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Adidas Adizero Takumi Sen 10: Energy Rods 2.0
By Matthew Klein

It has been almost 10 years since I first reviewed the Adidas Takumi Sen 2 on this website. It was a shoe that I instantly fell in love with and raced every distance from the mile to the half marathon in (I was not running full marathons and was still running sub-15 min 5ks at that time). It was a snappy and fast shoe, featuring a torsion system that extended all the way into the forefoot that I loved running fast in. I still have a pair that I have kept in pristine condition. The arrival of the Takumi Sen 10 made me grab my originals to try on for comparison. Despite sharing the same name and lineage, the two shoes could not feel more different. Regardless of the dissimilarities, the Takumi Sen remains as one of the longest-running racing shoe series (besides the Adios series). The newest Takumi Sen, despite some major changes from the original, comes with mild changes in this version. Featuring redesigned Energy Rods, a slightly different upper, and the same dual layer of Lightstrike Pro, The Takumi Sen 10 remains fairly consistent to the last two versions.

Adidas Takumi Sen 10
Price: $179.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 6.98 oz, 198 g (men's size 9), 5.89 oz, 167 g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 33 mm / 27 mm
Drop: 6 mm drop
Classification: Racing Flat





RUNNING SHOE SUMMARY

The Adidas Takumi Sen 10 is a racing shoe for those who want a lighter and faster shoe for 5k/10k efforts. The biggest update is the Energyrods 2.0, featuring a lateral extension in the midfoot (similar to the Boston 12) which adds mild medial guidance and a bit of extra stiffness for those who land there. A similar, light upper sits slightly snug with just enough room throughout the length of the foot, providing a secure, racing-style fit.  Best for those who want a moderate amount of stiffness, a lighter ride (albeit with a slight weight gain from the prior version) and a surprising amount of Lighstrike Pro for intervals, shorter tempo runs and 5k/10k races, the Takumi Sen 10 stays remains consistent despite a long history of changes.

SIMILAR SHOES
: Hoka Cielo Rd
PAST MODEL: Takumi Sen 9

FIT

The Adidas Takumi Sen 10 fits me true to size if a tiny bit short in my normal US men's size 10. The volume is lower and the fit is snug throughout the length of the shoe. The mesh is a little bit stiffer than previous, which combined with the slight taper at the forefoot makes for a slightly short fit. This makes the shoe fit more like a shorter-distance racer, which it is. The toe box and forefoot are especially low volume without a ton of wiggler room. This transitions into a snug midfoot with a non-gusseted, thin tongue. Thanks to the security from the heel and the snug fit, I had no reason to tie down the laces and did not have to worry about the thin tongue. The heel also fits snug and does not have a heel counter. There are two pads of cushioning at the top of the heel collar on both sides that further locks the foot in. The similar "SlingLaunch" heel, which is really a large external overlay that starts at the midfoot and wraps up and around the top of the heel, continues to do a great job of securing the heel. I did not have any slippage in this upper and did not have to lace lock the heel.

While the upper continues to breath well, the inner mesh is still scratchy with several exposed stitches. I would highly encourage socks as I have had several hotspots along the top of my midfoot and toes. Overall, the fit is secure, lower volume and snug (but normal for a racing shoe).




PERFORMANCE

The Takumi Sen 10 is a 5k/10k race shoe that still has plenty of cushioning with 33mm under the heel and 27mm under the forefoot. The Lightstrike Pro provides a balanced feel between soft and firm like prior versions. The weight is still light but sees an increase from the prior version to 6.98 oz. It still feels nimble with a fairly responsive midsole.

Unlike traditional super shoes, there isn't as much bounce or stiffness. This shoe relies a little more on your own body, but the Energy Rods 2.0 still provides a snappy feel when running faster. The new rods feature an extended section into the lateral midfoot and feel well integrated into the sole. Prior versions felt as if the cushioning would bottom out and I could feel the rods but not in this one. There is an 6mm drop and that is exactly what it feels like. The heel transition is fairly smooth with some bounce and snappiness. The midfoot is a little stiff, particularly on the lateral side. If you are moving at faster speeds, it feels like there is a little push toward the big toe which feels nice to shove from. If you are moving at slower speeds, it feels like the it pushes you off the medial side of the midfoot. This transitions into an especially snappy midfoot that despite its stiffness still transitions smoothly.

Given the lighter weight and nimbleness, the Takumi Sen 10 works best for shorter workouts, faster intervals and shorter races from the mile to the 10k. While there is plenty of cushioning for these distances, I would want something with a more centered midfoot and a bit more propulsive over longer distances. Going all out and at faster speeds where you are really pushing your own body is where this shoe does best, rather than longer consistent efforts where you might want a little extra bounce. I found shorter tempo runs were fine, but often ended up wishing I had a bit more over a few longer efforts I used these for.

