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Adidas The Total Review | Great Stable Zero-Drop Shoe for All Lifters?

That Fit Friend is supported by its readers. I [Jake Boly] run this site myself and buy the gear I review. If you purchase through my site, I may earn commissions on sales, read more here!

The Total from Adidas is a training shoe designed for optimizing lifting performance. This shoe has a few key construction details that make them great for strength training and they were formulated with the help of Sam Loch, a strength coach, and Olympian.

Overall, I’ve felt like The Total has been a breath of fresh air in the context of being a really solid zero-drop shoe for lifting. It’s stable under heavy weight, has a good width, and has adequate traction on a variety of surfaces.

Honestly, there’s not a lot to dislike about The Total in regard to its performance or overall construction. It’s consistent and specific, so I think if you can understand its best uses, then you’ll enjoy this model.

If you want a shoe for general lifting and powerlifting and like a little more midsole and structure to your shoes then you’ll resonate with the Adidas The Total. This shoe has minimal arch support and additional upper security for locking down the feet.

Who Should Invest In the Adidas The Total?

The Adidas The Total shoes are a great option for both dedicated strength athletes and recreational lifters. This model, while being great and optimally built for deadlifts, can be great for a wide range of exercises.

Unlike deadlift-specific shoes, The Total can be used in pretty much all of your strength-focused lifting sessions. This shoe features a 0mm heel-to-toe drop, low stack height, and anatomical last that gives you adequate width in the toe box with a low level of arch support.

Adidas The Total Review

It can be tough to find these characteristics in shoes for weight training that aren’t barefoot shoes, so if you are someone who prefers to train with zero-drop shoes, but does not necessarily want to go with barefoot/minimalist shoes, then The Total is a great shoe to explore.

Honestly, I think lifters from all walks of life could find use with this shoe and it does a good job at delivering a strong performance for a variety of contexts. If you’re serious about your strength training, then The Total may be worth looking into.

Adidas The Total

Adidas The Total Product Shot
4.7
Stability
4.8
Versatility
4.7
Durability
4.7

Best For

  • Powerlifters and Strength Athletes
  • Recreational Lifters
  • Flat and Wide Feet
  • Zero Drop Lovers

Falls Short

  • Cross-Training/CrossFit
  • HIIT, Running, and Plyos

Adidas The Total Pros

Over the course of my testing and review process, I’ve found a lot to like about The Total from Adidas. It’s a model that exists in a pretty narrow product category and ticks a lot of niche performance asks.

  1. Great All-Around Shoe for Strength Training
  2. Stable and the Outsole Has Good Traction
  3. Wide Toe Box With Great Midfoot Security

The first thing to like about The Total from Adidas is that this shoe is a really strong model for strength training across the board. You can tell that a coach and athlete helped formulate this model, which isn’t always the case with some niche strength-focused shoes.

Reviewing the Adidas The Total for deadlifts

I like that you can use The Total for pretty much all types of strength work and that it’s not a “deadlift-only” shoe. While yes, this shoe is built to help you perform deadlifts optimally, it’s not limited to pulling like deadlift-specific shoes.

When squatting, I like how easy it is to splay the toes in this model and when doing things like lunges, split squats, and sled pushes, the sole articulates well while also providing a nice base to balance and train on.

Adidas The Total Sole Mobility

I think this model will also be a really good shoe for anyone that wants a shoe for training with a 0mm heel-to-toe drop. Right now, there aren’t a ton of strength-focused models with zero-drops that aren’t barefoot shoes, Converse, and Vans.

To have a model built specifically for lifting with a zero-drop construction and a bit more cushion than barefoot shoes is a really nice thing to have, especially in a market that is desperately lacking similar models.

Testing the Adidas The Total for squatting

The second aspect to like about The Total is that it’s plenty stable for heavy training and the outsole has a good level of tread. This shoe’s stack height sits relatively low which is great for increasing the ground feel and stability you get out of this shoe’s sole.

Additionally, the full rubber diamond tread pattern on the outsole does a good job of gripping different surfaces. I had no issues with slip when testing this shoe for sumo deadlifts and it performed well on rubber gym floors and wooden platforms.

Adidas The Total

The last aspect to like about The Total from Adidas is the width of their toe box and the midfoot strap. This shoe is built with an anatomical last construction which is designed to follow the shape of the foot.

I think most lifters will find that the toe box in The Total is plenty wide for their foot anatomy. For context, it rivals the width of barefoot shoes. The midfoot strap is also nice for varying how secure you want your shoes to be.

Adidas The Total Width

You can crank the strap tight to help lock down the foot when deadlifting or leave it undone and looser when you want a little more mobility for more dynamic training.

