Sunday, July 17, 2022

adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 Multi Tester Review: 9 Comparisons & Beer Pairing!

Article by Jacob Brady, Renee Krusemark, Michael Ellenberger, Ryan Eiler, Steve Gedwill and Sam Winebaum

adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 ($250)


Sam: adidas flagship marathon racer, the Adios Pro, sees changes for its 3d edition. Most notable are 

  • Highly visible angular changes in the midsole geometry adding considerably more platform width: +7mm heel, 6mm mid foot,t +4mm  forefoo while reducing drop to  6.5mm by adding forefoot cushion to now come in a 39.5mm heel, 33mm forefoot.

  • a completely new single piece Energy Rods 2.0 carbon array from heel to toe which also eliminates the directly underfoot and firm rear plate of the Pro 2, 

  • a new outsole with a stabilizing film at the medial heel and Continental rubber upfront, 

  • a new Celermesh 3.0 upper.

I personally found Pro 2 too aggressive and rigid for my run style for races beyond 10K with a firmer ride (especially at the heel from the carbon plate there right below the foot) than the Nike competitors and while a fast shoe not a particularly pleasant one to run. I wished for more of the flare and lively wild bounce of the Prime X with the flexibility and easier to find more flexible toe off of the Takumi Sen 8, ideally something right in the middle between the rolling Vaporfly and the front bouncing Alphafly from Nike.  Would adidas deliver this in the Pro 3? 


Plush, more forgiving ride: Jacob/Sam/Michael/Renee/Ryan

Less top elite focused aggressive ride, yet one still setting records Sam/Jacob/Renee

Light weight for the depth of cushion and protection: Jacob/Sam/Michael/Renee/Ryan

Pleasing multi paces run experiences, much more so than v2. More can run it.  Sam/Jacob

Pronounced easy to find non harsh, final toe off “drop in”:  Sam/Steve

Less rigid, firm, and prescriptive than AP2: Sam/Jacob

Highly-efficient energy return with significant fatigue reduction: Ryan

Roomy forefoot: Jacob


Somewhat loose fit, notably less secure than v1 and v2: Jacob/Michael/Renee/Ryan/Steve

Heel hold a bit unstructured/loose, especially on downhills: Sam/Jacob/Michael//Renee/Ryan

Too much soft cushion for 10k and shorter races—lower versatility than its predecessor at a higher cost: Jacob/Renee

6.5mm drop, super shoe "normal" 8-9 mm could help accentuate forward roll more: Sam

Heel feels tall, narrow, and slightly unstable: Ryan


Approx. Weight: men's 7.88 oz  / 223g (US9)  /  women's oz / g (US8)

  Samples: men’s  7.63 oz  /  216 g US8.5 (7.57 left, 7.69 right);  (Adios Pro 2  7.97 oz / 226g, US8.5)  9.3 oz / 263 g US 12

Stack Height: 39.5 mm heel /: 33 mm forefoot, 6.5mm drop

                          AP 2 was 39 mm heel  /31.5mm forefoot, 7.5mm drop)

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Jacob: I first noticed the angular styling with two midsole cutouts exposing the carbon energy rods, both under the mid foot and on the forefoot lateral side, which is new from the predecessor. The Adios Pro 3 is a uniquely styled shoe with a geometric theme and bold green accents on a primarily black upper. The Adios Pro 3 both looks and feels like a maximal shoe, gaining stack height (1.5mm) in the forefoot from the Adios Pro 2 as well as more width.

On foot it is comfortable, locked in overall with well-placed reinforcements. It feels roomy for a racer. I feel like a lot of marathon racers are going for slightly roomier uppers which favor comfort over long distances and work better for a variety of foot widths while only sacrificing a bit of cornering confidence. The Adios Pro 2 had a nearly perfect fitting upper for me. The Pro 3 is a bit looser and harder to get an ideal heel hold in. When laced well though it is overall still an excellent fit, if a bit less secure for me than its predecessor.

Disregarding comparisons to the excellent Adios Pro 2, the upper design and fit are top notch—secure and comfortable—and the upper is lightweight and breathable, as expected from the Adios Pro line.

Underfoot it is soft and plush without any sense of mushiness. The energy rods, deep cushion, and foam density lead to a balanced feel. Bouncy, high-stack, fun, but not extreme or unnatural. 

Sam: Jacob has described the fit well: an excellent overall hold which is a bit loose and unstructured at the heel where there is no plastic heel counter.

We just have fairly substantial but pliable overlays which save weight and quite firm if thin inner pads. 

The lace up through the six eyelets (plus rear lace lock) surprisingly easy and once adjusted stays put as there is no stretch to the upper or very thin leatherette tongue. I found the upper highly breathable in warmer conditions.

The front lacing and hold features 2 cord loops tied into 2 over the toes overlays as well as a central webbing strap. 

Inside, starting at where the over toes overlays start at the midfoot, are perforated underlays running forward on each side of the foot. 

The toe bumper is quite firm, short and vertical. The combination of front elements provides noticeably secure front lockdown to the front of the platform and without any side or top pressures.There is plenty of foot splay room and width. I would call the fit true to size and would caution about sizing up for more room given the heel hold. 

