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General Running • September 25, 2023

What Adidas Shoe was Tigist Assefa Really Wearing in Berlin?

adidas evo 1 - Tigist Assefa berlin marathon shoe

What You Need To Know

The Race

2023 Berlin Marathon

The Record

2:11:53, as Tigist Assefa smashed the women’s marathon record

The Shoe

Adidas Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1- but what version?

The Evolution of Racing

In a jaw-dropping display of athleticism and speed, Adidas athlete Tigist Assefa cruised through the 2023 Berlin Marathon course in 2:11:53, destroying the previous women’s marathon record by over two minutes. The record was previously held by Brigid Kosgei, who ran a 2:14:04 at the 2019 Chicago Marathon.

For Adidas, the win in its home country was huge, especially since it was the major marathon debut of its all-new $500 race day shoe: the Adidas Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1. The shoe has made waves since its announcement thanks to it’s eye-popping price tag and almost unbelievable weight– a minuscule 4.8 oz (134 g), nearly 40% lighter than the Adios Pro 3

adidas adizero adios pro evo 1 - Tigist Assefa holding shoe

Tigist Assefa holding the Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1 v2 (photo courtesy of Adidas/Getty Images)

Tigist Assefa at the finish of the 2023 Berlin Marathon (photo courtesy of Adidas/Getty Images)

Prior to the race, Adidas announced that five of its athletes would be wearing the shoe on the streets of Berlin. Which was true… kind of.

If you looked at last week’s updated list of World Athletics approved shoes, you’d see that Adidas had not one, but two versions of the shoe for the marathon distance: the Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1 and the Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1 v2. 

At first glance, when the top elites were introduced at the start, it appeared everyone was wearing the same shoe.

adidas evo 1 - assefa berlin marathon mens start

Shoes on the feet of the men’s field at the 2023 Berlin Marathon (also peep that new On prototype) / Screenshot taken from the official Berlin Marathon feed

But during the race, we noted one key difference in Assefa’s pair: the outsole. Instead of the new, liquified-looking rubber compound featured on the Evo 1, it looked like the more traditional Continental compound we’ve seen in past race models like the Adios Pro 3. 

Indeed, our suspicions were confirmed after we posted an Instagram reel of Assefa running in the shoe.


View this post on Instagram



While everyone was arguing in the comments about whether or not it was the Evo 1, Evo 2, or Adios Pro 4, Adidas responded directly to one comment with the following response:

So that settled that.

However, the question remained: Why did Assefa run in the v2 model on race day? After all, Adidas claims the new rubber compound is equal to Continental in terms of stickiness and grip in wet conditions.

Our Thoughts on the Shoe

We don’t know for sure, but we do know that during prototyping versions of new shoes, athletes can become attached to certain versions. Maybe a Continental version performed well for her during another race or workout. Or, having run in the Adios Pro 3 for the past couple years (which comes standard with a Continental outsole), she wanted to stick with what’s familiar on such a big stage. While it wasn’t a huge risk, the move likely added around a half-ounce of weight compared to the new rubber on the Evo 1.

Whatever the case, it worked. Assefa absolutely cooked over 26.2 miles. Looking like she was barely breathing, her last two kilometers were run at a 3:02 min/km pace– her fastest splits of the race aside from her 2:59 km split at the 16K mark. In only her third marathon ever, she essentially led from wire-to-wire and went largely unchallenged, finishing over nearly six minutes ahead of the second place woman (Sheila Chepkirui, 2:17:49).

If that’s not marketing gold, we’re not sure what is. 

Interested in buying a pair of the Adidas Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1? You have until September 26 to put your name into the sorting hat for one of the 521 pairs from the initial launch. A second drop will happen in November.

Register to Buy the Evo 1
BITR Website Large - 1600 x 1066 - adidas adizero adios pro evo 1 - tying the shoe

Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. George Harris says:

    They are on eBay for $2800. Wow if I win I don’t want to wear it

  2. Bwise says:

    I find it interesting that more Adidas athletes were not wearing it ? Any insights as to why some of Adidas top runners did not get the shoe?

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Robbe Reddinger
Senior Editor
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Robbe is the senior editor of Believe in the Run. He loves going on weird routes through Baltimore, finding trash on the ground, and running with the Faster Bastards. At home in the city, but country at heart. Loves his two boys more than anything. Has the weakest ankles in the game.

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