I love a good pair of weightlifting shoes.
Because of this, I have a lot of them. In fact I've reviewed a majority of the weightlifting shoes on the market today.
The only shoes I've used that have a handmade aspect to them are the Position Blue Suede Shoes and as you can see from my review, I really do like them.
The shoes I'm reviewing today are really no different.
The Risto Olimpico Weightlifting Shoes are handmade in Ecuador. This has positives and negatives, but overall, they're a great shoe.
Let's dig in.
At first glance the Risto Olimpico's have a bowling shoe look to them.
Seriously, when I first saw them online, I thought they were kind of ugly. But, when I began to look at them more, they started to grow on me.
The silver and black combined with the oh so good-looking wooden heel provide for an overall really good-looking pair of shoes.
They're not for everyone, but in my opinion they look pretty good for a classic style weightlifting shoe.
The Risto Olimpico is for the most part constructed using leather. Now I don't believe the leather used is top grain, but I would say it's probably genuine leather which is decent. This being said, it is pretty thin and overall isn't all that high quality.
I'm somewhat of a leather snob and have many products that are made using top grain so, when I receive a product that isn't using really high quality leather I can notice rather quickly.
Will this cheaper leather result in less durability? Probably not too much, but it will tend to stretch and warp quicker than higher quality leathers.
One of the things about these shoes that I must stress is that they are handmade.
This means, stitches aren't all straight and uniform, there's some visible glue, and overall the shoe just isn't perfect.
For some, this will drive you crazy. This is because today, the majority of shoes are produced on an assembly line and nearly everything about the shoe is as close to “perfect” as you can get.
For me, I like the handmade part of the shoe. To me, it has character and although they aren't as pretty, they're my ugly shoes. Like an ugly dog that you love because it's yours. Hard to explain.
The shoes also came with this sweet bag donning an American Eagle that your Uncle Donnie would use:
The rubber used on the sole is a good choice and I love the hard wood heel, although as others have pointed out, I'm not sure if they heel is made of actual wood or stacked leather. Either way, the sole is hard and great for squatting, clean and jerking, and snatching.
The strap is the cheapest part of the shoe and to be honest I wish they would have either beefed it up with thicker leather or just left it off.
The height of the heel is similar to Adidas Adipowers. This being said, I wish the heel went further towards the toe of the shoe. It feels as if it just stops suddenly and feels a little awkward on the foot.
You can see what I mean here:
You can get these shoes as tight as you need, and the strap does help, but I don't see it lasting as I said previously.
The grip on the rubber outsole is great for the platform and I felt no issues with slipping, etc.
The shoe runs somewhat thin, which is great for me due to my alien type feet, but many with wider hobbit feet will find them uncomfortable. This being said, Risto does offer many different shoes with different widths that would work just fine.
Overall, I'm a fan of the shoe.
Is it the best weightlifting shoe I have ever used? No. But it does have something about it that I like in which I can't put my finger on. I think most likely it's the fact that the shoe is handmade with locally sourced materials in Ecuador.
I also love small businesses trying to disrupt an industry largely dominated by big corporations. (High-five for the little guy)
At the time of this writing, you can get the Olimpico for around $140 and the shoe is made-to-order, meaning it will come right off the assembly line like a Krispy Kreme Donut (yummm.)
Stay Strong, Live Long,