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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.
Benefits of using 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 training or running 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 fast and risk-free progress.
Adidas weightlifting shoes are offered in various heights of the heel-to-toe differential (drop) to suit individual requirements of buyers. Depending on a model, the drop ranges from 10 mm to 25 mm.
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 collections of lifting shoes from Adidas
Shoes from the Adipower array are meant for professional weightlifers. These trainers are most likely to be seen on the athletes’ feet during the Olympic games. In fact, the original Adipower was designed specifically for the 2012 Games in London.
No wonder these shoes take up the more expensive side of the spectrum with an MSRP of $200. But in turn, you can expect performance and durability that are on par with the cost of these models.
The Adipowers boast of sturdy TPU wedges which elevate the heel by 20 mm (0.75 inches). It is considered a standard heel height in the world of weightlifting shoes.
Adidas Power Perfect
Suitable for professionals and amatuers alike, the Power Perfects come at a more affordable price point of $120 MSRP.
One of the reasons for that is that these trainers use a high-density EVA foam instead of the conventional TPU material for the midsole. Surely, it may cause some confusion provided that your cushiony sneakers are probably made of EVA as well.
However, the remarkably high ratings from the users prove that the EVA alternative is not at all inferior to the TPU. Although it is a foamy material, it has been compressed in a way which allows zero give and makes sure that no power get lost between the foot and the floor.
The 19-mm heel height of these trainers comes quite close to that of the Adipowers.
This is a great choice for those who are fairly new to the weightlifting arena and are not ready to splurge on a high-class lifter just yet. The retail price of the Powerlift shoes hovers around $100, which is the lowest one among Adidas weightlifting shoes.
These trainers are also highly rated by the purchasers for the stability and comfort they provide. Of course, they are not as effective in handing heavier weights as the Adipowers or Power Perfects but are just right for the moderate lifts.
With a heel height of 15 mm, the Powerlifts are perfect for the beginning of a weightlifting journey. This lower elevation offers stability without putting a lot of strain on the Achilles tendon. That way it helps the wearer gradually build up ankle mobility and correct posture.
The origins of Adidas lifters
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.
Frequently asked questions
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
- 20 mm (0.75 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.
Example: Adidas Adipower 2
- 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.
Are there Adidas lifters for women?
Yes. A vast majority of these Adidas trainers are offered in women’s sizes. Because there are no dedicated models for men and women, ladies can also opt for a men’s shoe if they cannot find the right color or size in the women’s selection. In that case, they will have to go down 1.5 size from the men’s one. So, if you have a women’s US size 9, try going for the men’s US size 7.5.
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.
How much do Adidas lifters weigh?
The average 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.
5 best Adidas weightlifting shoes
- Adidas Power Perfect 3
- Adidas Powerlift 4
- Adidas Adipower 2
- Adidas Crazy Power RK
- Adidas Leistung 16 II
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