Tuesday, August 02, 2022

adidas Adizero Adios 7 Multi Tester Review: Big weight saving new upper…Is it for the better? 6 Comparisons

Article by Jeremy Marie and Joost de Raeymaeker

Adidas Adizero Adios 7 ($140/140€)


Introduction

Jeremy: The Adios 6 marked a complete overhaul of the Adios series, along with a general overhaul of the whole Adizero  (Boston 10, Takumi Sen 8…) with supercritical Lightstrike Pro foam (entire or part of the midsole) combined with Lightstrike leading to a softer, bouncier ride, way higher stack heights, and a more relaxed fit tAdios and other Adizero of old. All of these changes result in a friendlier, more versatile ride in these models, if losing some “grit” in the process. 


The Adios 6 was one of my favorite daily/tempo trainers of 2021, due to its sufficient cushioning for 30kms runs, responsive but in no way harsh feeling, natural smooth rolling forward ride, stable and efficient toe off, and all at an excellent value (130€) especially so considering the durability of the shoe.


For this 7th version, Adidas kept the exact same platform, midsole arrangement, outsole, fit, and just changed the upper to a Celermesh like one, shaving a massive 20g / 0.7 oz per shoe in my US10.5 while improving breathability. 


Let's see if this upper change (and weight drop resulting) brings any improvement to the shoe or..not.

Joost: My first Adios was the 4, after the Boost overhaul, but before Lightstrike. I bought the Adios 6 with Lightstrike for my rotation. I like a fast, low, snappy and firm shoe to work my feet once in a while and the Adios is just that. A running group buddy of mine does all of his running in the Adios, something I probably wouldn’t be able to pull off with my battered feet and achilles’. It is a great shoe and in spite of its Lightstrike overhaul still reminiscent of the type of shoe we would use to run marathons pre-2017. Both v4 and v6 are virtually indestructible. This new version is an upper-only update with some weight loss, so let’s see what Adidas has done with the venerable Adios.


Pros:

Massive weight drop - 20g less!

Stable ride

Snappy, directed yet natural smooth ride

Versatile: works for everything but easier paces and (really) fast ones.

Nice controlled rebound from the LSPro forefoot with stable Lightstrike heel

Breathable paper-thin upper, soft with a nice foothold

Still best in class Continental outsole traction- no matter the conditions

Stability and outsole make the shoe suitable for light trails - the color less so!


Cons:

Creasing from the forefoot overlays causing huge blisters and skin peeling on the top of the toes (and I might have got one blister at the heel during many years of ultra racing…not too sensitive skin)

Very classic geometry - your calves and feet need to work!- might be a good thing though.

Less legs-saving than more modern uptempo trainers

Ride can feel a bit too firm, especially during the first 40kms of use.


Stats

Approx. Weight:  7.6 oz / 215g (US9)

Weight: men's 8.32oz / 236g (US10.5)

Stack Height: men’s 32mm heel / 24mm forefoot. 8mm drop 

140€. Available now.


First Impressions, Fit and Upper


Jeremy:  In my opinion, Adidas still nails it when it comes to bringing a very classical vibe to their shoes. The discrete suede-like overlays on the front has always been a trademark of the Adios line, and this remains true with the Adios 7. Especially in this white and light gray colorway, the shoe has this 80’s look that I’m fond of.


Static fit and comfort are totally on par with the Adios 6: the heel counter is efficient and unobtrusive, the slightly stretchy semi-gusseted tongue stays in place and eases foot insertion. All of those elements are as efficient as they were on last year's model.


It sure looks more tapered upfront but they are not. I measured in every way possible, it really is just a visual impression given by the suede-like toe rand that goes much further over the top. 


The midfoot still leans towards an efficient, snug race-ready fit without any over compression despite my high volume feet. The lacing is still a bit cumbersome, as it was last year: Thre are many eyelets and laces that are difficult to put through the holes. It will require a bit of time at the beginning in order to find and lock the lacing the way you want it.

Some holes are placed wider in order to modulate the lacing: it’s a really nice idea, as it gives runners an easy way to customize the upper fit. It can also maximize midfoot hold, as the laces would pull the upper towards the foot from a lower start point. 


But I’m still convinced that it’s really even necessary on the Adios . Even with the new light mesh, foot hold is not lacking at all in this shoe. For comparison's sake, I find it even snugger than the Adios Pro 2, probably due to the more substantial overlays that have been introduced along with this new light mono layer engineered mesh. 


