Adidas HVC 2 Review | The Cheapest Deadlift Shoes Ever?

Adidas HVC 2 Wrestling Shoes

The Adidas HVC 2 is perhaps better known in the Wrestling world as it is predominantly designed and marketed as a wrestling shoe.

Of course, anyone who has been around a gym for a while will know that Wrestling shoes such as the Adidas HVC 2 make for great Powerlifting shoes! Not only that, but wrestling shoes are also very common in Bodybuilding circles as well as for general weight training and working out.

In this review, we will focus on the Adidas HVC 2’s performance as a Powerlifting Shoe and how it performs in the Squat and Deadlift specifically.

The Adidas HVC 2, also known as the Adidas Havoc or Adidas AQ3325, does a stellar job as a Powerlifting Shoe despite being marketed as a Wrestling Shoe and, factoring in its incredibly affordable price, it’s an excellent choice to consider for your gym bag.

As a deadlifting shoe, the Adidas HVC 2 provides a very slim sole, allowing you to get closer to the floor and effectively reduce the range of motion that the bar has to travel through. The HVC 2 does not provide a great deal of lateral support however, so it is more suited to conventional deadlifts rather than sumo deadlifts.

The Adidas HVC 2 is also a fine option for low bar squatters or those who are used to squatting with flat shoes.

If you are unsure whether a flat or heeled shoe would be most suitable for your squatting style or leverages, be sure to read my article where I break down the differences between each.

Adidas HVC 2 General Overview

Quick Stats

The following stats are based on a US size 10:

  • Weight – 220g
  • Length – 282mm
  • Toe Width – 92mm
  • Heel Width – 66mm
  • Sole Height – 10mm


The Adidas HVC 2 wrestling shoes looks could be described as very minimalist. The design is simple and to the point with no fancy gimmicks.

The materials used are all very thin, from the upper to the outsole, and features a simple lacing system that runs from the toe joint up to the ankle which is a lower profile high top design.

The looks are finished off by an elasticated ankle strap that fastens around the ankle joint.

Overall, it’s a simplistic design that should suit the vast majority, although if you like a bit of color then this shoe may not be for you.

Rating – 7/10


As mentioned, the Adidas HVC 2 features very thin materials and as a result, the fit conforms to your foot shape very well.

Expect a snug fit all around, particularly around the heel. As a result, it was a bit of a struggle getting the shoe on and off because of this and required a lot of fiddling with the laces to create enough space to pass your forefoot through. A bit of a nuisance but not a complete deal-breaker.

The ankle strap also offers that little bit extra control over the fit around the ankle and shin and holds your foot within the shoe nicely.

If you’re looking for a basic shoe that holds your foot in place well enough, there’s not a lot to complain about with the Adidas HVC 2 wrestling shoes. Be aware though, that space in the toe box is limited due to the narrow profile.

Rating – 7/10


The Adidas HVC 2 is a very comfortable shoe, as would be expected given its lightweight and minimalist design.

Wider footed individuals may be the exception, however, as the shoe does have a very narrow profile.

Similarly, those with particularly high arches may struggle, as the HVC 2 has no arch support to speak of. I have about average arches though, and the shoe was perfectly comfortable underfoot.

The thin sole will mean that you will feel every bump and imperfection in the floor. This will not be an issue for those who are used to walking in minimalist shoes or who have particularly strong feet.

If you have been wearing spongy, comfortable shoes such as sneakers all your life, you may find this to be a problem.

This is not a failure on the part of Adidas however, and the same issue is likely to manifest for any wrestling shoes or shoes with thin soles in general.

If this is you, I would recommend you read my article on foot strengthening exercises or the benefits of training without shoes. In both articles, I highlight why it is important to build up the muscles within your feet.

Overall, the Adidas HVC 2 wrestling shoes are perfectly comfortable and most average to narrow footed individuals will be perfectly happy in them.

Those with wide feet, high arches, or who are simply not used to minimalist shoes should take caution however, as these shoes may be uncomfortable to wear.

Rating – 6/10

Straps and Lacing

The Adidas HVC 2 offers a basic, no thrills lacing system.

