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Nike Romaleos 4 Review | Better Than the Nike Romaleos 3?

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The Nike Romaleos 4 are the fourth model to debut in the popular Nike Romaleos weightlifting shoe line. The Nike Romaleos 4 were released in early 2020 and has quickly become one of the most popular weightlifting shoes for weightlifters, CrossFit athletes, and recreational lifters alike.

Compared to the Nike Romaleos 3, the Nike Romaleos 4 have a bunch of construction updates that are reminiscent of the super popular Nike Romaleos 2.

Overall, I’ve really enjoyed training in the Romaleos 4 and they’ve become one of my favorite weightlifting shoes for tackling heavy squats. However, they do have a couple of performance flaws which we’ll discuss below.

If you want weightlifting shoes that have a narrower width and stable construction then the Nike Romaleos 4 can be a great option. This shoe’s upper is secure and the dual straps lock the foot down well for big lifts.

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Who Should Invest In the Nike Romaleos 4?

If you’re an avid weightlifter or recreational lifter wanting to utilize a weightlifting shoe for squats and your lower body sessions, then the Nike Romaleos 4 are a good call for you. This model features a dual-strap construction and a rigid midsole and outsole for supporting your heaviest lifts.

The Nike Romaleos 4 come with a 20mm (.75″) heel elevation and they’re a weightlifting shoe that should last a while if you take good care of them. Their appearance is a hit for me and I’m a fan that Nike brought back the dual-strap construction in this model.

Conversely, I don’t think the Nike Romaleos 4 are for everyone. For example, their price point could be better, so they may not be the best option for those on a tight budget. Also, the toe box is fairly tight in this model, so wider and flatter-footed athletes may find them a bit snug.

Nike Romaleos 4


nike romaleos 4

Best For

  • Weightlifting (Snatch and Clean & Jerk)
  • Squats
  • Exercises Where a Heel Wedge Is Desired

Falls Short

  • For Wider Footed Athletes
  • For Cost-Efficiency

Nike Romaleos 4 Pros

Personally, I’ve really enjoyed training in the Nike Romaleos 4 and I think they’re a step in the right direction (back towards the 2s) when you compare them to the Romaleos 3. Below are my top pros with the Romaleos 4.

  1. Reworked Outsole Construction
  2. Dual-Straps Provide Adequate Security
  3. Stable Under Every Load
  4. Durable Upper Construction

The first that I like about the Nike Romaleos 4 is their outsole construction and how Nike is experimenting with a different shape and design. Compared to other weightlifting shoes that have rounded heels, the Romaleos 4 has a rigid and wide heel which I personally enjoy for overall stability reasons.

nike romaleos 4 heel construction

It’s not that the traditional weightlifting shoe heel and construction that we use is unstable by any means, but more so that I enjoy that Nike is trying something different. I could actually see the wider heel being useful for anyone that may have the feet roll inwards or outwards, and really want to focus on their heel remaining flat on the ground.

The second aspect that I like is that Nike brought back the dual-strap construction. Personally, I was a big fan of the Romaleos 2 strap system and it’s nice that Nike brought them back for the 4. This weightlifting shoe does a fantastic job at locking down the foot and I don’t think many will run into issues with slip at all.

nike romaleos 4 strap construction

I think the dual-straps give a wider variety of lifters the capability of really locking down the foot. Since we all have different foot anatomies, I feel like the singular mid-foot strap used in other models can be somewhat limiting for those with higher arches that may not need the additional support at the mid-foot, but instead higher and lower on the foot.

Another pro of this model is also the most commonly asked question about the Nike Romaleos 4, which is, “Are they stable?” To answer that question, yes the Nike Romaleos 4 are a fantastic shoe for supporting a wide spectrum of loads. Whether you’re an elite lifter or a beginner you shouldn’t have issues with the stability in this model at all.

nike romaleos 4 elevated heel

They feature a TPU heel and mid-foot construction and rigid rubber outsole so you’ll feel plenty grounded and never run into compression issues. The Nike Romaleos 4 heel height is 20mm (.75″) which is similar to other Nike workout shoes.

