Adidas Power Perfect 3 Versus Adidas Powerlift 4 Weightlifting Shoe Review

Let’s compare two of the budget weightlifting shoes from Adidas – the Power Perfect 3 and the Powerlift 4.

Adidas Power Perfect 3 Versus Adidas Powerlift 4 Shoes - side by side again
Battle of the budget Adidas weightlifting shoes – Adidas Power Perfect 3 (Black/Orange) versus the Adidas Powerlift 4 (Blue).

What do I mean by “budget” weightlifting shoe? Well, these are about 1/2 the price of the premium weightlifting shoes – like the Adipower II, the Nike Romaleos 4, or the Reebok Legacy Lifter.

But what’s the real difference besides the price tag?

That’s what we’ll deep dive into in this review.

Here’s the shoes we’ll be looking at in-depth:

Adidas Powerlift 4 Weightlifting Shoe (Tokyo) The Powerlift 4 is a lighter than average weightlifting shoe - with a minimal 15mm heel to toe drop (.6") This special edition of the Adidas Powerlift 4 Weightlifting Shoe commemorates the future Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Adidas Powerlift 4 Weightlifting Shoe (Gray Three / Core Black / Green Tint) The durable, light-weight canvas upper on the Powerlift 4 looks nice, and it is also very comfortable.

Adidas Powerlift 4 Weightlifting Shoe (Core Black / Night Metallic / Coral) NOTE: This is the same colorway as the Power Perfect 3 shoe in these pictures, but this is the POWERLIFT 4! With a minimal drop, this shoe may not have as much heel raise as you'd normally expect from a lifter. But, if you want the solid heel, and not a lot of lift - this is a great choice.

Adidas Power Perfect 3 Weightlifting Shoe (White) The Power Perfect 3 is a more expensive shoe - but has a 19mm heel to toe drop - which is more inline with a traditional weightlifting shoe. It's also heavier, but that's not usually a drawback in an Oly lifter.

Adidas Power Perfect 3 Weightlifting Shoe (Core Black / Night Metallic / Coral) Look carefully and you'll see the upper is different from the Powerlift 4, and the heel raise is larger.

Adidas Power Perfect 3 Versus Adidas Powerlift 4 YouTube Review

Why read when you can watch?

Here’s a hands-on review from our YouTube channel: (be sure to subscribe for other great shoe reviews).

Adidas Powerlift 4 Overview

First, let’s look at the Adidas Powerlift 4 weightlifting shoe.

Adidas Powerlift 4 Weightlifting Shoe - Side 1
The Adidas Powerlift 4 is the cheapest Olympic weightlifting shoe you can buy in 2020, at about $100.

This is the true budget option for an Oly lifter – as it is typically about $100 – or less.

But, you can see it has what you need in a lifter.

Adidas Powerlift 4 Weightlifting Shoe - Side Profile
That’s a .6" or 15 mm heel to toe drop provided by that heel raise. The outsole is a very solid "Adiwear" material.

There’s a very solid heel.

That means as you drive the weight up, and apply force to the floor through the shoes there’s no power lost.

But it’s also a raised heel (or it has what we call a lot of “heel to toe drop”)

Adidas Powerlift 4 Weightlifting Shoe - Sole and Side
Here’s a view of that all-rubber outsole. It’s flat, grippy, and feels like it will last a long time.

This will help you get deep in the squat with ease – because of the reduced ankle flexibility needed.

But this shoe in particular has a minimal heel raise (for a weightlifting shoe) – as it is only about .6″ or 15mm.

There’s very few other lifters that offer that minimal lift – so this is a good option if that’s what you want – and remember it still has that solid heel too.

Adidas Powerlift 4 Weightlifting Shoe - Canvas Upper Closeup
The upper is very light-weight and pliable. But it’s not very supportive.

The upper on these is made from a durable canvas. It is both light-weight and comfortable.

The simple upper and minimum of heel is what helps to make this a light-weight shoe. A Men’s Size 11 only weights about 16 ounces – that’s light for a weight lifting shoe.

Adidas Powerlift 4 Weightlifting Shoe - Heel
This is the Tokyo edition of the shoe – which will commemorate the Tokyo olympics (whenever that happens).

But, the flip side of that is there isn’t much lateral support in the shoe. That soft, pliable canvas isn’t as supportive side to side – or anywhere else in the shoe.

The Powerlift 4 runs true to size – a Men’s Size 11 is my normal size and fits me fine.

(That’s the same size that I wear in running shoes.)

Adidas Powerlift 4 Weightlifting Shoe - Other Side 2
These run true to size. There are light-weight shoes for lifters – each only weighs about 16 ounces.

I will say if you have wide feet these will be tight – and only in that case should you go 1/2 size up.

