2021 Review of adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2
The Adizero Adios Pro 2 are another iteration of responsive carbon sole technology in a FAST, endurance racing shoe, this is my review of the best race legal option from adidas. More than that, adidas adds in their Lightstrike Pro sole formulation which despite its softness, potentially adds more speed.
You’ve heard a lot about Nike VaporFly/AlphaFly because they are great shoes. However, don’t get too carried away and dismiss adidas. These adidas racers are significantly cheaper and yet have still delivered world records.
Verdict: Up their with the very fastest but cheaper
Price/Value - 90%90%
Comfort - 100%100%
Cushioning - 95%95%
Durability? - 80%80%
Design - 80%80%
Opinion: Decent long-distance runners will run faster and the price is worth it. Definitely get a pair of these over the Hoka Carbon X 2 if the Vaporfly prices scare you.
The new adidas Adios Pro 2 has many small changes to its design elements and overall it’s the same kind of shoe giving the same kinds of benefits as what was there before. Namely a race-legal, highly cushioned and fast race shoe that’s imminently suited to fast runners both in training and on race day over any endurance distance.
There are many interesting aspects of shoe tech on show here, however, it’s the partially visible carbon rods in the sole that attract the most interest from runners. I’m just not convinced that it’s the carbon that makes me faster. It could be but I just feel the free speed comes from the adidas Lightstrike Pro foam sole.
With the Adizero Adios Pro 2, adidas chose to price at a competitive level for this kind of shoe. Sure it’s expensive but free speed comes at a financial cost and in this case, that cost is lower than for the same kinds of performance benefits that you will get with Nike and some other brands.
I have ZERO issues with these shoes and I intend to use them for all of my training on smooth roads until they fall to pieces! I’ll use them in some races too but sometimes I will use my Vaporflys. You can use the Pro 2s in good track and trail conditions but I’m just going to avoid that and instead use shoes with a better tread pattern.
- Holds the foot well
- Great fit & comfort for me
- Super cushioning for all runners
- VaporFly faster for some types of runners?
- I’m unconvinced that these kinds of shoes will help slower runners run faster. Though they will still benefit from the awesome cushioning.
A few months back, I started out by rotating my Hoka Rincon and Nike VaporFly shoes and both offer good cushioning but the Nikes are definitely a tad faster for me. The Rincon loses cushioning faster over time, presumably as the sole materially gradually becomes more compounded and compressed thus in relative terms my VaporFly continued to feel better and faster. Moving on from those shoes my brand new pair of Adios Pro 2s has been added into my rotation mix and they immediately feel super soft and with superior cushioning to the Nike. But is that simply because they are newer?
Looking at my paces more objectively, the Vaporfly seems to have settled down to a lower performance level than when new. Perhaps the performance of Nike’s Pebax foam deteriorates? These adidas shoes are similarly fast on the road but seem to slow disproportionately on anything but the firmest of surfaces.
Adios Pro 2 Wear & Feel
The adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2 feel a bit weird…but in a nice way.
The upper material is like a stretchable plastic with a myriad of tiny holes. Imagine perforated kitchen cling film, just quite a bit thicker. The material is unusual but good. It is very lightweight, semi-transparent and breathable upper
The tongue has a surprisingly stretchy feel as you put your feet in. It needs to be as space is tight, sure you can loosen the laces and yank out each side of the shoe to create more room for your foot but you’re still somewhat limited and, consequently, it’s a nice snug fit when you are finally in and laced up.
I put my shoes on when I’m sitting down. Hey, they just feel like running shoes right?
Then you stand up.
The soles of these shoes are super comfy and, unusually in my experience, the bounciness is significant under the forefoot as well as at the heel yet I’d say the Vaporfly has more forefoot cushioning.
When walking, the heel feels slightly strange; the outer edge of the sole at the heel is cut away at an angle and when walking this pushes your heel and ankles outward slightly. It’s almost as if they are trying to counteract pronation…yet these are neutral running shoes.
I have relatively wide forefeet for my size but even with my orthotics, there is enough wiggle room at the toe and plenty of width too. Perhaps they are a tad on the short side or just normal size for adidas!
Next to each side of your heel, there is a slightly grippy strip of material which, when combined with a little bit of rigidity right at the rear of the heel, enables you to feel at least some support and security.
The shoes feel light and at 227g, I guess they are light.
They feel pretty stable in a normal kinda way. Unlike the Vaporfly which just feel downright weird.
The heel cutaway I mentioned earlier cannot really be felt when running, as you would expect they run true.
I didn’t feel that the Pro 2’s in any way overly encouraged me forwards to toe-off in any magical way. #JustNormal. That said the springiness in the entire sole is nice and that did give extra oomph to my normal gait.
Anecdote: With the help of my Adios Pro 2, I recently ran my fastest 5k parkrun for a couple of years at Bush Park, UK. Overall the shoes probably gave me at least 10 seconds compared to my Rincons. On a good day, Bushy Park’s conditions range from grass to hard dirt and from smooth tarmac to light & hard gravel. It’s a flat, fast course but the conditions make for an interesting comparison between the surface types at a near maximal effort. The shoes almost certainly had the extra bounce on all the surfaces. As you would expect, the most noticeable bounce comes when leaving the grass to a hard path. You can really notice the change in the bounce in a positive and reassuring way. There’s no issue wearing the Pro 2s on hard, compact light gravel or even relatively hard, flat grass but I don’t fancy using them flat out on uneven ground or slightly muddy ground, the grip just isn’t there when there is no tarmac. And the next day? The impact from a hard 5k plays havoc with my body but the cushioning in these adidas shoes definitely made the effort kinder to my legs.