Overall the upper is very satisfactory in hold and comfort if a bit disjointed in its approach particularly at the heel where I wish for more heel counter stability.  As an elite focused shoe, now a bit tuned down with a considerably wider base, more comfort in the upper and a slightly softer ride it seems to stay under the magic 8 oz / 226g US9 super shoe weight barrier it seems adi had to keep the upper weight down. 

Michael: As with the others, my first impression of the Adios Pro 3 was… odd. It’s not a particularly handsome shoe (my initial Instagram post called it a Lamborghini to Nike’s Ferrari, and I think that holds up), but it’s not ugly, either (not any more so than an AlphaFly or Endorphin Pro, at least).

Coming in late, I hadn’t closely read this (or any) review of the Pro 3 before I wore it, and I admit I was initially disappointed with the fit - it’s looser than you might expect, and (in the middle of a mile repeat session) I had to stop and adjust each shoe to be tighter, which is not something I’d typically expect. Still, though, the upper is plenty breathable and (once adjusted properly), comfortable. I did have some Achilles chafing on my first run, but I wore very low socks (and already had a stripped Achilles skin from some other shoes), so I can’t blame the adidas for that.

Renee: What a pleasant surprise! The Adios Pro 3 runs much better than it looks. Not that it’s an ugly shoe, but super shoes are becoming more and more angular, with missing heels, exposed carbon plates/rods, and cut out sections. Underfoot, the shoe is comfortable, and the upper is more comfortable than it looks. I agree with Jacob: the upper is roomier than other racers, and it fits looser than it should for racing paces. Once running, the loose fit is not as noticeable as I would have thought and I appreciate the width and height in the toebox. Aside from the mysterious and somewhat useless heel tab (it is a heel tab? right?), the upper is breathable, and I think with the next version, some improvement to fit can be made. The Adios Pro 3 is sold in unisex sizes only (at the moment anyway) and labels a men’s 7 as a women’s 8. While the men’s sizing might be true to size, I think the men’s 7 fits more like a women’s 8.5.

Ryan: It doesn’t feel as radical as it looks, but it certainly isn’t conventional, either. The Celermesh upper of the AP1 was among my all-time favorites, and while the fit here is still excellent, wrapping the foot comfortably and securely, it doesn’t work quite as well as V1 did. On foot, it doesn’t feel quite as sculpted, but that probably comes as a win in the war against weight. The upper’s mesh is very similar to V1, but gone is the inner, brushed diamond-shaped lining which helped prevent undue movement.

I agree with the others, that it definitely fits a touch looser than previous versions. As for the heel, it didn’t cause me any issues, but I wish it wasn’t such an anemic design – it’s easy to crumple the whole thing down with your fingers. The heel tab isn’t too practical, and while most of the cutouts go unnoticed, the carved out lateral side under the toe does have an effect on the ride. My US M9.5 fit me true to size.

Steve: Radical is a great way to describe the look of this shoe, thanks Ryan! Black and Neon green has to be one of my all time favorite colors combos, paired with aggressive cut outs and fine lines is a thing of beauty. Does the ride match the aesthetic appeal? You’ll just have to continue reading on, but let’s stay focused on the upper for now. Like several of the top “super shoes” it took a minute and a few adjustments with the lacing to get the preferred fit and hold. The shoe has nice volume and ample toe space up front, fits true to size in my usual Men’s 12US. The Celermesh is light, breathable and provides enough structure. The midfoot hold is solid, but the heel feels a bit loose and unstructured as the others have described. Overall the upper is comfortable and provides good hold, with more cushion and structure in the heel counter, I’d have zero complaints.


Sam: The Adios Pro 3  has a 39.5 mm heel / 33 mm forefoot total stack height with a 6.5mm drop. This is a change from Adios Pro 2 which had a 39 mm heel  /31.5mm forefoot and a 7.5mm drop.  

AP2: Heel 78mm, Midfoot 66mm, Forefoot 113mm

AP3: Heel 85mm, Midfoot 72mm, Forefoot 117mm

Heel +7mm, Midfoot +6mm, Forefoot +4mm

*comparative measurements from Nils Scharff’s US 10.5


As with most all other current marathon super shoes the Pro 3 has a 39.5 mm heel height,  right at the limit to be competition “legal”.The new lower 6.5mm drop does put the Adios Pro 3 as a bit of an outlier in current marathon super shoes which all have 8mm drops:  Nike’s Vaporfly and  Alphafly 2 sit 8mm, both ASICS Metaspeed + at 8mm,, Saucony’s Endorphin Pro 3  at 8mm and New Balance Fuel Cell Elite 2 also at 8mm. 

The midsole remains Lightstrike Pro in 2 densities: slightly softer  above the new Energy Rods 2.0 array and firmer below. The softer foam is thinner at the heel and deeper at the front. The rear thicker firm foam helps with landing stability while the front deeper foam allows the foot to drive forward and down towards the rods, and I found more easily so than AP2.  

