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Adidas Takumi Sen 9 Review: 6.4 oz!!!
By Senior Contributor David Salas and Chief Editor Matthew Klein

The Adidas Takumi Sen series has always been an aggressive racing shoe in the adizero lineup. The shoe aims primarily at the 5k/10k distances with some appeal both above and below those distances. The Takumi Sen 8 introduced Lightstrike Pro and the energy rods into series. The Takumi Sen 9 continues upon this construction with a more streamlined upper that cuts an impressive 0.4 oz.

Shop: $179.95 at Running Warehouse

Weight: 6.4 oz, 181 g (Unisex men's size 9)
Stack Height: 33mm / 27mm
Drop: 6mm 
Classification: Racing Flat


Matt: The Adidas Takumi Sen 9 is 5k/10k racing flat for those wanting a light shoe for faster days. The Takumi Sen 9 maintains a similar midsole setup from version 8 with full-length Lightstrike Pro foam and energy rods. A surprising amount of stack height continues to be present for the new weight of 6.4 oz, making for a light and snappy shoe that works for intervals and shorter efforts. The major update is a new upper that facilitates the surprisingly generous weight drop (0.4 oz drop from v8). A snug heel/midfoot with a wider (for a racing flat), lower volume forefoot continues to be present with an even lighter mesh upper. Those wanting a fast shoe for shorter races and efforts with a bit of stiffness and a decent amount of midsole should continue to check out the newest update to the Takumi Sen series.  

David: The Adidas Takumi Sen 9 is a racing flat in the adizero lineup with some versatile appeal. The shoe uses Lightstrike Pro and plastic energy rods to provide a responsive and quick ride. The shoe has good traction underfoot and can also tackle some dirt and grass if needed. The Takumi Sen 9 blends together the new generation super shoes with the racing flats of old. The ride is a tad firmer and snappier (compared to most super shoes) and will appeal to those 5k-10k distances. It may even have some appeal at half marathon and full marathon for the right runner. 

: New Balance Fuelcell Pacer, Nike Streakfly


Matt: The Adidas Takumi Sen 9 fits me true to size in my normal US men's size 10. The shoe fits fairly normal for a racing flat with a slightly snug fit throughout. The fit is slightly wider than the previous version, but is still low volume throughout. The heel is narrow, snug, and secure; it is also flexible as there is no heel counter except for a thin reinforcement at the posterior-most section of the heel. The midfoot has a tiny bit more room with some adjustability from the laces. The tongue is extremely thin and non-gusseted. It is secure to the laces but I have had to be careful to lay it down flat when putting on the shoe. The forefoot has more room than the rest of the shoe and a little more width than the previous version. The toe guard does make the toebox feel a bit tapered, but the forefoot has enough room for a racing flat. The extremely thin mesh upper breathes well and provides decent security. I did not have to lace-lock the shoe but would encourage people to use socks with this shoe as I had the beginning of some hot spots along my medial forefoot (which I assume is from the additional width). The upper is much lighter than previous and is responsible for the majority of the weight loss in this version compared to the 8. Overall, the fit is fairly normal for a faster racing flat although with a slightly wider forefoot. 

David: The Adidas Takumi Sen 9 fits true to size in my Men's 9.5. The shoe fits similar to previous adizero shoes for me in that it is relatively snug throughout and a tiny bit long on length. The volume is slightly low and holds the foot very snug throughout. The heel and midfoot are narrow, but actually more forgiving than I remember in the 8. The forefoot is normal width. The mesh material itself is really lightweight. The material almost feels a little more plastic and synthetic and resembles a really thin grid. There is a toe guard present that holds the structure in the region. There are some thin overlays that seem to help with maintaining the shape and structure of the shoe as well along the medial and lateral heel and midfoot. There is a really thin heel counter present that follows the midline of the achilles with a sharp drop off on both ends. This makes the counter itself sit pretty shallow and really only provides a little structure to heel.

The lockdown throughout is really good. The lacing system certainly keeps your foot on the platform without slippage. The tongue has some light padding at the top of it and I did not seem to have issues with biting. There is a thin silicon like piece at the top of the tongue that seems keep the tongue in place as well and keeps connected with the sock/foot. The upper overall is very streamlined and well thought out.


