Wednesday, May 4, 2011

2011 Rogue Do-Win Review

There are many options when it comes to weightlifting footwear. You can buy any one of numerous shoes made specifically for weightlifting. You could also buy common shoes that have a hard sole, like Chuck Taylors. Or you could outright go barefoot, though most commercial gyms will frown on that. While I'm no shoe expert, this is my review of the 2011 Rogue Do-Win lifting shoes.

A little background before I start. I built a home gym and started lifting from home the very first day I got under the bar. I never used a commercial gym. As such, I lifted barefoot from the very beginning. I have never lifted in any type of shoe other than the new 2011 Rogue Do-Wins. I went from barefoot to these. So I cannot compare them to any other shoe, such as other lifting shoes or Chuck Taylors. I have been using the Rogues for near 6 months now.

In my view, one of the better looking shoes available.

The first thing you'll notice about the new Rogue Do-Wins is that they look quite nice. Rather than describe them, simply see the above picture. Though it shouldn't matter, I know many lifters do seem to care. There are other shoes out there that look just plain pug fugly. Not the case with the Rogues. They are not the prettiest shoes out there, nor are they the cheapest but they are still a very nice shoe.

Do-Wins have had a bit of a reputation of being of cheap quality. This has apparently changed with the 2011 Rogue model. They are well put together. I haven't noticed any quality issues whatsoever. The heel is made of wood, as most lifting shoes are, so you know it will not compress. There are other cheaper shoes out there that look pretty but don't have a wood heel. I cannot comment on their quality or function since I have not used them. All I can do is tell you that the Rogue is solid and stable and won't ever compress when lifting a heavy barbell.

The Rogues have a heel of .75 inches. This is slightly more than what coach Mark Rippetoe recommended. Rippetoe also has a shoe available from Rogue with a .5 inch heel. However, the difference is minimal and will not be an issue. Some lifting shoes have heels up to and exceeding 1 inch which is good for Olympic lifting. I am not an Oly lifter and right now I don't really do those lifts so I needed something with a lower heel. The bulk of what I do in the gym is the major compound barbell lifts. Low bar back squats, bench press, overhead press, deadlifts, chin ups, dips, and power cleans, etc.

Immediately, from the very first session, I noticed the difference between lifting barefoot and with the Rogues. The shoe offers far more stabilization. The hard sole provides no compression whatsoever. This is ideal. It feels much more solid than lifting barefoot.

They say it can take a little time to get used to lifting with a heeled shoe. I didn't notice any "learning curve" at all.  The shoes have helped my squat and deadlift. Some people don't like to pull from the floor with a heel but I like it. One big issue I have with pulling from the floor is I tend to let the bar get away from my legs. Lifting in a slightly heeled shoe helps with this. The raised heel encourages a forward lean, which, at the very least, acts a reminder to get the shins touching the bar and keep it that way throughout the lift. I do all the major lifts with these shoes. I haven't noticed any negatives to pressing or pulling in a heeled shoe, quite the opposite. Remember, the Rogues have only a .75 inch heel so it's not as extreme as the standard weightlifting shoes which are over an inch.

I have to highly recommend these shoes to anybody who's interested in them.Rogue initially said to size down 1/2 from your normal shoe size. Now it seems they are saying to order your normal shoe size (probably after customer feedback). I wear a 10.5 to 11 size shoe normally, depending on the type of shoe. I ordered size 10.5 Rogue Do-Wins and they fit nicely. They do have straps, like all Do-Wins. So you can tighten them that way as well.

I will say this, just to have something to "criticize," the laces seemed excessively long. When tightened, both the loops and ends run the entire length of the shoe. It makes no difference in function as they can be held down under the straps. Still, why so long Rogue? Am I supposed to loop them through weight plates, thus turning the mere act of walking into a strength building exercise?

