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Sunday, September 13, 2020

adidas Adizero Adios Pro Multi Tester Review: A Novel Super Marathon Shoe with a Springy, Spunky and Dynamic Personality

Article by Ivan Luca Corda, Michael Ellenberger, Derek Li, Sam Winebaum and Ryan Eiler

adidas adizero adios Pro ($200)

Introduction

Sam: It was 2013 when adidas introduced Boost, a TPU bead based midsole foam which was truly one of the most significant innovations in running in a long time. The Energy Boost trainer and adios Boost 1 racers were fantastic and are still among my all time favorites. Then another seven years of more and more Boost in very successful lifestyle shoes and heavier and quite frannkly less appealing performance running shoes. 


A new Lightstrike foam came on the scene more recently. Fairly light, highly responsive and firm,  so sort of out of synch with the trend to softer bouncier and more dynamic newer midsole foams. 


A mere couple of months ago the carbon plated, Boost heel, Lightstrike and Boost forefoot adizero Pro arrived. For me it was an updated race flat and not really a new age super shoe.


The adios Pro made a very limited run appearance at about the same time but beyond the marketing and a few reviews the picture was unclear as to where it fit in the super marathon shoe race. Hints of what it was and could do surfaced as we received our test pairs in the new pink colorway with a new women’s world record for a women’s only half in Prague by Peres Jepchirchir and more information about its front EnergyRods, a non “plated” approach to propulsion.

Lots go into making such a state of the art racer! Source: adidas


We set out to find out where the adios Pro fit in the emerging pantheon of super marathon shoes. Was it just another plated shoe with a huge stack, did its slightly higher weight than competitors make a difference, what did Lightstrike Pro feel like compared to Lightstrike, and what did EnergyRods offer that a solid “spoon plate” did not. Our testing showed that the adios Pro certainly did not imitate any other in the race!  Is it an option for you? Read on to find out what we found and where it might fit in the rapidly evolving super shoe pantheon.


Derek: Adidas has been quietly testing their answer to the Nike Vaporfly for a number of years now and it is the last of the big brand carbon super shoes to be released this year. They have certainly taken their time, but does the end product stack up against the competition? Every brand worth its salt now has a carbon plated racer in its catalogue and the competition for market share is stiffer than ever. Let’s see how it fares. 


Michael: Coming to this review late, I’m going to keep my normally long-winded ways in check, so I’ll start with this: I think the Adios Pro is the fastest shoe I’ve tested in 2020. Enough to grab your attention? Read on about this lightning bolt.

Pros:

Michael/ Derek/Ryan/Sam: Forefoot energy transfer

Michael/Derek/Ryan/Sam: Efficient ‘trampoline’ midsole effect

Derek/Ryan/Sam/Ivan: Well structured, ventilated Celermesh upper

Sam/Michael: Forefoot EnergyRods are less plate like and more like powerful extensions of the toes

Sam: Unique blend of very forgiving softness with clearly felt energy return and spring from the rods.

Ivan: Stable midsole and overall ride

Ivan: Quick and responsive at toe off


Cons:

Ryan/Sam: Slightly narrow feeling platform under heel.

Derek/Sam: Heaviest of the super shoes, although weight not really noticed on the move

Michael/Ivan/Sam: Maybe not as versatile as some competitors (especially for 5K down)

Derek: Outsole durability concerns

Ryan: Rubbing on seam at top of achilles

Ivan: Fit in the forefoot



Tester Profiles


Derek is in his 30’s and trains 70-80 miles per week at 7 to 8 minute pace in mostly tropical conditions in Singapore. He has a 2:41 marathon PR.


Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 63 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. Sam has been running for over 45 years and has a 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range training 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah. He is 5'10" tall and weighs about 163 lbs.


A hopeless soccer career led Ryan to take up running, and after taking a decade-long break from competing, he is back racking up mileage whenever he can.  He calls the 2018 Boston Marathon the hardest race of his life, where he finished in 2:40, barely remembering his name at the finish line.


Ryan decided to forego his Wall Street job to be a gear junkie, and is currently the fledgling entrepreneur behind his company, Bridger Helmets.  Most days, you'll find him loping along the Charles River in Boston.  Of all the places he's run, Central Park NYC and the New Hampshire Seacoast top his list.


Michael is a 2019 graduate of Northwestern University Law School in Chicago, with an interest in patent and intellectual property law. Prior to law school, he competed collegiately at Washington University in St. Louis (10,000m PR of 30:21). He recently finished 2nd at the Chicago Half-Marathon in a PR of 67:43, and was the top Illinois finisher in the 2017 Boston Marathon (2:33:03, 82nd overall). He recently secured a 2:31 marathon PR at the Austin Marathon. 


Ivan Luca Corda: Copenhagen, Denmark. Height: 5’11 Weight: 140 lbs

Current age group: 45+Began running in 2012 (age 36). Weekly mileage: 50-80 miles (mostly roads and light paths/trails) Favorite distance: Marathon. Memorable running experiences: Tromsø Midnight Sun Marathon ‘17 (above Arctic Circle starting at midnight in full daylight), Valencia Marathon PB in 2019 in 2:39:28, First Ultramarathon in 2020 (100 km) and 3rd at Danish National Championship

Passionate about analyzing all sort of data by using every possible gadget. This also includes comparing running shoes by measuring running mechanics.


Stats

Estimated Weight:: 7.95 oz men's / 224g (US9)  /  women's / (US8)

  Samples: men’s US: 8.5 7.72 oz / 219g, 9.5 8.21 oz / 233g, 8.1oz / 230g

Stack Height: 39mm / 30.5mm, 8.5 mm drop

Available October 2020 in US including Running Warehouse here


First Impressions and Fit


Michael: If you’ve worn the Adios Pro’s little brother, the Adizero Pro (don’t get me started on naming), then the Celermesh will be familiar - but the fit here is considerably more dialed in, with a perfectly crafted interior midfoot wrap that keeps your foot from rolling medially or laterally - something that I think, if absent, may have doomed this shoe. Why?  Because the second thing you’ll notice about the Adios Pro is that it’s soft and tall. I’ve tested every super shoe except the AlphaFly thus far, and this is perhaps the most unstable of them all, speaking purely in terms of stack and material composition. Fortunately (very fortunately!) the upper, without being overly restrictive - keeps any midfoot roll in check. 

Ivan: The very high and soft midsole and the light upper, almost transparent upper in bold red/violet colors, was the first thing I noticed. It looks very comfortable and fast. The first time I put on the shoe, I struggled a bit getting it on, as the heel collar is narrow and the tongue requires a bit of adjustment. Once it was in place and the laces were tied, the fit was snug around the midfoot and really comfortable with no annoying areas or hotspots. Without a doubt one of the most satisfying first impressions I have experienced.


