Verdict from 31 experts and 100+ user reviews

9 reasons to buy

  • A majority of consumers raved about the overall comfort provided by the Nike Romaleos 3.
  • The heel was deemed sturdy and offered great support during weight training, said droves of weightlifters.
  • Many users were delighted that the trainer ran true to size and width.
  • The lightweight and breathable construction of the shoe gained a lot of positive feedback from gym-goers.
  • Numerous buyers found the merchandise to be aesthetically pleasing.
  • The interchangeable insoles were greatly appreciated by a good number of purchasers.
  • Various testers praised the cushioned collar because it kept the ankle steady and supported.
  • The midfoot strap was just the right length and securely locked the foot down, according to several reviewers.
  • More than a few training enthusiasts liked the flexible forefoot because they didn’t have to change footwear for cardio sessions.

4 reasons not to buy

  • A lot of owners complained that the tongue quickly tore off after several workouts.
  • Sole peeled away after a few weeks of regular use, said a significant number of critics.
  • Numerous shoppers griped about the laces that constantly got caught in the hook-and-loop strap causing them to fray.
  • A small number of consumers were unhappy that they needed to break in the trainer.

Bottom line

The Nike Romaleos 3 received a lot of flak because of quality issues. Nevertheless, the majority sang praises to the shoe because of its stability and comfort. The flexible forefoot also allowed them to use the footgear for other workouts. Overall, many athletes ended up satisfied with their purchase.

Tip: see the best weightlifting training shoes.

Good to know

  • The Nike Romaleos 3 follows the footsteps of its predecessor, the Romaleos 2, as weightlifting footgear. However, it has been updated to sport a more flexible forefoot than the older version so as to accommodate dynamic movements during non-weightlifting exercises.
  • Another striking difference is the strap. The Romaleos 2 features two, somewhat thin straps, while the Romaleos 3 only utilizes one, but it is wider, thereby encompassing a larger area.
  • The new model also has more vents at the vamp. This allows for proper air circulation to prevent the inside from getting uncomfortably hot.
  • The other new addition is the use of Flywire cables. These strings become taut when the laces are cinched, thereby enhancing the locked-down fit.

Stability and traction. The outsole of the Romaleos 3 is made from rubber. This compound is engineered to be hardwearing and provides grip on flat surfaces. The forefoot section is thin and flexible to support natural foot bending while walking or performing other activities. The unit also features a honeycomb tread pattern. At the heel section, there are noticeable holes that act like suction cups that heighten the feeling of being planted when lifting weights. The flared out design of the heel structure gives the shoe a wide base. This contributes to the overall stability of the footwear, especially when lifting heavy.

Underfoot support. The footwear has a 20-mm offset which is represented by the pronounced heel made of the honeycomb thermoplastic polyurethane plate (TPU). This element is made from the combination of soft silicone and hard plastic, rendering durability and steadiness. The hallowed out construction keeps the weight of the shoe down. The height of the heel reduces the stress on the Achilles tendon, thus allowing wearers to squat deeper without straining the tendon and the knee. This TPU unit also extends up to form a cup under the heel area. This structure holds the rearfoot steady, preventing it from sliding out of place while training.

Insole. The trainer comes with two interchangeable insoles. One of the insoles is softer than the other and aims to cushion foot landings. On the other hand, the firmer insert heightens the support that keeps the foot steady during lifting and squatting.

Foothold. Synthetic leather material gives the trainer its snug fit and structure. The inside is lined with a smooth fabric that aims to deliver a comfortable surrounding. 

The tongue of this model is thin and unpadded but still serves to protect the instep against the pressure created by the laces. Garterized straps attach on either side of the tongue, connecting it to the inside of the footwear. This construction keeps the tongue in place but still accommodate different foot shapes coming in or out.

The collar, on the other hand, is lightly padded. The plushness of this area not only heightens the comfort provided by the shoe but also contributes to locking the foot down. The collar sits just below the ankle, allowing it to move freely, but still provide support to keep it steady during various movements.

Closure. The footgear employs a traditional lace-up closure that gives users the ability to customize the tightness or looseness of the fit. There are six pairs of eyelets on the Romaleos 3, though most people don’t use the last pair unless they want the collar to hug the ankle completely. The laces also received an update. They now have metal aglets instead of plastic, which protect the ends better and lessens the chance of fraying.

The second and third eyelets from the top have the Flywire technology integrated into them. These cables were developed by Nike to add support to the upper without increasing the weight of the shoe. When the laces are cinched, the Flywire strings become taut, thereby enhancing the hold of the upper to the foot.

Also found on the midfoot is the single, wide hook-and-loop strap. The material used on this is similar to the ones used in seatbelts. Like seatbelts, the strap secures the foot, preventing slippage and injuries. The midfoot overlay adds to the lateral support offered by the strap.

Breathability. There are perforations added on the vamp section, on the top of the tongue, and at the medial side of the midfoot, helping in aerating the foot chamber. The shoe's interior sports a mesh lining that also helps to keep the interior fresh. 

Branding. Nike fans will be delighted to see that the brand name and the iconic Swoosh logo are prominent in this pair of weightlifting shoes. The Swoosh appears on the outsole, the vamp, the medial quarter, and the insole. As for the Nike name, it is placed on the strap and the tongue, along with the model name.

Nike Romaleos XD

Even though it seems like Nike has put a laughing smiley face next to the shoe’s name, it is, in fact, a new iteration of the trainer. Released in January 2019, it refreshes the model by adding several new color options in the classic, reserved hues:

  • Black/Black/Metallic Bomber Grey
  • Wolf Grey/Black/Cool Grey
  • White/Metallic Platinum

Apart from the new palette, the XD trainer also adds padding in the tongue and beefs up the medial strap. These alterations contribute to the cushioning in the upper unit to keep the athlete more comfortable and secure inside the footwear.

Nike Romaleos XD Patch

In this iteration of the lifter, Nike decided to inspire the sturdy fellows with a set of old-school army patches. The Velcro-attachable material on the strap and the rear part of the shoe's upper allows you to place any of the six emblems that come with the shoe. That way you can have a feisty bee or a muscle-building tornado uplifting your spirits at your next workout. The trainer is also offered in a dark stucco colorway to match the product’s military vibe.     


How Nike Romaleos 3 ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 41% weightlifting training shoes
All weightlifting training shoes
Top 17% Nike training shoes
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Top 14% gym training shoes
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The current trend of Nike Romaleos 3.
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Nicholas Rizzo
Nicholas Rizzo

Nick combines 10+ years of experience in the health and fitness industry and a background in the sciences in his role as the Fitness Research Director. During his competitive powerlifting years his PRs have him sitting in the top 2% of bench presses (395 lbs), top 3% of squats (485 lbs) and top 6% of deadlifts (515 lbs) for his weight and age. His work has been featured on, LiveStrong, Healthline, WebMD, WashingtonPost, and many more. Along the way, collaborating with industry leaders like Michael Yessis, Mark Rippetoe, Carlo Buzzichelli, Dave Tate, Ray Williams, and Joel Seedman.