Adidas have launched a new strength training shoe – and we’re obsessed

adidas strength training shoe
Adidas' new strength shoe is perfect for squattingadidas

We’ve all been there; chucked on any old pair of trainers, headed to the gym, loaded up the squat rack and then realised that you’re wobbling around like you’re on a surfboard. You look down, realise that the shoes you’re wearing are, in fact, super-cushioned, bouncy running-specific trainers, and have to take them off to complete a barbell squat without falling all over the place.

I know you know what I’m talking about, because if you too are a gym-goer you’ll surely have noticed people wandering around in socks (yes, really) in the weights section.

According to data from a 2020 report, nearly 9 million gymgoers in the UK are wearing the wrong footwear whilst strength training, with 38% of us wearing running trainers and nearly the same proportion (37%) wearing everyday trainers.

Why? Well, some of us like how comfortable our running shoes are (and we think they do the job) and we don’t want to fork out on a gym-specific shoe. We are still living in a cost-of-living crisis, after all. But with a quarter of gym goers in the UK admitting that they haven’t even heard of strength and training shoes, it’s clear there’s a lack of awareness around needing them in the first place.

Sport physical therapist, Dr Leada Malek, says that wearing appropriate footwear is crucial, not just for optimising your strength and training, but also avoiding injury. ‘Research shows that footwear, which is fit for the individual and the demands of strength-based exercise, can positively impact posture, reduce pain and injury risk as well as enhance quad activation,’ she says.

This is where adidas comes in. Knowing how many individuals are unknowingly wearing the incorrect footwear whilst strength training, they’ve launched a brand new training-tailored shoe – the Dropset 3.

I was one of the first people to get my hands on a pair, and test them out in the gym. This is how I got on.

adidas dropset 3

How we tested

I wore the new Dropset 3 trainers for a one-hour strength session at my local gym. This included movements such as; deadlifts, barbell squats, chest presses, seated cable rows, tricep extensions and hip thrusts.

Adidas Dropset 3 review

Featuring a dual-density midsole – just a 6mm toe to heel drop height – the Dropset 3 feels stiff at the rear of the shoe and wider and softer in the forefoot (with plenty of wriggle room for your toes). In lamens terms, that means it feels incredibly flat to walk around it. But, of course, this trainer is not designed for walking.

When I wore them to attend my weekly strength class, I felt noticeably grounded and stable (and no, I didn’t have to take them off and walk around the gym floor in just socks). This added stability is partly thanks to the mid-foot section – which features a ‘TPU’ cage or sidewall aspect – and also thanks to the amplified heel support and padding, which gives this locked-in feeling.

Reader, my feet barely moved – even when sat on the floor with a heavy barbell placed across the crease of my hips, I found it easy (ish) to drive both feet into the floor. And we all know that when you’re lifting weights, you need to have enough grip on the bottom of your shoes – especially when you’re in a particularly sweaty gym and there’s a chance the floor could be wet with sweat – to ensure you don’t slip around.

dropset 3
Hearst Owned

The Dropset 3 also has ‘Traxion’ rubber on the bottom of the soles, which has been designed to give added grip and help athletes to feel locked to the ground and reduce any slipping – even during more explosive movements.

At £110, they’re not cheap – but then again, can you really get a decent pair of gym shoes for less than £100 these days?

So, who’s this shoe for?

Designed for the explosive movements of strength training, this shoe is built with athletes, Crossfitter’s and everyday gym goers alike. It’s made to provide the wearer with added stability, breathability, durability, and grip.

According to the director of product marketing at adidas, Julius Emmerich, Gen Z has defined strength training as their number one workout of choice – so it was a no-brainer for them to make a versatile, strength-specific shoe. And the colour pink? ‘When we start creating a shoe, one of the biggest aspects we look at is what colours are trending,’ explains Emmerich. ‘When we started designing [the Dropset 3] there was a lot of Barbie hype, and everything was pink. So, for this season, the bright pink is one of our most expressive colours. But there’s a big choice when it comes to colour – with around 10 different colours to choose from.’

dropset 3 review

WH verdict

If you’re spending a lot of time in the gym – doing strength-specific workouts, there’s no denying that you need a flat shoe. The Dropset 3 ticks a lot of boxes for us – stable, durable, breathable and lots of grip. Plus, we like the colour pink, too. Win, win.

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