Our verdict

If Converse trainers have been your go-to choice for deadlifting, we are convinced that the Adidas The Total will become your new favourite. We were delighted with the shoe's performance in the zero-drop niche as it provided the most stable and grounded experience for weight training. Its lightness, flexibility, and extra spacious toebox make the Total feel as close to lifting barefoot as it is comfortably possible in a training shoe.

Pros

  • Ideal for deadlifting
  • Great traction
  • A lot of ground feel
  • Plenty of toebox space
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Fairly priced
  • Streamlined look

Cons

  • Not so much breathability
  • Not for heavy squats

Audience verdict

91
Superb!

Who should buy

Based on our lab measurements and multiple wear tests, we can confirm that Adidas The Total is a perfect shoe for athletes who want:

  • a grounded, zero-drop shoe for deadlifting (an excellent replacement for your Converse Chucks)
  • a lifting shoe that can also do cross-training
  • a shoe with plenty of room in the toebox

Adidas The Total review on feet

Who should NOT buy

The Total is optimised for deadlifts and is not a very versatile training shoe. If you need a go-to trainer for a wide range of cardio and strength training exercises, we recommend the Adidas Dropset 2 or the Nike Free Metcon 5 instead.

And if your lifting routine revolves around squats or you have poor ankle mobility, investing in the wedged Adidas Powerlift 5 would be more reasonable.

Adidas The Total spreadout

Breathability

We hate to say this, but when we were gymming in the Adidas The Total, we looked forward to the time that we were finally taking it off. It was just so hot inside it!

As seen in the video above, the smoke that we pumped into the shoe couldn't escape easily through both the tongue and the toebox. The breathability performance of the The Total (which we ultimately rated 2 over 5) paled in comparison to that of the Adidas Dropset 2, which got a perfect 5 for ventilation.

To be fair, light was able to pass through the nine ventilation holes right on top of the toebox.

Adidas The Total ventilation holes

However, this never translated into the airiness that would have made our workout sessions a lot more enjoyable. 

Adidas The Total upper microscope

We examined the toebox material under the microscope, and we noticed just how compact it is save for the ventilation holes. Maybe concentrating the holes just on top of the toebox was not enough to ensure breathability? Adidas should be more strategic with the placement of the ventilation holes next time.

Adidas The Total Breathability
Test results
The Total 2
Average 2
Compared to 6 weightlifting training shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

The compactness of the toebox messed up the shoe's breathability. Fortunately, it came with some sort of saving grace: it led to notable durability. We accidentally bumped the toebox against some equipment in the gym, and it still emerged practically unscathed.

Our Dremel drilling against the toebox barely scratched the surface. We gave it a well-deserved 4 out of 5. As the picture below shows, the scratch left on the Adidas The Total is nothing compared to the hole that we saw in the Adidas Dropset Trainer, which we gave the lowest rating of 1 over 5.

Adidas The Total Toebox durability
Test results
The Total 4
Average 3.5
Compared to 6 weightlifting training shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

The durability of the heel padding was even more noteworthy. Our Dremel test looked like mere child's play. We were confident that no amount of rubbing could lead to serious damage in this area.

As can be seen in the picture below, there was barely any trace that a high-pressure Dremel drilling tried to wreak havoc on the heel. The Adidas The Total truly deserved the perfect 5 we gave it. The MC Trainer 2 (pictured below) from Nike did not display as much resistance. Hence, it had to settle with a 1 over 5.

Adidas The Total Heel padding durability
Test results
The Total 5
Average 3.6
Compared to 5 weightlifting training shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

When it came to outsole hardness, there was nothing extraordinary with the Adidas The Total. True enough, our HC durometer gave it a rating of 85.5, a number that's very close to the average we have on record.

Adidas The Total Outsole hardness
Test results
The Total 85.5 HC
Average 85.1 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 6 weightlifting training shoes
Number of shoes
79.5 HC
Outsole hardness
90.6 HC

Outsole durability

Just like its hardness, the durability of the outsole was just around the average as well. We do not think that this trainer is the best choice for outdoor workouts, but using it outdoors once in a while shouldn't be a problem, either.