Derek: This is a beautiful colorway. For me, it’s the most eye-catching of the new super shoes to come out this year, right up there with the Ekiden colorway of the Vaporfly Next%. Step in feel is snug in the arch, but very accommodating in the forefoot. It fits true to size for me. Walking around in the shoe, the subtle springiness of the foam is immediately evident, more so than most of the other super shoes on the market at present. The forefoot rocker is also very evident, though it is placed quite far in front in the shoe. Overall, a rather interesting combination of underfoot sensations and distinctly different from other carbon shoes using a single piece carbon plate. 


Ryan: The pink colorway that fell into my hands looks dynamite. Then, the realization set in that there was no way I’d be able to gracefully wear these for anything but faster runs. I’d argue that it’s even more eye-catching than the old Vaporfly Next% pink, with the Adios Pro’s ‘signal pink’ diamond-patterned upper and a pink/blue outsole. Given the firm structure of the upper and the gusseted tongue, there’s a technique to getting them on properly.  But once they are on, you get the sense that you won’t have any trouble with a sloshing forefoot or a dancing tongue. And they certainly have that distinctive super-shoe, mega-stack bounce that makes you feel giddy as soon as you stand in them.

Sam: The colors here are a work of art, very bright with many slight variations in tone and texture. I thought that the look might prove controversial but not one criticism on our social media posts. Rare if not unique. And that is before one instantly tries on the completely ventilated super secure and highly ventilated Celermesh upper. 

The fit is a perfect true to size for me with a relatively wide toe box with a very neat asymmetrical toe bumper, firmer on the lateral slide than medial to allow push off medially and many options on the lateral side for lacing customization, "tuning" of this race machine if you will!

Ryan is right the try on is a bit tricky. 

The short tongue and medial strap are made of a rubbery material that doesn’t stretch that much as it is attached on the lateral side to the lace eyelets andwants to hug the mid foot which is exactly what it does. The tongue seemed short but sat flat and true as long as before tightening the laces you made sure it is pulled all the way up. The multitude of lateral lacing hole options are immediately noticed. I kept things as is and was perfectly happy. For me the finest fitting upper of any marathon super shoe with the possible exception of the more short distance type performance fit of the MetaRacer’s. True to size no question.


Upper

Sam: The adios Pro’s Celermesh upper is probably the most intricate and effective super shoe upper yet. 

A very thin outer see through mesh is backed by an array of underlays. 

Breathability is of course outstanding and moisture absorption minimal.

adidas went to great lengths to provide a customizable lockdown. There are many additional lacing holes near the final lace up. I stayed with laces as they came out of the box with no issues or adjustments needed to the lacing or for that matter ever to lace up.

The tongue is made of a rubbery pliable material with some lace pads. It wraps over the top of the foot decisively, flat and slip free, but care must be taken to pull it all the way up as the bottom folds a bit. Once in place the tongue is forgotten.


The tongue is attached to the lace eyelets on the lateral side with a narrower also rubbery and only slightly stretchy strap on the medial side. The system of tongue, stitching, and strap provides a superb mid foot lockdown.

The heel counter, if one can call it that, is a stiff narrow vertical piece at the rear achilles (blue above), the sides being more pliable.

The toe box is roomy, quite broad and totally secure with no slop whatsoever. The toe bumper is present and real but not overdone. In an interesting twist the medial toe bumper is somewhat more pliable that the lateral side, I assume to aid in toe off. 


In the picture above and below you can also see the melted in support extending from the laces to the midsole at the mid foot and focused on the medial side.

Ryan: The Celermesh is a fantastic layering of a brushed, diamond-patterned material on the inside, fused to a more plasticky and inelastic mesh outer material. It’s not as supple as some other uppers (e.g., Hyperion Elite and Endorphin Pro), but it’s shaped ergonomically enough that it left me a happy tester. 


Because of the strength of the Celermesh material, midfoot lockdown is superior to most of its competitors, yet it also wins major points on breathability as is apparent from looking at closeup photos. There is direct on-foot ventilation entirely around the foot, aside from a section at the heel and a strip of tongue bootie on the medial side.

It was thoughtful of Adidas to offer additional eyelets to wrap the laces further around your foot, if desired. Given the stiffness of the upper’s outer layer, the extra eyelets don’t cost anything in terms of midfoot stretch.

They chose to run a noticeable seam right up the middle of the heel, which initially gave me some blisters on my achilles. 

It seems like the seam is packing down, but this isn’t a problem I’ve had with any other shoes in several years. While it fits nearly true to size, it felt a smidge bigger than expected due to the ample room in the toe box for me.


Derek: This upper has already been described in detail above. In fact, the construct is identical to that of the Adizero Pro, just that the fit is slightly different because of a more rounded toebox. The middle rigid piece of heel counter is still there, and this time I made sure to break it in a little by hand before wearing to make it a bit less obtrusive. All in all, midfoot lockdown is excellent using the regular eyelet locations for me and actually, there isn’t a need to use very high lace tension for this shoe because the medial tongue gusset acts like a stabilizing band to keep your foot securely connected to the shoe. Ventilation is good and the upper pretty much gets out of its own way. I would have liked for the laces and tongue to be slightly longer but that’s a minor gripe. 


Michael: Again trying to avoid stepping on my fellow reviewers’ toes (ha - shoe puns!), I’ll add that while the Adios Pro is somewhat tricky to slip into the first time, it quickly became my favorite, most dialed-in race upper yet. The midfoot wrap (even from the “regular” array  of eyelets) is absolutely top-notch and, in combination with the non-slip (nearly scuba-suit-material) tongue, keeps you locked and loaded. I had no issues in my pair of 8.5s, and even though Sam put a few miles on them before me, the upper was not stretched in any way. Plus - this colorway is awesome.

Ivan: I can not help but repeat my fellow testers on this one, so I’ll make it short. The Cellermesh upper looks amazing and is light, breathable and has a great midfoot lockdown. I’m especially impressed with the thin but perfectly padded tongue with different zones to avoid unwanted pressure from laces and heel collar. 

However, I’m not a big fan of the very rounded roomy toebox as some of the others. When wearing a tempo/race shoe I really prefer a tighter fit. Too much space around the toes makes the shoe feel a bit sloppy to me. 


Midsole

Derek: Lightstrike Pro is the real deal. It may well be an EVA/TPU blend as Sam suggests, but to me, it does seem to have a bit of that low density hollow resonance when I’m running. Hard to describe but it sounds like a ping pong ball bouncing but from a distance away; a lighter pitch patting sound. Very similar to what I get when I’m running in the Vaporfly 4% OG; with the Next% I think the blown rubber tends to mute it out a little. As a material, Lightstrike Pro seems highly tunable too, given that we saw a much firmer version of it in the original white colorway limited release in June. Just imagine if they did what Salomon does with the RA line and come out with a regular Adios Pro, an even softer Adios Max, and a firmer Adios Elite! Heck, since it’s a 2 piece construct anyway, they could have a dual density LightStrike Pro with a firmer section under the rods and a softer section above it.


