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Adidas Dropset 3 Review

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The Dropset Trainer 2 blew myself and many others away with its stellar performance for lifting and cross-training. To be frank, I had given up hope on Adidas for making a top-performing trainer, and that’s why I refer to the new Dropset models as being dark horses.

The Dropset 3 builds upon its predecessor’s core DNA but with a few key upgrades that I think will be hit or miss depending on your interpretation of the 2 and your use cases in the gym.

For example, the dual-density midsole and outsole remain unchanged in the 3 which is fantastic for lifting. However, the reworked upper, which is the biggest change of this shoe has given the toe box a snugger fit while buffing durability — a give and a take.

Deadlifting in the Adidas Dropset Trainer 3

Dropset 3 Specs to Know

  • Price: $130
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 6mm
  • Weight: 12.85 oz (.36 kg/.8 lb for my size 10)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Width: Medium/Wide(ish)
  • Narrower Feet Sizing: True to Size
  • Wider Feet Sizing: True to Size.
  • Good Alternative: Nike Metcon 9

Pros and Cons

What I Like Based On My Testing

  1. Lifting Focus: The shoe’s superior stability and grip make it a top choice for lifters and I’d argue that, once again, the Dropset 3’s lifting performance is relatively unmatched for cross-training shoes.
  2. Durable Upper: The improved construction enhances performance and durability for CrossFit and similar workouts. The buffed synthetic overlays and thicker mesh make this shoe more resilient in WODs.
  3. Aesthetic Appeal: The stylish design with a split outsole and reinforced boot offers a modern look while delivering key features most want. The toe box is wide enough for medium feet and this shoe looks good. Look good, feel good, lift good.

Adidas Dropset 3 silhouette and side product shot

What I Don’t Love From My Testing

  1. Snug Toe Box: Despite the platform remaining the same width, the reworked upper has given this shoe a slightly snugger fit through the toe box which can feel limiting for wider feet.
  2. Midsole Cutout: The TPU cutout in the midsole can be problematic for my friends who want to wear this shoe for all-day wear and live in damp and wet climates.
  3. Limited Running Use: If you need a shoe for hybrid workouts, the Dropset 3 won’t be it. Its denser heel limits its performance and comfort for runs longer than 800-1,600 meters.

Who Should Buy This Shoe?

  1. Athletes and lifters with a heavy lifting bias. If your weekly training is primarily lifting and you want a shoe that replicates what a weightlifting shoe feels like, then you’ll love how the Dropset 3 feels on your feet.
  2. Dropset 2 lovers who wished they were better for CrossFit. The 2 worked for CrossFit, but durability could be an issue at times. The Dropset 3 will be a stronger shoe for CrossFit due to its buffed upper construction it’s already performed better for all of my rope climbing tests.
  3. Lifters who like a little arch support in their training shoes. If you prefer to have a bit of arch in your shoes then you’ll like the Dropset 3 it has a good blend of arch support with a slightly wider toe box.

Adidas Dropset 3 for rope climbing and CrossFit

Who Shouldn’t Buy This Shoe?

  1. Wider feet and Dropset 2 lovers you’ve been warned. If you have wide feet and were either 1) just on a cusp of fitting into the Dropset 2, or 2) didn’t find them wide enough — pass on this shoe. They’ll be too snug for you now, IMO.
  2. Flat feet who hate arch support. Look, Adidas is slowly making its way to making their training shoes wider, but this model still features some arch support and has that classic tapered midfoot that Adidas always uses.
  3. Running and class-focused individuals. If your main gym asks to revolve around HIIT, classes, and short runs, then you’ll want to explore different running-friendly training shoes. The dense midsole of this model will limit its comfort in these training settings.

Dropset Trainer 3

Adidas Dropset Trainer 3 Product Image TF2

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • Most CrossFit WODs (sans running)
  • Athletic Workouts
  • Lifters Who Like Arch Support

Falls Short

  • For Flat Feet
  • For Hybrid Workouts
  • For Exceptionally Wide Feet

My Performance Breakdown, Are They a Good Fit For You?

For the Adidas Dropset 3s, I used a lot of the same performance tests I use for cross-training shoes that have lifting biases. Most of my tests revolved around assessing this shoe’s midsole density and how pliable and responsive it was for sprints and HIIT.

