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Adidas Powerlift 5 Review | Good Beginner-Friendly Lifting Shoe?

The Adidas Powerlift 5 continues its lineage with an updated upper featuring a reworked flexible canvas with mesh inserts. This is the fifth model in the popular Adidas Powerlift weightlifting shoe line.

As a fan of the previous Adidas Powerlift shoes, I was super excited to put the Adidas Powerlift 5 to the test. Overall, like prior models, I think the Adidas Powerlift 5 can be a good option for beginners and budget-conscious shoppers.

This shoe’s sole construction will be plenty stable for most lifters and the reworked upper does a good job with breathability and flexibility. I do think there are a couple of flaws with this model and it’s a step backward for the line, and I’ll discuss why in detail below.

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If you’re new to weightlifting shoes and want a consistent model for a good price then I think you’ll like the Adidas Powerlift 5. These can be great beginner-friendly weightlifting shoes that deliver good stability and security for training.

Who Should Invest In the Adidas Powerlift 5?

The Adidas Powerlift 5 can be a good weightlifting shoe for budget-conscious shoppers. This model, similar to the Adidas Powerlift 4 and prior models, has a price point that sits around $120 USD.

I think the Adidas Powerlift 5 will be best for beginner powerlifters and recreational lifters who are just getting into elevating the heels for squatting. This model features a heel height of 15mm or .6 inches which is more on the lower end for weightlifting shoes and heel elevation.

Adidas Powerlift 5 Review

That being said, I could see this model being a good option for anyone acclimating to elevated heels for squatting. The high-density EVA sole is plenty stable for more lifters and this model has good traction for different lifting settings.

While this model can be a good option for beginners and budget-conscious shoppers, I’m not the biggest fan of its toe box width and I think this model is almost a step backward in regard to its sole and last construction. They feel clunky and dated and I’ll expand on this below.

Adidas Powerlift 5

Adidas Powerlift 5 Product Shot

Best For

  • Beginner Powerlifters
  • Recreational Lifters
  • Budget-Conscious Shoppers

Falls Short

  • For Wide Feet
  • For Quality

Adidas Powerlift 5 Pros

Over the course of my testing and review process, I found a few pros to like and enjoy about the Adidas Powerlift 5.

  1. Solid Weightlifting Shoe for the Price
  2. Can Be a Good Lifting Shoe for Beginners
  3. Stretch Canvas Upper Is a Nice Update

The first thing to like about the Adidas Powerlift 5 is that overall it’s a good weightlifting shoe for the price. At a price point around $110-120 USD, I like what the Powerlift 5 offers in regard to its construction and performance.

Adidas Powerlift 5 Performance Review

The high-density EVA sole with rubber outsole both provide this shoe with a nice level of stability and the midfoot strap increases the overall stability that you get from the Powerlfit 5. I felt stable squatting heavy in this model and they do a good job for cleans.

For lifters and athletes that need a pair of lifting shoes for squats here and there, and who are not trying to break the bank, I think the Adidas Powerlift 5 can be a good budget-friendly weightlifting shoe to look into.

Adidas Powerlift 5 for Weightlifting

Another perk with the Adidas Powerlift 5 is that I think they can be a good option for beginners in need of their first pair of weightlifting shoes for two key reasons.

First, their price point and construction make sense for someone who may be just dabbling in the world of weightlifting shoes and trying to figure out if they like them and want to use them.

Second, the Powerlift 5 has an elevated heel height of 15mm or .6 inches. This is a relatively lower heel height compared to other weightlifting shoes that have heels that sit around .75 inches or models like the Nordic Lifting Powerlifting Shoes that have over an inch of heel elevation.

Adidas Powerlift 5 Heel Height

If you’re brand new to squatting with elevated heels, then you may want to start with a lower heel elevation to acclimate to the changes this will create in your mechanics. A lower heel height could also be useful for those that need some heel elevation, but don’t want anything too aggressive.

The final aspect to like about the Adidas Powerlift 5 is its updated upper construction. I like the reworked canvas and mesh upper in this model and feel like those are good steps in the right direction for this shoe line.

Adidas Powerlift 5 Canvas Upper

The canvas feels durable and it form-fits the foot well while also providing a nice level of security when training. The mesh inserts and perforated tongue are also nice for giving this shoe a fairly breathable fit and feel.

