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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Why Risto Sports weightlifting shoes are the best for you

A lot of people ask me about weightlifting Shoes and what makes Risto Sports so special, so here is a brief synopsis:

It's an unbeatable deal:
Best performance
Best caliber materials - leather and wood beat vinyl and plastic any day, and our leather is better than any cheap brand's leather
Made in the Americas
Fair trade conditions of our workers
Great price 
Most flexible toe box for jerks
Light weight, dynamic 
Sturdy heel with lots of support
Upper molds or my our foot
Lasts longer with reasonable care 
Best independent reviews, many independent blogs as well as magazines
Style 
Designed by actual weightlifters and weightlifting experts
They are worn at every level of competition, including the Olympics
Risto Sports Weightlifting shoe , Oly Shoe , weight lifting shoe

Shoe to shoe Risto always wins
When athletes try on our shoes and compare them to their current pair, overwhelmingly, lifters always remark how much more stable, comfortable our shoes.  Performance wise, people find them to be the most wearable. They find the shoe are light, provide solid footing, and flexible.

When taken care of, the shoes last. 
Just look on Instagram. There are, overwhelmingly, a large number of posts and comments about how long people have had their Ristos. Some over 5 years.  Like any high quality shoe, yes, you can destroy them if you try, and we do design them for performance before durability. The people who have gotten the most out of their shoes wear the shoes only for lifting in the gym.  

Made in the Americas by an American weightlifting company
Every shoe purchased does good in the economy. It is a nice side bonus; almost like buying a guilt free shoe.

So why would anyone wear other shoes- sociology of weightlifting shoes
Social convention. Fear.  Because they are told to. Jealousy. unknowns.

Social convention and fear
Many people who came to the weightlifting  and crossfit community in the last few years are completely new to lifting.  Most do not have any weightlifting equipment experiences on which to base their opinions. In effect, people will buy a shoe of a brand for which they already own a sneaker or tennis shoe, because it feels safe.

 But does that really make sense? There are two large brands that sell weightlifting shoes - one is a running shoe company, the other is a soccer shoe company- this implies that weightlifting shoes are not their core market or expertise.  For example,  neither has put a famous weightlifter in nationally run US ads in any recent year.  Do you want to buy a extremely specialized shoe for a very technical sport from a company that is a non-specialist?

It's sort of like buying a musical instrument:  you can buy a mass produced instrument, that everyone else has,  by a company that makes almost every type of instrument for schools, which probably has mediocre sound, or you can buy a high end brand that specializes in artistically making the same instrument, and is actually in the same price range as all other options.

The "big brands are safe" mentality also manifests itself in reviews. In some reviews, the author will clearly write a run-away win on Risto, yet downplay how much we out-shined other brands in the star or point rating of the shoes. In most cases, it is for fear of looking foolish. Its socially acceptable to say that the Risto's are better than a billion dollar brand, but not acceptable to say we wipe the floor with a billion dollar brand-- even if we've been in the shoe business longer than said billion dollar brand. It's like how all the small cafes in downtown Portsmouth, NH are ten times better than any Starbucks in the area, yet tourists are afraid to say the little whole in the wall cafe they just went to is actually better than Starbucks, which is like the gold standard for coffee.

Specifically, what makes me cringe most in reviews is when a reviewer writes that the fact we have been around less time than a billion dollar brand as a negative; again, we have been in the weightlifting shoe business longer than some of these brands. Further, this is about buying a weightlifting shoe- not a car- most people will buy another pair in 6 months to a year out of style desires, not necessity.

"you gonna do what they told ya?"- Rage Against the Machine

A few years ago, the really cool, edgy thing about Crossfit was that it was the antithesis of something really corporate. It was the antithesis of every commercial, corporate, chain gym on the planet. Crossfit was like this exclusive country club or secret society of people who liked to lift weights and be badass vs doing mundane, typical stuff that working people do for fitness )like golfing, cardio machines, tennis).  It was a culture that couldn't be bought.  Crossfit people like grass fed beef because of the Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio. CrossFit people love paleo, whole foods, high quality foods.  This means they support fair trade, organic, buy local, and independent brands.

This is a large part of why Crossfitt people love Risto Sports.  Yes, its true; our most loving, loyal part of our customer base are crossfitters!! We fit so in-line with their esprit du corps.

With the large number of new Crossfits and corporate sponsorship of the games, some of that culture is diluted.  Members will buy the product offering of the corporate sponsor namesake.  Even newer members will buy what other members are wearing, so as not to stand out, even though most crossfit clothes/shoes are bright and stand out.   At the games level, games athletes exclusively compete in the sponsors' products. 

Jealousy
This is the first epoch in history where many people can actually make a living off of Olympic weightlifting. The opportunity to do this pre-2008 was few and far between because the market was just too small. So, the market is expanding and competition is increasing.

Sometimes we send great lifters free stuff to compete in, sometimes their teams shut that down. Why? I don't know. In every case, none of these athlete's team's sold their own line of singlets and shoes.  This does irritate me as we can only send a few deserving athletes supplies.

Sometimes people just flat out hate on the internet. In most cases, it is some one who has a gym in our area and invents a story to make themselves seem more important. When, really, would it not make more sense to work with us and reap the rewards of building a weightlifting community. 

Well, our results speak for themselves.




5 comments:

Nicki said...

Hi Gwen - I recently stumbled upon your blog while searching for custom lifting shoes. I'm a very petite adult CrossFitter and after 2.5 years, I know it's time to get myself some proper lifting shoes. However, at 4'10" and 83 lbs, my foot is very narrow and small (usually a US size 4.5-5, I'm pretty much an exact European 36) and I have not been able to fit into any commercially-made lifting shoes that I've tried on. If there is any chance you could help me with a pair of youth custom shoes, that would be fantastic! Please contact me at nickiosborn [@] gmail [.] com. (I could not find an email address for you on your blog.) Thank you!

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Risto Sports,Order at:

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info@ristosports.com

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