What is it? The Velaasa Strake Black Olympic Weightlifting shoe according to their site: “Innovation and craftsmanship collide in our flagship shoe, the Strake. Experience driven design went into every aspect of this shoe’s development. With its durable flat black TPU upper and solid wooden heel, the Strake launches as a premium Olympic weightlifting shoe for athletes everywhere. Effective heel height of 22mm is ideal for athletes with slightly lower ranges of motion.With design and testing support from some of the best athletes and coaches in the Olympic sports communities, Velaasa’s product development team set out to design the highest performing and sharpest looking lifting shoe on the market.”
What do I think? If you look on the site it states, “For sizing, consider adding 1/2 size to your typical cross trainer/running shoe, but many customers feel they fit accurate to size, so it’s your call.” I would highly recommend heeding this recommendation. I always wear a 10.5 and ordered a 10.5. I attempted to do some squats in them and some snatches but my toes were so smashed down that I could hardly walk. I contacted Velaasa and they got back to me right away and shipped out a larger pair the same day. Excellent customer service. The shoe is very attractive and solidly made. They are expensive but stand up to other lifters. These are an Olympic lifting shoe. That is all. They will not afford you any comfort trying to do anything in them except lift or squat. The strong construction and hardwood heel make them very inflexible. Great for lifting, not good for any kinds of CrossFit.
Why do you need it and when should you use it? This is a high-end weightlifting shoe. If you are searching for a great shoe for lifting, this is a great shoe for lifting. It is an awesomely designed shoe also and I love the colors and simple look.