If you've ever observed a weightlifting competition during the Olympic games, you might have noticed that the athletes were using a specialized pair of shoes. You might as well have seen people wearing the same trainers at the gym when performing squats and other weightlifting exercises. These shoes look as if regular trainers have been placed on top of a sturdy wooden or plastic platform with a raised heel section. And there is a good reason for that. Such construction creates a stable and incompressible base to help athletes achieve their best results in this type of sport.
The first pairs of Adidas weightlifting shoes entered the market at the beginning of the 1970s. They pulled their cue from the Soviet lifting shoes with nailed heels, which were widely acclaimed at the time. The brand also collaborated with Tamio Kono, the world record-breaker in weightlifting as well as a successful bodybuilder and an official coach for Western Germany. This cooperation resulted in several major advancements in Adidas weightlifting shoes, including the use of a low-cut design and an improved position of the midfoot strap.
Over the course of 50 years, the company has released numerous models and updates to them. And today, both professional and amateur athletes can benefit from the results of this development.
The assets of Adidas weightlifting shoes
As in any kind of sport, the right gear is essential for performing your best. Adidas weightlifting shoes are created to maximize your capacity in powerlifting (squats, bench presses, deadlifts) and Olympic-style weightlifting (snatches, cleans and jerks). Here are the ways in which these trainers are designed to assist you.
Unhindered force transfer
Each pair of Adidas weightlifting shoes employs a firm midsole with a heel wedge made of either TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) or compressed EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate). These materials create an incompressible underfoot platform and, unlike the midsoles in running or training shoes, do not deliver any cushioning or rebound. That way the force that you exert to lift up the barbell does not dissipate through the plush foam but transfers directly from your foot to the ground.
When an athlete goes down into a squat barefoot, his or her heels either stay planted on the ground or lift up to a greater or lesser degree. It depends on the individual stretchability of the Achilles tendon which determines ankle mobility. Squatting with heavy weight above your head when the flexibility of your Achilles is limited requires support.
That’s why all Adidas weightlifting shoes come with an elevated heel which puts the wearer’s foot into a sloping position. It significantly shortens the extent to which the tendons need to stretch during a squat. As a result, you can easily shift your shins and knees forward while keeping your torso upright, above your heels. Exercising with the correct posture is key to a fast and risk-free progress.
Adidas weightlifting shoes are offered in various heel heights to suit individual requirements of buyers. There is a choice of three heel heights currently available on the market: 25 mm (1 inch), 19 mm (0.75 inch), 15 mm (0.6 inch). To find out which one is right for you, see "Which heel height should I choose" in the FAQs section below.
All Adidas weightlifting shoes feature completely flat outsoles to create a consistent base for a planted stance. Their bottoms are also designed to be wide to prevent the foot from sliding off the edge of the sole.
Some of the newer models employ the brand’s proprietary Adiwear outsole. It is described as extremely durable and capable of resisting high abrasion. It also affords traction on gym surfaces and is made flexible in the forefoot to allow the foot to bend when needed. This rubber compound is also non-marking and leaves no scuffs or marks on polished floors. Examples of Adidas weightlifting shoes with the Adiwear outsole: Adidas Powerlift 3.1, Adidas Power Perfect 3
A steady foothold in the upper unit is just as important as a stable platform. Adidas weightlifting shoes utilize genuine or synthetic leather, or a tightly-woven material to give the wearer a snug and supportive fit. They also use a combination of a traditional lacing system and a midfoot strap. The lacing is placed across the entire length of the instep for maximum lockdown. The strap is made with Velcro and stretches across the midfoot from one side to the other, completing the fit. Both can be easily adjusted at the wearer’s preference.
The brand has also experimented with adding the BOA closure system in place of a medial strap on one of its models (Adidas Leistung 16 II). It consists of steel cables that run through a regulating knob which adjusts the fit with 1-mm precision.
As a leading sportswear manufacturer, Adidas puts quality first. When it comes to weightlifting shoes, special attention is given to their ability to withstand all the rigors and abrasion associated with weight training. As long as you use your pair of Adidas weightlifting shoes to do what they are originally intended for, they will serve for more than a year. With moderate use, these trainers can even hold up to several years.
Popular models of Adidas weightlifting shoes
The wearers lauded the solid and supportive construction of the shoe. It was also highly praised for its secure fit and durability. These factors convinced the buyers that the high price tag was entirely justifiable.
- The most notable feature of the shoe is its midsole structure. Made of a sturdy and hard-wearing TPU material, it forms an incompressible underfoot platform. The heel height in this pair of Adidas weightlifting shoes measures at 19 mm (0.75 inches), which falls under the industry’s standard height.
- The foot receives its secure fit from the leather upper. The material is coated with PU (polyurethane) for enhanced durability. Mesh inserts are added on the instep and the collar to keep the insides aerated. The unit is reinforced with a lacing system and an instep strap which help in delivering structured and adjustable support.
The buyers were amazed at the support, comfort, and reliability that the trainer offered for its price. The traction capability of the Adiwear outsole also made numerous athletes feel sure-footed.
- Providing a firm lifting platform is a midsole made of densely-compressed EVA. The heel height is 15 mm (0.6 inches), which is the smallest among Adidas weightlifting shoes.
