Founded in 2006 Rogue Fitness has grown considerably since its first production of lifting equipment. They are based in Ohio and have over 500 employees. In 2016, USA Weightlifting signed a 4-year contract with Rogue Fitness to become the official weightlifting manufacturer.
For many strength athletes, Rogue Fitness is known for its high-quality lifting products. Their belts are among those products that many use regularly for multiple purposes. Along with friends who continually enjoy Rogue Lifting Belts, I was thrilled when we received the Rogue Ohio Lifting Belt. I know that everything Rogue Fitness does with the word “Ohio” means business.
Today we put the Rogue Ohio lift belt through a variety of tests, including power clean, back squat and deadlift, to test its stability, comfort and versatility.
The Rogue Ohio Lifting Belt is a thick leather belt that offers good stability thanks to the variety of movements I tested it with. This belt has good depth and, according to the Rogue site, is a little over 10 mm thick. In every movement I tried, the belt did not allow any trunk flexion or extension. When I pushed the belt in with my gut during the squat, there was absolutely nothing to give.
The Rogue site points out that when leather is tanned using this method, you end up with a firm, durable and water-resistant belt with a rich natural brown tone. The vegetable tanning process creates a softer leather than your typical hardened leather. This was clearly evident in my tests. Even with a thickness of 10 mm, the belt bent a little and wrinkled, which showed that it had the ability to form well around the torso.
While this belt was surprisingly soft and forgiving on the skin, there was still a small pinch during power movements. If you are someone who wants to avoid any kind of pinch, a leather belt may not be the best option. In addition, for someone who needs a light and versatile belt may have problems with the thickness and heaviness of the Rogue Ohio leather lifting belt.
As mentioned above, the material is what makes this belt unique. The vegetable tanning process gives the leather belt a soft but firm feel. You can visibly see the leather compressing a little when you squeeze the sides of the belt. I thought this was a cool feature, especially when I documented the stability of this softer leather that held my torso during my lifts.
The perimeter of the belt is also lined with heavy stitching, giving the leather the impression that it does not fray quickly. Since this belt is handmade, Rogue also points out that the thickness may vary slightly depending on the belt. If you’re someone who’s disabled by a small gap in their lifting equipment, you may feel some discomfort knowing this.
This belt was very strong from the first use and showed few signs of early wear. One thing to note is that this belt will bend a little on first use. In addition, the first heavy perspiration you feel in this belt will subtly tint the colour (if any). However, none of these problems were related to the actual structure and comfort of the belt. If you are someone who wants a perfectly clean belt, you can be disabled by the immediate creasing.
In terms of the construction of this belt, I really liked the heavy stitching around the front and back perimeter. This made the leather tight and strong, even when it was a little bent. The single pin buckle is also a thicker heavy metal, which is a good sign to avoid early buckle breakage.
The price of the Rogue Ohio lifting belt starts at around $108.00, which is a bit high for a leather belt. Although this belt is made with Rogue Fitness’ vegetable tanning process, $108.00 could be high enough for recreational lifting. In addition, for someone who is more interested in a functional and versatile belt, the price could also be high.
On the other hand, this belt is thick and heavy, which means that it will last for some time. Unlike fabric and velcro belts, this belt is designed to last a long time. Taking this into consideration, the price may not be as high.
The Rogue Ohio Lift Belt is an excellent choice when stability and durability are the main concerns of a lift. Rogue Fitness uses its vegetable tanning process which has set this leather apart from similar competitors in the market. Although, for the functional athlete who needs a lightweight and versatile belt, he or she may have problems with the heaviness that surrounds the Ohio belt. In addition, this belt will last a certain amount of time, but there could be a problem with the price.
Overall, this belt was surprisingly comfortable for a leather belt and could be a great option for a weightlifter when stability is an issue.