Friday, December 21, 2018

adidas adizero adios 4 Review: Fast Classic, Carefully Refined

Article by Michael Ellenberger, Hope Wilkes, Dave Ames, and Sam Winebaum

adizero adios 4 ($140)

Michael: The adizero adios Boost line (“Adios”) has never been one touting the lightest or flashiest racing flats. Adidas even went outside the Adios moniker to try and compete with the Nike Vaporfly 4%, in the mixed-reviewed Adidas Sub2. But in the Adios line, Adidas has promised a responsive, reasonably lightweight flat, capable of the marathon but nimble enough for the road 5K. You can find lighter racing flats, but you may not find a more multipurpose series of shoes than this. And finally, with the adizero adios 4, Adidas has cleaned up the Adios 3, removed some of the unnecessary dressing and stuck true to its line - a durable, comfortable, energy-returning flat with bounce to take some through a marathon, and weight to drive home that track session.
Sam: The Adios 4 comes from a long lineage of distinguished race shoes of the name. The first Boost version came in 2013 (RTR review) and was one of my favorite race shoes of all time. The addition of Boost bounce and energy “return” took racing shoes out of the realm of firm and harsh. Much racing success followed including the world marathon record held until this past September by the adios.  Other than a more (too) relaxed upper and a slightly softer forefoot feel subsequent editions over the years were essentially unchanged. The adios 4 essentially doesn’t mess with the formula beyond a new upper. The question to be answered is how does it measure up to the newer competition with their lighter energetic foams (Zoom X, Floatride Foam, etc…) and innovative constructions (Vaporfly).

adios 4 Pros:   
Dave:  Lightweight, snappy BOOST midsole, a speed demon!
Michael: Improved fit over predecessor, BOOST provides a responsive, fun ride
Hope: Snappy yet soft BOOST midsole, fun ride, great traction and durability
Sam: More racing worthy upper, lighter by 0.4 oz.

adios 4 Cons:
Dave: Could use a tad more tongue.  Other than that, wow!
Michael: Compared to the competition, it’s a bit chunky for shorter races.
Hope: The upper materials are too scratchy still
Sam: Heavy for a racer, somewhat dated firm ride and low forefoot stack that has not evolved

Weights: adizero adios 4
Tested Sample US M9: 7.6 oz // 215 g
Tested Sample US M8.5 : 7.4 oz // 210 g (one shoe 212 g, other 207 g)
adizero adios Boost 3
Sample Aktiv Edition US M8.5: 7.86 oz  // 223 g
Sample Orange Black US M9: 8 oz  // 227g
Stack Height: 23mm heel / 13 mm forefoot, 10 mm drop
Available now. $140

Tester Profiles:
Michael is his 20’s and is a 1:07 half marathoner. He runs 50-60 miles per week, generally in lightweight trainers or racing flats, at around 6:00-6:30 minutes/mile.
Sam is 61 with a recent 3:40 Boston qualifier. He runs halves in the 1:35-1:41 range and trains 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces in the 9 minute range..
Hope is in her 20’s and after several ultras is now more on the road. She has a marathon PR of 3:47. She trains about 50 miles per week with many of her runs in the (broad) 8:00-10:00/mile range. She is happy to hit 7:30 miles on tempo days.
Dave will be 37 soon and tries to keep in sub 3 Hour marathon shape, while also making the transition to ultras.  His weekly training is a mix of a quality workout, general aerobic miles / medium long run/long run and trails,

First Impressions and Fit
Michael: The Adios Boost 3 was a shoe I had high hopes for, and after over a year of waiting (and a considerable update), Adidas has finally delivered on a comfortable, lightweight racing flat. Slipping this on (and ignoring the weird, inverse method that Adidas uses to lace its shoes), I’m reminded of the last-generation of racing flats, before the Vaporfly: The Nike Streak XC, the Adidas Takumi-Sen (which admittedly still exists, not in the US), and the maybe-ugly-maybe-awesome Mizuno Wave Universe 5. There’s nothing overly flashy here (gone are the suede overlays and faux-leather distinctive stripes), just a good, old-fashioned racer.

