UPDATE: Adidas has discontinued this model. The current available models from Adidas are the Power Lift Trainer 2.0 or the AdiPower. If you’re looking for a shoe in the same price range – click here to checkout the Risto Rio.
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The Adidas Power Perfect 2 is the newest mid-level Olympic weightlifting shoe by Adidas. Released in 2011 it replaces the older Ironwork III model but is often confused or mistaken for the Power Lift Trainer. To help clear up the confusion, I’m going to take the first part of this review to look at the differences between the power perfect and power lift. I will then focus solely on the PowerPerfect, covering attributes and performance.
How to Tell The Power Perfect 2 and Power Lift Trainer Apart:
I have to say, when I first started unboxing these I really thought I might have been sent the wrong pair by Adidas. I can understand why there is so much confusion on the internet regarding the PP2 vs. the PL trainers – these DO look almost identical to the PowerLift models!
After a thorough examination to determine the distinguishing marks between the models, I found a few difference you can spot right away.
Firstly, the PP2 only comes in white with a red midsole and black accents. So if you are looking at any other color, that is the PL model. It should be noted that the red model of the PL trainer has silver accents on the strap and across the rear section of the upper. While a quick identifier, this is sometimes hard to spot in photos and videos where the glare could be white or silver.
Another visual clue is the image of a barbell on the strap; this is only present on the Power Lift trainer models. Also, the word “weightlifting” is inscribed just below the ankle on the lateral (outer) side of the shoe on the Power Lift models. This word has been replaced with “Heel Support” on the Power Perfect 2. The word weightlifting is also found on the insole of the PL trainer whereas just the Adidas Logo is found inside the
A final clue, the midsole of the PP2 is noticeably thicker giving it a higher heel. So those are the visual identifiers to help you settle the next PP2 or PL Trainer argument on YouTube. There are still a few construction difference as well so let’s look at the details of the Power Perfect.
CONSTRUCTION & STYLING:
The Power Perfect 2.0 was redesigned to have a more sneaker-like fit and style than a traditional weightlifting shoe. To achieve this, Adidas has lightened the shoe with an EVA heel and used a synthetic leather upper with a mesh interior for breath-ability. The resulting feel is a nice compromise between an Oly shoe and a sneaker. The shoe feels less bulky than older Oly shoes, especially when walking around the gym.
My one complaint with the styling is that while Adidas offers the Power Lift shoe in a variety of colors, there is but one color selection for the Power Perfect. So if red and white aren’t really your colors, you are just out of luck.
The upper of the PP2 is almost identical to that used on the PL trainers. Adidas has kept the narrower, tapering toe-box that many have expressed concerns over. I must admit, at first my blocky, flat feet did not agree much with the fit of the Adidas. I had to loosen the laces quite a bit and it still felt as though my foot was “spilling-over” the sides of the shoe.
However, after a short break-in period I actually found myself having to stop several times throughout my workouts to cinch down the laces and tighten the shoe. It appears the upper material does a great job of softening while still holding your foot stable.
As I have discussed in other articles, I believe that is why Adidas has chosen the shape and fit of the toe box – in weightlifting of any type you want a shoe that fits very tight. Even if you have a wide foot I believe you can wear the Adidas brand Oly shoes, you’re just going to have to take some time to really break in the upper. And just for reference, the Power Perfect II is about 0.25 inches wider than the Adipower.
The upper also features a traditional lacing system with two loops through the tongue for holding it in place and a single hook and loop strap. An issue I often have with Oly shoes is that the strap and/or last eyelet are placed too high or too far back, causing the shoe to dig into the top of the Tarsal and/or Talus region of my foot. I didn’t have this issue with the PP2 as the strap and shoe laces fall nicely in place across the top of the foot.
INTERIOR / INSOLE:
The interior of the shoe is fairly typical of most athletic shoes. You have a thin mesh layer which is attached to the upper; this provide a breathing system for the shoe through the perforations down the sides of the shoe.
The insole or sock liner is glued in place and cannot be removed. It appears to be about a 1/4 inch thick and does a good job of providing just the right amount of cushion. The heel is narrow and provides good stability for the ankles. As someone with flat feet, I do wish the insole had a bit more heel cup.
The tongue is fairly thin, constructed of two sides mesh with a small amount of filler. It is sewn in place at the beginning of the lacing system right at the start of the toe box. While it does have two loops for the laces to pass through on the exterior side, the tongue still moves a bit more than I’d like. This design allows the tongue to slide off to the side of your foot during your workout. It also likes to fold as you put the shoe on. A minor annoyance but I wish Adidas would have used a fixed tongue system like they did on the AdiPower models.
MIDSOLE / HEEL:
The midsole and heel construction are what really set the Power Perfect 2.0 apart from other shoes on the market, including the Power Lift trainer.
While the PL Trainer has a 0.60″ heel, the Power Perfect uses the more common 0.75″ heel. In an effort to keep the shoe lighter and more comfortable for extended training sessions, the PP2 has an EVA wedge heel. This is very similar to the PL Trainer with a few exceptions.
The EVA midsole on the PP2 is not only thicker but it also feels denser. Couple this with a stiffer sole plate running through the mid-sole and you have a shoe that is capable of stabilizing much heavier loads.
In our review of the PL Trainer we determined that the max stable load was around 400lbs total weight. At this point the heel would start to compress noticeably. This means @ 195lbs any lift over 205lbs would result in noticeable give while wearing the power trainer.
On the other hand, the Power Perfect felt much more stable at higher weights. Weighing 195lbs, I was able to pull 405 on narrow stance dead lifts for reps without a problem. I then performed a few wide box squats with 365lb to test the lateral stability – no problem there either. So at around 600lbs total load I still did not feel any noticeable give, certainly nothing that would be performance inhibiting.
Given the total load I was able to impress upon the shoe without noticing a breakdown of stability, I would say these are suitable for Olympic weightlifters at all levels and all but the most serious power lifters.
OUTER / SOLE:
The outer or sole of the shoe is the same design as found on the older Ironwork III model. Adidas now calls this their “Adiwear” sole and state that it is a high durability design. Only time will tell how it holds up but the grip is excellent and flexibility of the sole at the toe box is perfect.
These shoe run true to your Adidas shoe size. If you have REALLY wide feet you may benefit from going up a half size.
The overall performance for the Power Perfects was exactly what I expected for a shoe in this price range from a company that has been making weightlifting specific shoes for a long time. I think Adidas knows their target market very well and they’ve priced all their lifting shoes accordingly.
If you are a beginner or new to lifting then there are plenty of shoes in the sub $120 price range that will suit you just fine. However, if you’ve reached the point where you know it is time to get a serious shoe then this is definitely a good model to look into.
WHERE TO BUY:
If you’ve read any of my other reviews then you will know by now I’m a huge believer in buying a product as close to the source as possible. Since Adidas sells these from their own site, I think it best to buy them directly from Adidas.com. The price may be a slight bit higher than you can find them elsewhere but you get free shipping, free returns with an included return shipping label and if something does happen to go wrong with the shoe there is no middle-man to deal with.
Alright, so now is your turn to leave your thoughts on this shoe. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below. Likewise, if you have a review or personal experience with the Power Perfect 2s then let us know.
And check back often, I update these reviews over time as I become better acquainted with each model.
ADDITIONAL SHOE FEATURES: