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AVANCUS Apex Power Review | Best Minimalist Shoes for Deadlifting?

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The AVANCUS Apex Power is a minimalist shoe designed with the lifter and strength athlete in mind. These shoes were purposely built to support heavy deadlifts, squats, and intense training sessions.

As someone on the never-ending quest to find the optional minimalist shoes for lifting, I was stoked to put the AVANCUS Apex Power to the test. This model has a minimalist feel but with a bit more boot structure and support. 

In my AVANCUS Apex Power review, I’ll cover the pros and cons and share my performance experiences in this shoe.

Quick Take: If you want a minimalist shoe that has a little more structure to its boot and upper with a lot of outsole grip, then you’ll really resonate with the AVANCUS Apex Power, in my opinion.

AVANCUS Apex Power

AVANCUS Apex Power Product Shot
4.8
Stability
4.8
Versatility
4.7
Durability
4.7
Quality
4.8

Best For

  • Deadlifting (Sumo and Conventional)
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Versatile Workouts
  • Minimalist Shoe Lovers

Falls Short

  • For Daily Wear

Me Testing the AVANCUS Apex Power for Deadlifting

Who Should Buy the AVANCUS Apex Power?

After multiple training sessions in the AVANCUS Apex Power, I’ve found a few contexts where these shoes really excel.

1. Athletes Concerned With Traction and Grip

The first lifter that will enjoy the AVANCUS Apex Power is the strength athlete that is constantly putting a ton of stress into the sole of their shoe. There’s a reason not every model works for things like sumo deadlifts and sled pushes.

Me Testing the AVANCUS Apex Power for Sled Drags

The AVANCUS Apex Power has performed exceptionally well regarding its traction on different surfaces, and these are some of the grippier shoes I’ve trained in lately.

2. Strength Athletes and Lifters That Like Boot Support

The AVANCUS Apex Power feels like a blend of the The Total from Adidas, a shoe designed for lifting with a bit more upper and boot support, and the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III.

Me Testing the AVANCUS Apex Power for Leg Day

I think you love minimalist shoes with flexible soles but often wish they had a little more structure to them, especially through the boot, then you’ll resonate with the AVANCUS Apex Power.

3. Budget-Conscious Shoppers Wanting a Shoe for Lifting

If you want to spend less than $100 on a pair of shoes for lifting and training, then you’ll like the AVANCUS Apex Power’s $95 price point, especially for how well-rounded this shoe is.

AVANCUS Apex Power Minimalist Shoes

This shoe has worked well for heavy lifting, and dynamic workouts that included plyometrics and power cleans, and they’ve held their own for my conditioning sessions. In my opinion, they deliver a solid performance for their price.

Who Shouldn’t Buy the AVANCUS Apex Power?

When it comes to performance in the gym, the AVANCUS Apex Power has done exceptionally well, but there are a couple of contexts where I think you’ll want to pass on this shoe.

1. Lifters That Want a Shoe for Daily Wear As Well

If you want a shoe for training that transcends the gym and can look good for casual wear, then you may not resonate with the AVANCUS Apex Power. I’m going to reserve this model for training due to its outsole grip and appearance.

Me Testing the AVANCUS Apex Power for Daily Wear

First, I don’t want to break down this shoe’s outsole with daily use since it’s super grippy and one of my favorite parts of this shoe. It can definitely work for daily wear, don’t get me wrong, but I want my pair to last longer.

Second, this model looks a little too “gymmy” for casual use, in my opinion, and I’d rather use a more casual-looking shoe like a Tolos Archetype 2.0 for training and casual wear.

2. Blocky Feet May Not Resonate With These

Personally, I find the width of these shoes to be plenty fine for my feet, however, they do have a little taper to them at the end of the toe box. For example, if you compare them to a Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III, they’re a little more “athletic” through the toe.

AVANCUS Apex Power Sizing Vs Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III

If you have blockier and notably wide feet, especially through your toes, then you may want to consider this with the Apex Power. I don’t think most will have issues with the sizing of these shoes, but it’s worth noting if you fall into that blocky niche.

However again, I think for most lifters, you’ll find the width plenty fine in the AVANCUS Apex Power. I included a picture of them versus a Converse below.

AVANCUS Apex Power Vs Converse

I personally like the more athletic fit of the toe box, too, and it reminds me of models like Tolos which I prefer because I don’t slide around. If you’re similar, then you’ll vibe with this shoe. This point is more so for those who find shoes like Vivobarefoot too snug.

