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Road Running Shoes • January 8, 2020

Adidas Adizero Adios 5 vs. Adidas Adizero RC 2 Review

adidas adizero RC 2

What You Need To Know

  • Both are lightweight racing shoes
  • Adios 5 weighs an ounce more than the RC 2
  • Main difference lies in the BOOST vs. Lightstrike midsoles
  • Both shoes look sharp, like a shark out for blood… cue Jaws theme swimming

THOMAS: Typically, we don’t review two shoe models in the same review, but the Adizero RC 2 and the Adizero Adios 5 are like twins separated at birth. We’re all about keeping the ‘fam’ in family, so we’re conjoining them back together at the hip… or something. Tag Ellen, this is gonna be special.

Let’s get some technical details out of the way. A lot of the similarities happen in the upper. Both the RC 2 and the Adios 5 have Celermesh upper, which is essentially a breathable mesh.

The midsole and outsole are where the shoes split up. The ride is the same, but the Adios 5 is less harsh with the combo of BOOST and Lightstrike (EVA). Lightstrike isn’t exactly brand-new since adidas has been using it in their basketball shoes for the last year, but it’s new to the running segment. The RC 2 midsole is made up of only Lightstrike foam, no BOOST.

The Adios 5 has the premium Continental rubber on the outsole, while the RC 2 has adidas’ basic rubber (even though Continental Stretchweb rubber is listed on adidas’ website as an RC 2 feature). Both shoes have adidas’ Torsion System which stabilizes the midsole and acts as an external plate.

The Adios 5 weighs in at 8.35 oz/238g for a size US M10.5, not exactly flyweight for a racer, but feels fast and light on the foot. The RC 2 without BOOST sheds almost an ounce, weighing in at 7.5 oz/213 grams.

The Adios 5 has a 9.5 mm drop and the RC 2 has a 10mm drop, but I beg you to tell the difference. The weird thing is, with the BOOST in the heel of the Adios 5, it felt higher drop to me.

Anyway, on to the review.

adidas Adizero Adios 5

adidas Adizero Adios 5

The Good

THOMAS: Both the RC 2 and the Adios 5 uppers breathe extremely well. There are some minor differences in the pattern, and the lacing has more notches in the Adios 5. Fit on both of the shoes is dialed in and the toe down look is pure speed. The shoes look like running shoes should, like throwing knives or great white sharks. Stuff that Napoleon Dynamite would be really into.

Besides looking good, the fit is true to size and are surprisingly comfortable around the tongue, collar, and heel counter. It would seem like a trivial thing, but the attached (stitched on lateral side) tongue in the RC 2 and the slightly less padded (but held in place with elastic on both sides tongue) of the Adios 5 are two of the most efficient and comfortable tongues I have had in a shoe for a while now.

Best of all these shoes make you want to go fast. My pace was faster than normal at the same effort level.

adidas Adizero RC 2

adidas Adizero RC 2

ROBBE: I actually only got the adidas Adizero RC 2, so I will only speak to it. Like Thomas said, it looks like a fast shoe on the feet. This counts for something, in my opinion. The overall lockdown and fit of the upper is solid, I have no complaints with it.

The outsole rubber on these (though not sure if it’s Continental) was much appreciated. I felt super secure when taking turns on sidewalks or pavement. It’s always nice to have a light shoe with good grip.

Now the RC 2 is more of a budget shoe, which isn’t a bad thing. It comes in at $99.95 ($40 less than the Adios 5), while weighing an ounce less than the Adios 5 well.

Lastly, it’s a pretty good looking shoe! I liked the neon orange colorway even though my brother-in-law made fun of me for it over Christmas while wearing a Philadelphia Eagles hoodie.

Shop Adios 5 – US Shop RC 2 – US


adidas Adizero Adios 5 Outsole

adidas Adizero Adios 5 Outsole

The Bad

THOMAS: I have gotten spoiled with lightweight cushioned racers. The harshness of the old-style racing flats doesn’t work as well for me these days. It could be a combo of knowing what a high cushioned racer feels like and the fact that I am getting older and need a softer ride. I ran a marathon in the first Adios with BOOST. I don’t think I could handle that distance in them now, however, I did a 10-mile run in the Adios 5 and wasn’t too beat up. The price point between the two shoes seems hard to justify, you are basically paying $40 more for BOOST and Continental rubber. The Adios 5 is $140, the RC 2 is $100.

ROBBE: Like Thomas said, the RC 2 is a firm shoe, more like a traditional racing flat. You definitely feel the road. And that’s fine, especially if that’s what you’re used to. In that case, the security of the upper and outsole, in addition to the light weight, may be all you need.

All that to say, the Lightstrike foam in the RC 2 isn’t exactly bouncy, so if you’re used to BOOST, you may be disappointed.

This may just be me, but I also felt the shoe ran a tad long. One more thing– the faux-distressed three stripe on the outside of the upper looks very ‘00s-ish. I hated the look so much that I Sharpie-d in the stripes solid black and it 100% looks better.

Shop Adios 5 – US Shop RC 2 – US


adidas Adizero RC 2 Outsole

adidas Adizero RC 2 Outsole

Adidas Adizero Adios 5 vs. Adidas Adizero RC 2 Conclusion

THOMAS: It came down to a race day decision, the RC 2 came in a coral/bright orange color that looks fast, and the Adios 5 came in a grey/less exciting color. I slipped one of each of the shoes onto my feet and jogged a little to see which I would choose for the New Year’s Day 5K. I wanted the bright color to win, but the Adios 5 had just a little more tackiness and bounce. I chose the Adios 5 for the race. During the race, turnover felt smooth and quick, in the last mile I was missing some of the pop I have become used to with shoes like the Vaporfly.

If you like a more minimal trainer with a fast feel for workouts and racing both the RC 2 and Adios 5 will suit you. I do like both shoes better than the Skechers GOmeb Speed 6 Hyper, and the Saucony Type A9 which are direct competitors.

ROBBE: While I haven’t worn the Adios 5, I would say if you’re looking for a typical racing flat for half marathon and under, where you can just rip the road, then the RC 2 is a solid option. Especially if you want a racing flat that’s slightly more durable on a budget.

You can pick up the shoes at Running Warehouse US or Europe by using the links below.

Shop Adios 5 – US Shop RC 2 – US



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