Written by

Brandon Law

Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert
The Alphafly is Nike's flagship, premium marathon race shoe, packed with Nike's most innovative technologies; the Adios Pro is Adidas’ flagship marathon racer. Here we will be comparing them.
Foo Bar

The Alphafly holds the record for the fastest marathon distance ever. The Alphafly has a carbon fibre plate, super light ZoomX foam and large Zoom Air pods. It will set you back $285.

The Adios Pro is the weapon of choice for elite Adidas marathon runners worldwide. It has a heel carbon plate, Energyrods and bouncy Lightstrike Pro foam. It has a cheaper price of $250.

Which of these flagship super shoes is the right one for you?

Similarity and differences: Alphafly 3 vs Adizero Adios Pro 3

Adizero Adios Pro 3

Brand
Shoe type
Expert score
Expert score
9/10
Expert score
9/10
Weight
7.7 oz
7.60 oz
Heel Drop
8 mm
6 mm
Verdict
The Nike Alphafly 3 is a superb top-tier racer and the best Alphafly version to date but it’s not deserving of its megahype or its $285 price. While it lacks the ‘magical’ feeling, it still has a combination of critical features (light weight, firm, stable, efficient) which provide a high level of speed assistance to the runner. Version 3 is a much better version than 2. It has a continuous bottom which results in smoother transitions, a stiffer midsole and most importantly, a wider midfoot with less arch irritation.
The Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 is a long-distance specialist. Its highly cushioned midsole and its efficient, energy saving ride make it perfect for marathons and beyond. Version 3 has more foam in the forefoot, a wider net base and a more aggressive toe-spring which makes it softer, more stable and more propulsive than the previous version.
Recommended for
Racing, speedwork
Racing, speedwork
Cushioning type
Balanced
Balanced
Cushioning amount
Highly cushioned
Highly cushioned
Flexibility
rigid
rigid
Stability
some stability
some stability
Sizing
buy half size bigger
true to size
Retail price
US$285
US$250.00

Sole unit: Alphafly 3 vs Adizero Adios Pro 3

The midsole of the Alphafly is made from ZoomX which is Nike’s lightest, most responsive midsole foam. ZoomX is cushioned at slower paces and springy at faster ones. The one downside to ZoomX is that it doesn’t have great durability and tends to compress faster than other midsole foams over time.

The midsole of the Adios Pro is made from Adidas’ Lightstrike Pro foam which is slightly heavier than ZoomX but feels denser and more cushioned. Lightstrike Pro is more resistant to creasing and abrasions than ZoomX.

The carbon plate inside the Alphafly has a slight curve and works in the same way that a lever launches you forward when the front is anchored.

The carbon plate is stiffer and bigger in larger sizes of the Alphafly while more flexible in smaller sizes.

The Energyrods inside the midsole of the Adios Pro are spread out and mimic the metatarsals of the foot. They keep the shoe stiff and give structure to the shoe.

Propulsion in the Adios Pro is created by the tipping sensation which comes from the high toe spring and rocker.

The biggest difference between the midsoles of the two super shoes is that the Alphafly has forefoot Zoom Air pods which provide extra propulsion on toe offs. The harder you strike and compress the air unit, the more energy return you get.

The Adios Pro has a softer, more cushioned ride which makes it more suited to longer distances because it has more long distance comfort.

The Alphafly has a more responsive ride which makes it more suited to shorter distances. It also weighs less than the Adios Pro which makes it better for shorter distances where every gram counts.

Both shoes have wide forefoot shapes but the Adios Pro has a wider midfoot and rearfoot which makes it more stable than the Alphafly.

The Alphafly uses thicker, more durable rubber on its outsole than the Adios Pro so durability of the Alphafly is higher than the Adios Pro. The Adios Pro has better traction than the Alphafly because its outsole rubber is softer and more tacky.

Upper unit: Alphafly 3 vs Adizero Adios Pro 3

The upper of the Alphafly is made of Atomknit 3.0 which is steamed and stretched to create a porous but light material. It feels a bit rough to the touch but it doesn’t absorb any liquid so it stays light during runs. It fits a half size small and foot lockdown is excellent. It is a bootie construction so there is no tongue slide.

The upper of the Adios Pro is made of Celarmesh which is smooth to the touch but not as breathable as the Alphafly’s upper. The tongue is not gusseted but sewn onto the eyestay so it doesn’t slide sideways during runs. The Adios Pro fits true to size and foot lockdown is also fantastic.

Which one to buy: Alphafly 3 vs Adizero Adios Pro 3

If you’re a runner looking for a racing super shoe which is more responsive and lighter, the Alphafly is the shoe for you. Its forefoot Zoom Air pods provide an explosive toe off while its carbon plate propels you forward. It costs more than the Adios Pro but it has a more comfortable upper with a more durable outsole.

If you’re a runner looking for a racing super shoe which is more cushioned and more stable, the Adios Pro is your shoe. It has an extreme rocker which propels you forward and super smooth ride transitions. It is better value for money than the Alphafly but it has thinner outsole rubber which will wear down faster.

This expert review is written by

Brandon Law

Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert
Brandon is a South African who lives and trains in Malaysia. He is a marathon runner who eats, sleeps and dreams running shoes. While most people wear shoes to run, he runs to wear shoes.