Of course, the Adios Boost 3 isn’t necessarily in the same category of those three flats - the TPU-based “Boost” midsole will always be on the heavier side of midsole materials - but the fit is classic racer: no-frills, lightweight, and comfortable. Err… except that heel counter. Why Adidas needs to make a hard plastic heel counter in a sub-eight ounce shoe is beyond me. Past that, I’m immediately impressed with this shoe.

Hope: I haven’t had the Adios Boost since the OG version (I was so desperate to get my hands on a pair that I grabbed the unfortunate pink and purple colorway) which had a great underfoot feel but was plagued by a troublesome upper. The model got lost in the shuffle for me (so many shoes to try, so little time) and has lately been eclipsed by flashier new models. Opening the Adios 4 box unleashed a feeling of nostalgia for me. The shoe looks very much the same (this time I have a classy black and white colorway), but is immediately improved by fewer overlays and a smoother eyelet panel (no notches to annoyingly catch the lace loops). It looks like a classic. More importantly, it feels like a classic. Lightweight mesh and faux suede. Low to the ground without having a harsh feel. A locked-in fit (I think the heel counter helps with that). Best of all, it helped me go fast.

Dave:  Like Hope, I haven’t touched an Adios since the old school days with no BOOST in it.  Back then, oh let’s say early 2010’s, it was still quite the racing and training flat.  I had a ton of great years of running in it (I was also 30 pounds lighter!) - - Knowing that this was always a great trainer/racer and one in my arsenal over the years, I was intrigued to try the new Adios and see how and if the BOOST midsole compound felt.  As far as fit, my size 9 is solid for the way I like a racer/trainer to be. I know on the Adi site and some other gear sites they talk about going up a half size, but for me, I like to be locked and loaded in my flats. I wouldn’t go up ahalf by any means for my foot type (narrow)  The upper is a breathable mesh and molds my foot extremely well.
Sam: The fit is true to size with thin Compressport race socks- smooth, secure and consistent feeling if a bit scratchy compared to some of the newer monofilament type fiber race shoe uppers such as in the Skechers Razor 3, Kinvara 10, and Hoka Mach 2. Those planning to wear thick socks, those with wide feet, or intending the shoe to be more a trainer than racer might consider sizing up a half. The adios 4 removes the extra forefoot slop which combined with suede toe overlays which tended to stiffen over time and press on the toes that was introduced after the more race worthy upper of the adios Boost 1. The new attached tongue  (but not a bootie) better wraps the mid foot than the previous puffy tongue in the Aktiv or the similar thinner tongue in the original orange and black adios Boost 3. The achilles hold is excellent but a bit lower and less secure than previously.
I dig the classy black and white look and shorter “3 Stripes” which provide some mid foot support. Previous adios Boost were often cartoonish looking due to the wide suede overlays and garish colors although I do like the Aktiv Against Cancer red white and blue of one of my pairs.

Michael: Adidas removed several of the suede-like overlays that covered the previous generation Adios upper.
The overlays lent the shoe a more casual appearance, but added both weight and pressure in the forefoot. I, and several other runners I know, experienced toe blistering at first due to the constrictive midfoot, and even my narrow foot felt overly constricted by the Adios 3’s forefoot with its wide sueded front lace throat and those overlays. All is forgiven in the Adios 4: the upper now has a single overlay at the midfoot and is paired with a seamless overlay free toe box. I slipped these on for 15 miles right out of the box, and had absolutely no complaints. The colorway (black and white, the only option at the time of this review) is bland, but it can be overlooked for this level of fit and finish.
Hope: I still experienced some blistering with the Adios 4. There are some internal seams that are not taped and which are secured with stiff thread. I wouldn’t attempt a sockless run in these shoes. After a break in period the upper softened up enough to accommodate my feet comfortably. The material choices seem to emphasize light weight over comfort (fine by me in a lightweight trainer/racing flat), so there’s some of the scratchiness I remember from the original Adios. The weight of standard Boost (the Sub2 midsole material is a different story) probably isn’t going to change much, so any weight savings have to come from the upper. Since the material isn’t overly dense, it doesn’t feel restrictive even though the shoe has a narrow, race-ready fit. I’m a fan of the look of the Adios 3 and even went so far as to make it my travel sneaker (one shoe pressed into service for exercise and casual wear) on a recent business trip.

