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AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 Review | Grippiest Shoe In the Game?

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The AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 is a barefoot shoe optimized for powerlifting and strength training. This model has been said to have one of the grippiest outsoles for deadlifting and training.

As a fan of the original Apex Power, I was stoked to put the Apex Power 1.5 to the test and see how they compare. I was most intrigued by the Apex Power 1.5’s Viziun Grip Tech.

To thoroughly review the AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5s, I put them through multiple squat and heavy deadlift workouts and athletic-focused training sessions. The variety of these sessions gave me the best means to assess this model’s versatility.

AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 Review

AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 Pros and Cons

As with every niche performance-focused shoe, there are countless pros and cons that come with the AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5. These pros and cons heavily depend on how you plan to use these shoes.

Apex Power 1.5 Pros

  1. The Viziun Grip Tech doesn’t disappoint and has a ton of traction when doing things like deadlifts (sumo, specifically). No matter the surface I was training on, slip and traction were never an issue.
  2. The forefoot and midfoot have a nice amount of width and the Apex Power 1.5 should work well for wide feet. I have an E-width foot and have almost too much room in this model.
  3. The extended side walls are great for giving your feet something to press and brace into. If you like a little rigidity in your shoes for strength training then you’ll enjoy this.

Apex Power 1.5 Cons

  1. The width and upper volume may actually be too much for narrow or low-volume feet. This is the downside to a shoe like this which has a wider and more spacious fit.
  2. This shoe works great for strength training, but it’s not necessarily the most well-rounded barefoot shoe for exercise and daily wear. You’ll want to limit this shoe’s primary use to working out.
  3. The tongue is still a thin mesh material that can dig into the top of the foot when breaking this shoe in. Wear longer socks to work around this and avoid friction on the top of the foot.

Apex Power 1.5 Specs

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0mm
  • Stack Height: 4mm
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Width: Wide

AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5


AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 Product Image

Best For

  • Powerlifting
  • Sumo Deadlifts
  • General Strength Training
  • Wide Feet
  • Athletic Workouts

Falls Short

  • For Narrow Feet
  • For Daily Wear
  • For Running

AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 Performance Tests

To test the AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 I took a versatility-focused mindset. I wanted to properly test this shoe for deadlifts and strength training while also adding in plyometrics, daily wear, and short runs to test its range.

Are the AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 Good for Deadlifts and Lifting?

For lifting and deadlifts, the AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 has been a super strong-performing shoe. In the context of deadlifts, there are three features that I really like with the Apex Power 1.5.

AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 for Deadlifts

First, the outsole grip is honestly sick. It bites stronger as you put more pressure into them which is exactly what you want when pulling heavy weight whether that’s conventional or sumo.

Second, the sidewalls have been solid for keeping the feet “locked in” when spreading the floor during sumo deadlift and sumo exercise variations. If you like lateral support in your shoes then you’ll appreciate this.

Third and lastly, I like the width of the midfoot and forefoot. It’s easy to let your toes splay and arch do its things when training in this model. There isn’t an aggressive taper and if you have flat feet I think you’ll resonate with this shoe’s fit.

AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 for Leg Day

This model has also been a good shoe for my leg days. The minimal stack height gives you a lot of ground feel and when doing exercises like split squats and lunges this shoe has a high degree of articulation and flexibility.

Can You Do Versatile Training In the AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5?

When it comes to versatile workouts including things like HIIT, plyometrics, and athletic-style sessions, the AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 does an okay job across the board.

If you’re like me and you blend a lot of strength work with plyometrics then you should be fine in this shoe for the most part. The outsole grip is a nice touch for multi-directional propulsion.

Testing the AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 for Versatile Workouts

I also like how lightweight this shoe is and that it is flexible. For example, when doing kettlebell swings and Cossack squats, this shoe moved well with my feet.

My gripes with this shoe for versatile training revolve around its tongue, which can dig into the top of the foot during repetitive exercises like jumping rope. I think it may be too spacious for some foot anatomies.

I also think if you have a lower-volume foot or narrow foot width then you might find yourself “swimming” or sliding around in this shoe when doing things like broad jumps and single-leg lateral jumps.

  • Alternative Option: If you want a barefoot shoe that’s better for versatile training, opt for something like the Primus Lite III.

Testing the AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 for Plyos

Can You Run and Walk In the AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5?

For running, you’ll probably want to pass on the Apex Power 1.5. Can this shoe work for short runs and sprints? Absolutely. However, it’s not truly designed for this training vertical.

