Velaasa Strake Review (2024): The New Adidas?

July 12, 2023

This review is based on my 20 years of competitive International experience in the sport of Weightlifting and my last 2.5 years training for the Tokyo Olympics in my Velaasa Strake shoes.

The Velaasa Strake Weightlifting shoe is a new player in the market. Nike and Adidas no longer have such a dominant hold on the Weightlifting shoe market, with more companies getting in on the action with their own versions.

This has been spurred on by the previous rapid growth of CrossFit, with more athletes outside of the competitive Weightlifter opting for "lifters" for their Weightlifting and strength training.

Velaasa is a unique addition to the vast array of Weightlifting shoes available, being one of the only shoes with a wood heel. The company develops footwear, apparel, and training gear for Olympic athletes.

So, let’s dive into what makes the Velaasa Strake so unique compared to other Weightlifting shoes.

My Thoughts As An International Weightlifting Athlete


  • Retro wooden heel to minimize some impact and give an authentic feel to the platform
  • Solid build and material leave you feeling secure under the bar
  • Slightly higher heel than standard making it easier to hit depth
  • Cheaper than Nike and Adidas when using discount code


  • Not the best for lifters with very wide feet
  • Need to buy 1/2 a size up as they run slightly small

Velaasa Strake Summary

Overall, these shoes are great. The retro wooden feel in a modern Weightlifting shoe is a unique feature you can't readily find.

I highly recommend this shoe if you're a competitor looking for a premium Olympic Weightlifting shoe. Velaasa has Olympic athletes in mind, and regardless of your level, you can benefit from this high level of craftsmanship. It's why we've ranked it the best Olympic Weightlifting shoe.

Overall Rating: 
4.5/5 stars





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Velaasa Strake Weightlifting Shoes

Velaasa Strake Review


Velaasa Weightlifting Shoes

No information is readily available regarding the weight of these shoes, so I weighed them myself. Both shoes came to 900 g (31.7 oz) or 450 g (15.9 oz) separately, similar to the Nike Romaleos and Adidas Adipowers.

Compared to my second pair of Weightlifting shoes, Inov8 Fastlift 370 BOA, Velaasa is slightly heavier. Inov8s are only 500 g (17.6 oz) for both shoes or 250 g (8.8 oz) for each shoe which is the lightest I've ever used.

These weights correspond to a US size of 6.5/8 for men and women.

This weight difference doesn't bother me, however. The extra weight makes me feel more solid.

Heel Height

Velaasa Strake Heel Height

The standard heel height for Olympic Weightlifting shoes is usually around 0.75”. Velaasa Strake have a slightly higher heel at 0.86”. A higher heel allows you to load the quads through a greater range of motion at the knee while minimizing the need for extended ankle mobility.

For those of you who have ankle mobility restrictions and struggle to maintain good upright postures during the lifts, these shoes are a perfect fit to address these needs.

Taller lifters will also benefit from these Weightlifting shoes as longer femurs mean a greater range of motion at the ankle is needed. A higher heel will instantly fix these issues.

Heel Construction

Velaasa Strake Weightlifting shoes are one of the very few with wooden heels. Asics TOW 727 is another pair that comes to mind, and many of the old-style shoes are no longer in production.

Wooden heels are known to take some of the impact when performing Weightlifting movements compared to plastic heels. Those of you who are older may benefit from a wooden heel to minimize these impacts.

Under the wooden heel is a thin layer of rubber, so you have a good grip on the platform. They are engraved with a diamond pattern for extra friction and grip when performing the lifts.

When testing with a durometer gauge, it reads 97 on a scale of 100. The higher then number, the harder the material.

Shore Durometer Rating

This is one of the hardest heels in a Weightlifting shoe and is vital for competitive Weightlifters to maximize performance on the platform.

Soft rubber heels in many CrossFit Weightlifting shoes are unsuitable for competitive Weightlifting since soft rubber disperses force unevenly.

Hard heels allow the most force to transfer through the floor directly to the foot and up the legs. A simple visual is bench pressing on a flat bench or Swiss ball. You can’t bench as much weight when using a Swiss ball because force is not directed vertically but at different angles to stabilize.

Shoe Material

Velaasa Strake Weightlifting Shoes

The primary material used for the upper part of the shoe is the synthetic leather. This leather is thick and provides ample support for all Weightlifting movements.

Once you get to the ankle, the material is a softer fabric for comfort, and the tongue is a soft mesh which is great as it's not noticeably in the way.

The stitching is robust, and there's no way they'll start to come apart. The way the sole is glued to the upper shoe leaves no gaps to start falling apart. I've been using and competing internationally in my Velaasa's for years, and they haven't shown any signs of falling apart.

They also bend nicely through the toe area, so there is no stiffness when performing a split jerk like the old first-generation Nike Romaleo model, which was stiff as hell.

Foot Straps

Velaasa Strake Sizing

The shoe is so snug that I don't even use the foot strap. The one strap is there over the mid-foot, just in case you need it.

There is no need for a second strap over the toe box as they are designed to be snug and prevent slipping and movement.


If you are after fancy colors, you may be slightly disappointed. They only come in black or white as a base, with blue and red trimmings.

Every now and then, they will come out with amazing designs that no other shoe manufacturer has come close to.


I've put these shoes through an absolute beating throughout my years of competitive Weightlifting. Double-day training, international travel with them in my hand luggage, and competing on the international stage.

They have held up just as well as any other Weightlifting shoe. There are no cracks in the wood, and none of the stitching or glued areas show any signs of falling apart. The laces are still in excellent condition.


My Velaasa strakes are my normal shoe size. However, they run a little small. I have recently ordered new Velaasa Strake's a whole size up. These fit perfectly.

I recommend buying a half to whole size bigger than your normal shoe size, depending on how snug you like your Weightlifting shoes.

Comfort And Fit

While constructed with solid material, these shoes are very comfortable. They fit very snugly around my skinny feet, which has been perfect for me.

Interestingly, my husband has wide feet and found the Romaleo 2's the best option as he couldn't get his feet into Adidas Adipowers. But he found the Velaasa Strakes, while having a smaller toe box, still fit very well for his wide feet.

So, these shoes will likely fit you unless you have very wide feet.


Velaasa strakes are slightly more expensive than the top-of-the-line Nike and Adidas shoes at around $249. So for price, these are a no brainer for the wooden heel alone.


Velaasa strakes are for competitive Weightlifters looking for any slight advantage they can get. They have a hard wooden heel designed to maximize force transfer from the platform up your legs.

Considering they fall in line with other premium Weightlifting shoe prices, choosing a shoe designed for performance with a wooden heel is a no-brainer.

Velaasa Strake Weightlifting Shoes

About the Author

Mona is a Bronze Medalist at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. She has been competing Internationally for 20 years in the sport of Olympic Weightlifting and has also been African Champion, Commonwealth Champion, and the youngest South African Weightlifter to compete on the International stage.

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