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Do-Win Classic Lifter Review | Old School Feel, But Performance Falls Short

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The Do-Win Classic Lifter is a weightlifting shoe that pays homage to some of the first weightlifting shoes on the market. This shoe has a “classic” vibe and energy that many long for in the world of weightlifting shoes.

I’ve enjoyed training in my Do-Win lifting shoes, so I was super excited to put the Do-Win Classic Lifter to the test. The Do-Win Classic Lifter is interesting. There are some good things with this model and some things that need to be reworked.

For example, I do really like their appearance and midfoot security for squats. However, I’m not super stoked about this shoe’s performance and I’ll expand on that below. This shoe is not making my weightlifting shoes list, though, until it receives some changes.

In this Do-Win Classic Lifter review, I’m going to cover various topics to help you decide if this shoe fits your training wants and needs.

Do-Win Classic Lifter Review

Who Should Invest In the Do-Win Classic Lifter?

The Do-Win Classic Lifter is an interesting weightlifting shoe and I don’t think it’s going to be the best pick for most lifters. I think if you’re an athlete that absolutely loves old-school weightlifting shoes, this model could be a good fit for your preferences.

This shoe is stable and it grips wooden platforms and rubber gym floors well, so from a lifting performance point of view, they’re a decent shoe for the most part. They should work for most lifters and athletes that love the “classic” vibe of these.

Do-Win Classic Lifter Performance Review

That being said, if you’re a beginner or intermediate lifter that just wants a pair of weightlifting shoes for squats and recreational lifting, you could find stronger performing models that even cost less.

For example, the Adidas Powerlift 5 and Reebok Lifter PR II both sit around $100 USD and outperform the Do-Win Classic Lifter for recreational lifters. I also think the Do-Win Classic Lifter will fall short for lifters with wider feet. This shoe’s toe box is wicked snug.

Do-Win Classic Lifter


Rogue Do-Win Classic Lifter Product Shot

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • Squats
  • Casual Weightlifting
  • Lifters That Love the Classic Look

Falls Short

  • For Wide Feet
  • For Forefoot Mobility
  • For Breathability

Do-Win Classic Lifter Pros

Over the course of my training in the Do-Win Classic Lifter, I found a few key pros and things to like about this shoe.

  1. Classic Look Is This Shoe’s Claim to Fame
  2. Stacked Leather Heel and Sole Are Stable
  3. Midfoot Security In This Model Is Solid

The first aspect to like about the Do-Win Classic Lifter is its classic look and vibe. In my opinion, there’s something about old-school weightlifting shoes that give them such a nostalgic vibe, which is fleeting in newer models.

For example, when I look at the Do-Win Classic Lifters I’m taken back to the older Cal Strength videos and athletes. Plus, this shoe has strong Asics 727 Tiger vibes. That classic model is often regarded as one of the best weightlifting shoes, still to this day.

Do-Win Classic Lifter Upper Construction

I think if you want this shoe for collection purposes or because you love classic weightlifting shoes, then you’ll enjoy the Do-Win Classic Lifter. Their “classic” vibe is the main perk of them and why many will enjoy investing in these shoes.

The second thing to like about the Do-Win Classic Lifter is its stacked leather construction. If you’re not a fan of the modern-day TPU or high-density EVA foam heels, this option offers a nice alternative.

Do-Win Classic Lifter Heel Construction

Materials like wood and stacked leather are used less frequently in weightlifting shoes but perform similarly to modern TPU materials. The reason why I think most companies steer away from stacked leather heels is due to long-term durability and variability in construction.

It’s cool to see the Do-Win Classic Lifter use stacked leather. The heel and sole of this model don’t compress under heavy squats and working over 400 lbs I didn’t have issues with compression whatsoever in this model.

The last thing to like about the Do-Win Classic Lifter is the dual-strap system on the midfoot. I don’t think midfoot security will be an issue in this model whatsoever, and the dual-straps do a good job of locking down your feet.

Do-Win Classic Lifter Midfoot Straps

The straps feel durable and even if you have to crank them super tight because you have narrow feet they shouldn’t hang onto the floor by any means. I also like that Do-Win uses a metal loop with these and a more dense velcro for promoting security.

Do-Win Classic Lifter Cons

While there are a few things to like about the Do-Win Classic Lifter, there are also a few cons to note about these weightlifting shoes.

  1. Toe Box Is Really Snug and Tight
  2. Sole Is Stiff and Takes a While to Break In
  3. Not the Best Weightlifting Shoes for Versatile Contexts

The first drawback to the Do-Win Classic Lifter is its toe box construction. I’m not sure if Do-Win updated their last construction with this model, but I feel as though the sizing is off. This is also an issue that the Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes have at the moment.

