response. When I called they agreed that the eyelets pulled out because of a defect, but refused to discuss any replacement or adjustment, since I'd owned the shoes more than two weeks. My conclusion is that for all the schtick about quality and design and ethical manufacturing they won't even discuss standing behind their products. Look somewhere else.

  26. Kam3sons
    15 December 11, 12:36pm

    I have lifted in these about 5 times now and they are perfect. They are a little too wide on me and I have to cinch up the laces as tight as possible but otherwise perfect. I LOVE the pink color too.

  27. milton
    16 December 11, 3:45pm

    even though these were my first pair of weightlifting shoes, I’ve seen plenty at my CrossFit gym. These by far are the best quality and price I’ve found. I highly recommend these shoes to anyone who is a serious lifter.

  28. Mcburney
    27 December 11, 12:34pm

    I really like my new shoes. Haven’t owned a pair of lifting shoes before but I believe these to be awesome. Feel really sturdy in my lifts and they look good.

  29. Benni
    29 December 11, 12:34pm

    I actually ordered the other style but I got a free upgrade to the Series2 when my order for the series1 whites were out of stock. Really nice shoe and the difference I feel when lifting is pretty impressive. I highly recommend these if you can afford them.

  30. LWasko
    12 January 12, 12:33pm

    Better Than Romaleos! Big improvement over the Romaleos in terms of stability and fit. I LOVE THEM!

  31. Alex T
    20 January 12, 11:59am

    When I mentioned these to a coach, he commented that the heel height on these was a too high for many people (even though they're proportional). This coach respects Rippetoe a lot, who I understand recommends a lower heel. Still, the construction, ethics, and research that goes into these seem hard to beat, especially at $120.

    It seems like the reviewer really likes the heel height, but can you shed some light on why you like them a little higher than other brands? Thanks–

  32. scot
    22 January 12, 12:32pm

    I had been lifting in a pair of pendlay shoes previously and just could not get on board with the colors plus the uneven heels were annoying as well. So after a bit of research I decided on the Ristos. Gotta say I really do love them for the most part. I found the toe box to be a bit snug but it has started to loosen up as I wear them. Quality seems to be top notch as long as you don’t mind a few irregularities that are bound to happen with handmade items. Lifting in them has been a pleasure and its nice to get some good remarks on my oly shoes for a change.

  33. WillSaturday
    25 January 12, 12:32pm

    The Risto shoes are solid shoes. They have all of the care and the quirks of being handmade. With mine, the leather used to secure the metatarsal strap loop to the shoe was different length on the two sides. With the high volume of the shoe, this lead to the strap hitting the ground on one foot and fitting pretty well on the other.

  34. Raymond
    30 January 12, 12:31pm

    These shoes have worked well for me. The heel height is appropriate for the relative size of my foot. The only complaint I have concerns the laces. They seem to be fraying rather quickly, especially as they often get stuck to the adjacent velcro. However, the laces are obviously replaceable. Overall, the quality/construction of the shoe seems solid.

  35. KJS
    02 February 12, 3:39am

    I currently lift in the adidas powerlift trainer, but I have been looking for a different shoe with a higher, stiffer heel. I've pretty much decided on the risto series 2, but im a little bit confused about the sizing. I wear an 11.5 in the adidas PL trainer, but this is very tight, as i prefer them to be. my foot is 11.25 to 11.5 inches in legnth. I looked it up, but im still not sure if i am a 44 or 45. Could anyone offer some insight? Hopefully someone has experience with both shoes.

    • wlshoes
      02 February 12, 10:56am

      You're probably a 45 but first of all, is your foot 11.25 or 11.5 inches? That's a big difference. If your foot is 11.25 you'd add .5 and come up with 11.75" – which would equal a size 45. If you are 11.5" then we add .5" and come up with 12" – a 45 might be tight, and a 46 might be lose. My guess is that since you wear a 11.5 in Adidas that you are most likely a 45.

  36. John
    05 February 12, 8:51pm

    I wear size 15 and it's impossible to find powerlifting shoes.. I live in Canada too so I can't order from Adidas as the canadian site does not carry lifting shoes. I squat above 400lb so I need a higher quality shoe as you say. My only option is someone on eBay that has the adipowers for $260 shipped or I can take a chance on these; my foot is 12.5" and the highest Risto size (48) is 12.68". Should I go for the Risto's or overpriced adipowers? (keep in mind Risto says "Do NOT leave less than .25 inches of space difference between the length of your foot and the shoe interior length.")

    • wlshoes
      06 February 12, 3:04pm

      Why don't you contact Risto directly regarding the sizing…?

