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Road Running Shoes • January 6, 2022

Adidas Adistar Review: Big, Bold, and Beautiful

adidas adistar cover

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 11.2 oz. (317 g.) for a US M9 / 10.0 oz. (283 g.) for a US W8
  • An absolute beauty of a single-speed daily trainer
  • Heavy, but we just can’t seem to quit on it
  • Available now at Running Warehouse for $130

THOMAS: Adidas has been putting out some of the best-looking running shoes on the road and the trails. However, performance-wise we have had some hits and some misses. Hits include the Takumi Sen 8 which, is one of my all-time favorite Adidas shoes. On the other hand, the Prime X and the adios Pro 2 did not work for me for several reasons, mostly stability issues. Meg had received the Adistar daily trainer nearly two weeks before my pair arrived for testing. Her initial feedback was lukewarm, so I was not expecting much from the shoe. But, it turns out, I am glad I gave the shoe a try.

MEAGHAN: I’m one of those weirdos who never really loved Adidas shoes. They obviously make great shoes and sponsor some of the best athletes in the world, but I never found a shoe that really shined for me. When the Adistar arrived, I was sure that was about to change in all its beautiful-thick-stack glory. But, looks can be deceiving. Did I finally find my goldilocks Adidas shoe? You’re about to find out.

adidas adistar angle

The Good

THOMAS: Out of the box, the Adistar looks fantastic. It has that thick chonky boi midsole with the two-tone split between the heel and the forefoot, a slightly retro-looking mesh upper, with a padded tongue that probably hasn’t changed that much throughout the last decade. The legacy blue paired with the darker periwinkle and fluorescent stripes look good on every shoe Adidas has employed it on this season. The Adistar is no exception.

Not only does the upper look good, but it is also made from 50% recycled sea plastic and 50% recycled polyester. Who cares what it is made from if the upper doesn’t secure the foot. With the integrated cage system, think hammock or taco wrapped around the foot secured by the laces, the upper fits like a comfy glove. The ample padding in the tongue and heel counter add to the luxurious feel of the Adistar.

Moving down to the midsole that uses two foams, Repetitor and Repetitor+. Repetitor is soft and forgiving, while the Repetitor+ is a brick. In this case, it works. The cement-like Repetitor+ adds stability to the heel and kicks off the rockered feel of the shoe. The Adistar is a 37.5 mm stack in the heel and 31.5mm in the toe (6mm drop). With that kind of stack, it needs the stability of the firmer heel. Running in the shoe, I felt the rocker even though I land closer to the forefoot. I love an excellent toe spring, and the Adistar delivers. The cushioning married to the Repetitor foam worked well on my long slow distance (LSD) miles. There is a ton of support and cushioning. When I say a ton, remember that for the bad section.

Finally, Adidas polishes off the Adistar with a grippy layer of Continental rubber. Besides traction, the rubber will give you lots of durable miles. After 30 miles in the shoe, I could wipe them off, and the rubber would look unworn.

The price of the Adistar is also fair at $130.

adidas adistar heel

MEAGHAN: As mentioned in my intro, this shoe is a beaut. The upper is an engineered mesh, adorned with the classic Adidas stripes on each side. A fun little fact about those stripes — back in the day, they were meant to convey the company’s international appeal by symbolizing the three major landmasses where Adidas’ shoes were sold: North America, Europe, and Asia.

But anyway, as Thomas noted, the upper is made from recycled materials and designed with an internal support cage. It does a really nice job of locking the foot down comfortably. The padding on the tongue and heel is pretty extreme. It’s a plush step-in feel, which is always nice, and the fit was near perfect. They accommodate my wide feet just fine.

Beneath the foot is a giant slab of Repetitor with some Repetitor+ foam in the heel. While it looks like a classic HOKA and even comes with that rocker geometry, it’s not quite as forgiving. As Thomas noted, the Repetitor+ foam in the heel is basically a brick, but it does add some stability.

Shop Adidas Adistar – Men Shop Adidas Adistar – Women adidas adistar top

The Bad

THOMAS: I like the Ultraboost, but as lighter weight foams came out, Adidas got blasted for the weight. The Ultraboost was in the mid 11 oz. range. As Adidas starts to retire Boost in the performance line, you would think they would look for ways to make their foams lighter and more responsive like their competitors. Unfortunately, the Adistar is even heavier than the Ultraboost at 12 oz. (341 g.) for a size 10.5. That is an insane weight for a trainer these days. Here is the weird thing: usually, I would dismiss a shoe this heavy out of hand, but the experience of running in the shoe was so smooth that I didn’t notice the extreme weight. I did my miles before I put the shoes on the scale. I would have guessed they were high 10 to low 11 oz. shoes.

MEAGHAN: This is not my goldilocks shoe. I was craving some softer cushioning from the Adistar. After all, it’s intended for long, slow runs. When I’m on my feet for hours at a time, I don’t love a firm shoe underfoot. I want something responsive and soft(ish), which I just didn’t get.

The Adistar is not a light shoe. It might be one of the heaviest shoes I’ve worn in a long time. I mean, even the HOKA Bondi X is lighter. And that thing has a thick stack AND a plate. All that to say, my W7.5 came in at 9.9oz!

Shop Adidas Adistar – Men Shop Adidas Adistar – Women adidas adistar sole

Adidas Adistar Conclusion

THOMAS: The Adistar is a good cruising trainer. This shoe does the trick if you want a one-speed long mile trainer. You’ll want to keep the Adistar around long after you’ve gotten your running miles out of them. They are so good-looking that they will no doubt be part of your wardrobe. Another bonus, the high stack will get you those extra inches you always wanted. I’d say it is comparable to a Hoka, just heavier and firmer.

MEAGHAN: The Adidas Adistar is a beautiful-looking trainer that I can’t seem to quit. Despite not really liking the ride, I still find myself lacing these up from time to time. If you’ve been looking for a firmer HOKA, this might be your next shoe. And, at $130, they’re a pretty good deal.

You can pick up the Adidas Adistar for $130 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.

Shop Adidas Adistar – Men Shop Adidas Adistar – Women


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