Thursday, November 4, 2010

Adidas Adizero Adios Review


I was rotating between my Asics Gel Foundation 8 and Newton Distancia Racers when I decided to buy another pair simply because the latter's outsole was starting to show signs of wear. I love the Newtons so as much as possible I try to save the mileage on it, especially since the cost per km is very expensive compared to average running shoes. I have been using the Asics sparingly (limited to short easy runs up to 7km) since it will just put my newly found midfoot-strike off-track. Since I was already sold into the natural-running method that Newton promotes and after getting much information on the booming interest in minimalist running, I chose to purchase the Adizero Adios to rotate with my Newtons.

I have to admit as well that my interest in the said shoe was also brought about by the fact that this was the pair that Haile wore when he logged the still-standing marathon record of 2:03:59 set in Berlin 2008. I wanted the yellow colorway but that was only available in the 2009 version of the shoe. The one I got was the red/gray/blue 2010 colorway as seen here. Price was P1,000.00 discounted due to the Adidas Refresh Your Gear Promo (extended, I read, until Nov.14, 2010).


The shoe is very light (210 grams) when compared to the already-light Newton Distancia (244g) and a very low heel-to-toe lift (6.5mm), both of which are typical specs for minimalist shoes. Although not recommended in a first run, I ran in these babies for 12km in 1:29 (7:25/km average pace). It rained from km6 onwards but I didn't mind. The Adios didn't mind either, with its outsole marking on the forefoot/midfoot able to grip the ground perfectly through wet roads. This would be advantageous during rain-dampened races, especially here in the Philippines.

Cushioning at the forefoot/midfoot was not too springy, not too "earthy" ---it was just right. Although there was no feeling of energy-return that the Newton's actuator lugs provide, the Adios had better heel-cushioning (which I hope never to use since I'm trying to burn into my running system a midfoot gait). But still, once fatigue sets in on long-distance races, the heel-cushioning of the Adios will be put into good use.

The other reason why I chose an alternate to the Newtons is that its upper construction, although comfortable and breathable, was not good once it rained or when I splashed myself at the aid stations with water (I used it during a 15k race). I could feel my whole foot sliding to the end of the forefoot when I go downhill under wet conditions. In contrast, the Adios' meshed upper was able to refrain less water from seeping into my sock so foot slippage was not happening during my first run.


As if the 12km break-in run was not enough, that weekend I used it immediately in the Adidas KOTR wherein I ran the half-marathon. I have to say that, under race pace conditions, it performed very well. Finishing 2:22 without enough training, the lightness of the shoe and good grip was able to help carry me through the whole 21km race.

As expected, the fatigue that set in at the last 5-6kms brought my left foot to heel strike slightly (damn BGC hills!). The Adios' heel-cushioning was able to aid me during that unfortunate part of the run so much so that the usual heel-pain that I encounter with the Newtons post-run was never felt after that race with the Adios.


Last Monday I used the Adios for my scheduled 25km long run. It was raining 3/4 of the whole time I ran (3:20, 8:00/km ave pace) but the Adios proved its worth by keeping me in pace due to its lightweight construction and "just right" cushioning.


A complaint on the shoe is that during my initial runs, I felt that the upper was slightly stiff. The sock-lining felt tight on one part of my left foot so much so that I was expecting a rash on that part (fortunately there was none). This may have been brought about by the newness of the shoe (need more miles to break it in) until the upper adjusts accordingly to the fit of my wide feet. I think the shoe is naturally fit for narrow feet so I don't think they'll be able to experience this problem.

Secondly, I really would've liked it if they released a yellow colorway. *SIGH*


The Adizero Adios, IMHO, lived up to the hype of Haile using it to smash the marathon record to 2:03:59 last 2008. Lightweight and with a low heel-to-toe ratio, it is suitable for those venturing into the minimalist shoe trend. Slight cushioning keeps you with that "near the ground" feeling that minimalist running recommends. The outsole's forefoot grip is excellent especially on wet roads. Although the upper may take some time to get broken in, the mesh is perfect for keeping less water out of your foot so you can concentrate more on keeping your pace and not on your wet socks. The Adios is a perfect shoe for training and racing up to the half-marathon distance.

Full-marathon distance? I'll let you know once I use it for Condura 2011.


02/11/2011 Update: The shoes have been very instrumental in giving me two PRs: a 2:14 in the half-marathon and, more recently, a 5:23 (30minute improvement) for the full-marathon. Except for muscle soreness which is expected, I didn't experience joint pains in my knees while using the Adios. This may have been due as well to my improved gait of preventing to overstride and by employing quick leg turnover (at least 180 steps/minute).

04/14/2011 Update: I browsed the Running Warehouse website to window-shop and I found out that, based on their measurements, the heel to toe drop of this shoe is actually 11mm and not 6.5mm as I've mentioned last year. This therefore conflicts my earlier statement that this is a minimalist shoe when in fact it is not. It would be better to coin the Adios' shoe type as a minimalist-bridging shoe for those who're still used to shoes 10oz or greater and would want to venture into the minimalist trend slowly.

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  1. Thank you for the review man. I have been eying these pretty hard, but will start with what I know, the Asics DS trainer. As far as midfoot strike, forefoot, heel, I just run naturally, and let the rest take care of itself, but I do notice, the faster I go, I am more on my toes. The heel seems to slow me down, so I don't use it. lol. Like when you tell a dog to heel - Always following and not in the lead. I might have to go and take these Adidas for a spin.

  2. You convinced me! I'm buying them! I was concerned that they weren't good for training, just racing. But since you are training and running in them, I'm going to invest in them and hope they can correct the calf injury I am currently experiencing. I am hoping the injury is caused by a need to replace my current shoes. So, fingers crossed! Thanks again for the helpful info! Happy trails!