Do-Win Classic Lifter from Rogue – Shoe Review

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Let’s review the Do-Win Classic Lifter weightlifting shoe from Rogue Fitness.

This is a traditionally styled lifter, using traditional materials like suede, mesh, and leather – no plastic here.

The Do-Win Classic Lifter from Rogue Fitness - Good looks and performance in a weightlifting shoe.
This shoe is called the classic lifter for a reason – suede, mesh, and leather – no fancy space-age materials here. That’s OK, because it works.

It’s good looking (check out that heel crafted from layers of stacked leather – and it’s got a good price too.

Rogue Do-Win Classic Lifter - heel crafted from stacked layers of leather
Check out that heel – crafted from stacks of leather – it’s solid and good looking.

Here’s the shoes we’ll be looking at in this review:

Do-Win Classic Lifter Shoe (Black) The original Rogue weightlifting shoe, the Do-Win, is back in a re-launched "Classic" edition. Heel raise varies by shoe size - but is around .75"/19mm. This is the style shown in most of the photos.

Do-Win Classic Lifter Shoe (Red) The Do-Win Classic Lifter includes a suede and mesh upper with a rounded toe shape (just like the old-school version had). Two hook-and-loop tarsal straps and nylon webbing for a secure fit.

Do-Win Classic Lifter Shoe (Blue) Each heel is crafted from stacked layers of genuine leather - and it looks good.

All right, let’s take a look.

Do-Win Classic Lifter – Review on YouTube

Why read when you can watch? Check out the Do-Win Classic Lifter review from our YouTube channel:

This is a great, no-frills lifter. It made an appearance in our roundup of the best oly lifters for 2020.

Do-Win Classic Lifter – Fit and Sizing

How do these fit? Rogue advises you buy 1/2 size DOWN from your normal shoe size.

These run LONG – the Men’s Size 11 I bought have a bit too much space in the toe (length-wise.)

Rogue Dowin Classic Lifter Sizing
The run LONG. Rogue says buy 1/2 size down from your normal. They are a bit long for me in my normal shoe size, but the width isn’t what I’d describe as generous. I’m hoping they’ll break in a bit and stretch around the mid-toe area.

But, at the same time, they feel a bit tight around the mid-toe area.

They are leather – they may stretch out a bit.

I want to say if I had gone 1/2 size down the length would be a perfect fit – but then the width probably would’ve not been good.

Overall these are usable, just be aware of the length.

(I’ll update this section as I put more use on these – I do think they’ll break-in a bit.)

Do-Win Classic Lifter from Rogue – Overview

First of all this is a “Lifter” – or olympic weightlifting shoes.

Some people call them squat shoes.

Why? Because they help you get into a deep squat position with greater ease.

The secret ingredient is the heel raise. This pair of men’s size 11 shoes has a 21mm heel to toe drop, according to rogue.

Do-Win Classic Lifter - heel to toe drop
Rogue advertises these as having a 19mm / .75" heel to toe drop – but it varies by size. This men’s size 11 has a 21mm heel to toe drop.

That means your heel is 21mm higher than your toes.

And that raise means you can get along with less ankle flexibility when you need to hit parallel (or deeper) in any squatting motion.

These are useful for all kinds of squats (front, back, low-bar, high-bar, etc.) but also they make pistol squats significantly less-challenging (NOTE: I didn’t say easy!)

Some people say you should just develop more ankle flexibility on your own – but some people don’t have the bone structure for that.

Here’s the other key feature of an Oly lifter – that heel is not just raised, it is SOLID.

These type of shoes have minimal cushioning – and the Do-Win Classic Lifter is no exception.

As mentioned previously, the heel in this shoe is made from stacked layers of leather – compressed into a very solid material.

Rogue Do-Win Classic Lifter - stacked leather heel
Here’s a close-up of that stacked leather heel. Very nice. And it get’s the job done – it’s solid.

It looks good – and it works good.

Inside the shoe, there’s a thin minimalist removable insole. It doesn’t provide any real cushion.

Under that is the midsole – and that’s rock solid too.

Do-Win Classic Lifter Shoe - drop-in insole
There’s a thin removable insole. It doesn’t really provide any cushion – but that’s OK – it’s a lifting shoe – we don’t want cushion.

Why do we want solid support and stability with almost no cushion?

This helps in two ways. Firstly, it makes for a rock-solid lifting foundation for heavy barbell squats (or snatches, or cleans and jerks.)

