Wei-Rui Warrior

I’m officially labeling the Wei-Rui Warrior Weightlifting Shoe the VS/Pendlay/Rogue KILLER. Seriously, this shoe is that good and cheaper than any of those other brands. Without doubt the Wei-Rui Warrior represents the BEST VALUE in a weightlifting shoe that currently exists on the market.

Let’s face it – not everyone is willing (or able) to drop $100+ dollars on a pair of shoes JUST for lifting weights. But given the relatively small market for weightlifting shoes, your options for quality shoes under the $100 mark have been limited – until recently.

Many manufacturers have introduced “budget friendly” shoes including Adidas with the PL Trainer, VS Athletics and various no-name brands that are all vying for a piece of the lifting shoe market. Unfortunately, through reviewing most of these shoes we’ve found fault with just about all of them in some way or another.

For instance, while we like the Power Lift Trainers, they really aren’t meant for serious lifters or people moving heavy weight due to their EVA heel. The VS shoes are ok, but the heel is too high for most people and the overall durability is lower than average. And the “no-name” brands are all just wholesalers buying shoes from China and re-labeling them with a new brand name. Most of these shoes are below average in build quality which is reflected in the (usually) lower price.

Given the previous disappointments with cheap weightlifting shoes, I was excited to receive an email from MaxBarbell letting us know they had a new model Wei-Rui shoe available called the Warrior. If you recall, their Wei-Rui Maestro model actually faired pretty well in our review, but that was almost two years ago and the competition has increased.


The Wei-Rui Warrior shoe from Maxbarbell has a very attractive price tag of only $69 – making it one of the cheapest weight lifting shoes on the market. Naturally a price that low immediately makes you question the quality of the shoe. So I was quite surprised to open the box and see that the quality of this shoe is better than many models that cost $50 more!

The Warrior features an all leather upper made of actual leather, not synthetic “pleather” or suede like Pendlay and others use. The stitching, cuts and pieces were all clean with no tattered edges or crooked lines and there was no glue residue around the heel.

The Warrior features a reinforced heel cup and a medium-wide toe box, so it accommodates most wider feet. The shoe has a single hook and loop velcro strap across the upper instep and exhibited decent ventilation via perforations at the sides and front of the shoe.

The shoe features a set .75″ solid rubber heel that has a nice grip. Like most solid rubber heels, it adds considerable weight to the shoe making the shoe heavier than more expensive models. The only other negative I could find was that the heel is made as one piece of rubber with no sole attached to the bottom. This would mean that once the grip has worn from the bottom of the shoe, you would need to have a cobbler make an entirely new sole. This wouldn’t cost much, but is something to keep a watch on as a slick sole is dangerous in the gym.


The Warrior is only available in men’s sizing and tends to run a half size large. Again, the toe area is slightly wider than a standard width shoe so they are comfortable on moderately wide feet.


The Wei-Rui shoes are only available through MaxBarbell.com. At the time of this review, the Warrior model was out of stock but is expected to be back in all size by the end of May 2012.


Some of you may have noticed that the Warrior looks very similar to the black and white BAF weightlifting shoe that retails for around $90. Well, the reason for this is that Wei-Rui actually makes the BAF shoe (another example of a Chinese company re-labeling shoes for a company). If you look at the back of the BAF shoe it will have a W.R. imprinted, signifying the true manufacturer. And if you didn’t catch it, the Warrior is the SAME shoe but almost $20 less!


  • Low Cost
  • Well Made
  • Good Heel Height


  • Heavy
  • Resoling Could be an Issue Down the Road

86 thoughts on “Wei-Rui Warrior”

    1. Certainly, these are very solid shoes. The heel does not compress at all since it is made of very dense rubber; hence the weight issue. I've seen guys squat over 600 pounds wearing the BAF version of this which is identical. Because of the heftiness of the shoe, they are much more suitable as a power lifting / squatting shoe than any Oly shoe.