The final perk of the Nike Romaleos 4 is their upper construction. As a whole, the Romaleos 4’s upper construction is much more durable than the 3 out of the box. This model isn’t going to have the same tongue ripping issues that many experienced with the stock Romaleos 3 model.

nike romaleos 4 durability

Plus, the blend of mesh and synthetic overlays in this model provides a nice abrasion-resistant upper for withstanding friction from a variety of activities. I think if you take good care of this model and wear it only for your training sessions, then it should last you a while.

Nike Romaleos 4 Cons

In all of my tests, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Nike Romaleos 4, but there are a couple of pain points that I could see others having with this model.

  1. Toe Box Is Fairly Narrow
  2. Not the Most Budget-Friendly

The first drawback to the Nike Romaleos 4 is their toe box and overall width. In this model, the toe box is pretty tight and I think that will definitely be a limiting factor for lifters and athletes with wider feet or who enjoy having adequate room for toe splay. It’s somewhat ironic because the iconic Romaleos 2 had a fairly wide(r) toe box (for Nike’s shoe widths), then they brought in the Romaleos 3’s toe box and it seems that the 4 is even tighter despite many lifters complaining about the Romaleos 3 fitting too tight.

nike romaleos 4 toe box width and fit

In the Romaleos 4, the upper is tough to break in and there’s not a ton of volume in this shoe so that only adds to their limiting feeling if have a wider foot or need more volume in your shoes for inserts or anatomical reasons.

Another drawback to the Nike Romaleos 4 is their price. Yes, $200 USD is somewhat of an industry standard for newer and more premium weightlifting shoes, but it’s still fairly high objectively speaking.

nike romaleos 4 performance and price

I think if you’re someone trying to save a little money or you’re a beginner, then you can definitely save a little money by looking into more budget-friendly weightlifting shoes. To add to the higher industry standard price point, the Romaleos 4 rarely go on sale, so more than likely you’ll be paying full price if you’re planning to grab a pair.


To chat on the performance of the Nike Romaleos 4, I’m going to speak primarily on how they perform for weightlifting, squats, and accessory exercises where a heel wedge is desired.

nike romaleos 4 performance overview

Nike Romaleos 4 for Squats

If you’re investing in the Nike Romaleos 4 for squats, then I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. I’ve trained up to 425 lbs in this model and I enjoyed their performance, fit, and feel under this weight. The outsole is great for promoting a “grounded” feeling and I love the dual-strap construction for foot security.

I also enjoy the rubber outsole on this model and its ability to grip the ground on multiple surfaces. Whether you’re training on rubber mats or wooden platforms, you’ll have adequate grip in this model and there should be no issues with slippage during squat walkout or when grinding through heavier squats.

nike romaleos 4 for weightlifting

Nike Romaleos 4 for Weightlifting

For weightlifting, the Nike Romlaeos 4 are a solid model to look into. They provide a .75″ heel elevation which is somewhat the industry standard for weightlifting shoe heel height. I think this elevation will work well with a variety of athletes and I think it’s a good height for promoting strong mechanics in snatches and clean & jerk for many.

Similar to our squat section above, I think the star players for the Romaleos 4 in the context of weightlifting are their outsole construction and straps. If there’s ever a rep where your catch is a bit off, this shoe should provide enough traction and stability to quickly stabilize your base without fear of losing the lift (granted, they can’t magically fix very miss..).

Nike Romaleos 4 for Accessories

If you’re like me and you enjoy using your weightlifting shoe for accessory movements where a heel wedge is desired, then I think you’ll enjoy this model. Whether you’re attacking exercises like lunges, heels elevated cyclist squats, or machine work, then I think you’ll like this model.

nike romaleos 4 for squats

The big things for me when using a weightlifting shoe for accessories are that the shoe feels comfortable, remains on the foot when I’m stepping, and limits slippage on machine platforms like leg presses and hack squats. The Romaleos 4 check all these boxes with relative ease.

Nike Romaleos 4 Sizing

For the Nike Romaleos 4, you may want to size up a half size if you have neutral or wider feet. I have a more neutral foot and I found this model to be pretty tight in this toe box especially if I wasn’t wearing minimalist socks.

Personally, I don’t want to have to stress my sock choice in order for my shoes to feel good when going to train. That being said, I think if I went up a half size, then the foot of this shoe would be perfect. Conversely, if you have a narrower foot, then I think you’ll enjoy this model’s fit and I’d suggest going true-to-size.

Nike Romaleos 4 sizing and fit

If you have additional questions about the Nike Romaleos 4 sizing, please don’t hesitate to reach out or drop a comment below!

