Adidas Powerlift 3 Review
Performance Increase 9/10
- Still great value for money
- Tough and durable
- Good heel height
- Better Strap than the Powerlift 2.0
- More air vents than the 2.0
- Less forefoot flexibility
- Fit wider than the 2.0 so better for wider feet
- More expensive than the 2.0
Overview of the Adidas PowerLift 3.0
Ok, let’s start with some background information: Adidas make a lot of weight lifting shoes, and there are almost too many to choose from. The powerlift models are their ‘budget’ range, if you could call it that. At around $70 (£70in the UK still) they certainly aren’t cheap, but are when compared to the ‘premium’ $120+ range that they offer. But it’s more expensive than the 2.0. There’s nothing budget about these shoes though, and the value they provide given the competition in the market is incredible. The Adidas Powerlift 3s are essentially the little brother to the adidas adipowers. This 3 model is the successor to the older Powerlift 2.0 model.
If you’re not familiar with weight lifting shoes, I’d recommend you read my article on what are weight lifting shoes to give you an overview. Essentially, weight lifting shoes like the Adidas Powerlift 3.0 have 3 main components that make them better than running shoes and converse that you see most people in the gym using. They are:
- A raised Heel
- A solid Flat base
- A metatarsal strap.
Each weightlifting shoe and manufacturer works around these 3 focal points in their own way, and that’s why reviews are important. I’ll explain each of these points in more detail in the performance review below. I generally test the shoes by doing squats in them and then trying out more dynamic exercises to see how they handle tasks outside of their main function.
Was I expecting these to be on the list of best weightlifting shoes? I wasn’t sure. When I got my hands on a pair of these I was a little disappointed to be honest, the Adidas Powerlift 3.0 is essentially exactly the same as the 2.0 but with some minor changes. They have more ventilation on the shoes, a much thicker strap (which was a point of contention for the last model) and when I looked at them side by side, I noticed the leather looked thicker. Here’s the new side vent style:
As you can see, the strap covers a large amount of the tongue and those air vents stretch around the toes and down along the side of the foot.
As standard on modern weightlifting shoes is the prominent metatarsal strap. It’s there to help keep your foot firmly in position, preventing any excess movement or slipping which occurs in looser footwear.
However, some people have complained about the strap not being as secure on the previous model as other makes of weight lifting shoes. That has been addressed by the company and the Adidas Powerlift 3 boasts a much thicker, more substantial strap.
Also immediately noticeable on weight lifting shoes is the elevated heel. But there’s no standard height, the heel is on the Adidas Powerlift 3.0 is 15mm (o.6 inches) which isn’t as high as some weight lifting shoes, but still gives you enough to get a good squat depth without risking knee damage. Heel height really is a game of preference, some people have terrible ankle flexibility while others have pre existing knee injuries. Check our weightlifting shoe guide for what heel size is best for you.
I personally prefer the heel height of the adidas powerlift 3.0. Any more and the squat becomes an artificial movement. Here on the other hand, you still feel naturally supported rather than achieving squat depth simply by having huge heels on.
Given their substantial size, the sole thickness and the support they provide, the shoes are surprisingly light. This is down to a weight distribution plate in the sole (unique to the adidas models) which allows it to be made of a lighter material. That combination of a solid base, and a metatarsal strap means you stay pinned to the floor, there’s no give in them. The sides are incredibly durable giving you really decent ankle and foot support. I weighed these things quickly and my pair was about 380 grams/13.4oz.
These weight lifting shoes also provide an incredible amount of overall support to prevent buckling under large weight, again, this helps prevent injury and more importantly, allows for maximum energy transfer (which equals more weight shifted). That’s the whole point of weight lifting shoes and that’s what I really like about the adidas powerlift 3. They are simple and do exactly what they need to do. There’s no fancy lacing, no debate on the the heel height being too high and no impractical branding or styling.
Much like the 2.0 model, the adidas powerlift 3.0s come in a range of color schemes and designs. I got hold of the awesome red design from Adidas.
A small improvement on the previous model, the Adidas Powerlift 3.0 still holds the title of the best value for money on the market today. If you’re looking for your first pair of weightlifting shoes, these are ideal.