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Nike Savaleos Review (2024) | Good First Lifting Shoe?

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The Nike Savaleos weightlifting shoes are a budget-friendly spin-off from the popular Nike Romaleos weightlifting shoes. Unlike the Romaleos, the Savaleos have a much more different feel. You can tell the materials are of a lower quality, for example.

A lot of my friends have asked me about the Nike Savaleos, and more specifically — if I think they’re worth it. After multiple workouts, I have a few thoughts on this shoe — some good, some bad.

When assessing the Nike Savaleos in my review process, I tried to keep in mind that beginners have different needs than the advanced lifter who’s worn every weightlifting shoe under the sun, and I kept that in mind with this review.

Savaleos Pros and Cons

Logo

Pros

  • Great weightlifting shoes for beginner lifters getting into heel-elevated shoes for squatting, clean & jerks, and snatches.
  • Good price point at $120 and it's often on sale costing around $100 or less which is super fair for a weightlifting shoe.
  • The TPU midsole is plenty stable for most lifting asks and the lower heel height is good for lifters who want less heel for squats.

Cons

  • This shoe fits pretty narrow throughout the toe box with a fairly uncomfortable toe break. Wide feet may want to pass on these.
  • The strap's long-term durability can be a little problematic for weightlifters that need shoes to last for long high-volume sessions.
  • This shoe can "feel" more budget-friendly and if you have the means then you may want to skip on these and get something more premium.

Nike Savaleos Summary

If you’re brand new to weightlifting shoes, then the Nike Savaleos can be a good option to explore. They have a budget-friendly price so they’re not a crazy investment and have a lower heel height compared to other popular weightlifting shoes which can be good for beginners.

To elaborate, an elevated heel will change your squat and lifting mechanics and this is why I reference the Savaleos as being a good option for beginner lifters who have never tried weightlifting shoes and typically lift in flat shoes.

Thus far, I’ve squatted 385 lbs in the Savaleos and have worked up to 245 lbs with clean & jerks in this model and their stability has been great. They don’t have as much “snap and ground feel” as other weightlifting shoes with wooden midsoles and harder TPU, but stability-wise, they should be plenty fine for most lifters.

At the end of the day, I think if you want a first pair of weightlifting shoes that are affordable and provide a good level of midsole stability then the Savaleos can be a good investment. Most lifters who only want a pair of shoes for squats and plan to rotate these shoes with other training shoes will get a long life out of these shoes, too. 

  • Effective Heel Height: 15mm (.65 inches)
  • Weight: 16.5 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Max Squat In This Shoe: 385 lbs
  • Width: Narrow/Medium
  • Sizing: Narrow/medium-feet, go TTS. Wide feet, go up a half-size

Nike Savaleos

$120

Nike Savaleos
4.1
Stability
4.3
Versatility
4.0
Durability
3.8
Quality
4.0

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • Beginner Weightlifters
  • Versatile-Style Training

Falls Short

  • For Maximal Training
  • For Long-Term Durability

Performance Assessment

The Nike Savaleos perform like you’d expect a budget-friendly weightlifting shoe to perform. Across the board, they do okay, but no aspects of their performance wowed me.

Nike Savaleos Performance

Using the Nike Savaleos for Squats and Weightlifting

In the context of squats, I’ve enjoyed the Nike Savaleos for the most part. They haven’t been my favorite weightlifting shoes to date, but they’ve done an adequate job for my back and front squat sessions where I was loading heavier.

Thus far in this shoe, I’ve squatted up to 385 lbs and at that weight, the TPU midsole provided plenty of stability for my needs. I’ve also had friends and lifters in my YouTube community use these for 500+ lb squats and they’ve been fine for their needs. I really can’t see a scenario where this shoe’s stability is a true hindrance to squat performance.

Using and Testing the Nike Savaleos for Squats

For weightlifting, the Savaleos have been fine, but I’m not the biggest fan of this model’s toe break and midfoot strap. The break in this shoe’s forefoot can feel a little aggressive at times and with its upper construction, I had a little pressing into the top of my foot when breaking this shoe in.

If you have thicker and wider feet I think you’ll notice this a lot, and if you like more flexible forefoot constructions then I’d look into options like the Fastlift Power G 380 from Inov8.

