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Road Running Shoes • July 2, 2021

Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2 Review

adidas adizero adios pro 2 - feature

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 8.6 oz. (245 g) for US M10.5 / 7 oz. (198 g) for a US W6.5
  • The best iteration of Lighstrike Pro midsole yet (stack height: 39 mm heel/30.5 mm toe)
  • Carbon fiber energyRODS for propulsion
  • Excellent grip from Continental Rubber outsole
  • Available now for $220
  • The bones are their money (and that was the night that the skeletons came to life)

MEAGHAN: The Adidas Adios Adizero Pro 2 (what a freakin’ mouthful) is the latest iteration of adidas’ super fast marathon shoe. I never tried the original but I do know it sold out in like 15 minutes – real Vaporfly vibes. It also broke a bunch of records over the last year. Will V2 live up to the OG hype?

THOMAS: When the super shoe war started, adidas fumbled out of the gate. The adizero Sub 2 was a flop. Various midsole combinations were concocted and failed. Finally, in 2020 adidas released the adizero Adios Pro with a full Lightstrike Pro midsole and carbon fiber rods. The athletes wearing the shoe started breaking world records and a new contender in the super shoe game was making waves. With a solid hit on their hands, adidas got busy refining the shoe. The question is, did they make it better? Is it time to say adios to the first model? 

ROBBE: Thomas and Meaghan covered most of the main details, so let’s get into the bones of this souped-up racer.

The Good

MEAGHAN: On first step-in I would say this shoe feels similar to the Vaporfly, both in the paper-thin upper and general underfoot cushioning. The upper, dubbed Celermesh 2.0, is a partially recycled polyester that is basically see-through. It’s extremely breathable, light and hugs the foot. There is just a touch of padding on the heel, collar and tongue to protect the top of the foot when cinching down the laces. 

Like most super shoes, the Adios Adizero Pro 2 comes with plenty of stack, bumping right up against the ceiling of the World Athletics limits: 39 mm in the heel and 29 mm in the forefoot, for a 10 mm drop. What’s interesting about this shoe is the plate placement. The carbon fiber plate is wedged beneath the heel, but there are also carbon-infused energyRODS that sit beneath the metatarsals. The rods are sandwiched between two layers of Lightstrike Pro, Adidas’ lightest foam.

I’m not sure if it’s a good or bad thing, but the energyRODS were apparent. I could feel them on toe-off more than I notice a typical carbon fiber plate. I took these shoes out for a workout (albeit in 85 degrees with 90% humidity) and they pretty felt good. They’re light, highly cushioned, and fairly responsive. My unisex 6.5 came in right around 7 oz.

THOMAS: The most important things you have to know about a modern marathon racer are:

  1. Is it light?
  2. Is it cushioned?
  3. Is it responsive?
  4. Does the upper disappear while running?
  5. Will I break the two-hour marathon mark?

If all but one of those questions gets a green check, well, you have a gosh darn fine racer on your hands. In this case, the Adios Pro 2 is all systems go.

While some have reported the Adios Pro 2 as lighter than the original, the pair I received is actually slightly heavier. Could be manufacturing differences, but it’s pretty comparable. The Pro 1 weighs 8.3 oz./235 grams and the Pro 2 weighs 8.6 oz./245 grams for a US M10. With the new tooling on the midsole (i.e. foam cutouts), you would think the Adios Pro 2 would be lighter than the original. Both are heavier than the people’s champ, the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% 2 which weighs 7.4 oz. (211 g) for a US M10.5.

The new Celermesh 2.0 is an airy triumph. The structure of the underlays leaves big windows of wide open breathability. It’s like a sunroof for a shoe. The Celermesh is also durable. My normal size is a 10.5, but the size 10 fits well and gives a really nice race fit. The wide flat tongue is thin but adds a pillow of protection to keep the laces from biting. Of all the marathon race day shoes, I have to say that adidas has my favorite collar and heel construction. Overall the foot is well locked down over the midsole.

Lightstrike Pro is a joy underfoot and seems to hold up well over the miles. The feel is similar to the ASICS Metaspeed Sky’s Flytefoam Blast Turbo. It has some give and some bounce without feeling mushy. The carbon plate in the heel adds some stability and the carbon energy rods replace a plate in the forefoot. The designers will tell you the rods mimic your metatarsals and create a more natural independent suspension under foot, the reality is they feel rigid and stiff. It is hard to feel the spring action from them.

Smooth Continental rubber covers the forefoot and is stickier than you might imagine. Traction feels tactile and bites through the toe-off phase of your stride. 

