Monday, January 01, 2024

adidas Adizero Takumi Sen 10 Review: 4 Comparisons

Article by Michael Ellenberger

adidas Adizero Takumi Sen 10 ($180)


The Takumi Sen is the adidas shorter distance (5K-10K) racer. For its 10th edition it features a higher resilience and more energy returning Lightstrike Pro midsole foam, an all new “pretzel” shaped full length somewhat stiffer fiberglass Energy Rods 2.0 propulsion system of a similar design to the Adios Pro 3, a new outsole, and tighter woven engineered mesh upper. Its stack height remains at 33mm heel / 27mm forefoot.

Michael: I ran the Takumi Sen 8 for review back in January 2022 (hello, first review of 2024! That’s two years ago!), the Takmu Sen 7 before that (pre-major update), and Sam sent along his Takumi Sen 8  for my comparison. I’ve also worn all 3 versions of the Adios Pro, though not (yet?!) the rare Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1 (mega shoe? giga shoe? What goes beyond “super”?! It’s the $500 shoe, of course!).

Thus, I’m pretty well versed in the “modern” Takumi Sen variants and adidas’s racing lineup as a whole, and am very pleased that this line is still being improved upon. A high-end, non-marathon racer is a useful (and cool) shoe to have for workout and race efforts . Let’s run.


Lower stack (33mm), but no shortage of cushion

Energy Rods remain an elite propulsion system

Upper material and outsole are exactly what they need to be


Fit remains tricky to lock-down, especially vis-a-vis the tongue

Lack of firmness from Lightstrike Pro could dissuade some runners 


Approx. weight: men's 6.8 oz  / 193g (US9) 

  Samples: men’s  6.6 oz / 187g US 8.5  (Takumi Sen 8: 6.5 oz  / 184g US8.5)

Stack Height: 33 mm heel / 27 mm forefoot ( 6mm drop spec) 

$180.  Available Jan 1, 2024

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Michael: The Takumi Sen 10 is quite a handsome shoe; in this white/yellow/red color scheme, it definitely borrows from its predecessors but presents more modern. Aesthetically, this is a big win - and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the construction here is great. Adidas has an engineered mesh upper that’s very airy (I wore them on a “mild” winter day - mid 30s - with thin socks and when running into the wind, could feel the air and sleet pass through the shoe!) but fits well and is comfortable. 

There are some well-placed cushions inside, and I have to acknowledge that this shoe was quite gentle on my dodgy Achilles. So far, so good!

My lone issue here - and this has been a problem with several Adidas racers in the recent past - is the lacing/lockdown. 

Something about the shape of the laces or (more likely) the shape of the tongue means that I had to stop more than once to yank the tongue more center, or otherwise adjust the hold I had on my foot. As with most of these sort of problems, the shoe does “break in” as you wear it (that is, the lacing shifts into place over a few miles) but that doesn’t mean the Takumi Sen isn’t just slightly more annoying to put on than, say, a gusseted tongue-laden racer.

Size-wise, I found these true-to-size or just on the short side (i.e. my 8.5 was very slightly snug, which is my preference, but if you’re already cutting it close, you may need to size up 0.5).

Midsole & Platform

Michael: We’ve seen Adidas’s awesome Lightstrike Pro foam before (including previous iterations of the Takumi Sen, and of course the marathon racer, the Adios Pro) and, well, it’s mostly the same here with adidas telling us that while of the same firmness as before the foam is more resilient and more energy returning. My main complaint about Lightstrike Pro - and “complaint” should be taken lightly, since I really love Adidas’s modern lineup - is its wobbliness. There’s basically no firm place in the midsole, and so every step (and exacerbated around corners) comes with a bit of lateral motion.

But! adidas has made an update here to the Energy Rods which does lend some midfoot stiffness (and, in my opinion, an overall improvement to the propulsion).  The Energy Rods 2.0 here are now a full length “pretzel” shaped fiberglass unit. They aren’t quite as noticeable, perhaps - I kind of appreciated how, in the TS8/9, you could feel the rods when running strides or hard intervals on your toes (which, to be fair, I don’t do very much). In the TS10, for better or worse, it does feel as though the Energy Rods are more “blended” or “hidden” in the midsole. That said, there’s no doubt they’re there - this is a fast shoe, and when you start to turn over, the shoe will push you. This current generation of Adidas racing shoes have uniformly been sublime at faster paces, and the TS10 is no exception.

There’s still something to be said about stack height here. I have to be careful for what I wish for here, a little - the Adios Pro is just a hair too wobbly and unstable to really be perfect, owing in large part to its high stack and narrow rear platform - so now we have largely the same, with lower stack… shouldn’t that be perfect? If only there was an easy answer; there’s still a tradeoff here from the lower stack, in that, if I’m going to hammer 18 or 20 miles, I’ll probably take the tradeoff of the wobbly-but-cushioned Adios Pro over the slightly-more-stable-but-lower-stacked Takumi Sen 10. Of course, that isn’t what the shoe is for, I just mean to say - neither is an absolutely flawless shoe. 


Michael: The outsole here is really good. Like, no complaints. Adidas has long licensed Continental rubber - I have no idea if that makes the grip here better, or if that’s purely a marketing move, but the outsole here is really tacky and fun, even on slick roads (as noted above, on my “mild” winter run). 