It looks a lot like the Celermesh found on the Adios Pro series or the Takumi 8, but Adidas does not advertise it as Celermesh, so engineered mesh that is.


The weight savings using this new light mesh is astounding with a massive 20g drop for my 10.5US, bringing the Adios 7 to a mere 236g.


Last year the mesh was already breathable, but the 7th iteration of the Adios puts it to shame. 



It’s literally paper thin, incredibly breathable, light and soft to the foot.


All this sounds like a hit…until the dreaded overlays come into play on the run.

The counterpart of having such a light, soft and pliable mesh for a daily tempo trainer shoe is that you need to add some elements to enhance foot hold and give it some structure. 

The grey “Adizero” labeled ones on the medial side replace the inlays found on last year's model, with an equivalent success.

On the external side the famous stripes are now made of a plastic overlays, and join with some new light gray longitudinal overlays that were absent on the Adios 6.

Adidas, for a reason I cannot explain, decided to add some structure to the toe box, reminding of the new similar overlays in the Adios Pro 3. It was perfectly fine last year, giving the toes some play, kind of a free zone, with a firmly held midfoot.


Adidas has achieved this using some fairly rigid gray plasticy overlays on the top of the foot, but they are way too rigid and crease during the toe off, pushing hard on the upper of the toes.


Those two light gray overlays literally tore holes into my toes, something I have not experienced…at all, with any shoe ever, if memory serves.

Yup, those red stains are what you think…after a 20km run.


So, even if the fit, thanks to the new lightweight mesh, is even better that last year’s Adios (more pliable, softer), those two overlays on the toe completely ruins things on the run.

Joost: My version of the Adios 7 has the new colorway with hints of the colors used in the PrimeX Strung. A subtle purplish pink with blue suede overlays in the heel and forefoot and bright orange Adidas stripes. 

The tongue is also blue and the insole the same purple/pink of the heel and the internal bands that offer some structure in the otherwise very thin ripstop type mesh upper. 

It definitely is breathable and looks great too. The Adios 7 fits great, very snug and secure, like previous versions. However, I don’t agree with Jeremy. 


The material doesn’t feel soft at all.. It feels like some sort of nylon and isn’t soft to the touch at all.

Running, I had the same issues as Jeremy, though. Blisters on the top of my toes. 

Personally, I don’t think it’s the overlays, but the upper material itself, creasing during the later stage of ground contact and rubbing the top of my toes. 

Strangely, one foot was worse than the other, so there might be slight differences between shoes and sizing up might help as well. Unfortunately, this ruined the Adios 7 for me for anything over a 10k run.


Midsole

The midsole carries on the exact same construction as the Adios 6.


A full Lightrike length slab goes from thick at the heel to a thin bottom layer at the forefoot, where it’s topped by a layer of softer, bouncier Lightstrike Pro.


Lightstrike is firmer than LS Pro, hence having a heel exclusively built using this foam is no surprise: it gives the Adios 7 a good amount of stability for those who heel strike more, and it can also help all at the end of long runs. 


As in the Adios 6, at the front, the Lightstrike Pro foam is nested inside a carrion of Lightstrike and even more secured by the Torsion shank, limiting its compression on footstrike.


Thanks to the Torsion System, a thermoplastic shank that goes from the front of the heel to the forefoot, transitions remain snappy, and stability is kept during the gait. This is not a “plated shoe”, but this plastic piece gives a nice snappy toe off.


But the star of the show - or of the shoe - is the front layer of soft en energetic LS Pro positioned just under the foot.


The first benefit is that it brings some comfort to the front half of the shoe. The foot can sink a little into this layer, hence giving a nice soft feeling.


Then, for midfoot and forefoot strikers, the Lightstrike Pro lets its bouncy, energetic character express itself. The thin layer of Lightstrike under it just gives a tiny bit of firmness, and stability, that might be missing, were it absent. Think about the Takumi Sen 8 for instance, which can give this unstable feeling with its thick all LSPro layer.


This is a total carry over from the Adios 6 midsole construction, and given how successful it was, I’m glad that Adidas didn't mess with it.


 

Joost: A Lightstrike/Lightstrike Pro combo in what is nowadays still a relatively low stack height shoe at 32mm heel and 24mm forefoot is exactly the same as in the previous version. The Adios 7 is a firm shoe with just enough cushioning and bounce from the Lightstrike Pro forefoot. 