Key to the front is the aggressive toe spring angle. It is steep, but also to pressing, and for sure on the run, the front is also soft with no rigid plate felt upfront and with the bright green Continental rubber providing some contact stability. 

This allows the shoe to not only take advantage of the vertical impulse further back but have a new found final roll that is more decisive than before, something I like in a rigid race shoe as I tend to roll more than have high knee lift. The final toe off impulse is not as harsh as say the Endorphin Pro 1 and 2 for me but also not as smooth as the Alphafly 2’s.

The new Energy Rods 2.0 array, aptly named, remain rod shaped but now are more than a front extra set of toe following rods.

Photo Credit with permission: @therunningshoesguru

It now extends as a single unit all the way to the rear of the shoe eliminating the AP2’s small carbon plate below the lasting board which intended to stabilize the landing but which for me delivered a firm feel followed by rigid midfoot that was hard to get past at all but my fastest paces, and even then. Now the heel is noticeably more forgiving given the array there and slightly softer foams with transitions easier and less rigid in feel.

To maybe compensate for its removal there is a medial side non rigid thin plastic plate or thick film just below the outsole. It is firmer than the foam above but not a hard plastic. My sense is,  also felt on the run, is that adidas wanted to stabilize the soft foam above without the harsh feel and firmness of the prior much higher in the shoe carbon plate especially for more heel striking runners as I am.

Prominent in the midsole design  are the 3 angular cutouts: medial rear heel, medial midfoot, and lateral forefoot. 

All but the lateral forefoot one seem to have a clear purpose beyond reducing weight. The rear one provides some crash pad effect, the medial some late but not dramatic pronation to get the foot moving towards that side for toe off. 

It works well with the rear of the shoe softer and more energetic in bounce feel. In fact the entire platform is softer and more energetic heel to toe and for sure more pleasant to run even at my pedestrian race paces. The AP2 was for sure not as pleasant an experience for me. This said the overall feel is still quite rigid, not a gradual plunging forward and down as the Vaporfly or high front rebounding as the Alphafly and Metaspeed Sky and still favors strong mid to forefoot strikers over heel strikers such as me. 

What does this midsole feel like? It is somewhat bouncier but less springy than Zoom X, somewhat firmer than the oversoft for me FuelCell and Puma Nitro Elite foams and softer with more bouncy rebound than the ASICS Metaspeed Edge + Fight Foam Turbo and Saucony’s PWRRUN PB  foam which are firmer and more sharply responsive.

Jacob: The Adios Pro 3 midsole is highly engineered, visually striking, and uses new technology, specifically a redesigned energy rods system. The newly designed energy rods unit extends further towards the heel, eliminating the need for a separate plate beneath the heel. I think this leads to a more cohesive feel underfoot with less hardness at the heel and a smoother transition while running.

The midsole foam is Adidas’ Lightstrike Pro, which is soft and bouncy but stable and balanced. It is in between the firmer, highly energetic foams like Saucony PWRRUN PB and Asics FlyteFoam Turbo and super soft, sink-in foams like New Balance FuelCell (RC Elite/Rebel variety). Its mid-range characteristics for a super foam lead to versatility and underfoot comfort. I think it’s likely to be enjoyed by a range of runner preferences. 

It is a maximal shoe with a heel height at the legal limit and it feels like it. It has a feeling of endless cushion beneath the foot. It’s well-measured though, as it isn’t overly soft or mushy.

The styling of the midsole is notable with angular foam cutouts exposing the energy rods on the medial midfoot and lateral toe, for a combination of weight savings, flexibility characteristics, and visual design. 

Michael: I found the midsole here to be as bouncy as I remember from the Pro 1 and my (more limited) testing of the Pro 2. adidas’s Lightstrike Pro material remains one of my favorites, and I can’t imagine this shoe wearing down your legs, even over prolonged efforts - it’s immensely bouncy, and with this much stack, it feels like a cloud. 

My concern (and I’ll follow up with this in the Ride section as well), was sort of the activation of the shoe. Whereas I remember feeling as if the Adios Pro 1 was a trampoline across the whole base of the shoe - basically impossible to not propel out of and forward - the Pro 3 feels a bit more restricted. When I was running under marathon pace (~5:20-30) and especially <5:00 mile pace, I felt the shoe really connect. But even at tempo paces, where maybe my foot strike isn’t quite as directed, it felt like I kept “missing” where I was supposed to be landing.

Renee: The midsole is comfortable and runs well at easy paces, which is not something all super shoes accomplish. At easier paces, the midsole feels soft, and the firm/fast feel kicks in once I hit marathon or below paces. Jacob makes a great point about versatility and underfoot comfort. The midsole is a balance between soft and firm, which makes it a good choice for a range of paces.

Ryan: As both Sam and Michael alluded to, ideally, you’ll want to drive this one from the midfoot and onto the dropoff underneath the lateral toe. While the heel has endless amounts of bounce and leg forgiveness, the shoe’s stiffness and midsole will bounce you vertically instead of forward if you allow it to – not so bad for tired legs at the end of a marathon, but not conducive to setting a PR, either!