The laces are a basic flat style but feel suitably robust and should survive a good amount of repeated use.

The eyelets haven’t been reinforced in any way and the laces thread through the upper material only. This is likely to lead to wear over time.

The ankle strap has a Velcro fastening at the side which is stitched onto an elasticated strap which helps keep the Velcro out of the way of the laces, preventing any fraying issues. However, the elasticated strap does limit how much tightness you can apply to the shoe, which isn’t ideal.

For the price, you can’t really complain. The HVC 2 does all the basics well enough and the addition of the ankle strap is a welcome feature.

Rating – 6/10


As the HVC 2 is a wrestling shoe, it’s no surprise that the outsole is extremely grippy and provides an abundance of traction!

In the Powerlifting Perfection Grip Test, The HVC 2 scored an excellent 1.05, and considering its light weight, this is no mean feat!

Rating – 8/10


The price is probably the biggest selling point of the Adidas HVC 2, it’s about as cheap a shoe as you are ever likely to find!

This may put off some people as it often signifies cheap materials or poor construction but it’s worth remembering that this is a very minimalist shoe, so it’s not so much a case of the materials are cheap, but more there just aren’t a lot of them!

You can check the latest prices on Amazon.

Rating – 10/10

Adidas HVC 2 Wrestling Shoes for Deadlift

As previously mentioned, the HVC 2 has a very low profile as a result of its thin sole. Like many wrestling shoes, this makes it worth considering for Deadlifting.

Conventional Deadlift

The Adidas HVC 2 performs perfectly well in the conventional deadlift, the thin sole provides a solid base to push from with minimal compression and the outsole provides plenty of grip.

As the sole is so thin, it makes the deadlift that little bit easier to execute as it allows for less bar travel and for most, this should put you in a more mechanically advantageous position to initiate the pull, I.E. you won’t have to bend over as far to reach the bar.

Sumo Deadlift

In the sumo deadlift, the HVC 2 performs well, to a point.

Like the conventional deadlift, you will find plenty of grip, which is crucial when your legs are pushing out laterally to support the lift.

At lower weights, the shoe is perfectly stable and provides enough lateral support, however, once you start going up in weight, you begin to notice the shoe begins to ‘roll’ and your foot spills over the edge a bit.

Overall, the Adidas HVC 2 is by no means a perfect deadlifting solution, but for the price, it’s certainly a good shoe to learn your craft if you are a beginner.

Adidas HVC 2 Wrestling Shoes for Squats

Wrestling shoes for squats are mainly only worth considering if you are a low bar squatter and tend to have a wider stance, or if you have a lot of ankle mobility. Otherwise, I would consider a raised heel weightlifting shoe instead.

Check out my top 5 recommendations for weightlifting shoes for squats if you’re more of a narrow stance, high bar squatter.

The Adidas HVC 2 does a reasonable job when it comes to squatting.

Like the deadlift, the thin incompressible sole is an ideal base to push from. One negative though is due to the shoe’s overall narrowness, which makes stability and balance a bit of an issue.

Grip is great for screwing your feet into the floor as you lift but the sides of the shoe don’t quite offer the support required to push back against your foot.

If you prefer to splay your toes out when you squat, again the shoe restricts this a little bit due to its narrow construction but its also lightweight enough that you can push the material out to a degree, still there are better options such as the Sabo Deadlift Shoe.

Overall, you’ll get by with the Adidas HVC 2 for squats, but it definitely has a few niggles that prevent it from being a stand out performer.

Final Thoughts

Wearing wrestling shoes for lifting isn’t a new concept and the Adidas HVC 2 is one of many wrestling shoes that do a perfectly fine job for working out in.

The Adidas HVC 2 provides a good base for deadlifting and squatting, particularly if you are a conventional deadlifter or low bar squatter, but doesn’t quite tick all the boxes, unfortunately.

That said, they are dirt cheap, and for someone looking to learn their craft or someone maybe not quite ready to invest in a more expensive pair of Powerlifting Shoes, the Adidas HVC 2 is a great option to consider especially for wearing during a workout that may be more machine or isolation exercise focused.

Overall Rating – 7/10