It also means no wasted energy when you pull in the Oly lifts – the power from your body is transferred efficiently to the ground – not in compressing a rubber midsole.

In this regard, the Do-Win Classic Lifter delivers.

You’ll notice too that the all-rubber outsole is very durable, and provides great traction.

Do-Win Classic Lifter Shoe - outsole
The all rubber outsole has a pebble-grain quality to it. It provides great grip. Hopefully it will last a long time (it feels like it will so far.)

You don’t want to slip when lifting weights.

The rubber outsole is normally the achilles heel of lifters – it’s the first part that wears out.

Rogue Dowin Classic Lifter - Outsole closeup
Close-up of the rubber outsole. It’s pretty thick, which means it should last awhile. The rubber will inevitably wear down, of course.

Obviously, I’ve only had these a short time, but the rubber seems durable (and grippy) and is relatively thick.

That rubber outsole and leather heel result in a relatively quiet shoe as well. Lifters are famous for the “clip-clop” sound they make as you walk, lift, etc.

I’m not saying these are silent, but they are less noisy than some other Oly lifting shoes.

Lets move up the shoe and look at the upper.

This is real suede with some mesh areas for breathability.

Do-Win Classic Lifter upper
The upper is suede with mesh areas for breathability. I like it. It’s as breathable as any lifter is going to be.

It’s tough and comfortable. The upper is not going to wear out on this shoe.

Closeup of suede upper do-win classic lifter
Here’s a close-up of that suede upper.

You’ll see there are two mid-foot straps – this lets you dial in the tightness with precision.

Do-Win Classic Lifter - Two midfoot straps
Two mid-foot straps using hook and loop (aka velcro). Dial in a precision fit everytime.

I prefer lifters with two straps versus one – it’s more precise.

Lastly, let’s take it all in – this is a good looking, but conservative lifter.

Do-Win classic Lifter Shoe - looks good
Overall, this is a good looking and very functional lifter. Conservative styling – which is what some people want.

Now, let’s compare it to some other lifting shoes.

Do-Win Classic Lifter Versus Reebok Legacy Lifter

The Do-Win Classic Lifter is significantly cheaper than some of the big dollar lifters – like the Reebok Legacy Lifter.

Do-win classic lifter versus Reebok Legacy Lifter - side by side
The Reebok Legacy Lifter is a premium weightlifting shoe for 2020. Stats are very close to that of the Do-win.

What’s the real difference?

Both shoes are close in the heel raise department – 22 mm on the Legacy Lifter versus 21mm on the Do-win (Remember: that’s for a Men’s Size 11 specifically.)

Do-win classic lifter versus Reebok Legacy Lifter - Heel Raise
Reebok Legacy Lifter is 22mm heel to toe drop versus 21 mm for a Men’s Size 11 Do-Win Classic Lifter.

They weigh about the same too, although the 23.5 ounce Do-Win is slightly heavier.

Unlike the Do-Win, the Legacy Lifter fits me fine at my normal size of Men’s Size 11.

Do-win classic lifter versus Reebok Legacy Lifter - toebox
You might think the Do-win has more width in the toe area, but the Legacy Lifter is a better fit for me. Being leather, the Do-Win may break-in and provide a better fit in a few weeks.

The Legacy Lifter has less grip in the outsole. I wouldn’t describe it as being slippery – but it’s slightly less traction than the Do-win (and most other Oly lifters that I have.)

It’s not problematic though – I think it’s because Reebok uses longer-lived rubber that is more durable (and therefore will wear less) but provides slightly less traction.

Do-win classic lifter versus Reebok Legacy Lifter - outsole grip
The Reebok Legacy Lifter has just slightly less grip in the outsole as compared to the Do-Win.

The Legacy Lifter is a fine weightlifting shoe.

But, the Do-win is competent for weight lifting too – so I think it’s going to come down to whether or not you want to spend an extra $75 for the Reebok – or whether or not the Do-Win fits you as well – given that length/width fit.

Do-Win Classic Lifter Versus Nike Romaleos 4

Let’s line it up against another premium shoe – the Nike Romaleos 4.

I like the Romaleos 4 – it has flashy looks and provides solid performance.

Nike Romaleos 4 versus Do-Win Classic Lifter side by side
The Romaleos 4 is new for 2020 – and it looks good. But how well does it work?

The Romaleos 4 is a 20 mm heel to toe drop versus 21 mm for the Do-Win.

Weights are in the same ball park too.