Dave:  The breathable mesh upper reminds me of some of the Adi stuff from 10 or so years ago. Basic, though functional. It gets the job done and wraps my foot extremely well. The Black and White colorway is awesome!  It’s classic Adidas . It reminds me of a pair of track spikes I had from Adi in 1997, in which that spike took me well under 10:00 in the 2 mile for the first time as a sophomore in HS.  One ding I would give the upper is that it could use a tad more tongue. I am using the last eyelet to lace up and get the fit I like, which can cause the tongue to “shrink”, but I would like to see it lay over the top of my foot a bit more.  While this is a lightweight shoe, I don’t feel the upper constricts in any way and so far, haven’t felt any hot spots or pressure points that could create issues.
Sam: The new upper is slightly narrower up front but eliminates all the suede overlays.
The foot is clearly more securely held up front . This was particularly noticeable on uphills where my foot tended to rotate more in the adios 3 than the 4 on toe off.
At the heel the the achilles collar is slightly lower. The Adios 3 really molded around the achilles with the Aktiv slightly softer leather like material a touch more mesh like grippy material in the original orange version and adios 4 where it is slightly softer.
The mesh is tighter woven as no light is seen through the upper as in the adios Boost 3 when viewed from inside the shoe with more of lining than previously. I expect them to be less breathable but as the suede overlays and lace throat is eliminated may accumulate less moisture weight.

The new tongue while short is sewn to the upper so it cannot move. It is more lightly padded and non puffy at the top  but in my A/B test lace pressure and comfort felt about the same.

Overall this is a great upper for me. Secure with no unusual pressures or discontinuities in fit,

Michael: It’s Boost - need I say more? That’s partially sarcastic and partially descriptive, of course; Adidas left the midsole unchanged in this version, compared to the Boost 3, and for good reason. The Boost technology, a TPU-based midsole that’s somehow soft and firm simultaneously, while delivering a responsive ride, is the flat’s standout feature here, and worth the increase in weight. Over several longer runs, I felt considerably less leg fatigue than I may from wearing another racing flat, owing primarily to the comfort and energy-return of Boost.
All that said - this isn’t a particularly light flat, and while I’m sure those used to heavier trainers would be more than fine dropping down to 5- or 10K races in the Adios, I would hesitate to ever choose this over the Reebok Floatride Run Fast Pro, Nike Streak LT, or even the Nike Streak 6 for something shorter than 13.1. It’s just a little too substantial for when you really need to turn over. For longer tempo runs or races, however, it’s really a great choice.

Hope: I agree with Michael. Boost isn’t the lightest midsole around, but in this application (much like in the Boston Boost) it manages to be magically snappy yet soft. This is not a slimmed down Ultraboost. The Adios 4 is tuned to fly and suffers from no mushiness, instability, or sloppiness. I’d also like to call out Boost’s all-weather performance as we approach meteorological winter in the northern hemisphere at press time: it doesn’t firm up in the cold.

