Physical Therapists Using Clinical Analysis To Discuss The Art And Science Behind Running and The Stuff We Put On Our Feet

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Adidas Adizero RC Review

(Looking for the latest RC3 review? Find it here at Doctors of Running: RC3 REVIEW)

The Adidas Adizero RC is not the same Adizero RC seen years ago.  This is a Japan, Asia and Europe Adidas Racing flat that is a replacement for the long lost Adizero Rocket.  The RC is not an evolution of the Adidas Aerobounce PR, but a completely separate shoe with inspiration from the Hagio, Rocket and the many predecessors.  A versatile racing and minimal training shoe, let's talk more about a shoe that should be more available in the US.

Specifications (via Runnerinn)
Weight: 7.0 oz (Men's size 9)
Stack Height: 15mm / 8.5 mm
Drop: 6.5 mm
Classification: Racing Flat


The fit is on the snug side and is fairly consistent with most racing shoes.  The toe box tapers but the forefoot mesh still stretches somewhat.  This provides snug hold on the foot that gradually stretches out.  The plastic overlays are noticeable in the forefoot, but do not cause any rubbing issues.  The Adidas logo does a great job along with the laces of locking down the midfoot.   The heel counter is extremely prominent and stiff.  For those that like the additional hold created by a large heel counter (like many older Adidas racers), the Adidas Adizero RC is a great shoe.  For those that have sensitive heels and achilles, this is a shoe you may want to avoid.

Sizing wise these fit true to size.  I wear a size 10 (28.0) and the Adidas Adizero RC fit true to size.  For those that need extra room in this snugger racer, wide versions are sold.  As Japan does wides very well with increased room mostly in the forefoot, this may be a great option for those looking for a little more toe room.  (this shoe is only available outside the US). 


The Bounce foam used in the Adizero RC is on the firmer end in this shoe.  It is not bone crushing like the previous Adiprene shoes and I was able to use this shoe for several short recovery runs (minimal style).  The Bounce foam does actually have some bounce to it when the pace picks up.  As mentioned in the review of the Adidas Adizero Bekoji , the Bounce midsole feels slightly more protective than it does responsive.  For this reason, the Adizero RC will fit a variety of needs.  The midsole is firm enough that speedy runs will go well, but protective enough that some may be able to run long tempos or use it as a minimal trainer.

The midfoot torsion system is extremely stiff.  This provides some additional stability but also creates an rigid ride in the heel and midfoot.  The forefoot is flexible and provides a nice landing spot, but combined with the rigid heel counter, rearfoot landings can be a bit clunky.

The heel drop is listed at 6.5 mm but feels a little higher.  I feel most comfortable training in shoes with a ~8mm drop and I was immediately comfortable doing both short runs and workouts in this shoe. 


Thanks the the stiffness of the midfoot torsion system, the midfoot is very stable.  The rigidity creates enough stability for me that I have been able to use it comfortably as a longer workout shoe.  Overall
due to the stiffness of the heel counter, midfoot and rearfoot, the Adidas Adizero RC is very stable for a racing flat.  It does not have posting of any form, but those needing a little extra stability during long races may want to consider this shoe.   


Although meant as a racing shoe, the Adidas Adizero RC can perform a variety of runs.  The lightweight ride makes it easy to pick up the pace and the Bounce makes for a protective ride over slightly longer runs.  However, the stiffness of the heel and midfoot prevent a smooth and fast ride that I would use for a 5k-10k.  For a 10k-half marathon distance, this shoe will shine for those used to light weight rides.  The midsole however lacks that high level pop I would reach for when speed days come around.  Thanks to the protection from the Bounce, I found the Adizero RC to work far better for tempo runs than intervals.


The outsole of the Adidas Adizero RC is extremely durable.  Like many Adidas shoes, the Adiwear outsole will last for some time.  Despite being a racing shoe, I have almost 60 miles on this shoe with no noticeable wear.  I expect many miles and far more than normal out of these racers.  Although most racing shoes will last for 150-200 miles, these will likely go into the +300 mile range depending on your landing mechanics.


I mention sensitive calcani and Haglund deformities often, but want to dive a bit more into what I mean what I talk about those.  A Haglund deformity, also known as a retrocalcaneal exostosis, is an enlargement of the posterior aspect of the calcaneus where the Achilles tendon inserts.  This condition is still not full understood, but is believed to be caused overuse or over tightness of the gastrocsoleus/Achilles complex.  The enlargement occurs in response to repeated stress from either internal (achilles) or external (shoe) forces.  These enlargements can be aggravated by stiff and rigid heel counters.  Like any tissue of the body, these can become inflamed and sensitive.

Image result for haglund deformity
Image from Medical News Today

For those with this condition, the treatment is usually conservative while others may elect a surgical route (which has a very lengthy recovery and elimination of pain is not promised).  Often though these protrusions are completely asymptomatic, in which case surgery is a very poor idea outside of being cosmetic.  Optimally, you should figure out what may be contributing to this from a biomechanical standpoint and either improve the strength, flexibility or decrease the compensation that is leading to overstressing this tissue.  Although they will never fully go away, reducing the aggravating factors (enough gastrocsoleus length, adequate calf and hip strength, etc) will generally keep these from progressing.

One aggravating factor I mentioned for some is a stiff and rigid heel counter.  Footwear companies are also getting better about putting additional padding in the rearfoot between the counter and the foot, which will further increase comfort.  However in lightweight racing flats, it is still common to have a stiff heel counter with the goal to stabilize the heel in the shoe (whether this actually works or not is up for debate).   So for those with sensitivity back there, looking for shoes that have extra padding in that area or even shoes with minimal or split heel counters is best.  Adidas has been doing a fantastic job in the Solar series with split heel counters that not only eliminate pressure where these deformities are but still hold the foot well from the side!  So there are options out there and you just need to look if this is an issue you have.  To bad they didn't do this with the Adidas Adizero RC, which definitely has a stiff heel counter.  So as I mentioned, for those with sensitivity, this may be a shoe to approach with caution.


The Adidas Adizero RC is a racing shoe for those who need a little more protection and stiffness underfoot.  This shoe will be able to handle the 5k up to and beyond the half marathon.  Thanks to the additional heel drop and Bounce midsole, many will be able to use this as a minimal or lightweight trainer.  For a versatile snug racing and training shoe, check this shoe out.


Fit/Upper          7/10
Ride/Midsole    6/10
Stability            8/10
Speed                7/10
Durability          9/10

Total Score: 74%

Thanks for reading!

Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

Dr. Matthew Klein, PT DPT OCS 
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Kaiser SoCal Manual Therapy and Sport Fellow

***Disclaimer: These shoes were purchased for their full retail price from Global Rakuten.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We put at least 50-75 miles on trainers and 10-25 miles on racing flats prior to reviewing them. Currently I have 60 miles on my pair. My views are based on my extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

1. Kang, S., Thordarson, D., Charlton, T.  (2012).  Insertional Achilles Tendinitis and Haglund's Deformity.  Foot & Ankle International: 33(6): 487-491.  doi: 10/3113/FAI.2012.0487

2. Vaishya, R., Agarwal, A., Azizi, A., Vijay, V. (2016).  Haglund's Syndrome: A Commonly Seen Mysterious Condition.  Cureus: 8(10): e20.  doi: 10.7759/cureus.820

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