Friday, March 22, 2024

adidas Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1 Inițial Review: All Superlatives!

Article by Sam Winebaum

adidas Adizero Adios Pro EVO 1 ($500)


What to make of Adios Pro EVO 1 a shoe of many superlatives: world records, the lightest weight ever for a marathon, the most limited in production, and the most expensive run shoe to date. 

At 4.59 oz / 130g in my US8.5 sample it is nearly 1.7 oz / 48g  lighter than its closest competitors the Vaporfly 3 and Metaspeed Sky Paris. And it doesn’t skimp on stack height with a max 39mm heel / 33mm forefoot. It all seems “impossible” but adidas slogan is after all.. “Impossible is Nothing”

I was very lucky to receive a pair from adidas but… as I broke my kneecap and had screws installed in November, gradually resuming real running in the last month,  all I could do was look at them for well over a month. 

Today, with some trepidation, I took them out for a first 5K run in Park City on “flatter” roads at over 2000 meters altitude. It was my fastest run since my injury by far, a pedestrian even for me 8:47 per mile pace for 3 miles.  Here is what I discovered with more runs and updates to come.


  • Shockingingly light and the lightest super shoe yet yet also substantial in feel underfoot
  • Shockingly stable, well behaved and secure even at slower paces. Among the best if not the best for these attributes.
  • The upper completely locks the foot to the platform
  • A world record shoe with friendly cushion and a particularly effective long long rocker and even some very front flex.


  • Obviously.. the pricing and limited availability 

Most comparable shoes 

Nike Vaporfly Next % 2 (more so than 3)

ASICS Metaspeed Edge Paris (although I haven’t tested yet)


Weight: men's 4.87 oz  / 138g (US9)

 Sample: men’s 4.59 oz / 130g US8.5

Stack Height: men’s 39 mm heel / 33 mm forefoot ( 6 mm drop spec) 

Platform Width: 80 mm heel / 65 mm midfoot / 115 mm forefoot

$500  Available ?

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

The upper is a single layer very thin tight weave “mono” type mesh with overlays. To banish the shaky rear hold of the Adios Pro adidas, wisely wraps the heel with a substantial plasticky overlay extending forward. This overlay gets almost to the arch and thus provides a touch of support there.

Inside we have a single piece achilles to ankle wrapping bolster. The heel counter is pliable but has a clear vertical stiffener. Given the minimal construction, as with many elements of this shoe, I am shocked by the excellent hold at the rear.

The midfoot is also super simple. The mono mesh and wide Three Stripes overlays are essentially as pliable as the upper mesh. While visually appearing to, the black stripes where they cover the midsole are just paint  

The tongue is as thin as the rest of the upper,  has no gusset with the Adizero logo down its center providing a touch of padding. Lace up is easy and secure. As with many elements, I am surprised that such a minimal midfoot and tongue is so effective.

The toe box is moderately wide and comfortable with the only “tightness” towards the lace lace holes. I think to keep the foot lockdown for the shoe’s distinctive long forward roll and for enough toe box this slightly snug area is essential. While I noticed the snug hold there walking around, it disappeared on the run.

The toe box is moderately narrow but as the mesh is so thin and pliable and wraps the foot so well I would in no way call the toe box “narrow” or constricting.  There is a very thin toe bumper overlay which is only a touch stiffer than the mesh upper.

There is no sockliner. There is a thin sueded material glued to the firm to pressing lasting board. I think this firm board goes a long way to stabilizing the entire foot on landings.

The fit is true to size for me as it is in pretty much all super shoes.  With this particular shoe sizing up may affect the geometry and its effectiveness as the EVO 1 is clearly designed for a rolling type stride with, thank you adidas, and kind of unique, a flexible final toe area where the shoe angles up sharply. Sizing up may make the toe off sloppy and less effective in my view.

Midsole & Platform

The EVO 1 meets or beats all the competition with a broad 80 mm heel / 65 mm midfoot / 115 mm forefoot and 39mm heel 33mm forefoot stack height yet.. weighs 1.7 oz / 48g less than its closest competitors.  

By way of comparison the Vaporfly 3 is on a narrower 70mm midfoot / 50mm / forefoot 105mm platform and weighs 6.3 oz / 179g  in my US8.5  while the Metaspeed Edge Paris is 74mm heel / 56mm midfoot / 100 mm forefoot and weighs 6.3 oz / 179g in a US8.5.

The new Lightstrike Pro foam obviously plays a huge role. Adidas won’t say what it is but it is clearly not an expanded bead type foam or compression molded. My sense is the foam is molded in sheets and then machine cut to the midsole shape. To pressing, it is moderately soft and returns pressure very quickly, quicker than say the older Lightstrike Pro or PWRRUN Pb or HG. It is very close in feel to Zoom X with a bit denser snappier return and it feels like more consistency as the shoe is clearly more stable than say the Vaporfly 3 front to back. It blends the best characteristics of being plenty forgiving and quick reacting at the same time.

The plating is adidas Energy Rods but unlike in the Adios Pro 3 the rods and foam are far far better integrated. There is absolutely no plate harshness and  no midfoot “hump” at slower paces, looking at you shoes such as Rocket X 2. A very, very friendly feel here.

The geometry plays a huge role in bringing together foam and plate. Landings are amazingly stable, helped by the more than decent 80mm heel width and there is even a lateral heel bevel to help the roll. The midfoot area was never hung up as many super shoes can get.

