Our verdict

We are bummed that the Adidas Dropset 2 was given so little marketing and promotion. We were amazed to find that this trainer's performance comes pretty close to the flagship Metcons and Nanos. Its stability and support are unmatched for a leg day and it also has the flexibility and cushioning for your HIIT sessions. What's more, we cannot possibly imagine a more breathable trainer than the Dropset 2!

Pros

  • Mindblowingly breathable
  • Grounded and stable platform
  • Flat base for weightlifting
  • Comfortable in-shoe feel
  • Reliable protection for rope climbs
  • Surprisingly flexible forefoot
  • Excellent grip on gym floors
  • Gusseted tongue

Cons

  • Mesh is easily destroyed
  • Clunky for aerobics and treadmill

Audience verdict

90
Great!

Who should buy

Having put the Dropset 2 through its paces, we believe that this Adidas trainer deserves to be much more popular. It proved itself as an excellent shoe for:

  • athletes who want a highly versatile trainer that can also lift heavy (up to 500 lbs)
  • gym buffs in dire need of a breathable shoe for hot gyms
  • people with medium and slightly wider feet who want an accommodating toebox

Adidas Dropset 2 review

Who should NOT buy

In its second edition, the Adidas Dropset took a step towards being more stable for weightlifting and became a little less optimal for aerobic-type workouts.

So if you do a lot of cardio, jumping, and treadmill runs, we would recommend the Nike Metcon Turbo 2 or the NOBULL Trainer instead.

Adidas Dropset 2 lab test

Breathability

If your feet won't stop sweating every time you work out, the Dropset 2 is here to save you from this inconvenience.

Very few shoes in our lab can match up to the breathability level of this Adidas trainer. It is insanely well-ventilated! The moment we started our smoke-pumping test, we readily gave it the highest possible breathability score - a solid 5 out of 5!

The shoe's mesh upper lets the smoke pass right through! We hovered the shoe's upper over the light to help you understand how large its ventilation pores are.

That's pretty hard to believe given the multiple layers of mesh material in the Dropset 2.

Adidas Dropset 2 microscope

But with the help of our microscope, we can see that the shoe uses a mix of thicker and thinner threads to make that happen.

Adidas Dropset 2 microscope upper

And that's not nearly all that makes the Adidas Dropset 2 so incredibly durable! It comes with a very unique feature for a gym trainer - the Airflow Window! That's quite inventive, Adidas.

There is a large aperture right in the middle of the shoe's sole. It works together with perforations in the insole to let out all of that heat you generate from inside the shoe.

Adidas Dropset 2 ventilation

Test results
Dropset 2 5
Average 3.3
Compared to 27 crossfit training shoes
1
Breathability
5
Number of shoes

Durability

Toebox durability

But as much as we want to keep praising the Dropset 2's upper, we must warn you about its one glaring issue - lack of durability.

Merely touching the mesh made us frown a little as it didn't seem like a material that could survive drags and slashes. And as our in-house durability test shows, things are indeed pretty bad.

Using a Dremel, we drilled the shoe's mesh just as long (12 seconds) and as hard (at 5K RPM speed and 3.2N pressure) as we do the rest of our training shoes. But the Dropset failed miserably compared to the rest.

Looking at the huge see-through hole, we had nothing left but to give the shoe's toebox durability the lowest score. On a 1-5 scale, we gave it the saddest score of 1.

Adidas Dropset 2 Toebox durability

We put a piece of white material inside the shoe to help assess the damage.

Test results
Dropset 2 1
Average 2.1
Compared to 16 crossfit training shoes
1
Toebox durability
5
Number of shoes

Heel padding durability

On a more positive note, the shoe's interior lining appears to be more abrasion-resistant than the upper mesh.

We used the Dremel test again to check what persistent friction would do to the fabric. Four seconds of drilling resulted in a very minor scuff and we happily rated the shoe's heel lining and padding durability with the highest score - 5/5!