Adidas The Total Cons

Over the course of my testing, I’ve only found one con that I could see other lifters and athletes having with the Adidas The Total shoes.

  1. Can Lack Versatility for Some Training Contexts

I think the main thing to consider, which I could also see being a drawback for some, is that The Total will be limited with its performance. This model is designed solely for weight training contexts, so it’s not going to be an “all-in-one” style shoe.

Adidas The Total Performance Review

If you’re someone who likes to lift, do HIIT workouts, and cross-train on a weekly basis, then The Total will not be the shoe for you. In your case, you’d be better suited to go for a good cross-training shoe as that will give you more versatility.

For $100 USD, while this shoe isn’t outlandishly expensive, I don’t think beginners will need to necessarily invest in them right away. If you have the means, then go for it, but a more budget-friendly shoe like a Vans or Converse will likely suffice just fine for your needs.

Adidas The Total Strap construction

Performance

To discuss the performance of the Adidas The Total shoes, I’m going to primarily talk about their performance in strength training settings. More specifically, how they perform for deadlifts, squats, and other accessory exercises.

Since this shoe is not designed for more versatile training, I did not test them in this context. If you’re looking for a strength training-focused shoe, hopefully, this section can help you contextualize if these would be a good investment for you.

Adidas The Total Performance Overview

Testing the Adidas The Total for Deadlifts

For deadlifts, there are three key players that help The Total perform well. First, this model’s stack height is really solid for efficient deadlifts. This model has a low stack height that sits between shoes like barefoot shoes and Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars.

I like this because there are days when I’m deadlifting heavy, but don’t feel like opting for barefoot shoes, so having a model that is low-to-the-ground with a bit more material between the foot and ground is nice for variability. You can also take the insole out if you want.

Testing the Adidas The Total for deadlifting

Second, this shoe’s wide toe box and midfoot strap are awesome for both conventional and sumo deadlifts. You can easily splay the toes and grip the floor with the shoe’s toe box and I like how easy it was to “feel” the floor when breaking the floor.

Third and lastly, the zero-drop construction and stable sole were great for mechanical efficiency. The zero-drop construction is nice for supporting deadlift mechanics and it helps prevent “coming forward” off the floor.

Testing the Adidas The Total for sumo deadlifting

When deadlifting heavier with training shoes with higher heel-to-toe drops, you may notice that you come forward a bit when starting your deadlift. A lower heel-to-toe drop will often put you into a better position to create a more balanced and vertical pull while still utilizing the legs (quads) to break the floor.

Testing the Adidas The Total for Squats

For squats, I enjoyed the Adidas The Total and it should suffice for most lifters that want a zero-drop shoe for squatting. In regard to grip and stability, I don’t think most lifters will have an issue when squatting with The Total.

Reviewing the Adidas The Total for squats

The midfoot strap is also nice for providing additional security when performing heavier sets. Honestly, the strap gave me a weightlifting shoe feel in regard to security, which was cool because we don’t have many zero-drop shoes with this feature.

I think the main thing to consider with The Total and squatting is understanding your mechanics and the type of heel-to-toe drop that will allow you to perform your best. If you like zero-drop shoes for squatting, then you’ll enjoy The Total and its construction for squats.

Testing the Adidas The Total for squats

However, if you like using an elevated heel when squatting, then The Total will not be the best call for you. This shoe works well on wedges due to its outsole grip, but it won’t be the best model for creating a faux heel with plates and whatnot due to its thinner sole.

Testing the Adidas The Total for Power Cleans and Accessory Exercises

For exercises like power cleans, lunges, and other lower body accessories, The Total did a fairly good job across the board. This shoe can hold it its own for static strength work and more dynamic exercises.

Testing the Adidas The Total for working out

I specifically wanted to test this shoe for power cleans to see how the security and sole construction carried over for something that is more power-focused. Some lifters prefer to perform movements like the snatch and clean & jerk with zero-drop shoes, so I wanted to see how The Total did in this context.

Overall, I enjoyed The Total’s performance for cleans and I think this shoe could be a viable option for weightlifting or weightlifting-focused lifters that like training in zero-drop shoes compared to the conventional cross-training and weightlifting shoes.

Testing the Adidas The Total for weight training

For other lower body accessory exercises, I like The Total and the level of articulation it gives you in the sole. This shoe moves well and has a nice low level of cushion for giving you a low-to-the-ground feel without being super minimalist in nature.

Adidas The Total Sizing

In The Total shoe from Adidas, I think most lifters and athletes will be best served to size down a half size. This model’s length runs pretty long and even when sizing down a half size I have a fair amount of room at the end of my toe box.