  37. Brian
    10 February 12, 9:00am

    I purchased these several months ago to replace a pair of rogue do-wins and they're an upgrade in every way. The extra heel height is great for anyone over 6 feet. The bottom position feels VERY solid when compared to the do-wins. My wife also has a pair and the quality is excellent on both; feels like they'll last 10 years or more. The people at Risto were polite and helpful when we called with sizing questions and we recieved them within a week. Nothing but good things to say about this shoe….highly recommended for competitive o-lifters.

  38. Marius
    14 February 12, 6:08pm

    Just got these and I was relieved as the fit was as good as perfect. Good craftsmanship, awesome design and the smell of new leather is hard to beat. I have not yet tried lifting with them, but as there have been some comments regarding the quality I figured that I would leave a comment with my experience. Can't wait to try them tomorrow!

  39. Bill
    16 February 12, 10:04pm

    Ordered some Risto shoes almost 3 months ago and never received them. The best shoes in the world won't do you any good if you can't even put them on. Steer clear!

    • Kevin
      23 February 12, 3:45am

      I had a similar experience about 8 months ago. Took 3 months to get the shoes, there were defects all over the shoes, one of the straps was too long, and the leather was coming apart from the wooden sole on both shoes and in the heel area especially. 3 weeks later i got my second pair and the bottom of one shoe was uneven which created a very uncomfortable pressure point in my arch so obviously they had to be returned, oh and they looked like a completely different shoe aside from the colors, kind of like an old pair of leather bowling shoes you'd find in your grandfathers attic. So when I called to exchange this pair they were out of my size…..so had to go up to a 46 from a 44 or wait until "we don't know when the next shipment will be in"……so long story short you shouldn't waste any more time with this company and get your money back. Absolutely no quality control or consistency in the product….the handmade in Columbia by artisan BS they push on their site is more of a burdethan a benefit trust me….go with the big guys like Nike reebok or Adidas, they are more expensive and may not look as "old school" but at least with them you know what you're getting.

    • wlshoes
      23 February 12, 9:25am

      Risto was plagued with issues awhile back but they have supposedly been resolved. As for quality control, it is rare that we hear or see anyone complain about an actual performance affecting defect; most of the time it is cosmetic issues. Still, it's very disappointing to hear that they are taking so long to get orders out again. It's expected for a company to call and inform a customer immediately if a product is going to be back ordered or delayed – anything less is unacceptable in our opinion.

    • Kevin
      01 March 12, 4:46pm

      The order was placed early january of 2011 and i did not receive my FIRST pair until mid to late april. I know you are probably asking yourself "why the hell would this guys wait 3 1/2 months for a pair of shoes?" Well trust me I wouldn't have but customer service kept leading me to believe it was only going to be another couple weeks or a few more days blah blah blah……so i figured well what's another 2 weeks when i've already been waiting for six and so on. Anyway I just order a pair of Reebok oly's so hopefully I will get to try those out before mid april :)

  40. 123
    27 February 12, 4:17pm

    Risto's customer service is non-existing !!!

    Ordered a pair of shoes in November 2011, not realizing the front page said 6 weeks backorder. Of course the product page itself didn't mention this. Neither did the order confirmation.

    I had to cancel the order since I was in the US only for a limited time. I wrote them at least 3 e-mails with no response at all. I tried calling them, and put a message on the machine. No response. I wrote on the wall of their Facebook page. They deleted my post, without in any way responding to me.

    I finally went with a pair of Adidas Power Perfect II.

    My order is still in their system, when I log into their website (February 2012).

    This company is very shady. I would never deal with them again!

    I will not post my real name as I suspect they might turn to dirty methods as to punish the bad pr.

  41. KJS
    28 February 12, 5:20pm

    I ordered a pair of white thunders over three weeks ago. I have since then inquired by email and phone at least 5 times, and i have received one response apologizing, but implying that i should've expected a back-order delay. (Even though, the website says "White Thunder sizes 38-44, 47-48 are on backorder; all other sizes IN STOCK", and i ordered a size 45.) Coach Rojas also spun a tale about how his workers took a two week religious vacation, and that's why the shoes haven't been produced. I replied that i would not want to cancel and refund unless i didn't recieve any confirmation of my shoes' existence within two weeks. Guess what? it's the end of week 1 lol. Needless to say i do not have high expectations or regard for this company. Hopefully they won't take a whole month to give me a refund. After seeing some squats nearing 500 on youtube in the reebok olys i'm considering those. I was just unsure if they would stand up to very heavy lifting done by heavier people.