Dave:  Let’s face it….BOOST took a nosedive a few years ago.  Everything is was used in was chunky, beat my legs up and was just plain kinda, blah.  But man, BOOST is back. And not just in the Adios (Solar Drive, Boston 7) I disagree with Michael and Hope about weight of BOOST in the Adios.  I think it’s just fine and honestly, I want that extra substance under foot should I take this shoe to the Half Mary or Full Mary distance. I have plenty of shoes in my arsenal for 5K’s and short stuff, so I look at Adios 4 as more of that “long hauler.”  The transition rate via BOOST midsole is extremely fast from heel strike to toe off and man, does this baby pop off the forefoot. My first session in the A4 was a Vo2 max session of 5 x 5 mins hard @ 5:35 pace / 3:30 recovery jog, and for this almost 37 year old washed up dude, I felt so so good in the shoe.  Every footstrike is smooth and concise, leaving you focused on your workout, not what’s on your foot, which is very important. Adios 4 does a lot of work for you, which is always a game changer in my mind. It makes workouts biomechanically feel effortless.

Sam: The Boost is as always bouncy and fun to run. This said we are dealing with now older midsole tech as this midsole is really unchanged since 2013 with a comparatively low stack for a modern race shoe. We have 23mm at the heel (very adequate cushion with Boost in the mix, and Torsion plastic to stabilize) and a low 13mm forefoot stack. While I prefer a 6-10mm drop in a race shoe for the later miles, something had to give to keep the weight reasonable given Boost is quite heavy as a midsole material. It’s the forefoot cushion that had to give.  

adios 4’s forefoot stack is low when compared to many competitors. The lighter Vaporfly and Beacon have about 20 mm respectively upfront while the super minimal and super light Reebok Floatride Fast Pro has nearly the same at 12.5mm upfront. I guess for longer racing, over 10K I have moved on to more cushioned forefoot shoes. This said for get up and go, understanding the cushion is not what more modern designs with their lighter foams and plates can pull off, the adios 4 midsole with its snappy Torsion plastic embedded in the mix has a fast highly responsive feel.
Michael: Adidas licenses Continental Rubber for its outsole, with the branding prominently displayed in the forefoot. Does it matter? I certainly had no issues with these, even on some slick terrain. On rocky paths, the lightweight nature of the outsole and midsole (this is a shoe built for racing, after all) led to some uncomfortable steps if the rock was right underfoot. But really, what shoe can prevent that? I was pleasantly surprised.

Relative to Nike’s lightweight offerings - specifically the Zoom Fly Flyknit - the traction here is superb, and I’d feel comfortable racing on nearly any course with this. In the heel, the Adios (like its predecessor), touts AdiWear, a non-marking carbon rubber that provides for improved traction. Again, I had no issues with traction, which is more than I can say for some other lightweight shoes in this category.

Hope: Continental rubber wears like iron. No issues for me either: reassuring grip and industry-leading durability. I like good groundfeel, especially in a racer.

Dave:  The Continental rubber outsole is solid.  It’s one of the better outsoles on the market right now and I can see Adios 4 being that go to rainy day (like it rains in SoCal!) racer/workout shoe .  It rounds corners well and on the filthy sidewalks here in SoCal, which when hosed down by homeowners, they can get slippery, A4 did just fine.
Sam: As always the adios has an outstanding outsole. I see no changes from adios Boost 3. I do miss the extra touch of stability and pop of the earliest adios Boost 1’s middle of forefoot strike plate though.

Michael: The ride is where I really appreciate the Adios line, and the A4 in particular - this shoe feels like it could be a daily trainer. The ride is smooth, responsive, and overall just impressive as it uses   a “Torsion System” that uses a “thermoplastic unit” to allow forefoot and rearfoot independent movement, increasing the stability. I have a pretty neutral foot strike and don’t know how much I engaged this mechanic, but it was certainly a stable ride as far as I was concerned. For someone of my frame (5’9”, 130 lbs.), I’d consider making this a daily trainer for all but the easiest of recovery days - it’s just a fun shoe to run in, all around.

