In case anyone will find this review useful... Anta Shoes In case anyone will find this review useful... Anta Shoes

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Thread: In case anyone will find this review useful... Anta Shoes

  1. #1
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    Default In case anyone will find this review useful... Anta Shoes

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    So in a couple of previous threads I alluded to the fact I needed a new pair of shoes. Long story short, the ones I was using had the metal ring used to tighten the straps break on one of the shoes... joy.

    So in looking around, I decided at first I was going to get some Romaleos. I had an acquaintance who had a pair that were the size that fit me, and I liked how they felt. BUT, I was looking around a bit and found out about the shoes I now own: The Anta Weightlifting shoes.

    So for some background: The Chinese WL team had been sponsored by Nike for a few years. Not sure of the exact timeline, but at some point that sponsorship broke apart and China switched to a Chinese company called Anta. Of course, this meant they'd prefer to use Anta gear, and in particular might want to avoid the former sponsor, but one wee problem... many of the Chinese lifters loved the Romaleos. So Anta stepped up and designed a new shoe that was... well, it was obviously "inspired" by the Romaleos to say the least. And by inspired, I mean the similarity is freaking obvious.

    Now recently a company called Hookgrip, who is a big fan favorite in the WL community, managed to strike selling rights with Anta for these shoes, albeit not with the Chinese team logos and such. It sells for $170 plus shipping, so a bit more than Romaleos go for if you can find the right seller, or else pretty much the same price point.

    So what made me want to check them out? A couple of things from others who have used them. First off, one of the interesting bits about Anta is that they didn't just wholesale copy the exact Romaleo design: they have a few tweaks, based in part on input from Chinese lifters.I'll discuss them below, but they seemed appealing. Second, there was some wonder if they were greater than the .75" heel height of the Romaleos. I am long legged, to say the least, so I wouldn't mind a bit more oomph in the shoe lift department.

    Having gotten these and actually had a chance to wear Romaleos at the same time to compare just earlier, here are some thoughts:

    - That McDonalds' colorway. I don't mind it, but... yeah. Hookgrip guy basically can't expect to break even, let alone profit, off individual orders of different colored Anta's, so don't expect any other color unless they take off like crazy and he can justify a bulk order.

    - That said, the most striking difference between the Romaleo and the Anta is this: The Romaleo is an amazing weightlifting platform. Clear thought was put into making the most of a footwear meant to fulfill the needs of a weightlifter.

    The Anta is all that, but with the added feature that the inventors and lifters involved wanted it to apparently function better as, well... a shoe. The upper is made of real leather, instead of the synthetic stuff of the Romas. Now, I doubt this is top grade full grain, but it is still much more comfortable and moldable than what Nike uses. The interior manages to be a bit more comfortable while still being snug and encasing. And in general, materials used just seem to be somewhat higher quality. Even the straps are better made, with the forefoot strap being the same leather and the metatarsal strap being thicker, wider, and perhaps better constructed than the Romaleos.

    - As for any more blatantly "utilitarian" features, there are a couple, I think. Number one is interior design around the heel. I find, at least for myself, the Nike could be better shaped to cup the heel more fully. Its snug, but sometimes I feel the snug is mostly from the lacing and straps. The Antas definitely feel like they were made to more fully fit around, and mold onto, the heel. So despite feeling more comfy because of the materials, it actually also feel tighter, more connected, and more like I have no chance of movement of the heel. I think it is mostly psychological, but its still there.

    - In the same way, the tongue of the shoe feels longer and more cupping, furthering the feeling of being locked in from heel to toe.

    - Since the top strap is wider, and the bottom is leather, the straps seem to be improved at their jobs. Whereas the Romaleo's straps do an excellent job of locking the foot, the Anta's manage to feel, quite simply, almost like a second layer of shoe. They not only tighten, but just seem to give more support in general without restricting anything further.

    - These are slightly even more weighty than the Romaleos, which are kind of (in)famous for their weight as WL shoes. I LOVE the feeling. The more I feel connected and pulled to the ground, the stronger I feel, especially for squats. But some may find it just pushes their particular boundaries for shoe comfort, and I know some love light shoes for, say, power cleans or even Olympic variants.

    - As for heel height... I don't think there is an increase. If anything, there may be a very slight increase in total heel height, but the effective height feels the same alongside the Romaleos.

    - One thing to note: The insole used by Hookgrip feels better than the "training" insole used by Nike, but I would still give top spot to the Nike "competition" insole. My acquaintance had a spare pair, so I am able to use them. If at all possible, see if you can snag those or some other, sturdier insoles. Heck, if anyone thinks they know of an insole better than the above, let me know. Since the shoe is more or less the one true "sport specific" piece of equipment needed for strength training (belts notwithstanding), I want to make sure nothing is suboptimal.

    Conclusion/TL;DR = So far, I would honestly say that the Anta just feels like the Romaleo II... 2.0. Barring any sudden defects in, like, a week, I suspect I'm going to like these quite a bit. Won't recommend them as such since I haven't ran them into the ground yet, but I would say it feels like a better shoe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allent View Post
    A little OT, but I used a keychain ring to replace the metal strap bracket on my shoes. Works well.
    ... That seems almost too easy of a solution.

    And MBasic, I forgot to mention those. Admittedly my perspective doesn't amount to much, but who knows. Maybe someone will find it useful.