Now of course we can’t talk about this shoe without analyzing the carbon plate and those carbon rods. When I first saw the schematic, I was questioning why they wouldn’t bond the plate to the rods to give it some continuity. I was concerned that the rocker would not work. 


Having run in the shoe, I can confidently say that it is a total non issue. The rocker is solid, though as alluded to by Matt Klein over at Doctors of Running, the rocker is very late stage. Very. So you do need to be going at a decent clip to engage it. I’ll go more into this in the ride section, but I see this more as a result of preferences by the pro runners. We have seen it already with the ASICS MetaRacer where it uses a less aggressive toespring and rocker because the pros prefer it, compared to EvoRide and GlideRide. I see the same preferences manifesting themselves here, as the curvature of the rods are best suited for runners who are really driving through the gait cycle powering off at the toes. For us regular folk, that means that outside of moderate-uptempo pace, you likely won’t be noticing the rocker benefit at all. You do still get bounce and cushioning of Lightstrike Pro though, which admittedly may feel a little flatter than the advertised 8mm drop without counting the rocker effect. This brings me back to my idea of an Adios Pro, Adios Max and Adios Elite as well. I think there is a market for tuning the curvature of the rods (and by extension the position of the forefoot rocker) to different levels of performance. The Max could have an earlier stage rocker and softer foam to benefit us mere mortals, and the Elite can have the late stage rocker and firmer foam. Win-win for everyone. Just throwing out ideas here.


Sam: The midsole foam is what adidas calls Lightstrike Pro. My sense is that it may be a low density EVA TPU blend somehow goosed up in processing beyond mere injection. It is not as light weight as some of the competitors including PEBA injected foam as in Nike Zoom X  or expanded PEBA beads as in the firmer Saucony Endorphin. It is close to the feel of the autoclaved EVA/TPU blend in the just released New Balance FuelCell RC Elite and the nitrogen infused DNA Flash in the Brooks Hyperion Elite 2 which is while light, denser feeling. 


Here we have  a different, softer, bouncier feel especially at the forefoot than any of the other super shoes. In great part this is due to the dual “plate” arrangement with not a plate but 5 toe matching EnergyRods and in part due to the soft thin “cushioned traction” outsole, well named.

Source: adidas


There are not one but two “carbon in them” plates in the adios Pro. How much carbon and how much polymers we don’t know as all so-called carbon plates have at least some polymer binders in the mix. The rear plate is called out as a carbon infused nylon plate. The rear plate provides some needed stability to the narrow beveled heel and midfoot of what is a 39mm very high rear stack, right at the IAAF limit for road racing shoes. The rear plate is not noticed on the run beyond its support. Good thing it is there as while stable with the plate in the mix the heel area is very narrow reminding of the original Vaporfly but without that shoe’s more noted rear instability. 


The really special sauce is upfront in the five EnergyRods which are carbon infused TPU. 

Source: adidas

The TPU part may be important as carbon tends to be totally rigid as these rods and their geometry have an easily noted slight bend, molding to the foot action on toe off, not only as a whole but with a sensation that all toes are in the action.  

You can even see the EnergyRods’ “shadow” through the outsole after a few miles. The platform literally feels like it is molded to your foot as you run instead of feeling like a monolithic block of foam or a hard plate surface. We will have to see if this molding affect long term usability or durability. My sense is not as what appears to be happening is that the platform adapts to the foot instead of prescribing the front platform or toe off. 


The EnergyRods feel like they deflect as the foot travels through the foam and then they rebound with a springy feel,clearly returning energy. You don’t have the sensation of just riding on top of a stiff plate rockering or rolling you to toe off as in the other super shoes with the curvature and geometry of the stiff plate providing the propulsion- with the possible exception of the Alphfly where while carbon plated the air pods below provide some of the same effect although more as a deformable rebounding continuous surface than as individual elements of rebound associated with all the toes as in the Pro.

It seems Lightstrike Pro is not as light as some of its competitors as with roughly equivalent stacks to shoes such as the Next%, certainly Alphafly which is more stacked yet, and Endorphin Pro the adios Pro keeps the weight down with a very narrow heel with mostly vertical sidewalls and a very thin soft outsole designed more for cushioning than stabilizing as many are. Clearly the intent is not to land way back or forth long. The rear plate keeps things stable but these are best run faster although a far rear heel landing is pleasant, easy, relatively stable but very narrow feeling. 


The bottom line and result is you have a super forgiving, soft forefoot here with notable rebound and spring action, the most of any super shoe for me. Add the soft outsole and these are true well controlled bouncy houses up front but narrow at the heel.

Ryan: Kudos for being bold enough to stray from the pack and try something other than a single, carbon plate. Situated inside the Lightstrike Pro foam are five composite ‘energy rods’, supposedly corresponding to each toe, intended to add stiffness and energy return. In the heel, they’ve chosen to use a separate, carbon/nylon plate for support. The rods and the heel plate acted in unison during my runs, and at no point felt disconnected from one another. 


I second Sam’s thoughts that the rods tend to work dynamically, as opposed to simply feeling like an inanimate sheet of carbon. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that energy return in the forefoot, specifically, was probably the best I’ve felt to date. Interestingly, you can feel the energy rods by poking your finger into the bottom of the shoe, and you can even see them through the wear patterns on the outsole, but they’re apparently engineered precisely enough to work as one cohesive unit.


I’m a big fan of this Lightstrike Pro foam so far, as it seems to be properly calibrated in softness and in rebound to handle hard efforts. I especially noticed how forgiving the foam was in the forefoot, which felt very pleasant when paired with the embedded energy rods. Due to its geometry (slim tall heel; wide, soft forefoot), this will be best suited for mid or forefoot strikers.


The stack isn’t towering, but I think I noticed it more than Sam did. 

The heel felt narrow to me at first, due to a combination of its height, softness, and rounded shape underfoot. For that reason, as well as the stiffness at toe-off, I’d only recommend using this shoe for harder efforts. Count this as another midsole that muscles and knees will adore, with enough adolescent spunk to put a smile on your face.


Michael: I want to touch briefly on the two crucial elements of the midsole here - the foam composition, and the carbon rods.


First the carbon rods, because they’re so unique and cool - you can, and likely will notice them. This is an odd metaphor, but it’s the best I can think of right now - it almost feels as if you have taut strings pulled beneath each toe, and with every stride, you press down on them ever so slightly. And, as if stepping upon a miniaturized tightrope, you can almost feel them destress as you lift up your foot to finish your footstrike. It’s exceptionally cool - truly unlike anything I’ve tried - and absolutely more than just marketing. 