AVANCUS Apex Power Pros and Cons

Report Card: Get the Quick Facts

AVANCUS Apex Power

AVANCUS Apex Power Quick Facts
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0mm
  • Stack Height: ~6mm
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Width: Wide

Pros

  1. If you want a minimalist shoe with a lot of grip for training and exercises like sumo deadlifts these work really well.
  2. These have a good level of width and should fit most foot anatomies well. They rival models like the Tolos Archetype 1.0 and Primus Lite III.
  3. This model feels like a blend of the Adidas The Total and a traditional barefoot shoe so if you want a flexible sole with boot support, you’ll enjoy these.

Cons

  1. In my opinion, you’ll want to keep these shoes for training and gym use and avoid rocking them for daily wear which cuts into their versatility.
  2. While I find the width to be plenty fine in these shoes, some who have notably wide and blockier feet may not enjoy the toe box taper and find it limiting.
  3. The tongue can press into the top of the foot at times and it may take a week or two to break in for some lifters that have high-volume feet.

Performance and Testing Thoughts

To break down the performance of the AVANCUS Apex Power, I put these shoes through a variety of tests. I primarily tested these shoes for lifting and versatile training to see where they excel and fall short.

Below is a breakdown of my training experiences in the AVANCUS Apex Power.

Testing the AVANCUS Apex Power for Lifting

In the context of lifting, there were three construction aspects that I really appreciated with the AVANCUS Apex Power. First, the grip of the outsole was something that I really came to enjoy with these shoes.

Me Testing the AVANCUS Apex Power

No matter the surface that I was lifting on I felt secure and locked down in these shoes. I appreciated the depth of the tread when deadlifting on rubber platforms and on carpet these shoes also excelled so they should work well for powerlifting competitions.

Second, the flexibility of the sole was also appreciated when tackling exercises like walking lunges and split squats. This shoe articulates well and if you take on the insole then you get more ground feel when training.

Third and lastly, I like the structure of the boot of this shoe and enjoy that it provides a little more support compared to traditional barefoot shoes. Personally, I love a bit more structure to my shoes when lifting heavy so this feature was appreciated.

Me Testing the AVANCUS Apex Power for Strength Training

Overall, I’ve enjoyed how the AVANCUS Apex Power has performed for my lifting asks. I think this shoe will deliver a strong performance for most lifters planning to use them for barbell exercises, machine work, and accessories.

Testing the AVANCUS Apex Power for Versatile Workouts

In the context of versatile workouts, the AVANCUS Apex Power has surprised me with its capabilities. Going into this shoe I was expecting them to perform well for lifting but be so-so for versatile workouts and cross-training.

Me Testing the AVANCUS Apex Power for Sled Drags

For jumping, multi-directional work, and my athletic-focused training sessions, the Apex Power has done well at holding its own. The outsole grip gives you a nice bite for plyometrics and for lateral work.

Plus, the sole’s articulation is great for letting the foot move through all of its ranges of motion when training more dynamically. The medial side wall of this shoe isn’t super rigid which was something I appreciated when doing things like catching power cleans.

Me Testing the AVANCUS Apex Power for Power Training

I think if you’re a lifter that likes to add some conditioning and athletic-style training on the side of your strength work, then the AVANCUS Apex Power will deliver a strong performance for your needs. 

Will these be the best minimalist shoes for versatile workouts? Not necessarily because I wouldn’t run in them and their breathability isn’t the best so they’ll have some limitations, but they’ll perform well enough for most lifters’ and athletes’ needs, in my opinion.

AVANCUS Apex Power Performance Summary

My Lifting Experiences With This Shoe

For lifting, I’d give this shoe a 9.4/10 and the star players for this shoe’s performance in the gym revolve around its sole flexibility and outsole traction.

Here are some of the lifting tests I did with them with my thoughts.

  • 265 lb power cleans: Good grip and flexibility.
  • 545 lb deadlifts: Stable and wide.
  • 70 lb rear-foot elevated split squats: Strong articulation.
  • 470 lb leg press: Good grip and stability.

My Versatile Training Experiences With This Shoe

For versatile training, I’d give this shoe a strong 8.5/10 and that’s keeping in mind that it’s not necessarily a shoe designed solely for HIIT workouts and athletic-style training.

  • Box jumps: Comfortable and lightweight.
  • Jump rope: Good ground feel.
  • Skater strides: Great traction.
  • Sled pushes: Strong grip and articulation.

AVANCUS Apex Power Sizing

In the AVANCUS Apex Power, I think most lifters should be safe going true to size in this shoe, however, there will be some exceptions here regarding sizing.

I have a medium/neutral to wide foot width and I found these shoes to fit pretty well when going true to size. If I wear thin no-show socks or go barefoot then I really enjoy the fit of these shoes.

