After wrecking several pairs of new balance and quite a few nike’s in the gym I decided it was time for a change…
Looking around for a replacement pair of trainers, I stumbled upon these Adipower weightlifting shoes. Normally I couldn’t care less what brand or model shoe I wear, Just so long as they have a flat, solid sole, they don’t roll over or wobble too much and are reasonably comfortable then I’m happy. But after reading an article a while back on shoes designed for weightlifting I decided I would give them a try. Weightlifting shoes seem to be getting more and more common in gyms lately. These are shoes designed specifically for weightlifting, the most noticeable features being a solid, flat sole and 1 or 2 straps which hold the shoes to your foot preventing it from rolling, but its the elevated heal that’s the key feature. Its said to provide greater stability throughout compound movements mainly squats and olympic lifts and therefore improve your overall form. Theres quite a few reviews online with some very impressive claims.
“Amazing, they instantly added 15kg to my first squat session” “Allowed me to squat one or two inches deeper then normal” Being quite the obsessive when it comes to form (particularly in squatting) I had to see for myself… There seemed to be two main contenders:
- Nike Romaleos 2:
- Adidas Adipowers:
(other notewothy contenders were Reeboks crossfit range and nova-8 FastLift range)
After checking some reviews online I decided to opt for the Adidas shoe. This was mainly due to the fact I could order directly form Adidas Ireland and a romaleo 2 stockist seemed to be a bit more difficult to find. This first thing I will say is: These shoes, they are by no means cheep. The romaleo 2’s retailing on Amazon at around: £199 and the Adipowers: £150. Which i feel is quite expensive for a pair of trainers that you can’t actually run anywhere in.
Which brings me to my next point, after trying on the adipowers the first thing i noticed was how rigid and clunky these thing are, if you’re the type that likes to get some cardio in, directly after your squat session, then these probably aren’t for you. In fact I have a hard time walking at fast pace in them. Then again its thats not what they’re designed for. I plan to get around this problem by simply throwing another pair of trainers in my gym bag on the rare days i do decide to do some cardio. After reading several reviews for the Adipowers I noticed a common complaint was, that the shoe was very tight fitting around the toe, several people mentioned that if you had a broad foot the shoe felt uncomfortable and even suggested ordering a size up to allow for extra room, I have to agree. I also noticed they were quite tight fitting around the toe but I would go so far as to say uncomfortable. Overall the shoe feels light for its size and the base of shoe feels slightly larger then a regular trainer
So to the test run. I excitedly strap on my shoes and after a somewhat awkward drive to the gym I head directly for a squat rack. I decided to hit some very light warm up sets to break them in and allow myself to adjust.
Set 1 : (just the bar) and….. nothing. No difference. Nothing i could call noticeable, maybe these were not great investment after all?
Set 2: I decided to throw on 40kg: They movement seems slightly better, more stable and less wobble then in my new balance.
Set 3: I load the bar and go right to working sets and suddenly everything makes sense. Everything feels better. The decent into the hole is smoother the rise out of it feels more and stable planted thanks to the elevated heal, and there’s absolutely no wobble due to the narrow toe holding my foot in place. Everything feels more centred and powerful and I feel that my balance has greatly improved. After a few more sets, I’m sold.
I try some different lifts to see if they also improve. Power cleans feel smoother, The shoe flexes around the toe (where you want it too) and feels, rigid and planted around the heel. Deadlifting feels fantastic, again more planted and stable. They’re a joy to sumo deadlift in, no rolling or wobbling that comes with normal trainers. I was concerned that the added hight from the heal would change the feel of the movement but I actually felt more confident with my form and the little errors that I know My form suffers from seem to be lessened while I’m lifting in them.
Are they worth the price? That really depends, if you’re the type who like me obsesses over form, loves to lift compound and don’t really care much for cardio then you’re going to love them. The build quality is excellent and I’v no doubt they will last a long time. They do look and feel like a premium quality product so I do feel the price is justified.
Would I recommend them? Defiantly. I’m sold. Don’t get me wrong they are by no means a necessity. I do think they should be considered a luxury item, but I have to say, I love them. I can see myself wearing these for every session and to revert back to regular trainers now would be difficult. After a few more sessions in them I found that they actually get better as you wear them in, the fit seems to improve with time.
Will they instantly add 15kg to your squat? No, probably not. They should certainly improve your form but they are a just a pair of shoes after all, let’s be realistic. If you’re interested in ordering a pair, I would recommend ordering the same as your regular shoe size. I’m a 10 and the size 10 fitted me perfectly, as mentioned, they do run quite narrow in the toe but thats entirely the point.
Available on amazon here: