nike has been on a roll releasing training shoes these last couple of days. First they released their all new Metcon 3’s and now they've dropped their all new Romaleos 3. Just like the metcon 3, the styling on the Romaleos has been re worked and some features of the shoe has been retooled. So how do they preform? should you throw your money at nike in hopes of increasing your squat? lets find out.
Ok a little about myself first, I’ve been squatting with my Adidas Adipower for the past 3 or 4 years. I personally like doing high bar belt less ass to grass squats with knees sleeves. And when it comes to deadlifts i prefer to do them barefoot or in chucks. With that out of the way, lets get started with the review.
First up, the Nike Romaleos weigh almost exactly the same as the adidas adipower. both at a pound and one ounce each. most of the weight of the shoe is distributed to the back of the shoe due to the heel. The Romaleos have a honeycomb heel with a 20 mm offset. aside from looking like a miniature piece of modern architecture, it really helps with the weight savings. Unlike the heavy solid heel on the Reebok Legacy. The heel drop on the romaleos feels natural and is almost identical to the adipower. i did how ever notice there was much more arch support than usual. The amount of arch support you get from these shoes can also be easily changed by swapping out their insoles. you get one soft pair and a firm pair. the firm pair are slightly thicker and could be great for people with high arches. i myself prefer the softer insole.
Just as you'd expect, the Romaleos have a rubber outsole. Its not as sticky and dosnt offer the same amount of grip like the adipower or legacy. But it still gets the job done. But the good thing is the romaleos are very flexible in the toe box area, making them great for olympic lifts. they'renot as flexible as the Metcons… but they're not supposed to be.
The upper on this shoe is made mostly out of synthetic leather and mesh for breathability. under the synthetic leather you will also find nike’s flawier system. it does its best with locking down your feet . the construction of the shoe is amazing with little to no glue marks, and no threads sticking out. The Romaleos also have a single metatarsal strap, but since the shoes are so narrow in the mid foot area i found i didnt need to use it. and to be honest, the metatarsal strap on the romaleos look like they’re made out of recycled seats belts. Nike did how ever hide a little easter egg on the clasps of the straps an printed “Go Fourth And Dominate” which is pretty cool.
And when it comes to fit, the romaleos are narrow in the mid foot area but then widen up in the toe box. Since they're so narrow in the mid foot area, i really had no need for the strap. and when it comes to fit, we need to talk about the heel counter on the Romaleos. just like with the metcon 3, i have the same heel slipping problem… Nike does provide an extra eyelet for you to make a lace lock, but the laces are too short to actually execute it. and if you do manage to do it your heel still slips! I tried going a half size down to a 9.5 but if i do then the mid foot area is too narrow.
And your heel slipping in Romaleos isn't the only problem, theres also the tongue. The tongue on the romaleos is the same as the metcon and every time i go to tie my shoes and pull on the tongue i feel like I'm going to rip it. Also it dosnt offer any padding for the instep of the foot, so if you try to tighten your shoe all that pressure goes to your instep. but the good thing about the young is that it doesn't slip inward as you workout like the reebok legacy do cause there is some grip to the bottom of the tongue.
But the problems don't just stop there, I also have an issue with the design of the shoe. There are logos plastered on every panel of this shoe. Theres one on the toe box, theres one on the heel counter, theres one on the strap, theres one on the tongue, and theres one on the outsole. I feel like I'm a walking bill board for nike. And I bring this up cause when reebok released their Nano 5.0’s people didnt like all of the branding. The reebok legacy and adidas adipower on the other hand have much more tamed branding and they look much better cause of it.
So would i recommend the romaleos 3… sadly but no. Their fit is uncomfortable, the metatarsal strap is useless, your heels constantly slip when you walk, and the lack of padding on the tongue make prolonged wear intolerable. if you’re looking for weight lifting shoes then i recommend you go with the Adidas Adipower instead. Their heel drop is almost the same, and hey are much more comfortable to wear. and they have a better build quality too. If you already have the romaleos 2 then stick with what you’ve got.