Adidas Powerlift 5 Cons

While I like the Adidas Powerlift 5 for the most part, there are a couple of cons that come along with this shoe’s construction and performance.

  1. Toe Box Could Be Wider
  2. Sole Is Stiff and Takes Time to Break-In
  3. Non-Gussetted Tongue Slides A Lot

The first drawback that I have with the Adidas Powerlift 5 is that its last construction and fit could be better. This shoe runs pretty short in regard to length and its width is what I would describe as neutral with the toe box being pretty narrow.

Adidas Powerlift 5 Width and Sizing

To be honest, I feel like wider toe boxes should be an industry with weightlifting shoes. Whether you’re squatting, clean & jerking, snatching, or using the Adidas Powerlift 5 for other accessory exercises, I think a wider toe box would be useful for performance.

Since this shoe already runs short, I felt like the toe box’s width really limited my ability to splay my toes. I think the thicker and clunkier boot is what pushes the foot forward more so in this model, giving them their snugger fit.

Adidas Powerlift 5 Sizing Review

Another drawback with the Powerlift 5 is its sole stiffness. The Adidas Powerlift 5’s sole is built with a high-density EVA, and it has a fairly thick rubber outsole attached. There’s also a stiff midfoot wedge in this model.

While these components are great for stability in squats, they give this shoe a stiff feel and decreased the liveliness of the toe box. For weightlifting and other accessories, having a more maneuverable toe box can be useful.

Adidas Powerlift 5

I think if Adidas decreased the thickness and stack height in this model’s forefoot, then you’d have a more mobile model that has a more versatile fit and feel across the board. The break-in period for this model is also fairly long compared to shoes like the Fastlift Power G 380.

The final drawback that I have with the Adidas Powerlift 5 is its tongue construction. This model’s tongue is non-gusseted, and it has a fairly narrow construction. During a few of my sessions, I found that the tongue was rolling and folding fairly frequently.

Adidas Powerlift 5 Tongue Construction

This is frustrating because the tongue is thick enough to feel it when it folds. This is also something that has happened on prior Powerlift models, I think adding a gusset or making the tongue wider would be a nice change.


To discuss the performance of the Adidas Powerlift 5, I’m going to break this section into three key parts. I’m going to discuss how the Adidas Powerlift 5 performs for squats, weightlifting, and other lower body accessories.

This way if you do have your eye on the Adidas Powerlift 5 you can hopefully better conceptualize if this model is a good fit for your individual training needs and wants.

Adidas Powerlift 5 Performance Overview

Testing the Adidas Powerlift 5 for Squats

For squats, I enjoy the Adidas Powerlift 5 and I think they’ll resonate really well with three key populations. First, I like this model for beginners who are just getting into weightlifting shoes. They offer a good level of stability and security for squats for the price.

Second, if you want a lower heel elevation, then the Powerlift 5 can be a viable option to explore. With a heel height of .6 inches, this is definitely a lifting shoe that has a heel that airs on the lower side of heights.

Testing the Adidas Powerlift 5 for squats

Third, they can be a good squat shoe for the budget-conscious shopper. For $110-120 USD, this shoe’s stability and performance are overall pretty solid and they should work for most lifters.

For my testing, I high-bar squatted up to 4-plates in this model and I had no issues whatsoever with stability or midfoot security. I also like the level of traction you get with this shoe’s rubber outsole.

Testing the Adidas Powerlift 5 for squatting

Testing the Adidas Powerlift 5 for Weightlifting

For weightlifting, the Adidas Powerlift 5 does a pretty good job. I think this model will be ideal for beginner weightlifters or those who are much more recreational with their weightlifting like myself.

For example, if you like to add in cleans and snatches on a weekly basis, but they’re not your main focus or weightlifting isn’t your main strength sport/reason for training, then I think the Powerlift 5 will work really well.

Testing the Adidas Powerlift 5 for weightlifting

This isn’t to say they won’t work for competitive weightlifters, however, I could see their narrower toe box and stiffer sole getting annoying for the avid weightlifter who wants more room for toe splay and a sole that gives more ground feedback.

The perks of the Adidas Powerlift 5 for weightlifting include its stability, midfoot security, outsole traction, and price point. For $120 USD, I think this model does a good job across the board here for recreational athletes.