I’m firmly in agreement with my fellow reviewers on the topic of the midsole making for a very pleasant and more approachable shoe. The rebound of the Lightstrike Pro is nicely balanced, and while it doesn’t feel quite as refined as ZoomX underfoot, it’s among the most propulsive shoes I’ve ever worn. That said, you want to keep this one moving with a fairly linear, directed stride – the high, soft stack can get a little unsettled around turns – especially at the rear of the shoe.

Steve: Midsole or Midfoot strike sole? I do agree with my fellow reviewers that the overall design favors a midfoot or forefoot landing. The taller stack up front definitely has a pronounced softness and bounce. I’m a midfoot striker, so the large forefoot stack and aggressive toe angle creates a nice launchpad for me!  (Houston, we are clear for takeoff!) While doing warm up drills the bounce is quite noticeable (one of the bounciest midsoles I’ve experienced), which also makes for a fun ride.


Jacob: The outsole is a nearly full coverage, thin, grippy rubber with extra material at the toe for durability and toe-off traction. It has cutouts for weight savings and additional traction. 

It has an interesting non-ground-contact, thin, flexible, plastic sheet below the medial heel which provides a bit of resistance to prevent the soft foam from collapsing and thus adds stability. Traction is good and the thin, consistent rubber coverage contributes to a smooth, quiet ride. It’s a solid outsole for a racer. 

Sam: Jacob describes the outsole well. 

Michael: Nothing overly technical on my runs, though I took them on some travels that have very uneven and dilapidated pavement (where I’ve turned an ankle several times) and was pleased with how they handled, even at speed. As with previous Adios Pro iterations, I’d be hesitant to use them in true winter running, but they should be fine in all other cases.

Renee:  I ran some miles on gravel and the rubber has great grip.To state the obvious, the thin/sleek rubber coverage has no treads for traction on loose gravel. Still, the generous coverage helps with stability and it shows no wear after 50 miles, even with gravel miles in the mix. 

Ryan: I didn’t have any issues with performance here, and grip has been fantastic on all types of dry asphalt. The majority of the outsole continues to use a rock climbing-like minimalist tread, which delivers a feeling of plentiful ground contact. 

An extra bit of Continental rubber under the toe is a welcome feature, as that was the first point of failure in my AP version 1.

Steve: The Continental rubber and tread outsole creates a one of a kind grip. I have a ton of confidence taking corners and running on different surfaces. This outsole is a win for me.


Jacob: The Adios Pro 3 ride is smooth, soft, bouncy, stable, and friendly. It is relaxed in some ways, being easy to run even at paces slower than marathon race pace and not particularly snappy. It feels notably more plush than its predecessors. The energy rods + superfoam propulsive effect comes alive at marathon to half marathon pace for me and the shoe moves my foot from landing to toe off quickly and effortlessly and then bounces off the toe with energy. It’s fun to run and easy on my legs.

It cruises very well, but doesn’t have the zippy racer-focused vibe like some of its competitors. This makes it more capable at slower paces—highly usable (though not cost effective) for training and likely more comfortable for runners of any speed. For the marathon and to work well for more runners, I think this is a positive thing. However, I think it’s less conductive to quick-moving, shorter distance speed than its predecessors and some competitors. Compared to other flagship distance racers, I find it feels relatively sluggish at faster than 10k pace (~5:45 min/mi for me). It falls in the category of the modern, friendly, forgiving, max cushion plated racer, such as the Nike Alphafly NEXT% 2 and New Balance RC Elite v2, rather than the lighter, snappier Asics Metaspeed Sky or Nike Vaporfly NEXT% 2.

Sam: Jacob describes the ride well and I agree more a half to marathon ride than a 10K ride for which adidas has the lower stack, lighter Takumi Sen 8.  I raced them at my local 4 miles on the 4th race and ended up smooth and steady at about my expected half pace of 7:40 per mile. I could have gone on “forever” that day at that pace but didn’t feel in the final stretch that it had another speedier gear. The new final toe angle was for sure appreciated getting me forward with more roll but not quite as much as I wanted or needed. Or maybe it was me and not the shoe that didn’t have the extra gear! 

The ride was for sure softer, less rigid and more forgiving, especially at the heel than the AP2, that shoe pretty much a 10K max shoe for me whereas here I could for sure race further in them. As with the AP2 and Takumi Sen 8,  the Pro 3 is unapologetically an “elite” focused shoe, less than before in terms of its new friendlier foam and rods feel,  but still more aggressive and firmer than say the 2 Nikes or the NB Fuel Cell Elite 2. It has a  feel and ride character closer to the ASICS Metaspeeds, even a bit softer,  but now more pleasant than its predecessor or the Endorphin Pro 1 and 2.  It now slots more closely with Endorphin Pro 3 which I have not tested yet personally (RTR Review) and the Alphafly 2 (RTR Initial Review), as with the adidas also broader in base and softer and easier for more runners to enjoy than before.

Michael: Following-up from my Midsole section above, while I ultimately am happy with the Adios Pro 3, and would consider it for a marathon or half-marathon race, I don’t know that the ride represents an improvement over its predecessor. Whereas I felt as if you couldn’t “miss” on the Adios pro 1 (with functionally an entire base of the shoe and outsole to aim for), I just came across feeling as if I had more “bad” steps in the Pro 3. 

