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WOD 2.2.14

In 10 Minutes perform:
15 Shoulder to Overhead 115/75
30 Burpee
15 Toes to Bar
30 Shoulder to Overhead
15 Burpee
15 Toes to Bar

AMRAP Shoulder to Overhead for the remainder of time.
Score is total reps completed.

As many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of:
20 Deadlift 95/65
10 Push Press 95/65
10 Burpee

Post rounds/reps completed and Rx to comments.

Bench Press warm-ups

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A Weightlifting Shoe Guide

By Noah Abbott

The Quest for Pedi-formance

Now that you’ve been at the gym for a few months, you may have noticed two things.  One, the “coat room” seems to be waging a losing battle against an encroaching armada of shoes, and boasts the fetid bouquet to prove it.  Second, for certain workouts, there is an agreed upon time when a bunch of the class defects, runs hither and yon, and comes back sporting footwear that look like a marriage between a bowling shoe and those “make you taller!” heel lifts that short men are supposed to slip in their dress shoes.

These are weightlifting shoes kiddo, specifically designed to improve positioning, control, and thus, performance, in most barbell lifts.  Weightlifting shoes (notice me NOT using the term “oly’s,” which is something that Tony Hawk does) provide a number of benefits.  First, due to their elevated heel (usually .75” to 1.25”) they decrease the demands on an athlete’s ankle dorsiflexion.  Some of us, especially people who spend lots of time pounding their feet into the ground (distance runners) lack this ability, and a pair of weightlifting shoes can help them squat to depth, as if by black magick!  Second, they are hard and non-compressible, traditionally having been made of wood (SUPER PALEO) but nowadays often made of super hard plastic of some sort.  This lends stability and control when moving weight about.  In short, weightlifting shoes will make your life easier.  They are one of the best bang-for-buck investments you can make for your gym life.

Choices abound when choosing a weightlifting shoe, so I’ve endeavoured to break them into some easy to understand categories based upon price and quality.  I’ll even add some little “hacks” to get the best prices on them.  Enjoy!

Cadillac Division

The Contenders: Nike Romaleo II, Adidas Adipower Weightlifting, Reebok Crossfit Lifter Plus

The Scoop: The field is dominated by two titans at the upper echelon of both price and quality.  The Nike Romaleo II and Adidas Adipower Weightlifting are worn by competitive weightlifters worldwide, from local comps to the Olympics.  They are both incredibly high quality, feel rock solid under weight, and are among the better looking shoes out there.  The big differences are that the Adipowers run a little narrow (sorry fatfeet folks) and only come in REDREDRED (roughly the color of the Corvette that Clifford the Big Red Dog would drive if he was real and imaginary dogs could drive.)  The Romaleos have a more diverse color lineup and have a forefoot strap, which may or may not do anything.  The Reeboks are fairly new, and while I would normally be a little skeptical, superstars of the sport from David Osorio to Dmitry Klokov swear by them (although I think Klokov might just be epically trolling by wearing them.)  They also come in lots of colorz.

Dollaz: Both the Nike and Adidas cost roughly $200, the Reebok $175  Pretty expensive.  My pro tip is to watch Eastbay.com (I just outed myself as a former middle school G), a sportswear site that frequently runs 15-30% discount codes, and then pull the trigger, saving yourself $20-60.

Honda Accord Division

The Contenders: Rogue/Pendlay Do-Win, Ristos

The Scoop: These are all solid, tested, affordable shoes.  Do-Wins are made in China and licensed/sold by Rogue and Pendlay.  They do everything you want them to do, and don’t break the bank.  Rogue uses black or red suede (because black and red are the Official Colors of Fitness.)  I’d advise against the red ones, which have a ½” heel, which is on the low side. Pendlay used to use weird colored patent leather that harkened back to 80’s prom pumps, but in their new 2013 models opts for mostly white with black, red, or purple (bonus unicorn power) highlights.  Ristos are made by a small company, and have had some QC issues in the past, which have apparently cleared up as they changed manufacturing facilities.  They come in lots of colorz and are a solid option with bonus indie street cred (bonus smug points!)

