The revelation of Adidas’ updated Adizero running line comes at a particularly opportune moment – much like its predecessor last year. We’ve a couple of days into the new new normal, and once again, gyms and fitness studios have reopened. Runners can take to the trails with renewed vigour, unhindered by the crowds recently occupying our island’s network of running paths.
Since last year, the German sports brand’s Adizero Adios Pro has proven its mettle – and then some, with some pretty convincing performances within the half-marathon circuit. The Adizero Adios Pros were the first to cross the finish line, borne by Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir, for two record-breaking women’s half-marathons. Meanwhile, Kibiwott Kandie, a fellow Kenyan, beat his own record by a further 29 seconds.
The Adizero Adios Pro 2 is the brand’s next iteration of their top-of-the-line racing shoe, and it improves on just about all of the tech that made it special in the first place. Their soles, fashioned from Adidas’ proprietary Lightstrike Pro foam, have been remoulded to reinforce energy return just a little further.
Their carbon-infused rods – whose very design is meant to mimic the foot’s metatarsal bones, thereby improving running economy – are now visible thanks to the redesign, though that doesn’t hinder them from providing ultra-lightweight rigidity and energy transfer as the foot lands on the track.
Finally, there’s a new addition of a rubber outsole, outfitted on the shoe’s tip to facilitate greater friction and hence better acceleration, along with a rejigged heel construction that prevents any unwanted slippage – all while shedding a few grams, and feeling comfier to boot. Crucial when you’re getting into the high thirties on race day.
The upper mesh layer has been further optimized for breathability, flexibility and support based on athlete data. It’s also fashioned from partially recycled polyester, which is to be expected from the global push for sustainability, no matter the field.
Apart from their forerunner Adios Pro 2 model, there’s a “boundary-breaking” long-distance running shoe “designed without limitations”, the Adizero Prime X. Yes, it’s everything the Adios Pro 2 is and more, but it’s also race-illegal – the 50mm heel literally breaks the rules by design, thanks to an extra trio of stiffening blades and a full extra 10mm of foam padding. At the very least, it’s a concept shoe that might make for some interesting discussion – especially if it lets a runner break the sub-2-hour marathon once again, without the benefits of an entire Nike team and concerted effort across months.
Other new additions include the Adizero Boston 10, an everyday running shoe that comes with same proprietary foam and carbon rod tech, with a focus on versatility and durability to endure everything from day-to-day speed sessions to weekend long runs.
There’s also the Olympic-only Avanti Track Spike that hopes to conjure up some magic this summer with some snazzy updated tech (fiberglass instead of carbon-infused rods, for one). If said magic does happen in Tokyo, rest assured that the sports brand will find some way to spread their love to speed-loving fans.
They haven’t quite managed to topple the goliath that is Nike in the marathon space, but they’re making inroads – not just in controlled, R&D sessions banged out on the treadmill, but at the races as well. How exciting.