I was recently contacted by a gentleman who was inquiring about purchasing weight lifting shoes in Europe, specifically in the UK. In our conversation he brought up the fact that low cost lifting shoes are actually rather difficult to find overseas. Being from the States I had never really given this much thought, but I do find it odd that Europeans have a lack of decent online retailers to purchase oly shoes from. Afterall, many of the brands that are sold here in the United States are made in or around Europe. Here’s the jist of the email he sent:
I have recently been looking to purchase some oly shoes, within two constraints:
1 – They must be available in the U.K.
2 – Ideally be £60 or less (about $95, which seems reasonable for the U.S.)
Having spent much time trawling the internet, it appears we have to pay £90 ($145) for a very limited selection. The only shoes cheaper than that are from strengthshop.co.uk which is an unknown in the lifting shoe world (and probably re-branded Chinese low-quality slop), or some imported from Czechoslovakia (goodlift.cz) which again are unknown. Given the wide selection of shoes in the U.S. for under $100, why is there a complete barren wasteland for the European market? The common consensus is to link cheap U.S. sites which claim to ship our way, only to find out it is around $50 (£30) in shipping, plus tax – this pretty much renders the option null right out the gate. I feel like this issue should be more widespread but doesn’t really get the web coverage, as people just suck it up and buy some power perfects or hold out the ebay roulette!
This is a really legitimate question, one which I honestly do not have a good answer for. As the gentleman points out, you can buy big name brands such as Adidas and Nike for about the same price as they are in the States. This is because both companies have warehouses in Europe. But in the U.S. we are seeing an increase of small companies trying to break into the oly shoe market (although most die off fairly quickly). So why aren’t we seeing more shoe availability in Europe? If anyone has any insight into this please feel free to drop a comment.