Dollaz: Ristos vary widely, and they seem to go on sale based on quantity at hand, but generally run around $150.  Pendlay Do-Wins are 130, Rogues are $120.

Toyota Prius Division

The Contenders: Reebok Crossfit Lifter, Inov8 Fastlift 335, Adidas Powerlift

The Scoop: Both of these “hybrid” shoes are meant to bridge the gap between pure barbell training and Crossfit general physical preparedness.  They are meant to be shoes that will let you hit some overhead squats and transition to double unders or box jumps without discomfort.  They are more flexible, especially in the forefoot, and lighter, than classic weightlifting shoes.  I love my Reeboks for workouts with light-medium barbell work combined with box jumps, double unders, and especially wall balls (good positioning makes them suck WAY less) and oddly burpees (helps you land with flat, secure foot placement on the way up.)  They show their limitations when max effort squatting or Olympic lifting at near maxes, where stiffness and weight in your shoe is a big plus.  They both come in a bunch of colors, the Inov8s particularly hewing the British company’s “Dance Club MDMA binge” coloring model.  The Adidas Powerlifts are damned cheap, solid, and you can get them in NYC Taxi yellow!  

Dollaz:$150 for the Reeboks and Inov8s, $90 for Adidas.  Adidas and Reeboks are on Eastbay.

Final Thoughts

Weightlifting shoes should fit tight- you aren’t going to be running in them, and want as much “feel” as you can get.  Sizing is usually weird, so my suggestion, especially if the shop has a good return policy (or you’re balling out of control) is to order 2 or 3 pair (your normal size and one up/down), see which fits best, and send the rest back.  

Lastly, if you buy a pair and eventually upgrade, find a fellow gym member (preferably with shitty dorsiflexion!) and gift them your old shoes (provided your feet aren’t super gross.)  I think that adds a nice legacy component to this silly endeavor.

So concludes another episode of Noah overanalyzing something and writing 1,000 words when 300 would suffice. I’m off to the cemetery to roll Strunk and White around in their graves a bit.  Ta ta!

Every Kilo Counts

Reader Comments (37)

Excellent write up, noah. I'm in the market for some new lifting shoes. I'm also the recipient of a noah shoe gift and am grateful for that too!

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris A.

Rumor has it that white Adipowers are on the way. Kids - be the first on your bock: www.gaponez.com. "Adidas Тяжелая Атлетика Обувь AdiPower M25733"


February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJay

Another tiny 7 AM class with me and a bunch of dudes. Dudes, I love you, but ladies, where are you? I miss you!

Fitness Rx, 4 rounds + 8 DL. I was hesitant about doing this at first, because I'm still getting over a cold and metcons can feel like near-death experiences when I'm not 100% better. McDowell told me to just sweat it out and he was right -- it didn't feel awesome, but it didn't feel nearly as bad as I was afraid it was going to be.

To add to Noah's post: Note that the soles of the Reeboks have that squiggly design which, although it looks cool, can get stuck in the foot straps of the erg if you decide to row in them, which can happen during some WODs that combine lifting and rowing. I personally prefer rowing in lifting shoes, so I don't think I'll ever go for the Reeboks for that reason. I have the cheapo Adidas Powerlifter ones and they're fine, although someday I may upgrade to something with a thicker heel.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStella

Hilarious as always, Noah. FYI the Clymb often has flash sales on Innov8s for super cheep, not sure if they include the lifting shoes tho.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte

I had been under the impression that we were going to be doing some sort of linear progression for the push press on Mondays. Was that wrong?

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoel W.

Noah - love the article! I've been thinking about buying lifting shoes, so this is very timely. It's also helpful to know the fit is different and to order a few sizes to find the best fit.