Nike Romaleos 4 Vs Nike Savaleos

If you’re thinking about investing in Nike weightlifting shoes and you’re not sold on spending the asking price of $200 USD for the Romaleos 4, then you’ve like looked into the budget-friendly Savaleos.

The Nike Savaleos cost $120 USD and have a few key construction differences compared to the Nike Romaleos 4. For starters, the Nike Savaleos have a much more “versatile” fit and feel to them. Basically, their outsole and insole construction is not as rigid as the Nike Romaleos 4.

nike romaleos 4 vs nike savaleos

Now, this isn’t to say they’re not stable by any means, but you can feel a clear difference between the models and that’s also why I recommend the Romaleos 4 for athletes and lifters that are a bit more serious with their training and compete in strength sports. Another difference is their shoe’s overall weight.

Another difference is the weight and security system of each shoe. The Nike Savaleos weigh a few ounces less than the Nike Romaleos 4 and they have a singular nylon strap that locks down the mid-foot. The Romaleos 4 have their dual-straps that cover the mid-foot.

If you’re a beginner, then I’d suggest going with the Savaleos. They’ll work well and you’ll save $80 USD, then as you progress through your lifting career you can always invest in a less budget-friendly pair of weightlifting shoes.

Nike Romaleos 4 Vs Reebok Legacy Lifter 2

The Nike Romaleos 4 Vs Leg Lifter 2 has been a hot question on a lot of athletes’ and lifters’ minds. With each shoe having a price point of $200 USD, their comparisons are best assessed per their construction and overall fit since they’re both not going to technically save you money.

nike romaleos 4 vs reebok legacy lifter 2

Comparatively, both of these shoes have a bias towards a slightly narrower toe box. The Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 does have a bit more room in the toe box so it will work for some neutral-footed athletes, but both of these models are pretty slim in regard to their widths.

Outside of their last construction and fit, the Nike Romaleos 4 have a heel elevation of 20mm or .75″ while the Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 have an elevation of 22mm or .86″.

nike romaleos 4 vs reebok legacy lifter 2 heel height

Despite having different mid-foot and strap constructions, both of these models provide plenty of foot security and if you get your sizing right, then you shouldn’t experience any slip in either model.

I will also say, the Reebok Legacy Lifter 2s are also much easier to break in especially in the toe box. The Nike Romaleos 4 took me a good two weeks to break in and get the toe box more form-fitting and maneuverable.

Construction Details

Below are some of the key construction callouts for the Nike Romaleos 4. Overall, I enjoy the construction of this model and think Nike made some positive moves compared to the Nike Romaleos 3, but these are not Nike Romaleos 2.

  • Heel Height: 20mm (.75″)
  • Weight: 20.1 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Full Rubber Outsole
  • Rigid Midsole Construction
  • Double Straps
  • Mesh and Synthetic Upper
  • TPU Heel

I’m optimistic that the 5, which are hopefully coming in the next year or so (based on when Nike rolls out new weightlifting shoes), will have some really great updates.

If you have any additional questions about the Nike Romaleos 4’s construction, drop a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the heel height for the Nike Romaleos 4?

The Nike Romaleos 4 have a heel height of 20mm which is .75 inches. This is similar to the heel height of the Nike Romaleos 3 and is somewhat of an industry standard for weightlifting shoes.

Can I use the Nike Romaleos 4 for heavy squats?

The Nike Romaleos 4 are a fantastic option for tackling heavy squats. They have a TPU heel and rigid midsole to promote overall stability even under your heaviest squats.

Can I use the Nike Romaleos 4 for CrossFit?

You can use the Nike Romaleos 4 in CrossFit workouts to an extent. I'd suggest limiting their use for weightlifting movement, squats, and other heel wedge-focused exercises and limiting their use in WODs that involve high-intensity exercise.

Takeaway Thoughts

When it comes to weightlifting and training there are a lot of things to like about the Nike Romaleos 4. I like that they brought back the dual-strap construction and that they implemented a new outsole construction to provide this shoe with a super stable base.

I think there are certainly areas that could be improved upon in the Romaleos 4 like the width of the toe box and some of the fine-tuned craftsmanship, but overall, I enjoy training in the Nike Romaleos 4.

If you have additional questions about the Nike Romaleos 4, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly)!

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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