The speedy Adios Pro is designed to launch you off the starting line with its EnergyRods and bouncy Lightstrike Pro foam.
Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert
In the last several years Adidas running shoes have come back to the forefront of state of the art of running shoe design, and this guide aims to highlight the line and what sets Adidas running shoes apart.
“The Adidas Ultraboost 22 is a max-cushioned, heavy-duty trainer for easy and recovery runs. It has a stable ride and is one of the most comfortable running shoes on the market albeit very expensive. The men’s version 22 of the Ultraboost is an upper only update but the women’s version has extra lugs on the outsole. Both versions have a softer ride due to the change of strobel lining and are also a little lighter than version 21 with slightly better heel lockdown. ”
If you're looking for a purely slow, easy day trainer which is very stable and also highly cushioned, the Ultraboost 22 is for you.
Cushioned midsole with hints of stability and responsiveness
Solid heel counter with Achilles groove, best fit for med-wide heels
“The Adidas Ultraboost X combines customized arch support in their experimental design, with plenty of their stellar Boost foam to create a "hugged by supportive clouds" feel, in this breakthrough women's-only model.”
Those who want midfoot support all around the foot yet don’t mind a flexible midsole, will find the low-moderate structure that they need, in Untraboost X. The close, minimal upper whispers “pick up the pace,” while the cushion is more suited to comfortable miles, thereby making it an...
“The Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 is a long-distance specialist. Its highly cushioned midsole and its efficient, energy saving ride make it perfect for marathons and beyond. Version 3 has more foam in the forefoot, a wider net base and a more aggressive toe-spring which makes it softer, more stable and more propulsive than the previous version. ”
If you're a runner looking for a marathon super shoe with a forward-tipping sensation that's softer than most, the Adios Pro 3 is an excellent choice. It excels at long-distance runs and at target marathon pace.
“The Adidas Adizero Prime X Strung is a highly-cushioned super shoe best suited to speed workouts and long runs. It has an aggressive rocker and an extremely stiff forefoot due to carbon EnergyRods and additional carbon blades in its sole. This Strung version of the Prime X has a new, advanced upper which makes it slightly heavier than the previous version but a lot more comfortable and foot-conforming. ”
“The Adidas Adizero Takumi Sen 8 is a specialist racer best suited to 5 km races and short-distance interval workouts. Version 8 is a big departure from version 7 because it now has a thicker, Lightstrike Pro midsole and EnergyRods which make it stiffer. ”
If you're looking for a light training shoe for speed workouts or a short-distance racing shoe, the Takumi Sen 8 could be the shoe for you.
“The adidas Adizero Pro is a top of the line racing shoe which screams “technology” with its firm yet extremely breathable upper; springy, cushioned ride and quick transition due to its carbon plated dual-foam midsole; and lacing options which allow runners to customize their fit—like a Pro. This shoe is best at race paces, and its benefits are enhanced when running long.”
The Pro is a long-distance racing shoe made for runners who want a supported upper fit without weight or bulk, and a cushioned feel with low-mid stack height. A light to medium weight runner or heavier runner with an efficient stride will find this shoe to be supportive enough for half marathon...
“The Adidas Adizero Boston 10 is a highly cushioned workhorse with a snappy ride. It's designed to be the training companion to the Adios Pro and is best suited to medium and long distance runs at easy or steady paces. The Boston 10 shares no similarities with its predecessors. It's more cushioned but heavier, with a ride that feels a lot more modern and fun. ”
If the Adios Pro is your racing shoe of choice and you want a more durable trainer with a similar ride, the Boston 10 is the perfect shoe for you. The Boston 10 is a much more affordable trainer than the Adios Pro with a similar midsole stack height and Energyrods for an efficient ride.
“The adidas Adizero SL brings the quality build, comfortable fit, and light ride of other Adizero models to this highly cushioned mid to long distance shoe. This model packs a big bang for its buck successfully combining moderate breathability and lightweight support with purposeful grip for a reasonable price.”
Full length Boost midsole roam provides excellent cushioning and energy return with good durability.
Improved stability over past Boost models, and Adidas returns to the feel of the Energy Boost.
