Ironeve Women's Weightlifting Shoes-Made in the USA
Ironeve Women's Weightlifting Shoes-Made in the USA

What is IRONEVE?

IRONEVE™ is for every woman who pours her blood, sweat, and tears into every workout and loves every minute of it. Sound like someone you know? Ironeve was born from my belief that women should lift with the guys, not dress like them. We no longer have to wear lifting shoes sized and made for men. IRONEVE was designed for women, by a woman- and we deserve it.  Our newest model of IRONEVE shoes are hand crafted, in the USA, from the best materials we could find.  They will stand up to everything you'll put them through- and you'll look amazing doing it!   I hope you love IRONEVE shoes as much as I do, and help to make our dream of manufacturing in the USA possible!

Why Weightlifting Shoes?  If you've never worn weightlifting shoes before, or are new to the sport you may be wondering what the benefits are to wearing them while training.  Just like any other sport, proper footwear can make all the difference in your performance.  Weightlifting shoes are designed to give you a slight heel lift, helping to improve your form and stability- especially in deep squat positions.  The shoes will also have a hard heel, made of either wood, compressed rubber, or injected plastic that will not provide any cushion (and therefore no wobbling) when you land a lift or are moving through a range of motion for a lift.  A tough rubber sole will keep you securely planted on the floor or platform as well, preventing you from slipping during a lift.  You will not find these safety and technical advangates while lifting in everyday sneakers or running shoes.

Warming Up: (How Ironeve got Started)

The concept of IRONEVE began as a somewhat sarcastic answer to the question: “Aren’t there any weightlifting shoes for women out there?” This is the question I asked myself after repeatedly coming up empty with online searches for weightlifting shoes for myself. It was 2008, and I had just gotten serious about Olympic lifting and was told that good shoes were a non-negotiable piece of equipment…just as important as the bar and bumper plates.

I found there were multiple brands of men’s shoes available, but the designs were unattractive (at best), they were pretty expensive, and were only available in men’s sizing. I randomly said to my husband one day, “We should create a weightlifting shoe for women.” He kind of laughed and basically blew off the comment. Two weeks later he came to me and said, “We should make a weightlifting shoe for women.”  With my "Great idea honey" response, our homegrown business, IRONEVE, had begun!

After countless brainstorming sessions, "creative" arguments, and soaking in all the help and counsel we could get on everything from design to legal advice, we finally trademarked and launched our brand. Toss in having two sons, job changes, and a few moves up the east coast, and the past few years have been quite a crazy ride! 

Drills & Skills: Practice Makes Perfect (Where We've Been has Prepared us for Where We Want to Go)

After our initial launch of Ironeve's first shoe model in 2009, we were able to successfully grow our relationship with our overseas vendor, and were pleased with our commercial product.  (Our original model is seen below)  Customers in all 50 states, and 7 different countries were wearing our shoes, and had great things to say about them.  It did not come easily- we dealt with numerous proudction issues relating to communication, quality control and consistency, even natural disasters- but- we had done it- we created a commercial weightlifting shoe exclusively for female athletes.  We were pleased, but not satisfied.

Original Ironeve Model
Original Ironeve Model

We had gained enough knowledge to know the basic ins and outs of shoe production, what we liked and did not like about certain materials and design concepts, and what female customers valued in a weightlifting shoe.  We didn't get in this game to make a prodct we could simply be "pleased" with. We got in because we wanted to change the entire face of the market, and offer the highest quality, best looking, custom designed women's weightliting shoe on the market- and we want it to be made in the USA.  Daunting, when you think about the big name competition out there, but we firmly believe we are in the position to achieve our goals- but only with the help of this kickstarter campaign!

Stepping up to the Platform:  "Go Time" (Entrepreneur's equivalent to Game Day!)

We are there.  The day has come for IRONEVE to make the leap we've been dreaming about and training for.  After muddling through a few "No Thank You's," "You're crazy's," and plain old "no way's" we have finally secured an amazing small shoe factory in California who gave us a chance and believed in our product.  We completely redesigned our original model from the ground up- creating custom made lasts, replacing heavy, bulky materials like rubber and PU leather with natural Alder wood heels and top grain, genuine leathers in brilliant colors.  We selected Dri-Lex moisture managment linings, and Vibram soles to ensure only top quality materials went into this shoe-top to bottom and inside to out!  From the sketches we provided, they were able to create sample shoes that looked better than any other brand we'd seen before.  

Lateral View Sketch
Lateral View Sketch

Medial View Sketch
Medial View Sketch

Top View Sketch
Top View Sketch

After testing the initial prototype, we made a few revisions including an adjustment to the heel height, extending the width of the midsole and outsole, and adjusting the midfoot strap construction- all improving the shoes stability, function, and performance.  During this process, we invested approximately $10,000 into our re-design of Ironeve.

Sample Revisions
Sample Revisions

Heel height revision:  Left image shows revised heel, now a true 3/4 inch raise,  and widened to extend slightly beyond the upper to improve stability and landing surface area.

First mid-foot strap, only offered single attachment point on shoe
First mid-foot strap, only offered single attachment point on shoe

  

Revised strap design offers double attachment point, and a "fold over" closure, inmproving the function and security of the strap.
Revised strap design offers double attachment point, and a "fold over" closure, inmproving the function and security of the strap.

We proceeded to identify a test group of experienced and knowlegeable female weightlifters, all currently competitive in the sport to test our samples shoe.  We asked them to provide feedback and comments, and have been met with excellent reviews on our new model.

Made in the USA Ironeve Weightlifting Shoes!
Made in the USA Ironeve Weightlifting Shoes!

 

Lateral view
Lateral view

 

Medial view
Medial view

 

Top view
Top view

In addition to our "signature" purple, sliver, and lime colorway model pictured above, we also have a completed design for a "patriotic" red, white, and blue colorway which will be made available to Kickstarter backers as well.  Vibrant metallic red will be used in all areas that are currently purple in our model, and metallic saphire blue will replace the lime wrap-around stripe.  Silver and white areas will remain the same in both models.

What makes Ironeve different than the typical weightlifting shoe?

  • This model of Ironeve shoes will be small batch, Made in the USA manufacturing, ensuring the highest level of quality and detail goes into each pair.
  • We specifically chose the natural, durable Alder wood heel, compared to typically used injected molding plastics or bulkier rubber heels.
  • We offer women's specific sizing, from custom made lasts (sizes 6-10)- no trying to estimate your size equivalent in a men's fit.

Training for Gains: (Our Future Production Plan)

Raising $25,000 through our Kickstarter campaign will allow us to move into a bulk production phase.

  • $5,000 will be used to purchase additional tooling needs.  Tooling consists of creating additional lasts in each size, and producing cutting dies.
  • $15,000 to fund the labor component in the first bulk production run.
  • $5,000 to purchase raw materials needed for bulk production run.

Upon successful funding, shoes will take 10-12 weeks for delivery.

  • 4-6 weeks to procure all raw materials and complete tooling
  • 6 weeks to produce shoes and deliver to backers/customers
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