The plastic midfoot Torsion system adds stability to what is an already very stable shoe. 

The combination is snappy and feels very fast, especially when you pick up the pace. It is still an Adios at heart. It does feel very firm and for those who are used to the current line of high stack-soft foam-plated shoes, it might even feel harsh. Those who know what an Adios feels like will like the firmness.



Outsole


Nothing special to say here, it’s exactly the same grippy, durable but a bit slappy Continental rubber outsole. It has proven its qualities over many years in Adidas lineup now, and cannot really be faulted, no matter the running surface. Dry, wet, asphalt, light trails…it sticks to the ground yet remains durable.


The only slight drawback is, as always, a “slappy” feel during the first twenty-thirty miles.

As far as durability is concerned, I don’t have enough miles on the Adios 7 but my Adios 6 pair is reaching 500kms (~310 miles) and can probably handle 250-300 more kilometers before being worn out.

~500kms Adios 6 on left, new Adios 7 on right


Joost: Adidas’ continental outsoles have been among the best outsoles on the market and are virtually indestructible. Traction is great as always.


Ride


The ride experience could have been a total copy/paste of last year's review, be it my French one (RTR Review), or Adam’s English one (RTR Review), with which I completely agreed at the time. 


The somewhat firmish, pure Lightstrike (EVA foam) heel, with good dampening characteristics, is just “correct”, but as soon as you transition, or even better, land on the midfoot, the combination of LS and bouncy energy-returning LS Pro foams works together to deliver a lively, controlled and smooth ride. It’s a very traditional fee and ride-unplated, flexible, but it’s really refreshing to put on some “lower stack” shoes at times. The plastic shank, still called “Torsion System” even if it aims more at giving a propelling momentum than giving torsional stability, also delivers a nice amount of snap at toe off.


As the shoe is still quite flexible, it handles different kinds of footstrikes well, without forcing you into a specific gait. Of course, its construction favors a quick turnover more than a “long stride” oriented gait, staying true to its “old racing flats roots” and this despite the total makeover of last year.


Combined with the very grippy Continental outsole, the Adios 7 is still a blast to run, especially when you have lots of turns and direction changes.


But all this goodness is totally ruined by the two gray overlays on the toe box, at least for me. They simply turn my runs into painful experiences - and for three days given the injuries it created on my toes. I can’t feel them softening at all for now, pushing the Adios 7 to the closet for some time if I want to heal my toes.


I hope for Adidas this issue is specific to my sample or to my foot shape, or footstrike…

It turns one of the most enjoyable “traditional” daily tempo-trainer of last year into an unrunnable shoe for me…


Joost: The ride is typical Adios: Snappy, firm, fast, agile, low to the ground. It will make your feet and legs work, which is a good thing and one of the reasons why I keep v6 in my rotation. It promotes a quick turnover, and fast ground contact and good form. Runners who like old style racing flats will like this type of ride.


Conclusions/Recommendations

Jeremy: Why? Oh why? I’m so disappointed with those two tiny overlays that totally ruined the shoe for me.


Everything was pointing towards a great update: the new upper is heads and shoulders above the previous one, lighter, airier, the shoes dropped 20g and retained the same great snappy, stable energetic ride as last year's Adios 6…But considering that every run with the shoe ended up with blister and blood on the top of the toes (an unusual place for me that is for sure), I cannot recommend enough that you try the shoe at the store and check for pressure from those overlays.


The detailed scores below do not reflect this issue, as I can’t blame the fit, nor the ride of the shoes, but only this overlay detail that can ruin the shoe. The final score reflects the impact of this missed detail.

Jeremy’s score: 8 / 10

Ride: 9 Fit : 9 Value: 9 Style: 9 

😊😊😊😊 (could be a five 😊 without the hopefully isolated upper issue)


Joost: Almost all of the plusses of the Adios 7, the traditional race-like ride, lower stack when you want or need it, breathability, an excellent outsole, are virtually nulled out by a bad upper. Running sometimes hurts, but knowing I’ll have blisters on the top of my toes after 12k is a turnoff. I’m sticking with v6 in my rotation.