In the context of the strap construction, I don’t love velcro and the material used in this shoe. I wish Nike would extend the velcro so you have a bigger surface area for the strap to grip. My strap’s velcro has gotten less aggressive after about a year and a half of use, which sure isn’t the biggest deal, but it’s an easy adjustment for future models.

Using and Testing the Nike Savaleos for Weightlifting

For weightlifters who are using these shoes for longer sessions at higher volumes, this is where the strap’s long-term durability can be problematic, in my opinion.

Using the Nike Savaleos for “Versatile” Training

The one area that I do think this model excels in over other weightlifting shoes is its ability to be versatile. I’m not a fan of leaving on weightlifting shoes to tackle versatile bouts of training, but if you are someone who doesn’t want to change shoes, then I think this model is a good bet for versatility.

The more responsive and cushioned insole gives this model a bit more of a forgiving feeling when doing bounding activities, so the versatile athlete who likes wearing their lifters for everything will enjoy this aspect, in my opinion.

Using and Testing the Nike Savaleos for Leg Days

Pros Expanded

Overall, I’ve found three key pros that come along with the Nike Savaleos.

  1. Budget-Friendly
  2. Outsole Construction
  3. Good Beginner Model

The first pro is their price point. The Nike Savaleos cost $120 brand new and you can often find them on sale, which is a stark difference compared to the Nike Romaleos weightlifting shoe line that starts around $200. For the budget-friendly shopper, this price point is awesome, especially when you consider that most pairs will last a while.

The second aspect that I like about the Nike Savaleos is their outsole construction. I like the traction that the outsole provides in this model, and the extended medial and lateral forefoot lips give this weightlifting shoe a very stable feeling.

White and Gold Nike Savaleos Outsole Construction

The final pro that I think the Nike Savaleos have going for them is their beginner-friendliness. A lot of beginners tend to be hesitant about dropping $200 for a new pair of weightlifting.

Plus, if you’ve never lifted in an elevated heel, then some weightlifting shoes can feel pretty awkward to acclimate to and there are a handful of lifters who may find they don’t love squatting in elevated heels after trying them.

With their lower price point and heel (which is said to sit around .65″ like the Adidas Powerlift 5, I think the Nike Savaleos is a good option for the beginner or casual lifter who wants to try an elevated heel during their training sessions.

Cons Expanded

With budget-friendly shoes, you generally see construction quality dip, and that sentiment stands true in the Nike Saveleos. I have three cons with the Nike Savaleos.

  1. Lack of Heel Height
  2. Strap Durability
  3. Meh Construction

The first con, and pet peeve, I have with this model is that Nike doesn’t list the heel height for this shoe on their product page. I find that to be annoying because then you’re making athletes, lifters, and reviewers, guess a heel height. In my opinion, this is a detail that should be provided in a standard manner for weightlifting shoes.

Another drawback to this model is the strap construction. The velcro surface area is pretty limited on this model, and I think if you have higher arches and want to pull this model tight, then you might run into some security issues due to the limited velcro. Less velcro also tends to break down faster due to dirt and dust getting into the velcro’s hooks.

Nike Savaleos Strap Construction

The final con that I have with this model is its overall construction. If you’ve ever worn a nice pair of weightlifting shoes, then I think you’ll notice pretty quickly that this model feels fairly cheap.

Sizing and Fit

If I had to compare this model’s sizing and fit with another weightlifting shoe, then I think the most similar feeling model is the Nike Romaleos 3. This model fits a bit tighter in the toe box, which I think can be both a good and bad thing depending on how you want your shoes to fit.

If you’re someone who likes a more “athletic” fitting shoe that hugs the forefoot fairly tight, then you should go true to size. And for my friends that want a bit more toe box room, then the move will be going up a .5 size.

Construction Details

Below, I’m going to list out some of the construction details that I’ve noticed and assessed with the Nike Savaleos. 

  • Nylon Strap
  • TPU Heel Wrap
  • Rubber Outsole
  • Polyurethane/Mesh Upper
  • Mesh Tongue

Takeaway Thoughts

Overall, I think the Nike Savaleos have a few areas where they excel and I think there a few niche populations that will benefit really well from them. With more budget-friendly shoes, I feel like it’s normal to see construction elements dip a little bit, but again, it’s tough to beat the price of this model.

That being said, if you’re a beginner or recreational lifter, then I think you’ll enjoy the Nike Savaleos. For the more advanced athlete, I think the move is opting for a high-quality weightlifting shoe.

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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