With the reinforced sidewalls and flatter sole, this shoe can feel a little clunky for running. I don’t think these will be your best bet if you want a barefoot shoe designed for hybrid workouts.

For daily wear, I also don’t love the AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5. This is a barefoot shoe that I categorize as being highly niche for lifting and it doesn’t transcend into the daily wear realm for me.

Testing the AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 for Leg Day

The appearance of these shoes definitely bias a sportier look and I think if you want a barefoot shoe for training and wearing casually then you can find stronger options.

  • Alternative Option: If you want barefoot shoes for daily wear and training, opt for models like the Archetype 2.0.

If your main concern is traction and grip then you can’t beat the AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5. This barefoot shoe is optimized and built for deadlifts and powerlifting and features Viziun Grip Tech.

AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 Construction Breakdown


The outsole features Viziun Grip Tech which is designed to be a highly grippy rubber that promotes traction on different surfaces. There’s a multi-directional tread throughout the entirety of this shoe.

AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 Tread

The outsole itself is 4mm thick with a 2mm thick sole and 2mm thick multi-directional lugs. This rubber breaks in fast and I feel like it gets grippier the more you use them and break them in.


The upper is built with knit and mesh materials and the boot has additional padding. I find that the upper breathes pretty well in this shoe no matter the type of sock I’m wearing.

AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 Jacquard Knit Upper

There’s a fair amount of volume throughout the midfoot and forefoot in this shoe so I see it being a good fit for lifters with thicker and more volumous feet. The tongue is a thin mesh and has remained unchanged from the original Apex Power.

AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 Sizing

Most lifters and athletes should be safe going true to size in the AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5. They have a nice wide midfoot and toe box and their length runs relatively true.

I say relatively because some of the sizing options can leave your model feeling long. For example, I wear a size 10 so I opted for the 10-10.5 option or a 44 EU and I find this shoe to run fairly long.

If you have narrow feet or find that you typically have a good amount of room at the end of your shoes and you like snugger-fitting shoes, then you may want to consider sizing down.

AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 Sizing

For context, I have an E-width foot and find that I have adequate room in this shoe’s toe box and midfoot. This shoe should work comfortably for feet wider than an E-width.

  • AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 Sizing Thoughts: True to size for most.

If you have additional sizing and fit questions about the Apex Power 1.5, drop a comment below and I can help you out.

Who Should Buy the AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5?

As opposed to other barefoot shoes that have a little more cross-functionality, you’ll want to make sure you’re buying the AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 for the right contexts.

  1. You’re a powerlifter who wants as much grip as possible. If you’re a sumo deadlifter or a powerlifter wanting a barefoot shoe for competition, it’s tough to fault the Apex Power 1.5’s performance.
  2. You want a barefoot shoe primarily for strength training. This shoe has a lower price point than other lifting-focused barefoot shoes and it performs well for most strength training asks.
  3. You want a shoe with a lot of forefoot and midfoot width. For feet wider than an E-width, the AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 can be a strong option to explore.

AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 Barefoot Shoes

Who Shouldn’t Buy the AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5?

  1. You want a barefoot shoe for everything. The AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 won’t be your best barefoot shoe for day-to-day use, running, and pure athletic-focused training, in my opinion.
  2. You have narrow and low-volume feet. If you typically find barefoot shoes to feel “too big” or spacious then you’ll want to consider that before buying this shoe.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is the AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 good for wide feet?

The AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 is a good barefoot shoe for wide-footed lifters. This shoe doesn't have an overly aggressive midfoot taper and it has a wide anatomical toe box.

Can you compete in the AVANCUS Apex Power?

The AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 will be fine for powerlifting competitions. As always, though, if you're in doubt, contact your meet director.

Takeaway Thoughts

The AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 is a step in the right direction for the Apex Power shoe brand. This model has received a few subtle updates that are geared entirely toward boosting performance, especially in the realm of grip.

I think if you’re a powerlifter or lifter who primarily wants a shoe for strength work and competing in powerlifting, then you’ll be happy with the Apex Power 1.5.

They have a fairly cost-efficient price point, their durability has been stellar thus far, and they have a nice wide construction.

If you have additional questions about this shoe, drop a comment below or reach out 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.

3 thoughts on “AVANCUS Apex Power 1.5 Review | Grippiest Shoe In the Game?”

  1. Firstly, your content is second to none! Thank you for investing your time and energy into offering unmatched content. As for my question, I have very high arches and insteps in both feet, would that cause a problem for me in these?

      1. I own a pair of the Avancus 1.5 and when sumo deadlifting on a smooth surface, it may not grip as well. Then again the grip will be dependent on how dirty the bottom is.

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