Upper is locked down through an elasticized fit, especially in the forefoot.
Flexibility throughout heel to toe transition gives the Solar Boost a natural feel.
“The Adidas Solar Boost is a highly cushioned daily trainer with a accommodating fit for most foot types. While this isn't a shoe for faster paced running, most runners will appreciate its plush ride and fit for recreational runners to high mileage hogs.”
The Adidas Solar Boost is a shoe that will accommodate all types of runners, from beginners to experienced runners. What it is not recommended for is faster paced running due to its heavier weight (10.6 ounces) and a rather unstructured fit.
“The Solar Glide 5 is a daily trainer that is highly cushioned but a stiffer shoe with a smooth traditional ride for daily mileage training. It’s a nice versatile choice for the runner that also likes to split time between the gym and the road. ”
Runners that prefer or are looking for a Neutral shoe that provides a stable well cushioned platform without sacrificing firmness.
“The Adidas Solar Glide 3 ST is a solid moderate stability trainer built to provide a smooth and stable ride. Using both conventional and unconventional technologies makes for a unique experience which will be loved by some but not all.”
A runner who is looking for an unconventional stability trainer built for miles while training for their next race.
Good stability provided by the upper in the midfoot
“The Adidas Solar Ride is a budget-friendly option to the Solar line up of trainers. The Solar Ride is a neutral shoe that replaces more premium materials in the sole unit such as Boost foam and Continental rubber, and replaces them with Bounce and Adiwear rubber.”
The Solar Ride is a neutral shoe for runners looking for an every day trainer at a low price point. The trainer makes for a good entry level shoe and will last for many miles.
“The Adidas Aerobounce 2 provides a solid amount of comfort and cushioning which makes for a good daily training shoe. The shoe is firm, yet stable, to keep you from overpronating. It offers enough cushioning that the shoe doesn't feel stiff. ”
The Adidas Aerobounce 2 is a daily training shoe that offers cushioning while offering some stability. If you need a little extra protection for your feet but still want comfort, this is a good option. These shoes are versatile and can be used for running errands, the gym, or daily runs.
“The Adidas Aerobounce ST2 is a stability shoe designed for those who overpronate. They are firmer than other Adidas shoes and are good for a variety of activities or just wearing around town. The shoe features an internal fit system that helps keep your feet in place as you run or walk. ”
The Adidas Aerobounce ST 2 are designed for overpronators. The shoes can handle daily training runs and can be used on the road, in the gym, or for everyday activities. These are entry level running shoes for those who need stability. The outsole is designed for more casual use, so if you want...
FIrm and responsive ride on a variety of terrain. Works as good on technical rocky trails as crushed gravel and roads.
Great traction. Zero issues in wet conditions.
“The Adidas Terrex Agravic Flow 2 is a firm workhorse with ample traction. It excels on pretty much any terrain you step foot on. Besides some issues with the lacing unit, this is a great offering from Adidas' trail department.”
Serial Marathoner and Stability Running Shoe Expert
“The Adidas Terrex Agravic Boa is a lightweight trail running shoe. ”
The Adidas Terrex Agravic Boa is perfect for well-packed trails that are either wet or dry. The Boost technology in the midsole provides good energy return while the Contintenal rubber outsole offers excellent traction. Combined, this shoe is a solid trail shoe.
“Adidas Terrex Agravic Speed is designed for speed trail racing. It is a lightweight performance shoe that provides enough protection from the terrain, yet is low profile enough to keep your speed up. You can count on them to keep your feet securely on the trail because of their strong grip. The outsoles are durable with their lug design and Continetal Rubber. ”
The Terrex Agravic Speed is for those who race over rugged terrain and need secure traction.
Adidas first released its Boost technology in 2013 and its impact on running shoe technology was immediate. This TPU based technology made up of thousands of small foam pellets was first developed by a German chemical corporation. This technology led to a sea change in the way that running shoe companies conceptualized the capabilities of foam EVA, and directly led to the massive advances in EVA cushioning we see today.
Boost midsole cushioning is both soft and responsive, protective yet resilient, and highly durable. It works great in small amounts for firmer, faster feeling shoes, and the cushioning stays largely uncompressed throughout the life of the shoe.