For example, if you look on Rogue Fitness’s site, they suggest sizing down a half size in this model. I went true to size for continuity purposes so I could compare true sizing to other models, and I still find this shoe incredibly too tight.

Do-Win Classic Lifter Width and Sizing

Even when sockless, the toe box in this shoe is super snug and it lacks to accommodate full toe splay, and it’s worth noting I have neutral-width feet. If you’re looking into these, I would suggest sizing up a half size as opposed to sizing down as Rogue Fitness suggests on their site.

The second drawback that I could see other lifters have with the Do-Win Classic Lifter is how stiff the sole is. If you like more articulation in your weightlifting shoe’s toe box, you’re not going to resonate with this model.

Do-Win Classic Lifter Flexibility and Mobility

For more mobile weightlifting shoes, I’d suggest looking into something like the Inov-8 Fastlift Power G 380 or Adidas Adipower II. While the stacked leather heel and sole are unique in this shoe, they give it a very rigid fit and feel that can be a turnoff.

If you invest in these, I’d suggest expecting them to take a minimum of two weeks to fully break these in. You may also want to work their toe box and sole with your hands to speed up the break-in process.

Do-Win Classic Lifter Weightlifting Shoe Review

The last drawback with the Do-Win Classic Lifter is that this model is not going to be your best bet for functional fitness or more versatile workouts where you may want weightlifting shoes.

For example, if you’re tackling a CrossFit WOD and plan to use your weightlifting shoes for one exercise, then transition into something more dynamic like a wall ball or box jump, I’d suggest passing on these.

The heavy and stiff construction of these shoes ruins their performance in versatile contexts. If you want a weightlifting shoe with a versatility bias, I suggest looking into models like the Nike Savaleos or Inov-8 Fastlift 360.


To discuss the performance of the Do-Win Classic Lifter, I’ll cover how these shoes perform in various training contexts. I’ll discuss their performance for squats, weightlifting, and accessory exercises.

Since we all have different uses with our shoes, and in this case weightlifting shoes, hopefully, the following can help you cross-reference if the Do-Win Classic Lifter is a good fit for your training context.

Do-Win Classic Lifter Performance Overview

Testing the Do-Win Classic Lifter for Squats

For squats, the Do-Win Classic Lifter does a fairly good job under the bar. This model’s stability should be plenty fine for most lifters and their respective strength levels.

The stacked leather doesn’t compress whatsoever in this model and the rubber outsole has a good level of traction. Whether you’re squatting on rubber gym floors or wooden platforms, I don’t think you’ll experience slip issues in this model.

Do-Win Classic Lifter Outsole Construction

The midfoot security is also a perk of the Do-Win Classic Lifter for squats. If you like to really tighten your shoes for squats to create a more “locked-down” feeling, then I think you’ll enjoy the strap system in this model.

My two knocks against this shoe for squats are its width in the toe box and its slight toe spring. It’s hard to fully splay the toe in this shoe and it takes a while to break in so I could see its toe spring being frustrating for some lifters.

Testing the Do-Win Classic Lifter for Weightlifting

In the context of weightlifting, the Do-Win Classic Lifter is just “okay”. It’s a fine model for those who are more recreational nature with their weightlifting, but for those who compete, I don’t know if this model will be your best bet.

Do-Win Classic Lifter Suede and Mesh Upper

For example, I could see the heavier suede and mesh upper being annoying for weightlifters who are tackling longer sessions in hotter gyms. Your feet are going to run pretty in these shoes and their lack of width can make them pretty uncomfortable.

On top of this, I think the stiffness through this shoe’s toe box and its overall clunky feel could be a turnoff for some lifters who like lighter weightlifting shoes for faster foot turnover.

Do-Win Classic Lifter performance for lifting

That being said, if you like heavier weightlifting shoes that run stiffer, then I actually think the above will be a perk for you. However, for the lifters that love lighter weightlifting shoes with more articulation, I would say pass on this shoe and explore other models.

Testing the Do-Win Classic Lifter for Accessory Exercises

For accessory exercises like quad-biases leg presses and walking lunges, I’m not the biggest fan of the Do-Win Classic Lifter. Will they work, technically yes, but their performance leaves little to be desired in this context.

Do-Win Classic Lifter toe Box

The stiffness of the sole and low toe box volume limits your comfort when it comes to accessing deeper flexion through the toes. For example, when stepping in quad-biased lunges and split squats, I noticed my back foot getting really uncomfortable due to this.

The material of this shoe’s toe box can dig into the top of the toes, especially if you already find yourself limited with this model’s width. I’m also not the biggest fan of this shoe’s breathability when you’re wearing them for longer sessions and multiple accessories.