Now - did that detract from performance? My unscientific study would suggest no; I ran several good workouts in the Pro 3, with comparable or better times compared to effort, and generally didn’t experience more leg fatigue or discomfort afterwards. But, if you’re looking for a less aggressive option, they certainly exist (and I’d hesitate to take out the Pro 3 for a leisurely long run - make sure there’s some get-up and to in your run plans to really get them activated!).

Renee: The ride is surprisingly good. I have notes in the comparisons, but in my current “moderate” shape, I’d place the Adios Pro 3 third on my list of marathon shoes , behind the Vaporfly Next % and Metaspeed Sky +. That said, I need to be sure I can maintain a race pace for 26.2 if I’m wearing the Next %, and for comfort at a slightly slower pace, I’d prefer the Adios Pro 3. I’m much slower than Jacob, and I agree with his statement about the ride being “modern, friendly, forgiving.” For race paces at distances shorter than marathon, I agree that the shoe will feel sluggish in comparison to the other super shoes that work for 5k to 50k. On the flip side, much as Sam stated, the Adios Pro 3 is smooth and works well to hold moderate pace without much effort.

Ryan: It seems that we’ve reached a well-established consensus here, and I’m in agreement with the way that the others have described the ride. It’s a half marathon or longer shoe, whose considerable softness will appeal to a wider range of folks than version 2. Don’t mistake it for anything other than a racing shoe, though, as its stiffness and bounciness work best for harder efforts.

Upon footstrike, the tall column of Lightstrike Pro delivers a feeling of deep, limitless cushion. The full-length energy rods immediately begin to load, and the newly-thickened forefoot foam is simultaneously compressed. All of this energy is unloaded in a direction which seems to be highly dependent on your body position at toe-off – you’ll be propelled more upward than forward unless you make an effort to utilize the drop-off under the front of the toe. I found that very cutout under the toe to provide a unique feeling at the final part of my stride. It doesn’t quite roll in the way that a Saucony ‘Speedroll’ or a rockered ASICS shoe does, but rather falls away, directing propulsion onto a narrower part of the toe. I don’t think that a lower drop is doing many favors for V3, but this toe design does a little bit to help keep things moving forward.

Steve: Based on the aggressive nature of the toe angle and taller stack, I figured this shoe would be awkward at easy effort paces. I was pleasantly surprised here, it seems to be pretty approachable for a variety of paces. Be warned though, as it may be approachable, it definitely wants to go fast. Without checking my pace (I try not to on my first few runs in a new shoe) my easy run ended up about 45 seconds faster per mile, which honestly I wasn’t surprised since the shoe was pushing me along. When doing strides the Likestrike foam feels soft (not mushy) and very bouncy. 

The flex and spring of the energy rods is apparent and creates a nice level of responsiveness. It’s not quite as smooth as the Vaporfly and I find the Alphafly 2 to be slightly easier to run it at slower paces. The bounce can feel a bit wild at times (in a good way), but I believe the energy continues in the right direction based on the toe off design. 

The one negative for me is I felt taking corners can get a bit iffy. The higher stack and reduced structure of the heel made my foot slide off a part of the midsole and created some instability while taking quick corners. 

I thoroughly enjoy the ride and like the versatility of the Pro 3.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Jacob: The Adios Pro 3 is an all around excellent modern running shoe that is comfortable and friendly but also fast. It has an accommodating upper, plush underfoot feel, protection for any distance, good stability, and a fun but not extreme bounce. Compared to its predecessors, it is softer and more forgiving to slower paces. However, it is a bit looser fitting, higher cost, heavier, and the propulsive effect diminishes around 10k paces (I felt like 5:45ish min/mi), so value is not the best for a super shoe. It feels more ponderous and overbuilt than the Adios Pro 1 and 2 at 10k pace and faster. For half and longer racing, it is a competitive choice for runners of any speed and worth a try if looking for something comfortable and on the less dramatic riding side (not overly soft, bouncy, energetic, or unstable) with an accommodating fit. For me, I have shoes that feel faster for every race distance, so its utility will be limited for long workouts, where it will be comfortable and fun, but not worth the purchase for that use alone. In summary, it’s a great shoe, but I felt like it has no standout components for me to choose it above any of its competitors. 

Jacob’s Score 8.85 / 10

Ride: 9 (50%), Fit: 9 (30%), Value: 8 (15%), Style: 9 (5%)


Sam: The Adios Pro 3 is clearly more focused on a wider range of marathoner paces with a slightly softer foam, wider base and new Energy Rods array. It also doesn’t leave its elite focus to far behind just to be pleasing to the crowds of actual potential customers who may like a bit more comfort  underfoot and and easier turnover ride than the pros. It does a better job than the Pro 2 in satisfying both audiences. 

In addition to more forgiving foam, the  geometry is more stable than before, the upper somewhat more supportive, the carbon elements now all of a piece and more effective and less harsh (especially at the heel). 

