Adidas Adizero Adios Pro Intro
From the moment I saw the Adizero Pro, I could tell that it wouldn’t be able to compete with the other super shoes for the marathon distance.
When I ran in it, it confirmed my suspicion: the midsole just didn’t have enough stack height to be cushioned enough for the full marathon.
There also wasn’t enough propulsion from the Carbitex plate. Boost felt dated and heavy while Lightstrike felt too firm/unresponsive.
News of Adidas’ secret super shoe, the Adios Pro broke around about the same time as the Adizero Pro was launched which is the same stunt that Brooks pulled when they launched the Hyperion Elite and showed off the Hyperion Elite 2 on the very same day.
Before the flurry of super shoes, the Adidas Adios reigned supreme.
Runners loved how it had a racing flat feel but with extra cushioning for longer distances and marathons so it didn’t beat up their feet. Many records were broken in the Adios.
The Adios is not for everyone though. It reminds me of a precise surgical tool that has a very specific purpose but you have to know how and when to use it. It’s more suited to elite athletes who have strong ankles and textbook form.
I’m not sure why but the Adios Pro belongs to the Adios family even though it has absolutely nothing in common with any previous Adios apart from the fact that it is a racing shoe.
It has the stack height of 39mm in the heel which is barely under the maximum 40mm allowed for competition and is the first Adidas shoe to feature Lightstrike Pro foam and Energyrods.
This is the most innovative Adidas performance running shoe to come out in years.
One of the effects of being so innovative and mysterious is that it becomes high in demand. The Adios Pro has only been launched in a few countries in very limited runs.
I got lucky and was able to order my pair from the US and had it shipped to Singapore since it is unreleased in the Asian market.
The Adios is Pro is currently one of the rarest and most sought after running shoes. It’s ironic that there’s plenty of stock of the Adizero Pro to go around which nobody wants.
So does Adidas finally have a worthy competitor to go toe-to-toe with the Vaporfly/Alphafly twins and how does all the innovative technology perform?
Adidas Adizero Adios Pro First Impressions
The Adios Pro is not an attractive shoe. It reminds me of the shoes that the Spice Girls used to wear but Adidas has managed to do a great job to make it look modern and wearable.
I’m a big fan of the gorgeous “Dream Mile” signal pink and blue colourway that mine came in. There is nothing else like it.
Adidas named it the “Dream Mile” because they state that athletes require two “selves” or approaches to training, to succeed in their fastest ever mile.
The pink hue represents passion and power, while the blue hue represents calm and resilience needed to focus.
The Adios Pro felt a bit on the heavy side for a racing shoe when I picked it up, out of its box. When trying to flex the midsole, it was as stiff as a block of wood.
Putting the Adios Pro on for the first time, I couldn’t believe how comfortable it felt. It felt similar in cushioning and softness to a Hoka training shoe like the Clifton or Bondi but with a wider last and a much lighter weight.
When I went for my first run in the Adios Pro, it reminded me of another shoe and it isn’t even a super shoe: the Asics GlideRide.
Both shoes have thick midsoles combined with an extreme toe spring which results in a propulsive forward tipping sensation. The Adios Pro is of course much lighter and softer than the GlideRide.
I felt some soreness underneath the ball of my left foot for about a kilometre during that first run but luckily it went away and didn’t return during my time testing the shoe. It was probably that my foot wasn’t used to the stiff midsole.
On that first run, the most striking thing about the ride of the Adios Pro was its deep cushioning. When it comes to cushioning, with the exception of the FuelCell TC, the Adios Pro blows every other carbon fibre racing shoe out of the water.
Adidas Adizero Adios Pro Sole Unit
It feels like a lifetime ago that Adidas announced their new technology, Boost to the world and amazed everyone with its cushioned, responsive and energy-returning properties.
There was nothing like it in the market and Boost was the very first super foam.
Since then, Adidas has failed to invent a successor to Boost while competitors have moved ahead at lightspeed and left Adidas in the dust with even lighter and more explosive foams than Boost.
The German company did try to innovate with Lightstrike but their TPU foam felt firm, lifeless and stiff. Lightstrike felt to me like an ordinary EVA foam from 2015.
In Lightstrike Pro, Adidas has finally invented a super foam capable of competing with the leaders: ZoomX, FuelCell and Hyper Burst.
To me, Lightstrike Pro feels denser than ZoomX, but more cushioned and more bouncy- it’s a more fun ride for sure.
Adidas doesn’t specify what Lightstrike Pro is but it feels like a nitrogen-infused TPU/EVA blend like New Balance’s FuelCell but with more energy return.
The downside of Lightstrike Pro is that it’s not a light foam. The Adios Pro weighs 8 oz for a men’s standard size which makes it heavier compared to the other super shoes. It’s heavier than the Alphafly, Endorphin Pro and RC Elite.
Its heavyweight and large, clunky midsole make it best suited to full marathons. The Adios Pro feels like too much shoe for sub-half-marathon paces and for any race less than a full marathon.
The Adios Pro is very similar to the Nike Alphafly in that it is also suitable for slower, non-elite runners because it feels great at slower paces above 5.30 per kilometre.
Even towards the end of my second consecutive 120km week, the Adios Pro still felt gentle on my legs when going at an easy pace.
When running in a straight line, the Adios Pro feels very stable. It has a wide midfoot that doesn’t hug the arch like the Vaporfly and Alphafly do.
Due to the high midsole stack height, when turning corners I did have to slow down slightly but overall I found it to be more stable than the RC Elite and the two Nike super shoes.
The Adios Pro is also suitable for heel strikers unlike the Vaporfly Next% and the RC Elite with their narrow midfoot/rearfoot shapes.
The carbon-infused Energyrods inside the midsole are spread out and mimic the metatarsal bones of the foot. To be brutally honest, I didn’t really feel the rods- their main purpose is to add structure to the midsole and to stop it from flexing so that the rocker can work properly.
There is also a non-intrusive carbon fibre plate in the heel for extra stability and to smoothen transitions between the rearfoot and midfoot.
The rocking sensation from the high toe spring which starts late (close to the front) in the midsole is extreme and works like a charm to propel you forward with each toe-off.
The difference between the rocker in the Adios Pro and the rockers in Hoka training shoes such as the Clifton and Bondi is that the Adios Pro doesn’t flex at all so when loading the forefoot, your foot rolls forward instead of the shoe bending.
The rocker works best when you lean forward at speed and you drive your forefeet down into the ground to engage the Energyrods.
Transitions in the Adios Pro are smoother than in any other super shoe. The outsole is full ground contact and the midsole is single-density.
There are no air pods or protruding lugs that distract you from the ride. It is simple and uncomplicated.
The outsole is also new technology. Gone are Continental and Adiwear rubber. This new tacky rubber is thin and rough to the touch with no protruding lugs. It reminds me of sandpaper.
The entire forefoot is covered in rubber as well as the lateral and medial edges of the heel.
While the rubber grips really well on both dry and wet surfaces, I found that durability is sacrificed.
I have run about 100km in my pair and I haven’t worn through the thin rubber yet but the soft rubber has worn down faster than on other super shoe.
The Adios Pro is a shoe that you save only for race day because durability is much lower than a training shoe.
Adidas Adizero Adios Pro Upper Unit
The Adios Pro fits me true to size and has plenty of space in the toe box and midfoot.
It has the same breathable, porous Celermesh upper as the Adizero Pro. You also get additional lace holes so that you can use them to adjust the fit but I used the standard fit and didn’t need to fiddle.
The tongue is attached to the upper on one side and wraps around the foot, attaching to the other side underneath the glued-in insole. I really didn’t like how the tongue kept on sliding down when I was running.
While waiting for the traffic lights to turn, I often needed to undo the laces and pull the tongue up.
The heel is slightly padded with a soft, flexible internal heel counter. Heel lockdown was superb and the heel caused me no issues.
Overall, the upper on the Adios Pro is one of the most relaxed and comfortable uppers on a racing shoe and it fits more like an accommodating training shoe.
Adidas Adizero Adios Pro Conclusion
I thoroughly enjoyed my time testing the Adios Pro and it’s safe to say that Adidas is finally back with a bang.
Not since the Supernova Glide 8 have I enjoyed an Adidas shoe this much. There is nothing currently like it in the market and now I know why they are in such high demand.
The Adios Pro is one of the most fun, bouncy and propulsive rides I’ve ever experienced in a racing shoe. It feels great at slower paces but is best suited to faster paces during marathon distances or beyond.
Some carbon fibre shoes are better suited to shorter distances like the Metaracer and the Adizero Pro but the Adios Pro sits on the opposite side of the spectrum with the RC Elite. It is a max-cushioned carbon fibre racer.
For me, the Adios Pro is #1 in the carbon fibre super shoe rankings and if I was running a marathon tomorrow, I’d pick the Adios Pro.
The Adios Pro has the perfect combination of long distance comfort and explosive propulsion. It has better stability than the Nike racers and is also suitable for heel strikers.
Nike finally has some competition when it comes to elite marathon racing shoes. If you look at the podiums of the marathons this year, more and more Adios Pros are taking top spots. This is testament to the Adios Pro being the real deal.
If I could change anything about the Adios Pro, I’d modify the tongue by adding a loop where the laces go through so that it doesn’t slide down and I would also add thicker rubber onto the midsole so that it could be used as a training shoe too.
If you’re in the market for a super shoe, for the fair price point of $200 along with its unique ride which is unlike any other racing shoe, the Adios Pro is a must-buy for 2020 (if you can get your hands on a pair).
The Germans finally have their lightning bolt. Blitz, as they call it in Deutsch.
We purchased a pair of Adidas Adizero Adios Pro from runningwarehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.
Adidas Adizero Adios Pro Price Comparison
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