Hope: For me, the Adios 4 ride is perfection. Buttery smooth and so natural that the shoe disappears on my foot. I can’t pay any model a higher compliment than that. I’ve been in better physical shape before, but have never had a better tempo workout than the one I recently ran in the Adios 4. I also did back-to-back long runs in the Adios 4 because I loved it so much, so I feel comfortable recommending it as a daily trainer for efficient runners who can enjoy a pared down shoe.

Dave:  What a shoe.  That’s pretty much it!  Smooth, efficient, snappy, powerful and!  I’m Hope’s Coach, and yeah, I saw those Tempo splits!  She’s crushed it in A4! I’m far heavier than I used to be, but I have no issues bottoming out in Adios 4.  Everything I need in a racer/trainer is right there on my foot. I can’t wait to see how this performs on the track.  Because I think there is definitely a home for it there as well for some classic Mile reps or K’s.

Sam: The ride is snappy with plenty of heel cushion and a thin responsive forefoot. There is lots of road feel here, a sensation of connection to the road and an ability to easily change paces. The ride is ideal for faster days training, stable interval sessions, and for me shorter racing understanding that you will feel that comparatively thinner forefoot.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Michael: In sum, I’m a huge fan of the adios Boost 4. It’s light enough to be a nimble racing flat down to 5K, but substantial enough to be a comfortable tempo and long run shoe. The changes made - primarily the improvements to the fit and finish of the upper - make this a near no-brainer to any fan of the Adios line in the past. To newcomers, the Adios 4 has strong competition from Nike and Reebok (to name a few), but can certainly stand on its own as a comfortable, responsive, and durable racing flat. Highly recommended.

Hope: Get these. Expect a short break in period, then prepare to fall in love with one of the best racers on the market. I’d love to see a jacquard upper (softer and smoother than what we have now on the Adios 4, but could offer an equally simple construction), but I still am blown away by the outstanding performance of this model.

Dave:  It’s the real deal.  Perfect for those Fartlek days, Tempo Days, track work, Segments and yeah, racing!!  My wheelhouse right now in this shoe is probably Half Mary, max...but for those lighter more efficient runners like I used to be, you can easily take the A4 26.2.  As Hope mentioned above, it’s good enough for some general cruiser miles as well, basically because it is that smooth. It rides a lot like the Boston 7, which was one of my top 5 shoes of 2018!  The fit is narrow, so wider footed runners may struggle in this.

Sam: A classic improved, the adios 4 is a traditional race shoe light trainer with Boost energy in the mix. The new upper solves the sloppiness of the adios Boost 3’s for me with now a more dialed in fit.  The drop of 0.4 oz (12g) in weight to 7.6 oz / 213 g is welcome. All of this said the adios 4 ride feels a bit firm and dated (no changes since 2013 original) to me in comparison to newer more protective alternatives for racing and fast training, which also often come in at lighter weights. While these new alternatives may have more protection and zing, for shear durability and longevity few if any will outlast the adios.

Michael’s Score:  (out of 10): 9.25
-.25 for the way-too-stiff heel counter
-.50 for not dropping another ounce, especially in light of the competition.
Hope’s Score:  9.50/10
-.50 for scratchy seams and upper materials that should overall be softer
Dave’s Score: 9.85/10
-.15 for needing more tongue and a tad less pressure on the top of my foot when laced up for workouts.
Sam’s Score 9.25/10
-0.5 for comparatively thin firm forefoot which transmitted more road shock than other recent race and light training type shoes
-0.25 for weight in a race shoe due to the inherent weight of Boost vs. newer midsole materials

adios 4
Dave:  Lightweight, snappy BOOST midsole, a speed demon!
Michael: Improved fit over predecessor, BOOST provides a responsive, fun ride
Hope: Snappy yet soft BOOST midsole, fun ride, great traction and durability
Sam: More racing worthy upper, lighter by 0.4 oz.
Dave: Could use a tad more tongue. Other than that, wow!
Michael: Compared to the competition, it’s a bit chunky for shorter races.
Hope: The upper materials are too scratchy still
Sam: Heavy for a racer, somewhat dated firm ride and low forefoot stack that has not evolved

