The Nike Romaleos 4 has a steep price tag. They’re much more expensive than other weightlifting shoes I have seen.
I have mentioned the Romaleos in other articles, but previous models.
What makes this shoe so good?
What makes it any different from the hundreds of others out there, with an affordable price tag?
The price was the first thing that stood out to me.
You can get plenty of stability and support with a $100 weightlifting shoe.
So what makes this one so great?
Well today I will be reviewing the Nike Romaleos 4 and giving my honest thoughts.
At a Glance
Product Name: Nike Romaleos 4
Designed for: Weightlifting
True to size: Narrow
Expected lifespan: 3 – 5 years
My rating: 3/5
These shoes would’ve ben much better if the heel slip issue was fixed and the toe box was wider. These 2 issues alone make them unwearable for the avid weightlifter. Unless we’re talking about stability, then these stand out and beat their competitors. But other than that they are not worth the hefty price tag. Go for the Adidas AdiPower instead.
Firstly, what is the Nike Romaleos 4?
Looking at the Nike Romaleos 4 it doesn’t look much different than cheaper weightlifting shoes.
It has the raised heel height, it has the tough upper, and heel straps.
Nothing seems to provide that “wow” factor.
According to Nike’s official website, they are designed for strength and stability.
It features a midsole with ample support and an adjustable midstrap for further security.
A flat and wide outsole provides stability so athletes can perform heavy compound lifts without fear injury.
Nike says they are for elite-level training.
This means for those lifting extremely heavy and participating in lifting competitions.
The increased heel height and rigid midsole promotes explosive movements.
The rubber tread provides traction so that you stay glued to the ground.
Notable Changes from the Romaleos 2 and 3
It’s obvious that people are set in stone regarding their weightlifting shoes.
Die-hard fans love their Romaleos 2’s and 3’s and they refuse to change.
This makes it a little harder for the 4 to “take off”, essentially.
However, to bring this shoe to light I would like to talk about the changes from the 3.
You’d be surprised to know that there was no carry over from the Romaleos 3.
Nike went to the drawing board by starting off with the Romaleos 2, and made changes respectively.
At least that’s what I can observe.
The upper is constructed with a tough and rigid fabric, taking longer to “break in”
The tongue is thicker than previous models, something wearers had a gripe with.
However, there has been no change in heel height compared to previous models.
Flexibility is going to be a problem with those that like some “give” in their shoes.
And that’s due to the solid construction. It’s more of a lifting shoe rather than something that does it all.
Although the Romaleos 2 has some of the best stability to-date, the 4 comes zooming passed.
It does this with the extra long outsole. It protrudes further than the body of the shoe. The extra ground point plants you to the ground.
Die–hard 2’s fans won’t believe me but Nike have really gone all out with this shoe. Hence the high price tag.
Now regarding the weight.
It is 20.85 oz which is heavier than the Romaleos 2 (17.60 oz).
Some might not like it but it does play a huge role in keeping you grounded, which is what a weightlifting shoe is designed to do in the first place.
There’s a bit of a problem with heel slippage during jumps.
The heel cushioning pushes your heel out rather than locking it down.
And unfortunately if you decide to size up, the shoe becomes too big.
Although not going to always happen, it is a flaw that needs to be noted.
This is probably why so many people don’t like it and stick to their 2’s and 3’s.
Not a huge problem for standing lifts, but unracking and walking the bar for squats is a little uncomfortable.
Also jumping is going to be a problem.
Tight toe box
Due to the nature of the construction, these shoes run a little narrow.
The toe box is tight and restricts movement.
Don’t get this mixed up with security.
Security is when your heels and midfoot are locked in place, while your toes spread out naturally.
However, these are just straight up too tight.
It’s how bunions and hammer toes are formed. People wear too-tight shoes because that’s how they think it’s supposed to feel.
The Nike Romaleos 4 falls short of this little but very important detail.
Unfortunately the tight toe box and lack of heel security are too big of a problem to ignore.
It’s not all bad.
There are some things to look forward to.
Whether or not the good points balances out the negatives is up to you.
Because now it comes down to personal preference.
Read on to see some of the best things these shoes have to offer.
Glancing at all the reviews online it’s safe to say that these are some of the most stable weightlifting shoes on the market.
The flat and wide outsole is to thank for that.
This is certainly one of its finest points which needs to be highlighted.
Because, well, it does have its flaws. Far too many than a $300 shoe that’s for sure.
This might seem like a bad thing but it’s definitely not when your sole purpose is to stay glued to the ground.
I’ve tried lightweight weightlifting shoes, and I’ve tried heavy shoes.
Scientifically speaking, the heavier shoe shines in this department. It’s just physics.
The squat is probably the best exercise for this shoe to perform.
And that’s because it’s a stationary lift.
There’s no jumping or large amounts of walking.
Unracking the bar and walking out may feel awkward with the heel slip issue.
But after that it’s a really solid shoe that allows you to lift heavy.
Although I wouldn’t recommend going for new PRs just because of the dodgy heel problem.
The bench press is another exercise for the Nike Romaleos 4 to shine.
It’s a stationary lift but works well for those that have short legs.
The extra heel height and rigid midsole allows you to harness the power from the ground and use that leg drive to your advantage.
Essentially lifting more.
Cleans and Snatches
Considering the fact that weightlifting shoes are designed for Olympic lifts, you would expect the Romaleos 4 to shine in this area.
Yes stability is there, but it lacks in other areas like the lack of flexibility, tight toe box and heel problem.
You need your toes to perform these types of lift effectively, and the flexibility for jumping.
Weightlifting shoes are designed to bettter your performance, not hinder it.
Sadly these are more of a burden than anything else.
Pros and Cons
- Maximum stability
- Solid construction
- Heavy to keep you glued to the floor
- Too narrow
- Heel slip problem (bad design)
All in all, do I Recommend the Nike Romaleos 4?
The Romaleos 4 are premium weightlifting shoes.
That means they’re made for professional lifters, those training for competitions and those who are competing.
As it turns out, they can’t even get the basics right.
So I don’t know how they expect to win competitions
There’s too many flaws that hinder the performance and give it a bad name.
As an avid weightlifter and certified gym bro, I simply cannot recommend something so flawed.
There are much better shoes in the cheaper price range that will ACTUALLY help you in your weightlifting journey.
I recommend the Adidas AdiPower instead.
The Verdict: Waste of Time and Money
I really wanted to like this shoe.
Even when everyone was saying bad things about it I was trying to look for the positives.
Unfortunately it was a bit of a stretch.
Everything this shoe is good for has been recognized in this review.
And as you can see there isn’t much on offer.
Previous versions are still the winner, unless we’re talking about stability, then the Romaleos 4 stands out.
But even that doesn’t make it worth it.
Go for the Adidas AdiPower instead if you want something with overall balance of strength, flexibility, performance and purpose.
Otherwise you can ignore all of this information and get some anyway.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.