ROBBE: There are a lot of positives to this racer, and it starts with the feeling of the Lightstrike Pro. I’m really not a huge fan of the standard Lightstrike (is anyone, really?), but this iteration of the Lightstrike Pro is ultra-bouncy and responsive without feeling too soft. On step-in, it definitely has shades of the NEXT%. 

Like Thomas, I love the upper of this shoe and feel it’s a better lockdown than some other racers, notably the NEXT%. It also just looks fast and sleek, which hey – who doesn’t want to feel that on race day?

On the run, it does provide a ton of cushion underfoot and can easily handle the marathon distance. The carbon rods are kind of like skeleton fingers, supposed to mimic your own metatarsal alignment. In the words of Tim Robinson: “The bones are the skeleton’s money, in our world bones equal dollars.” And they are. Providing a pop off the toe (which is needed, more on that later).

Continental rubber outsole is super grippy, possibly the best grip in the racer game (though both ASICS and Puma have done a great job with their outsoles as well). 

The shoe really shines when you really pick it up, like at 5k or faster paces. It provides a good exchange during half or marathon paces, but the faster you go, the better it gets.

I will also say that I expected this shoe to be crazy unstable, but to me, the combination of that outsole grip and it’s slim profile helped it handle corners and everything else quite nicely. Now, if you step in a pothole or crack you’re gonna have some issues, but then again, that goes for any high-stack racer.

I should also point out that $220 isn’t bad for this shoe, in comparison to the other top-tier racers that cost 15% more.

Shop Adios Pro 2 – Men Shop Adios Pro 2 – Women adidas adizero adios pro 2 - heel

The Bad

MEAGHAN: I appreciate the midsole cutout for saving weight, but I kind of wish they left it in. I found the heel and forefoot to be a little disjointed. I couldn’t get into a rhythm in this shoe, which took away from the effortless fast paces you expect with a race day shoe. 

I should also note these shoes are not the easiest to get on. You have to really loosen up the laces and then cinch them all back up to get a good fit. Obviously not a deal-breaker, but not my favorite feature when I’m rushing around to get out the door in the morning. 

THOMAS: My biggest turn-off with the adizero adios Pro 2 is the lack of stability cornering or any time I wasn’t on my toes. I have a weak right ankle and the shoe seems to slide out toward the lateral edge when my form got sloppy. Inevitably, my form will break down over the long miles.

Lacing the Pro 2 is a little tricky too. You’ll want to get them on with enough time to do a shake-out mile before the race so that you can make sure you have the right lace set up.

ROBBE: Thomas is right about the lacing, it takes a bit to find the sweet spot. If you’re a heel striker, the shoe could be a bit dangerous because it is certainly unstable with such a narrow width and high stack. 

There’s also something weird about the ride of this shoe, because it seems like it should just pop and roll beautifully, but there is something a bit flat about it. I can’t put my finger on it, but towards the end of a 10-mile run I tried to pick it up to marathon pace and I just felt like it wasn’t rolling the way I’d like. Now, I’m certainly more privy to shoes with a rocker geometry, so it may come down to that preference.

It wasn’t a dealbreaker, I just wanted a bit more than I was getting.

Shop Adios Pro 2 – Men Shop Adios Pro 2 – Women adidas adizero adios pro 2 - outsole

Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2 Conclusion

MEAGHAN: I’ve been enjoying miles in the Adidas Adios Adizero Pro 2. Is it a Nike Vaporfly / Alphafly killer? Not in my opinion. While there are aspects of this shoe I really love, it never truly came together for me. Maybe I need to wait for some cooler temps before I lay down the final judgment, but right now, this isn’t my first pick for race day. 

THOMAS: I would lump the Pro 2 in with the Nike Vaporfly, ASICS Metaspeed Sky, New Balance RC Elite 2, Saucony Endorphin Pro. All of these shoes stand out above the rest on race day. The differences come down to nuance and what you prefer in fit and feel. I enjoyed all my miles in the adizero adios Pro 2. If you’re a 3-stripe fan you will love these. You may want to try a half size down.

ROBBE: To be honest, I’m still rolling with either the NEXT% or Metaspeed Sky on race day, but this is definitely up there. It is a bit confusing, as I feel that this shoe really shines at faster paces, but the cushion is more beneficial for longer distances when that may not be sustainable. Whereas, a shoe like the Endorphin Pro blasts shorter distances though it can be a bit harsh at anything over a half marathon. That said, if you are an adidas fan, I think you’ll really love this shoe. And at $220, it’s certainly a fair value for what you’re getting.

You can pick up the adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2 for $220 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.

Shop Adios Pro 2 – Men Shop Adios Pro 2 – Women

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