Now, the midsole itself. Adidas has brought in its Lightstrike Pro foam and, boy, it is bouncy. Especially up front, you are going to notice a distinct squish-and-rebound. Where it falters - if only slightly - is in being so gelatinous feeling underfoot. Despite running a track workout in these, I opted to not take them out for a 5000m track time-trial, simply because the super-springy foam and high stack don’t lend a ton of confidence. If you’re running fast and need to quickly accelerate to pass a group, or avoid stepping on the rail, I don’t know that this shoe is going to be quite as nimble as you’d hope (and for the record, I opted for the other end of the spectrum - the NB FuelCell 5280 - so it’s not just the Adios Pro that I’m dubious of on the track, IAAF standards aside). I’d consider taking them out for a track 10,000m - and might do so in a few weeks - but likely nothing shorter on the oval.

Ivan: The most interesting and revolutionary part of the shoe is in my opinion the thick midsole with the new lightweight Lightstrike Pro foam as this is the first time we see Adidas following this trend. To me it’s not the softest type of foam in this category. It also does not have the extreme softness we know from Adidas' own Boost models, but is clearly lighter and still feels very responsive. A step in the right direction I believe. Also, it feels much more stable under foot than maybe any other type of foam I’ve experienced among the so-called super shoes. Even though the heel section is rather slim I actually found it quite stable, This Lightstrike Pro combined with the inserted plate and the angled/beveled heel makes the initial contact a very pleasant and controlled one despite being narrow. 



Outsole


Derek: So it looks like this paper thin sandpaper outsole is going to be a thing. I see that the Atreyu Artist prototypes are using this type of outsole as well. It’s good. Better than what you would expect for a flat non-grooved outsole. Grip is excellent for me in all conditions, but durability is going to be the big question mark. It’s hard to say how well it will hold up. I can foresee that this outsole is going to go from excellent to wearing through to exposed midsole with nothing in between, so it is going to be hard to assess wear. 

As Sam mentioned, you can see, and feel, the position of the rods as they make their mark on the outsole from inside the midsole. 

Very interesting. It also happens to tell me a bit about my stride pattern as the imprinting is asymmetrical for me between left and right. For example, my right foot pronates a little more than my left and that is visible in the patterning on the outsole here. Beyond this, I have no idea if the impressions the rods are leaving on the outsole have any practical significance. 


Ryan: If you’ve ever seen the bottom of a rock climbing shoe, this outsole appears to be the same type of material. 


At the forefoot, a sizable island of smooth, sandpaper-textured rubber, look closely at the picture below and you will see the texture. It  does a superb job of preventing the foam from splaying out underfoot when weighted. 

One of my more common nitpicks comes from shoes with patchy or overly-lugged outsoles, creating the sensation that the shoe is trying to suction the ground at toe-off. This monolithic sheet of rubber avoids that issue in a simple way, and provides a very confident feeling underfoot.

The same sort of rubber is found around the perimeter of the heel, and provided a surprisingly high level of traction on a dewy morning tempo run. I’ll be very curious to see how well this lightly textured rubber holds up in time, but after 30 hard miles, so far I’m impressed.


Sam: The outsole is made up of identical as far as I can tell sections of a thin soft textured rubber. It is incredibly cool looking. Ryan mentions climbing shoe rubber and it is interesting to note that adidas has owned 5-10 a climbing shoe company for several years which is well known for their Stealth rubber soles. So…

The thickness and softness of the rubber blends extremely well with the overall feel of the stack above. Totally seamless in feel and softness all the way through. adidas clearly chose this approach over a firmer thicker more conventional outsole to provide a softer more cushioned feel, relying on the rods for response vs. the outsole rubber. It is a unique sensation to have a really quite soft feeling shoe pop like this. The only other shoe with somewhat similar characteristics might be the Skechers Max Road 4 where it is midsole pillars topped with rubber that deflect and provide the pop not internal rods.


I ran about 18 miles in mine at faster paces before handing off to Michael and was shocked to see zero heel wear or even scuffing in my usual places. I did note some flattening of the front outsole's very fine texture. Grip was fine on dry road but only average on sand over pavement. I did not run them on wet road but imagine their soft grip should be good. Given what we have here though I can’t imagine this outsole being the longest lasting of the super shoe class but who knows what magic compounds adi has blended to create this unique outsole.


Michael: Since I shared my pair with Sam, I never got to see the “pure” outsole, but the shadow rods imprint certainly is a neat visual trick! Regarding performance, I have no complaints - even in some damp conditions, I had full confidence in the Adios Pro when running hard strides. “Tacky” is the word that comes to mind - the grip kind, not the chintsy kind! Where I would hesitate to take out the Adios Pro - and something I’ve not (thankfully) been able to test - is in winter conditions. With literally no outsole tread at all, the three-dimensional nature of ice and slush seem to be a challenge. I’ll try and report back as winter rears its ugly head. And, unlike the Hyperion Elite 2, the Adios Pro is equally competent on the treadmill as it is outdoors (at least in my brief testing).


I spoke with Adidas, and they told me athletes are getting between 200 and 300 kilometers in a pair. That’s less than I think you can get from a pair of the Adizero Pro (with its full rubber outsole), but certainly an appropriate number for a top-shelf racer (and that doesn’t even mean that the outsole will blow at 300k - just that it may be time to move them out of the racing lineup!).  

Ivan: At first glance, the outsole looks very minimalist and the bold blue / red color combination matches the upper. A thin uniform layer of rubber covers the entire forefoot with a narrow "stripe" on the inside and outside of the heel. Despite the sole looking smooth, it feels a bit more textured/rough in hand and when running on normal roads the grip is actually really good in both dry and wet conditions. The fact that the outsole is so simple also makes for a smooth, consistent ride. The shoe is clearly a road shoe so don’t expect great traction on anything also but roads. As mentioned before some red marks can be seen under the rods after a short time and some of the rubber also peels off fairly quickly in the heel. However, I can’t assess already whether it will be a durability issue in the long run.



Ride

Ryan: The ride is impressive -- I’ll get that out of the way now. They’re relatively heavy for a super shoe, but if I told you that I noticed the difference in inertia between these and the others, I’d be lying. Heel strike compression is deep and dramatic, but it seems to load for just the right amount of time until your foot comes under center of gravity. The stabilizing effects of an under-heel plate are very apparent, because without it, these would be totally out of control. But again, as Sam alluded to, the heel feels like it wants to be a part of the action, not the sole player in absorbing your full body weight.