The radical look (angled midsole and colorway) is cool!  The ride, while dynamic and forgiving, still felt more disjointed and harder to shift gears up or down than others and particularly the Nike Vaporfly and even the new Alphafly 2. The Pro 3 still requires a more forward strike ahead of the narrowish heel landing and then a strong knee lift with the new final toe off roll helpful but a bit late in my stride’s progression. A longer, more gradual rocker would be my preference as would an 8-9mm drop and not the AP3's now lower 6.5mm.

As covered in the Ride section, the Pro 3’s utility and thus value for my personal needs is a bit up in the air with its sweet spot “around”,  if not just below the half for me (expecting just under 1:40). I want the zip of the lower profile lighter Takumi Sen 8 for a 10K then the plusher springier, stable more tired legs, form slipping easier flow of the Vaporfly or even, I am thinking in their new iterations, the very stable Alphafly 2 or the Endorphin Pro 3  for a half and above. 

All of this said the Adios Pro 3 is a solid update which should see it on more feet on race day as it now moves slightly away from an all elite focus to a slightly more “mid pack” pace friendly ride and feel.  

Sam”s Score: 9.21 /10

Ride: 9.3  Fit: 9.1 Value 9 Style 9.6

😊😊😊 1/2

Renee: I’m in agreement with Sam and Jacob here. The Adios Pro 3 is fast and friendly and holds its own amongst the top super shoes. The shoe is fun and forgiving, although best at paces half to full marathon. Unlike some marathon super shoes, I would not choose the Adios Pro 3 for a 5 or 10K race, and probably wouldn’t favor it for a half marathon race either. For a long distance trainer, or a marathon (or 50K) race option, the Adios Pro 3 has a place, and it could improve with some slight tweaks to the upper fit. 

Renee’s score: 9.35/10 (-.50 upper fit, –.15 price for usage)


Steve: I’m in love with the look and design of this shoe. As many have pointed out, it’s tough to find a spot in my rotation for this particular shoe. For a 10k or less, I’m probably going with the Vaporfly and for anything longer, it would be between the Alphafly 2 or New Balance RC Elite 2. The Adidas adios pro 3 doesn’t disappoint though, it’s stable enough to handle a variety of paces, comfortable and still quite fast. The aggressive toe off and well balanced foam has me wanting to pick up the pace constantly ‘I wanna go fast’ -Ricky Bobby. I think this shoe will work well for a lot of people, and heck, it’s a ton of fun too.

Steve’s Score: 9.2/10 (with an 8mm drop (by reducing the front stack) and better heel stability, it would have scored higher)

😊😊😊😊 (and a Mountain Dew)

Michael: I had such high hopes for the Adios Pro 3 that, while they are a “super shoe” in all senses of the word, I’m not obsessed the way I was with the original version in this line. Unfortunately, it feels like most of the changes over the previous versions are (marginally) for the worse, with an upper that’s harder to get quite right, and a landing pad that is trickier to get right than its predecessors. I’m going to the negatives here because the baseline - the improvements over "regular" trainers and racers that you get from this shoe - is really, really high. The Pro 3 is fast, and I would absolutely consider it when shooting for a marathon PR… it’s just a question of whether the trade-offs are worth the top-end performance.

Michael’s Score: 9.2/10

Ryan: I’m not convinced that V3 is a step forward for the Adios Pro line, but it’s still a fantastic shoe for ‘going long’ and knocking down a PR. It dons a friendlier personality this time around, primarily through an abundance of soft cushion and a slightly looser fit. I wish it was more stable and better built in the heel, and that the upper held my foot a bit better. Like the others, I’d absolutely reach for the Takumi Sen 8 over this shoe for anything under a half marathon, but the Adios Pro’s energy return and ability to stave off muscle fatigue late in a race is world class.

Ryan’s Score: 9.3/10 (Deductions for heel stability, heel lockdown, forefoot fit)



Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Adizero Adios Pro 2 (RTR Review)

Sam: Covered in detail in the review but to summarize. The AP3 is slightly softer in feel, has a less rigid and firm arrangement of carbon, a more pronounced final toe off, and a slightly better tuned upper. It is an easier and more pleasant shoe to run while not losing much of  its elite racer character. 

Vaporfly Next % 

Jacob: The Vaporfly is notably much lighter and more streamlined. It feels firmer and lower stack—and is not nearly as plush underfoot as the Adios Pro 3. I ran both for a 5k in the past month and the difference was dramatic. The Vaporfly has a more dramatic spring effect and blasts off the ground on toe-off incredibly quickly especially at paces as fast as I can run, even track speed for me. The Adios Pro 3 feels comparatively sluggish at fast paces. More toward marathon pace and upper endurance training paces, the Adios Pro 3 feels smoother and more forgiving whereas the Vaporfly feels like it wants to go faster.  For fit, I find both to be true to size but the Vaporfly has a glove-like, lower volume fit.

Sam: Agree 100% with Jacob. 

Renee: Like Sam, 100% agree with Jacob. For sizing, I wore a unisex/men’s 6.5 in the Next% and a unisex 7 in the Adios Pro 3. I think a 6.5 in the Adios Pro 3 would be on par with the 6.5 Next%. 

