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Adidas Adizero Pro Multiple Tester Review

After a long period of waiting and secrecy, the Adidas Adizero Pro comes to the market. The shoe features a dual midsole of Boost and Lightstrike with a Carbitex carbon fiber plate to help with propulsion. With the intention of joining the "super shoe" group of marathon racers, the Adizero Pro gives a unique ride that can tackle 26.2 miles and even daily training for some.


Specifications (per Running Warehouse)
Weight: 8.3 oz (men's size 9)
Measured Weights: 8.7 oz (men's size 10), 8.3 oz (men's 9.5)
Stack Height: 32mm / 22 mm
Drop: 10 mm
Classification: Carbon Fiber Plated Marathon Racer


HIGHLIGHTS

Matt: The long awaited Adidas Adizero Pro arrives. I wanted this shoe to disappoint me (because I didn't want to spend $180), but it impressed the heck out of me. A super smooth Celermesh upper disappears on the foot despite fitting just a hair long. The combination of Boost and Lightstrike work super well to create a cushioned, stable and bouncy ride. With plenty of cushioning, the Adizero Pro will work as a long distance/marathon racing shoe, a workout workhorse and a lightweight trainer for some. Featuring the most balanced carbon fiber plate and ride of any shoe yet, the Adizero Pro has a few unique personalities that are well worth checking out.


David: Coming in with a bouncy yet firm ride (compared to the other marathon racers), the Adizero Pro creates a unique experience. The shoe features a dual midsole with Boost in the heel and midline of the foot and with Lightstrike along the medial and lateral aspects of the shoe as well as a Carbitex carbon fiber multidirectional plate for propulsion. The shoe provides a little more "structure" and lockdown for those who like that especially for longer distance races.


FIT

Matt: The Adidas Adizero Pro fits just slightly long in my normal size 10. A thick pair of socks easily solves this problem. For those looking for a snug fit, going down a half size would not be a terrible idea. I however have done fine in my normal size 10. The single layer Celermesh is super thin but super secure. This is one of the better uppers I have experienced. Very comfortable and totally disappears when you start running. There is an extremely small heel counter just at the posterior most aspect of the rearfoot in this shoe, yet the heel is very secure and hugs the foot well. The tongue is connected to the medial side with an mesh that hugs the arch of the foot well and prevents any slippage. The forefoot fits fairly snug and secure but isn't tight. The midfoot is also secure, but meshes with the foot well. The heel just completely disappears. It is very secure and I have not had to lace lock the shoe. The lack of a significant heel counter is amazing for those with sensitive heels and continues to prove you don't need a massive one (or one at all often) for rearfoot security.


David: Still one of my favorite uppers from the RC 2 the Adizero Pro uses the Celermesh upper that is virtually weightless and see through. Even with the minimal weight it is reinforced well. The shoe does fit a little long like most Adidas shoes and could be sized down a half size if you like a snug fit. The tongue is snug to the dorsum of the foot without putting too much pressure, creating a very nice hold on the foot. The midfoot is held very well. The heel is a little on the wide side with a thin counter following midline. I did not have any problems with slippage or movement however. The shoe also has extra eyelets laterally for those looking to lock the laces down further.



RIDE

Matt: The Adizero Pro has a few personalities when it comes to ride. It is one of the most stable rides by far of the carbon fiber shoes with the soft Boost surrounded by Lightstrike. Yet the combination of Boost, Lightstrike and the Carbitex plate provide a soft ride at slower speeds and a firmer bouncy ride at faster speeds. Although there is some mild posterior heel flare, there is enough of a posterior-lateral heel bevel combined with very soft Boost that heel landings are SUPER smooth. The heel is on the softer side but transitions into a slightly firmer midfoot and forefoot thanks to the plate and Continental rubber outsole.  The transition is extremely smooth and definitely transitions forward well. Despite feeling like I was slapping the ground during easier runs, the ride still felt smooth from heel to toe. Getting onto the forefoot feels equally as good with a quick and stable transition through the mid/forefoot thanks to the slightly wider and consistent outsole (no narrow midfoot here). Despite a plate, the forefoot feels decently flexible through the Boost, Lightstrike and plate. The plate engages much more at moderate to high speeds, yet seems to disappear and get out of the way at slower paces. There is a 10mm drop, but thanks to the compression of the sole can feel lower than that. To me, the heel never got in the way and was very smooth.


