Adidas Power Perfect 3 Review


My very first pair of “weightlifting” shoes were the original Powerlift Trainer’s. At the time, there wasn’t as many options as there are now and I ended up paying something like $120 for those shoes. Since then they’ve dropped a fair amount in price and still have a pretty good following for being an entry level “squat shoe”. Honestly, I’m sure those shoes at the time were better than I was at lifting, but because they had an EVA heel that could compress (even if I couldn’t make them), I ended up selling them in favor of the much more expensive Adipowers (which I still love).

If only I could go back in time to tell myself that I didn’t need all that…oh well…at least it was a learning experience. Hell, the best of weightlifting shoes out now are still probably more shoe than I, or many of you guys out there, will ever need or have the ability to push to their limits. I get it and I’m the number one offender of living outside my actual needs, but if you’re a more practical lifter, you can rest assured that there is a weightlifting shoe for you in the Power Perfect 3.

Build Quality/Construction: 6/6

(Unfortunately, I never got to try out the Power Perfect 2’s before they were discontinued, so the only way I can compare materials is from pictures and/or relating it to the Powerlift’s.)

From just a quick glance at the PP3’s, it would be easy to mistake them for just new colorways of the 2’s (I did). Styling cues and silhouette remain pretty much the same, but if you take a slightly longer look you’ll start to notice that there are a ton of changes. There are a lot less seams and stitching throughout the shoe making the look more minimal and tidy. The upper’s is made out of two main pieces: the synthetic parts seem to be made of the same material as the previous models, but now the whole top portion from tongue to toe, is a new mesh material for more breathability and flexibility. At the very front and back of the shoe there are overlay’s for a bit more toe protection and heel stability. Details like the leather bit at the Achilles part of the shoe, leather medial strap, and 3-Stripes overlay give the shoe a high quality look.

It looks as if Adidas just took the previous model’s die-cut wedge EVA midsole/outsole combination and stuck it right on the Power Perfect 3’s. Yes, the midsole is EVA, which is a foam material and can technically compress; but chances are that most people won’t even be getting under weight where it will. The heel is also much thicker and taller than the entry level Powerlift’s, which also had an EVA heel that was already hard to compress in the first place. If you’re handling weights where this could even remotely be an issue, you shouldn’t even be looking at this shoe. For the other 98% of people reading this, it won’t be an issue.

I haven’t seen any kind of official word on the effective heel height on this shoe but I think it’s safe to say that it’s the same .75″ effective heel as found on the Power Perfect 2’s since it appears to have the same bottom portion. Personally, I think it feels close to that and maybe even a little lower due to the flat and gradual drop of the PP3’s.

For a weightlifting shoe that only retails with and MSRP of $130, the PP3’s deliver in the construction and looks department – we just need more colorways.

Fit: 5/6

Adidas hasn’t managed to consistently size their weightlifting shoes, but aside from that, I really like the way the PP3’s fit. These shoes fit wide throughout the whole shoe without really any kind of anatomical design other than there being a right and left shoe. If you’ve got flat and wide feet, these shoes will be a godsend for you.

My only issue with the PP3’s is the length, they run pretty long which could leave you with a bit of space between your toes and the front of the shoe, even when sized “correctly”. I first tried out a size 10, but that was both wide and long, so my foot was constantly shifting around inside the shoe no mater how tightly I laced it or strapped myself in. Sizing down to a 9.5 led to a perfect width (always an issue with my right foot’s bunion), but still remained a bit on the long side; way better than the 10’s though.

The basic lacing system does a great job in getting your foot locked into place and the medial strap, while placed a little high on the shoe – actually works perfectly where it is. With the “right size”, getting a locked-in fit despite having a little bit more room in front of the toes is not a problem.

My sizing for comparison:

  • Adipower – 9.5 (PP3’s still run longer than these)
  • Leistung 2 -10
  • Nano – 10
  • Metcon – 10
  • Romaleos – 9.5
  • Legacy – 9.5
  • Position – 10
  • Chucks – 9.5

Flexibility/Comfort – 5.5/6

In comparison to other weightlifting shoes, the Power Perfect 3’s feel like normal training shoes. Honestly, I feel like I could do a WOD in these shoes and be fine with light running and bounding exercises (I still wouldn’t though). The air-mesh construction does a great job in keeping the PP3’s flexible at the metatarsal joint. Toe off feels natural and without much resistance and split jerks feel comfortable to land in. Even just schlepping it around the gym isn’t so bad in these shoes.

For an Olympic weightlifting shoe, they’re as comfortable as could be. Obviously they’re not going to be cushioned like a running shoe, so extended wear might still make your feet hurt. However, I do think you’ll end up keeping these shoes on a lot longer than you would a more rigid weightlifting shoe. The fact that there isn’t anything in the way of arch support really sells the comfort aspect of the shoe to me.

Stability – 4.5/6

Let me reiterate the point that EVA foam is nearly incompressible for most mere mortals. Athlete’s in the OLYMPICS were still seen wearing Power Perfect 2’s (even the lower end Powerlifts) and that’s the main stage; if it’s good enough for those athetes, EVA should be fine for you. If you really want to get into what’s hardest, even TPU is compressible (Do-Wins) and from what I’ve heard, stacked leather can be harder than wood. That being said, if you want to go around the edges of the outsole, pressing in with your fingers, you can get it to compress. Try doing that to the center of the shoe and you won’t get very far.

Now that’s out of the way, the only real issues with stability in the PP3’s, have to do with it’s flexibility. The saggital (front/back) stability takes a little bit of a hit because of just how flexible the shoes are. Frontal plane (lateral) stability is great, but not top tier – Unlike “competition” weightlifting shoes, there no extended TPU frame to cup your foot in place. The PP3’s really just rely on the structure of the upper to hold you in place, which honestly works pretty damn good for what it’s worth. Keep in mind that you’re also not paying nearly the same amount as any “top-tier” weightlifting shoe, so compromises must be made.

Being able to get set-up properly for your squats feels rock solid so if that’s all you’re planning on doing, just run out and buy these shoes. Landing Olympic weightlifting movements is slightly worse in comparison, but still very good considering what you’re paying for these shoes. Even though the outsole pattern is on the basic side, it’s compound is sticky and holds very well, even on dusty rubber mats. It’s not fancy, but it gets the job done and that’s all that matters; somewhat of the theme of these shoes. To be honest, the closest I can compare the performance, fit, and feel of these shoes to are the Asics 727, which are my favorite weightlifting shoes because of how balanced they are.

These are mid-level weightlifting shoes but the performance borderlines top shelf.

Value: 6/6

What you’re getting for what you’re paying is an absolute bargain for the Power Perfect 3’s. Their price per performance is just untouchable by anything else right now. Adidas is genius for pricing these shoes for $130; there are really no other weightlifting shoes you can buy for that price, so the PP3’s manage to fill a huge hole in the lifter segment. I guess if you bide your time, you can wait for a deal to pop up on some older colorways for Romaleos or Adipowers – that is of course assuming you had a more narrow foot or higher arches.

Bottom line – If you’re looking for a no frills, solid workhorse of a weightlifting shoe that doesn’t break the bank, the Power Perfect 3’s are perfect.

Total: 27/30

Highly Recommended



  1. Looking to buy a weightlifting shoe, mainly for squats. I have flat feet due to overpronation (genetics), but I have never worn orthotics. Would you recommend PP3 or the Reebok Legacy Lifter?

    1. Power perfects because they’re more flexible and feel nicer overall.

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