Similarly, I had no issues on a couple treadmill runs. I would race the TS10 in the winter, which is definitely not something I feel comfortable saying about all racing flats these days.

Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations

Michael: First, a note - if you are a fan of the Takumi Sen 8 or 9 and are in need of an upgrade, there’s really not much to think over here. This is an improvement in basically every way over those versions. Yes, the TS10 technically gains a little weight (15g?!) over its immediate predecessor but… that’s more than worth it.

But! If you’re a runner who wants one, singular racing shoe, and maybe doesn’t run marathons… should you pick this over the Vaporfly? The Adios Pro? The Nike Streakfly? Heck, I see runners wearing the quite marathon-specific Alphafly for 5K races routinely (and I may just join them). 

The answer there is, of course, trickier but I come down closer to yes than no - as in yes, if you want a racing shoe and you don’t race marathons, you should strongly consider the Takumi Sen over a higher-stack option, especially if the workouts you’ll run in it are similarly shorter/scaled back compared to marathon workouts. Because, as I mentioned in the review, the wobbliness of the Lightstrike Pro is tempered by the lower stack, and the revamped Energy Rods are more gentle and forgiving, without losing their edge. And for runners who have a marathon shoe and want to supplement it with something shorter, I think this is the new king of “short distance racers.”

Michael’s Score: 9.6/10


4 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE Roadtrailrun 

Takumi Sen 8/9 (RTR Review)

Michael: Pick the 10! The TS8/9 are very similar shoes (an upper update is all that separates them) and even running an A/B test between TS9 and TS10 revealed relatively minor differences. But - the differences that are there from the newest gen to the last are really only good improvements. I complained about the lacing on the old models, and Adidas didn’t fix it - but nearly everything else is better and more streamlined on the TS10. 

Hoka Cielo Road (RTR Review)

Michael: The Cielo Road was my outgoing pick for “best short distance racer,” but step aside, Hoka! No, in reality, both shoes are very good, and the Hoka does have the distinct advantage of feeling more like a “traditional shoe that goes fast” rather than an “engineered piece of foam that boosts you forward at any cost” (some dramatization there). I like the relative stability of the Hoka and would rather wear it for something of 20+ miles, but for a 10K race, I’m definitely taking the Adidas.

New Balance FuelCell SC Pacer 1 (RTR Review)

Michael: Another superb short-distance (aka non-marathon) flat. The SC Pacer v1 is a little more low-slung and minimal, and I’d prefer it for something like a road mile (or a course with a lot of corners), but otherwise I think the TS10 is a better shoe. However, we know v2 is coming from NB (I don’t have a pair, so no spoilers) and it looks awesome - plus, I’ve seen v1 on sale for as low as like $80. In that case, I’d probably take the New Balance and run (quickly!).

Reebok Floatride Run Fast Pro (RTR Review)

Michael: Somehow, this shoe remains the shoe that set my half-marathon PR back in 2017. Non-plated! I’ve only had a few really good looks since, but still haven’t gotten back under 68 minutes. Maybe 2024? I digress. The Floatride Run Fast Pro is awesome, but if you love it, I don’t think I can say “oh, you’ll love the TS10, too!” They’re very different shoes. The Reebok is firm and harsh and my legs hurt for like 9 days after that half-marathon. The Adidas is much more approachable (even if similarly fast) and while I do miss some of the old-school-ness of the Reebok… the Takumi Sen is just better.

Tester Profile

Michael is a patent attorney and graduate of Northwestern University Law School. Prior to law school, he competed collegiately at Washington University in St. Louis (10,000m PR of 30:21). Michael’s PRs include a 67:43 half-marathon (Chicago Half-Marathon) and a 2:21:19 marathon PR at the 2023 Grandma’s Marathon. Michael continues to race on the roads, and is chasing a sub-2:20 marathon and potential OTQ in the future.

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'.

Comments and Questions Welcome Below! Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

Google "roadtrailrun Shoe Name" and you can be quite sure to find just about any run shoe over the last 10 years

RoadTrailRun Official Store Custom Fractel Caps and Bucket Hats
Limited Release! SHOP HERE
Cap:$39                                                             Bucket:$49

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
FREE 2 Day Shipping EASY No Sweat Returns

EUROPE Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Europe only: use RTR code RTR5ALL for 5% off all products, even sale products 


Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
Use RTR code RTRTOP4 for 5% off all products, even sale products

Use our code RTR235 for 5% off all products

Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE


Please Like and Follow RoadTrailRun
Facebook:  Instagram: @roadtrailrun
Twitter: @RoadTrailRun You Tube: @RoadTrailRun


1 comment:

SPR said...

Interested in the comparison with the Reebok Floatride RunFast Pro as that is my current road race shoe (pretty much just 2-4 times a year at club road relays with distance being around 5k) and I did a HM in it in October. I've also been using the Takumi Sen 9 in training on road since December as my first supershoe. I can see how the Takumi might have saved legs in/ for the later stages of a HM (I've enjoyed using the Takumi for runs of 9-13 miles including 1km intervals that I wouldn't do in the Reeboks) but at the moment I'm not sure it's faster over 5k as my HR stats are slightly better for 7 mile progressive runs in the Reeboks. May be a personal thing or just needing to adapt to the shoe more. Are you still using the Reeboks for anything? Apart from racing and the odd progressive run, I use a race retired pair for track training which it is great for.