Thursday, September 14, 2023

adidas Adizero Pro Evo 1 Preview: At 138g, by far the Lightest Marathon Super Shoe yet!

Article by Nils Scharff and Sam Winebaum

adidas Adizero Pro Evo 1 ($500)

Nils: Adidas has been teasing us for over a week now! They were brewing something new over in Bavaria - and word was it is going to be lighter than anything we’ve seen before from the brand with the three stripes and their Adizero line. That alone is a very promising statement, but together with a line from the press invitation we got from the German marketing team, it was straight up exciting: The invitation teased that adidas elite athletes  are going to wear Pro EVO during the upcoming Berlin Marathon! 

So adidas was actually claiming that they have a (high stacked) marathon racer in their sleeves which is lighter than a Takumi Sen? I was pretty sure that this couldn’t be true. On the other hand adidas also claimed, that the new shoe would be groundbreaking - so could it be true? Yesterday adidas showed their hand and introduced the all new adidas Adizero Adios Pro EVO.

Sam: As much secrecy as I can recall around a shoe and no leaks beyond their appearance this past weekend and the bold and veiled claims ahead of the initial unveiling. 

And here it is! The Pro Evolution 1 with its marathon super shoe  39mm heel / 33mm forefoot stack heights comes in at an incredible 138g / 4.87 oz US 9 spec weight.

The Adios Pro 3 checked in at about 223 grams at the same stack height.  We are talking about a 40% reduction in weight from their previous lightest super shoe which we can assume is the Takumi Sen! For comparison, the Nike Vaporfly 3, what I would call the previous lightweight super shoe champ, and at about the same stack height checked in at.. 6.56 oz  / 186g! How did adidas pull off such a revolutionary and “impossible” feat?  Read on please to learn how.

It took many iterations over 2 years, lots of testing by adidas elites in Kenya and in the adidas labs and especially innovative new materials and approaches to manufacturing to reduce weight as much as possible while increasing energy return and running economy. I am confident it will break yet more records for the adidas elites and will also come at a new record price of $500. We have learned a lot so far (and will add to the article as soon as we learn more). RoadTrailRun will dig deeper with adidas and hope to test soon but here is what we know so far.


The black and white colorway design conveys the traditional Three Stripes and the shoe’s theme of “Impossible Lightness for the Fastest”,

New construction techniques are used to minimize weight and improve hold. 

This includes no sockliner; we assume the lasting board finished surface substituting , recalling for example NNormal’s Kjerag trail racer where it is not missed at all.


The midsole loses 50g in weight (over Adios Pro 3) through a new non compression molded Lightstrike Pro foam and processing innovations. The new foam is said to have greater energy return. 

In the schematic below from what appears to be one of the prototypes we see that it also includes Energy Rods.

To be determined how durable and long lasting this powerful combination will be. How many miles/km of full benefit racing will it deliver is a key factor to be determined.

Highlighted by adidas is a new longer rocker geometry starting at 60% of the length of the shoe which was lab tested to trigger forward momentum and improve running economy.  The Adios Pro 3 started at 70% of the shoe length so further forward requiring a more forward strike.

I was particularly struck by the longer rocker geometry as I personally prefer a more “rolling” super shoe and the Adios Pro 3 was all about a powerful strike up front and knee drive up and away and less about rolling forward through the entire stride. In testing, Kenyan elites noted that the Evo was better on uphills and downhills. For the rest of us, I think this new geometry should be more accessible

on the flats as well, especially in the later miles as most get more back on the heels. 


New outsole technology and materials are used leading to a 70g reduction in outsole weight. The materials are said to be all new with this outsole design reminding more of the Pro 1 than the Pro 3. It is clearly not the usual Continental rubber profiled outsole. We can't be certain but testing will determine that wet grip should be good. adidas is always top notch in that area. Durability we don’t know but the purpose of the EVO is all out racing at the lightest possible weight and not training.

Adidas elites have raved about the shoe with Tigist Assefa saying:

  1. “This is the lightest racing shoe I have ever worn and the feeling of running in them is an incredible experience – like nothing I’ve felt before. They enable me to put my full focus on the race, which is exactly what you want as an athlete. I feel ready to defend my title in Berlin and can’t wait to lace up at the start line in these.”

Of course testing and racing by more “regular” merely fast  runners such as our RTR test team will reveal more about this groundbreaking and I would say quantum and stunning leap “down” in weight with increases claimed in performance, as will the market as we are at must be a record run shoe price of $500. As with many such innovations in technology and manufacturing, we can only hope that the lessons learned from this for now rarified marvel will trickle down to more mainstream racers and trainers over time.


Weight 138g / 4.87 oz

Stack Height: 39mm heel / 33mm forefoot (6mm drop)

$500. First limited release Sept 14, 2023 HERE. Wider release November 2023

The article will be updated as we learn more.

Photo Credits: adidas Running

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John Matrix said...

Ouch! At this price point, only middle aged triathletes and YouTubers will be able to afford them.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info and I’m sure you are just relaying what Adidas told you but given that this shoe dropped 80g over the AP3 it isn’t possible that it lost 50g in midsole and 70g in outsole. Not being critical, just curious to find out an accurate breakdown of the weight loss to understand the substantially shorter durability claim since the only thing I could see going dead in one race is the midsole, so wonder if they could produce a more durable version that still has substantial weight reduction by keeping the AP3 midsole and just using the upper and outsole changes.

Tom said...

I tested them during a lactate threshold/shoe tech study in a lab... awesome / was going 1km/h faster vs another mystery shoe for the same amount of lactate build-up .... wouldn't pay more than £150 for any shoe though ... and they wouldn't let me keep them 😂

Anonymous said...

Why not $1000? This is getting ridiculous.

Nike Dunk said...

Hey Sam, great job. It's regardless to say how popular brand the Adidas is in the world sportswear industry! I just reveal your post and excited to getting through the update about Adidas Adizero Pro. You really made the review very informative and useful specially to the athlete and sports fans. The comparative focuses between new adidas adizero pro and Takumi Sen were totally interesting and appreciable. I also believe the weight reduction (40%) can really be worth than previous. Thank you very much for your excellent job. I also enjoyed the video review on race model. This was also very attention grabbing.

Anonymous said...

If you didn't get carbon plated running shoes from your sponsor, then you don't need them.
If you have bought a pair, it means either you have money to throw away, or you're a total idiot. Only a total idiot pays $200-$300 for running shoes.
The one who pays $500... Well, there is no word for such a stupid person.

Anonymous said...

Why? Somebedy earn that in 2 hours and if likes running. Somebody pays for the watch 1 million USD, somebody for the phone 2000 USD...