    1. Sturdier, a little heavier, nicer leather exterior and cheaper… can't go wrong with that.

  1. As a newbie to Olympic lifting (I'm joining a gym next month), which sub $100 shoe would you recommend I pick up: the maestro or warrior? Thanks …

    1. Less than $150, my vote would go to the Reebok Oly or Adidas Power Perfect 2.0. Less than $100 I would go with the some Wei-Ruis. That’s pretty much the breakdown of the best shoes per price category.

    1. I haven’t seen where Pendlay is selling those for $100, unless you are talking about the odd-size discontinued models. And yes, the wei-rui is a better made shoe and about $50 cheaper than the Pendlays. Anyone else find it odd that Pendlay is still selling their 2011 model shoe when here it is the middle of 2012? You might want to think about why that is…

    1. The Warrior is going to be heavier than the PP2 since it has the solid rubber heel and the PP2 has a poly molded heel. Other than that, they are very similar. I think the Wei-Rui shoe will be wider in the toe-box area and fit people more comfortably.

  2. Would you say recommend these shoes for someone who is doing stronglifts or a similar program that revolves around squats, deadlift, benching, and ohping?

  3. I followed the instructions on the Max Barbell site to find my Wei Rui size which told me to get a size 7.5. I normally wear a 10 and am therefore unsure to trust the Sizing chart or my regular size (I know to buy a half size small)

    Has anyone else encountered this issue or have any advice?


    1. Email Joseph at Maxbarbell and ask him directly, he’ll let you know what size will work best. Then report back here with the results!

  4. I’ve been browsing through different weightlifting shoes for a while to make sure I make a good choice. The shoes I’m debating between are Rogue Do-Wins and Warriors. Aside from price, any comparisons between the two or why you think one is better than the other?

    1. We’re not a fan of any of the newer Do-Win shoe models. They were good shoes until 2010, when they changed them up. If you look around the web, you’ll quickly find forums and blogs where people have posted issues with Do-Win WL shoes – the most common being splitting heels and sole pulling away at the toe. They are supposedly coming out with an all new design in late 2012. Hopefully it will address the issues the shoe has had for last 2 years.

  5. Alright, thanks for the quick reply. I noticed those complaints. I was leaning towards the Warriors anyways. Also, how would you rank/compare the Warrior agains the new VX3 Wei Rui shoes?

  6. I just purchased the VX3 shoes from maxbarbell and they are very, very light, stable and with a good grip. Previously I used a pair of VS Athletics that I had for 3 years and the VX3s are like feathers compared to them. The heel is also lower than that on the VS which for me is a good thing. With the VS I on occasion would find my weight transferred to the front of the foot. No such thing with the VX3s.
    I ordered half a size smaller (as per the instructions on their page) and they fit well.

    All this is based on only one squat session. Hoping that the shoes will hold up well to long term use.

    1. Good to know. I’ve been meaning to get a review pair from them but I’m been neglecting this site pretty bad lately. Just too much other stuff going on!

    1. You’re the first I’ve heard to have these sort of issues with the shoe. Can you tell us more about your experience? What were the shoes used for; did you just do olympic weightlifting exclusively? Did you contact MaxBarbell customer service?

  7. First let me say that Max barbell’s customer service is great, I had sizing issues and they took care of it promptly and professionally. Secondly, these are $70.00 shoes made somewhere in Asia, I don’t expect the same quality as the Nike or Addidas weightlifting shoes. If I wanted that then I would buy those, but not everyone is willing to drop $200 on a set of shoes. You get what you pay for and I was fully aware of that.

    That said; I’ve used these shoes exclusively for weightlifting for 2 months, 2-3 days a week. Let me qualify that by saying, I don’t walk around anywhere but the gym, I don’t box jump, skip rope or run in them. I don’t take them off by pushing the shoe off with the other foot, I unlace them. I don’t grab hold of the strap like it’s indestructible and crank it down.

    Yes, these shoes will stretch in width a bit, big deal, take a footbed from another pair of shoes and stick on top of the existing one, now you’ve reduced the volume. Not enough heel height? Glue a piece of cork or plastic to the bottom of the footbed.