Overall I like these – they get the job done, and they are a nice minimalist shoe that just works.

And, they are one of the least expensive options around.

Adidas Powerlift 4 Weightlifting Shoe - Pull Tab Tokyo
Closeup of the pull tab on the heel.

Let’s look now at the Power Perfect 3.

Adidas Power Perfect 3 Overview

Here’s the Adidas Power Perfect 3 – another budget weightlifting shoe.

Adidas Power Perfect 3 Weightlifting Shoe - Side 1
The Adidas Power Perfect 3 is another budget weightlifting shoe from Adidas. It is more expensive than the Powerlift 4, but if you shop around you might be able to find it as cheap.

This one is more expensive, but it’s noticeably sturdier than the Powerlift 4.

Starting with the outsole – it looks similar – and that’s because it is made from that same hard-wearing “AdiWear” material as used in the other shoe.

Adidas Power Perfect 3 Weightlifting Shoe - Quarter view 2
The outsole is very similar to that of the Powerlift 4, with one important difference.

The outsole gives good grip, and does seem like it will last a long time.

But here’s where the differences start – there’s a lot more heel on this shoe.

It has a heel to toe drop of .75″ (or 19mm). This is more inline with other weightlifting shoes.

Adidas Power Perfect 3 Weightlifting Shoe - Heel closeup
There’s more heel raise in the Power Perfect 3. The heel to toe drop is 19mm or .75"

The other factor here is that the upper utilizes what is known as “Derby” style construction and there’s some heavierweight materials that make this shoe noticeably more supportive.

That also makes it heavier – but we expect an Oly lifter to be heavy – that’s the nature of the shoe.

Adidas Power Perfect 3 Weightlifting Shoe - Side 2
This shoe feels sturdier than the Powerlift 4. It is heavier too.

Perhaps the best thing about the Power Perfect 3 – If you shop around a bit, you can often find these for $100 or less.

The Power Perfect 3 fits true to size, at least for me. A Men’s Size 11, which is my normal running shoe size, fits fine in length and width.

Adidas Power Perfect 3 Weightlifting Shoe - Upper closeup
Here’s a closeup of the upper. It’s comfortable and this shoe runs true to size.

It’s a comfortable shoe and it does what you need it to – a firm heel, heel raise, and a midfoot strap to keep everything locked down.

Adidas Power Perfect 3 Weightlifting Shoe - Front
Not a bad shoe and it has the heel raise you’d expect in an Oly lifter.

Let’s see what the big $$$ shoes bring to the table…

Versus the Adidas Adipower II weightlifting shoe

Adidas’ premium weightlifting shoe for 2020 is the Adipower Weightlifting Shoe II – or the Adipower 2 – as we’ll call it here.

Adidas Powerlift 4 versus Adipower 2 Shoe - Side view of Adipower
The Adidas Adipower Weightlifting II shoe (or Adipower 2). It’s kind of a weird shoe…

This shoe has a 20 mm heel to toe drop and it is super-flexible – especially in the forefoot.

Some lifters prefer this flexbility, but the downside to this is this shoe does not feel very supportive.

Adidas Powerlift 4 versus Adipower 2 Shoe - side by side
It’s got a 20mm heel to toe drop, and a solid heel – but it runs VERY NARROW. And it’s super flexible – almost like a spaghetti noodle.

The entire upper is just not enough materials – and they are very pliable.

The other issue with this shoe is that it runs crazy narrow – I’m not even sure what to tell you for sizing advice because it is both narrow and LONG – so if you go up a size for width , you may have too much length.

Adidas Powerlift 4 versus Adipower 2 Shoe - sole to sole
The Powerlift 4 and Adipower 2 share a lot of similarities – both are lightweight and very flexible – but not very supportive. Powerlift 4 is only 15mm heel to toe drop though (vs 20 in the Adipower 2).

My last beef with the Adipower is the fact that it’s very expensive – and doesn’t really provide the stability and “rooted to the ground” feel that I prefer.

It is a comfortable shoe though – that soft and pliable upper almost feels like a running shoe.

Adidas Powerlift 4 versus Adipower 2 Shoe - Heel view
See the heel difference here?

(Of course there’s little to no cushion in the midsole though – but the upper itself does feel nice.

To be honest, if you like that soft, pliable upper you might want to consider the Powerlift 4 instead.

The only downside to that is that the Powerlift 4 will give up 5 mm of heel to toe drop.

Versus the Nike Romaleos 4

I’ll state right up front that the Romaleos 4 is my favorite Oly lifter for 2020.

Why?

Adidas Power Perfect 3 Versus Nike Romaleos 4 Shoe - Side 1
In my book, this is the best Oly lifter for 2020 – 20mm heel to toe drop, two straps, nice and wide for stability and it looks HOT.