Transition through midfoot loading is predictable, with the Lightstrike Pro foam carrying delightful softness all the way to the forefoot. What impressed me most about this construction was how energetically the rods in the forefoot seem to work. When significantly loaded, the front of the shoe retains and then releases a ton of energy which does wonders for propulsion, undoubtedly saving a few heartbeats at race pace.


One of the first things I noticed was that they make a slight, but unique popping sound when they strike the ground. It’s a trivial observation that doesn’t affect the ride quality at all, but it does remind one that these aren’t built like your parents sneakers of yore.

Derek: You would think that after trying so many different carbon plated racers over the past few years, things would eventually just be variations of the same theme, but these brands just keep churning out things that are unique


And so it goes with the Adidas Adios Pro.The Lightstrike Pro here has a hollow, light and quietly bouncy feel to it that reminds me a lot of the Endorphin Speed in terms of how much it compresses underfoot. It is very forgiving as far as vibration dampening and ground feel is concerned, in line with what you would expect for a shoe with an overall stack that is second only to the Nike Alphafly. It feels smoothest at uptempo paces that really let you engage the forefoot rocker. The rocker is less noticeable the slower you go, all the way down to recovery paces (~5:00/km or 8:00/mile for me) where you mainly just feel the bounce of the foam. 


The overall stiffness through the toe joints is very high, probably the highest of all the carbon shoes simply because the rods are thicker and heavier runners will likely appreciate the enhanced propulsiveness afforded by the rods. That said, as the rods act as individual “pillars of resistance” for each toe, there is the opportunity for differential resistance for each toe, and this allows for a more natural mode of propulsion compared to a uniform flat plate across the foot. I will say that the shoe probably wouldn’t be my first choice for anything shorter than a half marathon as far as racing goes, as I think there are better options with more aggressive transitions for shorter races and shorter workouts. 


One thing I like about the shoe is the relatively low long-axis torsional rigidity. This is a consequence of the decoupling of the carbon plate at the heel from the individual carbon rods under the mod and forefoot, and makes for a more natural foot strike and transition (pronation) than other shoes with a conventional plate. 

An extreme counter-example is the Skechers Speed Elite Hyper where the winglets make the forefoot very stiff at the edges and can make footstrike and pronation a bit slappy for people who don’t land very square on the forefoot. In essence, the utilization of rods vs a plate allows for a more natural feeling pronation without compromising the rocker effect. Very clever. Another side benefit is that people who might get plantar fascia irritation from regular carbon plated racers would do well to try the rod alternative as this likely puts less stress on the PF. I am fairly certain that Adidas’s design is significantly heavier than just using one thin plate, maybe on the order of half an ounce or more, but the trade off is well worth it for all the benefits listed above. 


In the heel, having the carbon plate disconnected from the rods serves to stabilize the heel vis-à-vis the soft foam without making it overly harsh. Some people have commented on the exaggerated lateral heel flare but honestly it’s not something that I noticed during my runs. I did not notice any instability with the shoe and overall the shoe corners really well for a high stack shoe. Yes the heel and midfoot are pretty narrow, but the forefoot is decently wide and stability-wise, on par with Brooks Hyperion Elite 2 or Nike VF Next% for me.


Sam: The ride is in a word, unique! The forefoot is massively and softly cushioned yet due to the EnergyRods very springy and dynamic. The combination of Lightstrike Pro, the EnergyRods and that smooth, thin outsole has your feet and especially the toes an integral part of the action but amplified and in a very pleasant and different way, like five individual springs with everything well unified for stable, soft and very lively forward propulsion. 


The heel is and feels narrow. While very well cushioned and “stable” from the rear plate,, there is not a lot of contact area and not a lot of firm rubber either. The accentuated bevel starts the roll, the rear plate keeps one aligned, and the upper locks you down but don’t linger long back there. This said it is a more friendly and stable heel than the original Vaporfly and for sure it is far less harsh than the Endorphin Pro. 


The ride felt best at my marathon pace and faster. The faster I went, the less time back on the heels, the smoother the Pro flowed and the more dynamic that incredible forefoot felt never with any sense of pounding or shock (or distinct snappy response yet in no way mushy. It's all spring and go.  This is not to say slower paces at 9:00 minute miles weren’t fine but this is a race and uptempo design for sure given that narrow heel landing. 


Michael: I gave it away in the introduction, but the Adios Pro, in my book, is the real deal. Seriously - it’s the fastest feeling racer I’ve tried in 2020, and would likely be my choice for a marathon if I had to line up this weekend. Why? We’ve seen a ton of well-done racers this summer, inclusive of Saucony’s Endorphin Pro, Brook’s Hyperion Elite 2, Nike’s (always solid) VaporFly Next%, New Balance’s FuelCell RC Elite, and ASICS’s MetaRacer (not to mention Atreyu’s “The Artist,” but having only tested a prototype, I’ll leave it out of the comparison). 


And guess what? None blend cushion and aggressive geometry as seamlessly as the Adios Pro. Toe-spring is top-notch; I went to the track hoping to run 5:00 mile-repeats and split a 32 second first 200 on accident, just because the Adios masks so much of that harshness (and, of course, because my pacing could use some work!). But of course, the Adios Pro is even more stellar at slightly more relaxed paces - running at 5:20 pace (which is hopefully marathon pace, once we get going), was genuinely easy in the Pro. I finished a mile repeat in 4:38, and fellow-tester Jamie Hershfang commented I looked like I was jogging. It’s not the fitness, folks - it’s the shoe.


Now - and maybe you expected this - where the Adios Pro falters, slightly!, is at slower paces. It’s really not my cup of tea when jogging, and for my dedicated track workout, I ended up carrying the Adios Pro by hand to and from the track on my warmup and cool down to avoid the mild discomfort at an easy pace. A dealbreaker? Of course not - the Adios Pro is built to go fast! - but whereas I think you could run everyday miles in the RC Elite, for example, I would not say the same for the Adidas. It’s singularly focused. 

Ivan: I have to admit that it required more than a single quick run to categorize the Adios Pro model in relation to other super shoes.. Especially at the start of the run, I just had to figure out how I best got into a relaxed flow and gait cycle. There is plenty of shock absorption, but the forefoot is relatively flat and stiff feeling and only at toe-off did I really take advantage of the energy that is built up with the help of the rods and the aggressive rocker.

There is no doubt that it really shines at faster paces. It may feel a little clumsy at slower paces, but as soon as the cadence increases and you get on your toes, it felt much better to me. The cushioned effect from the thick midsole ensures that most runners, regardless of pace and distance, will get plenty of shock absorption and I also think it is quite stable compared to most other super shoes. Due to the angled heel, those who pronate will also find that the shoe does not fall very much inwards, as the foam is not as extremely soft and unstable as what you see from certain competitors.