Do-Win Classic Lifter Sizing

In the Do-Win Classic Lifter, sizing can be interesting. On Rogue Fitness’s site, they mention that men and women should size down a half size from their normal tennis shoe size.

To be honest, I think the sizing is off for the latest iteration of the Do-Win Classic Lifter. I mentioned this above, but the normal Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes also have this issue, so I’m wondering if Do-Win updated these models recently.

Do-Win Classic Lifter Try On and Sizing

For the Do-Win Classic Lifter, I think most lifters will actually want to size up a half size or go true to size at a minimum. The length of this model runs a little short and they lack width through the toe box and have a low upper volume.

I have a neutral-width foot and my feet are screaming after an hour of training in the Do-Win Classic Lifter, and that’s going either barefoot or in super thin no-show socks. If I wear thicker socks, the sizing in this model is pretty unbearable.

  • Do-Win Classic Lifter Sizing Thoughts: Go up a half size, or true to size if you have narrow feet.

Do-Win Classic Lifter Sizing and Fit

If you have additional sizing and fit questions about the Do-Win Classic Lifter, or other weightlifting shoes for that matter, drop a comment below.

Price Breakdown

For the Do-Win Classic Lifter, you can expect to pay $130 USD. I’m hit or miss on their price point and if they’ll actually be worth it for most lifters and athletes. There is a niche give and take with these shoes, in my opinion.

I like that these shoes don’t cost upwards of $200 USD like the Reebok Legacy Lifter II and Nike Romaleos 4. That being said, I feel as though the Classic Lifter’s construction and performance could be reworked and improved.

Do-Win Classic Lifter Weightlifting Shoes

For example, I like the idea of the stacked leather sole. However, the sole in this model runs really stiff, so it takes a while to break this shoe in, and even then, I’m not convinced most lifters will enjoy the articulation this model’s toe box provides.

I also like the suede and mesh upper and how it delivers this “classic” look and vibe, but that comes at a big cost to breathability. The ventilation through the midfoot could be improved and also potentially brought into the toe box.

I think if you absolutely love the old-school look that the Do-Win Classic Lifter comes with, then this shoe could be worth it, especially if you want them for collection purposes. Performance-wise, though, this model is just “okay” for the price.

Do-Win Classic Lifter


Rogue Do-Win Classic Lifter Product Shot

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • Squats
  • Casual Weightlifting
  • Lifters That Love the Classic Look

Falls Short

  • For Wide Feet
  • For Forefoot Mobility
  • For Breathability

Construction Details

Below are some of the key construction details that influence performance and durability to know with the Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes. 

  • Effective Heel Height: 17mm-24mm or .66″-.94″ inches (varies based on size)
  • Weight: 21.45 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Suede and Mesh Upper
  • Dual Velcro Midfoot Straps (metal loops)
  • Full Rubber Outsole
  • Stacked Leather Heel and Sole
  • 6 Core Eyelets

If you have additional construction questions about the Do-Win Classic Lifter, drop a comment below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the effective heel height of the Do-Win Classic Lifter?

The heel height of the Do-Win Classic Lifter changes based on the size of the shoe you wear. For example, the heel height for this model ranges from 17mm or .66 inches for a size 4.5 to 24mm or .94 inches for a size 14.

Do the Do-Win Classic Lifter fit true to size?

Most lifters and athletes will want to size up a half size in the Do-Win Classic Lifter. On Rogue's site, they recommend going down a half size, I think their sizing is off and should be updated.

Are the Do-Win Classic Lifters good for squats?

In the Do-Win Classic Lifter, you get a nice level of stability for squats. The rubber outsole and stacked leather heel provide a nice level of traction and stability for heavy squats.

Takeaway Thoughts

The Do-Win Classic Lifter is an interesting weightlifting shoe. It’s not necessarily a bad weightlifting shoe, however, it falls short when it comes to performance compared to other models.

I like the classic look and feel of this shoe, and it can be a good pick for lifters that like stacked leather heels and heavier weightlifting shoes.

That being said, I’m not impressed with the Do-Win Classic Lifter’s performance and I think the sizing of this shoe could be improved.

If you have additional questions about the Do-Win Classic Lifter, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend).

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of That Fit Friend. He's often regarded to as a go-to resource in various performance shoe communities. He’s been formally reviewing shoes and training gear for over 7 years and has hand-tested over 400 pairs of shoes. Jake is known on the internet and YouTube for blending his review process with his educational, strength sports, and personal training background.

Jake has a Masters in Sports Science, a Bachelors in Exercise Science, a CSCS, and he's been personal training for over 10 years helping hundreds of clients get stronger, lose weight, and accomplish their goals. He uses his exercise science brain and personal training background to make curated and thoughtful review content on the fitness gear he's testing.

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