- The Adiwear rubber compound shields the bottom of the shoe against abrasion during tough weightlifting sessions. It also features a honeycomb pattern which helps the sole stay planted on gym surfaces.
The upper is made of synthetic leather with a breathable mesh insert at the collar. The fit is adjusted with the help of a lace-up closure and a medial strap.
The shoe received loads of positive feedback for offering a sense of stability and control due to its wide and firm platform, outsole traction, and a secure fit. However, not all wearers appreciated the use of the BOA system instead of a traditional hook-and-loop strap. Another gripe was connected with the shoe’s expensive cost.
- The shoe uses TPU to create a steady and incompressible base for the foot to lean on. The TPU extends up to cover the bottom of the upper, forming a solid rearfoot cradle for added stability. This pair of Adidas weightlifting shoes utilizes the heel height of 25 mm (1 inch), which is the highest among its counterparts.
- The upper unit of the shoe is offered in two variations: the woven one and the one with structured mesh. Both are called to give a “comfortable, glove-like fit which is easy to break-in.”
Frequently asked questions
Who can benefit from using Adidas weightlifting shoes?
The range of Adidas weightlifting shoes is created to accommodate both entry-level and professional weightlifters. They are suitable for daily weight training at the gym as well as for weightlifting competitions of all scopes and levels.
Can I use a pair of Adidas weightlifting shoes for CrossFit?
It is not recommended. While CrossFit workouts do involve weightlifting, they also include exercises like jumps, sled-pushes, burpees, push-ups, sprints, etc. Adidas weightlifting shoes are not designed with sufficient flexibility or cushioning to accommodate these kinds of activities. That’s why using weightlifting footwear for purposes other than the intended one is likely to result in discomfort, injuries and faster wearing out of the shoes. However, you may want to take a look at dedicated CrossFit shoes which are created to suit training regimens that involve weightlifting.
Which heel height should I choose?
Heel height is associated with one of the primary functions of weightlifting shoes, which is to allow you to go deeper into a squat with an upright posture. That’s why it is important that the way your foot is placed inside a pair of lifters feels comfortable and doesn’t overstrain your Achilles tendons during exercises. Beginners may find it difficult to notice the difference that heel height makes at first; but as they grow accustomed to using weightlifting footwear and develop an individual lifting style, they will get a better feeling of which one they need. The available models of Adidas weightlifting shoes come in the following heel heights:
- 25 mm (1 inch)
This is the highest heel among Adidas weightlifting shoes. This type would better suit people with long legs and long torso as well as those with very poor ankle flexibility. Athletes who prefer the narrow stance and the high-bar style of lifting (which is common for Olympic-style weightlifting) will also benefit from this type of shoes.
Example: Adidas Leistung 16 II
- 19-20 mm (0.75-0.8 inches)
It is considered a standard heel height among weightlifting shoe manufacturers. If you are shopping for your first pair of lifters and you are in doubt, try starting with a shoe with this heel height. These Adidas weightlifting shoes will accommodate both Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting exercises.
- 15 mm (0.6 inches)
This is the lowest heel height found among Adidas weightlifting shoes. These trainers cater to people with relatively flexible Achilles tendons as well as those with short legs and torso. They are also popular among athletes who squat with the wide stance and the low-bar style.
Examples: Adidas Powerlift 3.1
If it is possible, borrow different types of weightlifting shoes from your peers and do a trial workout in them to see how your feet and body overall will respond. Another option is to mimic your weight training exercises when you are trying a pair at a store.
How to get the right size and fit in Adidas weightlifting shoes?
Both men’s and women’s versions of Adidas weightlifting shoes come in a wide array of sizes. A choice of half-sizes is also available. While most shoes run true to size, some have a tendency to run on the small side and require getting half-a-size bigger. The information on each particular shoe can be found on the respective product page on the official Adidas website. There you can also find a Size Chart which shows how the foot length converts into multiple international sizing schemes (US, UK, EU, JP).
Widthwise, weightlifting footwear from Adidas is created to be snug-fitting to keep the foot firmly in place when heavy weights are being lifted. They come in a standard D - Medium profile for men and in a B - Medium width for women. The tightness can be adjusted by the lace-up closure and a medial Velcro strap, or with the help of the BOA system in some models.
How much do Adidas weightlifting shoes cost?
The quality and durability of the materials used in weightlifting trainers, as well as their heavy construction, place them into the more expensive category of Adidas training shoes. The price tags range from $90 to $225 and are influenced by several factors:
- The higher the heel, the more expensive is the product;
- Shoes with a synthetic leather upper are cheaper than the ones made of genuine leather;
- Trainers with TPU midsoles are more expensive than the ones with compressed EVA;
- The use of unconventional features (like the BOA lacing system) also drives up the price.
The good news is that several months after the release date, the price of Adidas weightlifting shoes starts to drop down. Click on any of the shoes on the list on top of this page to see what discounts online stores are offering now.
What is the weight of Adidas weightlifting shoes?
The weight per shoe varies from 425 grams to 500 grams. It depends on the materials used as well as one the size of the trainer.
4 best Adidas weightlifting shoes
- Adidas AdiPower Weightlifting Shoes
- Adidas Powerlift 3.1
- Adidas Crazy Power RK
- Adidas Leistung 16 II
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