Overall, I'm glad there are still brands that focus on finding the right balance in terms of developing shoes that also have elements of stability without compromising the speedy nature of the shoe. To really test the shoe for what it’s clearly intended, I went for some workouts ranging from blocks in marathon and half marathon pace and down to faster and shorter intervals. I even went for an all out 5K. I would have no problem using it for daily steady tempo runs. However, to me it works much better at race paces, when the cadence is really high and I get up on my toes. At this point it’s clearly noticeable that both the rods and the aggressive slope in the front part contribute to a faster and more efficient gait cycle.



Conclusions and Recommendations


Derek: The ride as a marathon racer is great. For me that’s better than anything not called a Vaporfly or Alphafly. In fact, it’s more cushioned than the 4% but less aggressive in terms of rocker and transition. (NB: The only mass market carbon racer I have not tested is the NB RC Elite and that may well upset the rankings.) Bottom line: it would beat the Sauconys and the Brooks over the full marathon for me. I gave the fit of the Adizero Pro a 9 but I’m giving adios Pro a 9.5 because of the more rounded toebox. It just allows for a bit more toe splay which I like. I marked it down for value because although it is very competitively priced, I have some reservations about its durability. I want to get at least 200 miles out of a $200 shoe, racer or no racer, and I just don’t know if this outsole can get me over the line. Time will tell.

Derek’s Score 9.45 / 10 for full marathon

Derek’s Score 9.25 / 10 for half marathon and under  

Ride 9.5 40% full marathon, Ride 9.0 40% for half marathon and under

Fit 9.5 40% Aesthetics 10 10% Value 8.5 10% 


Ryan: After having written Adidas off in my mind for the last few years, this shoe puts them back on the map. It’s a purposeful, novel construction that isn’t the most versatile of the super-shoes, but is among the best when it comes to outright speed.


It’s not a mellow shoe and it feels a little goofy running at less than effortful paces, but when the dial is turned to the right, I’m hard pressed to poke holes in this package. We’ve already seen the women’s half marathon record go down with these, and I suspect many PRs will be set due in part to these Adios Pros once racing resumes.

Ryan’s Score: 9.7 / 10

Minor detractions for heel narrowness and seam along achilles



Sam: Adi is back after years on the Boost and more Boost! As Boost was way back when a new and unique race shoe experience, here unlike any of the other super shoes the EnergyRods and the incredible Celermesh upper with an assist from the seamless to the rest cushioned traction outsole really distinguish the Pro from the other contenders. 


Somehow we get a soft, amply cushioned, very dynamic and fast ride without monolithic harsh carbon plates.  I just loved the feel of the EnergyRods and rest of the front of the midsole working in concert with my feet and toes. Not convinced it is as “fast” for me as some other options, but who am I to say, as this very shoe just set a world record for the half but it sure is a super pleasant and unique ride which is completely different from other contenders.


The weight is at the high end of super shoes but still under 8 oz and to achieve even that it looks like adidas resorted to a narrow (and high at 39mm) heel and soft, thin but so far apparently quite durable rubber. Get the weight down below 7.5 oz and widen that heel a bit (both seeming to imply a lighter foam than Lightstrike Pro) and maybe firm up the midsole a touch along with more and slightly firmer rubber, for sure keep the Celermesh upper, and the Pro would be yet better yet for more runners and a better value.

Sam’s Score: 9.6 /10

Ride: 9.7 (50%) Fit: 9.8  (30%) Value: 8.9  (15%) Style: 10  (5%)


Michael: Not having tried the AlphaFly Next%, I am not confident saying this is the best marathon racer on the market right now. And, with that super-tall stack height and overly bouncy-soft midsole composition, I don’t think the Adios Pro has quite the range of the VaporFly Next% (which is an excelled 5K racer, as we’re repeatedly seen). 


But, look - the Adios Pro is really, really fast. You can learn it from me, or you can watch the recent half-marathon world record it was a part of, or you can try on a pair for yourself (speaking of which - I sincerely hope Adidas makes these more available soon!), but however you choose to digest the information, just know this - the Adios Pro has equalized the playing field, as far as I’m concerned, at least for marathon racing.

Michael’s Score: 9.9/10 (lack of range being the only significant downside)


Ivan: I really enjoyed the cool design elements, the breathable upper and good tight fit around the heel and midfoot. Lots of shock absorption and especially pleasant and propulsive at faster paces. However, I think that the somewhat stiff forefoot combined with a slightly firmer foam, compared to other options in this category, will not suit everyone. Especially if the running economy is not in place to ensure an efficient and slightly aggressive running gait. Personally, I would also have preferred a tighter “race fit” in the forefoot.

Ivan’s Score 9.2/10 for full marathon

Ivan’s Score 9.4/10 for half marathon

(Detractions for lack of versatility, forefoot fit and expected durability)


WATCH RYAN AND SAM'S VIDEO REVIEW (21:00)


Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE


Brooks Hyperion Elite 2 (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. The Adios Pro has a more noticeable bounce to the ride, but a less aggressive forefoot rocker. The Adios Pro feels more cushioned for longer runs for me, and has better outsole grip, and has an overall better fitting upper, but HE2 has better overall stability as a racer. I think the Adios Pro is a better shoe overall. 

Ride score comparison:

Marathon: Adios Pro 9.5 / Brooks HE2 9.3

Half Marathon: Adios Pro 9.0 / Brooks HE2 9.2


Ryan U9.5: The Brooks have a much wider stance and are a touch lighter, with a stack height 2mm less than that of the Adios Pro. I definitely prefer the upper of the Adidas, which is more secure and significantly more breathable. The tongue and upper of the Adios Pro are without question more sophisticated, with intricate attachments at the sides of the forefoot and additional lace eyelets to refine lockdown. The midsole softness of the two seems comparable, and both provide what I’d call a plush, luxurious ride from front to back. The Adios Pro stands out slightly in forefoot energy transfer, with its aggressive carbon infused rods providing extra stiffness.


This is still a close match in my eyes, but if I was hellbent on trying to PR, I’d probably choose the Adidas over the Brooks for its impressive upper and explosive trampoline-like midsole performance. Heel support might be a touch better in the Adidas, but it also had a seam running along my achilles which bothered me a bit. Both shoes also have plenty of room in the toe box up front, and fit true enough to size that worrying about sizing shouldn’t be a concern. If you’re a midfoot striker looking to go as fast as possible, I’d lean toward the Adios Pro.


Sam: I concur with Michael. While clearly more stable at the heel from its broad platform, I had difficulty moving the Hyperion Elite 2 along in comparison to the adios Pro. Its plate and forefoot geometry and ride while fine is cumbersome and ponderous in comparison.