Adidas Dropset 2 Heel padding durability
Test results
Dropset 2 5
Average 2.1
Compared to 14 crossfit training shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5
Number of shoes

Outsole hardness

Even though gym floors aren't as hard on shoes as asphalt and concrete, we still check the potential longevity of every trainer's outsole.

Hardness is one of the parameters that correlate with the rubber's abrasion resistance. To measure that, we used a durometer which gave us a reading of 84.6 HC. This is a normal, average hardness for a gym shoe outsole.

Adidas Dropset 2 Outsole hardness
Test results
Dropset 2 84.6 HC
Average 84.6 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 27 crossfit training shoes
71.3 HC
Outsole hardness
94.5 HC
Number of shoes

Outsole durability

Sure thing we applied the Dremel here as well!

But our methods were much stricter for the outsole: higher speed (10K RPM) and longer test time (22 seconds).

Once we were done drilling, we measured the depth of the dent with a tread gauge. And we honestly liked what we saw! Only 0.7 mm of depth compared to the average of 1 mm across all training shoes. Solid performance!

Adidas Dropset 2 Outsole durability
Test results
Dropset 2 0.7 mm
Average 1.0 mm
Compared to 12 crossfit training shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm
Number of shoes

Outsole thickness

The shoe also comes with a reasonable amount of rubber to help the outsole last a good while. Our caliper showed 3.4 mm which is close to the gym shoe average.

Adidas Dropset 2 Outsole thickness
Test results
Dropset 2 3.4 mm
Average 3.9 mm
Compared to 27 crossfit training shoes
2.8 mm
Outsole thickness
5.1 mm
Number of shoes

Weight

Good news first: the Adidas Dropset 2 is much lighter than the popular New Metcon 9 (13.4 oz/378g)!

Adidas Dropset 2 laces

Now to the bad news: the Dropset is still a bit heavier than average at 11.9 oz/336g. We could feel the shoe on our feet and it wouldn't be our first choice for jumpy and fast-paced cardio sessions.

But luckily, the shoe's surprisingly flexible construction makes this Adidas trainer feel not so clunky.

Adidas Dropset 2 Weight
Test results
Dropset 2 11.85 oz (336g)
Average 10.76 oz (305g)
Compared to 27 crossfit training shoes
6.38 oz (181g)
Weight
13.83 oz (392g)
Number of shoes

Cushioning

Heel stack

Athletes feel their best at the gym when they rely on a low, moderately cushioned, and grounded platform.

This description perfectly matches what the Adidas Dropset 2 offers. Using a caliper, we measured the shoe's heel stack height at 23.0 mm. This is within the average range of cross-training shoes.

We received enough impact protection on exercises like box jumps, tuck jumps, raised heel jumps, and pretty much anything that involved landing on our feet.

Adidas Dropset 2 Heel stack
Test results
Dropset 2 23.0 mm
Average 24.4 mm
Compared to 27 crossfit training shoes
13.7 mm
Heel stack
36.2 mm
Number of shoes

Forefoot stack

Applying our caliper to the front portion of the sole, we measured 16.1 mm of forefoot stack height. Slightly lower than average but still within the standard range.

Adidas Dropset 2 Forefoot stack

Less material under the forefoot is necessary to make this area more flexible so that it can bend along with your foot.

But if you plan to use this trainer for lots of rope jumping and running, we don't think that the Adidas Dropset 2 is the right shoe. Even though it has enough forefoot cushioning and flexibility, we felt burdened by its substantial heel.

Test results
Dropset 2 16.1 mm
Average 18.3 mm
Compared to 27 crossfit training shoes
10.6 mm
Forefoot stack
27.7 mm
Number of shoes

Drop

According to Adidas' official product description, the Dropset 2 should have a heel-to-toe drop of 6 mm.