It packs a 20mm heel to toe drop, two midfoot straps for a secure, locked-in fit, and it’s wide and very supportive laterally.

That’s a lot to unpack – but here’s the bottom line with this shoe – it delivers the stability and support I expect from a lifter.

Adidas Power Perfect 3 Versus Nike Romaleos 4 Shoe - Side by Side
Two straps are better than one – because you can secure it more precisely. The upper is also much higher quality in the Romaleos 4- there’s various layers of material that give it exceptional support and stability.

The width of the heel and the layered materials in the upper mean lateral support is a notch above that of any other shoe for 2020.

The Romaleos 4 does run a bit cramped in the toe box area though – I had to go 1/2 size up to get enough width for comfort.

The other issue with these is they are LOUD – much louder than any other Oly lifter.

Adidas Power Perfect 3 Versus Nike Romaleos 4 Shoe - Heel view
The only weakness of the Romaleos 4? That wide heel makes a lot of noise, probably because it is relatively thin plastic material. (It’s also expensive.)

Whether you are walking or lifting – they make a lot more high-pitched noise.

(All lifters make a clip-clop sort of sound as you walk – but these are especially noisy).

Adidas Power Perfect 3 Versus Nike Romaleos 4 Shoe - Sole to Sole 2
Fancy outsole! It’s got good grip and excellent width. You feel "rooted to the ground" in the Romaleos 4. In contrast, the Power Perfect 3 (and Powerlift 4) are not nearly as wide, or stable side to side.

Why? My theory is the plastic-y midsole that has thin edges is the root cause of it.

All that said – I love these shoes – I think they look good too – but looks can be polarizing.

Adidas Power Perfect 3 Versus Nike Romaleos 4 Shoe - Front quarter
I think the Romaleos 4 looks better. But aesthetics are a subjective quality.

Some people don’t like the big, obnoxious swoosh – but I have no issue with it.

They are also expensive, at $200 US.

In comparison, our two Adidas shoes really don’t measure up in the stability (especially lateral) or looks – at least to me.

Versus the Reebok Legacy Lifter

How about the Reebok Legacy Lifter? This is Reebok’s premium weightlifting shoe for 2020.

Power Perfect 3 Shoe Versus Reebok Legacy Lifter - Lifter side
The Reebok Legacy Lifter is an excellent Oly lifter. But it’s also expensive.

The Legacy Lifter has a nice, wide heel and it’s heavy clocking in at 23 ounces for a Men’s Size 11 shoe.

The heel to toe drop is 22mm – so this is the shoe you want for maximum heel raise.

Power Perfect 3 Shoe Versus Reebok Legacy Lifter - side view
Want lots of heel to toe drop? The Legacy Lifter is packing 22mm versus 19 for the Perfect, and 15 for the Powerlift.

It also has two straps – which I personally prefer over the single strap of the Adidas shoes.

Two straps work better – because you can vary the tightness at the top and the bottom – individually.

Power Perfect 3 Shoe Versus Reebok Legacy Lifter - Heel View
See the wide heel on the Reebok? That makes for excellent lateral stability. The Adidas shoes just can’t compete.

The other thing here is that nice wide heel makes these feel more stable side to side.

It’s not as much as the Romaleos 4 – but it’s not bad either.

Power Perfect 3 Shoe Versus Reebok Legacy Lifter- Wider Heel
One more view of that wide heel. The Reebok is quieter than the Romaleos 4. It’s a good shoe.

AND – the Reebok Legacy Lifter is comparatively quiet compared to the Romaleos 4.

It makes a nice, solid “thud” rather than a high-pitched clattering when you walk or pull with it.

It’s also expensive, at $200 US.

Power Perfect 3 Shoe Versus Reebok Legacy Lifter - Front
The Reebok Legacy Lifter is a better shoe, in my opinion, but it is much more expensive.

Adidas Power Perfect 3 Versus Adidas Powerlift 4 – In Summary

The Adidas Power Perfect 3 and Powerlift 4 are some of the most affordable Olympic weightlifting shoes you can buy in 2020.

And they aren’t just cheap – they are good too.

They provide the solid heel, heel raise, and midfoot strap you expect on a weightlifting shoe.

The big dollar shoes might look a little nicer, and they do have some improvements, but these budget options will work for most people.

Adidas Power Perfect 3 Versus Adidas Powerlift 4 Shoes - side by side
Adidas Powerlift 4 (Blue) versus Adidas Power Perfect 3 (Black/Orange)

Photo Credits

Some product photos on this page are property of Adidas.

This website is not affiliated or associated with CrossFit, Inc. CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc.

Adidas Powerlift 4 Weightlifting Shoe - Side 2
Adidas Powerlift 4 – budget weightlifting shoe for 2020.

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