    After a month of use I noticed that sole had a hairline separation from the heel that has been getting larger, but I’m still using them. I’ve contacted the seller to inquire about the sole material so that I can use the appropriate adhesive for fixing them. Once I’ve gotten an answer I’ll post the results from my fix. So for $70 I still think this is a decent shoe.

    1. Nice. A good wear and tear durability review. Currently we don’t get the shoes long enough to perform extensive durability tests on them. Check out our “How We Test Shoes” article (up in a few days) to see the stress testing and functionality tests we perform on all the shoes we review.

  8. Follow up to my original review:
    As stated in my original post I contacted Max barbell regarding the separation of the sole from the heel and they responded within one day. The stated that although they have not encountered this problem often, the best adhesive they’ve used to correct this was Gorilla Super Glue. Using a small jewelers file, I scuffed the two mating surfaces then cleaned them with a q-tip dipped in IPA (isopropyl alcohol, not beer) and let the area dry. I placed a very small amount of the glue on one of the surfaces and used the edge of a piece of 3×5 card stock to push the glue all the way into the thin opening. I then placed my hand in the shoe and pressed the shoes against a solid surface and held it there for at least a minute while the glue dried. Using too much glue is worse than too little. As long as the surfaces are wetted your good, but you don’t want a bunch of glue oozing out, the surfaces will not bond properly if the glue layer is too thick.
    Yeah that was kind of long, but if anybody else is in the same situation I’d like to be able to give them a solution. Does it work? Yes, so far I’ve used the shoes for 10 days; workouts consisting of approx.40 snatches, 40 clean & jerks, 35 squats per session just to give some point of reference.

  9. OK, I wasn’t able to get the Warrior as I planned when I first posted my comment because MaxBarbell was sold out. So, I went with the VS Athletics shoes since I live in southern CA and they’re HQ/store is not too far from where I live.

    Your review was spot on! They were heavy, clunky, and bulky; however, I was, and still am, a newbie to the sport and didn’t want to spend a lot of money on shoes. So I used the VS for a good 6 months before considering changing to the VX3s.

    I’ve only trained in them twice so far and my experience is just like Ted’s! I’m so happy that I’ve switched as these shoes feel like night and day on my feet! I really hope that you get to do a review of the VX3s because I’d like to hear how they stack up against shoes that cost $100+ more …

    Oh and thanks for this site, as it was very useful in helping decide which shoes to buy.

  10. I recently purchased a pair (2 weeks ago) and the sole on the left shoe has already begun to detach. I am very disappointed with this and let maxbarbell know. I think in the end that it is better to just sack up and take the bank account hit and buy a quality pair of WL shoes and get the quality and longevity you pay for. Thoughts?

  11. also as far as quality shoes go when I’m going to break the bank… Adipower vs romaleo 2’s vs romaleo 2 volts? thoughts on the options and sizing for these?

    1. Many prefer the fit of the Adipower but if you have proportionately wide feet (like a EE width) they will not work for you. I’m not a huge fan of the Nike’s; but why go top shelf anyway? The Power Perfect 2 are a great shoe, cost less and fit a little wider.

  12. As far as going top shelf I think of WL shoes as the one thing it may not pay to cheap on. Not that the PPerfect 2 isn’t a quality shoe but my train of thought was might as well spend the extra dough and be confident that you are getting a shoe that you can count on for years to come. Turns out that it is really irrelevant anyway because Maxbarbell offered to upgrade me to the VX3s for free which I’m pretty stoked about. I’ll be getting them tomorrow, just in time for my heavy load cycle. Can’t wait to see how it stacks up against the warrior.

  13. Can we expect a write up on the new contenders, VX3, and/or bombshells? I am very curious to know how these $55 shoes hold up compared to the much more expensive Romaleos and Adipowers.