Unlike many super shoes they are even incredibly easy and pleasant to walk in due to the long rocker.  

But the real magic in my view is the long, long rocker placed at 60% of the length of the shoe so 10% further back than in the Adios Pro 3. Many super shoes have abrupt forward rockers and toe springs requiring  a sharp midfoot to forefoot landing and  strong vertical knee lift to bounce up  away, The Alphafly and Saucony Endorphin Elite come to mind with Adios Pro 3 not far behind. Some super shoes don’t require a big bounce but are more rolling with their plates located lower down in the foam such as in  Vaporfly Next % 1 and 2.  

The EVO 1 is clearly in the “rolling” stride camp, and then some. Pictures of elites running in them clearly show a dramatic roll forward and down to the plate and on top of that, and I think unique in carbon shoes, there is even a final far forward easy flex point as the sole angles up sharply. Further the sole flares out medially to provide a broad platform for toe off.  All of this was clearly felt on my short run. It was easy to find the roll point by body position, although not quite as easily as  with the very original Vaporfly 4% Baby Blue. 

The rods are cushioned from the road by a decent amount of foam above it “masking”  the rods at contact and making the EVO much quieter than most low plate mounted super shoes. 

The rods and foam above and below also make for a more natural feeling at the front of the shoe with the toes participating more than usual in such shoes due to foot bone like structure of the Energy Rods (shown below), enhancing the medial side drive to toe off. The Rods rear and midfoot construction clearly also enhance landing and midfoot stability without overdoing it and making the midfoot rigid.

I had a few short steep uphills along the way and here as with all carbon shoes you really need to drive hard and up more than on the flats. The downhills were easy and stable, no over rigid awkward feel there as many carbon shoes have for me when I tend to get back more on the heels.  


The outsole appears to be a coating rather than a traditional rubber. We know from Tigist Assef world record 2:11: 53 marathon that her pair had Continental rubber up front and with some profile. 

Before I could really push the shoe I ran a bit on an indoor track with a hard smooth synthetic  surface. I ran all kinds of shoes on this track with no issues but the EVO 1 was clearly slippery there. I even used a stick on a velcro strip across the widest part of the forefoot to get more traction. 

My road run was on damp pavement as it had rained just before my run and grip was good on dry and wet pavement. That said it was not as good on road line paint..

While adidas went all out to achieve the incredibly light weight,  I think a more conventional Continental rubber might be in order.  

I will be looking closely at wear but after 4 miles on gritty pavement none whatsoever and no scuffy of the foam although the late winter road grit did change the color of the underside of the shoe indicating the foam is somewhat porous and does not have a coating over it as Nike does with ZoomX. I also note no creasing yet of the midsole as appears with Zoom X midsoles. 

Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations

A few miles at pedestrian paces is obviously not enough to fully evaluate the Adizero Adios EVO 1 but as I have run just about every super shoe to date I take away a clear initial picture of the EVO 1 by stats and from the run.

It is by far the lightest super shoe created to date with stack height and platform widths comparable if not beating any of its direct competitors. It has set world records out of the box.

Its ride is surprisingly friendly and stable with the new Lightstrike Pro foam, Energy Rods, broad platform, rocker and rest of the midsole geometry playing together beautiful and having it roll along smoothly and effectively even at paces between 8 and 9 minutes per mile.

Its upper is impeccable in hold and a big improvement over the Adios Pro 3. 

And what surprises and gives me the biggest smilest, is that there is so much substance, cushion and even stability in a shoe that is so incredibly light. Not sure I would run a marathon in them yet but for sure they will be my top choice for 5K to a half as I find the Takumi Sen overly rigid and flat feeling at my paces and the Vaporfly 3 overly rigid and not as smooth rolling as earlier versions if more stable.

Of course, this technological and more importantly running marvel comes at a steep price as often groundbreaking no holds barred innovations are. I hope over time adidas is able to move its learnings and perfect its manufacturing to reduce costs so more can enjoy and run fast in this marvel and in other derivative shoes to come.  

A more in depth review with comparisons, after more runs and some races, coming soon.

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 66 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. 2023 was Sam’s 51th year of running. He has a decades old 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range if he gets very very lucky. Sam trains 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah be it on the run, hiking or on nordic skis. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs, if he is not enjoying too many fine New England IPA’s.

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

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Anonymous said...

I can't wait for a first pair of $1000 running shoes. If the trend continues, it seems like sooner than later.

Anonymous said...

These actually sound pretty great, would be nice if the rocker shape and stability show up in a cheaper/more durable (but heavier, naturally) product.

T H said...

No mention of it's recommended one lite practice run, one race recommendation for durability? That's a bigger showstopper to me than the $500 price tag.

Sam Winebaum said...

T H,
No comment as of yet on that as I need to run it more, I do note no creasing of the midsole so far. The weak point likely is the outsole durability but with Shoe Goo I am pretty sure it can be extended. I also well recall Brooks recommendation for the original Hyperion Elite of maximum a few races which in practice proved totally not the case.
All of this said EVO is clearly a race only focused shoe where adidas focused on the lightest possible weight. I do think as stated in the article a Continental rubber up front is in order even if it increases weight somewhat.
Sam, Editor

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Anonymous,
Totally agree that a slightly heavier real rubber outsole version would make this marvel more accessible. With more volume of production I also hope manufacturing costs can drop for the foam in particular.
Sam, Editor

Anonymous said...

It's very good test, I go to use this shoes for my bodybuilding training !