Wei-Rui Maestro

Reviewed on July 12th 2010
Updated on August 19th 2012

THE REVIEW:

Finally! A pair of weightlifting shoes for under $100 bucks that don’t suck! This “cheap weightlifting shoe” actually doesn’t look or feel cheap at all, aside from the rubber heel that most lower-end shoes are adorned with. (Cutting, molding and curing wood heels adds an incredible amount to the cost of making a shoe.) Let’s take a look at what the Wei-Rui Maestro shoe, pronounced “WAY-REE”, has to offer.

As many of you can by now tell, we aren’t big fans of any of the sub one-hundred dollar shoes that are currently on the market. Most of the brands of shoes like “Wan-Hoa” are cheap Chinese made crap coming from people buying on alibaba.com. The VS athletics brand are the only thing close to a decent weightlifting shoe but we have some serious issues with their quality and design. Most of these shoes can be considered “entry-level” but unfortunately they just do not hold up to regular lifting. Suffice it to say we’ve felt there was a need for a good entry-level weightlifting shoe and we have finally found one.

Like most shoes in this price range, the Maestro shoe is made in China. It is rumored to be made at the same factory that makes Adidas footwear products. That could be the reason for the higher-than-typical quality we noted. Also, these shoes are made entirely of real leather, not vinyl or cat skin. Being a budget weightlifting shoe, the heel is made of dense rubber instead of wood. Quite honestly this is a better alternative to using cheap, pressed wood for a heel, something you see a lot of manufacturers using.

The effective heel height is the standard 0.75″ that you will find on the typical weightlifting shoe. The shoe fits like a sneaker and feels pretty tight on the foot. It will accommodate folks with average and narrow feet well, very wide footed people may want to look at other brands.

One of the more interesting things to note about the shoe is that Wei-Rui is the actual company that makes BAF shoes and the now discontinued Thunder weightlifting shoe. (Do a Google search and see for yourself) Since I’m a big believer in buying products as close to the source as possible, I recommend buying the ACTUAL Wei-Rui shoes from MaxBarbell.com. They are one of the only sites I can find that retail the newer models of the shoes, with the exception of those selling the re-badged BAF shoes. And more importantly, they are about $40 cheaper if you buy them from MaxB.

The Wei-Rui Maestro sizing should be identical to your running shoe although we have had some reports of people going one-half size down for a more snug fit. Like most shoes, the decision to get a smaller size is usually related to the width of your foot at the ball of your feet (first knuckles). The shoes come with a 30 day warranty, again standard for the industry, and the same for their return policy.

Now onto our first impressions of this shoe. In hand the shoe feels pretty good. The leather is stiff, as good leather should be, and the heel is very dense. When worn the shoes are pretty tight all around with moderate arch support and good cushion. I’m uncertain how the shoe will hold up to the rigors of an Olympic lifting training schedule. But if you are that serious about Olympic style lifting then you shouldn’t be looking at an entry-level shoe. This shoe will definitely suffice for power-lifters and those that just want a good stable shoe to perform squats, deadlifts and pressing exercises.

The only complaints I have are that the buckle loop for the strap feels cheap as if it were made of plastic or a cheap alloy. (I’ve been informed by MaxBarbell that the loop is actually a metal loop coated in plastic.) Also, the shoe is pretty heavy, most likely due to the solid rubber heel. Other than that, for $85 I don’t think there is pair of shoes anywhere in that price range that can compete with these. The guys at MaxBarbell have a really promising product in these shoes.

WHERE TO BUY:

These shoes can be purchased directly from MaxBarbell.com

PROS:

  • Full Ox-leather construction
  • Solid rubber heel
  • Sneaker-like fit
  • Very well made

CONS:

  • The buckle loop on the strap feels cheap
  • A little heavy

ADDITIONAL SHOE FEATURES:

[pinit]
  1. Dave
    28 July 10, 3:34pm

    I read one should size according to their dress shoe size. Has anyone verified this is the case?

    (reply)
    • WLShoes
      21 February 11, 9:55pm

      I would pick the same size as your running shoes.

  2. Chris Rocco
    27 August 10, 3:00pm

    It doesn't make sense to me that a weight lifting shoe of any model shoulldn't give the buyer an option of foot width.Make these in a narrow, regular fit and wide fit.Is that so difficult?????? This will also attract more buyers for this particular shoe.And i love the lightning bolt!!!!My shirts have guirellas lifting a thousand lbs. and apes carrying the world on their shoulders!!!! wightlifting can be redundant,,,,so let's keep it fun folks.

    (reply)
    • WLShoes
      23 September 10, 5:54am

      Weightlifting shoes are such a small market that manufacturers cannot afford to make the sizes in widths. There just isn't a great enough demand for the shoes. Even companies like Risto that once offered custom shoes discontinued the service because it wasn't profitable.

  3. Sab6512
    28 March 11, 3:56pm

    I liked your review on the Maestro. You sung your praises about this
    shoe, but do these praises apply to the rest of Wei Rei's shoes? I
    like the Samsons (yes, I'll admit it's because I prefer the
    color/style). I just don't know whether I should pull the trigger on
    buying them vs. the Maestros. I am very much a novice Olympic lifter.

    (reply)
    • WLShoes
      28 March 11, 4:01pm

      Each review is based on the specific models mentioned in the review. I wasn't able to get my hands on a pair of the Samsons so I have no idea of the quality of that model but I do know that once they are sold out MaxB isn't planning to carry them again.

  4. Weight_training_33
    11 May 11, 3:17am

    I think I may give these hoes a try

    (reply)
  5. Lifter
    13 June 11, 7:37pm

    If you had to choose between these, and the Rogue rips which would you choose? I won't be doing olympic lifts outside the occasional power clean.

    (reply)
    • WLShoes
      14 June 11, 12:21am

      I don't believe Rogue is even making the RIP shoe anymore. They have a few sizes left in stock but I think the actual model is no longer in production. Quality-wise they are probably comparable, with the RIP having a 0.5" heel and these having the 0.75".

    • Lifter
      14 June 11, 7:17pm

      They are still making them according to Rippetoe. Rogue just can't keep them in stock and "supply has been an issue."

    • WLShoes
      14 June 11, 9:06pm

      Well that's good to know, they always seem to be almost completely out of stock when I check the site. The Rogue Rips are a great shoe but they are handmade as well and I think that adds a lot of lead time to Rogue receiving new orders.

    • WLShoes
      01 July 11, 7:02pm

      Well I was correct… they no longer make them. They've replaced them with the Adidas PowerLift model.

  6. minx
    01 July 11, 6:42pm

    These shoes are very heavy; it feels like my feet are in cement. I don't recommend them, especially for Olympic lifts.

    (reply)
  7. nate
    18 January 12, 8:40pm

    Does anyone know how these compare to the Do Win shoes?

    (reply)
  8. Jim
    25 July 14, 9:47am

    The lousiest investment I ever made. The holes for the shoe laces ripped within two weeks of use. The sole of the toe ripped off in three weeks. Lousy workmanship, poorly made, and not worth the money.

    (reply)

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