Our Dremel drilling only left a dent that was 0.8 mm deep. This much damage was also what the average trainer would get.

Adidas The Total Outsole durability
Test results
The Total 0.8 mm

Outsole thickness

Our caliper measured the outsole to be only 2.1 mm thick. This number makes the outsole of the Adidas The Total slightly thinner than average. 

Adidas The Total Outsole thickness
Test results
The Total 2.1 mm
Average 3.6 mm
Compared to 6 weightlifting training shoes
Number of shoes
2.1 mm
Outsole thickness
5.0 mm

Weight

We felt that the Adidas The Total weighed just like any other training shoe that we tried. Performance-wise, there was not much to be too mindful about.

Our in-lab weighing scale reported a weight of 11. 5 ounces or 327 grammes, a number which is just around the average.

Adidas The Total Weight
Test results
The Total 11.53 oz (327g)
Average 17.53 oz (497g)
Compared to 6 weightlifting training shoes
Number of shoes
11.53 oz (327g)
Weight
22.12 oz (627g)

Platform

Heel stack

Just by looking at it, we could already tell that the midsole of the Adidas The Total was on the thinner side. Hence, we were not anymore shocked when our calliper measured the heel part of the midsole to be only 12.5 mm thick.

It is an exceptionally grounded lifting shoe that made us feel very close to training barefoot.

Adidas The Total Heel stack
Test results
The Total 12.5 mm
Average 28.3 mm
Compared to 6 weightlifting training shoes
Number of shoes
12.5 mm
Heel stack
34.6 mm

Forefoot stack

Just like the heel area, the forefoot part of the midsole was also quite thin. The caliper measured it to be only 12.5 mm thick. 

Adidas The Total Forefoot stack
Test results
The Total 12.5 mm
Average 12.9 mm
Compared to 6 weightlifting training shoes
Number of shoes
10.9 mm
Forefoot stack
14.8 mm

Drop

Based on our stack measurements, the Adidas The Total delivers on promise - 0.0 mm of heel-to-toe drop. This shoe is as flat as it can be.

Adidas The Total deadlifting

In zero-drop shoes, your foot sits flat on top of the sole, just like it would on the floor. There is no heel elevation whatsoever. Paired with the shoe's thin sole, this setup allowed us to achieve greater stability by having a better ground feel.

Adidas The Total Drop
Test results
The Total 0.0 mm
Average 15.4 mm
Compared to 6 weightlifting training shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Drop
20.9 mm

Platform firmness

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

The midsole of the Adidas The Total felt rather hard underfoot. But it was very helpful in maintaining balance as we hoisted weights off the floor and overhead.

Our HA durometer gave the midsole a softness rating of 40.0, which is way higher (therefore firmer) than the average of regular cross-trainers.

Adidas The Total Midsole softness
Test results
The Total 40.0 HA
Average 69.2 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 6 weightlifting training shoes
Number of shoes
36.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
97.0 HA

Insole thickness

The removable insole was just as thick as the average at 3.6 mm. It succeeded in providing comfort to our feet buffering them from the firm sole.

Adidas The Total Insole thickness
Test results
The Total 3.6 mm
Average 5.9 mm
Compared to 6 weightlifting training shoes
Number of shoes
3.6 mm
Insole thickness
8.3 mm

Stability

Lateral stability test

The construction of the Total differs from other lifting shoes a lot. That's why it's a bit tricky to compare its lateral stability with other shoes in this category.

But on its own, this Adidas lifter provides just enough stability for what it's meant to do the best and that is deadlifting.

Torsional rigidity

Unsurprisingly, the Adidas The Total has a highly flexible build. We twisted it manually in the lab and rated its torsional rigidity with the lowest score of 1 out of 5.

If you're coming from a stiff pair of lifters or Crossfit shoes, do expect an adaptation period in this Adidas trainer. The muscles and tendons of your feet and legs will have to work harder than usual. But that's the benefit of such minimalist shoe design - your whole body is properly engaged!

Test results
The Total 1
Average 4.3
Compared to 6 weightlifting training shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The heel counter was pretty dependable. Our rearfoot couldn't escape easily from its pretty secure grasp on it. 