Michael: The wider platform of the Hyperion Elite 2 is the most noticeable difference visually, but you’ll feel a disparity in the ride here, as well. While Brooks successfully integrates its carbon fiber springboard into the midfoot, that comes at a cost of feeling a firmer, harsher ride up front. Some may prefer it, but I think Adidas more effectively manages the bounce-to-carbon ratio (which I just made up). But the real drawback is the upper, where Adidas is generations ahead of Brooks. Don’t get me wrong - you can (and I have!) run fast in the Brooks… but the Adidas my choice for basically any distance, with perhaps a track 5K being the exception. 


Ivan: Adios Pro provides more shock absorption and the outsole has better grip in wet conditions. At the same time, the carbon rods in the forefoot provide a more explosive toe off at higher speeds. The Brooks Hyperion Elite 2 is very wide and even more stable than the Adios Pro. In addition, it is a more versatile shoe that I believe will work better at slower paces.

Marathon: Adios Pro 9.2 / Brooks HE2 9.2

Half Marathon: Adios Pro 9.4 / Brooks HE2 9.0


Saucony Endorphin Pro (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 for both shoes. The Adios Pro has the more secure upper and feels much more cushioned but the Endorphin Pro has the most aggressive rocker. For shorter distances, I would go with the Endorphin Pro, but for the full marathon I would go with the Adios Pro. 

Ride score comparison:

Marathon:  Adios Pro 9.5 / Endorphin Pro 8.8

Half Marathon: Adios Pro 9.0 / Endorphin Pro 10


Ryan M9.5: The feel of the Saucony’s PWRRUN PB foam stands in stark contrast to that of the Lightstrike Pro foam from Adidas. It’s most apparent in the first few millimeters of travel — where the PWRRUN foam immediately seems eager to spring back, the Lightstrike feels more willing to bide its time and build up energy before releasing it back up your leg. As a result, the Adidas has a more plush feel, whereas the Saucony can best be described as highly responsive.


They’ve also taken significantly different approaches when it comes to building the upper. The Endorphin Pro feels like it was designed with weight as the central focus -- the mesh upper is very thin and comfortable, but far less structured than the Adios Pro. In comparison, the Celermesh upper is a double-layered construction which is superior in the categories of foot hold and lockdown. More specifically, both shoes have nicely designed gusseted tongues, but the tongue on the Adios Pro is more purposeful and robust, turning it into a cohesive part of the rest of the upper once it’s tied down.


In my opinion, the Adidas is a slightly superior shoe which I’d generally reach for first, but one could certainly give reasons to opt for the Saucony over shorter distances. Both have a superb fit and are true to size, so I won’t try to split hairs over differences in comfort.


Sam: For the review comparison I took the Endorphin Pro back out for some short uptempo miles and was left...beat up and far sorer than similar efforts recently in the adios Pro. While it has a very snappy final toe off from its Speed Roll geometry, the rest of the geometry was unforgiving in comparison at faster paces. The geometry and plate are far harsher and more aggressive in Endo Pro, the cushioning as Ryan describes it fimer and for sure more responsive, almost too much so in comparison. While a pioneering shoe and one I scored highly when it came out, I now find it too taut and unforgiving in comparison to the Pro, Alphafly, RC Elite, and even Hyperion Elite. 


Michael: I appreciate the firmness of the Endorphin Pro - if I can mix brands for a moments, it’s sort of a blend between the Brooks Hyperion Elite 1 and 2, with a firmer midsole comp but the added spring of the EVA material and Speed Roll geometry. If I’m going out for a harder track session, or a long run where I care more about performance than leg-saving, I think the Endorphin Pro may actually be a better choice. But if I’m lining up to race 13.1 or 26.2, I’m wearing the Adios Pro. 


Ivan: Very different shoes in most areas. Adios Pro and its carbon fiber rods work best if you get on your toes, whereas Endorphin Pro provides a much more “rolling” kind of ride with the curved rocker from heel to toe. Also, the Adios Pro is very spacious in the forefoot while Endorphin Pro is very narrow up front. However, overall I find that the Adios Pro has more shock absorption and feels more stable and will be preferable on the longest distances.

Marathon: Adios Pro 9.2 / Endorphin Pro 8.6

Half Marathon: Adios Pro 9.4 / Endorphin Pro 9.0


New Balance Fuelcell RC Elite (RTR Initial Review)

Ryan M9.5: While both shoes fit into the same category, the RC Elite and the Adios Pro have very different personalities. Simply put, the RC Elite is a more introverted, versatile shoe as compared to the Adidas, which wants to go fast every step of the way. While both provide ample cushioning and stiffness, the Adios Pro is more aggressive in its height, its forefoot toe-off, and its less pliable upper material.


I didn’t notice much of a difference in breathability, as both shoes have an airy mesh upper. However, the Adidas’s upper definitely provides a more serious and snug lockdown given the lack of stretch in the Celermesh material. While both offer an impressive amount of cushion in the heel, the taller stack height of the Adios Pro is more apparent in the forefoot during toe-off. 


At the outsole level, these shoes go very different paths. Whereas the Dynaride rubber from New Balance has a ton of relatively beefy, triangular lugs, the Adios Pro’s rubber feels thin and sleek. I don’t mind the RC Elite’s outsole for shorter, faster runs, but it felt like it was working a bit too hard on long runs. I personally prefer the simple sharkskin-like outsole of the Adios Pro, as it feels super efficient and predictable.


I’d feel fine using the NB on a recovery run, but the Adidas isn’t tame enough for me to take on slower jaunts -- the noticeable stack height and stiffness aren’t as fun at casual speeds. Think of the NB as a world-class all around performer, while the Adios Pro is a single-minded straight-line speed machine. Both fit true to size, but the softer upper of the NB makes it feel a touch wider than the Adidas.


Sam: Ryan said it well: “the RC Elite is a more introverted, versatile shoe as compared to the Adidas, which wants to go fast every step of the way.” The RC is a superb all arounder equally suited for faster training and long racing and is over 0.5 oz lighter on a somewhat lower stack. For sheer excitement and all out racing the adios Pro, for fast and practical the RC Elite. 


Michael: As others have stated, I think the RC Elite is a more robust option that I both hesitate to take out less more (with a more durable outsole and gentle ride) and could see myself using for progressive runs that start quite slow and end fast - without having to deal with that clunky discomfort of the Adios Pro at slow paces. But - as is becoming a theme - I think the Adios Pro is a superior racer. Once you’re activating your turnover and your cadence is increased, the energy return from the foam and carbon rods is superior to the (extremely good!) FuelCell midsole of the RC Elite. Both shoes - undoubtedly - have their place. I just slightly prefer the Adidas here.


