Author Archives: Risto Sports

Risto Sports 2013 Dream Team to Compete at Arnold this weekend in Columbus, Ohio

This Saturday and Sunday, watch Risto Sports’ all star team compete at the Arnold.

Coach Ivan Rojas and Dr Herrera will be present with our A Team competing:
Diego Salazar, Olympic Silver Medalist, weightlifting men’s 62kg category
Carlos Andica, Pan American Record Holder in the Clean and Jerk for men’s 85kg category
Gwendolyn Sisto, ranked in the US female weightlifters will compete in a special Pan Am qualifier session
Gwendolyn Rojas, a top Youth Under-13 athlete

Neysi Barrera, Youth World Championships Silver medalist
Jenifer Chamarro, top JR in Ecuador

Olympic Sliver Medalist Trains at Risto Sports to Benefit local community

Diego Salazar, of Colombia, is the 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist in weightlifting’s 62kg class, and he is training at Risto Sports for two months. Diego is training for the Arnold Schwarzenegger Sports Expo in Columbus, Ohio March 1-3.  He will also give a presentation at the International Weightlifting Conference, hosted by Risto Sports, March 16 and 17 2013.

Diego is a true professional athlete: he trains intensely, methodically, and pays close attention to his diet and recovery.    He is very inspirational to our lifters.  Upon asking him what was the mental secrets to his phenomenal competition results – he says only, “Train hard, and the competition will be easy”.   To support Risto Sports’ local community, Diego and Coach Ivan Rojas even volunteered to teach a weightlifting class at the Marshwood Middle School.  See photos of Diego training, his recovery work, and coaching Marshwood Middle School kids here:

Diego Salazar warms-up at Risto Sports

Picture 1 of 28

For the next 6 weeks or so, you can train alongside one of Colombia’s national treasures, right here in Eliot, Maine, USA.   Likewise, Diego is accepting requests to coach at clinics in the surrounding area.

For more information, feel free to email us at info{at}  or call 207 319 7607.


FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s some answers to FAQ on our latest model the Olimpico:


1. How long should I expect before I receive my shoes?

For any shoe that is in stock, we ship the next business day.  If the size is back ordered, see the next questions.


2. Why are some shoes back ordered sometimes?

We carry over 20 different sizes in 3 colors– with all of our shoes being hand made in fair trade conditions.  We have a broad customer base, who come is all different sizes.  In effect, it is not possible to have 100% availability in all sizes.  Think of it this way, if you go to a shoe store, they usually only have a few shoes in each color and not every size– often the customer winds up getting a different model or going a size bigger than what they originally picked out.


3. What if the size and color I want is back ordered, what happens next?

Risto Sports is constantly restocking shoes.   In any of our stock models, we will make the shoe size you ordered for you.  It will take 2 -4 weeks.  Again, these shoes are hand made using locally sourced material (ie lower carbon footprint), so they are a small work of art to produce.


4. Why are the sizes listed only in US men’s?

Here is what we did to simplify sizing.  We listed all our sizing in US Men’s.  Why?  because:

A. We found that it was easiest for US and International customers to convert to US mens vs using the shoes South American system

B. We found many men who ordered “women’s” shoes and women who ordered “men’s” shoes. So, I guess we’re ahead of the curve in terms of eliminating gender biases.

— ie  we’re not stereotyping women into having tiny feet and only wearing pink, and we’re not stereotyping men as only having wide feet and never wearing pink.

C. The original sizing system we use is GENDER NUETRAL. Our hand made shoes are converted from a gender Nuetral South American system into US.  Some companies have “men’s” and “women’s” shoes only as a marketing scheme.


5. How do I select the best size?

Simply order your normal size in US men’s; we have a sizing chart on our site to help you.  If  you still are not certain, then at the time of your order, please note in the order comment box several shoe sizes you wear and in which brands.  For example, based on customer feedback, our sizing is similar to Nike.


6. What if the shoe I get feels too small or too big?

First, try the shoes on carpet with clean socks on and do some air snatches at the end of the day when your feet are the largest.  About a 1/2 inch of space is ideal, all though some people prefer more or less (most podiatrists recommend a FULL Inch!).   Per our website’s terms, you may exchange them.  Yes, you will need to provide roundtrip shipping costs.  Think of it this way, if you drove to the store and bought a pair of shoes then wanted to exchange them, you would still have to drive back to the store to do the exchange, then drive back home with your new shoes. Another example– ever need to change the day of your flight, every airline charges substantial change fees as one change can have a huge effect on operating losses.


7. For exchanges, some companies pay for one leg of shipping, why don’t you do that?

Many of theses companies have small children in Asia making their shoes so they can afford to do this.  Some of these companies are even giant corporations  On the other hand, there are many high quality shoe manufacturers that do not pay for exchange shipping and see it as the customer’s personal responsibility.


8. Can I return my shoes? I go them 2 months ago, and they are a little too loose and I don’t want to wait to exchange them.

UNWORN shoes can only be returned with in 2 weeks of receipt of the item.  You will be refunded the cost of the shoe minus a 15% restocking fee.  You will not be refunded the shipping as the shipper already fulfilled the service of delivering the shoes to you.

Returned shoes cause variation in shoe demand, ultimately, increasing inventory costs. Further, returned shoes must be refurbished which also costs money.

The key to keeping products at a lower price then most other weightlifting shoes on the market AND in fair trade conditions AND lower carbon footprint  is to absolutely minimize returns and exchanges as they are externalities to our friendly shoe making ecosystem.

