The Nike Romaleos 4 are popular weightlifting shoes with a long history of strong performance. The 4th version includes solid improvements that make this one of the most stable shoes on the market. With a rigid outsole, dual straps, and a TPU heel, the Romaleos create a grounded lifting experience. They’re ideal for narrower feet but come in a wide size range.
Who It’s Right For
Things to Consider
Nike is no stranger to the weightlifting scene.
They’ve been making the Romaleos since 2009 and have become a power player in the weightlifting shoe game.
Now in its 4th iteration, the Romaleos have brought back some elements of the 2nd version that will make many users happy.
Simply put, the Romaleo 3s weren’t very good.
In the 4s, we see a return of the power bridge, dual straps, and a reworked upper that’s the best Nike has produced.
In this review, I’ll cover everything you need to know about the Nike Romaleo 4s. I’ll share the pros and cons and compare them to other popular options, including the Adidas Adipower 3 and Nike Savaleos.
Let’s dig in.
Nike Romaleos 4 Weightlifting Shoes
The Romaleo 4s are high-end weightlifting shoes with premium materials and a unique outsole design.
I love the support these shoes provide and feel they’re among the most stable on the market. Their winged outsole shape is very unique and effective at limiting unwanted foot roll.
With their dual straps and cupped TPU heel, lifters across the spectrum will find them rock solid.
However, they run small and aren’t built for individuals with wide feet. I also don’t care for the strap material as much as others and noticed some minor quality control issues.
Let’s have a look at the specs and jump into the review.
- Heel Height: 20mm (0.75″)
- Weight: 19 oz (size 10.5)
- Straps: Dual
- Heel Type: TPU
- Removable Insole: Yes
- Outsole: Full Rubber
- Toebox Width: Narrow
- Sizing: Runs Small
- Colorways: Five
The Nike Romaleos 4 are well-constructed weightlifting shoes with several materials and textures. There are a couple of quality control issues on my straps, but they’re mainly cosmetic.
With reinforced stitching, consistent gluing, and metal hooks, I’m confident their durability is near the top of its class.
Most of this upper is constructed with a ripstop woven fabric with a premium texture. It’s comfortable and pliable, but I find it slightly less breathable than some since there aren’t any perforated holes.
The rest of the upper consists of a translucent synthetic material and a traditional leather-like back piece with thick stitching.
This upper is a significant improvement over the Romaleos 3, which Nike built with Flywire. In addition to enhanced durability, these feel more comfortable right out of the box.
Midsole & Heel
The Romaleos 4 midsole consists of a TPU material, which you can find on others in this class. The benefit of TPU is that it’s extremely durable and non-compressive. These shoes will safely support any amount of weight a human can throw at them.
The Romaleos remain rigid through the forefoot, which may require a break-in period, especially for Olympic lifters. Even still, they’re more rigid than most, so if you like a more responsive forefoot, this likely won’t be the best option for you.
However, most people will love these for squats. The 20mm heel height is slightly less than the 21-22mm that you’ll find on similar shoes, but it’s a great overall elevation. High-bar squatters and Olympic weightlifters may still prefer the higher heel, but low-bar squatters will enjoy the lower profile.
I also appreciate the structure of this boot and find it very supportive. There is no concern with heel slippage in these shoes.
The Romaleos have the most unique outsole on the market. While others have a traditional rounded heel and soft lines through the forefoot, Nike introduced a winged profile. With wider, sharper edges at the heel and forefoot, this shoe provides outstanding lateral stability.
Lifters who tend to roll their feet inward or outward will notice an immediate benefit of this design.
However, as much as I like this feature, I wish the outsole provided more traction. Compared to some other shoes, the rubber is a little slicker, and the pattern doesn’t feel as grippy.
The biggest improvement of this shoe over the Romaleos 3 is the reintroduction of the dual straps. Dual straps generally provide more security through the midfoot while offering greater control. For example, on dynamic lifts requiring more flexibility (e.g., clean & jerk), you can loosen them. On lifts where you may want more tightness (e.g., squats)
The straps are made with fairly thin leather-like material. It feels fine, but I prefer nylon straps for their proven durability. The material also shows blemishes easily, and I noticed a few cosmetic issues out of the box. However, I greatly appreciate Nike using metal buckles on the Romaleos 4. While nearly everyone else uses plastic, this is a nice touch.
Lastly, I’m a big fan of the longer velcro surface and box-X stitching for reinforcement. I also like that these straps aren’t too long. Even if I’m cranking them down as hard as possible, there’s no risk of ground interference.
In addition to the dual straps, Nike also brought back the TPU power bridge. Nike first introduced this concept in the 2’s but oddly left it off the 3’s. The power bridge is a more pronounced, contoured heel that cups the boot nicely. You can see it through the outsole, and I love how the strap visibly routes through it in the Romaleos 4.
I’m impressed with the overall performance of the Nike Romaleos 4, especially with the stability. I feel these are the most stable of all the shoes I’ve tested, thanks to the winged outsole. I feel well-grounded during squats and particularly confident during the walk-out.
Olympic lifters will love this design for dynamic movements, but the stiffer forefoot will need to be broken in for best results.
While I haven’t noticed meaningful foot shift from the less grippy outsole, I find it easier to inadvertently adjust positioning. I would love to see a more pronounced pattern on this outsole, similar to the grippier Romaleos 2.
The 20mm heel height is less than the 22mm height I typically prefer. This elevation is still good for squatting and Olympic lifting, but a higher heel-to-toe drop feels more effective for me.