Anecdote: On a 5:00/km 10-miler and with me weighing in at 71kg, these felt stable enough but there is a hint of instability the slower you go and also a hint that ‘it’s not making much difference to your speed’. On a constantly paced run you can focus on the minutae of your technique and I could sense the carbon rods were not quite transitioning me as smoothly as I hoped through to toe-off. They were fine but would you take your Ferrari out on a grocery shopping trip?
Adios Pro 1 vs. Pro 2.
The differences are largely irrelevant as you soon won’t be able to buy V1. I’ve not used the first version in any case but the consensus appears to be that these are slightly improved in multiple areas.
The midsole foam is partially carved out, the upper material is changed; the sole rubber is changed too and increased in depth at the toe. There are many small changes that essentially add up to a different shoe that still gives a similar running feel to what came before.
adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2 vs adidas Adizero Prime X
The headline differences with the adidas Prime X are that: it is NOT race legal; it’s a more expensive shoe £220/$250; the sole is notably thicker with a deeper tread; and it might be faster. It’s my next pair of running shoes.
adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2 vs Nike Vaporfly
There are so many differences between the adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2 and the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2 that it’s difficult to know where to start. That said, the endpoint is that they are the same kind of shoe designed for the same kind of runner, running the same kinds of races and they will both deliver a similar performance gain.
Competitor’s Carbon Plate Shoes
These all have carbon plate tech of some sort
- Adidas Adizero Pro (discontinued)
- BUY: Adidas Adizero Adios Pro (discontinued) – novel carbon rods and a small carbon plate deliver a fast shoe at all distances. A contender for the best marathon shoe.
- BUY: Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2 (current) – novel carbon rods and a small carbon plate deliver a fast shoe at all distances. A contender for the best marathon shoe.
- BUY: Adidas Adizero Prime X
- BUY: Asics Metaracer (current) – built more for shorter distance speed over 5k and 10k
- Asics METASPEED Sky – helps runners who get faster by increasing their stride. Due 2021
- Asics METASPEED Edge – helps runners who get faster by increasing their stride and cadence. Due 2021
- Brooks Hyperion Elite (discontinued)
- BUY: Brooks Hyperion Elite 2 (current) – At £210 this is over-priced and not as good as cheaper shoes. Give it a miss.
- Hoka’s Carbon X (V1, 2019, discontinued)
- BUY: Carbon X 2
- BUY: Hoka Rocket X (current) – At £140 this is a sensible performance all-rounder for training fast and for your B race.
- BUY: New Balance FuelCell RC Elite – A top-level 5K to marathon racer at £210.
- BUY: New Balance FuelCell TC – At £180 you would use this in rotation as a training shoe as you aim to use the ELITE version for your Races.
- BUY: Nike AlphaFly NEXT% 2 A marathon PB shoe that’s more for the masses but rarely in stock and £260. This is heavier, costlier and bulkier than the Vaporfly, possibly less stable too.
- BUY: Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% – A soft, super-cushioned ride for your A race, providing it’s on the road. If you can find some restricted stock and have £240 to blow, get a pair. Great for all the longer distances but AlphaFly edges it for a marathon if you have the choice.
- BUY: Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2 – Same sole as the Next% and different upper. Different price…CHEAPER at £209. I’m going to get a pair for an HIM.
- BUY: On Cloudboom – a firm ride for 10k and 5k and probably over-priced at £170
- BUY: On Cloudboom – a firm ride for HM and Marathon and probably over-priced at £160
- BUY: Saucony Endorphin Pro – a much, much better choice for a firmer shoe over long distances than the On Cloud. £190
- BUY: Puma Deviate Nitro Elite £170
Note: All buy links go to the manufacturer/brand site.
adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2 Specifications
|Heel to toe drop||10 mm|
|Heel stack height||39.5 mm|
|Forefoot stack height||29.5 mm|
|Pronation||No, Neutral. Can take orthotics|
|Features||Carbon Rods, Rocker|
|Weight (men/women)||215 g|
|Fit||Wide, come up very slightly short IMO. Others say slightly long. Others say manufacturing tolerances.|
|Distance||Mid to Long: 10K to Marathon, 5K fine too|
|Workout||Race, threshold workouts|
|Weather||Nicely ventilated for hot days|
|Bounce||Very bouncy when walking, slightly less so when running|
|Softness||Very soft, forefoot feels less soft when running|
|Stability||Stable, seem to roll heel slightly outward when walking, fine when running anything but slow|
|Midsole||Energy Rods, Lightstrike Pro Cushioning|
|Outsole||Continental gives some grip despite virtually no tread pattern. Will it last? Hmmm, not sure.|
|Upper||Celermesh 2.0, plastic-like, light and semi-transparent|
|Colourways||3x Cloud White / Carbon / Solar Red|
|Launch Price @rrp||$219, £179|
I’ve not noticed any pacing or distance differences with Stryd (Stryd Detailed Review) although I would say the adidas laces are very thin and you might need to span the Stryd over more laces than normal.
adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2 Review – Take Out
They’re good, buy some.
If you can’t run 5K in 25 minutes they definitely not for you. Perhaps for those of you running 10k in less than 45 minutes, you will progressively notice the awesomeness of the adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2 the faster you run…providing you run on road-like surfaces.
They’re fine in the wet and they are equally as fine on your bank balance.
adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2 – Discount, Price & Availability
adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2 shoes can be hard to find and it took me several weeks to get a pair in my size from my preferred retailer.
It’s hard to get a discount on the adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2 although I did notice that Wiggle had a 5% discount on the previous model at the time of writing.