Nike Vaporfly 4% OG (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 for both shoes. The VF has the more dynamic foam and the more aggressive rocker, but the Adios Pro has more cushioning and better outsole grip. I think slower runners will benefit more from the 4% but faster runners will be able to take better advantage of the late forefoot rocker. Pretty much a wash but the lighter weight and greater overall versatility of the 4% is more appealing to me. 

Ride score comparison:

Marathon: Adios Pro 9.5 / VF4% OG 10

Half Marathon: Adios Pro 9.0 / VF4% OG 10


Sam: The only other super shoe I have run with a truly dynamic forefoot and toe off but a very different one from the adios Pro. The VF has a drop in feel upfront and a bottom loaded plate with a distinct groove that is easy to find and is more responsive in feel than the Pro. This made it an any distance shoe for me from 5K to marathon while the Pro I think leans half and up especially if you are not a hard heel striker. The Pro has a more all over springy front dynamism which is also slightly more cushioned and softer. The roomy mid foot of the VF, part of its magic of dropping into the groove is less secure than the adidas but effective. The original VF was notably unstable if back at the heel maybe yet more so than the Pro. Not having raced the Pro yet, for a race shorter than a marathon I would flip a coin between these two, and for a marathon would go now go Alphafly.  


Ivan: The Adios Pro is a much more cushioned and stable shoe compared to the very dynamic ride of the Vaporfly 4%. I prefer the forefoot fit of the original Vaporfly 4% and I really enjoyed the explosive geometry of the shoe. Maybe I also noticed it more because it was the first of its kind. However, when long distance cruising at faster paces, I think the Adios Pro provides a more well balanced and pleasant ride for lots of runners. 

Marathon: Adios Pro 9.2 / VF4% OG 9,1

Half Marathon: Adios Pro 9.4 / VF4% OG 9,7



Nike Vaporfly Next%  (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 for both shoes. Softer and more dynamic ride with the Next%. Similar degree of cushioning for both shoes although Adios Pro has more stack. Again, the overall lighter weight of the Next% wins it for me. 

Ride score comparison:

Marathon: Adios Pro 9.5 / VF Next% 10

Half Marathon: Adios Pro 9.0 / VF Next% 9.9


Sam: Clearly the racing reference shoe for so many and so fast even for me, the Next% flat feel upfront is just not as pleasant as the Pro’s dynamic EnergyRods and soft outsole . The Pro has a softer overall ride and superior upper. I think true forefoot to mid foot strikers in the marathon and at shorter distances at faster paces could be as fast if not faster in the Pro but slower marathoners likely will be forewarned about that narrow Pro heel for later miles. All of this said the Pro is a way more exciting ride for me than the Next%. 


Ivan: The mesh is very similar, but it is a matter of taste whether you prefer a tight or roomy toe box. I find the foam a bit firmer in the Adios Pro but more stable and still very responsive. Plenty of shock absorption in both shoes. The plate runs throughout the entire midsole in the  Vaporfly Next%. The real “explosiveness” is further forward in the very front at the rods and aggressive rocker of the Adios Pro. Vaporfly Next% is a more versatile and also lighter shoe, but I could see the Adios Pro be just the right option for the faster and efficient runner with a high cadence.

Marathon: Adios Pro 9.2 / VF Next% 9.5

Half Marathon: Adios Pro 9.4 / VF Next% 9.4



Nike Alphafly Next % (RTR Review)

Sam: The somewhat lighter Alphafly is clearly more stable at the rear and somewhat more cushioned there as well. Upfront they both have unique propulsion methods with the Alpha’s Air Pods under a carbon plate providing a noticed more unitary rebound effect than the more natural feeling EnergyRods’ more individualized toes' spring. Also with a highly breathable, ventilated and draining open upper the Alpha’s while I am sure lighter is cruder in execution and slightly less secure overall but a bit more comfortable at the rear collar. If only the rear of the Pro was wider (without adding more weight)  for my slower heel striking style the race would be very close but for now for a marathon it would still be the Alphaflly. 


Ivan: Both the Alphafly Next% and Adios Pro are relatively stable shoes despite both models being 40mm in the heel, which is impressive. Alphafly feels far more clumsy. Not only because it makes a lot of noise, especially when slapping the forefoot to the ground, but also because it is so “built up” with many different components/parts. It is certainly not a shoe for everyone, but for those runners who can handle the somewhat unnatural structure and ride of the shoe, it provides an extremely energetic, bouncy and still forgiving ride.

Marathon: Adios Pro 9.2 / Alphafly Next% 9.8

Half Marathon: Adios Pro 9.4 / Alphafly Next% 9.4


Nike Tempo Next% FK (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. For me the Adios Pro has potential to be an uptempo/daily trainer but the outsole seems kind of minimalist for the job. The Tempo Next% for me is the perfect daily trainer that can do a bit of faster stuff but mostly handles the moderate effort long runs and easy runs pretty well. The Adios Pro is more like the Endorphin Speed in that it’s more targeted at faster paced running but does acceptably at slow paces. Both appear to be going at the $200 price point and it really comes down to what you want the shoe for. Speed work and racing - Adios Pro. High mileage cushioning - Tempo Next%. 

Ride score comparison:

Marathon: Adios Pro 9.5 / Tempo Next% 8.8

Half Marathon: Adios Pro 9.0 / Tempo Next% 8.5



Skechers Max Road 4+  (RTR Review)

Sam: Parallels in the forefoot here but differences as well. The Max Road 4 relies on rubber topped Hyperburst pillars compressed under load and then released for a springy dynamic ride while the Pro relies on carbon infused rods. The Pro ends up more stable and propulsive up front while the rest of the broader geometry of the Max makes it a more suitable shoe for training and a less expensive one. 


The adios Pro will release October 2020 in the US


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5 comments:

  1. How is the Adios Pro compared to the more forgiving Endorphin Speed?

    ReplyDelete
  2. What about Adios Pro vs Nike Tempo Next?
    In which Is easier going fast?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Anonymous,
    Completely different rides Tempo Next v adios Pro. Tempo Next is somewhat firmer, more rigid, much more stable and at the same time more cushioned. It is more a training ride whereas adios Pro is pure fast super cushioned racing.
    Sam, Editor

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi chuarh ,
    A good comparison in some ways but not others. They weigh about the same but the Speed is $40 less and a better all around (training plus racing valu). The Speed is firmer, somewhat more stable at the rear, relies more on a rocker to its also quite forgiving plate. Depending on your pace if you are a faster more forefoot striking runner the adios should be faster and more fun, if you are slower want a more versatile shoe you can also train in and still of course race, Speed.
    Sam, Editor

    ReplyDelete
  5. hello, your reviews are very good.
    I want to ask you a question, I currently have my personal best in a marathon in three hours and 30 minutes, next year I want to try to go down from three hours and 15 minutes.
    What would be the best options in shoes with carbon plates to run at those rates?
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete


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