Updated: Feb 23
Within CrossFit, lifting shoes have been a hotly debated topic as to whether all athletes need a pair. Certainly if you're serious about lifting then a dedicated olympic lifting shoe will be required to get maximum performance.
Today, we will be reviewing the Nike Romaleo XD Lifting Shoe, released in 2019 reviewed here in 2020. We will be taking into consideration different factors including durability, sizing, flexibility, price and how they look to bring you a full review of the Nike Romaleo 3 XD.
I recently purchased a pair of the Romaleo XD lifters and have been pleasantly surprised. They are not the best looking Romaleo but I have heard good things so I tested (and reviewed) these with an open mind. These are not my first pair of weightlifting shoes and I have used these for over 4 months before reviewing today.
[Want to buy a pair? Buy the Nike Romaleo 3 XD on Amazon here.]
Romaleo 3 vs Romaleo 3 XD
The XD version of the 3rd iteration on the Romaleo series, is a sort of beefed up version of the 3s. The XD stands for extra durability because the XD fixed all of the issues that the 3 had.
The toe box area durability of the Romaleo 3 XD has improved as a main area of concern on the Romaleo 3's. The overall build quality and construction of the Romaleo 3 XDs has improved vastly.
The upper is a lot more robust with the material improving also, giving a comfier fit and more support around the heel too. With the Romaleo 3 XD, the flexibility in the shoe and toebox has improved on the 3 with the new strap giving more support as well as an aesthetic improvement of the Nike Logo embossed into the strap.
Another big difference is the breathability between the 3 and the 3 XD. The Romaleo 3s have mesh strips on the top of the toe box to allow for increased breathability and temperature control. However with the newer Romaleo 3 XDs, these have been replaced with small holes instead of the mesh, allowing for, you guessed it, greater durability within the shoe but keeping that flexibility of the toe box too.
The ankle area is fairly similar in both the Romaleo 3 and 3 XDs, both have a similar amount of cushioning and when wearing them both, feel the same too. Again, both have Fly Wire lacing with the Romaleo 3 XD having an extra lacing hole for a comfier fit if needed.
Personally I bought the XDs becuase I had hear the reviews and the effective flimsyness of the 3's as I wanted a pair that could last me a long time. I prefer to CrossFit but I Oly lift and Powerlift too so mainly wanted these lifters for occasional use but still wanted them to hold up over time.
Comfort in the Romaleo 3 XD
The midseason update's major difference was the tongue of the shoe, where the XD version has a thicker and comfier tongue rather than the thin, flimsy tongue of the 3 which many wearers found they ripped as they pulled their shoe on.
The Romaleo 3 XD version has a much thicker and comfier profile of the tongue, ensuring that you won't rip them as you pull them on. In addition to this, they have added stability with straps on the inside to help the tongues stay in the correct position and not shift around.
[Get yours today! Buy the Nike Romaleo 3 XD on Amazon here.]
In my opinion, although the shoe may look a tad chunkier and less aesthetic, the tongue changes the comfort of the whole shoe and makes such a difference to the feel of the Romaleo 3 XD.
The synthetic material of the Romaleo 3 XD makes it look closer to leather than any of the other Romaleo shoes out there. This, I think, gives the shoe a high quality look in black however the Gray and White versions maybe look a bit better in my opinion, I think they look a bit cleaner and more modern.
The heel hight with the Romaleo 3 XDs remains similar to the Romaleo 3s at 0.75 inches in addition to the outsole material and honeycomb shape of the heel being exactly the same.
I purposely got these in half a size down from my usual size purely because I wanted a snug fit and as little movement as possible in my lifts. I must say that I do find them comfortable to wear however I recommend not over tightening, especially with the velcro strap if you're wearing them for extended periods of time, for comforts sake.
Romeleo 3 XD Insole
The Romaleo 3 XDs also comes with two types of insole: a hard and soft option. This again is the same with the Romaleo 3s but is very much a useful option for those who train in CrossFit. If there is a CrossFit workout that requires heavy lifting but then other movements too then the softer insole will be ideal to help with flexibility and range of motion of the shoe. If you are purely lifting though, the harder insole option would be ideal for you also.
The only thing to note with the insoles is that the harder one is slightly thicker, so may mean that the shoe is tighter fitting with them in, not by much but it is noticeable, so it's definitely something to bear in mind when purchasing your Romaleo 3 XDs.
I prefer the harder insole for my lifting, but when doing CrossFit workouts where I can wear my Romaleos I tend to go for the softer insole.
Sizing of the Romaleo 3 XD
I tend to wear my lifting shoes true to size but haven't had a sizing issue when wearing either insoles for the Romaleo 3 XDs, mainly because of the cushioning of the tongue and the rest of the shoe.
My feet are fairly typical in shape so I haven't had issues with tightness in width or arching of the foot, so if you do have issues with sizing of shoes for example wide feet or collapsed arches, it may be a sensible idea to try these before you buy (or buy a few sizes and return the ones that don't fit).
The flexibility of the Romaleo 3 XD is genuinely really impressive. Given that it is supposed to be the durable version of the 3s, one may think that added durability takes away from the flexibility but I don't think it does with the 3 XDs.
[Want to buy a pair? Buy the Nike Romaleo 3 XD on Amazon here.]
The toe box still flexes really will and when split jerking, the grip on the outsole and the stability around the laces and heel mean that you can feel a solid hold from the shoe. This means that you could probably perform a lot more movements that in other lifting shoes, this meaning that the Romaleo 3 XDs are ideal for the CrossFitting athlete, wanting to perform multiple movements.
However, take this with a pinch of salt, definitely don't go for the Romaleo 3 XDs for murph or any running workouts.
Stability in the Romaleo 3 XD
Although there may be more stable lifters out there, the Romaleo 3 XDs do have good stability. With the grippier outsoles, compared to other lifting shoes the Romaleo 3 XDs have a tad more feedback from the ground as you are lifting. However, the width and size of the shoe is not the best in the market. However, the light weight, grip and comfort on the shoe still makes the Romaleo 3 XD a contender for the best lifting shoe on the market.
I have found with my lifts the stability has not been an issue at all. Really pleased with them!
Cost of the Romaleo 3 XD
After only a year, the Romaleo 3 XD are still quite pricey compared to some other lifting shoes on the market, however probably these are still the best on the market in value for money.
The Romaleo 3 XD are currently retailing at around £180 or about $200 in the states. However, there are many other options where you can buy second hand lifters for a fraction of the price, with little wear in them. Especially with the Romaleo 3 XD, where they have extra durability, they will be able to hold their value well.
I managed to pick up my pair from a Nike store near me who only had one pair from display stock so managed to pick mine up for almost half the price of retail! It is worth looking around for a bargain.
The Romaleo 3 XDs are an excellent pair of weightlifting shoes, being extremely flexible, very, very stable probably one of the best looking weightlifting shoes on the market. With added durability and versatility, these lifting shoes will be the go to for any CrossFitting or Oly Lifting workout.
I am thoroughly enjoying my pair and I look forward to trying out more pairs when I get the chance and hopefully I can do another full review like this.
Interested in buying the Romaleo 3 XDs? You can purchase them on Amazon here.