The Nike Romaleos 4 versus the Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 are both popular weightlifting shoes for strength athletes and recreational lifters alike. Both of these weightlifting shoes deliver a strong performance across the board and if you’re deciding between the two, then you’re likely scratching your head wondering about their key differences.
From a topical view, the Nike Romaleos 4 and the Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 both have key similarities like TPU heels, additional mid-foot straps for security, and full rubber outsoles. However, when we pull the curtains back we can see a few more subtle and nuanced differences between the Romaleos 4 and Reebok Legacy Lifter 2s which could help suggest the shoe that would fit your needs best.
In this Nike Romaleos 4 vs Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 article, I’m going to discuss all of the key differences to know before investing in one of these weightlifting shoes.
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Nike Romaleos 4 Vs Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 Performance
To discuss the performance between the Nike Romaleos 4 and the Reebok Legacy Lifter 2, I’m going to discuss how each model performs for squats, weightlifting, and other recreational exercises where an elevated heel is desired.
Romaleos 4 and Legacy Lifter 2 for Squats
If you’re buying the Nike Romaleos 4 or the Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 for squats, then I think you’ll be happy with either model. They both offer TPU heels and their midsoles are both plenty stable to support your heaviest squat sessions. In both models, I’ve trained up to 430 lbs and they’ve been exceptional for that loading.
The Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 does have a slightly higher heel with a heel elevation of .86″ while the Romaleos 4 has a heel elevation of .75″. For most lifters, I don’t think you’ll notice a difference here, but if you are someone who is taller and wants a slightly higher heel to support your anatomy and form, then the Legacy Lifter 2 may be the better call for your needs.
Additionally, the Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 has a toe box that is just a touch wider than the Romaleos 4. Both toe boxes are fairly slim, but if you’re worried about having enough room, then you may also want to explore the Legacy Lifter 2.
For machines and other exercises where you want an elevated heel, I think you’ll enjoy both models. Both of these shoes have full rubber outsoles so they grip machine platforms well and the ground well if you’re doing more dynamic work such as quad-biased walking lunges. That being said, both shoes are great for recreational lifting and more casual lifters.
Winner: Tie. Both models are solid, but the Legacy Lifter 2s do have a tad more toe box room.
Reebok Legacy Lifter 2
- Accessories With an Elevated Heel
- Heel Height: 0.86″
- For Functional Fitness Workouts
Romaleos 4 and Legacy Lifter 2 for Weightlifting
In the context of weightlifting, I think there are two key factors that could help suggest which model you should go with. The first aspect is the width and size of each model. The Nike Romaleos 4 have a slimmer last construction which is similar to how the Nike Romaleos 3 fit.
That being said, the Romaleos 4 has a bit less toe box room compared to the Legacy Lifter 2 and the thicker upper construction doesn’t break in super fast. So, if you have a wider or flatter foot, then this shoe may feel uncomfortable especially when breaking them in. I noticed this most when catching weight in cleans and felt like my pinky toe was being smothered.
After about three weeks this model broke in a bit more and they were a tad more bearable, but that being said, I have a neutral foot and I don’t think the Romaleos 4 will be a good option for anyone with a foot width that extends past neutral. The Legacy Lifter 2 may be a better call in this context, plus, the upper has a bit more “give” to it so it does form fit the foot at a faster rate.
The other factor that may help you decide is the mid-foot security that comes with each model. Some lifters love having dual-straps while others are indifferent about their midfoot security. Both models provide the foot with a nice locked down feeling, however, the Romaleos 4 strapping system does hug the foot a tad tighter.
I think if you have a narrow foot or smaller foot anatomy, then the Romaleos 4 will be a really good call because you’ll never run into slip issues whatsoever during snatches and clean & jerks. I think and feel as though the Legacy Lifter 2’s midfoot strap can feel a tad limiting for this context and foot anatomy.
Winner: Go Nike Romaleos 4 if you have narrow feet and love dual midfoot straps, and go Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 if you have a neutral foot width.
