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.|
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 RogueFitness.com.