The outsole is durable with no noticeable wear after 25 miles of all hard efforts. The traction does great on road and track but I would not take these on dirt. Rocks quickly got stuck in the little midfoot window for the rods and I began to worry about punctures through the exposed Lightstrike Pro. Overall, this is still a solid shorter-distance road/track shoe for those who still want Lighstrike Pro and some midsole stiffness but without as high a stack height as the majority of super shoes out there. 




STABILITY

The Adidas Takumi Sen 10 is a neutral racing shoe. There are no traditional methods of stability. There are no sidewalls and the medial midfoot is cut away/narrow with only the lateral side filled in. The new rod design (Energyrod 2.0) does have an extension/fill-in at the lateral midfoot, which creates extra stiffness there. This was immediately apparent to me and although similar to the Boston 12, was much more noticeable. I immediately felt a push toward the medial side of the midfoot.

Because of this, the Takumi Sen 10 features some medial guidance in the midfoot for those with lateral stability needs. This may be problematic for those with lateral guidance/medial stability needs at the midfoot. There is a small posterior lateral heel bevel, which does provide a nice transition at heel strike. There is also a small medial sidewall at the heel that I did not notice for the most part. For those still concerned after the massive posterior lateral heel bevel that threw people laterally in the Adios Pro 2, the Takumi Sen 10 does not feel like that at all. Outside of that, this is a neutral racing flat that will work best for most people over shorter distances.



Thoughts as a DPT: Lateral Stability in Footwear
By Matthew Klein

As someone who needs medial stability, I tend to focus heavily on medial stability methods in footwear. That does a disservice to those who need lateral stability, so rather than demonizing as I did in the Boston 12, it may be time to discuss who would benefit from lateral stability in shoes and how to identify footwear with it. Stability and guidance can come in many forms that we have been talking about for years. The more obvious ones recently come in the form of sidewalls, which most companies usually put on both the medial and lateral sides of the heel and/or midfoot of shoes (but not always). A lateral sidewall will provide lateral stability and medial guidance as it will resist motion going too far lateral and will facilitate motion toward the medial side of the shoe. As we have discussed with plates/rods, additional stiffness on the lateral side in the midsole will also facilitate motion medially as an individual's movement pathway through the shoe will generally pass through the path of least resistance. The lateral project of the Energy Rods in the midfoot of the Takumi Sen 10 provides this stiffness, which will provide some resistance to excessive lateral motion and facilitation of more medial midfoot. This may be challenging for those with medial stability needs, but is an interesting tool for those with lateral stability needs.

It has been far more common to see shoes with medial stability designs than lateral until now. Previously, a great deal of the medical and footwear community believed foot and ankle pronation was a major source of injuries. While that may be true for certain pathologies like Achilles tendon, posterior tibialis issues and a few others, it often does not influence others (Willems et al., 2021). The industry now has moved away from "correcting pronation" to more of a "centeredness" concept to help facilitate forward motion regardless of where the foot deviates. This included an understanding that while not as common a movement, some people do supinate a bit farther than they can control. Rather than making specific lateral stability shoes, the industry has been using guidance concepts on both the medial and lateral sides of the shoe with recent examples including the Kayano 30, Saucony Guide 17 and others. This idea of centeredness captures a larger variety of human movements than biasing a single direction, since the goal of a shoe should be to help facilitate forward motion and getting the foot/ankle back to the middle rather than excessive motion in one direction. 

That being said, companies need to realize that stiffness is a form of guidance. If you only fill in one side of the shoe, you will be facilitating motion for some people in the opposite direction. This does make sense with the Takumi Sen 10 as it is made for faster running and many people will land at the lateral midfoot when running faster. This can theoretically push motion back toward the middle and hopefully the big toe to push off from, but that will depend on how the person's foot moves and the speed at which they transition. Those trying this shoe do need to be aware there is some motion facilitation toward the medial midfoot due to one of the new components of the Energyrods 2.0. Whether that will work for everyone will vary on their unique mechanics.  

References:

Willems, T. M., Ley, C., Goetghebeur, E., Theisen, D., & Malisoux, L. (2021). Motion-control shoes reduce the risk of pronation-related pathologies in recreational runners: a secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial. journal of orthopaedic & sports physical therapy51(3), 135-143.




RECOMMENDATIONS

The Takumi Sen 10 is fairly similar to prior versions outside the new Energy Rod 2.0 design. It has been refined, but at the cost of some weight increase. Many people are still going to do fine buying the Takumi Sen 9 on sale, especially because based on the weight and design, that is the best version in recent years. 

