The best gear, from a traveller’s point of view, should be quite portable while being a beneficial tool for our workouts. VersaLifts wedges hit the mark on both points. Shoes are one of the biggest space-takers in our travels so a product like this, which eliminates the need to bring an extra pair of shoes, is great.
Being portable is only half the solution. If gear is portable but not a useful tool, it’s still a waste of space. Not the case here.
The VersaLift V2 is a pair of wedges that slip into any shoe and raise your heal ½”. They work like lifters and keep your feet well planted for squat movements and allow you to better drive through your heals. The first time I used them I PR’d my back squat by 15 lbs. That doesn’t mean it’s going to turn you into uber lifter but it does help over wearing just a pair of Nanos, for instance.
They don’t slip around in your shoes. Once I got them in place they were like a natural extension of my shoe. There wasn’t much getting used to them at all.
You can either wear them over or under your shoe inserts. I’ve worn them over because it’s simple and quick.
VirsaLift’s web site says the V2’s will last indefinitely. I haven’t had them quite that long so I’m taking their word for it.
Lace up well, as your foot will be a little higher in a shoe that wasn’t originally designed for it. However the VersaLift V2’s are unobtrusive enough that they wont have a negative impact. Because they’re half-wedges instead of the entire length of your shoe you still have a lot of mobility in your shoes.
The box claims that they don’t interfere with box jumps, running, double unders or “anything else”. I’m not so sure I’d want to heavy deadlift in them but, as I mentioned, they’re pretty unobtrusive. I did a 12 days of Christmas workout and they were great for the front squats, wall balls and thrusters and didn’t get in the way of the box jumps or dead lift movements (granted, the dead lifts were light).
How do they compare to lifters? I honestly can’t say, as I don’t own a pair of lifters. However, I’ve spoken with several people (all far more advanced than me) that have both, including a L3 CrossFit coach and they say that unless you’re working on advanced lifting, they really like the result from the VersaLifts. One has said that he prefers the V2’s to his lifters.
And they’re ideal for travelers. They take up almost no room in your bag. A pair of VirsaLift V2’s come in a box that’s just under 6”x 3.5” x .75”. Pretty darn compact.
They’re reasonably priced at $28.00, which is a heck of a lot less than a pair of lifters.
So, high marks for portability, usefulness and price. This is a weapon that’s literally a no-brainer to add to your bag.
Wishing you safe, healthy and successful travels.