It seems that nearly every fitness apparel company today is producing shoes and I've reviewed the majority of them.
And to be completely honest, most of them are pretty outstanding.
One thing however, that NOBODY is doing is producing olympic weightlifting shoes. Nobody that is outside of the large “our
soles souls are sold” companies like Nike, Adidas, and Reebok.
Which is the exact reason I was so excited when I saw what Position Apparel was doing with the release of their Blue Suede Shoes. They are so rad in fact that Elvis Presley came back from the dead to take a picture with them on:
If The King isn't enough to make you want a pair, maybe this review will.
I firmly believe in the saying, “look good, feel good, play good.” Back in my days on the ice I would always re-tape my stick before the game. This had little to do with the performance, but nearly everything to do with looking and feeling fresh (to death.)
When it comes to my current endeavor, getting as strong as humanly possible, I still want to look like a G while doing it. Some people may be ashamed to say it, but I'm not. That being said, don't get confused, looking good while training does not mean you need to look like a peacock (“not that there's anything wrong with that” – Seinfeld)
When I saw the Blue Suede Shoes for the first time I was absolutely enamored. I have a small shoe fetish and a shoe I've always wanted are the blue suede Asics that are nearly impossible to find. I've trained in Adipowers, Romaleos, and a couple Reeboks, but none of them look as good as these in my opinion.
The bright blue suede combined with the dark wood heel lends to a classic look that is timeless.
Position also has one of the coolest logos anywhere that is embroidered on the heel that is a really nice touch; you can see this detail here:
The only part of the shoe that I dislike in the looks department is the printing on the metatarsal strap. I think the word ‘Position' would look cool there, but I wish it was embroidered. The print, in my opinion just looks cheap compared to the rest of the shoe.
Okay, okay you don't need me to tell you how good they look because you can see that for yourself. BUT, one thing you will need me to tell you is how well they're constructed because you can not tell just by looking.
The blue part of the shoe is made with ox-split leather which is actually a higher quality of leather. The white leather on the back near the heel and on the strap feels cheapy. I'm not exactly sure if it's actual leather or pleather, but it's one piece of the shoe I think could have been done better.
The strap is glued and stitched on. Although it's secure, I'm not sure how long it will hold up to daily use as I know some guys absolutely rip on those things to get the shoe as tight as possible. I, however for the most part keep the strap undone as I like a looser feeling shoe.
The wooden heel is not only pretty, but very solid as well. I had never used a weightlifting shoe with a wooden heel, but I can now tell why so many people loved the 2008 Adistars. Wood just feel so solid and gives great feedback when you slam your foot into the platform.
The way the wooden heel is attached is by using glue and screws actually which at first seemed not very “polished” but I can't think of another way other than glue to attach the heel.
The tongue has a nice thickness to it and fits around the front of the ankle well. The insole is very cheap and glued to the sole (I hate when they do that) but that's easy to switch out.
The lug pattern on the sole is nice and grippy and is great for the platform.
The rivets used for the eyelets are actually copper eyelets which is a great feature that should allow for long lasting performance.
The shoes definitely have a hand made element to them, which I love! There's something about getting a pair of shoes that wasn't just produced on some massive assembly line and looks the exact same as all the others. There's a few things on my pair of shoes that I've noticed that add to the character of the shoe.
For instance, the wooden heels extend to different points on the forefoot. I haven't noticed this affecting performance at all so it's a non-issue for me.
Just know that the shoe you get will not be perfect. It will be of great quality, but as with anything that is made by hand, it will not be the exact same as everyone else's. That's something I personally like.
The first thing I noticed when using the shoe was the heel height. The majority of weightlifting shoes have a .75″ heel height, but the Positions heel is 1.25″, a significant increase. For people with poor ankle mobility such as myself, this is a huge plus. The idea behind a higher heel is it allows you to get in a better bottom position with a more upright chest. Although not as popular in North America, the Chinese use high heel heights and even sometimes add extra layers to the bottom of their shoes to increase the height.
The shoe is a little bit on the wider side and has a wide enough toe for good toe splay. I found the laces to tighten the shoe sufficient enough for my needs, but if I was going for a PR and really wanted some extra security, I'd strap down.
The strap on the shoe is thicker than the majority of weightlifting shoes which in theory should allow for a more secure fit due to it covering more of the foot. I found this to be true, however, I personally like a looser fitting shoe and as I said, only use the strap for things like PR attempts which for me don't happen often.
One thing I really liked about the wooden heel is the feel and sound it makes when hitting the platform. There's a significantly different feel for wood versus the new hard plastic molded heels used in the majority of shoes today. This is one reason Adidas Adistars are so sought after still to this day.
Overall, the fit of the shoe and how it feels on the platform is pretty solid. There's a little slop in the overall fit, but then again, I do have thinner feet than average so that certainly plays a part in the fit as well.
Position has, in my opinion, created a worthy competitor of popular weightlifting shoes today.
Will they have the durability of Adidas Adipowers or Nike Romaleos? That has yet to be seen, but so far they have held up well.
They also look freaking sick! That may not be ultra important to some reading this, but the KING himself wore blue suede shoes and now you can have your own pair made specifically for weightlifting.
I think Position will continue refining the Blue Suede Shoes, but this current pair is certainly worth your attention.
Have a favorite weightlifting shoe? Let me know in the comments!
Stay Strong, Live Long,