Sunday, July 02, 2023

adidas Adizero Adios 8 Review: In Form and Back for Fast!

Article by Joost De Raeymaeker

adidas Adizero Adios 8 ($130)


Joost: The Adizero Adios used to be Adidas’ top marathon racing shoe , in the days before super-shoes came along, all the way back in 2017, which is an eternity in an industry that’s seen a rapid evolution since then. 

I remember Haile Gebrselassie running the first sub 2:04 world record in 2008 in them after allegedly only trying a prototype pair out the night before in the hotel hallway. Since then, the Adios has stayed more or less true to its origins, being a fast, low to the ground racing flat. In fact, all marathon world records from 2008 up till 2018, when Kipchoge beat it in a prototype pair of Vaporfly Next% were set in a pair of Adios or Adios 2 (Boost). 

In the meantime, the top of the line shoe had evolved from using traditional EVA to sporting Boost in the Adizero Adios Boost 2. The pair of Adios 4 I bought at the New York City marathon expo in 2019 and still use once in a while has a Boost midsole. After Adidas launched its first super shoes with a new foam called Lightstrike, it would obviously end up in the franchise. The Adios 5 had a Lightstrike midsole with Boost in the heel. Version 6 changed that to Lightstrike Pro supercritical foam and Lightstrike in the heel. Version 7 was an upper only change. Now  in version 8, both the upper and midsole have been redone, introducing a Lightstrike 2.0 (less dense more resilient)  and Lightstrike Pro combo. So, with a redone upper and midsole, is the Adios 8 still an Adios? If you don’t want to read further, I’ll spill the beans. The Adios is very much back and says Hola! after a very disappointing version 7. 


No frills fast-paced shoe: Joost

Plenty of space in the forefoot: Joost

Excellent traction and outsole durability: Joost

Very breathable upper: Joost

Lightstrike 2.0 is softer: Joost

Loses 10g compared to v7


Might feel a little harsh if you’re no longer used to lower stack shoes: Joost

Noisy: Joost

Adios purists will probably not like the gain in stack since version 5: Joost

A little more bulky than previous Adios: Joost

Tester Profile

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 was on a mission to run and win in his age group in the 6 marathon majors and got his 6th star at London in 2023 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 and in 2023 won his AG in London in 2:36. Only Boston, so far, escapes him for an AG win at the 6 Majors. 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


Approx weight: men's 7.3 oz / 207g (US9) 

-10g / -35 oz in weight compared to Adios 7

  Samples: men’s  7.55 oz  /  214g US9.5

Stack Height: men’s 28 mm heel / 20 mm forefoot ( 8mm drop spec) 

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Joost: The Adios 7 was a very disappointing upper update of the 6 for me. I never ran my pair beyond reviewing it and offered it to one of my athletes who’s half a size smaller than I am. 

Its upper overlays in the toebox gave me blisters and bleeding on the top of my big toe, so I was very curious as to what Adidas might have done with the shoe for version 8. At first look, it looks quite different. Gone are the suede overlays, the midsole geometry has changed, the outsole is different and the midsole materials are also partially different.

Upon first step-in, the most obvious difference is the space up front. The toebox is notably wider and more accommodating to my wide feet. I might even go as far as to call it spacious. 

The upper is a single piece of very breathable mesh (as per my very scientific blowing-through-the-upper test). There’s some extra material that looks like it’s heated into the upper to make a toe stiffener and two minor overlays going from the ball of the foot to the front on both sides. 

They are doing the job the blister-provoking overlays did in the Adios 7 and I haven’t had any issues with blistering at all in the 8.

The eyestay is reinforced by what looks like the same material used as the toe stiffener, but firmer, and applied on both the inside and the outside of the upper material. It’s quite stiff, but some cutouts make sure it doesn’t become too much so. 

There are 6 rows of eyelets (I know there are some of you out there who like this) plus an extra one for lock lacing. You probably won’t need this, since the upper holds the foot securely. 

The tongue is a thin two layer gusseted construction, with a central lace loop to make double sure it won’t slip or go anywhere. The laces are thin, but I didn’t have any lace bite issues. 

The heel is also quite different from previous versions. The collar has almost no padding, except for two little cushion strips on the medial and lateral side. 

The heel counter is also relatively flexible. If you want to go sockless, you might want to give the Adios a try before doing so, because the edge of the heel collar can rub into your achilles and cause blistering. Wearing socks, this shouldn’t be an issue at all.