adizero adios 4  vs. adizero adios 3 (RTR review)
Michael: I found the Adios Boost 3 to narrow even for my C-width feet; while I appreciated the Boost midsole for a few quality workouts, the overlays on the upper and the narrowing toe box irritated my forefoot and largely kept the shoe in my closet. Fortunately, as described above, the Adios 4 brings a much more forgiving fit and continues the quality ride.
Sam: The adios 4 improves over the adios 3, no question. The adios Boost 3’s upper combined a sloppy forefoot fit with “shrinking” suede overlays which tended to press on the toes as the shoe aged. Problem solved with the new seamless toe box. Overall the fit is more all of a piece and secure. In my one on each foot A/B test with the adios Boost 3 Aktiv, I found the adios 4 to have a very slightly firmer forefoot and also to be slightly more responsive. Hand flexing the shoes adios 4 also appears a touch more flexible. Not sure if the rubber firmness has changed or if there is a tiny touch less forefoot stack. When more dialed upper was combined with the slightly firmer feel I found the adios 4 climbed considerably better than 3.

adizero adios 4 vs. adizero sub2 (RTR review)
21/15 5.5 oz
Sam: The sub2 weighs more than 2 oz less. Its Boost Light midsole is considerably firmer and harsher especially at the heel. It’s upper is highly refined but the rear hold is low. adios any day for me.

adizero adios 4 vs. Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit (RTR review)
Michael: The Zoom Fly Flyknit takes the cake here. Truthfully, you can’t really go wrong with either shoe, but the carbon fiber plate in the ZF FK gives it that extra edge. One situation in which I’d put on the Adios 4 over the Fly is in wet or technical conditions, where I think that full-blown-rubber outsole on the AB4 will provide an advantage.
Sam: The Zoom Fly is more suitable for training than the adios due to its superior cushion combined with carbon plate driven dynamism. It can race too but weighs an ounce more. If you want a more traditional feeling fast shoe and for racing the adios is a better choice.

adizero adios 4  vs. Nike Vaporfly 4%  (2017 VF RTR review, 2018 VF FK RTR review)
Hope: Vaporfly 4% Flyknit > Adios 4 > Vaporfly 4% OG
The 4% FK is astoundingly good and I think it’s almost unfair to put a model that’s about $100 cheaper up against it. The superior fit and outsole durability of the Adios 4 gives it an edge over the OG Vaporfly 4%.

Michael: I agree with Hope on the durability front, but for anything over 13.1, I’d go to the Vaporfly - flyknit, or otherwise. On shorter distances, where it seems Nike’s tech is less relevant, it’ll be more a matter of preference: the Adios gives a more responsive, low-to-the-ground feel, whereas the Vaporfly makes you feel detached (though often in a good way!). As noted, two really strong options - and the $100 difference between the two makes the Adios 4 all the more compelling.

Sam: The VF is more protective overall and lighter. On a flatter course, at any distance the original VF any day, all day.  While superb, the Flykint VF is firmer and I prefer the original’s upper. And no question in my mind, Vaporfly is faster and certainly more protective and easy on the legs for most runners, at most distances, including for Kipchoge and for the world marathon record (recently snatched from the adios) and many many PR's. On a shorter hillier course or with uneven pavement or even for a short trail race (and I have trail raced the adios 1)  the agility, stability and ground feel of the adios wins out,

