Nike Romaleos 4 vs Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 | Which is the Best Weightlifting Shoe?

Nike Romaleos 4 vs Reebok Legacy Lifter 2

The Nike Romaleos 4 and the Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 are the latest Weightlifting Shoes available from Nike and Reebok. Both could be considered the premium Weightlifting Shoe from their respective companies and both previous iterations have proven to be very popular among the Powerlifting and Weightlifting communities.

For many people looking to purchase their first Weightlifting Shoe, or indeed those looking to upgrade, it can be a tricky task to determine which is the better choice.

Both the Nike Romaleos 4 and the Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 are excellent Weightlifting Shoes and no matter which you opt for, you won’t be disappointed. The Reebok Legacy Lifter 2, however, offers much more bang for your buck and is an overall more well-rounded shoe, which should appeal to the majority of lifters.

If you would like a more in-depth review of each shoe, you can check them out at the two links below:

Nike Romaleos 4 Review

Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 Review


Of the two shoes, I would say that the Romaleos 4 are the more striking to look at, I’ve said it in previous articles but the Legacy Lifter 2s just come across as a bit drab and dull for me.

The sole design on the Romaleos 4 is particularly eye-catching with its very angular shape and translucent sides at the heel, whereas the sole on the Legacy Lifter 2s is very simple and really doesn’t have anything to set it apart.

Its these little touches that really resonate with me and it really feels like Reebok made more of an effort.

I’m not particularly keen on the strap design on the Romaleos 4 though. It looks like it was something that was added as an afterthought rather than being incorporated into the overall design architecture. With the Legacy Lifter 2s, as much as I find the overall design a bit boring, you can tell that at least some thought went into every inch.

The strap doesn’t look out of place and even the rubber band running around the heel was designed to look like part of the Reebok logo. It’s these little touches that really resonate with me and it really feels like Reebok made more of an effort.

Nike’s color choices are pretty standard; a white (pictured), a black, a camo, and a red shoe can all be chosen. Reebok offers a pretty limited range too; a white (pictured), a black/white (which reminds me of Shamu!), and a white with blue/pink detailing in the Women’s shoe.

It’s a shame they only really offer that particular color choice in the Women’s sizes because its the only one that has any real character!

When it comes to looks, for me Reebok’s Legacy Lifter 2 just about edges it. As I mentioned previously, I feel like they at least tried to make a nice shoe, whereas Nike made an interesting sole then it feels like they just got bored and threw the rest together!

1st – Reebok Legacy Lifter 2

2nd – Nike Romaleos 4


I ordered both shoes in a US size 10.

Starting with the Romaleos 4, I immediately noticed upon putting them on that my heel didn’t feel like it was properly situated in the shoe. It’s a difficult feeling to describe but it mostly felt like my heel was hanging out, this also resulted in very noticeable heel slip as I walked around.

The opposite could be said with the Legacy Lifter 2, the fit around the heel was excellent. This was in no small part down the higher back and the inclusion of the rubber band around the heel, which is one of my favorite features of the shoe.

Moving onto the mid-foot and there wasn’t much to separate either shoe here, both fit very well. I would say that the Romaleos 4 had a better lacing system though and the extra strap helped with providing a bit more fine-tuning, so Nike just edges it.

Both had a lot of arch support, so flat-footed individuals may struggle. The Legacy Lifter 2s did have a slightly higher arch overall.

As for the toe, the Romaleos 4 ran far too tight for my liking, it wasn’t to the point of being uncomfortable but it was certainly very noticeable.

On the completely opposite end of the spectrum, the Legacy Lifter 2s had a lot of space in the toe with plenty of width for toe spread. The one major downside was that they were very long! I had a good inch of space in front of my toes so it may be worth considering sizing down from your regular shoe size.

Both shoes had some pretty glaring cons when it came to fit. The Romaleos 4 with the unforgivable heel slip and the Legacy Lifters 2 not really being true to size.

I decided to give it to Reebok in the end as I felt heel slip and tightness around the toe were far more fundamental problems than being much too large in the toe box.

1st – Reebok Legacy Lifter 2

2nd – Nike Romaleos 4


It was no contest when it came to comfort, the Legacy Lifter 2s won easily. That’s not to say that the Romaleos 4 were particularly uncomfortable, but the Legacy Lifter 2s were just in a whole other league.

