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 Adios Pro 2.0:
By Chief Editor Matthew Klein and Contributor David Salas

Adidas has a strong history of racing shoes, particularly those for the marathon. The original Adidas Adizero Adios Pro was a significant departure from any racing shoe Adidas had debuted. The use of Lightstrike Pro was in my mind far superior to Boost, keeping weight down while allowing for a large stack height. It had an incredible upper, but I had what I suspect was a preproduction version (yes, I went to StockX to buy them ahead of time JUST to be the first to review them), but the foam did not impress me given the quality of other foams on the market. I never tried a production pair and moved on. Along comes version 2 and I have finally been given the opportunity to try true Lightstrike Pro. The Adios Pro 2 is a significant upgrade from the first version in regards to the sole and is well worth talking about. 

Shoutout to Run Republic on their one year anniversary!

Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2
Price: $219.95 at Running Warehouse

Weight: 8.0 oz / 226 g (men's size 9/women's size 10.5 - Unisex sizing)
Measured Weight US Men's Size 10: 8.5 oz
Stack Height: 39 mm / 30.5 mm
Drop: 8.5 mm
Classification: Maximal Racing Shoe


Matt: The Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2 is an elite distance racing shoe for 10k to the marathon (with potentially some versatility into the 5k). The duel layers of Lightstrike Pro surround a rearfoot plate and carbon fiber rods that create a responsive, cushioned and aggressive ride. The upper fits slightly wider than many racing shoes, featuring a very thin mesh and no heel counter. The midsole features new sole sculpting, making for a fast feeling, but stable shoe for certain people that need a laterally biased rearfoot when you engage the plate and rods. The Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2 returns as a competitive racing shoe for those that want a soft ride, lateral bias at the rearfoot, a responsive toe off and a little more room up top. 

David: The Adidas Adios Pro 2 is an elite racing option for races 5k and up. The shoe certainly carries a little bit of weight to it for the racing category but after seeing the success of the Alpha Fly and all of the other marathon racing shoes, 8 ounces really isn't anything too crazy. The Lightstrike Pro and energy rod midsole provide for a very bouncy ride throughout without being overly soft or unstable. This certainly is a racing or workout only type of shoe. Everything about this shoe is geared towards performance. Whether it is the cutouts in the midsole, hardly existent outsole, or incredibly thin upper this is a racing option that is ready to roll with the best of them. 


Matt: The Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2 fits me true to size in my normal men's US size 10. The forefoot has plenty of room for a racing shoe and fits more snug in the midfoot and heel. There is no heel counter and the rear upper is very comfortable. This does cause a slight problem with security as I had some heel slippage on both sides. This was easily remedied with lace locking the rearfoot. The upper is a thin synthetic mesh that feels light yet tough. The laces are a little thin and dug into the top of my foot initially. Lace locking the heel helped and allowed me to loosen them. The Adios Pro 2 can be worn sockless, although should be done so by those with thick skin over their Achilles tendon. I have done a few sockless runs and the mesh feels great, but the Achilles notch has caused a little rubbing. 

David: The Adidas Adios Pro 2 fits similar to most racing shoes. The shoe is normal width to slightly narrow through the heel and midfoot with a little more space through the toe box for toe splay and swelling accommodation. The shoe is true to size in my 9.5 but does fit a tad bit long. There is no heel counter, however there is a piece of reinforced material down the midline of the calcaneus that helps the shoe keep its shape. The upper is an INCREDIBLY thin synthetic like mesh that still feels durable enough to not be worried about with hard turns or blowing through. Because of the length I had a tiny bit of heel slippage but after the locking the shoe down well that went away. The tongue is also performance oriented and is very thin and does just enough to hold the dorsum of the foot and protect from tight lacing. 


Matt: The Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2 is one of the bounciest shoes I have every tried. The double layers of Lighstrike Pro foam are incredibly soft, with noticeable stiffness from the carbon fiber rods from the midfoot into the forefoot. The Adios Pro 2 is heavily rockered, with a large laterally biased heel bevel and an aggressive toe spring. The toe spring feels slightly less aggressive than the original version, making for a smoother toe off. This is not a shoe meant for walking. The Adios Pro 2 was designed specifically for running. Walking in the shoe feels soft and unstable. Running feels like you are bouncing along. The heel is very soft, but thanks to a rear plate, the transition through the midfoot is quite fast. The forefoot is aggressive, with a ton of foam that compresses and rebounds. The rods feel best at uptempo paces and even better running all out. This shoe feels best when running fast. Running slower feels a little awkward, particularly with the forefoot stiffness. Even increasing the pace a little makes the Adios Pro 2 start to come alive. The faster you run and the more force you put into the midsole and rods, the faster you will go.

Traction is surprisingly good, although the outsole is paper thin and I have worn through the posterior lateral heel already at 40 miles. Durability wise this shoe should last as long as a normal racing flat. I am chewing through the outsole in my normal fashion, so other people will probably get a high number of miles out of these. The Lightstrike Pro has not compressed at all and still feels brand new, so midsole durability is very high. Purpose wise the Adios Pro 2 is meant to go fast. This is an uptempo long run shoe, an interval shoe, tempo shoe and race day shoe from 10k to marathon and beyond. There is a bit too much shoe for me to normally consider running a 5k in these, but I am seriously considering it given the responsiveness of the midsole. This is definitely a serious contender in the maximal racing shoe realm and easily challenges the Nike Alphafly and New Balance RC Elite v2 for the top max cushion marathon/distance racer out there. 