6am with NickDowell. Was torn between doing the fitness or performance version. I ended up going performance (first one ever, yay!) and I'm glad I did. Didn't make as far as I would've liked, and had to scale to knees to elbows, but I know I'm so close to getting t2b. I was lucky to be partnered with Joy and really appreciated her encouragement throughout (and t2b tips after). 84reps, using 75#

Stella - come to 6am!

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

I'm inspired by Noah's column to mention that I have a pair of size 12 Do-Wins from Rogue which I don't need anymore as I recently "upgraded" to the Nikes. I only used the DoWins for a year - they aren't in the greatest shape - laces need replacing - but mostly fine. And free -- if anyone wants them.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

6am. Perf Rx: 138. Nice to have Michael A pushing hard right in front of me and a rare DH6am yelling at me to pick the bar up.

@Michael A, I got my bike at Ride Brooklyn on Bergen between Flatbush and 5th ave. I've got the single-speed Montague Boston. They also make an 8 speed version, but it's not hip to have so many gears. The bike really does fold in 15-20 seconds.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

I'm not much of a car person, but I've always thought of my Romaleos more like a bitchin' Camaro.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercrystal

Joel -- that's what I thought too, and then I remembered the cycle where we worked handstand pushups by doing them as skill work every other week, and in WODs every other week. Is this what's going to happen with PP?

I think something major would have to happen in my life for me to do 6 AM. Like a baby who wakes me up at 5 AM. I love me that extra hour of sleep.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStella

8am. Fitness Rx. I went into this a little concerned about my right shoulder/trap/rotator cuff that's been fighting me for a while. I suppose I could have went a bit lighter, and been happier with my rounds - I was disappointed with just completing the DLs and push presses in my 3rd round. The push presses got very heavy, very fast. This is my second cycle, so trying to not beat myself up, it can only get better. My first 6 weeks exposed weakness in my front delts, so I'm looking forward to gaining strength there in this cycle.

February 3, 2014 | Registered CommenterLauren S.

Stella, I would have totally done the 7am class if Nick hadn't assigned us 7 rowing workouts this week!

4 x 100m/5'
time: 17:41.6
meter: 4000
2.12.7 split
27 SPM

Regarding shoes, I have a pair of Ristos. I love them although I have nothing to compare them to. Note however that the shipping took forever -they are hand made per order, and when they finally arrived I had to return them because they were too big (and that took forever + eternity because they were out of stock of the Unicorn Purple/Pink which I HAD TO HAVE). Moral of the story: measure your foot correctly and make sure you're ordering the right size.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle B.

10am class
Performance 132 reps
Fun WOD. Felt very Open-ish. Shoulders are smoked!

Joel - PP will show up on Mondays in varied contexts, such as today's mixed modal WOD.

What Crystal said! Also, I like the VS Athletics shoe as a cheap/intro WL shoe.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFox

Inov8 also has a new product - a heel that you can attach to regular shoes to turn them into lifting shoes. Doesn't seem like the best idea to me, but Diane Fu posted about them on her instagram and they worked with her chucks. Not sure how well they would hold up with repeated use though.


February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKMo

Forgot to mention... They're $35 on Rogue and are also available on Zappos, Amazon, etc.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKMo

I have the adidas Power Perfect 2.0 weightlifting shoes, which are in between the cadillac adidas Adipower and the toyota prius adidas Powerlift. Although they are my first pair of weightlifting shoes and thus I have nothing to compare them with, I am very happy with them. I spent a great deal of time researching shoes before deciding on them (by research I mean I secretly tried on all the various shoes in our coat room). They are usually $150.00 but are currently on sale for $75.00 on the adidas website:


Women's size is 1.5 smaller than men's.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoy

today's workout was a much needed kick in the arse after a few months (year) of sporadic training. I am leaving the excuse boat in the gowanus. It was fun working hard again.

Somewhere between peter saying "one (on my first push press) " and the word time, i blacked out.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDH6am

6am with Nick and McDowell

Perf version Rxed: 86 reps.

Push-presses were definitely the bottleneck for me as these became singles about half way through the second set. I realized today that I compensate for shoulder tightness by arching my back (duh) in the overhead position. I'm going to set reminders on my phone to do shoulder mobility excercises at intervals throughout the day, and see how that goes.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlex C

6am, Perf Rx: 137.

