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Adidas Adizero Adios 8: Back to its Roots
By Matthew Klein

The Adidas Adizero Adios was once the premier marathon racing shoe. Since the debut of the Adios Pro series, it has taken a serious back seat with several people questioning its existence. Version 5 was the last time the series somewhat resembled what it once was while version 6 transitioned to a confusing lightweight trainer. Version 7 brought the weight back down and while it still retained its place as a non-plated faster shoe. It still lacked major updates and was overshadowed by both the Adios Pro and Takumi Sen series. Version 8 finally makes an aggressive move with a large weight drop, a slightly higher stack height, updated midsole foams, and a brand new torsion system that returns the triple forked rods to the forefoot. As a more budget-friendly model compared to the Takumi Sen and a lighter comparison to the Adios Pro, the Adios 8 finally returns to the conversation as a non-super shoe workout/racing model with super shoe inspiration.

Adidas Adizero Adios 8
Price: $129.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 7.2 oz, 205 g (men's size 9), 6.5 oz, 185 g (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 28 mm / 20 mm
Drop: 8 mm
Classification: Workout/Racing Shoe


The Adidas Adizero Adios 8 is a workout/racing shoe for those who want a slightly wider fit, a lower stack height, and a surprisingly fast ride. The midsole has been updated with Lightstrike 2.0 and a 3 pronged forefoot torsion system, making for an easier heel transition and a faster toe-off. The upper features a lighter mesh with a wider forefoot, providing a little sliding but plenty of room for some toe splay. The Adios 8 is the lightest the series has ever been, making it a competitive option for those that want a non-super racing and workout shoe with a moderate stack height. 

: Skechers GOrun Razor 4
PAST MODEL: Adidas Adios 7


The Adidas Adizero Adios 8 fits me true to size if just a hair long in my normal men's US size 10. The slightly longer fit did not bother me and felt consistent with other Adidas racing shoes I have tried recently. The upper material is a see-through mesh that is breathable and light. It is scratchy, making socks necessary while running. The width is on the wider side in the forefoot and normal to slightly wide in the midfoot for a racing shoe. The upper runs a little low, but I had plenty of room to spread my toes (not Altra wide). I did have to tighten down the laces at the midfoot due to some mild sliding side to side with turning. There is a gusseted tongue that does provide some security, although it provides more lockdown with movement front to back rather than side-to-side. This transitions into a slightly snug heel with a mostly flexible upper, mild padding on the side, and a small heel counter. I did not notice the heel counter, so those with sensitivities should be fine. I had no heel slippage and as usual, found no use for the flippable heel tab. Overall, the upper is breathable, slightly wider, and slightly long with decent security front-to-back, but mild sliding with side-to-side motion.


The Adidas Adios 8 is a workout/old school racing shoe. It features a relatively moderate/lower stack height of 28mm in the heel and 20mm in the forefoot. The midsole has been updated with Lightstrike 2.0 in the heel, Lightstrike Pro in the forefoot, and an extended torsions system with two rods in the rearfoot and three rods into the forefoot. The Lightstrike 2.0 in in the heel provides a softer and cushioned landing. It is a more compliant foam, so landing at the rearfoot makes the shoe feel lower than the listed 8mm drop. The foam compresses slower, which combined with the posteriorly flared lateral heel bevel makes for an oddly slow heel transition. This moves into a quick transitioning midfoot and a snappy forefoot. The Lightstrike Pro and rods/torsion extensions make the front of the shoe feel fast and a little firm. Landing up engages the Lightstrike Pro in its familiar bouncy fashion (albeit with less bounce due to having less foam compared to the Adios Pro series).

The Adidas Adios 8 is meant for speed runs, tempo efforts and intervals. As you put more force into the shoe, it transitions fast, especially off the forefoot. The heel still transitions a little slower than the front, but the torsion system seems to help snap you through this. I found this shoe to excel surprisingly well at tempo and interval efforts. The relatively lower stack height (for me now...) did not do as well on easy or longer runs but could tolerate them. My forefoot would get a little irritated with longer/easier efforts in this shoe, likely due to the stiffer and lower front. These symptoms went away when I was going faster in this shoe, thus making it a solid choice for those wanting an alternative to super shoes or a lower-stack racing shoe that still has some super elements.

As usual with Adidas, the outsole features a ton of Continental rubber. I have 20 miles of mostly hard running on my pair and see no wear on the outsole. I have used these for plenty of mild trail miles around Silverlake Reservoir (close to where I teach) and found them to be fine. They do not have great traction on trail and the outsole rubber grips far better on road. For that reason, I would suggest keeping these to road, but know that can handle well-groomed trails if necessary. The durability is good enough that I expect far more miles than average for a shoe like this, making it a great workout/race shoe or something to train in while saving super shoes for race day.


The Adidas Adizero Adios 8 is a neutral shoe. There are no traditional methods of stability in this shoe and no sidewalls. There is a somewhat large posterior lateral heel bevel that is common in Adizero models. This is offset by a posteriorly flared midsole which causes a slightly early heel contact. Fortunately, the Lightstrike 2.0 compresses well and it isn't a major issue. The Torsion system does provide plenty of torsional resistance in the heel and forefoot. Combined with the wider forefoot, it does provide an inherently stable front. The midfoot is a bit narrow and the lateral aspect is more filled in compared to the medial side. This is also offset by the torsion system. However, the Adios 8 is a neutral shoe that won't get in your way. Those needing mild stability, especially at the forefoot will do fine here, while those that need more may not find enough for longer efforts. 

