The series 1 Risto has been discontinued and will no longer be made. Risto’s newest shoe, the Series 2 will now be their flagship product. It will be available in Early December and come in White/Black, White/Pink and White/Blue models respectively called White Thunder, Pink Thunder and Linea Blanca.
One of the most under-rated weight lifting shoes in 2010, the Risto Sports Olympic Lifting Shoe is almost all you could ask for in a shoe. The Ristos meet all the requirements of a good weightlifting shoe and you won’t need to break the bank to own a pair.
Firstly, a little background about the shoe’s creators. Ristos are designed by world class weightlifting coach Ivan Rojas, a two time Olympian weightlifter and the man responsible for training several Gold metal winning athletes. The shoes are co-designed (and thoroughly lab tested) by his MIT Aero-Astro engineer wife, and weightlifting competitor, Gwen. As far as shoe resumes go, I don’t think it gets any better than having an Olympian and an Astro Engineer behind your design!
Another VERY important aspect is that these shoes are not run-of-the-mill, assembly line shoes; they are actually HANDMADE in South America by true craftsmen. This translates into a shoe that is of superior quality to anything else on the market.
Some of the features in design that really showcase the quality of these shoes are solid grain leather, an extra padded insole, sturdy molded leather interior, double stitching and a solid wood heel that is proportional to the size of the shoe.
As far as fit, the high quality, supple leather doesn’t require much time to break the shoe in. The toe box on the shoes is wider and taller than average allowing room for the toes to move up and down. This gives a “work boot” like fit and also accommodates high arches very well. The toe area is also very wide, accommodating people with wide feet and issues such as bunions. For those of you with narrower feet, the mid-sole section allows you to really tighten down the shoe so you do not have to worry about the ball of your foot sliding, which is an issue in other wide shoes. The heel is proportional, with heel height being higher on larger shoes and lower on smaller shoes. The effective height of a size 9 (Risto size 40) Men’s shoe is around 0.9″.
The only bad thing we have to say about these shoes is that the styling falls a little flat. For instance, the white and gray shoes are nice, but the silver foil looking accent is a bit much. We have similar issues with the pink model. The shoestrings on the white model also have the silver foil intertwined through the lace, making the shoe laces feel somewhat “cheap”. These are, however, the first generation of Ristos so I’m sure they will improve with newer models. So far they are definitely on to something with these shoes.
A final note, we’re heard through the “grapevine” that Risto is working on a new model for later in the year that will update the look but cost significantly more and compete directly with Adidas. You might want to get a pair while the “gettin is good!”
Sizing is difficult for these shoes and it is best to actually measure your foot as instructed on the Risto Sizing chart found on the Risto Sports Website.
WHERE TO BUY:
Risto Sports retails their shoes directly to the public and ships internationally via UPS. You can purchase them directly at RistoSports.com
- Handmade by shoe artisans
- Real grain leather, solid wood heel
- Work boot-like fit
- Proportional heel height
- Designed by real weightlifters and engineers
- Fits great on wide or narrow feet
- Styling is a bit limited, may not appeal to everyone
- Production problems have made availability an issue