    1. I believe they will only continue to carry the VX3 and Warrior models. Once we know for sure, we will attempt to get a review pair and test them out. Obviously there is a huge difference between a sub-$100 shoe and the top of the line stuff from Adidas and Nike. In the end, it depends on what you need and the overall value you are looking for.

  14. I just bought the Wei-Rui Warriors to use for crossfit. I ordered them Thursday afternoon and they arrived Monday afternoon with standard shipping, which was a lot faster than I expected. I bought the “surplus stock” shoes. So, I only paid $55 for them. Only design variation is the strap is black instead of white. These shoes seem to be very well made for a $55 lifting shoe. They are a lot lighter and more flexible than I was expecting, which makes them a great choice for crossfit. I was going to use these as my squat shoe and buy a pair of Reebok Oly’s for metcons. But, I might just hold off on the Reeboks.

    These are very well made and I was not able to find any flaws. velcro strap is vinyl instead of leather. I’ll have to see if that holds us. Might be why they changed it. But, if it last a year I will have gotten my moneys worth.

    Anyway you slice it. A great pair of lifting shoes for the price.

  15. Hi guys, looking for some advice as I’m quite new to lifting. When squatting, I find that my upper body leans forward quite a bit. I think maybe I nd to work on ankle and hip flexibility to help with this, but I’m wondering if a pair of lifting shoes would help my form??

    1. Shoes may help some if you have poor ankle flexibility but they aren’t a magic pill. You need to fix yourself and any issues you have first, then add gear to help maximize your efforts. I wouldn’t even start putting weight on the bar until you learn how to squat properly, with solid form. If you’re having trouble staying on your heels I recommend doing box squats to below parallel. Concentrate on “pushing” your butt back and keeping your chest up high and middle back arched.

  16. As a 2 year novice powerlifter, squatting 230×5, I am unsure if I should just go for the top of line shoe like an adipower or Romaleos or go with the much cheaper Wei-Rui Warrior for my first pair of oly shoes.

    I’ve heard many people regret not putting down the extra 80-120 dollars to get the Romaleos/Adipowers.

    Any suggestions or advice?

    1. All I can say is that more expensive shoes will typically last longer. The wei-rui is a great pair of shoes but its price does limit some of its features – for instance, it is one of the heaviest models. If it is something you plan on wearing until it is destroyed then you’d get more bang for your buck with a higher end pair.

  17. Thanks for the quick reply.

    As far as sizing, what do you suggest?

    When I tried the Romaleos 2 at an event, I was a size 10.5.
    I wear Nike Free Runs in Size 11
    I wear Inov8’s in Size 11
    And I wear the Merrell Trail Glove in Size 11.

    would appreciate it sir!

  18. Got my eye on either the new VX3 with the added forefoot strap, or the more expensive Risto Olimpico. They will only be used for frequent heavy squats, standing presses, and deadlifts. Does anyone have an opinion on which I should go with?

  19. which weightlifting shoe is better, wei rui warriors or adidas powerlift trainer.

    which one can last longer and which can hold more weight, i squat in 400 lb range

    1. The wei-rui will be more capable of holding heavy loads, the PL trainer will compress. This is all discussed in the reviews, including sizing.

  20. Should be fine for your use. Just squatting and basic lifts don’t take much of a toll on shoes; it’s all the split jerks and foot movement that Oly lifters do that wear down a shoe. CrossFit is an entirely different beast.

  21. I very recently ordered the Wei-Rui Warrior’s online off Maxbarbell.com and followed their sizing directions. I was completely impressed with the shipping process. They use USPS and I got the package in two days with only $6 shipping. I was very skeptical of the size they recommended. I usually am a US 10-10.5 but I followed their directions and was told to order a 9 or a 9.5 depending on how much extra room I wanted. I ended up ordering the 9.5, and it fits great, however the 9 would have fit great too. I squatted for the first time with them a couple days ago and I have never felt as solid and powerful as I did wearing these shoes. Granted, these are my first pair weightlifting shoes. I will report in a couple of months about the wear and tear but as of now I am VERY HAPPY.