Matt: The Takumi Sen 9 is a 5k/10k racing flat with additional stack height. It is extremely light at 6.4 oz (men's size 9) for a shoe with 33 mm / 27 mm of Lightstrike Pro. The feeling underfoot is balanced between soft and firm with some bounce from the foam. The midsole material does provide cushioning underfoot, but the foam compresses enough that it still feels somewhat close to the ground compared to other taller stack-height shoes. The rods provide mild to moderate stiffness throughout the length of the shoe, but do not feel as stiff as a fully plated shoe. This is important as it there is only a mild rocker to the sole, but the transitions work fine with the mild flexibility and bevels that are present. There is a 6mm drop listed and this is exactly how it feels. The ride feels light and snappy with mild protection. This works best at faster efforts, shorter intervals and shorter races. I have used this shoe for 200m repeats to a mile race against my students and it has felt great moving as fast as possible. It can be used for tempo efforts and many people will do fine with that. I found that there wasn't quite enough shoe for me to use the Takumi Sen 9 for longer efforts. It maxed out for me around 5-6 miles and I suspect will be a 10k shoe at max for most people. There is plenty of shoe if you are used to less for warm-ups and cool-downs but it still works best for shorter efforts. While this would have been a long-distance shoe in the past, the weight, snappiness and cushioning make it an excellent shoe for shorter track and road workouts and races.

David: The Takumi Sen 9 is a very fun shoe. The shoe can do a little bit of everything, though shines best at faster efforts. The Lightstrike Pro midsole with the energy rods combination call for some fast pounding to the pavement. With that said I have not had issues warming up or cooling down in this shoe. The shoe feels like a nice hybrid between the modern super shoes and the racing flats of old. The 33mm stack height with the new components give a modern feel, while the rigidity of the rods and grip of the outsole make for a very grounded traditional racing flat feel. This is the type of shoe that I can run a track 5k in and also an XC 8k. The shoe does not have an extreme rocker like a lot of the modern racers and relies a lot on your mechanics and loading of the shoe. The shoe does provide a balanced transition off the heel and midfoot thanks to the posterior lateral bevel. The toe spring is not nearly as sharp in the Takumi Sen and the shoe really likes you to load it through that push off phase. This feels very lively when running at those 5k similar efforts. I have found that it still feels good at the marathon type paces as well though. The shoe feels a little more grounded and less rockered, but still has enough cushioning easily for the half marathon. If this shoe was made several years ago this would be looked at as a potential marathon option as well. The Takumi Sen 9 is one of those jack-of-all-trades type shoes and my favorite Adidas racing shoe in 2022/2023.


Matt: The Adidas Takumi Sen 9 is a neutral racing flat. While the energy rods provide some inherent rigidity, there are no major stability components to this shoe. There are no sidewalls and the midfoot/heel are quite narrow. The lack of midsole and thinner rods do cause some collapse at the medial midfoot, especially during longer efforts. There is a posterior lateral heel bevel that provides mild guidance with rearfoot landings, but that is about it. This is a simple racing flat and will do well for those running shorter distances or those who do not want any form of guidance. 

David: The Takumi Sen 9 gives pretty good stability throughout for having 33mm of Lightstrike pro underneath you. The shoe uses the energy rods as a stiffening agent and the outsole provides great traction through the entirety of the shoe. There is some inherent rigidity experienced because of those as well. The one thing I did notice when donning the shoe is that my foot was hanging a tad medially. The upper locks down great, but my navicular floats beyond the medial aspect of the midsole. I almost found myself wanting a little more security there. There is an overlay in the region that holds the upper structure, but the integration of a sidewall would have been greatly appreciated there. Especially since there is a cutout there it does move you into that eversion/pronation moment a little quicker. Great for speed, but doesn't help stability as much. 

Thoughts as a DPT: Weight as a Factor in Footwear Running Economy
By Matthew Klein

The term "running economy" is another phrase for "running efficiency", or how long you can maintain a certain effort. Footwear impacts running economy through multiple factors. We have discussed previously how these softer and more resilient foams improve cushioning and bounce back, potentially reducing fatigue and improving running economy (Worbels et al., 2014). We also know that for some people, stiffness can improve running economy, although this is speed and person-dependent (Mcleod et al., 2020). With recent increases in shoe volume and stack height, a factor that many miss is how shoe mass/weight impacts running efficiency. Previous research has suggested that there is a 1% improvement in running economy for every 100g reduction in shoe mass (Fuller et al., 2015; Rodrigo-Carranza et al., 2020). There is a ceiling for this effect, as some cushioning is better than none (Franz et al., 2012; Worbels et al., 2014). Without cushioning, the body must do all the work for shock absorption, often at the sacrifice of propulsion. 

So there are multiple factors that go into making a shoe efficient. They do vary between people depending on subjective preferences and potentially to certain biomechanical factors. Each person will have a preference, which is why some may do better in a more cushioned racing shoe like the Adios Pro 3 and others may do better in the Takumi Sen 9. These are also different shoes with different purposes. They have been differentiated enough that one is clearly a long distance racer (Adios Pro 3) and the other is a short distance racer (Takumi Sen 9). That said, there will still be people that use these tools for the opposite. Fortunately, we are seeing a slow resurgence of these super light models (Nike Streakfly, New Balance Fuelcell Pacer) AND many of the higher stack height super shoes are still dropping weight (Saucony Endorphin Elite comes in at 7.2 oz for men's size 9). This is all to say that have some variety is a good thing. While there was some initial suggestion that the foams may play on the largest pieces in the improvements in running shoe economy, weight is still an important factor that must have attention to truly create efficient shoes. As always, the best formula will depend on the person, so make sure you are looking for the shoe that works best for you.


