Velaasa Strake Weightlifting Shoes Review
For the past week I have had the opportunity to try out a brand new weightlifting shoe. It’s just starting to surface on social media and it had some interesting points but like many other early startups, is this another company that is just piecing something together for a quick buck, or is this finally a new shoe worth lifting in. Today, we are going to discuss the Velaasa Strake.
First lets start with some Viking metal for the theme music :)
Now let’s introduce the Company, the mission and the vision.
Velaasa is a team of athletic professionals who rally for track and field athletes at all levels across the nation. Velaasa is working to reshape the track and field industry by introducing new track-specific footwear, new forms of athletic support and new ways to consume track and field content. Founded in 2012 by Lynden Reder, what was initially a product development company quickly turned into track and field organization with a goal to reshape the way the industry supports and drives success for its athletes, coaches and fans.
At a Glance
On my first look coming out of the box, these were some damn good looking shoes and to follow that up, each day I wear them to them gym I get at least two people coming over asking what they are and complimenting on the look. Overall, this shoe is a big winner in aesthetics and further down I talk more in-depth about Velaasa’s attention to detail.
A Mile in My Shoes
After about a week of workouts in the Strakes I can say overall, I am pleasantly surprised and very happy with the performance of the shoe. I cannot, and no one really can at this point, account for longevity as the shoe was released earlier this year (2018) but from what I can say, I believe this shoe is built well.
The construction of the shoe feels solid with a decent amount of sturdiness and I feel stable with good mobility when pushing off my toes. When receiving the bar, there is no wobble in the shoe and I feel planted and powerful. This also might have to do with the heel height “feeling” a little bit more than other shoes. I am not sure by how much or if it is just how the shoe is designed but I do feel more pitched and I love it.
The inevitable question of sizing always comes into play. I spoke to Velaasa and gave them the sizes of all the shoes I have worn so here is what I can tell you so far. If you have an Adidas shoe and its the perfect fit, go with that size. If it is a Nike R2 and its a little loose, maybe a half size up. It will feel tight at first but the shoe will break in. I would also advise you to wear thin socks over thicks socks if this is the case. I don’t have wide feet and the toe box is a bit squarish but this is working fine with my foot as it is.
The weight of the shoe I would say is heavier than Adidas but not as heavy as my Nike Romaleos 2’s. Weight hasn’t ever been much of an issue to me but if you want the lightest shoe possible, this wont be it.
Now what about the wooden heel!!!!! I haven’t mentioned it yet because if all the other aspects of the shoe were shite, it wouldn’t matter one bit. But now that we know it’s a pretty good shoe, let us discuss.
The wooden heel is a nice touch and what seems to be a missing component to any shoe out there now they have all opted for more affordable and cheaper plastics. The heel has a solid connection to the floor, a great sound when landing, and a great old school look that once the shoes break in, they will be amazing. They do offer custom engraving which is a nice touch as well.
Nuance and Attention to Detail, Monsters, and Magic
There is a consistent aspect around the design of the shoes that I find very interesting. After personally testing big name brand shoes as well as other smaller but specialized brand shoes, one key point that makes Velaasa stand out over all of them is their attention to design and detail.
On the bottom of each shoe is its own nordic magical stave. On the right heel is the Gapaldur and on the left toe is Ginfaxi. Commonly used in Viking wrestling, they are also valid to be used in any type of combat. Both have to be present to ensure victory.
Now whether or not these make you lift more weight, I haven’t tested that out yet but I will take all the help I can get. Let’s just hope WADA doesn’t add “runes” or “staves” to their list.
Next up we have the logo itself. Looking like something of a cross between a Viking rune and the letter V, it actually has its design elements coming from the shape of a medal that is won in an event.
Lost but not least we have the Velaasa icon, the Draaken. Consider it a bow spirit of sorts on the front of a Viking ship, or in this case, on the front of my shoes and on the soles.
The effort into imagery, design, and storyline certainly show. While it is a shoe I am enjoying, even if you are not a weightlifter, I think anyone could appreciate the time it took to put all of these nuances together.
Now I am not the first to review this shoe, so to share, here is another review that was more about the “specs” and I liked what they had to say.
Overall, this is a great weightlifting shoe that has a lot to offer. While it still is a new shoe to the market it shows great promise and the remaining questions about it can only be told through time and use. I can’t imagine what they would need to do to update the shoe but I am sure if they do, I will be impressed again. Congrats Velaasa! Lets see how the rest goes!
About the Author and Disclaimer
I have been writing weightlifting equipment reviews off an on for 4 years now.This gives me the ability to say what I want and how I would like to say it.
I have not been paid for this review. I do this on my own time to provide insights to weightlifters as many of the products made for olympic weightlifting are not widely available in retail stores for a more educated purchase. My opinion is unbiased and true.