Regarding sizing down, this model’s width runs on the wider side so I think even if you do size down, then their width shouldn’t be an issue, especially through the toe box.

If you normally have no room at the end of your toe box or have a notably wide foot, then, in this case, you may want to go true to size. However, again, this model does run fairly long which is somewhat typical in Adidas shoes.

  • Adidas The Total Sizing Thought: Size down a half size.

Adidas The Total Sizing and Fit

If you have additional sizing and fit questions on The Total from Adidas, drop a comment below and I can help you accordingly.

Adidas The Total Vs Converse Chuck Taylor All Star

The Converse Chuck Taylor All Star is what I would describe as a classic and popular shoe for weight training. To get ahead of potential asks, I wanted to pit the Adidas The Total versus the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star in a performance showdown.

Regarding performance, I think there are three key details to assess and note about The Total and Chuck Taylor All Star. The first thing to note is that both models feature 0mm heel-to-toe drops, however, their stack heights vary.

Adidas The Total Vs Converse Chuck Taylor All Star

Essentially, both shoes will put your foot into a flat position while training. This can be useful for a multitude of reasons and zero-drop shoes can be highly preferential in regard to lifting mechanics. The lower stack height in The Total makes this shoe a better option for things like deadlifts and for giving you more ground feedback.

The second thing to note is the width of each shoe varies pretty drastically. The Total has an anatomical build with its last construction meaning the forefoot is designed to be wider and follow the natural flow of the toes and the midfoot follows the shape of the foot.

Adidas The Total Vs Converse Chuck Taylor All Star for lifting

The medial sidewall on The Total also does a good job at giving you a nice low-key level of arch support. The Chuck Taylor All Star runs more narrowly through the midfoot and forefoot which can limit toe splay for some foot anatomies and lacks arch support.

The third and final aspect to discuss between these shoes is their price points and intents of use. The Total comes in around $100 USD while the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star costs around $60 USD.

Adidas The Total Vs Converse Chuck Taylor All Star for working out

The Total from Adidas will also be fairly limited in regard to their versatility as they’re designed for weight training and not worn out and about. Conversely, the Chuck Taylor All-Star is the opposite where it’s designed for daily wear but is often used for lifting.

Winner: Adidas The Total. From a pure performance standpoint, The Total is the superior shoe in the gym despite having a higher price point. I don’t think you can go wrong with this model and if you want a shoe dedicated to weight training, then they’re a good investment.

Now, this doesn’t mean that the Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star is a poor option for training. More so, the Chuck Taylor All-Star will be best for those that aren’t super specific with their lifting, that want to save, and who want a shoe for daily wear.

Adidas The Total Product Shot

Adidas The Total

Pros: Stable, Wide Toe Box
Cons: Versatility
Offset: 0mm
Lifting Threshold: ~545 lbs
Material Quality: Good
Price: $
TF2 Rating: 4.7
Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star

Chuck Taylor All Star

Pros: Budget-Friendly, Versatile
Cons: Toe Box Width
Offset: 0mm
Lifting Threshold: ~545 lbs
Material Quality: Okay
Price: $
TF2 Rating: 4.4

Price Breakdown

For the Adidas The Total shoes, you can expect to pay around $100 USD. Honestly, I think this price point is pretty on the money for what this shoe offers in regard to its construction and performance.

It’s a niche model designed specifically for deadlifting and lifting and if you like training on a 0mm heel-to-toe drop but don’t want to opt for barefoot shoes, then this model can be a good option to explore.

Adidas The Total Insole Construction

I feel like both recreational lifters and competitive strength athletes could get some benefit out of this model since it’s not limited to just one exercise like some deadlift shoes are.

That being said, for beginners or anyone who wants one shoe for doing a little bit of everything like HIIT, cross-training, and short runs, this may not be the best model for you as they’re limited in versatility and will be best for dedicated strength work.

Adidas The Total

Adidas The Total Product Shot
4.7
Stability
4.8
Versatility
4.7
Durability
4.7

Best For

  • Powerlifters and Strength Athletes
  • Recreational Lifters
  • Flat and Wide Feet
  • Zero Drop Lovers

Falls Short

  • Cross-Training/CrossFit
  • HIIT, Running, and Plyos

Construction Details

Below, I’ve outlined some of the key construction details to note about The Total shoes from Adidas. This model features some unique construction details curated specifically for deadlifting and lifting.

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0mm
  • Weight: 12.1 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Textile Upper Construction
  • Velcro Midfoot Strap
  • Full Rubber Outsole
  • Reinforced Toe Guard
  • External Heel Tab
  • Padded Heel Counter
  • 6 Core Eyelets, 7th for Lace-Locking

If you have additional questions on The Total’s construction, drop a comment below. I know Adidas and other retail sites haven’t done the best job outlining all of this shoe’s features.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:
Is the Adidas The Total good for deadlifts?