Thoughts as a DPT: Posterior Heel Flare with Posterior Lateral Heel Bevel
By Matthew Klein

We have discussed posterior heel flare and posterior heel bevels separately many times on this. It is rare that they occur together but this is what happens with the Adios 8. It features the now classic large posterior lateral bevel, which is known to slow down the rate of pronation at heel strike in certain runners, combined with a posterior heel flare, which generally causes an early initial contact during heel strike (Nigg & Bahlsen, 1988; Nigg & Morlock, 1987). 

While I initially was resistant to any kind of posterior flare, there is some mild evidence that it can elongate the initial contact phase for heel strikers, supposedly spreading out impact forces over a longer time (Nigg & Bahlsen, 1988). This sounds good in theory as there may be lower impact peaks in certain areas. However, this does cause the body to hit the ground early, which may occur before the muscles are adequately primed for impact. The muscles of the lower extremity usually turn on before you land to help prepare for shock absorption. Landing early means you may end up shock absorbing more with passive tissues (bones, ligaments, etc) because the muscles are not quite ready. This is theoretical as it has not been studied extensively, but anecdotally can be a reason some people can be irritated by posterior flare. It also tends to accelerate the transition of the forefoot down on the ground, which can stress the anterior tibialis muscle on the front of your leg if not applied appropriately. 

Adding a large posterior lateral bevel for this is appropriate given that the majority of people land at the posterior lateral section of the shoe. Mild evidence suggests this can slow down the rate of pronation at the rearfoot, which makes sense given that it creates a mild medial wedge. This is why many Adidas racing shoes have worked extremely well for someone like me that needs mild stability, but those with lateral instabilities may struggle.

Both these features slow down or prolong components of the initial contact or heel strike (if you land at the rearfoot first) phase of gait.  This explains why landing at the posterior part of the Adios 8 feels a little abrupt, smooth but slow. The Lightstrike 2.0's soft and slower compression adds to this and further adds to this unique sensation. It feels like the rearfoot eases you in and the forefoot snaps you forward. Those who land farther forward may not notice this but those who land in the back and do notice this, the above footwear design elements may answer why it feels like this.


Nigg, B. M., & Bahlsen, H. A. (1988). Influence of heel flare and midsole construction on pronation supination and impact forces for heel-toe running. Journal of Applied Biomechanics4(3), 205-219.

Nigg, B. M., & Morlock, M. (1987). The influence of lateral heel flare of running shoes on pronation and impact forces. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise19(3), 294-302.


The Adidas Adios 8 feels like another major change for this series. The base is far wider, and the midsole has been updated with both a newer foam and a new torsion system. The upper is wider, so those with narrow feet may struggle a bit. I personally like the wider fit as it makes this shoe easier to train in, which is what I would use it for as opposed to racing.

My major suggestion for this shoe is to reduce the posterior flare/extension. This makes the heel transition feel slow at a variety of speeds, although this shoe can move fast. I am impressed with the weight drop but could see this shoe drop a bit more if this was modified and the heel was rounded out a bit more. Outside of that, this is an impressive update and is the lightest the Adios series has ever been.


The Adidas Adizero Adios 8 returns in its lightest and widest edition yet. The transition is interesting with a heel that eases you in and a forefoot that snaps you forward. The combination of foams helps debut Lightstrike 2.0 which has proved itself to be far more compliant than the first version. The far lighter weight finally makes the Adios a bit more competitive in today's market but still less aggressive compared to full Lightstrike Pro models like the Takumi Sen and Adios Pro series. It makes up for this with a far lower price, making it a possible budget racer for many, especially with how quick Adidas drops their prices.

Function-wise, it sits between the Takumi Sen and Adios Pro. It isn't quite snappy enough for a 5k but isn't cushioned enough for a marathon. Most people will find this makes a great workout shoe while the Takumi Sen and Adios Pro get saved for faster workouts and races.

Others who don't like super soft foams or higher stack heights may still gravitate toward this shoe but the biggest draw is price. This is by far one of the most affordable shoes for the types of technology present. Half the midsole is a superfoam, there is a stiffening agent (not a full plate) in the midsole and the weight is low for its size. All this for a base cost of $129.95 is pretty solid. This may also make it a great option for those curious about racing shoes but not wanting to drop a ton of money on a super shoe. So while the Adios 8 exists as an alternative to super shoes and for those who want something that has a more moderate stack height, it also may be more accessible to people given its price.


Fit: B+ (Wider forefoot with normal midfoot and slightly snug heel. Side to side translation, but secure front to back)
B+ (Easy/slower heel transition with faster forefoot/toe off. Works well for tempo runs, intervals and may be a moderate distance racing shoe for those that don't like high stack height racers)
Stability: B+ [Neutral] (Wider stiff forefoot creates inherent stability up front but neutral otherwise)
DPT/Footwear Science: B/B+ (Great redesign with significant weight drop. Posterior flare could be reduced for lighter and snappier ride)
Personal: B (I have a soft spot for the original Adios series. Feels like a different shoe but can still move. Not something I would use for racing, but can move when asked. A potential option if I wanted to save my super shoes but I'm probably going to stick to faster shoes for workouts. )
Overall: B+ 


Adidas Adizero Adios 8
Price: $129.95 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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Adidas Adizero Boston 12

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