    • Risto Sports
      16 April 12, 10:29am

      Dear KJS,

      Risto Sports is committed to ethical treatment of the people making our shoes. This includes Religious holidays. Unlike other companies that have been in the news lately, we will not force or coerce workers to work holidays. KJS, did your employer make you work on Thanksgiving or New Year's Day?

      Due to the incredible response we have had to the shoes, some shoes have been produced at manufacturing lead time vs being already in stock. Hand worked shoes take more than 2 weeks to make. These are NOT plastic injection mold shoes.

  42. Ivan
    15 March 12, 4:14am

    I have honestly never been so disgusted with a purchase in my entire life. I bought a pair of white thunders in early February. As the weeks passed by and no shoes were on my doorstep, I emailed Risto and got some BS line about how the workers in their factory were partying for some holiday or something, and everything was weeks behind. Of course, nothing was written about this on their website, and they wouldn't have told me about this random holiday unless I asked. So finally, 5 weeks later when the shoes actually arrive it turns out they were just too small so I wanted to exchange them. After multiple emails and phone calls (and yet another week of waiting), I'm still waiting to hear back about what to do.

    Put simply, don't waste your time and money. People on this thread aren't kidding when they say that Risto's customer service is the definition of piss poor.

  43. Patty Maizels
    01 April 12, 9:30pm

    I have a pair of custom risto shoes that I have had now about a year. Yes there are some slight "detail" flaws, but the intergrity of the shoe is great! People need to understand how this shoe is made, its not mass produced by a machine. These shoes are HAND MADE to order, so it shoudl be expected that there will be detail differences (ie color variations, threading variations). And as far as the time it takes, its worth it i the quality is good. If you want a perfect stamped out shoe then dont buy custom hand made shoes…simple as that. Ristos rock.
    Patty "Soxx" Maizels

  44. Aimee
    28 April 12, 12:35pm

    This is my first pair of lifting shoes, but I have no complaints, solid shoes. Had some sizing issues but Risto made the exchange easy.

  45. phatmisiek
    28 April 12, 12:38pm

    This is the best bang for your buck. Top quality shoes VERY comfortable. Best shoes I had so far!

  46. Melissa
    29 April 12, 9:18pm

    When I ordered the shoes, I was a little bummed out that I had to wait for them to come in. I emailed Risto Sports and asked if I could pick them up at the Risto gym, since I was going to be in the Boston area. I drove to their gym in Maine and could not believe my eyes. I was lucky that I got to see athletes training for the Olympics, there, in the Risto's. They had the best technique I have ever seen. I even got to break-in my new pair of shoes at the gym with Coach Ivan Rojas.

  47. Bill Krupta
    13 May 12, 9:44am

    Called and talked to people at Risto. They know what they are doing and talking about, they ask me what lifts I’ll be doing and they gave me the real reasons why I need this type of shoes. They are the most qualified professionals I have seen in any field. My shoes were in stock and I got them in 3 days. I also learn they operate a non-profit which helps international lifters to train at their training centers and get ready for world level events.
    I got PRs in snatch, C&J and squats within 2 weeks of training with proper shoes…

  48. Jus
    22 May 12, 10:00pm

    Been sharing a pair of Ristos with a friend for a while, finally got my own this week. They came in about 2 weeks. These shoes are great, very solid, built to last. I love the heel height and the construction. The footbed is wide enough for my feet (sz12.5) to feel comfortable, not narrow like the Adidas and Reeboks. PR in snatch and power cleans in these. No complaints yet.

  49. Dave
    08 June 12, 2:57pm

    1) Took about a month to get these shoes. Website said they were in stock, apparently they weren’t. I exchanged plenty of emails and got fed line after line. Anyway so I finally got the shoes.

    2) Straps are ridiculously long, not a big deal, but whatever.
    3) One eyelet on the left shoe was not attached properly. As in not fastened at all.
    4) Training in these 6 days a week for about a month and a half now and the leather is coming apart on the toe box of both shoes, leather is coming off the heel, insole no longer stays in one place, and the rubber outsole is separating from the bottom on one of the shoes (my rear foot in the jerk).

    All in all I guess I got what I paid for. I’ll keep lifting in these and trying to fix them until they’re unusable. I can at least guarantee that no one else at my gym is going to buy these. Time to start saving up for a pair of adidas shoes.

  50. Justin
    03 August 12, 12:03am

    I love the shoes, but like others, after just four months the lace grommets started pulling through the leather. I’ve never had a problem with that on any other shoe, so it surprised me. I probably won’t be getting another pair of shoes from them even though i liked everything else about the shoes, because I just don’t have 120 bucks to spend on shoes every four months. I need a pair of shoes that are going to last years.