David:
The ride of the Adizero Pro is an interesting one. It is very stable with a good amount of bounce, however not as plush as the other marathon racers on the market. The Boost foam covers the heel and goes along the midline of the shoe throughout creating a softer and bouncy sensation. The Lightstrike foam lines the medial and lateral sides of the shoe like a guiderail without being overbearing in any way while also keeping some snap in the shoe. The main event of the shoe is the Carbitex plate though. There is no major toe spring to the shoe but the carbon fiber plate is flexible enough with enough spring in it to really push the cadence when the pace heats up. For those who land more rearfoot and midfoot, the shoe is really smooth with a little bit of pop. The shoe is also beveled well with a posterior lateral direction to smooth out the landing even more. Overall, the shoe has a great ride and runs lighter than what it weighs.


STABILITY

Matt: The Adizero Pro takes the medal as the most stable carbon fiber plated shoe I have run in. The midfoot does NOT narrow out and is fairly wide for a racing shoe. The medial mesh attached the the tongue hugs the arch very well. The Carbitex plate sitting right under the forefoot provides a stable footbed. The combination of Lightstrike surrounding the Boost provides a super stable ride as the soft Boost is contained well. As David mentioned earlier, this provides a full length guiderail effect. This effectively helps center the foot through the entire gait cycle. I was extremely surprised when I first put these on. Despite the big chunk of Boost in the heel, the slightly wider outsole and quick transition, the Adizero Pro feels cushioned and stable. The wider midfoot and wide forefoot outsole with Continental rubber provide an awesome transition and toe off. These feel more stable to me than all the stability racers out there without posts or wedges pushing me in one direction. It feels better than the Brooks Asteria, New Balance 1500 or even the Saucony Fastwitch in terms of stability. I give Adidas massive points for making such a smooth and stable ride.


David: Arguably the most stable marathon racing shoe on the market now. The Lightstrike foam on the medial and lateral sides of the shoe, continental rubber outsole, and carbitex plate create a dynamically stable ride for nearly everyone. The bevel is set up very well as stated earlier and creates a fluid ride straight from initial contact. The heel is still very stable even with minimal counter and the retrocurve design to prevent irritation to the achilles. Even where one might expect some instability through the forefoot in the boost portion of the midsole, the carbon fiber plate creates some rigidity and bounce to prevent any sensations of instability. Fluid and stable. A bit heavy though.


SPEED

Matt: The combination of Boost and a carbon fiber plate is awesome. This shoe does really well at a variety of moderate paces. From normal to half/full marathon pace, the Aidzero Pro really shines. For those looking for a lightweight trainer, there is plenty of Boost/Lightstrike cushioning and speed to be versatile for your needs. The placement of the plate right under the foot seems to make for a soft landing without engaging the plate at normal paces. When the pace picks up though, it really shines to keep you in a rhythm. Where the Adizero Pro struggles is with all out speeds and recovery runs. I would not expect a marathon racer to do well for recovery runs to be fair. However the extra ounces  weigh it down when trying to transition to 5k/10k paces and below. For threshold runs, tempos, uptempo long runs this shoe is one of the best and the first I would reach for in a marathon right now. There is plenty of cushioning to handle the distance, but the Carbitex plate and Boost create a balanced ride that makes it easy to get into a rhythm. So I would put this shoe optimally as a lightweight trainer or half/full marathon racer for most.


