Risto Weightlifting Shoes Review 2016

In the past 5 years Risto Sports has gone from a non-entity to occupying a prominent position in the world of Olympic weightlifting shoes. The founders of Risto believe you can produce an affordable, world-class lifting shoe while still paying the people that make them a living wage. They also believe in the power of quality materials assembled by hand and in that sense they’re taking a page out of the Asics 727 book. Sounds good to us. But do the shoes actually deliver? That’s what we’ll find out in this Risto weightlifting shoes review.

Risto Weightlifting Shoe

Risto Weightlifting Shoes Review

risto sports

Because they’re such newcomers to the world of weightlifting footwear the Risto weightlifting shoes product line has gone through some rapid changes in the past few years. This is to be expected as they take the pulse of the market and figure out what people want and what will work. But it can be a little confusing. So just to be clear here are recently discontinued Risto models that we won’t be reviewing here:

  • Risto Trainer
  • Risto Sports Series 2
  • Risto Olympic Lifting Shoe Series I and II

With that out of the way let's start with their newest model.

Risto Tiburon II

Risto Tiburon II

The Risto Tiburon II is fast becoming the weightlifting shoe of choice for value conscious lifters who care about how the products they buy are produced. Handmade in Ecuador it’s hard to believe these shoes are really only around $115. Surely there’s something wrong, right? Nope. The Tiburon II provides solid support and the non-compressible raised heel serious lifters require while swaddling your feet in comfortable, handcrafted luxury. The Tiburon II features:

  • Bare wooden heel
  • Real leather upper
  • Forefoot flexibility for added control
  • Sleek, no-nonsense design
  • Attractive price point

Risto Rio

Risto Rio

In just a few short years the Rio has entered the ‘best Olympic weightlifting shoe’ debate and has been garnering praise for its performance and durability. At $150 it will set you back more than the Tiburon but functional and stylistic enhancements make it worth the stretch. Once you try the Risto Rio you may never go back to more expensive weightlifting shoes again. The Rio features:

  • Improved strap design
  • Direct sole-to-body attachment
  • Leather upper that conforms beautifully to the foot
  • Same genuine materials as the Tiburon
  • Minimal weight of 439g per shoe
  • Sewn-on outsole

Risto Olimpico

Risto Weightlifting Shoe

The Olimpico is a high performance shoe for serious weightlifters which also demonstrates the intention of Risto weightlifting shoes to take on the market masters in the styling arena. But that’s not all. They’ve also implemented performance-related changes in the newest Olimpico, notably raising the heel to 2.23 centimeters (which research shows is the optimal height) and moving the eyelets to the inside of the shoe, thus helping them maintain proper positioning over the long haul. Other features include:

  • Reinforced strap anchors
  • Natural rubber sole for optimal grip
  • Sleek contemporary design
  • High degree of comfort and performance

In Addition: Custom Made Weightlifting Shoes from Risto

Russian-style Weightlifting Boot

Risto weightlifting shoes are made for lifters by lifters who harbor an appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage. So it’s not surprising that they’d create a shoe that harks back to the bygone days when Soviet lifters like the legendary Vasily Alexeyev would lumber onto the platform wearing their austere, high-ankle lifting boots. Risto’s throwback Russian-style boot is available only by custom order and conforms to IWF regulations. Price is an agreeable $155.

The Risto Power Bodybuilding Shoe

RIsto Power Body Building Shoe

Four time Mr Universe Mike O’Hearn has officially teamed up with Risto to create what they’re calling the Risto Power Bodybuilding Shoe. Features include:

  • Full leather upper
  • Extra ankle support
  • Extra cushioning
  • Solid wood heel
  • Soft leather lining

With such a high powered name on board to help design such an ambitious shoe you might imagine the price would be a little higher than Risto’s other offerings and you’d be right. $322 to be exact.



Risto’s weightlifting shoes have carved out a solid niche for themselves by embodying a simple idea: to make high quality, high performance, affordable shoes from natural materials and use socially responsible methods to do so. If they continue to increase their market share as they’ve been doing it won’t be long before Risto lifting shoes have the big boys looking over their shoulders. These are definitely powerlifting shoes, they are not like some of the other cross training shoes out there that are best for weightlifting and running. You may also want to read about Asics weightlifting shoes here to find out more about shoes that are good for your need.

If you would like to learn more about different types of weightlifting shoes currently on the market, check out this article where we do a comprehensive breakdown, I know you'll enjoy it.

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