Reebok Legacy Lifter vs. Adidas Adipower: Which Is Better?

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the reebok legacy lifter and the adidas adipower II are two popular lifting shoes for both competitive and recreational lifters

The Reebok Legacy Lifter and the Adidas Adipower II are two popular lifting shoes for both competitive and recreational lifters. They are both good shoes, but which one you choose will depend on your goals, your budget, and the sport you’re training for.

So are the Adipower II’s or Reebok Legacy Lifters better for lifting? The Reebok Legacy Lifters are a better shoe for powerlifters and weightlifters due to their sturdier construction and more stable heel. But the Adipowers are a good choice for CrossFitters who want a lightweight shoe to do WODs in or for new lifters who are wearing lifting shoes for the first time.

Overall though, I believe the Reebok Legacy Lifter is a superior shoe.  Keep reading to find out why.

Quick Overview

Before we get into the detailed comparison of the Reebok Legacy Lifters and Adidas Adipower II’s, let’s quickly review each shoe.

Reebok Legacy Lifters

reebok legacy lifters

The original Legacy Lifters were released in 2017. They were created in collaboration with weightlifter CJ Cummings and were the first lifter that Reebok designed as a strict weightlifting shoe. Reebok is one of the top powerlifting shoe brands.

In the summer of 2020, Reebok released the Legacy Lifter II. Aside from a few aesthetic changes, they kept most of the features from the original Legacy Lifters.

However, one big change between the original Legacy Lifters and the Legacy Lifter II’s is the transition from two straps to one.

This review is based on the original Legacy Lifters, and I love the two-strap system, as you’ll find out. But other reviewers have stated that the single strap on the Legacy Lifter II’s still offers plenty of support, so this shouldn’t deter you from considering the upgraded model.

Pros

  • Sturdy heel that doesn’t slip
  • Higher heel height
  • Come in a variety of colors
  • Upper material is stiff but breathable

Cons

  • People with wide feet may find them uncomfortable
  • Reebok removed the two-strap system with their most recent model, which may make them feel less secure

Adidas Adipower II

adidas adipower ii

The Adipower II’s were released in 2019. Many of the features from the original Adipower didn’t carry over to the second iteration, and a lot of lifters consider it to be inferior to the original.

I’ll admit that I never trained in the original Adipowers, but throughout this article, you’ll see why I’m not in love with the Adipower II’s.

With that said, I wouldn’t call the Adipower II’s a bad shoe. There are several features that I do like, and I would still recommend it for certain athletes, especially those who want a flexible shoe that they can do more than just squat in.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Lightweight material that keeps you comfortable during a workout
  • Versatile lifter that can also be worn for CrossFit WODs

Cons

  • Only one, thin support strap
  • Not supportive enough for heavy lifting

Reebok Legacy Lifters vs. Adipower II: Face-to-Face Comparison

Now that we’ve reviewed the basics of each shoe, let’s delve into the details and discuss how the features of each shoe can affect your performance.

Heel Height

heel height - legacy lifter vs. adipower 2

Getting shoes with the correct heel height depends on your mobility, your preferred squat style, and your limb proportions, among other things. Choosing the right heel height for you can make or break your performance, so it’s something you should consider carefully.

Reebok Legacy Lifters

The original Legacy Lifters have a heel height of 0.86”. This is higher than most weightlifting shoes, but it’s beneficial for tall lifters, high bar squatters, or anyone who needs help getting deep into a squat.

These shoes are also a good choice for weightlifters, who squat lower than powerlifters in order to get into the optimal position to catch cleans and snatches.

For other lifting shoes with high heels, check out the article Top 5 Squat Shoes with Highest Heel (2021).

Adidas Adipower II

The Adipower has a 0.75” heel height, which is a common heel height for lifting shoes. However, for lifters with long femurs who need help staying more upright in a squat, or for lifters with limited ankle mobility, these shoes may not be high enough.

The Winner: Reebok Legacy Lifters

While the ideal heel height for each athlete depends on a variety of factors, a higher heel height allows you to achieve a deeper range of motion. With one of the highest heel heights that you’ll find in a weightlifting shoe, the Reebok Legacy Lifters win in this category.

Secureness

When wearing lifters, you want your feet to feel secure. You don’t want to worry about your foot slipping on the ground during a heavy squat, and you also don’t want your foot slipping inside the shoe.

So which shoe offers more stability?