It was another great 6am crew and workout today. Great motivation working out next to Peter; we had some nice pace-car action going between the different exercises. Many thanks to Issac for being my lifting partner and giving me encouragement. Also, I'm a freak, but I love burpees. :)

@Peter - thanks for the info, I'll definitely check the shop this weekend.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichael A.

Today I learned that in addition to people with big feet that can't buy shoes in stores, Eastbay's core market also includes pubescent g's. Good to know!

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichael C.

12pm group class because I needed a break from rowing to mentally prepare myself for the torture ahead of me this week.

@Michelle/Nick- that's seven workouts to choose from, I assume, right?? I hope! I plan to do four of them...

Fitness Rx- 4 rounds plus 12DL. I hate push presses and am glad we will be working on them because I feel like I should be better at them.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

IMO, that Innov8 thing looks like a great way to waste $35. You still potentially have the problem of a squishy sole under the shoe. Might be ok with Chucks or some minimal runners, but WL shoes are money far better spent.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFox

12pm group class:

151 reps, performance rx'd at 75#
-this is a light weight for me so I kept all as push presses. first round of unbroken, 2nd round in 10 then 5's, last set (AMRAP) in 5's.
-burpees were slow but steady.
-all t2b were in sets of 5. first set with the fast kip, then had to resort to the extra swing to get them done.
-I had 2 full minutes for the AMRAP at the end. Happy with the 31 reps and don't think I really could have pushed that harder.

Thanks to Jaclyn for being a great partner and for keeping me moving! It was also fun to watch her and Cage chase each other!

RE: shoes
-I've had my Do-Wins for about 4 years now and they're great. The heel is coming a little lose from when I done hspu's in them but they are completely functional...and will be for years to come. The only reason I 'need' a new shoe is because so many other shoes look so pretty!

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterlady fox

95 reps on the performance WOD, RXed. By FAR the worst part was that round of 30 shoulder to overhead. Was knocking them out three at a time, which, as you can imagine, takes a long time. So heavy for me. Jess Fox was in front of me doing them, like, 30 at a time. WTF. My T2B are getting better every time, I'm stoked. Serene was giving me some awesome encouragement as my partner, and I chased Jaclyn down and finished only 3 reps behind her - I'll consider that a win in my book.

Just a reminder - come on down to PILATES tomorrow night at 7:30! It's a fun group of people and we all moan and groan together while our abs are on FIRE!!! Well, I don't moan and groan, because I'm not actually doing the exercises, just talking people through them. But you can come moan and groan - it'll be fun!

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKH a.k.a. Cage

Good write-up Noah, very funny, but the proper spelling is "Ollie": the inventor, Alan Ollie Gelfand is my brother-in-law.

I love my Rogues. I got Ristos first, but they sort of fell apart on me. I find the wider sole of the Rogue's more stable.

Noah has a good point about sizing. For some reason it is a complete mess: I got mine right the first time, but my wife had to order 3 pair to finally get the correct size. Bizarre.

February 3, 2014 | Registered CommenterRob Is

Snatch+HangSnatch+OHS+snatch balance
220, 220, 220

308(missed jerk)
308(questionable press out)
308(missed jerk)

Snatch pulls
286 x8, x5, x5

Legs are blasted from lasts nights squatting. Today hurt.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJakeL

Got 40 shoulder to overheads at performance RX - 160 reps total.

I came into this one feeling a bit queasy, which quickly went away after I got started (luckily). First round of s2o felt great and unbroken, so did the first set of burpees.

Liked this one, looking forward to more like it!

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Katz

i love the way Noah writes.

Big ups to the 'oly's' comment.

Shoes: I have worn Ristos for years, now. My go-to squatting shoe.
I picked up the Adidas Adistar for the olympic lifts and I love it for that purpose, don't enjoy powerlifting in them.