Alphafly 2 (RTR Initial Review)

Jacob: A direct competitor—both are max cushion plated marathon racers on a later iteration that introduce changes making them more forgiving and accessible to a variety of paces. I ran each for the same 12 mile route on consecutive days in testing. For me, the Alphafly is the superior racer for all distances. It provides a more noticeable propulsive effect and is quicker to go from landing to toe off. The ZoomX midsole foam feels more energetic and combining the air pods and plate leads to such a fun, fast ride. The Adios Pro 3 ride is more natural, flexible, and stable, but less inspiring to run your fastest times. 

Sam: Agreeing with most of what Jacob says above. I do think the Alphafly is far more stable given its wider yet platform and substantial heel counter and very stout rear hold and overall all of piece upper. In addition to its softer and springier ZoomX, although Lightstrike Pro gets closer in AP3, the combination of the air pods and a soft final roll leads to a more energetic,  smoother if more mechanical less natural feeling ride.  While maybe not my choice for a 10K over the somewhat more agile feeling AP3 for everything above I will lean Alphafly. 

ASICS Metaspeed Sky+ (RTR Review)

Renee: For racing, the Sky+ is a better choice. The upper is comfortable and more secure than the Adios Pro 3. Both have good comfort underfoot for a variety of paces, but the bounce forward from the Sky+ is a better race shoe for me. Plus, it works well enough for distances shorter than the marathon. The Adios Pro 3 has more outsole coverage, which should improve durability and help with traction.

ASICS Metapeed Edge + (RTR Initial Video Review)

Sam: The Edge + is 0.8 oz lighter with about the same heel height but with an 8mm drop vs 6.5 mm drop for the Pro 3. It has a firmer, more stable and more consistent ride feel than the AP3 with no cut outs and more conventional carbon plate located low in the shoe. Overall,  the heel platforms are similar in width with the forefoot of the AP3 wider but in the end the Edge+ is more stable and I would say more boring if ultra consistent and smooth. Its upper is utter simplicity comparatively speaking, just mesh stitched in support and has a solid heel counter. It is an excellent light long trainer and a great race choice for those seeking a more stable ride.

Puma FAST-R Nitro Elite (RTR Review)

Sam: An interesting comparison. The FAST R has a superior upper and more stable heel. It’s front platform of bouncy Nitro Elite foam is far more energetic than AP3 but unlike the AP3 its midfoot 3D plate is much harder to get past and rigid than AP 3’s rods except at fast paces. Its design is very much focused on mid to forefoot striking while the adidas is more forgiving of a heel strike if on a narrower less stable rear of the shoe.

Renee: Like Sam wrote, the FAST-R upper is much superior. I did find the medial forefoot to feel slightly narrow on the FAST-R and I have had no irritation with the Adios Pro 3. The FAST-R requires a strong forefoot strike to get an advantage from the plate. The Adios Pro 3 is much more user friendly and comfortable for a variety of paces. Both have a quality rubber outsole, although the tread on the PUMAGrip is awesome. 

Ryan: I also strongly prefer the upper of the Puma, which outperforms the Adidas on fit and performance. It holds the forefoot more ergonomically, and I would argue is more comfortable. The ride of the Puma probably takes more getting used to than the Adidas, as its very rigid midfoot plate doesn’t seem quite as forgiving or balanced from heel to toe. Both shoes have fantastic outsoles, although my money is on the PumaGrip to win on durability. The FAST-R is probably one of the only shoes out there right now that looks even more radical than the AP3.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 (RTR Review)

Ryan: This is a very comparable shoe to the AP3 in almost every category. The Endorphin offers the same 39.5mm midsole height at the rear, yet a bigger and in my opinion more appropriate, 8 mm drop. Both shoes’ predominant ride features are a endlessly deep and bouncy heel in conjunction with a snappy toe-off (‘Speedroll’, in the case of the Saucony). The Saucony’s comparatively traditional midsole shape results in a more predictable, stable, and easy to use feeling underfoot. While the Adidas is without question a world-class racer, for folks who desire a super shoe with stability (especially at the heel), the Saucony is likely the way to go. If stability isn’t a concern, and the sole objective is long-distance performance, the AP3 might take the win by a whisker. 

Folks with a longer stride or forward lean will notice a difference between these two shoes at toe-off, with the Speedroll producing a slightly more natural feeling when pushing off. The Adidas favors a higher midfoot stack and lower drop, but still tries to incorporate a powerful toe-off with its under-toe cutout, whereas the Saucony favors a larger drop and a cleaner outsole design to produce the same effect.  My biggest knock on the Saucony was that it gave me blisters on both of my achilles during my first two runs (a problem I rarely encounter), but that problem seems to have subsided, and I prefer the Saucony’s upper by a slight margin given its better foothold and more secure heel. The outsoles have comparable levels of grip and won’t sway this decision one way or the other. 

These two shoes are formidable opponents, and choosing one over the other will come down to one’s personal preferences on the aforementioned characteristics. Both shoes fit me true to size.

