Adidas Adizero Pro Performance Review
THOMAS: Certain adidas models have hit me in the sweet spot in the past, the way a Miller High Life with Aperol sets off a summer evening just right. (For non-Baltimoreans, I’m talking about Wet City’s spaghett, a.k.a. the poor man’s Aperol Spritz). I know this is a shoe review, but you’ll thank me later.
Anyway, in the past, the Boston has always been a solid shoe and the OG Energy Boost still retains legendary status in my mind. But I’ve struggled with some of adidas’ latest offerings, including this year’s Adios and RC 2. Lightstrike foam just hasn’t been my bed of choice and hasn’t seem like a worthy successor to Boost. So I didn’t have high hopes for the Adizero Pro, a lightweight, up-tempo shoe meant for snappy and responsive rides.
Quick rundown: The Adizero Pro is a lightweight tempo shoe featuring a Lightstrike/Boost midsole mix with a carbitex (i.e. carbon) plate for a more propulsive toe-off. The Celermesh upper (also featured in the UltraBoost PB) is super light and ultra-breathable and is adidas’ thinnest mesh ever. My size 10.5 fit true to size, and weighed 8.95 oz (253 grams). Drop is 10 mm (21.5 in heel, 12 mm in toe).
I’ll give you the good news right up front: all the ingredients came together in the Adizero Pro to make it a fantastic up-tempo trainer.
DAVE: “Straight up now tell me do you wanna love me forever.” Paula Abdul said that in 1988, and I still run that line past my wife every day, just to make sure we’re good.
I’m an Adi fan boi. I’ll admit it. Some will eternally bend the knee to the goddess Nike while others live in the New York kingdom of Saucony. Me? I prefer some Adolf Dassler (a.k.a. the good German Adolf). So my expectations for this shoe were like the song above. I wanted this to be a romance forever. To be swept off my feet, like having a barstool pulled out from under you at a booze shack in Southie Mass.
Well, we piss away a lot of dreams. Either my pair was defective in the right shoe, or this thing is just really horrible with my mechanics.
Stay awake. I’ll get to the point.
THOMAS: Let’s start with the midsole. The Boost gives you a soft, responsive landing with a little bounce, the Lightstrike adds some structure and firmness, while the carbon plate adds the snappy toe-off. It’s a pretty good three-part harmony.
On the outsole, adidas used Continental rubber on the toe, combined with exposed Boost and Lightstrike, and ADIWEAR rubber on the heel. Throw on some grippy numbs, and between the midsole and the outsole, the runner gets treated to soft (but not sloppy) landings, explosive toe-toe off, and reliable traction. You might have guessed; I enjoyed the ride of this shoe. But what about the upper?
Don’t downplay the importance of how a running shoe looks. Psychologically, if a shoe looks fast, it gives the runner a signal that this is a fast shoe, and maybe they are faster in the shoe. The upper on the Adizero Pro is one of the best-looking I have seen this year, and the more I wore it, the more I fell in love with the look. The Celermesh upper with the internal grid system is supportive while being extremely breathable. Celermesh is like a soft fly screen with an inner grid; the grid gives the mesh structure and feels gentle against the foot.
The tongue is attached on both sides and wraps completely under the medial side and disappears under a glued-in footbed. The foot is wrapped and secure in this tongue. Pillowy pods are strategically placed to add comfort, and the tongue does not move around under the thin flat laces. Light padding around the collar and heel counter round off the upper.
The midsole, outsole, and the upper all work well together in the Adizero Pro.
DAVE: To me, the Adizero Pro looked like a souped-up SL 20 in terms of geometry. A shoe that was a little loud and slappy due to Lightstrike (I’m still a Boost fan) but has worked very well in logging some bigger miles this summer. So the last of this shoe feels like a lot like the SL 20 if anyone reading this has worn it, and that’s a good thing. It’s just more locked-in via the internal grid system that enhances better lockdown. I like to be locked and loaded in a shoe whether it’s for training, or racing. The Adizero Pro does that.
Bueller, Bueller? Yeah, that’s all I got.Shop Adizero Pro – Men Shop Adizero Pro – Women
THOMAS: Some people may complain about the glued in footbed. adidas says the Adizero PRO is built on a medium last; to me, this shoe is best suited for runners with feet on the more-narrow side of the charts. My narrow, high-arched foot loved the fit. Wider foot folk may not enjoy the racer fit.
DAVE: Lightstrike/Plate Combo: Extremely stiff underfoot, combined with the “overall dullness” of Lightstrike, I didn’t find this shoe to do really anything special. The plate was extremely rough. Almost possibly defective, as two runs in I began to develop a “bubble” like feeling in the plate, right under the meat and potatoes area of my foot in the right shoe. The plate also flared up some med heads. In turn, my right foot fell asleep on every single testing run, including slower paces, and a Fartlek and some post-run strides. Overall, I was disappointed.
Let’s go back to Boost. I doubt you may even need a plate. Use this “last” combined with a higher tongue, and run with it via Boost, or a firmed up Boost with some Skechers’ Hyper Burst qualities.
The tongue is so short that it doesn’t even cover the crest of your foot. In turn, laces lay on your socks and will eventually rub to create a blister. I caught some hot spots on both feet after my maiden voyage run. This potentially is a problem area if you were to race a marathon in this shoe (more on that below). Thomas sees the promised land, I see blister city.
Lastly, it needs more underfoot. If this shoe was, in fact, runnable, I would want more underfoot. It’s so loud, excessively firm and slappy that I cannot see myself running more than a half marathon in it. Stacks of 12 mm in the forefoot just don’t feel good over longer distances for me.Shop Adizero Pro – Men Shop Adizero Pro – Women
THOMAS: If you have read my sections above, you will not be surprised to learn that I loved getting miles in on this shoe for the review. I was surprised to read some other reviews that were not enjoying the trainer. I guess that the expectations for the shoe were tainted by thinking this was adidas’ super shoe/Vaporfly/AlphaFly competitor. This is not that shoe.
The adidas Adizero ADIOS PRO is the max cushioned racer, coming sometime soon. The Adizero PRO is more comparable to the Saucony Endorphin Speed, Nike Zoom Fly, Brooks Hyperion Tempo, and the ASICS Metaracer. I found the Adizero PRO comfortable enough for daily runs and responsively sufficient for confident speed workouts. I am spoiled by the Vaporfly and the Endorphin Pro for marathon racing. Still, if you want something slightly less expensive and more versatile, I would recommend trying out the adidas Adizero PRO.
DAVE: So, I’m really not sure what to think of this shoe honestly. I possibly had a defective pair. But it also causes me to wonder if I need all the help mechanically from some of these super shoes. I’ll fully admit I feel great in my go-to Vaporfly 4% and Skechers Speed Elite 2, but both of those boast a far better midsole. This Adizero Pro does not. Maybe, just quite possibly, Lightstrike is ruining adidas for me (like it ruined the Boston 8) when it comes to some of the products they now offer.
Thomas and I mostly agree on shoes, some we don’t. I know he totally dug this shoe. So do not let me review scare you away. I think there may have been some monkey business going on in my pair. But hey, at least you know we’re honest.
Still into it?
You can pick up the adidas Adizero Pro for $180 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.Shop Adizero Pro – Men Shop Adizero Pro – Women
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Carbitex is a company. Not the name of their carbon plate..
This review format needs some work. Neither creative nor entertaining to blab on with bad song references and throwing in the fan boi garbage, it read as if you were asked to write a 500 word essay but got stuck after 30. The good news is there’s room for improvement. If you’d thrown “mindful” and “curated” a bit, you’d really pull in the gen z readers.