Franz, J. R., Wierzbinski, C. M., & Kram, R. (2012). Metabolic cost of running barefoot versus shod: is lighter better?. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise44(8), 1519-1525.

Fuller, J. T., Bellenger, C. R., Thewlis, D., Tsiros, M. D., & Buckley, J. D. (2015). The effect of footwear on running performance and running economy in distance runners. Sports medicine45, 411-422.

McLeod, A. R., Bruening, D., Johnson, A. W., Ward, J., & Hunter, I. (2020). Improving running economy through altered shoe bending stiffness across speeds. Footwear Science12(2), 79-89.

Rodrigo-Carranza, V., González-Mohíno, F., Santos-Concejero, J., & González-Ravé, J. M. (2020). Influence of shoe mass on performance and running economy in trained runners. Frontiers in Physiology11, 573660.

Worobets, J., Wannop, J. W., Tomaras, E., & Stefanyshyn, D. (2014). Softer and more resilient running shoe cushioning properties enhance running economy. Footwear Science6(3), 147-153.


Matt: The continued weight drop with such a relatively tall stack height is impressive. I have enjoyed the Takumi Sen 9 for shorter workouts as I have transitioned to working on more speed. For shorter distances this shoe is great, but for longer efforts the medial cut out at the midfoot becomes more noticeable. In other shoes like the Adios Pro 3 this is not noticeable due to how stiff the rods are. The increased relative flexibility in the Takumi Sen 9 allows for more motion, including collapse into this. Like David below, I would suggest modifying this in some way. Either increasing the stiffness of the rods at the midfoot or filling in that section may be worth it to make things a little more inherently stable. 

David: The Takumi Sen 9 is very well executed throughout. The main thing I found myself wanting in the shoe was a tad more stability through the midfoot. It felt like my navicular medially was hanging off of the platform a little bit. Having that sensation combined with the medial cutout did feel like I was moving into pronation/eversion quicker than I wanted to. I think creating a small sidewall of Lightstrike Pro in that region that blends with the upper could work wonders for that. Otherwise, I really enjoyed the Takumi Sen 9.


Matt: The Takumi Sen 9 is for those who want a lighter racing shoe for shorter distances (mile to 10k). The ride has plenty of cushioning for such a low weight with some mild flexibility. The fit is fairly normal for most Adidas racing flats with a snug heel/midfoot and a slightly wider forefoot. This is not a super shoe for long distances, but a light and snappy shoe for ripping around the track, road and mixed cross country surfaces. Mixing some newer technologies with the super lightweight concepts of old, the Takumi Sen 9 continues to hold onto traditions while simultaneously pushing some boundaries. This shoe is primarily an upper update, so unless you want the absolute lightest weight, the Takumi Sen 8 is also on sale and will have a similar ride that will allow you rip some quick times.

David: The Takumi Sen 9 is a very well done racing shoe that will do great at 5k/10k distances. The shoe still has enough cushioning to have consideration for the half marathon distance, and even full marathon as well. The shoe has a more grounded sensation than other super shoes because it sits a little lower (33mm) and uses a thicker outsole. The shoe has good grip throughout and gives enough traction for some dirt and grass use. The geometry is not nearly as rockered and so the shoe relies a lot on your ability to load the forefoot and push off. The result is a balanced ride that resembles the racing flats of old with a modern twist.


Fit: A- (Snug heel and midfoot with slightly wider but lower volume forefoot)
Performance: A- 
(Snappy and light ride that works best for shorter efforts on the track and road)
Stability: B/B- [Neutral] (Neutral racing flat. lack of medial midfoot does cause collapse with fatigue)
DPT/Footwear Science: B (Great job reducing weigh further but medial midfoot cut out may be better somewhere else)
Personal: A- (My go-to shoe for shorter workouts. Lack of medial midfoot limits the distance for me, but fun to turn over)
Overall: B+/A-

Fit: A- (Great lockdown throughout with attention to detail, still runs a tad long)
A (Solid transitions throughout without rocker, good responsiveness, loves to push quicker)
Stability: B+  (Overall good with traction and upper lockdown, though the medial midfoot seems to hang a little more than I'd like and I can feel myself pronating a little quicker in that region in combination with the cutout)
DPT/Footwear Science: B+ (They didn't change too much outside of the upper from the 8, but still a good example of refining a shoe for the better and bridging the gap between old school flats and modern racing shoes)
Personal: A (Simply a fun shoe to run in. Uses natural mechanics and provides good responsiveness)
Overall: A- (An excellent addition to the racing flat category)


Shop: $179.95 at Running Warehouse

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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 for sending us a pair.  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 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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