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    i added video just for other additional info . . . and for everyone to see how ugly they really are. (lol)

    Getting a review from a person who's actually lifted in them is more useful than just pictures.

    Was thinking about getting for same reason: heel height. But now not going to waste time thinking about.

    I use the hard insole on the Romaelos . . . can't imagine anything fitting more snug (I think have narrow feet, I can crank the strap way down.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by MBasic View Post
    i added video just for other additional info . . . and for everyone to see how ugly they really are. (lol)

    Getting a review from a person who's actually lifted in them is more useful than just pictures.

    Was thinking about getting for same reason: heel height. But now not going to waste time thinking about.

    I use the hard insole on the Romaelos . . . can't imagine anything fitting more snug (I think have narrow feet, I can crank the strap way down.)
    I guess for me Romaleos fit "tight", whereas Antas fit "snug". Both are secure, but the Antas feel constructed to reduce any acute tightness. Its just a very nice, even shoe.

    And yeah, they are honestly pretty ugly. If I felt skilled at all, I'd seriously consider re-painting. I'd much prefer a black/silver or black/blue color scheme. But I am the exact opposite of smooth operator.

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    There's a guy in my gym who has a pair. I don't think they look ugly, but they do like a bit ... anime/cartoonish? But I suppose that's far from the main concern from a weightlifting shoe.

    Overall the heel definitely does look higher than average, although that may possibly be due to the aesthetics of the shoe. However, I am sure that many weightlifters have been complaining that the current crop of 0.75" effective heel height shoes are too low, hence why the new Adidas Leistung shoe (replacement for the Adipowers) has a higher heel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun View Post
    There's a guy in my gym who has a pair. I don't think they look ugly, but they do like a bit ... anime/cartoonish? But I suppose that's far from the main concern from a weightlifting shoe.

    Overall the heel definitely does look higher than average, although that may possibly be due to the aesthetics of the shoe. However, I am sure that many weightlifters have been complaining that the current crop of 0.75" effective heel height shoes are too low, hence why the new Adidas Leistung shoe (replacement for the Adipowers) has a higher heel.
    Hah! Speaking of cartoonish, its not like the Leistung has room to talk. Seriously, is this to get ready for the first Olympics IN SPAAAAAACCCCCEEEE...

    I'm honestly definitely not sold on a greater effective heel height. But I am otherwise sold on it being an amazing shoe. Also, is 0.75" a recent heel height? I figured that was what it has been for a while. But yeah, looking at the WL community and you can definitely tell there is an increasing realization that many, if not most, are going to want more heel height if they plan to keep upright during the recoveries.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daverin View Post
    Hah! Speaking of cartoonish, its not like the Leistung has room to talk. Seriously, is this to get ready for the first Olympics IN SPAAAAAACCCCCEEEE...

    I'm honestly definitely not sold on a greater effective heel height. But I am otherwise sold on it being an amazing shoe. Also, is 0.75" a recent heel height? I figured that was what it has been for a while. But yeah, looking at the WL community and you can definitely tell there is an increasing realization that many, if not most, are going to want more heel height if they plan to keep upright during the recoveries.
    I've never measured but I feel like my 2004 silver Adistars are under 0.75", at least to my eye. Now I'm curious. I'll measure when I get home.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daverin View Post
    I'm honestly definitely not sold on a greater effective heel height. But I am otherwise sold on it being an amazing shoe. Also, is 0.75" a recent heel height? I figured that was what it has been for a while. But yeah, looking at the WL community and you can definitely tell there is an increasing realization that many, if not most, are going to want more heel height if they plan to keep upright during the recoveries.
    I don't know, to be honest. Obviously there is some variation in heel heights among different brands. In the UK, it's only really Adidas and Nike that I really see anyone wearing (you Americans seem to have much more choice). My Ironwork 3s have an effective heel height of 1", whereas my Adipowers (shoe for the 2012 Olympics) sit lower with a visibly lower lift (an effective heel height of 0.75"). I thought that both the Romaleos and Adipowers have the same heel height. Whereas many weightlifters seemed to have preferred a higher heel in order to assist with remaining more upright, hence the direction that the new Adidas shoes were heading (and this might also help answer why the older Adistar shoes were so sought after).

    Just my thoughts, of course, and heel height doesn't matter to many. But I think for some of us it is quite important in a shoe, in that too much makes it difficult to perform the lifts to the SS model, and too little is not effective enough to warrant buying such a shoe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun View Post
    My Ironwork 3s have an effective heel height of 1"...
    Woah. You serious? I can't even imagine that the WL community would have asked for a rather significant (for what the height is) drop from 1" to .75". For crying out loud, most Chinese lifters are vitruvian models for WL proportions, and its not uncommon to see them with an added heel to whatever is standard for a given shoe because the fact is more heel height is needed to hit the best positions. Meanwhile, any shoe that is marketed with as little a boost as to .8" or .85" becomes a hot topic because of how rare it is to find a shoe bigger than .75", especially amongst the big name brands.

    To be honest, I do have another pair of shoes coming my way from Risto, but that one was a gift... and because I asked for a different color than the particular shoe normally comes in, has been a VERY long wait. Which is why I decided to get another shoe to replace the previous one, and figured the Anta being about the same price as the Romaleo meant I might as well go that way. But a big part of their brand has been the added effective heel height, so I can't imagine anything about .75" is, or has been, exactly common amongst the competition calibre shoes.

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