Are Adidas Sambas Good For Weightlifting?

If you’re looking for a lower-cost alternative, indoor soccer like the Adidas Samba is actually better for lifting weights than running shoes with shock absorption.

In this post, let’s explore the Adidas Samba and how it performs for weightlifting.

Adidas Samba For Weightlifting Explored

The Adidas Samba is originally designed as indoor soccer shoes. While it is still used for that purpose, many people and casual weightlifters buy the shoe for gym training.

Here’s a quick summary of how the Adidas Samba performs for lifting:

  1. Adidas Samba is virtually a flat-soled shoe.
  2. Adidas Samba is perfect for lightweight barbell training (60 to 65 percent 1RM). For heavier weights, it is recommended to wear proper lifting shoes.
  3. If you are training 2 or more sessions per week consistently, you might need to replace the Adidas Samba once a year, if not sooner.

The Adidas Samba is good for weightlifting because the hard, flat soles allow you to generate more force from your lower body during powerful lifts, like squats and deadlifts.

Additionally, the slim and narrow profile provides you with proper foot support, which increases lateral (side-to-side) stability and protects your ankles from injuries.

Here are the 4 reasons why Adidas Samba is good for lifting:

1. The hard, flat soles are perfect for lifting

Finding shoes with hard, flat soles is the most important thing when it comes to weightlifting. 

Contrary to popular belief, you should never wear normal running shoes or trainers with plenty of cushioning when lifting weights. But why is that? After all, they are sports shoes.

The answer is, above all else, that they usually have to cushion for shock absorption. While this makes jogging more comfortable, it’s not appropriate for weightlifting.

There are two reasons for this. First, the cushioning of running shoes creates instability when you lift weights. This means your joints can easily become overloaded, which increases the risk of injury.

According to Men’s Journal, every time you lift heavy weights on an unstable surface, which running shoes emulate, you are increasing the risk of injury and reducing your power output.

This brings us to the second point…

Running shoes prevent you from achieving optimal power because the midsole absorbs the force as you lift. The farther your feet are from the ground, the less power you generate.

This is especially frustrating when the workout conditions are otherwise ideal for beating your personal best, but you simply can’t generate enough power from the ground.

Fortunately, the Adidas Samba has hard, flat soles with minimal cushioning. That combination helps to provide you with better lateral stability and avoid potentially harmful accidents.

By allowing your feet to be as close to the ground as possible, the Adidas Samba allows you to generate more force from your lower body during powerful lifts, like squats and deadlifts.

2. The slim and narrow fit secures the foot properly

The Adidas Samba is known for its slim and narrow profile.

While most people would think that the design is only suitable for soccer, this is not the case. In fact, the slim and narrow profile of the Adidas Samba makes it perfect for lifting weights.

The ideal lifting shoe should fit you properly.

It should fit snugly, not super tight, and not flopping around on your foot either. This gives you proper foot support, which provides lateral (side to side) stability and protects your ankles.

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.

3. Good traction to grip the floor

Unless you’re lifting barefoot, your shoes must have a good grip. This allows you to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground during exercises like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses.

Additionally, shoes with proper traction help to prevent you from slipping and falling during Olympic-style exercises like power cleans and snatches.

The Adidas Samba is equipped with a non-marking gum rubber outsole. Because it is an indoor soccer shoe, it is designed to grip the surfaces of indoor gyms.

Not only is it perfect for indoor gyms, but the gum rubber outsole combined with the hexagonal trade pattern helps you to plant both feet and grip the floor during exercises.

4. Affordable compared to lifting shoes

The affordable price of the Adidas Samba is what makes it appealing to the majority of people. From casual weightlifters to professionals, the shoe is adored for its reasonable price.

While the average weightlifting shoes cost less than $100, top-tier weightlifting shoes retail for around $200. Contrast that with the Adidas Samba, which retails for just $75.

In fact, you can get it at a cheaper price on Amazon.

Imagine spending $75 for a reliable lifting shoe that will last you for a year. That’s a good deal. In fact, one of my friends bought 8 pairs of Adidas Samba in the last 10 years for training.

5. The construction is ideal for mixed training

Last but not least, the Adidas Samba is great thanks to its versatility. Because the shoe is designed for indoor soccer, there are many benefits of wearing it for mixed training. 

For example, one of my friends, who is a retired powerlifter, decided that he wanted to try semi-pro soccer. He went with the Adidas Samba for sprint and agility training on track surfaces.

Additionally, he wore the shoe for deadlifting, squatting, bench and military pressing, and all sorts of barbell and kettlebell training. The Adidas Samba has served him well.

Bottom Line

Now you know whether the Adidas Samba is good for weightlifting or not.

Overall, the Adidas Samba is for you if you like to mix things up in the gym. If you do a little bit of CrossFit, combined with sprints and agility, topped with lifting weights, the shoe is perfect.

However, if you are strictly a powerlifter, you’re better off with proper lifting shoes.

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