Reebok Legacy Lifters

The Legacy Lifters feature an Exoframe heel that locks your foot into place. The heel is made out of hard thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). The base of the heel is also wider than other lifters, which offers a more stable platform for heavy lifts.

the legacy lifters feature an exoframe heel that locks your foot into place

The Legacy Lifters also have several faux leather panels that offer more reinforcement for the foot. These panels are neither too stiff nor too flexible; they add the perfect level of stability.

the legacy lifters also have several faux leather panels that offer more reinforcement for the foot

Adidas Adipower II

Because the Adipower II’s are made out of a more lightweight textile, they don’t have the same level of stability as the Legacy Lifters.

According to the Adidas website, the Adipower II’s have inner reinforcements for added stability, although I didn’t notice them. They also don’t have as many exterior reinforcements as the Legacy Lifters.

The sole on the Adipower II’s isn’t quite as thick as it is on the Legacy Lifters. The toe box is also very flexible. Adidas claims this is to allow for “the natural movement of the toes during lifts.” But for me, this makes the shoe much less stable than it could be.

However, despite the lack of stability in the forefoot, the Adipower II’s do provide a high amount of ankle support.

The Winner: Reebok Legacy Lifters

With the sturdy Exoframe heel, thick outsole, and the exterior reinforcements, the Reebok Legacy Lifters win for overall stability and security. You’ll most likely never worry about your feet slipping on the platform or moving around inside the shoe while you’re lifting.

Support Straps

Weightlifting shoes come with straps to help keep the foot secure and prevent it from slipping while under heavy loads. Some lifters don’t find them necessary, but I like the extra stability these straps provide.

Reebok Legacy Lifters

The original Reebok Legacy Lifters have two straps. This has always been one of my favorite features of the shoe because I like how secure my feet feel with both straps.

With the Legacy Lifter II’s, Reebok transitioned to one strap. It is wider than the strap on other shoes with just one strap, so it appears that they may still provide a high level of stability.

Adidas Adipower II

The Adidas Adipower II’s come with only one support strap. It’s a little less than 1.5 inches wide, and it does provide good support at the ankle. But I find myself missing the second strap at the top of the foot when I wear these shoes.

The Winner: Reebok Legacy Lifters

Because a second support strap helps keep your foot more secure, the Reebok Legacy Lifters are the clear winner here. Keep in mind, however, that this is based on the original Legacy Lifters, and Reebok transitioned to a one-strap shoe with the second iteration.

The single strap on the Legacy Lifter II’s does appear to be larger than the strap on the Adipower II’s, so I believe it would still offer more support.

Midsole Construction and Weight

the materials of a lifting shoe and how much it weighs can determine how well it will perform during heavy lifts

The materials of a lifting shoe and how much it weighs can determine how well it will perform during heavy lifts. Wearing a heavy shoe isn’t ideal in most scenarios, but when you have a heavy barbell on your back, you want a shoe that is strong enough to support you.

Reebok Legacy Lifter

The Reebok Legacy Lifters weigh 20.6 oz. They’re one of the heavier lifting shoes on the market, but the extra weight makes them sturdier. And despite their heftiness, they still have some flexibility and are easy to move around in between sets.

Adidas Adipower II

The Adidas Adipower II’s weigh 16.2 oz. Because of their light weight, I didn’t feel as confident squatting heavy in them as I did in the Legacy Lifters.

Still, for a recreational lifter, the Adipower II’s are a good choice. They are comfortable to wear for a full workout if you don’t want to change into another pair of shoes once your squats are done.

The lightweight design is also ideal for CrossFitters. You can easily wear these shoes for a WOD with a lot of squats, cleans, snatches, thrusters, or wallballs, and still be able to do pullups, muscle ups, or burpees without a lot of extra weight on your feet.

The Winner: Reebok Legacy Lifters

For powerlifting, weightlifting, and any other sport where you’d be squatting a lot of weight, I’d choose the Legacy Lifters over the Adipower II’s. The materials are sturdier but still breathable, and they just feel like a higher caliber of shoe.

Sizing and Fit

sizing and fit - legacy lifter vs. adipower 2

This is a bit subjective since everyone has different size feet. I wear my usual size in both the Legacy Lifters and the Adipower II’s. I wouldn’t necessarily size up or down in either one, but the width of your foot will determine which one is better for you.

Reebok Legacy Lifters

The Reebok Legacy Lifters feel true to size. Some lifters say that they run small, but I believe this is due to the stiffer fabric and all the extra exterior leather reinforcements.

But if you like a little more flexibility in your lifting shoe or you have a wide foot, you may want to consider the Adipower II’s instead.

