This Model Has Been Discontinued and Replaced with the New Nike Romaleo 2.
The Nike Romaleo Weightlifting Shoe was released in 2008 as a direct competitor to the Adidas AdiStar model. Both models of shoes were released to coincide with the 2008 Summer Olympics, however; Adidas clearly won the marketing battle as we saw many more lifters sports the AdiStars than the Romaleos. That should come as no surprise since Adidas was clearly the market leader, having made shoes for Olympic weightlifting since the 1970’s, and the Romaleo is technically Nike’s freshman model of oly shoes. With that said, the Romaleo was a formidable alternative to other models of shoes.
For starters, the Nike has a different fit than Adidas models with a wider, more square shaped toe box. For those of us that can’t wear narrower shoes due to wide feet, this makes the Romaleo a suitable alternative. The heel of the Romaleo is also proportional to the length of the shoe, a feature currently shared only by Risto brand shoes. I personally think that heel proportionality is a major feature that ALL Olympic lifting shoes should include since it helps ensure proper knee angle for each lifter, regardless of height.
As for durability, the Romaleo feature a synthetic upper that is extremely durable yet very soft and pliable. The result is a near zero break-in period required for these shoes. I have friends that have put more than 500+ training sessions on their Nike’s and they still shoe no signs of noticeable wear. Some questions have arisen with regards to the longevity of the sole of the shoes. I’ve received reports from lifters who say they’ve trained 4-5 times a week for over three years and the rubber soles are still very much intact and don’t appear to need replacing anytime soon.
The actual heel of the Romaleo is made of TPU and features the unique “Power Bridge” technology developed by Nike. Again, the heel is proportional to the shoe size and the inside sole of the shoe has a nice contoured heel cup that allows you foot to really sink into the shoe. The shoes also ship with two different inserts, one being a softer version for everyday training and the other a “competition” version that is extra rigid. I personally did not find the training insert very useful as it was totally flat and only functioned as a 1/8″ piece of cushion. While the Power Bridge is touted as a “lightweight alternative to wooden heels” we didn’t really find this to be the case. The Romaleos were noticeably heavier than a same size Adidas Ironwork and AdiStar model and weighed in slightly heavier than the Risto Series 2 model. I think Nike could do better in terms of designing the midsole and heel.
While the Romaleos weight may be a setback, this can possibly be overlooked when you realize the comfort and extreme stability this shoe provides. The double meta-tarsal straps didn’t really do much for me though and appear to be located in the wrong spot across the instep. Tightening them down does you really lock you into place and provide great lateral stability but I found that the top strap impeded my ankle flexibility some given its high placement on the instep. You can’t deny the stability the shoe has when squatting though, its to the point where you almost feel as if you are wearing magnetic boots when lifting. Given the heel cup and wide toe box, people with mid to high arches should be able to wear these shoes without issue or need for orthotic inserts. And the pliability of the upper material leaves no weird feeling seams or uncomfortable creases when plantar flexing.
A unfortunate problem area for this shoe is in the design of the toebox and sole. The forefoot area is extremely stiff and requires a lot of use to loosen up to an agreeable level or resistance. This could be problematic for lifters that already have issue keeping their heels up when performing a split jerk and certainly isn’t necessary for the toe-box to be that stiff.
Last but not least, the Nike Romaleo is one of the better looking model of weight lifting shoes on the market right now. Originally available in numerous different color variations, you are now pretty much limited to the white with black accent or solid black models. Although, I have seen a few stores still carry the anthracite and gold colors as well.
WHERE TO BUY:
We recommend getting your Nike Romaleos from VS Athletics as they tend to have the shoes in stock more often then other retailers and their customer services rocks.
Overall, I’d say this is a good shoe but due to its excessive weight and lack of flexibility at the toe box you would be better off spending the extra $10 to get a pair of AdiStars.
- Great stability
- Wider fit
- Well made
- Too heavy
- Inflexible forefoot area
- Straps are a bit long
- One of the more expensive models