 Test ThresholdsTF2 Rating
Deadlift455 lbs x 58.6/10
Lunge185 lb Barbell8.7/10
Box/Broad JumpsMax Length / 36″ Inch Height7.2/10
1-Mile run
Curved Treadmill6/10

Lifting Breakdown: Still a GOAT for Lifting

  • The dual-density midsole should be stable enough for most lifters. I enjoy how the forefoot is more flexible for lifts like hang and power cleans while the heel is denser for promoting stability.
  • The Traxion rubber outsole does a great job of gripping different surfaces. I never had slip issues when lifting on rubber gym floors, wooden platforms, and turf.
  • There’s more padding in this shoe’s boot which I like for adding more ankle support. When doing lateral lunges, you can feel the blend of this shoe’s ankle support and midsole to give a locked-down fit.

Using the Adidas Dropset 3 for lifting

  • So far, I’ve trained up to 455 lbs with barbell deadlifts in this shoe and have used them for heavy leg presses. In all of my stability-focused tests, this model has excelled and I’ve been happy with them.
  • The wider toe box is great for promoting toe splay while lifting. If you have narrow, medium, and E/EE width feet you’ll appreciate this sizing and fit feature.

CrossFit Breakdown: Better Than the 2

  • The lateral and medial rubber wraps on the midfoot of this shoe help give you grip for rope climbs, and it protects the upper from early breakdown, which is great.
  • There’s a thicker synthetic overlay around the toe box of this shoe which has been nice for prolonging my shoe’s durability when doing WODs with burpees.

Using the Adidas Dropset 3 for CrossFit WODs

  • The reinforced chainlink mesh has given this shoe’s forefoot upper an increase in durability, too. I had friends who had this material rip on them during CrossFit workouts, but this should be a non-issue with this change.
  • Look, this shoe isn’t built specifically for CrossFit like the RAD ONE and Born Primitive Savage 1, but they hold their own and can work well in these contexts — keep that in mind, if you are a CrossFit-focused individual.

Cross-Training Breakdown: Breathable and Dense

  • When doing workouts that include things like jump rope, box jumps, and skater strides, the forefoot midsole is responsive enough to keep this shoe relatively comfortable despite having a lower stack height.
  • The HEAT.RDY feature has been useful for keeping the ventilation of this shoe high. I have yet to have issues with breathability when training in hotter gyms — and I live in Austin, Texas, for the record!

Using the Adidas Dropset 3 for Cross-Training Sessions

  • The TPU cutout is nice for promoting airflow through the midfoot and cutting down on the bulky feel of this shoe. I love athletic-feeling training shoes, and this model falls in that with this feature, IMO.
  • For my friends who love ankle support, I think you’ll like this model. This shoe boot is fairly rigid and it comes up high enough to lock the ankle down when doing explosive lateral work like skater strides and kneeling to lateral bound.
  • The Traxion outsole has a ton of grip for different cross-training contexts. I’ve loved this shoe’s grip for heavy sled pushes and pulls on turf, and you’ll like the bite you get when training on various floors.

Running, Walking, and Comfort Breakdown: Not My Favorite

  • For running, you’ll likely find that this shoe works best for sprints, short intervals, and runs under 1 mile. I’ve liked this model best for my workouts where I was sprinting on the curved treadmill in-between kettlebell circuits.
  • Pre and post-workout 2+ mile cooldown runs? Pass on this shoe. The dense and somewhat blocky heel will give this shoe a clunky and firm feeling.

Using the Adidas Dropset 3 for Running

  • In the context of walking, this shoe is also just okay. It’s comfortable enough to wear out and about, but remember, it’s a trainer built for lifting, so it will run denser. Plush shoe lovers, you’ve been warned.
  • Another complaint with this shoe for walking is the TPU cutout can be a big turnoff for city and wet climate dwellers. Water from puddles and moisture can get through this shoe pretty easily.
  • Would I wear this training shoe to walk around all day on vacation? No. This model will be best served for running a few errands and then hitting the gym versus keeping them on from sunrise to sunset.