Kidding aside, they look nice, they function well, they are well put together, and they are not expensive, as far as weightlifting shoes go. At around $120 they are on the cheaper side of the weightlifting shoe price range. Rather than give it a score out of 10 or 5 stars, I'll simply end by saying I can't think of anything that needs improvement with the 2011 Rogue Do-Wins. I don't have much experience with different shoes but I have no complaints and I'm glad I decided to buy them rather than continue to lift barefoot.

Oh, and by the way you can get them, or the current model if it's not 2011 anymore, at

- Carl


  1. Hey Carl, would you be able to measure the length of the sole from heel to toe of your size 10.5 2011 Rogue Do-Wins and tell me how long they are please?

  2. Measuring the room inside the shoe it's 11 and 1/4 inches long. In case you wanted the length of the bottom rubber portion of the shoe it's about 12 and 1/8 inches long.

    For what it's worth my feet are just a bit over 10 and 1/2 inches long. I normally wear size 10.5 to 11 shoes depending on the brand/type.

  3. Thanks a lot for that. My feet are pretty much the same size just wondering if you could would you go down to size 10 or is 10.5 perfect?

  4. I'm no expert on lifting shoes so I don't know how most people prefer they fit. The 10.5 fits nicely and you can always use the straps and laces to tighten them. But there is a little wiggle room in the toes so if I wanted them to be very snug I would probably go with the 10. I guess it depends on how you want them to fit.

    As I said in the review this was my first lifting shoe so I don't have a lot of experience with lifting shoes in general.

  5. Nice review man! Thanks :-)

    I wear a size 12 EE new balance mx 856 they are a bit big but nice and i like them when i want it to support me i tie the laces to the last two holes... Do you recommend that i get the rogue in size 12 giving the fact I have wide feet?

  6. It sounds like you should probably try the size 12. Remember you can not only tie the laces really tight, but also the straps to ensure that they are snug. That being said, the 11.5 might also work for you given that most people want their weightlifting shoes to be tighter than normal shoes.

    But don't over-think it. Unless you're very picky about this you'll probably be good with either. Just don't size bigger than your normal shoes. If you are picky you can always exchange them, though you'll have to probably pay shipping costs.

  7. I have the older version and liked it while using it.
    Then I got a pair of Chucks then the Rippletoe Shoe with a 1/2" heel before it went off the market (dunno the reason, think the manufacturer was a problem not the shoe itself).
    Now I use a pair of Vibram KSO and find it awesome!

    When you order the Rogue Do-wins you really need to make sure you get the right size. I think it is sized 1 size larger if I remember right.

    And agree with the laces. I ended up buying a shorter pair of laces for it when I was using it.

  8. Nice review, i see you are using the shoes for low bar squat. How do that work for you. Medhi the guy that runs stronglifts say we have to use flat shoes for low bar sguat. Rippetoe says a slightly heel. I have always squatted barefot, but last time i tried to put a pair of 1,25kg plates under my heel. And it was so easier. I went ass to grass for the first time inn my life. And my back was straight ass a plank. I noticed that my knees went far over my toes, isn't that dangerous? Should i buy a pair?

  9. Some people like flat sole, others like a slight heel. If you're doing a normal width stance low bar squat, I like a heel. If you were doing a powerlifting wide stance then it may be different. It sounds like you would prefer the heel. Whether you should buy a pair is up to you. But don't continue to squat on top of plates. If you do like the raised heel then get some shoes. Regardless of heel height I think you'll like some solid shoe with a hard sole better than squatting barefoot.

    Knees going past toes is fine but it can be a problem if it's too far. The solution would probably be to get your hips back more, and your torso angle bent over more to keep the bar over the middle of the foot. That would make your shins more vertical.

    You'll also probably want to stop going ass to grass on low bar squats, that's not common practice and may be causing your knee issues. I won't get into the mechanics of it here though. Just go slightly below parallel with the low bar squat. ATG is better suited for squats where the torso is vertical (meaning front squats and maybe high bar, but not low bar).

    Try that and if you still think you have a problem then put a form check video on one of the various forums online to get help.