Nike Romaleos 4
- Weightlifting (Snatch and Clean & Jerk)
- Exercises Where a Heel Wedge Is Desired
- For Wider Footed Athletes
- For Cost-Efficiency
Nike Romaleos 4 Vs Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 Construction
To discuss the construction of the Nike Romaleos 4 and Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 and make this section much more digestible, I’m going to go through and talk about specific areas on each shoe.
Each shoe has a full rubber outsole and the traction on each shoe is solid for both rubber gym floors, wooden platforms, and whatever surface your gym uses. Both models have a middle heel cutout where you can see the TPU heel through and this is nice because you do lose a little “bulk” with this feature without compromising stability.
The Nike Romaleos 4’s TPU exposed area runs up to the midfoot, which I do this gives this model a slightly more stiff feel especially when breaking them in. This model feels a bit more rigid and can feel a tad blocky when you’re first using them. They also have a heel construction that has a lateral and medial flare to increase heel surface area.
The outsole design of each model is both different as well with the Legacy Lifter 2 having a consistent ribbed material. The Nike Romaleos 4 has Nike branding and a varied line tread that breaks in the midfoot and changes consistency.
The midsole on each shoe is stable and they’re both fairly consistent with one another. The forefoot of each shoe has a rubber outsole wrap that helps protect the shoe from early breakdown and the material used in this portion of the shoe is firm and it never really runs into issues with compression even if you do come up on the toes for some reps.
The midfoot and heel are both enclosed with a TPU construction on each model. This gives this area on these shoes a very firm and hard feeling. The TPU used in each model is lightweight and neither has issues with compression whatsoever. Shoe companies will use TPU heels because they’re lightweight, stable, and durable.
- Nike Romaleos 4 Offset: .75″
- Reebok Legacy Lifter 2: .86″
The midsole construction in each model helps the shoe’s heel elevations feel a tad more natural as this construction aspect helps mitigate the flow of the offset difference between the forefoot and heel. Basically, the midsoles have a nice fit to them and they don’t feel blocky at any point especially through the midfoot like some models have.
The upper on each model is very different, but there are some similarities. For example, each shoe has layered materials and some areas have thicker materials to increase each shoe’s overall durability. In addition, each model uses mesh and other synthetic materials that are strategically placed per high and low-stress areas on the shoe.
The Nike Romaleos 4 has a mesh forefoot that has a 3D structure to it to protect the material from abrasion and friction. This material runs through the bottom of the midfoot and up to the heel. The midfoot and heel have a blend of materials layered to increase the stiffness and durability of this model.
The Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 has a layered mesh and synthetic blend of material throughout the forefoot and midfoot. The midfoot and heel have a thicker mesh material and the boot is a bit more padded to increase heel stability.
The boot on the Legacy Lifter 2 also has an additional TPU loop to provide additional boot security. Personally, I’m not sure if I notice this doing much, but it is nice to have and it doesn’t impact the shoe’s performance or fit whatsoever.
The strapping system used in each model is starkly different and it’s funny because each company flip-flopped when it comes to their strapping systems. The Reebok Legacy Lifter has a dual-strap system, then Reebok transitioned to the singular thick midfoot strap.
The strap used in the Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 is nice because it does adjust well and if you have high arches or thicker feet, then you can get a bit more length with the strap used in this model. Additionally, I like that the end of this strap has a plastic material to block the strap from coming fully out of its loop. The strap used in the Legacy Lifter 2 is nylon similar to a seatbelt’s material.
The Nike Romaleos 4 shifted from the dual-strap feature in the Romaleos 2 to the single strap in the Romaleos 3, and now they’re back to the dual midfoot strap. I like the dual-strap security used in this model and it actually feels somewhat similar to the Nike Romaleos 2 strapping system.
The straps used in the Romlaeos are rigid and they’re a bit stiffer in nature. They feel like a blend of materials and the bases in which they come out on the shoe are well made. Both models’ straps have constructions that allow you to tuck the laces under the straps without velcro destroying your laces.
As mentioned before, the Nike Romaleos 4 and Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 both have TPU heel constructions. The TPU wraps up the boot slightly on each shoe and helps to provide a stable base to train and the TPU also concaves slightly to limit overall shoe weight and the bulkiness of each heel.