But based on the stack measurements we got, the drop turns out to be a tiny bit higher at 6.9 mm. Not critical performance-wise but important to mention.

Adidas Dropset 2 Drop

Cross-training shoes normally have a 4-6 mm drop. Athletes found it to be the most optimal setup for feeling grounded and stable anywhere from skater lunges, to box jumps, to deadlifts and squats.

Test results
Dropset 2 6.9 mm
Average 6.1 mm
Compared to 27 crossfit training shoes
1.8 mm
Drop
13.4 mm
Number of shoes

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

Adidas' product description points to a dual-density midsole used in the Dropset 2: firmer in the heel for stability and softer in the forefoot for cushioning.

We are happy to confirm the official statement with both personal experience and our lab measurements. Pressing a durometer against the shoe's foam in the heel, we got a high reading of 47.0 HA. This means that the heel foam is a whopping 70% firmer than average and has very little compression.

Quite reassuring when you attempt to catch a heavily loaded barbell!

Adidas Dropset 2 Midsole softness
Test results
Dropset 2 47.0 HA
Average 27.5 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 27 crossfit training shoes
17.4 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
47.0 HA
Number of shoes

Secondary foam softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

We also checked the forefoot foam with a durometer and received a measurement of 31.1 HA. This is indeed softer than the heel by as much as 50% but we cannot call it soft per se.

It has a little give to provide cushioning for jumps but reveals its firmness when we need stability for strength training.

Test results
Dropset 2 31.1 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.

Insole thickness

A well-padded insole lies atop the midsole to buffer the foot from the firm platform. Measuring it with a caliper, we got 4.1 mm of heel thickness.

Adidas Dropset 2 Insole thickness
Test results
Dropset 2 4.1 mm
Average 3.7 mm
Compared to 27 crossfit training shoes
0.0 mm
Insole thickness
5.7 mm
Number of shoes

Stability

Lateral stability test

Looks like Adidas placed an even bigger emphasis on stability in the shoe's second iteration. We felt very surefooted and well-connected to the ground from the get-go.

Adidas Dropset 2 support

The Dropset 2 has huge TPU panels on the outer sides and rubberized ones on the inner sides. While both work to make the shoe more stable laterally, the rubber panel also helps with rope climbing performance.

Adidas Dropset 2 side support

In terms of lateral stability, we can guarantee that the Adidas Dropset 2 is far above average.

Torsional rigidity

If you have any concerns about twisting your ankles in a pair of training shoes, the Dropset 2 will help to relieve your worries.

This shoe's platform is incredibly solid, firm, and guarded by stiff side panels. Even when we twisted the shoe in our hands, it showed a great deal of resistance. We rated its torsional rigidity with a very high score of 4 out of 5.

Test results
Dropset 2 4
Average 2.7
Compared to 27 crossfit training shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5
Number of shoes

Heel counter stiffness

The Adidas Dropset 2 also has exceptionally sturdy ankle support for a training shoe. Its heel counter is so stiff that we couldn't even push and squeeze it as much as we could in other trainers.

On a stiffness scale from 1 to 5, we gave it the highest score of 5. The heel hold is akin to a death grip in this shoe!

Test results
Dropset 2 5
Average 2.7
Compared to 27 crossfit training shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5
Number of shoes

Midsole width in the forefoot

A major player in the shoe's stability game is of course its extended platform width, especially in the forefoot.

You can easily see a prominent outrigger on the outer side here, adding plenty of side-to-side steadiness. We measured the widest point at 115.8 mm which is only second to the Metcon 9 (116.9 mm)!

Adidas Dropset 2 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Dropset 2 115.8 mm
Average 109.4 mm
Compared to 27 crossfit training shoes
101.0 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
117.3 mm
Number of shoes

Midsole width in the heel

The Dropset 2's midsole continues to be wide in the heel as well. Our caliper showed 88.8 mm between the widest points here. Average but slightly on the wide side.

