It’s only fairly recently Wei – Rui released their excellent weightlifting shoes into the small niche market of affordable lifting shoes, and boy
7 years later and Wei- Rui weightlifting shoes continue to sell well, prices are kept to a minimum but they still manage to produce the best budget shoes on the market.
At around $40-$60 the Wei-Rui weightlifting shoes are the most affordable shoes we can find out there, but that doesn’t mean they’re not any good, this cracking pair of lifting shoes feature a real leather upper, championing over their closest rivals in this category: the VS Athletics and Pendlay Do-Wins, which all feature the synthetic leather and mesh upper.
The real leather upper is what stands out when you look at the features of the Wei-Rui shoes, an all leather upper is pretty amazing at this price, clean cuts, tidy stitching and no sign of glue residue left anywhere, you would imagine the Warrior to cost double of what it sells for.
Affordability and leather upper alone warrants this shoe a closer look!
The Wei Rui weightlifting shoes have the standard heel height of 0.75″, this heel height suits most weightlifting scenarios. You’ll find this heel height on the majority of weightlifting shoes as it is the preferred height for squats and Oly lifting. Although a 1″ heel is also commonly used for squats as it lets the lifter go that much deeper in the squat.
Even bodybuilders can benefit from buying a shoe solely for leg day, especially if your leg day consists of a prodigious amount of squatting.
The majority of bodybuilders train with a compressible heel, a compressible heel does not provide a stable platform to squat from and the compressible heel will absorb the initial force you meant for the weights.
What you need is an incompressible raised heel, a shoe optimized for propelling weight upwards. And if you haven’t got $100’s to spend on a pair Romaleos then the Wei-Rui Warriors are more than good enough for anyone wanting a dedicated shoe for squatting.
The heel of the Wei-Rui Warriors is constructed from solid rubber, whilst this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it will add quite a bit of weight to the shoe, some lifters prefer this as it gives you the foot planted solidly on the floor feeling but others prefer a lighter shoe for extra versatility around the gym.
A heavier shoe will inevitably lead to a shoe best suited to platform lifting, it’s too heavy and rigid for WOD’s. If you are looking for a more versatile shoe in the under $100 category, which is both suitable for Oly lifting, squats and some WOD’s then take a look our review of the Inov 8 325 weightlifting shoe the best light-weight lifting shoe on the market right now.
On the negative, the heel and sole of the Wei-Rui are made from a single block of rubber, there is no separate sole attached to the shoe. Heels can wear quickly and it’s something to watch out for on slippery surfaces, if the grip starts to go on the heel you would have to replace the whole sole, which can raise costs considerably.
Pros & Cons
Durable leather upper
Wide toe box
0.75″ standard heel, good for most lifting scenarios
No separate rubber sole on shoe
As we touched on earlier the shoe upper is made from actual pieces of leather which have been stitched together well, with no ragged edges or loose stitching, leather will and does add a little extra weight compared to the synthetic material used in most modern lifting shoes.
It’s more a personal choice which you prefer, leather or synthetic, both have their own benefits and disadvantages. Synthetic materials tend to stretch less over time. The leather on weightlifting shoes will stretch over long time periods which can lead to a loss of security in the fit of the shoe.
The Wei Rui Warrior features a medium-wide toe box so should be ok for most guys with wide feet, the Warrior shoes do run half a size larger than normal fit and if you have narrow feet it might be worth sending the guys an email at Maxbarbell and asking if it’s necessary to order a whole size down.
I prefer to see a nice wide strap for extra security especially if the lifting shoe only features the one strap. The Warrior shoe features a single hook and loop strap towards the top of the tongue. The strap is rather narrow, so security might be a little less than you would want.
At time of writing this review, the Wei-Rui lifting shoes were on offer for $39 available from Maxbarbell, at this price these shoes are almost a no-brainer even if the heels wear in a year or so, you still would have had a great pair of lifting shoes for under $40. (no idea how much it cost for a replacement sole, but if it’s under the $40 it would be a worthwhile option)
So yes for $40 you get the standard 0.75″ heel height, a leather upper and a wide toe box which helps for toe splay and grip, I would expect to see a price at least twice this for a quality lifting shoe similar to the Wei-Rui.
If you’re after a shoe solely for platform lifting then the Wei – Rui shoe is a little gem at this price, and something I would seriously recommend you check out.
I’ll try and keep the price down for alternatives, there’s no way we’re going to be able to match the price of the Wei- Rui but there’s a couple of other very very good shoes for under $100 worth taking a look at before you make your mind up on Wei-Rui’s Warriors
Asics Lift Master Lite
A fantastic weightlifting shoe from Asics, the Lifts are a mid-weight lifting shoe at 16.8oz similar to the Romaleos and Adipows which both weigh 17oz, at this weight, the shoe won’t feel too much like you’re clomping around your workout area as you would with heavier lifting shoes. Plus this lifting shoe has a fairly flexible toe box giving the shoe some extra versatility.
What’s best about this shoe is its TPU heel, a TPU heel is non-compressible so will give you maximum power delivery, the TPU heel is also light and helps to keep the weight of the shoe down.
The shoe features a no-sew upper, including a light mesh that gives the shoes their breathability whilst keeping them light.
A top of the line well-made shoe at a great price, Asics Lift Master lite weightlifting shoes are becoming a popular choice among many lifters.
VS Athletic Weightlifting Shoe
You get a lot for your money with this weightlifting shoe, double straps for extra security, a solid plastic 1.4″ raised heel and a synthetic upper with breathable mesh.
The VS Athletic weightlifting shoe is a good looking shoe without the frills, targeted at serious lifters. A nice heel height for experienced Oly lifters and squatting. Priced under $100, this mid-weight shoe is another serious contender for best affordable weightlifting shoe.