Adidas Performance Men’s Powerlift 3 Trainer Shoe
The Adidas Performance Men's Powerlift 3.1 Trainer Shoe is a dedicated rigid weightlifting shoe designed to enhance your Olympic lifting sessions. This shoe is designed for the serious trainer who wants a shoe with the stability and motion control to power them to new max lift numbers. To achieve this, the Powerlift 3.1 features a wide, solid base and a high-density midsole. This shoe is an entry-level model into the sole weightlifting shoe category. It is about half the price of its counterpart, the AdiPower.
Powerlift 3.1 is not designed for non-lifting activities. It is a lifter, not a cross-trainer. The qualities that make it ideal for Olympic weightlifting make it unsuited to everything else. Those features include immobilization of the foot, a thin, unsupportive midsole for closeness to the gym floor, an inflexible upper and sole, and a heel lift which gives you a greater range of motion for squats. Though the shoe lets you spread your toes, for a wide squat platform, it is designed to fit tighter than a trainer or running sneaker because excess foot movement during Olympic lifts can cause you to lose balance or hyperextend your foot and ankle joints.
Priced and designed for beginner lifters
Raised heel not as severe as most lifting shoes
Metatarsal strap backs up, hides laces
Flexibility through forefoot, still rigid for lockdown
Anti-slip rubber outsole
EVA heel more compressive, less abrasion resistance compared to TPU
The shoe’s upper is a combination of soft leather and synthetic mesh to aid in air circulation. This helps prevent your feet from overheating, and you will not get odor or bacteria problems inside the shoe. This helps fit the shoe to low weight, high rep lifting workouts where you are moving around a lot and generating heat.
The toe box, made of the same leather and synthetic combo, is as roomy as it can be, letting you spread your toes although you can’t flex or wiggle them a lot. The toebox has vent holes to aid in heat transfer and sweat abatement. The shoe does require a breaking-in period as it stretches slightly to secure and conform to your foot shape.
Finally, the midfoot strap covers the tied part of the standard laces, keeping them from working loose or catching on anything. The strap is short enough that it will not ever drag on the floor during wear. It is a minor point, but still shows Adidas’s commitment to detail and response to user feedback; the shortened strap is an improvement over the previous Powerlift 2.
The sole of the Adidas Powerlift Trainer is completely flat, without flex grooves. This provides a perfectly flat, balanced surface to power the weight upward. The hardened EVA polymer heel is raised at a height of 15 mm. This reduces ankle strain and allows you to go deeper into the bottom of your squat with better lifting leverage. The synthetic upper is exceptionally strong and stable. The heel area is as rigid as any pair of lifters while providing a lot of comfort thanks to the padding.
The area around the heel cup is extremely secure. This will keep the foot stable, ensuring that you won’t roll your ankle when under the heavy iron. The front of the shoe is narrower than your average shoe, provides a tight fit to ensure that you feel locked down in the toe area.
The open forefoot of the Adidas Powerlift 3 gives you a flexible toe support area for enhanced comfort, and vent holes make the toe area breathable. This also adds to the flexibility making them well-suited shoes for CrossFit training. Your stance is stabilized by way of a midsole wedge, combined with the anti-slip rubber outsole.
Sport Specific Enhancements
The Powerlift 3 features an anti-slip rubber outsole that delivers maximum grip to the floor. The EVA sole compresses into the shoe more than TPU would, which may provide some unwanted lateral movement when you work with powerlifting levels of weight.
The upper of the shoe features lightweight leather complemented with synthetic mesh. As a result, the shoe breathes well so you won’t be bothered by sweat build-up or odor problems. The open toe box of the Powerlift 3 also provides a good level of flexibility to the shoe.
So while we don’t expect overall comfort or a cushioned ride, we did find the midfoot and arch are a bit more flexible than on a lot of lifting shoes. The padding, while it keeps your foot still, will also provide a measure of support as you move from one weight station to another. More than anything else, we want to note how tight the shoe is. It isn’t tight enough to pinch and cause pain, the way a too-small shoe does, but the shoe’s entire job is to hold your foot still and it shows in wear experience.
Style and Value
In the style box, Adidas did everything they could to make the shoes as clean and visually appealing as what you typically see at the gym. The chunky, hard soles have accent patterns, and the lines of the strap go along with space it sits in. The Adidas logo and three stripes are present, and the synthetic construction gives the shoe a sleek, almost futuristic appearance. Finally, the Powerlift 3 comes in an entire rainbow of solid colors to match anyone’s mood and aesthetic.
Effectiveness and Results
The Final Word
The Adidas Powerlift 3 is a great addition to the entry-level weightlifting shoe market. It is a powerful shoe with an enhanced lockdown fit that immobilizes your fit. We highly recommend the Powerlift 3 for someone who needs a specialized shoe, one they will use consistently to perform standing Olympic lifts like squats, overhead presses, and deadlifts. They will do a reliable job and are built of durable materials.
The shoe looks stylish, for what it is, and comes in an array of colors. It is comfortable but provides good rigidity throughout the foot. The heel is lowered, a standard procedure for lifting shoes that aids you in getting your quads parallel to the floor during barbell squats. If you are new to lifting, but ready to transition to a dedicated shoe that you can only use for lifting, the Powerlift 3 will meet all your needs and also save you a good bit of money over more advanced lifting and powerlifting shoes.