Risto Sports to host International Conference on Olympic Weightlifting March 16 & 17 2013

Risto Sports cordially invites you to our 2 day International Coaching and Technical Conference on Olympic weightlifting, in Eliot, Maine, USA  just outside of  Boston.  The conference will provide coaches with new methods for  improving their athlete’s performance.


This is an excellent opportunity to receive both training methodology and practical application of coaching..

Specifically, experts will address technical aspects of programming, athlete motivation,  and correcting common technical flaws.  Featured speakers  include:

  1. Dr. Alfredo Herrera former member of IWF Technical committee, former technical directors of Cuban weightlifting team,   PhD and Post Doctorate at State Central Institute Moscow, USSR
  2. Leo Totten, Owner of Totten Training Systems LLC, US Olympic Team Manager, Head Coach of East Coast Gold
  3. Maria Isabel Urrutia, Olympic Gold Medalist

A special technical demonstration and analysis to be performed on Carlos Andica, Pan Am Record holder, 205Kg clean and jerk at 85Kg weight class.

The seminar location is in scenic Eliot, Maine; located one hour North of Boston. Site hotel is Anchorage Inn Portsmouth, New Hampshire: .   International flights should be booked into BOS or Boston, Massachusetts.  Other nearby airports include PWM and MHT.

For more information, contact Ivan Rojas at +1 207 319 7607 or

Keeping it simple – Gym & Program rates

It has come to our attention that we have many athletes in various states of distance training, on site training, on personalized programming only, on generic begginner programming, or sponsored.  To keep things simple, here’s our full price list. So, if you just want to drop in to train or need full programming, here is a product for everyone’s price range:

To just drop in and train, no coaching =$10

One month use of gym, 1 technical advice session or beginner coaching = $50

To drop in and quick technical advice =$25

To get a personalized training session with in depth analysis=$80

4 hour personalized seminar = $180

12 week programming cycle by Dr. Herrera or Prof. Alexei Ignatov =$385 (1 purchase of personalized training session can be credited to the purchase of a cycle), use of gym included with 12 week cycle

Special pricing for local School District Students (MSAD35)

Repeat customers receive free drop-in session pending gym availability.  Sponsored athletes and guests of Risto Sports exempt from fees.


Just Say No to Oppression!


You may have noticed articles in the news about  the Tazreen Fashions factory in Bangladesh that burned down, killing over 112 people.  You may have heard some survivors claiming to have worked there since they were children. You may have heard that when workers smelled the deadly smoke, they were told to go back to work!

Here’s what you can do about this exploitation:

When you can, buy products that you know are not made in a sweatshop.  It starts, right here, at Risto Sports with our Risto branded shoes, wrist wraps, and straps.   The people making our products are treated like people as you can see here:

I know people who say they can’t buy things that aren’t made in a sweatshop because it’s too expensive. Guess what, that’s not true either!

Because Risto Sports opts to fairly price our products, our shoes are still cheaper than other brands.  And, we are higher quality than the other brands on the market.  Seriously, if you’re on the fence about which shoes to buy, why wouldn’t you buy a high quality shoe that you know is doing something good for the people who made it?

So, do something good this Christmas, Hannukah, Festivus, or other holiday of your choice and buy a piece of social good — a pair of Risto’s… maybe some Fair Trade coffee, too.  It’s really that easy.

” Be the change…”Mahatma Gandhi.

Sweatshop fire references:



Clearance Sale, ending soon

All old models are at a deep discount.   We have very few shoes left in only a few sizes, so here is your chance to be opportunistic.  We almost never run sales, and the sale will end this November…  so don’t expect to see prices like these again.

As there are very few shoes left, all sales are final.


Risto Olimpico – New Model Drops November 6

Risto Sports is proud to announce the luanching of our new model: The Risto Olimpico:

The elite weightlifting shoe: Hand made leather upper and interior, solid wood heel, natural rubber outsole, flexible forefoot to improve jerks.












As mentioned in our July 15, 2012 blog post, Risto Sports worked with a NYC designer, Storm Lewis, to develop a new and, even better model (  Well, moths of work ensued to bring the Olimpico to life.  This included – finding a new manufacturing site,  developing improved manufacturing methods, upgrading styling, adding performance features,  improve long term durability of the shoe, and continuing to improve the overall quality and value of the shoe.

Why you should buy this shoe?

1. It will make you lift more!   It’s designed by weightlifting experts and will outperform any flat sole shoe.

2. Hard wood heel insert, at a height that is optimized for hitting max snatches, clean and jerks, and squats.

3. Hand made in fair trade* conditions, by the only female run factory in Ecuador, in the America’s- just watch here:

4. Full leather upper ( Leather interior and exterior upper), for supreme fit that will improve over the lifetime of the shoe

5. Way cheaper than the big brands.  The Risto’s are priced more than $20 less than the big brands.

What  is different from our previous models?

1. It is lighter, because CrossFitters like light shoes.

2.  Super flexible forefoot to improve jerks and decrease break-in time:

Natural rubber is better than plastic


3. Even more green footprint.

These models are made in Ecuador and are locally sourced. The leather, wood, and natural rubber all come from the area, reducing the carbon footprint.

4. No more metal eyelets on the exterior of the shoe.

Eyelets are only visible on the interior of the upper and not exposed on the exterior.  This prevents them from damage and increases durability of shoe.

5. Improved drying methods extend life of the shoe exterior sole

Due to improved drying techniques, the seal between the rubber exterior footing and the wood heel is more durable.

To celebrate Election Day, the Risto Olimpico will be available for pre-sale Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

*Important Note: Currently, there are no Fair Trade organizations which certify products like weightlifting shoes. Hence, we have not sought fair trade certification.