Once again, the heel height of the Nike Romaleos 4 is .75″ which is similar to what the Nike Romaleos 3 offered. The Reebok Legacy Lifter 2’s heel height is .86″. One thing I did notice about the heel construction of the Romaleos 4 is that there are areas you can see the glute exposed which is kind of frustrating for how much you pay on this model.
Both models have removable insoles and the insole in each model is made with a thicker and more stable material. The Nike Romaleos 4 insole is their signature thick and stiff insole that they used in all of the Nike weightlifting shoes. There’s also a bit of midfoot support in this model with the stock insole it comes with.
The Reebok Legacy Lifter 2’s insole isn’t as rigid as the Nike Romaleos 4, but I don’t think many will notice any compression differences. In fact, I think this insole is a bit more comfortable especially for longer sessions.
If you plan to use your own insole in either of these shoes, the volume overall in both models is a bit limited. So, if your insole is thicker than the current insoles used, then this could definitely be a point of consideration if these shoes are worth it for your training wants and foot anatomy needs.
Nike Romaleos 4 Vs Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 Durability
Throughout all of my testing, I’ve enjoyed the durability of both the Nike Romaleos 4 and Reebok Legacy Lifter 2. Each model has quality construction with additional materials to support high and low-stress areas. For example, the upper in each model has layered construction in similar areas to one another for durability purposes.
The outsole, midsole, and heel construction of each shoe are all durable as well and I think if you wear these shoes specifically for your training sessions and take good care of them, then they should last you a while. This means taking them out of your sweaty gym bag after sessions and not wearing them for sessions outside of when you need them.
If you had a Nike Romaleos 3 and they broke down fast on you as mine did, then I don’t think you’ll have to worry about that whatsoever in the Romaleos 4. The Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 provides a similar level of durability as the previous Legacy Lifter.
If you have any questions about the durability of each of these shoes, feel free to drop a comment below or reach out to me personally.
Nike Romaleos 4 Vs Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 Sizing
The sizing in the Nike Romaleos 4 and Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 are slightly different. In the Nike Romaleos 4, the toe box is a bit snugger and the upper construction is tougher to break in. For this model, I’d suggest going up a .5 to full size for anyone with a wider or flatter foot.
In the Reebok Legacy Lifter 2, you’ll get a bit more width in the box than the Romaleos 4. However, if you don’t have a more narrow or neutral foot width, then you also may want to go up a .5 size in this model to play it safe. Check out where my big toe is in the shoes above, I wear a size 10 and both of these modes are size 10.
Note, the only caveat with sizing up in the Legacy Lifter 2 is that you can then be more prone to heel slip due to the midfoot strapping system.
Nike Romaleos 4 Vs Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 Sizing Thoughts
- Nike Romaleos 4: True-to-size for anyone with a narrow and neutral foot. If you have a wider foot and enjoy more toe box room, then you should size up a .5-1 size.
- Reebok Legacy Lifter 2: True-to-size for narrow and neutral-footed athletes.
For the Nike Romaleos 4 and the Reebok Legacy Lifter 2, you can expect to pay $200 USD for each model. Both of these weightlifting shoes are definitely not the most budget-friendly options.
While I think both shoes have adequate durability and they’re worth it, you can definitely save a little money if you shop around and look for older models or other cost-efficient weightlifting shoes like Rogue Do-Win, Adidas Powerlift, and Core Weightlifting Shoes.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q:Do I need weightlifting shoes for squats?
Q:Can beginners wear weightlifting shoes?
Q:What is the heel height of the Reebok Legacy Lifter 2?
Q:What is the heel height of the Nike Romaleos 4?
The Nike Romaleos 4 and Reebok Legacy Lifter 2 both deliver a strong performance across the board. Whether you’re tackling heavy squats, weightlifting, or CrossFit training sessions, I think you’ll enjoy the overall performance and durability of each of these shoes.
I do think some athletes may run into sizing and fit issues with these models, so I’d highly suggest checking out the sizing section before investing.
If you have any questions on the Nike Romaleos 4 or Reebok Legacy Lifter 2, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly).
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