Joost’s score: 7.75 / 10

Ride: 7 (50% let down by blisters), Fit 8 (35%), Value 9 (15%), Style 10 (5%)

Smilies Score:

😊😊 (no fun knowing you’ll get blisters)


Comparisons


6 Comparisons


Adidas Adios 6 ( RTR Review )

Jeremy: Same ride, same outsole, better fit, lighter, more breathable….The Adios 7 is better in every way…until the overlays tore through my toes…


If you can’t feel the overlays on your first run, the Adios 7 is clearly a better choice. Otherwise…a discounted Adios 6 will give lots of fun miles.

Joost: Same shoe with a worse upper. Go for the 6.


Salomon Spectur (RTR review)

Jeremy: Same kind of firm-leaning tempo trainer ,the Spectur is a bit of a miss. Overdone heel, too firm and rigid, a snappy forefoot but difficult to activate despite the fork-like plate, and the Energy Surge foam appears way firmer than on Phantasm CF, as its two layer construction consist in a firmer slab at the bottom. As a consequence it does not handle easier paces any better than the clearly tempo-oriented (and marketed) Adios 7.

Its upper is also denser, less breathable, hotter…But it does not hurt my toes!

Save from this issue, the Spectur has a hard time winning any point vs the Adios 7. It might be less firm, or better at absorbing impacts.


Saucony Kinvara 10 (RTR review)

Jeremy: The K10 might look old now, but the latest iteration, the 13th, stayed quite true to the spirit of the line: a light, cushioned, comfortable do it all trainer. It’s been a longtime favorite of mine, since the 3rd version of the line. It’s softer than the Adios, more accommodating, handles easier paces nicer. What it gains in comfort vs the Adios, it lacks in snap: the Adios 7 is far more energetic, responsive and suitable for uptempo paces. The Kinvara can really be a do it all shoe, even for recovery runs on sore legs. The Adios not so.

The Adios will also be far more durable due to its extensive outsole coverage.


Saucony Kinvara 13 (RTR Review)

Joost: I really love the Kinvara. It’s low, natural feeling, flexible. The Adios is a more race-oriented shoe. The Kinvara has a far superior upper. The Adios is probably a better option for races up to 10k.


Puma Velocity Nitro (RTR Review)

Jeremy: The Velocity Nitro already suffered a lot in the comparison vs the Adios 6, and it’s even more true with the 7 (safe from the overlays issue): the 7 is much lighter, a tad less cushioned, more peppy, more energetic, as stable, more breathable…The Velocity might gain some points for longer runs where the added cushioning can help, but that’s all. And its ride really is uninspiring.


Skechers Razor 4 (RTR Review)

Joost: The Razor is a bit more shoe than the Adios 7 and now comes with a minimal forefoot H plate as standard in the main version. Some Skechers models have been cause me blisters on the medial big toe, but so far, version 4 has been ok. The Adios 7 feels more “serious” and the Razor 4 more fun. Both are fast shoes, but shorter races are probably better suited to the Adios. Anything else, the Razor is better.


Adios 7 is available now at our partners below

Tester Profiles


Jeremy MARIE, French, 40y/o. Running since 2013 and quickly transitioned to trails, focused on ultras since 2015 : TDS, Maxi-Race, “100 miles du Sud”, 90kms du Mt Blanc, GRP 120kms, Some shorter mellow races (Saintelyon 45kms, Ecotrail Paris 45kms…) with always in the mix road and flat running, but not many road races. Recovery/easy runs ~4’45/km - 4’30/km. He has an un-official marathon PR of  2h54 (solo)  and 10K of  36’25. He does few timed road races.


Joost is a Belgian in his 50s living in Luanda, Angola, Africa, where he faces the heat, humidity and general chaos to run anything between 60-100 miles per week. He’s on a mission to win in his age group in the 6 marathon majors and has completed half of his project, with a 2:26:10 PB in Berlin in 2019 at 51. He recently won his M50 AG at the 2022 Chicago Marathon in 2:29. He ran in primary school, but then thought it would be a lot cooler to be a guitar player in a hard rock band, only picking up running again in 2012, gradually improving his results. Please check out Joost's coaching service here

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes by Top4 Running and adidas. 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'

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1 comment:

Sad adidas fan said...

I already went through two pairs of adidas adios 7 and it was very frustrating to encounter the mesh part easily tearing where the ball of the foot meets the shoe. First, tears on both feet after 13 uses of under 5km runs in a month. Next, a tear on the left foot after 3 uses of the replacement pair. I just want an adizero pair that isn't too high, since my former running shoe was the adidas adizero F50 2. Would you know any solution? Our local community, and adidas itself hasn't been very helpful.