One of the most challenging shoes to build for Beijing, the Nike Romaleos is a lightweight, flexible workhorse that can withstand the unique punishment that weightlifters put on their footwear. In a world championship event where a 300-pound man might lift 700 pounds, shoes play a critical role in an athlete’s performance and safety. The most revolutionary innovation in the Nike Romaleos weightlifting shoe is Nike’s exclusive “Power Bridge,” a contoured TPU heel wedge designed to support the foot and bear as much weight as a man can lift, without any compression or give. This technology provides a lightweight alternative to the wooden heel wedge that competitors have been using since the 1960s. The Power Bridge is also a technical advancement because, unlike a flat wood shim, it is contoured to cup the heel, providing stability and comfort under stress. The honeycomb-like system of trusses and bridges in the midsole has been engineered for ultimate strength, helping to ensure that an athlete’s weight stays forward during the intense jerking and lifting motion of competition. A first in Nike footwear design, heel heights have been graded to different elevations for the varying sizes and weight classes of Olympic athletes. This unique system is well-protected by a flat rubber outsole specially designed to minimize wear in the heel.