    • 03 August 12, 2:09pm

      The grommets pulling through seem to be a common problem with their current model shoes. I’ve been told they are totally redesigning the shoe for late 2012 – let’s hope they address this issue along with a few others I’ve mentioned.

  51. Evan
    16 August 12, 12:23pm

    Terrible quality. The shoes are visibly different lengths (despite being the same “size”). One came with an insole, one didn’t. After 2 months of 2-day a week training, two lace grommets have come out and the leather is ripping. Velcro on one of the straps is detaching. Just garbage. I went around and around between these and the Adidas. Ironically it was the review from this site that swayed me to the Ristos. Should have gotten the Adidas.

  52. Ken Reid
    29 October 12, 11:07pm

    Just had my Risto shoes stolen, ya it sucks! my question is what shoe to replace it with?
    i know Risto has a new model of shoes out the end of Nov. Although money is tight, I HAVE FOUND WEIGHT LIFTING SHOES TO BE WORTH THEIR WEIGHT IN GOLD. Please advise.
    i have gone three weeks not sure i want to wait four weeks, however if you tell me they are the best i will wait.

    • 31 October 12, 1:53pm

      I can’t tell you anything about a shoe that isn’t out yet. Once we get a test and evaluation pair from them we can perform our review.

  53. Ken Reid
    01 November 12, 8:44pm

    I understand about the new Risto shoe i was hoping you had a sneak preview. I really need to buy a pair of shoes its getting old lifting with a set of 5 lb plates under the heels of my sneakers. what shoe is the best regardless of its cost for a Oly lifting?

    • 02 November 12, 9:48am

      “The best” depends on what you are looking for, what fits your foot, etc. Shoes are uniquely difficult to suggest because feet are somewhat unique themselves. That’s what the site was created for – read what the experts and our visitors have said about the shoes and use that knowledge to make a decision.

  54. Jenn
    11 January 13, 2:33pm

    Hi, I’m looking to buy a new pair of oly shoes and I was trying to decide between the Addidas, Nike and Risto. I currently have Do Wins but they’re about 3 years old. I do Crossfit but primarily use my oly’s just for oly lifts and squatting now and my nano’s during wods. Can you make a suggestion as to what the best shoe for me is, also I have pretty wide feet so I’m afraid the Adidas and Nike won’t fit. Thanks!

    • 12 January 13, 4:31pm

      I have wide feet and found the Power Perfect 2 to be a good choice. It is wider than the Adipower but not as wide as the Reebok Olys.

  55. B1nks
    21 January 13, 6:21pm

    I’m curious when you say wide and narrow feet what exactly qualifies as a wide and what as a narrow? I know in cowboy boots (yep, from texas) I wear a D which seems to be average and EE is considered wide. Since you say your foot is wide can you give a measurement of your foot across the first knuckles (where people get bunions).

    • 21 January 13, 7:33pm

      In the shoe world, D width is average. Anything above is wide and anything below is narrow. The actual width rating is proportionate to the size of the shoe. So a size 12D is going to be much wider at the toes than a size 9D.

  56. Rachael
    29 March 13, 1:01pm

    I love the way the new Risto Olimpicos look, and I’m wondering if you will review them soon? Also, how about the Again Faster shoes?


    • 29 March 13, 4:27pm

      Those are just knock-off Risto Series 2 shoes with minor changes to the design. We may review them at some point. As for the Olimpico, we are currently testing the sample pair sent by Risto and will have our conclusions posted soon.

  57. Lupe
    24 May 13, 12:44am

    Hi, I was wondering if you had a review of the new risto shoes? Your information is always very helpful.

    • 24 May 13, 10:30am

      I have had the Olimpico for about 2 months now. When I find the time I will be posting up a full review on them. They are a solid shoe and I have no real complaints with them at all. They fit similar to a wide Converse All Star shoe in the toe box and have a nice insole. Definitely on my recommend list; you can get them a little cheaper at Muscles and Curves.

  58. DON
    02 March 14, 12:36pm

    Does anyone have any experience with the Risto “Russian” Shoes?
    I have a pair of the original Russian shoes (from Russia) that I have used for over 30 years.
    Due to foot issues I now have to wear orthotics. and thes shoes are just to tight.
    I tried low cut shoes but felt that my heels were going to pop out, so I returned them.

    Thinking about ordering the custom made Risto “Russian” shoes, but with some of the reviews I’m hesitant.
    I like that I can have them made to my specifications.

    Any info will be greatly appreciated.


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