Adidas' Super Fast Marathon Shoe Is Here to Make a Run at Record Books

Brett Williams, NASM
·3 mins read
Photo credit: Adidas
Photo credit: Adidas

From Men's Health

Adidas is ready to race.

The sportswear giant just announced the wide release of its latest and greatest in footwear technology, the Adios Adizero Pro (a limited release earlier this June sold out in just 15 minutes, according to the company). The model is a marathon shoe that will look to reclaim the brand's position as the top dog in the high performance racing world. Over the past few years, Nike's unprecedented breakthroughs with its Percent series, including Eliud Kipchoge's sub-2 hour marathon effort, has hogged the running shoe spotlight and made carbon plate shoes the norm for elite racers. Now, Adidas looks to up the ante.

Photo credit: adidas/NUREG GmbH
Photo credit: adidas/NUREG GmbH

The Adios Adizero Pro has a high foam stack like Nike's latest super shoe, the AlphaFly Next%, but the similarities end there. The Adios Adizero Pro's upper is made of a minimalist, supportive thin mesh, without any extra cushioning. The tongue of the shoe has a built-in band to help secure the lockdown of the foot.

Photo credit: Adidas
Photo credit: Adidas

But the real story is in the midsole. The shoe features five distinct carbon rods, which the company calls "Energy Rods," developed in tandem with Adidas' elite runners in a biomechanics lab to mimic the metatarsals (foot bones). The goal: to "optimize running economy"—a common refrain from athletic companies with these carbon plate super shoes—so that athletes can maintain their top speed and running efficiency for longer. The midsole also includes LightstrikePro, Adidas' high energy return foam compound, to give the shoes some extra bounce and cushioning, and another carbon plate in the heel. The sole of the Adizero Adios Pro is surprisingly spare, with rubber panels in the heel and forefoot—but they provide plenty of traction. The minimalist upper and sole allow the kicks to stay light; the Adizero Adios Pro weighs in at about 8.7 ounces.

The company claims this tech allows for the Adios Adizero Pro to be Adidas' "fastest ever shoe," but there's no specific claims about just how fast they are, à la Nike's 4 percent number. But I was able to log a few miles in the shoes ahead of launch, and was impressed at how well they handled the road. They're very fast, there's no mistaking that—and they're also very stable for a shoe that features such a high foam stack.

In a briefing to press ahead of the shoe's release, Adidas reps emphasized the brand's history as a leader in marathon racing, as several runners broke world records and won major races wearing its shoes. The Adizero Adios Pro is a clear mission statement that Adidas is hungry to return to the top spot—and the first chance for that will come when the shoes make their debut in elite competition for the RUNCZECH half marathon in Prague this weekend. For everyone else who wants to try the latest in speed shoe technology, the Adios Adizero Pro will be released widely on September 14 on Adidas.com for $200.

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