Adidas Adipower II

Many people say that the Adipower II’s run small. To me, they run big.

Lengthwise, they’re perfect. But I had to tighten the laces at the top a lot to get the stability I wanted, and I don’t have super narrow feet. I think the flexible, lightweight upper material makes them feel larger than they are.

The Winner: Tie

I’m calling a tie on this one because sizing is so individual. Both the Legacy Lifters and the Adipower II’s are true to size in terms of length. It just depends on how narrow or wide your feet are.

Check out my articles on the Best Squat Shoes For Wide Feet and the Best Squat Shoes For Narrow Feet.  

Durability

durability - legacy lifter vs. adipower 2

An important thing to consider when buying lifters is how long they will last. Lifting shoes can be expensive, so if you’re going to spend the money on them, you want them to last for a long time.

Reebok Legacy Lifters

I’ve been lifting in the Reebok Legacy Lifters for over a year now, and they’ve held up well.

I will note that I only wear them for squats and the occasional squat-heavy CrossFit WOD. I use a different pair of shoes for everything else.

Weightlifters who wear them for full training sessions multiple days per week may notice more wear and tear on them in a shorter amount of time.

Adidas Adipower II

I haven’t had the Adipowers for as long as my Reebok Legacy Lifters. But considering the thinner textile material and overall make of the shoe, I question how long they would last, especially for athletes who put their shoes through the wringer.

The Winner: Legacy Lifter

Based solely on the sturdier construction, I’m going with the Legacy Lifters on this one. Because they’re made out of a thicker synthetic leather, they’ll be more resistant to rips and tears and should hold up for a longer period of time.

Price

Most lifting shoes aren’t cheap, but spending the extra money on a quality product is worth it, especially if you’re a competitive lifter.

With that said, I realize that not everyone has the budget for an expensive pair of shoes. Fortunately, you can find either shoe on Amazon for less than $200, depending on your size and preferred color choice.

If you’re on a budget but in need of new lifting shoes, check out the article Best Squat Shoes Under $100 Reviewed (2021).

What’s Unique About These Shoes?

quick overview of what makes legacy lifter and adipower 2 shoe unique

If you’re still having trouble deciding between the Legacy Lifters and Adipowers, here’s a quick overview of what makes each shoe unique.

Reebok Legacy Lifters

  • Higher heel height: The 0.86” heel is ideal for tall lifters with long femurs, lifters with limited ankle mobility, and high bar squatters.
  • Exoframe heel: The Exoframe heel keeps your foot locked in place so you never have to worry about your heel slipping.
  • Thick rubber outsole: This allows you to really grip the floor and generate force from the ground when squatting.

Adidas Adipower II

  • Lightweight material: The textile upper is breathable, so your feet will stay comfortable if you wear these shoes for a long training session.
  • More flexibility: While this makes it less suitable for very heavy weights, it works well for CrossFitters who wear them during WODs with multiple movements.
  • Simple design: I didn’t talk much about the designs of each shoe in this review, but I do like the minimalist style of the Adipower II’s. If you don’t like flashy or overly-designed shoes, these are a good choice for you.

The Final Word

The Reebok Legacy Lifters beat out the Adipower II’s because they offer more stability and are made out of higher-quality materials.

However, the Adipower II’s are still a good shoe and are suitable for plenty of strength athletes.

Use the Reebok Legacy Lifters if:

  • You have poor ankle mobility and need help getting low enough on your squats.
  • You like lifters with two straps. (Keep in mind that the two straps are only available on the first model of the Legacy Lifters.)
  • You’re a competitive powerlifter or weightlifter who needs a stable, durable shoe.
  • You have long femurs and need a shoe that can help you stay upright in a squat.

Use the Adidas Adipower II’s if:

  • You’re a Crossfitter who wants a flexible shoe that you can do WODs in.
  • You’re a recreational lifter with no plans to compete, but you need some assistance squatting to depth.
  • You’re new to lifting and this is your first time wearing lifters.

The Adipowers made my top list of best lifting shoes for beginners, which you can check out for more details.

Still can’t decide which lifting shoe is right for you? Check out some of our other shoe reviews:


About The Author

Amanda Dvorak

Amanda Dvorak is a freelance writer and powerlifting enthusiast. Amanda played softball for 12 years and discovered her passion for fitness when she was in college. It wasn’t until she started CrossFit in 2015 that she became interested in powerlifting and realized how much she loves lifting heavy weights. In addition to powerlifting, Amanda also enjoys running and cycling.