For a Weightlifting Shoe, the Legacy Lifter 2s were fairly easy to walk around in, whereas, with the Romaleos 4s, it was very apparent that you were wearing Weightlifting Shoes, which is even more surprising when you consider that the Legacy Lifter 2s are actually the heavier shoe by about 3 ounces!

This is just a testament to how comfortable the Legacy Lifter 2s are by comparison when they can be heavier yet still feel lighter and more mobile underfoot.

1st – Reebok Legacy Lifter 2

2nd – Nike Romaleos 4

Straps & Lacing

We’ve finally found an area where Nike wins!

I’ve always preferred a double strap system on my Weightlifting Shoes, I like the extra control it gives me, and having a strap close to my ankle joint makes a big difference to feeling locked into the shoe. So for this, I really appreciate the Romaleos 4. What makes this worse for Reebok is that the original Legacy Lifter actually had two straps and still to this day, is a very popular Weightlifting Shoe, so why they felt the need to go back to one strap is a mystery.

Incidentally, you can also check out my review of the original Legacy Lifter.

The eyelets are a massive let down as they have no real support and feel like they’re about to tear every time you tighten them up.

It should be mentioned that, although the Legacy Lifter 2 has one strap, it is in fact, two separate pieces so it does allow for more control in theory. In practice though, I can’t say I noticed any real benefit, it was a nice idea but ultimately failed in my opinion.

The lacing system is very good on the Romaleos 4, the laces feel robust and the eyelets are well put together. The same can’t be said, however, for the Legacy Lifter 2. The eyelets are a massive let down here, as they have no real support and feel like they’re about to tear every time you tighten them up.

1st – Nike Romaleos 4

2nd – Reebok Legacy Lifter 2


Both shoes performed well in the Powerlifting Perfection Grip Test. However, it was the Legacy Lifter 2s that came out on top with a friction score of 0.95, the Romaleos 4 managing a still-impressive 0.88.

1st – Reebok Legacy Lifter 2

2nd – Nike Romaleos 4


I put both shoes through many of the main lifts you would expect to see a Weightlifting Shoe get used for. I used them for Squatting, Bench Pressing, Clean & Jerk, and the Snatch and, honestly, both were pretty great in all lifts. They’re both suitably weighty and have a very grippy, flat sole with the same effective heel height (0.75”).

The Romaleos did suffer quite a lot in the Olympic lifts, however, as there were constant issues with heel slip in almost every movement. Although my foot never came out of the shoe altogether, it was very offputting and enough to take my concentration away from the lift itself.

For what is meant to be a premium Weightlifting Shoe, I found this to be a pretty unforgivable design flaw.

Another key performance difference between both shoes was in the toe box.

As I previously mentioned, the Romaleos 4 was quite narrow in the toe, and although a minor complaint, it did influence my ability to spread my toes when Squatting. The shoe is also noticeably more rigid so bending at the toe wasn’t the best. This was most prominent when performing a Split Jerk.

It’s possible that over time the toe box might break in some, but when you’ve already got an overall better shoe right out the box in the Legacy Lifter 2, why take that risk?

1st – Reebok Legacy Lifter 2

2nd – Nike Romaleos 4

Final Thoughts

In the end, it was a landslide victory for Reebok’s Legacy Lifter 2s. I really like this shoe a lot actually and if it weren’t for a few minor niggles, it would be pretty near perfect in my eyes.

I do like the Nike Romaleos 4 too, for the most part.

For more static lifts such as the Squat or the Bench Press, it performs very well, but the heel slip was just too big a problem to ignore when it came to Olympic Lifts or just walking around.

If you’re someone who only wants a Weightlifting Shoe for Powerlifting movements rather than Olympic lifts, and you have a particularly narrow foot, then the Romaleos 4 could be the ideal choice for you!

Overall though, the Legacy Lifter 2 is just an altogether better shoe out of the box, and if you have been at all torn between which shoe to get, go with Reebok.

1st – Reebok Legacy Lifter 2

2nd – Nike Romaleos 4

Both shoes are currently available on Amazon, you can check the latest prices in the links below.

Nike Romaleos 4

Reebok Legacy Lifter 2