In summary: The Adios 8 has a great, very breathable, secure and well built upper with ample space in the forefoot. Thank you for rectifying the errors of the 7, adidas. Another plus is that it’s made of 50% recycled materials.


Joost: There are quite a number of changes in the midsole department in the Adios 8. Lightstrike 2.0 has been substituted for Lightstrike 1.0. It’s still a lightweight EVA based foam, but per Adidas, with new foaming techniques we see improvements in terms of density, reduced hardness and improved resilience, leading to higher energy return. 

It feels softer to the touch than the previous version. The Lightstrike Pro in the forefoot is also no longer a type of insert between a thin layer of Lightstrike and the strobel. 

The whole forefoot is now Lightstrike Pro, making the forefoot feel a little softer when walking around and with higher energy return when running. 
There’s now also more of a groove in the heel, starting all the way in the back that makes it look like 2 separate pods from the back. The lateral pod is slightly beveled to accommodate lateral heel strikers.

The Torsion system the Adios is known for looks like it’s gone back a few versions for inspiration. It looks more like the Adios 4 I have here, being H-shaped with an extra strip in the middle of the forefoot. Version 6 and 7 were more tuning-fork shaped. 

Left to Right: Adios 8, Adios 6, Adios 4

The main difference between the torsion system in the Adios 8 and the 4 is that it’s quite more substantial and goes almost all the way to the front of the shoe.


Joost: Good old Continental rubber and a lot of it as well. The configuration has changed quite a bit from the previous versions of the Adios. There are no longer 2 separate patches in the forefoot with a little bit of a groove in the middle. 

Left to Right: Adios 8, Adios 6, Adios 4

There’s now basically one big slab of rubber with some small longitudinal cutouts and one on the lateral side, reminiscent of the Adios Pro and one in the very front. 

There are some shallow grooves cut out running diagonally in 3 strips and the big toe area is visually separated from the rest by a groove that probably doesn’t make any difference, but might add a little bit of flexibility in that area on toe-off.

The midfoot shows the exposed Torsion system and in the heel, there are 2 patches of rubber on each of the “pods”. 

I measured the forefoot to be 6 mm wider than version 6 (10.9 vs 11.5), the midfoot contact area 71mm vs 63 and the heel 80mm vs 75mm, making the Adios 8 quite a bit wider than previous versions. Stack height in the heel is 28mm (printed on the midsole) and 20mm in the forefoot. Stability is great.

A Continental outsole is synonymous for durability and great traction. The Adios 8 is no exception. It is quite noisy, though. With my running mechanics, it slaps down hard in the forefoot.


Joost: If you’ve only been running in supershoes and max-cushioned shoes, you’re in for a bit of a surprise. In spite of all the modern foam, and actually quite a lot of it with 28mm in the heel, the ride of the Adios is very firm. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it harsh, but that’s what it will feel like at first if you’ve been overindulging in marshmallowy shoes. You’ll also start to feel like your feet are having quite a workout after a couple of miles, which is actually a good sign.

As a lateral mid to forefoot striker, the Adios 8 feels very snappy and nimble. It is extremely maneuverable around corners and sharp turns because of its relatively low stack, width and generous slab of outsole rubber. You get out of it what you put into it in terms of speed. It’s also definitely not a shoe made to go slow. I found it feeling a bit uneasy at slower paces. Once you start cracking, though, it starts shining as it turns over well and feels lively and very fast.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Joost: The Adios 8 rights the wrongs Adidas did with the 7, by giving it a new foam, increasing  the amount of Lightstrike Pro in the forefoot and basically creating a great modern take on a classic. If a traditional feeling - by modern standards - racing flat is your cup of tea, you can’t go wrong with the Adios 8, and at $130, it’s definitely one of the least expensive options out there.

Joost’s Score: 9.4/10 

Ride 9 (50%), Fit 9.5 (30%), Value 10 (15%), Style 9 (5%)


Adios 8 is available now including at our partners below

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

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Anonymous said...

The sharp heel collar, also felt on my achilles with socks, was the reason for me to send them back.
Other than that, a great update.

Anonymous said...

My adios 7 upper got torn in just a month of moderate 5km runs 2x a week on parts near the toe that frequently get creased due to running. Is this an issue that you thing the adios 8 has addressed, or should I still avoid it?

For context, my first running shoe was an adizero too, so there’s an affinity with the line. But very frustrated with my adios 7 (which I had to *gasp* tape up aesthetically to hide the tear)

Anonymous said...

I found the Adios 7 in my US11 TTS way too big. Did they fix the sizing? TTS in US sizing?