Nike Romaleos 4 versus Do-Win Classic Lifter heel raise
20 mm (Nike) versus 21 mm (Do-Win) for the heel raise.

But the materials used in the Nike shoe is where this line-up diverges considerably.

The Nike has all kinds of materials layered in the upper and the heel counter.

And check out the plastic outsole – it’s very wide.

Nike Romaleos 4 versus Do-Win Classic Lifter outsole
The Nike uses significant plastic in the heel/outsole and it makes for a noisy shoe – but they’ve made it very wide too, and it has great lateral stability. Grip is adequate, even with the hollowed-out center taking some contact area away.

The Nike shoe has outstanding lateral stability – definitely a notch above the Classic Lifter.

I think it’s a combination of the width of the outsole/heel piece, but also the materials used in the upper and around the heel cup in particular.

Nike Romaleos 4 versus Do-Win Classic Lifter sizing
I had to go 1/2 size up on the Nike to get a good fit. It fits me well. I’ll have to wait and see if the Do-Win breaks in – it’s a tad bit tight in the toes.

I also think it looks cool. If I’m paying $200 for shoes – I want them to look good.

The only downsides to this shoe – it’s noisy.

That thin edge to the heel/midsole piece makes a higher-pitched “clattering” sound all the time – when walking – or lifting.

Nike Romaleos 4 versus Do-Win Classic Lifter noise
The Nike Romaleos 4 is the noisiest lifting shoe I’ve ever tested. I think it’s those thin plastic edges. In comparison, the Do-Win is quiet.

This is the noisiest lifter I have.

In comparison the Do-Win Classic Lifter is quiet.

Secondly, I did have to go 1/2 size up on the Romaleos 4 – to get adequate width.

But, after having done that I’m very happy with the fit.

The Romaleos 4 is currently my favorite lifter – but remember – it is $75 more expensive than the Do-win.

And not everybody likes that space-age styling.

Do-Win Classic Lifter Versus Adidas Adipower 2 Weightlifting Shoe

One more comparison before we wrap this up – let’s line it up to the Adidas Adipower Weightlifting II shoe.

Adidas Adipower 2 versus Do-Win Classic Lifter - side by side
The Adipower 2 has been a controversial option for lifters in 2020. It’s got the heel raise (20mm), but it is not very supportive.

This is another big dollar shoe option for lifting, and it has some unique attributes.

First of all, let me say the Adipower 2 is crazy narrow.

Check out the point on the toe. I don’t know what to advise you on sizing, these are so narrow, I can’t really use them. Length is not a problem though.

The second thing about these is they have great forefoot flexibility – which some people prefer so they can “dig in” with their toes.

Adidas Adipower 2 versus Do-Win Classic Lifter - outsole
The Adipower 2 has good grip, and a VERY flexible forefoot – even more so than a cross training shoe! But it’s also crazy narrow. These are so off, I can’t really wear them.

They also are by far the most comfortable lifter I’ve tested in 2020 – the upper has comfort like a running shoe.

But here’s the rub – they are not very supportive at all.

The upper is very thin and pliable – all over.

Adidas Adipower 2 versus Do-Win Classic Lifter - heel raise
The Adipower has the heel raise you might want – and it’s comfortable – the upper feels like the comfort level you’d get from a good running shoe!

The lateral stability is not good enough for me.

These are also light weight – almost 5 ounces lighter than the Do-Win.

Overall, I think if you are expecting a classic lifting shoe feel – you should opt for the Do-Win Classic Lifter.

(You’ll also save $75.)

Adidas Adipower 2 versus Do-Win Classic Lifter pointy toe
The Adipower 2 is a very different lifter compared to the others. The Do-Win Classic Lifter is more likely going to give you what you are expecting, in my opinion.

Do-Win Classic Lifter Shoe Review – In Summary

The Do-Win Classic Lifter from Rogue is a great budget option.

(I say budget because it is $75 cheaper than those big name shoes.)

It delivers what you need – heel raise, solid heel, midfoot straps – and is built like a tank.

For those who want to save some coin, or who don’t care for the overly busy look of some other options – this might be the right Oly lifting shoe for you.

Just be sure to check the sizing advice on Rogue’s website.

Do-Win Classic Lifter - looking good by the pool
Do-Win Classic Lifter – looking good by the pool.

Why Rogue Fitness Products?
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Do-Win Classic Lifter - Weightlifting Shoe from Rogue
Do-Win Classic Lifter – Weightlifting Shoe from Rogue. It provides very firm support and stability – as you would expect.