David: The fun part. The Adidas Adios Pro 2 is a serious racing shoe. The midsole immediately feels cushioned and bouncy throughout. The midsole is soft and suspensive, but ultimately is not nearly as "sinky" as Zoom X. There is a pretty extreme lateral heel bevel on the shoe that when moving feels like it wants to pitch you forward quickly. When just standing around it can be a little uncomfortable just because it feels (and is) uneven in the heel. In motion though that sensation goes away and the transition is smooth. There also is some sole flaring along the medial aspect of the forefoot which seems to help stabilize that incredibly quick transition from the initial contact at the heel to the midfoot. The shoe does have a lot of rigidity through the midfoot and forefoot thanks to the energy rods, but strangely enough there is enough flex in them to give you a popping like sensation through the forefoot. The toe spring is pretty large as well and you constantly feel like you are in forward motion. This is a shoe that wants to be pushed.

At easy paces it can feel a little strange with the large bevel and cutout in the midfoot. It seems like the harder you push into the energy rods the more you get out of them. Running at easy paces the flex points don't seem to move much and the ride is much more jarring. When moving fast however this provides a very fun ride. There isn't much outsole but it provides just enough traction to feel good on road. The outsole is thin and soft but has some give to it that gives a little bit of a sticking sensation to the road underneath you. The cutout in the medial aspect of the shoe really isn't noticeable for me when I am running fast, but when I am standing or running slow it definitely is. This is a shoe meant to go fast, and one that competes with the top shelf options.


Matt: The Adios Pro 2 is an extremely high stack, highly cushioned racing shoe. Most people will notice the instability of the sole when walking, but that totally changes when you pick up the pace. There are several elements in this shoe that create a bias, that those with issues going medial too fast will enjoy. The lateral heel bevel and rearfoot plate resist medial motion, so for those with excessive rearfoot pronation you will like this shoe. Those that tend to go too far lateral however will not as it will push you farther in that direction. The midfoot, despite being so narrow with little ground contact, is quite stable due to carryover from the rearfoot as well as the stiff carbon rods. The forefoot is stable thanks to both the rods and medial and lateral sole flare. Other than the lateral heel bevel, most of this does not engage running at slower speeds (this is NOT a daily training shoe). Running faster however creates a shoe that certainly is stable in terms of central guidance, but those who tend to go medial too much will find this shoe surprisingly good. A strong warning goes out however to those who have issues going too far lateral. 

David: This is a high stack, high cushioned performance shoe on a relatively narrow last with a cutout in the medial aspect of the shoe. It isn't the most stable... if you are running at easy paces. The stability actually isn't too bad in motion at harder efforts. The ground contact time is already reduced at those harder efforts and this shoe capitalizes on it. The lateral heel bevel is pretty extreme but very quick at transitioning. The medial cutout is stabilized by the rods and full contact forefoot, but only at faster motion. So... the shoe isn't the most stable at static or easier efforts, but transitions well when running fast. The upper is solid and provides a good lockdown throughout. No issues there, just the length issue stated earlier. 


David: When talking about running biomechanics two things that are brought up pretty frequently are ground contact time and ground reaction forces. As you begin to pick up the pace and exert more effort into your running you begin to shorten your ground contact time and increase the amount of ground reaction forces (most of the time). Like we have said in the past shoes are tools. The Adios Pro 2 is a pretty solid example of this. It does NOT run the same at easy paces as it does at harder paces. The shoe wants you to move quickly throughout. I found when running at easier efforts the shoe was actually pretty jarring. The heel bevel was extreme and clunky, the midfoot was unstable, and the forefoot almost felt a little like a speed bump. When the pace was quicker it was almost the exact opposite. When landing and transitioning quickly the bevel was very nice and felt nearly nonexisitent. The midfoot that used to be unstable was stabilized by the energy rod that was actually flexing underneath me. The transition from the midfoot to the forefoot was an actual transition and the toe off felt very bouncy and responsive.

This shoe is a tool for creating fast motion and every component has that in mind. Any time we talk forces or energy we have to think about potential and kinetic energy. Upon landing the force and energy that is getting transmitted through the foot is potential while the springing off the ground and creating forward movement is kinetic. Due to physics (MANY factors) the kinetic value is almost always lower than the potential value in humans. Components like these seen in the Adios Pro 2 though can help bridge that gap, though it does make the shoe much more specialized and niched for specific usage. 


Matt: The Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2 works extremely well for my mechanics, even though I don't like soft shoes. The upper fits me well and the sole set up is incredibly fast and guided for someone like me. However, I have two major suggestions. The upper may need some slight readjusting. The heel, although great without the counter, needs a little more reinforcement to stop heel slippage. Additionally, the laces could be a bit thicker/flatter to reduce pressure on the top of the foot. Second, as much as I like the lateral bias at the rearfoot, others may not. It works very well for me (as did the original) and a lateral heel bevel makes sense given that most people land on the posterior lateral aspect. However, the lateral bias may need to be toned down a bit for the general public. I am very torn on this last part as it works well for me. 