Testing the Adidas Powerlift 5 for cleans

Testing the Adidas Powerlift 5 for Other Accessories

For accessory exercises like split squats, lunges, and machine work the Adidas Powerlift 5 does a pretty good job. I think it will work for most lifters and athletes who plan to use them for a variety of exercises on their leg days.

This shoe’s outsole grips pretty well so they can be a bit more dynamic in nature and the stability you get in this shoe’s sole is solid. I also like the midfoot wedge for additional support during unilateral exercises.

Testing the Adidas Powerlift 5 for leg day

As mentioned above, I do wish the toe box moved a little bit more as it would increase this shoe’s overall articulation. They can feel a little stiff at times on the back foot for things like walking lunges.

Adidas Powerlift 5 Sizing

For the Adidas Powerlift 5, I think most lifters and athletes will want to size up a half size. Notably wide feet, go up a full size. This model’s length runs fairly short and with their neutral width, they can feel a little snug in the toe box.

In prior Adidas Powerlift models, sizing has never been an issue for me, which is why I was somewhat surprised at how snug this model felt. I wish Adidas used the same toe box in the Powerlift 5 that they used in the Adidas Total.

Adidas Powerlift 5 Sizing Vs Adidas Total

For additional context, it appears that the Powerlift 5’s boot has been reworked and Adidas increased the thickness a fairly significant amount in this model. I think the thicker boot pushes the foot more forward, which reduces the amount of room you get in the toe box.

If you have a notably narrow foot, or a foot that regularly runs short for your normal shoe size, then you may be safe going true to size. However, I think going up a half size will be the better call for most lifters and athletes.

Adidas Powerlift 5 Sizing and Fit

  • Adidas Powerlift 5 Sizing Thoughts: Size up a half size.

If you have additional sizing and fit questions on the Adidas Powerlift 5 or how they compare to other weightlifting shoes, drop a comment below.

Construction Details

With the Adidas Powerlift 5, there are a few key construction elements that have changed and remained consistent with the Adidas Powerlift 4. Below, I’m going to outline some of the key construction details that come with the Adidas Powerlift 5.

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 15mm (.6 inches)
  • Weight: 14.4 oz (size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Flexible Canvas/Mesh Upper
  • Rubber Outsole
  • High-Density EVA Sole
  • Velcro Midfoot Strap (Plastic Anchor)
  • 6 Core Eyelets
  • Non-Gussetted Tongue
  • Midfoot Wedge
  • External Heel Loop

If you have additional construction questions on the Adidas Powerlift 5, drop a comment below.

Adidas Powerlift 5 Insole Construction

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do the Adidas Powerlift 5 fit true to size?

The Adidas Powerlift 5 runs a little short and I think most lifters would be better off going up a half size in this model.

Are the Adidas Powerlift 5 good for squats?

The Adidas Powerlift 5 can be a good option for squats. They have a stable high-density EVA foam sole and an effective heel height of 16mm or .62 inches.

Is the Adidas Powerlift 5 good for powerlifting?

The Adidas Powerlift 5 can be a viable option for the powerlifter that wants a heeled shoe for squats. More specifically, I think this model will be best for newer powerlifters or athletes that want a slightly lower elevated heel for squatting.

What is the effective heel height of the Adidas Powerlift 5?

The Adidas Powerlift 5 has an effective heel height of 15mm or .6 inches.

Takeaway Thoughts

At the end of the day, I think the Adidas Powerlift 5 will do an okay job for most athletes and lifters. This shoe delivers the performance that you’d expect from a budget-friendly weightlifting shoe.

With a stable sole and lower heel height, I could see the Powerlift 5 resonating best with newer lifters and those that want a lower heel elevation for lifting and squatting.

My main gripes with the Adidas Power 5’s toe box width and its non-gusseted tongue which can roll fairly easily.

If you have additional questions on the Adidas Powerlift 5, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend).

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 Powerlift 5 Review | Good Beginner-Friendly Lifting Shoe?”

  1. Hi,
    Can the addidas 5 be used for fx deadlift, bend over rows? If not can you suggest a weightlifting shoe for a beginner that can be used for squat,deadlift etc


    1. Hey! You’ll want to limit them to squats and lower-body contexts where you want an elevated heel. Weightlifting shoes aren’t typically ideal for deadlifting and I have an article discussing that in depth.

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