We gave the heel area a good squeeze in the lab, and we gave it a well-deserved 4 out of 5 for its notable stiffness.

Test results
The Total 4
Average 4.8
Compared to 6 weightlifting training shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

The footprint that the Adidas The Total left on the floor did not look particularly big or small. True enough, our calliper measured the forefoot width to tbe 110.8 mm, a number which is just around the average we have on record.

Adidas The Total Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
The Total 110.8 mm
Average 107.7 mm
Compared to 6 weightlifting training shoes
Number of shoes
102.0 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
116.0 mm

Midsole width in the heel

Like the forefoot, the heel area also had an average measurement. The reading that our calliper made was 84.8 mm. 

Just because there was nothing special with the platform did not mean that we had problems with it. Despite its averageness, the platform was still able to keep our feet in the footbed during our exercises. The fact that this shoe had a markedly low profile helped a great deal.

Adidas The Total Midsole width in the heel
Test results
The Total 84.8 mm
Average 86.7 mm
Compared to 6 weightlifting training shoes
Number of shoes
77.1 mm
Midsole width in the heel
94.2 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

The Adidas The Total was flexible. We were able to perform burpees and mountain climbers with much ease because of how much give we got from this Adidas trainer.

During our flexibility test, we discovered that this shoe needed only 10.7N of force to be bent at a 90-degree angle. This is the least amount of force a lifting shoe ever needed to bend in our lab.

Test results
The Total 10.7N
Average 23.5N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 6 weightlifting training shoes
Number of shoes
10.7N
Stiffness
40.4N

Grip / Traction

We did not have issues with traction. Whether it was rubber or hardwood, the shoe performed brilliantly on both.

Adidas The Total grip

Size and fit

Internal length

At 271.1 mm long, the Adidas The Total felt slightly longer than usual. We could recommend this Adidas trainer to those who want a little bit of wiggle room.

Adidas The Total Internal length
Test results
The Total 271.1 mm

Toebox width at the widest part

Aside from running a little bit longer, the shoe felt significantly wider. We loved how it allowed our toes to splay as we were trying to balance.

At 104.9 mm at its widest, we are happy to report that this toebox can accommodate wide feet as well.

Adidas The Total Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
The Total 104.9 mm
Average 99.9 mm
Compared to 6 weightlifting training shoes
Number of shoes
95.2 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
104.9 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

There is absolutely no tapering in the Adidas The Total! It comes with a very wide, ergonomically shaped forefoot.

Adidas The Total fit

Measuring its width where the big toe ends, our calliper showed 86.5 mm. This is among the widest we've seen in training shoes.

Adidas The Total Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
The Total 86.5 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The shoe's tongue is partially attached on both sides. We found it quite helpful for holding the midfoot firmly to compensate for the roomy toebox.

Adidas The Total Tongue: gusset type
Test results
The Total Both sides (semi)

Velcro strap

A Velcro strap further secures the lockdown. It is placed closer to the ankle for enhanced foothold.

Adidas The Total velcro

Comfort

Tongue padding

Based on how the tongue was configured, we could say that this shoe was gunning for a more minimal feel. According to our calliper measurements in the lab, the tongue was only 1.9 mm thick! It felt barely there that there were times we forgot we actually had a pair of shoes on! People gunning for a more barefoot feel could go with the Adidas The Total.

Adidas The Total Tongue padding
Test results
The Total 1.9 mm
Average 5.0 mm
Compared to 6 weightlifting training shoes
Number of shoes
1.9 mm
Tongue padding
7.4 mm

Heel tab

There was a finger-loop heel tab that allowed us to wear and take off this shoe with much ease.

Adidas The Total Heel tab
Test results
The Total Finger loop

Removable insole

The insole was removable, which was quite handy when we had to wear inserts to further improve our performance in the gym.

Adidas The Total Removable insole
Test results
The Total Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

The Adidas The Total did not have any reflective materials on it. It was quite clear that this shoe should only be used in areas with good lighting.

Adidas The Total Reflective elements
Test results
The Total No