adizero adios 4 vs. Reebok Floatride Run Fast Pro (RTR review)
Michael: This is Reebok’s hyper-light flat, and at 5- and 10-K, I’m taking the Reebok all day, but for the half and especially the marathon, the Adios is an easy pick. The TPU midsole of the Adidas is considerably more forgiving (even if we were impressed with the cushioning on the 3oz. Reebok rocket), and your calves likely won’t make it through 26.2 in the Fast Pro.
Dave:  Run Fast Pro is for shorter speed work for me and the 5K.  But I do not do much of either anymore, so it stays in that wheelhouse.  It is an amazing shoe, but it cornered itself for me into the “short stuff” category because I need more underfoot for longer workouts.  Adios 4 gives me much more availability to do a wider range of work training wise. It is tough to pick one over the other here though because they are two completely different shoes for different types of days.
Sam: Interestingly I find the forefoot cushion of these two pretty close and they are also by stats with only a half millimeter difference with the Pro yet more agile there. It is at the heel where the adios has 6 mm more stack that for anything beyond a 10K and for faster training that the adios wins out. This said the Pro literally weighs almost half of the adios with its super light and energy returning PEBA Floatride Foam demonstrates that adidas sister company Reebok has moved ahead of its adidas in light high performance running shoes.

adidas adios 4 vs. Reebok Floatride Run Fast (RTR review)
Sam: An ounce (28 g) lighter with a 1.5 mm more stack at the heel and 4.5 mm more at the forefoot, the lively if a bit less agile Fast is more shoe underfoot at less weight. I can easily daily train or race in this shoe something I would not do in the adios. The Floatride Foam provides the lightness and a dynamic but somewhat less bouncy than Boost ride. This said the adios upper is superior in its substance and hold.

adizero adios 4 vs. Skechers Performance Go Run Razor 3 Hyper (RTR review)
Hope: I wish you hadn’t asked me this. Both are incredible shoes. The R3 barely edges the Adios 4 because of its weight and softer upper materials. Were I writing this on a different day I might choose the Adios 4 — it’s that close.
Dave:  I have tested two Razor 3 prototypes, each having some issues, honestly surrounding poor heel to toe transitions.  Skechers is out of stock on a Razor 3 production pair at the moment and the head developer is sending me a pair when he can get his hands back on one.  Have to get back to you here.
Sam: While I love the light zingy feel of Hyper foam in the Razor, its upper and is substantial forefoot cushion, its 4mm drop heel with minimal outsole rubber feels low in comparison relegating it to only fast stuff for me whereas the adios has greater pace range and also greater durability due to its excellent outsole.

adizero adios 4 vs. New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon  (RTR review)
Hope: is Tough call here. I might prefer the Beacon for its long haul comfort, but its ride lacks the wow factor of the Adios 4.
Dave:  These are two completely different shoes.  Beacon is a lightweight trainer and Adios 4 is a trainer/racer.  Beacon stays for training for me and is an outstanding shoe.
Sam: The Beacon is lighter and softer with far more forefoot cushion but is not the taught lively racer the adios is. More a trainer than a racer .

adizero adios 4 vs. Saucony Kinvara 9 & 10 (RTR review)
Hope: Adios 4 wins for me. The Kinvara 10 (and the K9 for that matter) is a great shoe, but it pales in comparison to the Adios 4. The Adios 4 gets the TPU midsole material exactly right (full TPU midsole vs.TPU layer under the sockliner) and delivers the lively yet soft ride the Kinvara dreams of. More TPU comes at a cost and the Adios 4 is the more expensive shoe.
Dave: K9 and K10 are 2 of the best shoes I’ve run in in a very long time.  Kinvara 9 was my top pick of 2018! The 10 is even better! Again though, when comparing to the Adios 4, they are in two different complete wheelhouses.  I used the K10 for training and I’ll use the Adios 4 for workouts and races.
Sam: Agree the Kinvara leans more towards training but for a marathon I would pick the K shoe over the adios due to its superior forefoot cushion. For a 10K to half the adios.  