Me Testing the AVANCUS Apex Power Toe Box Width

They can feel a little snug if I’m wearing thicker socks and I believe that’s due to the volume and the length of this model. That said, if you have wider feet, you may want to go up a half size in this shoe to play it safe.

When putting them side by side with a Vivobarefoot Primus Lite III, the Apex Power has a similar width through the midfoot and base of the forefoot with a little more of a taper toward the end of the toe box.

AVANCUS Apex Power Sizing Vs Vivobarefoot

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

If you have additional questions about the AVANCUS Apex Power’s sizing, drop a comment below and I can help you out accordingly.

Price Assessment

For the AVANCUS Apex Power, you can expect to pay around $95 USD. Compared to other minimalist shoes for training, this price point is pretty fair for what this shoe offers, in my opinion.

I think if you’re buying these shoes for lifting with some versatile training, then you’ll enjoy what you’re getting out of these shoes for your investment.

Me Testing the AVANCUS Apex Power Grip

I also like that these shoes are quickly becoming some of my favorite shoes for powerlifting and if you’re wanting something consistent for deadlifts and squats, then these won’t let you down for the price.

On that note, if you’re thinking about investing the AVANCUS Apex Power and also want to support That Fit Friend while saving money, then you can use “TF2” at checkout and that should save you 10%.

AVANCUS Apex Power

AVANCUS Apex Power Product Shot
4.8
Stability
4.8
Versatility
4.7
Durability
4.7
Quality
4.8

Best For

  • Deadlifting (Sumo and Conventional)
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Versatile Workouts
  • Minimalist Shoe Lovers

Falls Short

  • For Daily Wear

Construction Breakdown

The construction of the AVANCUS Apex Power is pretty simplistic in nature. Below are the key details to note about this shoe’s construction.

Me Testing the AVANCUS Apex Power Sole Flexibility

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 0mm
  • Stack Height: ~6mm
  • Weight: 11.45 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Full Rubber Outsole
  • Medial and Lateral Outsole Wrap
  • Mesh and Synthetic Upper
  • Upper Wraps Around the Toe Box and Heel
  • Padded Boot
  • Thin Mesh Tongue
  • 5 Core Eyelets

If you have additional construction-related questions about the AVANCUS Apex Power and I can answer whatever you have.

AVANCUS Apex Power Shoe Review

AVANCUS Apex Power FAQ

Do the AVANCUS Apex Power fit true to size?

For most lifters and athletes, the AVANCUS Apex Power should fit true to size. This model has a good amount of width and their length runs fairly true.

Are the AVANCUS Apex Power good for lifting?

The AVANCUS Apex Power delivers a strong gym performance for strength training. The flexible and stable sole and the grippy outsole give this shoe a strong lifting performance.

Are the AVANCUS Apex Power flat?

The AVANCUS Apex Power has a zero-drop construction. If you want a flat shoe for lifting, I think you’ll enjoy the Apex Power’s construction and feel on the feet.

Takeaway Thoughts

The AVANCUS Apex Power has been a surprisingly strong shoe in the gym. For lifting, I think the AVANCUS Apex Power will deliver a strong performance for lifters and strength athletes from all walks of life.

The grip on this shoe’s outsole is awesome and I don’t think you’ll run into traction issues whatsoever in this model. I also like the width and additional boot support.

Will this model be the best minimalist shoe for training and daily wear? Not necessarily so keep that in mind before investing.

If you have additional questions about the AVANCUS Apex Power, 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.

4 thoughts on “AVANCUS Apex Power Review | Best Minimalist Shoes for Deadlifting?”

  1. Hey great content! I’m really trying to figure out the right size for me, i measure 27.5 cm, i wear 45 1/3 adipower weightlift, 45 1/2 nike jordans, i really do not like extra room in my shoes and i use medium thickness socks…now avancus customer service suggested a size 45 based on these infos, can this be correct? i red about people saying they fit too wide and to go one size down, should i go 44?

  2. Was really curious on the shoe sizing with these Apex Powers. I did read what you said with going up a size if planning on wearing a sock but I am such an in between with 11.5 size and them being an EU sizing brand picking the 46’s has me worried. They seem to be out of the 45 sizing in both colors anyways so I wouldnt have a choice anyways. Would you recommend going up the size to the 46 and maybe its meant to be or waiting out and trying the 45s?

    I was wracking my brain on these or the Tolos but after seeing a lot of the Tolos reviews after a bit of wear the soul and material in the toe bend start to come apart so that pushed me more towards the Apex powers.

    Thanks for all you do, you have helped me with my indecisiveness on a lot of purchases. Youre the man.

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