Adidas Dropset 2 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Dropset 2 88.8 mm
Average 87.0 mm
Compared to 27 crossfit training shoes
76.5 mm
Midsole width in the heel
97.4 mm
Number of shoes

Flat platform

One important design tweak that can easily go unnoticed but changes the shoe's stability a great deal is the flat shape of the midsole.

It is easier to explain in pictures. Can you see the difference in the midsole edges in the first Adidas Dropset...

Adidas Dropset v1 comparsison

...and in the Dropset 2?

Adidas Dropset 2 flat platform

There is no rounded heel or curved-up toe in the v2, right? This flatter setup is enormously helpful in strength straining where you also have to rely on the toes for stability and balance.

Flexibility

Stiffness

When you first see the Adidas Dropset 2, it doesn't come across as a flexible shoe at all! And this is exactly what we thought before we made our first steps in the trainer.

Walking, jumping, planks, lunges, you name it - the Dropset 2 bends to it all just perfectly!

To measure the shoe's flexibility more precisely, we bent it to a 90-degree angle and measured how much force it would take. Based on our force gauge reading, it requires only 16.6N. That's 17% less than it takes an average trainer!

Test results
Dropset 2 16.6N
Average 19.7N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 26 crossfit training shoes
6.8N
Stiffness
37.9N
Number of shoes

Grip / Traction

We have no complaints regarding the shoe's gripping capacity on gym floors. We felt surefooted when lifting and we were also able to stop on a sixpence during the agile part of our workouts.

Adidas Dropset 2 grip

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

Adidas emphasizes the fact that the Dropset 2 has a "Wide fit." But we are here to check that with a pair of calipers.

Measuring the widest part of the forefoot, we got 99.5 mm which is actually the same as the average of training shoes.

Adidas Dropset 2 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Dropset 2 99.5 mm
Average 99.7 mm
Compared to 27 crossfit training shoes
90.4 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
108.0 mm
Number of shoes

Toebox width at the big toe

We also checked the width closer to the toes, at the big toe mark, where our caliper returned 77.6 mm. This is, once again, just an average for a cross-training shoe.

But although our measurements dis not confirm a truly wide fit, we cannot complain about it either. Our medium-width feet felt fantastic inside the Adidas Dropset 2 and we did feel like there was more space on top of the toes I'm this shoe.

Adidas Dropset 2 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Dropset 2 77.6 mm
Average 77.1 mm
Compared to 20 crossfit training shoes
65.0 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
87.5 mm
Number of shoes

Tongue: gusset type

The tongue is fully attached to the sides of the upper with a pair of gussets. We are huge fans of this construction as it eliminates all concerns of tongue shifting sideways and creates a very secure foothold.

Adidas Dropset 2 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Dropset 2 Both sides (full)

Comfort

Tongue padding

A good deal of in-shoe padding helps the Dropset 2 feel very comfy on the foot. And what's great is that it doesn't interfere with the trainer's breathability at all!

Measuring the tongue thickness with a caliper, we got 9.7 mm. That's a few millimeters thicker than what we typically see in trainers.

Adidas Dropset 2 Tongue padding
Test results
Dropset 2 9.7 mm
Average 5.7 mm
Compared to 27 crossfit training shoes
1.0 mm
Tongue padding
10.4 mm
Number of shoes

Heel tab

The pull tab at the back of the shoe is both functional and aesthetic. We found it helpful in getting the Dropset on our feet as the gusseted tongue makes the shoe opening smaller.

Adidas Dropset 2 Heel tab
Test results
Dropset 2 None

Removable insole

The insole of this Adidas trainer is removable. But you most likely wouldn't want to replace it given its perforations that promote breathability. 

Adidas Dropset 2 Removable insole
Test results
Dropset 2 Yes

Misc

Sustainability

As stated by Adidas, at least 50% of the upper is made of recycled materials. We cannot test this in our lab, so we will take Adidas' word for it.