adizero adios 4 vs. Nike Zoom Streak 6 (RTR review)
Hope: I love the ZS6, but the Adios 4 gets the nod here. It’s more comfortable and versatile. Durability may be nearly equal as I’ve done speedwork and raced shorter distances (10 miles and below) in the ZS6 since it was launched and my pair remains in great shape.
Michael: This is a toss-up for me. Like Hope, I’m a huge fan of the Streak 6 (especially the flyknit version) and have put many miles in the line. I think as an everyday trainer/tempo shoe, I’d take the Adios 4, with the improved upper and that signature ‘Boost bounce,’ but would turn to the Streak for racing!
Sam: I was never was a fan of the Streak 6. It’s harsh heel and plate left me beat up although I do prefer its forefoot cushion and rebound over the adios... I did run a fast 10K in them. I can well see how the adios held the world marathon record over the Streak, until Vaporfly came along...

adizero adios 4 vs. Nike Lunaracer 3/4
Michael: Both the L3 and the L4 (despite its sizing quirks) are softer, more forgiving shoes. I loved to train in the Lunarlon models of old, but would pick the Adios 4 over the Lunaracer 3 or 4 for practically any race - the responsiveness from the Boost material is just a better “fast” feeling than the cushy, over-soft sensation in the old Lunaracer.

Reviewers' Full Run Bios here
The adios was provided at no charge. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.
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phl0w said...

Looking forward to it very much. The Adios 3 is my favourite shoe. I got 3 extra pairs when they where on sale on Black Friday. Didn't know about a version 4 back then. I use it for speed training, tempo runs, races, even for my daily easy runs. I'm 1.92m but <20BMI, so can get away with little cushioning. The only downside was the quick taper, which made me rotate it with some other shoes (GRR7, Escalante) so naturally I'm quite excited to read the fit is more relaxed.

Thanks for the great reviews, and Merry Christmas

Dayvaad said...

One that isn't mentioned enough is the new balance 1400v6. It's like they purposefully made it for the "Masses Foot" not the skinny low volume foot that Africans and 5-10 135lbsPros have. Wish NB would make a dedicated 10oz trail shoe (that fits Wide!)Right now I'm in the NB890, 1400v6 and may even go to 1080v9 upon RTR review

phl0w said...

My pair finally arrived yesterday, and I couldn't resist taking them out for a spin despite having my Fibula SFX flaring up again these days.
After the Adios 3 I felt right at home with the ride. The upper seems a bit stiffer than the Adios 3's amazingly soft suede-covered fabric, but I think it will break in.
Thank God the fixed tongue was apparently just an afterthought, and is stitched onto the upper with only a couple stitches. I takes 5 minutes to remove those, and you end up with a proper tongue. I don't know who comes up with those boot-like constructions but they are very restrictive when it comes to different insteps, nothing wrong with flappy tongues, so why change it? I couldn't step into the Adios 4 before I "freed" the tongue.
The fit is by no means loose but definitely a little more relaxed than the 3. I think it's because they don't taper as quickly and pointy as the 3s.
I have over 600k on my 3s, and they are hardly abraded. Pretty sure the 4s are as durable, seeing they didn't change the outsole.

Definitely my shoe of 2018 together with the GORun Ride 7, and I'm looking forward to putting more miles on them if my stress fracture doesn't get worse over the next days/weeks.

Unknown said...

Thanks for info

Will said...

Wondering how these would compare to the new Adidas Adizero Prime (pretty much a primeknit version of the new adios 4) as I am worried that the forefoot in the mesh adios will be too narrow and restrictive.

Unknown said...

I have been wearing the Adios for years and the shoe is light and fast. The best shoe around by far for me. Unfortunately the, dare I say upgraded, Adios 4 is a completely different shoe. It does not have the same response and is not as flexible. So although I bought my first pairs year ago, I am now looking at other makes of running shoe. I think I have had 6 pairs of Adios shoes. Adidas are no the only company that upgrade a shoe and make it totally different Nike have been doing this for years. It means that I change from one company to another every few years. If I could find another pair of Adios 3, tomorrow I would buy them.