That said, I’m very impressed with the rigidity of the heel and find this to be one of the most supportive boots on the market. Combined with the dual straps, security is top-notch.
Aesthetically, I like the look of the Romaleos 4. The oversized Swoosh makes a statement, and I especially like the white and black base models.
The semi-transparent upper layer creates a nice contrast with the fabric, and the see-through heel offers one of the most unique looks in its class.
Nike also offers more vibrant colorways, including some limited editions.
Nike Romaleos 4 Sizing
Nike Romaleos notoriously run small, so I recommend that nearly everyone size up a half-size. I wear a 10 in weightlifting shoes but need a 10.5 in Romaleos. Even still, they’re fairly tight for my neutral-width foot.
Since they fit true to size in length, ordering a full size up may result in clumsy performance on more dynamic lifts. Therefore, I don’t recommend the Romaleos 4 to lifters with wide feet. Instead, look at the Reebok Legacy Lifter 3 or TYR L-1 Lifters.
Narrow-footed lifters will likely love how the Romaleos feel, but I still recommend ordering a half-size up.
Nike Romaleos 4 vs. Adidas Adipower 3
The Adipower 3 weightlifting shoes are another popular option with a proven track record dating to their initial release in 2014. However, there are several differences between them and the Romaleos.
First, the Adipower 3’s have a 22mm heel height compared to the 20mm on the Nikes. Although it’s a minor difference, you may be able to feel it depending on how you squat. For example, high-bar squatters will likely prefer the 22mm, while low-bar squatters may prefer the 20mm.
Both shoes have a rigid TPU midsole, but the Nike’s feel slightly more supportive due to the power bridge and stiffer forefoot. Then again, lifters who prefer a bit more flex in the forefoot for Olympic movements may like the Adipowers more.
The outsoles are quite different between these shoes. The Adipowers have smooth contours with a grippy, knurl-like rubber pattern. They grip as well as any shoes I’ve tested. The Romaleos 4 have winged edges and a less grippy surface. I believe Olympic lifters will prefer the additional stability on the Nikes, but if traction is important to you, the Adipowers are better.
Additionally, the Romaleos have dual straps compared to a single strap on the Adipowers. Although the strap is a quarter-inch wider on the Adipowers, the Nikes provide more midfoot security, which I like.
In terms of fit, both shoes have a narrower toe box, but the Romaleos run smaller. For example, I achieved a similar fit with a 10 in the Adipowers and a 10.5 in the Adipowers.
Ultimately, I think the Romaleos 4 are better for narrow-footed individuals, and especially Olympic weightlifters. The Adipower 3 shoes have a more balanced fit and are particularly good for squatting.
Nike Romaleos 4 vs. Nike Savaleos
If you like the idea of the Romaleos 4 but are on a budget, the Nike Savaleos are a solid alternative. They’re entry-level weightlifting shoes and ideal for beginners who want to experiment with lifters without spending ~$200.
The biggest difference between these shoes is that the Savaleos have a shorter heel height of 15mm. Both use a TPU heel and a winged outsole, but the Romaleos 4 feel more stable overall.
One reason is that the Romaleos have dual straps vs. a single strap on the Savaleos. The Savaleo straps are also constructed with a more flexible fabric and less velcro coverage.
The Romaleos are built with more premium materials, creating a longer-lasting, more durable shoe. They both fit best for narrow-footed lifters, but the Savaleos have a slightly wider toe box.
Ultimately, I recommend the Romaleos 4 for serious lifters looking for performance and durability. Budget shoppers and beginners will benefit from the Savaleos’ price and more entry-level specs.
The Nike Romaleos line is one of the most respected among lifters. While the 3rd version was a flop compared to the 2nd, the 4th made a nice rebound, and most users agree. Customers love the support and performance, with the straps and wider outsole taking most of the accolades.
However, the tight fit is the most criticized aspect of this shoe. Several customers complained that ordering a half-size up still wasn’t enough. Again, I caution those with wide feet.
Pros and Cons
While I think the Nike Romaleos 4 are an excellent overall weightlifting shoe, its tight fit makes it most suitable for narrow and neutral-footed individuals.
These shoes offer tremendous support with dual straps, a TPU heel, and a unique winged outsole.
I also appreciate the premium metal buckles, the improved woven upper, and the overall aesthetic.
However, I prefer a different strap material and found some quality control issues.
In conclusion, I think these are a great option for tighter foot anatomies. They’re competitively priced in this class and come with a strong track record for performance and durability.
How do the Nike Romaleos 4 Fit?
The Nike Romaleos 4 run small and are known for a tighter fit with a narrower toe box. I recommend buyers order a half-size up. If you have a wide foot, I recommend looking at other options, including the TYR L-1 Lifters or Reebok Legacy Lifter 3.
Do the Nike Romaleos 4 Perform Well for Squats?
Yes, the Romaleos 4 are solid squat shoes. The TPU heel is ultra-supportive, and the power bridge concept cups the foot nicely. The 20mm heel is a good all-around height, but high-bar squatters may want a higher heel like on the Adidas Adipower 3.
Are the Nike Romaleos 4 Good for Olympic Weightlifting?
The Romaleos 4 thrive in Olympic weightlifting settings. Their unique winged outsole provides unmatched floor stability and prevents unwanted foot roll. The dual straps provide excellent midfoot security, and the TPU midsole offers strong support for heavy lifting.