A:
The Total from Adidas is a strong performer for heavy deadlifts. This shoe has a low stack height, additional midfoot security, a stable sole, and a wide toe box for optimizing deadlift performance.

Q:
Is the Adidas The Total shoes only for powerlfiters?

A:
The Total from Adidas can be a shoe for lifters from all walks of life, not just powerlifters. More specifically, if you like lifting with zero-drop shoes, then The Total can be a really good shoe to explore.

Q:
Do The Total shoes fit true to size?

A:
The Total tends to run a little long and sizing down a half-size would be a good call for a wide range of lifters and athletes.

Takeaway Thoughts

In my opinion, I feel as though The Total from Adidas is a breath of fresh air for recreational lifters and strength athletes. This model was built in collaboration with Sam Loch, who’s a strength coach and Olympian.

In all honesty, I wish more companies would build models like The Total because finding a good zero-drop shoe — that isn’t a barefoot shoe — for weight training that has a lower stack height and wide toe box can be a struggle.

I think the only potential downfall one might have with The Total is not understanding their specificity in regard to some of their construction details.

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

That Fit Friend is supported by its readers. I [Jake Boly] run this site myself and buy the gear I review. If you purchase through my site, I may earn commissions on sales, read more here!

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.

18 thoughts on “Adidas The Total Review | Great Stable Zero-Drop Shoe for All Lifters?”

  1. Jake – thanks for getting back to me quickly. I am a recreational lifter with slightly wide feet and short hands. So stack height is probably crucial. Too bad as I could get Adidas “Total Shoe” for less than $25 cash (due to some credits I have) and also I seem to fit Adidas well (I got Adidas “Powerlift 5” two weeks ago for Squat & Bench and they seem to work well). Also tried “Sabo pro” but they seem to be a tad long and slightly narrow. Also didn’t like the ankle support as it bothers me.

    For my deadlift shoes, I am currently leaning towards “Tolos Archetype 2.0” as they have my size (US M 9/9.5) available and suitable for Gym usage. If you have any additional thoughts, please let me know. Who knew selecting proper shoes could be so complex ..

    Very nice and useful blog, insights and videos, much appreciated.

    1. I mean, in the grand scheme of things, the Total will likely be fine for you! The stack height wouldn’t make that big of a difference if you’re just training recreationally and pushing numbers with a nice linear progression. Tolos would be sick if you want more ground feel and low stack height. However, that $25 for the Total is pretty dang solid!

      Thank you for checking it out!

  2. Got my true to size 8.5 UK size , last week and did my first strength session in them today. Very impressed and extremely comfortable from the get go.
    Wonder if the they size large only at certain size ranges .

  3. Bought them , but sizing down didn’t work for me despite having narrow fit. My toes kept hitting the end of the shoes. Sent them back. Will probably try true to size at some point. Shame as really liked them. Probably stick to Nano x3 for a bit.

  4. Sorry two more questions.
    Do these shoes have good grip on wooden surfaces, have read on other sites they are not that good on wooden surfaces and also would they be suitable for heavy elevated split squats?

    Many Thanks

    1. They do an adequate job and I haven’t had slip issues on the platforms I’ve trained on. They’re not the tackiest shoes I’ve ever tried, but for conventional deads/squats they’ll be alright, IMO!

      Yeah, they should be okay for the context assuming you mean using them with wedges? If you get your sizing right you shouldn’t slide around too much.

      1. Thanks for your response.

        I meant if your using them on a wooden floor (not platform), while doing Bulgarian split squats (not with wedges).

        Keep up the good work , have already bought the nano x3 based on your review and was impressed by them.

        Kind Regards

        Glen

  5. If you narrow feet, but want a zero drop shoe for general strength training. If you ok down half a size do you think this would be suitable?

    Many Thanks

    Glen

        1. In your opinion: Consider my reebok lifter pr 3 and legacy lifter 2 are size 10 us (43 eu), which size for the total? 42 2/3 or a 43 1/3? Thanks

          1. Sorry, I’ve seen that 42 2/3 is 9 US, while 43 1/3 is 9.5 US. My reebok are size 10US and fit me well. Do you suggest a full size smaller for Adidas the total? (Then size 9 US). Many thanks for your reply.

      1. Sorry two more questions.
        Do these shoes have good grip on wooden surfaces, have read on other sites they are not that good on wooden surfaces and also would they be suitable for heavy elevated split squats?

        Many Thanks

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