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OLYZE - Competition Winner Review

by Mark Burrell Crossfit Level 1 Trainer August 17, 2015

A few months ago we held a competition to win a pair of OLYZE shoe attachments. In return the winner was to WOD test the OLYZE and deliver a no-holds-bared verdict. Andrew was our winner and in his extensive review he captures the essence of the whys and hows of this great bit of gear.

The OLYZE fit a hole in the spectrum of exercise gear that I had been searching to fill for some time. I wanted a shoe that I could Oly-lift and OHS in yet also do sprints and rope climbs without damaging the shoe or my less than perfectly flexible ankles. Should I fork out for a $200 pair of lifters that gave me excellent stability for overhead work, and $180 pair of WOD shoes like Reebok Nanos or Inov8s that I could run, jump and climb in, then try and decide on what would be most appropriate before a WOD? Or is there a way I could somehow have a shoe that filled both needs?

The OLYZE thankfully presents a compromise. 

You can't have a shoe with the required stability for Oly-lifting and have the flexibility required for running. By simply adding in a detachable strong heel and a supporting strap, the runners can quickly adapt and become a surrogate Oly Shoe.

Sure they won't be as good as a pair of lifters, but then I'm not going to the Olympics and do 99% of my Oly lifting in the context of Crossfit. I don't need an Oly Shoe. Especially when for a fifth of the cost of say Romaleos, Adipowers or FastList 335s, I can get the same heel rise and support, which is really what I am after in a pair of lifters anyway.

The OLYZE meant I could spend the money on a pair of good all-round WOD shoes and then simply adapt them pre or even mid WOD for those aspects where I wanted that extra rise in the heel to obtain a good overhead position, such as in my snatch or OHS. I found the best compatible shoes to be the Nano 4, Nano 5 and my the Inov8 235s. The Metcons were simply too unstable, they have a high heel but no sideways stability and the high arch support just didn't allow for the Olyze heel to have good effect. Any shoe that is good for deadlifts, (i.e. a flat soled shoe with lateral support ) would be best to use (rather than something like Chuck Taylors or the Inov8 XF210 which, while being excellently flat, have little lateral support meaning the heel makes you more unstable).


I WOD tested the OLYZE with Nancy (OHS and running), Isabel (Snatch) and a 2RFT Clean ladder and rope climbs.

Nancy time  went from 17:53 down to 15:14 with the OLYZE.

On Isabel with the Olyze my time was down by 45 seconds and I felt less fatigued.

On the Ladder + climbs I was able to hit the final heavy weight and kick off the heels to get up the rope, where as without the Olyze I couldn't get the last weight and potentially wouldn't have been able to do the rope climbs as well in Oly Shoes.

  To address the more objective aspects of the Olyze:

They are pre-adjustable to your shoe size. You add in small red plates and screw the two sides of the heel together so they fit your shoe. Then you simply kick your heel in and out of them, appending the straps if you so wish (I would thoroughly recommend it as the heels dont stay on your shoe too well if moving around a lot).

-Positive - very little fiddling around to do once they have been sized. 

-Negative - Best to use them with one pair/ type of shoes only as different shoes have different heel sizes. Not a big deal though.


They are quick and easy to put on and take off. Just Kick in and out of them and fasten the velcro strap.

- Positive - Extra weight/stability during a WOD easily gained along side a few seconds rest.

- Negative - However those 5 seconds spent doing so can add up, and if you are seconds-conscious in terms of timing in a WOD, you should evaluate how much time/weight advantage you'll gain from the extra support.

Oly Shoe Support - almost. They give you good support, but only if you've got decent shoes to start with. Using my Bare XF210 they were a hindrance more than help. Using my Nano 5s, they are amazing, its like I'm in my lifters, except that I can discard them and head off to run without any worry.

- Positives - Can hit heavy C&J or Snatch comfortably.

- Negatives - You still need decent shoes, they aren't magic. Only thing I'd improve would be that the strap is a bit narrow, I'd prefer something wider to go over more of your foot to provide better stability.

Basically: if you want to Oly Lift - buy lifters. If you want to WOD and have Oly Lifter support, buy these. They are incredible value for money especially when compared to a new second set of shoes. In terms of a handy piece of gear to help transition between Oly Lifting and cardio, something that gives help when you need it so compliments your wrist wraps, lifting belt or hand guards, I'd rate these a necessity.


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Mark Burrell Crossfit Level 1 Trainer
Mark Burrell Crossfit Level 1 Trainer

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