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Which weightifting shoes should I get from adidas ?

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Dec 13, 2015 1:10:56 PM


Which weightlifting shoes should I get from Adidas ?

This is to help you whether to get the Adipower or powerlifting shoes from Adidas. I own both of them and train regularly, so I hope this insight might be help of help to you to make a good decision on where to put your money.

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What are weightlifting shoes?


Weightlifting shoes are shoes which are different from a normal shoe to get the optimum out of your lifts. They are used in weightlifting, powerlifting and strongman competitions to support the stance of the athletes and to create more force against the ground.

For every event in sports you have an especially designed shoe to bring out the best performance. The shoes of the bobtail athletes are different from ski jumpers and cyclists. Each of these shoes fulfils a purpose. The purpose of the weightlifting shoe is to root you to the ground while providing stability through the entire lift. 


Why use weightlifting shoes?


Weightlifting shoes are a development that is as old as the sport itself starting in 1929. They are designed to help you with the most modern style of lifting for the snatch and clean and jerk which is the squat style.

The squat style evolved from the splot to the split style. Basically it is all related to getting deeper under the bar quicker. The most powerful muscles in your body are the muscles in your upper leg. During the 20 – 50s weightlifters did not make full use of these muscles through the entire lift and leveraged their back and upper body muscles mainly to bring the weight to their chest, to then move it over their heads.

Biomechanics and experiments of the lifters lead to the conclusion that if you can bring yourself under the bar in the quickest possible manner you achieve two things:

  1. The travel path of the bar without the lifters pushing his full mass against it minimises. Another way to think about this, is that you do not have to lift the bar as far off the ground as before ( the deeper you squat, the less high you have to lift the weight with your arms and upper muscles only)
  2. The sooner the lifter gets under the bar, the more muscles he can activate towards driving the bar up the earlier, making the entire lift easier.

To travel as low as possible you have to bend at the hips & the knees. If you want to get even further than that you also bend at the ankle and tilt your shins forward to squat even lower quicker. This thought process and movement is enhanced by weightlifting shoes.

For example at first lifters used boxing shoes which were laced around the ankle. This inhibited ankle mobility and therefore took away some inches from descending into the squat as deep and quick as possible. This is also a struggle I face as I currently have limited ankle mobility.


How are weightlifting shoes different from normal shoes?


The main differentiators are:

  • Raised heel
  • Free ankle
  • No cushioning

Most of the sneaker around are flat, provide support to the ankle and have cushioning to protect your feet from impact when running, jogging are jumping. This design limits your capability to press against the ground, make use of ankle mobility to squat down deeper and also puts your feet at an disadvantaged position for the entire movement by having it parallel to the ground.

A proper weightlifting shoe therefore sets you up for success, but is not a supplement for good mobility in the hips, ankle and knees.


What are the Adidas powerlift shoes?


The Adidas powerlifting shoes are the entry level weightlifting shoes from Adidas from a pricing perspective. They are better than sneakers because they have a hard sole, have a lash which tightens around your middle foot for stabilisation and keeping your ankles relatively free. Their heel is less raised than with weightlifting shoes and they are a bit more restrictive and less sturdy than the adipower shoes that I own from my personal perspective.


What are the adipower shoes?


The adipower shoe is the high end weightlifting shoe from Adidas which are quite commonly used amongst successful weightlifters (check out the hookgrip to reference my point). When compared with the Adidas powerlift I personally feel like that the heels are more raised, you get more support out of them during squats as with the powerlift shoe, and there feel and design around the ankles to give you more mobility is superior to the powerlifting shoe.

Especially the last point can only fully be understand when testing both of the shoes. It is hard to get across by writing or showing in a video alone. If you want to train for long and you have the money, I would suggest to go with the Adipower directly. Only use them in the Gym though, it would break my heart if you ran around in them for crossfit, use the Adidas powerlift or special crossfit shoes, in example from reebok, for this purpose.


Which are other options for weightlifting shoes in the market?


Nike provides the Romaleos which are also commonly used amongst weightlifters, depending on who sponsors them and personal reference. Their design is slightly different, but the underlying principles of hard sole, elevated heel and free ankle movement are the same. I could not comment and compare on both shoes alike, as I currently do not own a pair of romaleos.


How long have you been using these shoes?


I have been using the Adidas powerlift shoes for a year and the Adipower shoes for two months now. I am and I was satisfied with both pairs, but would not go back to the powerlift after having used the adipower.


What do they cost?


Depending on where you purchase them and whether you get them used etc. the Adipower shoe will put you back 150€ to 200€ (Adidas retail price official website 180€ as of time of writing). The Adidas powerlift will set you back somewhere between


Would you recommend them to a friend?


My recommendation would depend on budget, how much they lift and what they want to use the shoe for. First of all I think before you do not squat more than your own bodyweight lifting shoes are not a must have. However the earlier you start to get used to them, the better.

Secondly if your goal is to only get generally fit and occasionally lift heavy, mainly focusing on the squat, bench press and deadlift, the Adidas powerlift will do the trick, independently from your budget. If you are heavily leaning towards Olympic lifting and squatting heavy several times a week I would opt for the adipower, even if that means to save for a bit.  Otherwise you might be spending money twice like I did.

If your budget is below 100€ the only option affordable becomes the Adidas powerlifter shoe, which is a good solid shoe to be used for years.

If your budget is 200€ I would recommend the adipower shoes, if your goals align with what I mentioned above.




Lifting shoes are for serious lifters who want to get their body under the bar as quick as possible. If you do not train like this, you do not really have a need for weightlifting shoes. If you do, get them sooner, rather than later, to perfect form while using them. The upshot is that because of the hard sole they do not show the same wear and tear as sneakers and last for a long time.


Further reading


Topics: Lift stronger