  22. I am looking to buy my first set of weightlifting shoes. I do only the basic lifts that do not include cleans. I am confused between the wei-rui warrior and the adidas powerlift trainer. I am 6ft tall and am 72Kgs. Feet Size is 10US with a 0.6 inch extra space. The other concern that I have is on the mixed quality reviews of the Wei-rui. I am ordering the shoes from India through a friend who is in the US and coming back to country. I will have little chance of a replacement due to any issue arising. Pls suggest the best of the two, as my lifts aren’t super heavy at the moment. I do a 220 squat and a 300 deadlift.

  23. I’m looking at getting a proper pair of lifting shoes for stability and support doing heavy standard powerlifts, not olympic lifts. Because I’m heavy, and the bar will be too, the Warrior’s solid rubber heal looks really appealing, as does the width through the toebox (I’m usually a wide size in shoes that run in widths). However, I’m not a fan of having a lot of heel on my shoes. I’ve had trouble finding something with positive reviews (especially regarding quality) that comes in a 1/2 inch heel, or shorter.

    Do you have any recommendations on where I might find something like this? Should I just learn to squat with a lot underheel?

    1. There really aren’t any good shoes out there with a 0.5″ heel. Rogue makes one, but I’m not a fan of their shoes for overall longevity. Your best bet would be to get a shoe with a solid wood heel and have a cobbler “take-down” the heel to 1/2 inch in effective height. This should cost less than $50 to have done. Going this route leaves you with either the Wei-Rui VX or the Risto Olimpico as the only models made with real wood in the heels.

    2. So I looked at the ristos, both under your review and on their website, and was pretty intrigued in general. I think I might go in for a pair of those. I actually do think the fair labor aspect of their process is worth the extra cabbage.

      Have you ever heard anything about their “Deadlift” model? It’s not in regular production, but if you order one apparently they’ll make one for you and send it along. Following is a link to that shoe’s page on the Risto website.


    3. Deadlift shoe looks fairly useless; just buy a pair of flat shoes…? Further, I think they take forever to get custom shoes to you. If you decide to go with the Olimpico then check out the Muscles and Curves site – they have them a little cheaper.

  24. What is the overall heel height on the wei rui’s? On their website it says a 0.75 inch heel, but that is measured under the ball of the foot. It also gives a 1.25 inch total heel height. Could someone clear this up for me? Thanks!

    1. Overall is not the same a “effective”; the latter is how much your heel will be raised above the ball of your feet. So the effective height is 0.75″ which is all that really matters.

  25. Just received a pair of Warriors earlier this week. 3 workouts later, I’m quite pleased.

    I did notice that the sole has come slightly unglued on the left shoe. Minor but noticeable.

    1.) How would one fix? (I’m in the Caribbean, not sure many shoe repair persons would know how to address this kind of shoe)

    2.) Should I just use them for squats and presses? I used them for the whole range of barbell exercises, but I wonder if I should judiciously switch between the Warriors and NB Minimuses for Deadlifts and other Pulling exercises.

    1. 1) Glue it back. Something like Gorilla glue or any other glue that doesn’t dry super stiff would work best. I wouldn’t use an epoxy based product.

      2) You can use them for any lift so long as your aren’t doing a lot of unnecessary flexing of the shoe (box jumps, jump rope, prowler pushing, etc). If you do Oly lifting, then pulling deads in them makes since. If not, you may prefer to be flat footed, although I’ve seen plenty of lifters use their olys for pulling exercises as well. It’s a personal preference.

  26. Hi! im new on Oly s training and i have serious flexibility issues for squats. Do you think i could use ADIs power lift 2.0 rathen than adipower..i dont want to spend 200 bucks on squatting shoes. Its the same “functionality pro” shoe?

    1. Probably. They are fine for anyone lifting under 500lbs total weight… that seems to be the point at which I noted some stability issues.