Totally have gone the way of shoeless for DLs as of late...

February 3, 2014 | Registered CommenterSarah la Rosa

Still in Colorado; back in NYC tomorrow.

After 4 days riding knee-deep powder at Steamboat, I figured it was time this evening to hit a local box. Stopped by CrossFit Lowry (http://www.lowrycrossfit.com/), which was convenient to my cousin's place. Newer box, great setting and community. Today's workout (http://www.lowrycrossfit.com/monday-2-3-14/) was 5 sets of 1 rep Thruster working up to a heavy 1 rep; 5 sets of Front Squats working up to a heavy 3; 5 sets of back squats working up to a heavy 5; followed by 200 air squats. Did 145# Thruster; 190# FS, 195# BS, and 6:10 on the 200 air squats. Quite a work out after 4 days riding!!!

Someone left a necklace at the gym this evening, near the platforms. If you lost something, come give us a description at the front desk and we'll look in our valuables lost&found for you!

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFront Desk

3 Position Snatch
Worked up to 65kilos then dropped back for some technique work. These felt all over the place, weak and disconnected today. I dropped back to 50 kilos and worked up a but more doing hang power snatch, power snatch.

Today's Performance WOD as Rxd
Only got this far:
15 Shoulder to Overhead 115/75
30 Burpees
15 Toes to Bar
30 Shoulder to Overhead
15 Burpees

I decided to be strict and Push press all the S2Os which slowed me down somewhat, but not as much as my fitness in general did.

February 3, 2014 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

@ Rob U. that workout is completely insane.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNoah

This was a tough one. Did 142 reps at performance rX. Ro called me out on 2 no reps for the Burpees bc I was so tired I totally forgot to jump and clap at the end... Womp womp!

I rowed a 10k prior to the WOD also. Rowing a marathon in May. It's official, I've told enough people to back out now! 40:39 with an average split of 2:01.7. Ideally would like to get a sub 2 minute for the 10k's. 4 down 6 more to go this month!

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBen L

I, too, am a big fan of Noah's writing.

Shoe question: Does anyone know the best way to re-attach the rubber bottom that's pealing off the front of my Do-Wins?

Today's workout: Performance Rx version with Jess Bailey who tore through it with Push Presses, which was inspiring and got me excited to try to finish as well.

Even with Push Jerks the round of 30 got tough. So hard to breathe going STO when you're already out of breath. Made it one rep into the amrap portion.

Burpees never bothered me before, but lately it feels like a single burpee just goes on forever. So many components... Why don't we add a little spin move after the clap? That would enhance the head-pounding, nausea-inducing quality of this work-out, which, much like the one a couple weeks ago involving kb, t2b and burpees, made me feel a bit ill.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

I just got me some Rogue's and they are awesome. So as not to lose them in the sea of shoes at the gym - I drew purple polka dots on the heels. Nice write up, Noah. I particularly appreciate the unicorn graphic.

As for today - I like when a workout feels hard in the FIRST ROUND and you think to yourself "this isn't gonna happen"but then you've got a rad partner (thanks Front Desk Whit!) who helps push you through by counting reps and reminding you to stay tight. Giving up just isn't an option.

Fitness @ 55. Got 3 rounds plus 20 DL's and 4 PP's. I fought so friggin' for that last push press.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterElena Y

7:30, Monday's workout with Jess.

I flew home this afternoon after a long weekend skiing in Utah and did this workout about 2 hours after getting off the plane. I thought maybe I'd have some endurance advantage after spending the last 4 days 11,000 feet above sea level but the reality was I felt like I just say on an airplane for 6 hours.

Did the fitness version and made it through 4 full rounds. I had 5 seconds left and got in 1 extra deadlift. I felt wiped after this, looking forward to getting back in a routine.

February 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMario

KMO thank you for that link!! My right foot is a half inch shorter than my right and was trying to figure out a better way than buying to pairs of expensive shoes.

and if anyone has a womens size 7 or mens size 5 they dont need anymore. please Keep me posted



February 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCandice

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