Construction Details

Upper Construction

  • The synthetic overlay covering the toe box is more rigid than previous models, providing enhanced protection and durability.
  • Compared to the Dropset Trainer 2, the toe box in the Trainer 3 offers a snugger fit, which may require an adjustment period for some users.
  • The chain-link mesh extends from the forefoot to the midfoot, offering a combination of breathability and durability.

Adidas Dropset 3 On Feet and Construction

Midfoot and Laces

  • Extended rubber wraps cover the medial and lateral midfoot promoting additional durability and lateral support for training.
  • Ventilated HEAT.RDY tongue promotes breathability and the tongue is built with a lightweight padded mesh.
  • This shoe features an adjustable lacing system, which is great for customizing the fit and security that you can get from this shoe.
  • There are six core eyelets with three additional eyelets for fit customization.

Adidas Dropset 3 Outsole

Midsole, Outsole, and Boot

  • Dual-density foam gives you a blend of the more plush and flexible forefoot materials and a denser heel to promote full foot comfort and stability.
  • TPU Torsion System cutout in the bottom of the shoe promotes ventilation while helping to cut down on the bulk and weight of this shoe.
  • Full rubber outsole built with Adidas’ Traxion rubber which has a stickier and grippier feel to it.
  • Padded boot with GeoFIT tech to promote the security and support you get in this shoe. There’s also an external heel tab.

Final Thoughts, Would I Buy These Again?

I would. However, I still think the Dropset 2 is the stronger shoe.

I like where Adidas is taking this shoe line, but with any big change like an upper rework, there can be growing pains. The growing pains in this shoe revolve around how this material tweak has made this shoe feel snugger on the feet — a step back for wide feet.

Still, in the gym for lifting, cross-training, and now more so CrossFit, the Dropset 3 is a consistently strong-performing shoe. If you’re thinking abut buying this model, I’d proceed with confidence knowing this shoe can deliver.

That said if you’re like me and you’re frugal and want more toe box volume, then I’d sleuth for Dropset 2 deals or look into some of the options below.

Here’s What I’d Buy Instead

  • For Width and CrossFit: If you want a shoe with more width through the toe box and midfoot that works great for lifting and CrossFit, then I’d look into the Savage 1.
  • For Running Workouts: For my hybrid shoe-loving friends who want a model they can run and lift in, I’d suggest exploring the Inov8 F-Fly.

If you have additional questions about the Dropset 3 or if YOU’VE worn a pair and have thoughts on this shoe, drop a comment below or reach out to me via Instagram.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is the Adidas Dropset 3 good for CrossFit?

The Adidas Dropset 3 is a surprisingly good shoe for CrossFit WODs. It's dense for heavy sessions and has a reworked upper that boosts its durability for abrasion resistance.

Can you run in the Dropset 3 from Adidas?

For short runs and sprints, the Dropset 3 can work to an extent, but it's not going to be your best option for running. This shoe runs dense with its midsole and its heel can feel limiting for runs longer than 1 mile.

Do the Adidas Dropset 3 fit wide feet?

For narrow, medium, and slightly wider feet, the Dropset 3 works well. This shoe should provide enough width for feet up to a EE width.
Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of That Fit Friend. He's often regarded to as a go-to resource in various performance shoe communities. He’s been formally reviewing shoes and training gear for over 7 years and has hand-tested over 400 pairs of shoes. Jake is known on the internet and YouTube for blending his review process with his educational, strength sports, and personal training background.

Jake has a Masters in Sports Science, a Bachelors in Exercise Science, a CSCS, and he's been personal training for over 10 years helping hundreds of clients get stronger, lose weight, and accomplish their goals. He uses his exercise science brain and personal training background to make curated and thoughtful review content on the fitness gear he's testing.

2 thoughts on “Adidas Dropset 3 Review”

  1. Hello.

    I have flat feet but I wear custom insole in my UA tribase reign 3.
    They work so good for me as the inner shoe has no arch support if you remove the inner sole.

    If you remove the inner sole in those dropset 3. Is the inside flat? So that my custom sole can work well?

    Thank yoi

    1. Hey — I’d pass on these if that’s a huge ask. These will have a little arch and will prob feel uncomfortable.

      I’d stick with UA and go for the Reign 5 orrrrr go Born Prim Savage 1. Those models will have a flatter feel and less arch for you!

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