  27. Hi,
    I’m a high jumper that has just started focusing more on olympic lifts as a means to increase power. I’d quite like to buy some lifting shoes as I currently lift in running shoes and the soles are too soft so i’m losing power. Can you recommend a suitable shoe for me? I often do plyometric exercises after all of my different lifts so am worried that a real weightlifting shoe might not be versatile enough. However the Wei-Ru Warrior is extremely well-priced and has a great review, so I’m considering getting that.. Any advice would be much appreciated! Cheers

    1. Traditional weightlifting shoes are made for JUST lifting weights. Not only will they will not hold up if you perform dynamic movements such as jumping rope, plyo or running, but they are very tight fitting and will not be comfortable to wear for these activities. Some of the newer “Hybrid” models that are targeted at the CrossFit crowd have more versatility and have been designed to do more than just lift. You might take a look at those including the Reebok Lifters, the Invo-8 Fastlift and possible even the PL trainers from Adidas.

  28. Great review. I’m a powerlifter, and intend on getting weightlifting shoes to squat in. I will ONLY be squatting in them, no oly lifting or crossfit or anything else. How long do you think these will last? I am seriously considering getting them, but the Adipowers seem so much more durable (plus there is the sole issue). Your toughts?

    1. If you’re just squatting, they will last forever. The AdiPowers are obviously a nicer shoe and have a few advantages over the Warrior – namely the fact that you could use them for any type of lifting whereas the warrior isn’t a good Oly shoe. In the end you must decide whether or not you want to pay for the additional quality and functionality of the AdiPower or buy a shoe that will just meet your needs for now.

    2. What do you mean warriors are not good Oly shoes? I thought they were made for Olympic lifting no?

      Also what do you think of the WR VX3 II?? It’s the same shoe same price it has wooden sole.

    3. We found that the Warriors are not well suited for Oly lifting given their weight and very thick upper material which impedes flexibility of the sole. The VX3 are better suited for Olympic lifting.

  29. Decent shoes. They run big but I didn’t use the calculator they list on their website, I just ordered a 1/2 size smaller than I wear in normal shoes and they’re still about a size too big, so you definitely want to use the calculator. Overall they seem like solid shoes. Squatted in them the day I got them and felt a lot more stable than squatting in running shoes. Hitting depth took zero effort and the heels didn’t compress at all. They even look better in person than they do on the site. My only real complaint is that at the end of my workout I noticed the grip on the heel was starting to come off. The grip on these shoes is just a sheet of rubber glued to the sole of the shoe. The soles are solid but the grip isn’t, but it’s an easy fix with super glue. Overall I’d give them a 4/5.

  30. Matthew will be 25 in 3 weeks he asked for Olympic lifting shoes. My son dead lifts for fun. He Won a RAW challenge two years ago.

    Advice for this shopping mom? Is Olympic a type or brand name?
    Where can I go for the best price?

    1. Olympic shoes are a style, not a brand. They are used for the Olympic lifts. It’s beneficial to wear Olympic weightlifting shoes for these lifts because they are usually very flat, dense and have a raised heel. You should be able to find reviews on a bunch of them on this site. I guess you could wear them to deadlift too. Most people wear a flat soled shoe, or simply go bare foot to deadlift, but they might help some guys. Or maybe your son just wants to try out something new. Hope that helps.

  31. I have used the Wei-Rui warriors of approx. 6 months and been quite pleased with them. There have however been problems.
    Let me preface it by saying, that I went from squatting in sneakers/tennis shoes to using the Warriors and it has made all the difference in the world.

    I’ve been squatting 3 times a week on average for 6 months and I have experienced some durability issues. On one shoe the ring for fastening the metatarsal strap has ripped through the leather loop attached to the shoe. It might be that I strapped them too tight, but it looks fishy since the leather just straight up ripped. Secondly the laces of the shoes seem to unravel faster than I would have expected(this could easily be remedied) . Again this might come from extensive hard usage, I haven’t got any weightlifting shoes to compare with.

    All in all at this price and with the alternatives given at said price, I think I might just get a new pair, if I fail to fix the strap-issue.

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