David: I really like the Adidas Adios Pro 2. I do think the fit of the upper could be refined in length a little bit so that the risk of heel slippage can be lowered. I do think the heel bevel might be a little too extreme but I do appreciate them taking a stab at minimizing the time and braking forces associated with initial contact and loading response. Other than that this shoe is solid and one I am definitely considering racing in. 

Stacking up with the competition


Matt: The Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2 is one of the top elite racing shoes for those looking to race distances from 10k to the marathon. This shoe returns incredibly refined, yet carrying over all the good things from the original. The Adios Pro 2 is a purely performance shoe for faster long runs, intervals, tempo runs and races. The sole is soft, yet the energy rods add stiffness that make the transitions fast. Those wanting an upper with a little more room in the forefoot but no heel counter will enjoy this shoe (just make sure you lace lock the heel). The heel bevel has a strong lateral bias, so those needing medial support will also enjoy this shoe. A max cushion racing flat that will be seen on many elite athletes this year, the Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2 continues Adidas's legacy of elite distance racing shoes. 

David: The Adidas Adios Pro 2 is an elite racing option for those looking for a strict performance piece of footwear. Everything about this shoe is geared towards performance. For me this shoe feels awful at slower paces but really comes alive to be one of my favorite options ever for running fast. The components are geared for high force and quick transitions for racing specific environments. The ride is very bouncy and has plenty of protection for any race distance. The foam is suspensive, but not nearly as soft or "sinky" as say Zoom X. For those that want that soft bounce but feel Zoom X is too unstable this is an option worth looking into. 


Fit: B+ (Comfortable, performance oriented upper. Slightly wider forefoot with more snug midfoot)
A (An incredible distance racer. Extremely responsive, fast and fun. For running faster only)
Stability: B+/A- (There is a high level of lateral bias at the rearfoot, with a more stable forefoot. Those who like that will enjoy this shoe, but those don't may be challenged. Those who need medial rearfoot support will love this shoe.)
DPT/Footwear Science: A (Max points for doing sole cut outs but compensating well the maintain stability. The dual layer Lighstrike Pro is the bounciest material I have experienced)
Personal:  A+ (Super responsive ride with a lateral bias that works extremely well for my mechanics. One of my top racing shoes of 2021)
Overall: A-/A (A great max cushion racing option for those who want a slightly wider forefoot with an incredibly responsive, soft ride. Best for 10k to marathon and beyond. This shoe is for racing and workouts, not advised for easy running)..

Fit: A- (Very good upper. Dialed in throughout and reinforced very well for the weight. The length could be refined.)
A (Very responsive ride at faster paces. A true racer. Fast transitions with a poppy toe off.)
Stability: B+/A- (Dependent on speed. At faster speeds the stability is pretty good, but still soft platform on narrow last. At slow paces a little jarring.)
DPT/Footwear Science: A (I think they did a great job with creating a shoe that utilizes both practice and theory. The heel bevel transition is incredible fast and the rods have enough flexibility to provide high amounts of responsiveness through toe off.)
Personal: A (Easily in my top 3 for racing category. Running fast only though. Don't warm up in it.)
Overall: A-/A (A great racing option for those that like a bouncy and responsive ride but don't want the midsole to be overly soft)


The full team jumps on to share their thoughts on the Adios Pro 2 and how this year's changes impact the shoe.


Interested in buying the Adios Pro 2? Visit Running Warehouse here to purchase a pair. Using this link to purchase helps support Doctors of Running! You're our hero for doing it.

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Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists

Dr. Matthew Klein is a 150 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.  The stability guy of the group, he also prefers a little stability in his footwear. However, as a researcher, clinician and running shoe aficionado, he will run in anything.

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

Dr. David Salas is a 135 lb male with notable PRs ranging from 3:54 in the 1500m to 1:08:36 for half marathon. He typically runs 60 to 70 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,

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

Dr. Brown is a 155 lb male with notable PRs of 18:18 5K, 39:25 10K, 1:29:01 half marathon, and 3:54 marathon. He typically runs between 20-40 miles per week at a variety of paces from 7:30-8:30 min/mile for recovery runs to 6-6:45 min/mile for tempo runs. He typically prefers shoes that provide some cushioning underfoot but still maintain a more firm and responsive feel. Current goals for 2020 are to break the 1.5 hour half marathon and 3:30 marathon.

Bach Pham MS
Marketing and Social Media Manager
Master of Arts in Cultural Anthropology

Bach Pham is a 140 lb male with PRs of 23 5K, 52 10K. He typically runs between 25-35 miles per week at a variety of paces between 8:30 (tempo) -10:00 (recovery) min/miles. He typically prefers shoes that provide some mild to firm cushioning underfoot that is lightweight and responsive. Currently his goals are to complete the half and marathon distances.

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.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the  people at Adidas Running and Running Warehouse for sending us pairs.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run run as well as a warm up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our 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.

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