In my own experience, I’ve been able to wear a single pair of Adizero Tempos for eight hundred miles and a Supernova Sequence for over one thousand miles due the properties of Boost foam. If you’re a regular runner and you haven’t tried out Boost cushioning I high recommend you do so. While the price may seem steeper than competing brands, the durability and resilience of this technology is worth every penny.
This is Adidas’ version of Nike’s Flyknit technology (sorry Adidas, Nike got there first) and there truly are very few differences in the fit, feel, and function of this upper technology.
Adidas’ promo materials state that “Primeknit is carefully engineered to naturally expand with your foot while you run to give you a more comfortable fit and help reduce irritation”.
While this technology is great in theory, there have been some issues with overall volume in the toe box of Adidas’ shoes using Primeknit, primarily the Ultra Boost. Think of Primeknit as a one piece upper of tightly knit synthetic material which flexes and comforms to the foot. The advantage here is that the fit feels customized to the wearers’ foot and it decreases the risk of blisters and hotspots.
Many runners find that Adidas’ excellent mesh used throughout their Adizero series shoes offer more than enough fit accommodations, breathability, and durability to justify the exorbitant prices of Primeknit shoes.
Adidas Torsion System
Since 1988 Adidas has employed their proprietary Torsion system on most of their performance running shoes.
The Torsion System involves “a thermoplastic arch support designed to allow the forefoot and rear of the foot to move independently and adapt to running surfaces without straining the foot through excess motion”.
This system works very well and I believe that it increases the durability of Adidas running shoes. Conversely, many of Adidas running shoes aimed at neutral wearers work very well for runners who experience a bit of pronation and need some structural support.
Continental Rubber Outsole
All of the Adidas running shoes featured here have rubber outsoles designed in cooperation with Continental Tires and actually feature Continental rubber compounds.
Adidas claims that their outsole rubber increases traction by 15-30% over competing models in both wet and dry conditions. These Continental rubber outsoles do wear very slowly and their durability over the life of the shoe is remarkable. They also seem to handle conditions well on easy to moderate trails despite being designed for the roads.
Adidas Running Shoes “Families”
Adizero is Adidas’ designation for shoes that are more minimally designed for faster paced running. Often times Adidas pairs the Boost midsole foam with a firmer adiPRENE midsole material to give runners a snappier feel. The feel of these shoes is often a bit more firm and can take some getting used to for the uninitiated.
Many times the forefoot cushioning of Adizero shoes is a bit more firm which aids in a faster cadence and quicker toe-off during the running stride.
If you are a a runner that tends to enjoy faster paces or firmer cushioning, the Adizero line is definitely for you. Of special note is the fact that the Adidas Adizero Adios racing flat holds the world record and next three fastest times in the marathon.
The Supernova line has been around since the late 1990s and it represents Adidas’ more protective everyday training shoes. As the aforementioned Adizero line is focused around racing and faster paced training, the Supernova line is built to handle high mileage and they tend to feature a bit softer and more extensive cushioning than the Adizero shoes.
Lifestyle vs Performance
One of the problems that Adidas has encountered over the last decade among serious runners is legitimacy.
For many years they attempted to combine performance running with fashionable lifestyle designs with shoes such as the “Yeezy” co-designed by Kanye West.
While these shoes were laughable at best, they also undermined the performance aspects of the Boost technology and scared many lifelong runners away. This also impacts the resale of many Adidas shoes with Boost technology.
Unfortunately, resale sites like Ebay over value serious running shoes with “designer sneakers” which causes significant price increases. It is always your best bet to buy Adidas running shoes from your local running speciality store.
While it seems that Adidas has realized the error of their ways, the running shoe offerings of the last two years seem to be on par with the true heritage of this great company.
I will start by explaining that there are a whole lot of models in the Adidas line that won’t be profiled in this guide.
Why? Because the aim here is to only profile Adidas’ true performance running shoe offerings.
Many big box sporting goods stores have all kinds of low quality models aimed at enticing the bargain shopper, or high-price models aimed at the fashion conscious – but these are not shoes you should be running decent mileage in.
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