At this time, my recommendations for the Takumi Sen are going to be borderline useless because Adidas is probably already working on version 12. However, after this many versions, the debut of new foam in the Evo Pro 1, the Takumi Sen series needs another foam update. 6.9 oz / 198 g is still on the lighter side, but it is half an oz heavier than the previous version, the Vaporfly and the SC Pacer. It is also a similar weight to many other full stack height super shoes like the Alphafly 3, Endorphin Elite, and Metaspeed Sky+/Edge+. For years, Adidas shoes have been known to be heavier than competitors. However, newer shoes like the Supernova Rise and the Evo Pro 1 have shown that this company can do light while still maintaining a high level of cushioning and performance (and the Rise could be even lighter if they got rid of the posterior heel flare). I don't think Adidas can modify the geometry of the Takumi Sen series anymore without sacrificing the structural integrity of the shoe. The midfoot cut-out is already large enough and I don't think they can extend a central cut-out into the forefoot as the rods don't provide enough torsional rigidity to handle that. If they are going to stay with a similar stack height and design, a new foam is the only option for an upgrade. Adidas could reduce the stack height to greater differentiate the shoe from the Adios Pro 3 (is there going to be a 4?).

Overall, I can't criticize this shoe too much as it does do its job and its intended purpose well. The Takumi Sen 10 has a high stack height and nimbleness for its weight and definitely performs well over shorter distances. It has been consistent over the last 3 years, which may be a good thing for some people. However, if they are going to continue to charge $180 for this shoe, then they need to make sure it is worthy of that price in the current market. The other major competitors to this shoe are the Hoka Cielo Rd ($160) and the Streakfly ($160). The Streakfly is almost an oz lighter but doesn't have the snappiness that makes it feel faster (in fact it feels better at tempo and moderate efforts). The Cielo Rd is the major competitor given the Pebax midsole and stiff ride that makes it feel really snappy. It has almost the same stack height but feels firmer compared to the Takumi Sen 10 and bit faster over mile to 5k distances. This category is slowly being built up as some people realize that more moderate stack height racing shoes may work better for them. Adidas needs to stay competitive here if they are going to charge $20 more and I still think a major foam update is in order.

WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR


The Adidas Takumi Sen 10 is a shorter-distance racing shoe for 5k/10k races, interval workouts and lower mileage runs. Those who want a snug racing-style fit that is light and secure will enjoy the upper. The slightly short fit does break in but some may need to adjust their sizing. The ride is similar to prior versions except with the extra stiffness at the lateral midfoot and a slightly better integration of the rods with the foam. Those who want a nimble ride that isn't max stack height but still has plenty of foam underfoot will enjoy this shoe for faster efforts. The Takumi Sen series continues to fill an important role as a shorter-distance, nimble racer in an era of maximal stack height longer-distance racing shoes. It does gain some weight, so those who want the lightest version should look at the Takumi Sen 9 on sale.


GRADING

Matt
Fit: A- (Snug fit throughout that is slightly short. Provides a secure racing fit)
Performance: B+/
A- (Snappy and lighter ride that still works best for road and track)
Stability: B/B- [Neutral] (Medial bias at midfoot due to lateral midfoot stiffness)
DPT/Footwear Science: B (Nothing majorly new outside of a filled-in lateral midfoot of the Energyrods 2.0)
Personal: B+ (I prefer version 9 due to the lighter weight and smoother midfoot transition. Still a fun shoe that I will continue to use for intervals and shorter runs. I would still choose other shoes to race in)
Overall: B+ 


SHOP | SUPPORT DOR

Adidas Adizero Takumi Sen 10
Price: $179.95 at Running Warehouse

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FURTHER READING: Racing Shoes

Adidas Takumi Sen 9  - An upper update drops the weight down to a swift 6.4 oz for race day
Altra Vanish Carbon - Inside Altra's first super shoe attempt
Asics Metaspeed LD [Track Spike] - Flytefoam Turbo and a carbon plate power this super spike
Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 - We look at Brooks premier racing shoe
Hoka Cielo Road - Hoka's new 5k/10k PLATELESS racing flat
Hoka Rocket X 2  - Hoka finally has its first real super shoe with this PEBA-based racer
New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3 - A full redesign of their super shoe offers the best ride yet, but with one issue
New Balance SuperComp Trail - A cushioned, rockered ride for all-terrain
Nike Vaporfly Next% 3 - A better fit and new geometry make the Vaporfly 3 the best yet
On Cloudboom Echo 3 - On Running's first real super shoe hits the market
Puma Deviate Nitro Elite 2 - One of our favorite racers sees its upgrade, but is it better?
Puma Fast-FWD Nitro Elite - Puma's highly aggressive, uniquely design 5k/10k racer
Puma Fast-R Nitro Elite 2 - A highly experimental racing shoe gets even more techy for v2
Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2 - Salomon's first true super shoe
Saucony Endorphin Elite  - A brand new super shoe rivaling the Alphafly in performance
Saucony Sinister - Sub 5ozs of speed
Skechers Speed Beast - A new long distancer trainer/racer from Skechers
Saucony Terminal VT [Track Spike] - Saucony's new middle distance super spike, featuring PWRRUN HG
Under Armour Flow Velociti Elite - UA releases their racer, featuring an ultra comfortable platform

Find all Shoe Reviews at Doctors of Running here.

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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, Santa Barbara, Danbury and Stevens Point areas, we 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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