Saucony Endorphin Pro+ (RTR Review)

Michael: Saucony’s all-white racer has been supplanted this year by the Pro 3, but remains a firm, competent option for marathoners looking for a stable platform and snug fit. I came around on the Pro+ after not being a huge fan of Saucony’s race line; it's more controlled and less tricky-to-handle compared to the Pro 3 (even if the Pro 3 has, in my opinion, a higher upside). It is also considerably lighter than the Adios at sub 7 oz / 196g If you’re planning on taking it for runs of all sorts, I’d lean towards Saucony - but if all you need is a PR, I still think the Adidas is a better bet.

Renee: Like Sam wrote, the FAST-R upper is much superior. I did find the medial forefoot to feel slightly narrow on the FAST-R and I have had no irritation with the Adios Pro 3. The FAST-R requires a strong forefoot strike to have an advantage from the plate. The Adios Pro 3 is much more user friendly and comfortable for a variety of paces. Both have a quality rubber outsole, although the tread on the PUMAGrip is awesome. 

Altra Vanish Carbon (RTR Review)

Renee: The Vanish Carbon is (like all Altra’s) a zero drop but it has a geometry that provides a natural roll forward. The Vanish Carbon is softer underfoot and better for training paces as compared to the Adios Pro 3. Neither are short distance racers. The Vanish Carbon has an EVA outsole that will show wear quickly and the tongue created significant irritation for me. Both shoes cater to friendly paces while providing a plate for speed.

New Balance FuelCell RC Elite 2 (RTR Review)

Michael: I’m on a New Balance-sponsored team, so the RC Elite v2 has been my racing shoe of choice over the past year or more. In comparison to the Adios Pro, the RC Elite v2 is a softer and more forgiving ride, but both are certainly on the “plush” end of the racer spectrum (i.e. both the RC Elite and Adios Pro are amongst the softest super shoes). The Adios Pro has a more defined plate/carbon-feel, though, and feels more propulsive than the NB, which comes across to me as a bit more cushy and less exciting. Both have their place - again, for someone who values cushion and will perhaps use the shoe for less structured workouts, I think the New Balance may be a better option - but for an outright PR, I’d turn to the Adidas.

Steve: The RC Elite 2 definitely feels less aggressive and more forgiving. If I’m looking for all around comfort from a Marathon super shoe it’s the RC Elite 2. I prefer the upper and overall fit of the RC Elite 2. The Adios Pro 3 has more bounce, feels faster and is a bit more fun to run in.

Beer Pairing

Steve: What’s equally as wild and has stripes like the Pro 3? Introducing Tropical Tiger from Marz Community Brewing Co. Marz is located in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago and ‘founded on the premise that the art, culture, food, and liquid we were drinking and enjoying would also be enjoyed by others.” 

Tropical Tiger is 7% ABV Hazy IPA, brewed with Mosaic, Citra, Amarillo, and BRU-1. Definitely some tropical fruits on the nose, this beer pours slightly tinted orange with plenty of cloudy haze goodness. Tasting notes include melon, citrus, a tad of coconut and some pleasant pine. It is soft on the palate and not overly bitter. It’s a great interpretation of a New England style IPA, something Marz does quite well. Adidas also did a fantastic job on the Pro 3, loaded with claws (energy rods) and ready for its next attack! 

Steve’s Beer Score: 4.25/5

🍺 🍺 🍺 🍺 

Tester Profiles

Jacob is a runner and general endurance sports enthusiast. He runs a mix of roads and trails in the Portland, Maine area. He averages around 50 miles per week. Jacob races on road and trail at a variety of distances from 5k to 50k. He has a recent PR of 2:49 in the marathon. In addition to running, he does hiking, biking (mountain/gravel/road), and nordic skiing. He is 26 years old, 6 ft / 182 cm tall and 155 lbs / 70 kg. You can check out Jacob’s recent activities on Strava.

Renee is a former U. S. Marine journalist, which is when her enjoyment of running and writing started. She isn’t that awesome of a runner, but she tries really hard. Most of her weekly 50-60 miles take place on rural country roads in Nebraska, meaning mud, gravel, dirt, hills, and the occasional field. She has PR’s of 1:30:59 for the half marathon and 3:26:45 for the marathon.

Michael is a 2019 graduate of Northwestern University Law School in Chicago and is a patent and intellectual property attorney. 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. He has a 2:23 marathon PR (2nd place) from the 2021 Lakefront Marathon in Wisconsin.

Ryan Eller 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.  During the pandemic he solo time trialed the 2020 super shoes, often sub 15 minutes for 5K with 10K’s close to 30 minutes and in 2021 set a marathon PR of 2:27 at the Maine Marathon as well as a 1:09 PR for the half.

Steve: A former high school track runner, turned physique competitor that jumped back on the running scene. Currently running 20-30 miles per week, my most recent race times are 36:07 for 8k and 47:12 10k. I am 6’0 175lbs and in my mid 30’s. I am a husband, dog dad, craft beer enthusiast and a big time shoe geek!

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 65 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. 2022 will be Sam’s 50th year of running. He has a decades old 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 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs, if he is not enjoying too many fine New England IPA’s.

Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'

Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
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