Are Adidas NMDs Good For Lifting and Working Out?

Most of the time, it’s convenient to go straight to the gym while wearing your daily trainers, like the Adidas NMD. After all, the shoe is considered athletic sneakers made for sports.

However, is the Adidas NMD good for working out and lifting?

Unless you’re going to the gym to knock out 30 minutes on the treadmill and a few mat exercises, Adidas NMD shoes aren’t the best footwear for gym training.

The substantial midsole and cushioning of the Adidas NMD may hinder your ability to grip the floor and use your toes for balance during strength and conditioning moves.

Of course, specific shoe choice varies based on your workout, so consider the type of exercise you’re going to be doing. Let’s explore whether Adidas NMD is good for working out or not.

Adidas NMD shoes for lifting explored

Contrary to popular belief, the Adidas NMD is an athletic sneaker inspired by running shoes, but they are not designed for sports. Below, we explain where Adidas NMD is most suitable.

1. Adidas NMD is okay for light workouts and activities

There are many different kinds of Adidas sneakers, but most of them are known for having well-cushioned midsoles for responsiveness and a curved outsole for springiness.

The Adidas NMD is no exception.

Thanks to its substantial Boost cushioning, the Adidas NMD is supremely soft and comfortable to wear on a daily basis. In fact, it has one of the tallest midsoles out of all the Adidas sneakers.

While this trait is great for walking, it can inhibit your movement during strength-based workouts, and can even be dangerous if you’re lifting heavy weights due to their instability.

For general gym training, HIIT workouts, and cross-training, you’ll want a breathable shoe that provides light support and has a minimal curve in the sole, giving you the ability to grip the floor and use your toes for balance in strength and conditioning moves. 

A cross-training shoe, like the Adidas Fitboost, is versatile and checks the boxes for many exercises. It has a minimalist profile that provides you with the right support and balance.

So, unless you’re going to the gym to knock out 30 minutes on the treadmill and a few mat exercises, Adidas NMD shoes aren’t the best footwear for intense gym training.

They’re okay if you’re in a pinch, but they should not be your go-to kicks if you like to mix it up in the gym, from weights to cross-training to cardio machines. Wear cross-trainers instead.

2. Adidas NMD is not suitable for heavy weightlifting

It’s no secret that the Adidas NMD shoes have a tall midsole and plenty of cushioning. While many would think that this is actually good for heavy weightlifting, it is quite the opposite. 

During powerful lifts (like squats and deadlifts), your feet need to be as close to the ground as possible. In fact, one study out of East Tennessee State University found that when squatting barefoot, lifters activate some leg muscles to a greater degree than when they squat with shoes.

Additionally, the tall midsole of Adidas NMD makes it unstable for lifting weights.

Every time you are trying to lift heavy weights on an unstable surface, which the Adidas NMD shoes emulate, you are increasing the risk of injury and reducing your power output.

There is a reason that weightlifting shoes are designed with sturdy soles and a lift in the heel. Not only do they give you more range of mobility in your calf and ankle, but they also help you have more stability in big power lifts like the front squat, squat clean, squat snatch, and more.

You would be doing yourself a disservice if you lift weights while wearing Adidas NMD. Instead, go for a pair of weightlifting shoes like the Adidas Powerlift 4 to maximize your workouts.

3. Adidas NMD is excellent for walking and upper body workouts

While you should not wear Adidas NMD for heavy weight lifting, you can certainly wear them for walking on a daily basis or upper body workouts that do not require leg muscles.

In fact, the Adidas NMD is a sneaker designed for the urban nomad. This means it’s perfect for someone who travels a lot and walks a lot. Walking on the treadmill is okay too.

You can certainly wear the shoe for work (as long as your workplace allows it) and then go straight to the gym for upper body workouts. It’s the ideal shoe for someone with an active lifestyle.

The combination of Primeknit uppers atop Boost midsoles means that the shoe is not only breathable, but it also provides responsive cushioning. Perfect for all-day exploration.

Just like its name, the Adidas NMD (nomad) is designed for a lifestyle without boundaries.


Now you can decide whether Adidas NMD is good for lifting and working out, or not.

If you’re looking for a gym training shoe, look elsewhere. The Adidas NMD will always outperform in comfort, but not in performance. It’s okay as a basic gym shoe for stationary exercises, with some treadmill work to follow, but not for intense heavier weight lifting.

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