David: Disclaimer: I have been in a fatigued state during my testing of this shoe so running marathon pace felt harder than normal regardless of shoe... but... this is still a tough one. The shoe is marathon fast and maybe half marathon fast. I wouldn't lean on it for 10k or under. The shoe felt great at "smooth fast" for me which is basically marathon pace. Even at slower tempo paces it felt smooth and versatile enough to potentially train in to. With how I've been personally feeling, I will have to run a strong long run in the Adizero Pro at another time to really see if it can take down the other super shoes, but overall I'm happy with it so far. For those who need some structure with long distance races though, this should be on your list.



DURABILITY

Matt: Adidas shoes tend to last a long time and this shoe will be no exception. The high amount of Continental rubber in the forefoot should last a long time. I am not seeing any wear on the nubs after almost 20 hard miles on the road. I'm seeing just the beginning at the lateral heel, but that may be dirt. The mesh has no wear and the Boost/Lightstrike duo should last a long time. These feel brand new every time I put them on and I never had to break them in. I expect the Adizero Pro to last as long or longer than most lightweight trainers, so I'm happy I'll get my money's worth out of this shoe (yes, totally worth the $180).

(Matt's pair at 35 miles)


David: Continental outsole, adiwear heel, need I say more. Adidas has never been shy to put up a durable racing shoe. The Boost foam is also some of the most durable in the game with the Lightstrike capable of hanging around for a long time too. No issues with durability. Mild foam abrasion in the exposed areas and maybe some wear to the nubs, but no concerns here, especially for price.

(David's pair at 14 miles)

THOUGHTS AS A DPT 

Creating stability in footwear has traditionally been done utilizing posts, which typically involves creating a dichotomy of durometers. In English, that means have a denser material on the medial side (usually medial) and a less dense material elsewhere. Then you just hope that the foot takes the path of least resistance toward the less dense material, which doesn't always work (Nigg et al., 2017). There are many other ways to create stability (plates, upper materials, etc), but this has been the most common (until recently). The set up of the Adizero Pro does this subtly, but without the arch pressure you come to expect from posted stability shoes. The surrounding of the soft Boost material with more firm/dense Lightstrike on BOTH sides does feel like it helps guide the foot forward. Although this doesn't always happen, this may serve to guide the foot through the middle with softer Boost while providing subtle resistance to extraneous motion from the surrounding Lightstrike. Combined with a Carbitex plate right under the foot, this essentially provides a very stable, bouncy, propulsive ride that may guide the foot forward. I personally like this subtle idea much more than the hard posts that many people will either blow right through or find irritating.

The interesting thing about having the plate right under the foot (which again I need to check my sources to make sure it is directly under the foot), is that it may contribute to the interesting variety of rides the Adizero Pro has. My hypothesis regarding this (and I could be wrong), is that with the plate up so high, the individual wearing the shoe will not engage it as much until they start putting more force into the shoe. That means by running faster. The Adizero Pro actually feels great and seems to have relatively normal flexibility in the forefoot at normal paces, but really comes alive at those moderate to higher (marathon/half marathon) paces. This also could be from the Carbitex plate design, which may also allow a bit more flexibility that other plates. As we know from Mcleod et al., (2020), every runner benefits most from different sole/plate stiffnesses. As more carbon fiber shoes come out, having variety in stiffnesses means more options for a larger variety of runners.


RECOMMENDATIONS 

Matt: I really don't have an recommendations other than fixing the slightly long length (which was easily corrected for me). This shoe is so well refined and will work for a large variety of people. I would like to see the Adizero Pro be a little lighter, but not at the expense of the fit, ride or cushioning.

David: It is hard for me to ask for the fit to be shortened slightly when all Adidas Adizero shoes always seem to run long slightly. The shoe is still TTS, but going down a half size is possible. I think the shoe is heavy... so if there was a way to keep the dual midsole build but replace the heavy boost with a lighter yet still plush foam that could shave weight off and make the shoe feel faster.


WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR (Conclusion)

Matt: The Adidas Adizero Pro is the shoe I always wanted the Adios series to be (and we will see how that has evolved with the upcoming Adizero Adios Pro). It is a cushioned, stable, bouncy, great fitting lightweight trainer and marathon/half marathon racing shoe. The ride is streamlined and stable with a great fitting, although slightly long fitting upper. With a super smooth heel and a ride made for moderate and fast paces a like, it isn't the fastest shoe, but may be one of the more versatile. The Adizero Pro will work for those looking for a moderately cushioned marathon racing shoe with enough substance for daily training (as a lightweight trainer) for some.

David: This is a marathon racing shoe for those looking for a little more structure in their shoe or for a slightly more firm ride. The ride is bouncy but still firm through the forefoot, unique to this shoe. For hard heel/rearfoot strikers, the bevel is also built in very well with great cushioning and transition. I think this is a shoe that will work for a lot of people, given they are ok with not having a crazy plush foam under them.

Doctors of Running Youtube Review of the Adidas Adizero Pro

GRADING
Matt
Fit                     9.5 /10 (The Celermesh is awesome. -.5 for a slightly long fit)
Ride                 9.5 /10 (Awesome heel bevel, Lightstrike/Boost combo. -.5 for slightly heavy)
Stability           10 /10 (Very stable with Lighstrike surrounding Boost and Plate)
Speed               9 /10 (Great for Marathon Pace and moderate pace. -1 for limited ability at 5k/10k)
Durability        9.5 /10 (Very durable with slight concern about nubs)

David
Fit                     9.75/10 (I LOVE Celermesh. It just runs a little long... and the tongue is a tad short)
Ride                  9.5/10 (a tad heavy... great bevel, could use a hair more toe spring to really give push)
Stability            10/10 (as stable as a racer gets. firm, guided through toe off, beveled well, plate)
Speed                8.5/10 (heavy... runs well at marathon pace, maybe half... but a long distance shoe)
Durability         9.75/10 (Crazy durable, continental and adiwear. The nubs along the midfoot may break down a little quicker)

Total Score: % (M: 9.5/10  D: 9.5/10 )

Thanks for reading!

TESTER PROFILES:
Dr. Matthew Klein is a 140 lb male with notable PRs of 14:45 for 5k and 2:32:44 for the full marathon.  He typically runs 70-100 miles per week and trains at a variety of paces from 8min per mile recovery runs to 4:40 per mile 1k repeats.  He prefers firmer and responsive shoes with snug heels and medium to wide toe boxes.  He is particular to less cushioned shoes and close to the ground shoes, but can handle a little cushion when he gets beat up.

Dr. David Salas is a 135 lb male with notable PRs of 3:54 1500m, 14:56 5k, 31:06 10k, 1:08 for half marathon. He typically runs 40 to 50 miles per week and trains from about 7:30 recovery runs to fast shorter efforts at 4:30 pace. He normally prefers neutral shoes with a firmer ride, but is completely open to other types of shoes.  He is a footwear enthusiast at heart and will always appreciate a high quality shoe when it comes around. For updates on training or testing, IG handle: @docsofrundavid

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.

Matthew Klein, PT DPT OCS FAAOMPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists

Nathan Brown PT DPT MS
Doctor of Physical Therapy 
Masters in Anatomy and Clinical Health Science
Movement Performance Institute Certified in Advanced Functional Biomechanics 

David Salas PT DPT CSCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

***Disclaimer: These shoes were purchased for the full US retail price.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We put at least 35-50 miles on trainers and 10-25 miles on racing flats prior to reviewing them. Currently we have 34 miles (Matt) and 14 miles (David) on our pairs. Our 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.

References

McLeod, A. R., Bruening, D., Johnson, A. W., Ward, J., & Hunter, I. (2020). Improving running economy through altered shoe bending stiffness across speeds. Footwear Science, 1-11.

Nigg, B. M., Vienneau, J., Smith, A. C., Trudeau, M. B., Mohr, M., & Nigg, S. R. (2017). The preferred movement path paradigm: influence of running shoes on joint movement. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 49(8): 1.

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