Our verdict


The Romaleos 3 has lived up to the expectations of many as it continues the flagship series of lifting shoes from Nike. It’s got a pretty stable platform with just enough flex in the forefoot to let you do a bit more than just lifting at the gym. This is a premium hybrid lifter that's equally ready for your WODs as well.


  • Sturdy elevated heel
  • Versatile enough for WODs
  • Has two insoles: soft and firm
  • Unbelievably lightweight
  • Solid traction
  • Secure fit
  • Breathable
  • Nice aesthetics


  • Too flexible forefoot for some
  • Laces get frayed by the Velcro

Who should buy the Nike Romaleos 3

If you never heard about the Romaleos before, it is THE weightlifting shoe series from Nike. Consider it if you are after the following:

  • a premium quality weightlifting shoe
  • a hybrid lifter that blends stability and a bit of flexibility for a more versatile gym use
  • sleek and stylish gym footwear that stands out

Nike Romaleos 3 brand logo

Who should NOT buy the lifter

If you are here to get the most stable weightlifting shoe out there, the Romaleos 3 might be a tad too flexible. Some of the sturdiest options that are on the stiffer and heavier side are the Reebok Legacy Lifter II and the Adidas Adipower.

Nike Romaleos 3 vs. 2: what are the changes?

The 3rd iteration of the Romaleos has taken a few twists, offering a slightly new approach to the lineup:

  • more flexible forefoot makes the lifter more versatile for dynamic/non-lifting exercises; but at the same time, it makes the shoe slightly less stable
  • lighter by approximately 10%
  • one wide Velcro strap instead of two helps cover and lock down a larger area
  • more perforations around the toes make the shoe more breathable
  • Flywire cables are added to the top eyelets to enhance the foothold

Top-notch stability for heavy lifting

All reviewers praise the sturdy TPU construction under and around the heel. Made from hard plastic, it is described by wearers as “durable,” “incompressible,” and “making power delivery perfect.”

This component also extends up to form a cup under the heel area. This way, it holds the rear foot even more steadily. In addition, the flared-out design widens the ground contact area which contributes to the overall stability.

Nike Romaleos 3 stability

The elevated 0.79 inch (20 mm) heel puts the Romaleos 3 into the middle tier of weightlifting shoes (between the entry-level 15 mm and the more advanced 22 mm ones). This has made the shoe so popular among a wide range of athletes with various backgrounds. This heel height reduces the stress from the Achilles tendon, allowing wearers to squat deeper with a proper form.

Romaleos 3 can be used for a bit more than lifting

As one of the experts puts it, this shoe is built with a “hybrid mentality” in mind. There are a few design tweaks that help to make it more friendly for WOD movements like burpees, lunges, light jumps, etc.:

  • moderately flexible forefoot
  • interchangeable insoles for different types of exercises
  • lighter weight compared to most lifting shoes

The reviewers notice that the lifter feels relatively flexible even from the first use. Some of it comes from the more pliable sole upfront as well as from the flex grooves on top of the toebox. An avid Crossfitter says that the Romaleos 3 feels “the most connected to your feet than any Oly shoe before it.” 

Nike Romaleos 3 versatility

Comes with two insoles for you to choose

Athletes are quite happy with the option to choose between two different insoles for the Romaleos 3. The softer one cushions foot landings during the more dynamic Crossfit exercises. The firmer/stiffer insert enhances support to keep the foot steady during lifting and squatting.

Nike Romaleos 3 insole

It weighs the same as a regular trainer?

For a lifting shoe, the Nike Romaleos 3 feels “insanely light” based on the users’ feedback. The average weight of lifters that are currently on the market is 15 oz (425 grams). Feel the difference by looking at the numbers below:

  • Romaleos 3 without insoles - 12.2 oz (346 grams), the average weight of a regular cross-trainer
  • with a soft insole - 13.4 oz (380 grams)
  • with a firm insole - 15.4 oz (437 grams)

However, the more proficient athletes who focus specifically on heavy Olympic lifting may prefer something heavier. In this case, a shoe like Reebok Legacy Lifter II (23 oz / 650 grams) may be a better option.

Grippy outsole keeps you surefooted

The wearers agree that the Romaleos 3 does “a great job sticking to rubber flooring” or any other gym flooring for that matter. Those who can compare it to the Romaleos 2 say that is even a bit tackier than before.

Nike Romaleos 3 outsole

Contributing to this is the honeycomb tread pattern at the bottom. And at the heel section, the material has been hollowed out, forming a kind of “suction cup effect.” It also helps the feeling of being planted when lifting weights.

Your foot is held securely with the Nike Romaleos 3 

There have been no complaints about foot wobbling or heel slipping out at the back. Such a secure fit is ensured by several factors.

Firstly, the shoe’s synthetic leather material wraps around the foot, keeping it nice and snug. The padded collar holds the ankle in a nice and cushy way.

Secondly, the Flywire cables are integrated into some of the eyelets. When the laces are cinched, these Flywires become taut, enhancing the foothold. An extra set of eyelets at the very top also help to lace-lock the shoe.

Nike Romaleos 3 flywire

Last but not least, the wide hook-and-loop strap that looks like a seatbelt tightens up the fit to your preference. The reviewers are especially happy with the strap’s length, saying that it “isn’t ridiculously long” and has none of that “excessive slack” like the Romaleos 2 did. The only caveat is that with use, the regular on-and-off of the Velcro tends to ruin the laces.

Nike Romaleos 3 strap

However, some athletes do prefer to have two straps instead of one as they find it more adjustable. If you think likewise, have a look at the Romaleos 4 which has two straps facing opposite directions.

This shoe will let your toes breathe

The shoe’s toe box is covered with ventilation strips. There are perforations on the toebox, the tongue, and at the medial side of the midfoot that help to aerate the foot chamber. The shoe's interior also sports a mesh lining that maintains freshness. 

It’s got the looks

The Romaleos 3 has been described by reviewers as “svelte,” “sleek,” and “sexy.” It also comes in plenty of colorways for every taste and outfit, not to mention all of the shoe’s special editions.

Nike Romaleos 3 style