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Adidas Adizero SL 2 Review
By Matthew Klein

The original Adidas Adizero SL 2 was a unique lightweight trainer due to its simplicity, great performance and solid price. A solid amount of Lightstrike combined with a small puck of Lightstrike Pro made for a great durable shoe that could handle training and workouts. Version 2 returns as a completely redone shoe that features all the upgrades you could imagine. A full-length layer of superfoam Lightstrike Pro, an increased stack height, a decreased weight and a snug upper are all part of the slightly super additions typical of shoes in today's world. The question is whether these upgrades keep the SL series true to the original or if this is now a completely different shoe. 

Adidas Adizero SL 2
Price: $129.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 8.3 oz, 236 g (men's size 9), 7.4 oz, 210 g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 36 mm / 26 mm
Drop: 10 mm
Shoe Purpose: Lightweight Performance Trainer

Pros: Light, Durable, Responsive Midsole, Snug but Comfortable Upper
Cons: Heel Drop More Noticeable


The Adidas Adizero SL 2 is a lightweight performance trainer for those that want a well-cushioned ride with workout versatility. The fit is slightly snug due to a lower volume, giving it a faster feeling fit. A full length amount of Lightstrike Pro with an encasing of Lighstrike 2.0 foam now sits in the midsole, providing a softer and bouncier ride. These features make for a shoe that can handle training but excels best during uptempo and tempo-type workouts. An upgraded shoe from the prior version, the Adidas Adizero SL 2 blends more superfoam with a taller stack height for a faster ride.

: ASICS Novablast 4, Brooks Launch 10, Adidas Boston 12
PAST MODEL: Adidas Adizero SL

(To learn how a shoe should fit, check out our full podcast on fit by Matt Klein.)

Matt: The Adidas Adizero SL 2 fits me true to size in my normal men's US size 10. The fit feels slightly snug due to the lower volume throughout with some mild stretch from the engineered mesh upper. The toe box is a tiny bit tapered thanks to the toe guard which is largely unobstructive outside of adding some structure to the front. This transitions into a normal width toe box with a little extra lateral toe room that still feels snug due to the low volume. This continues into the midfoot with a non-gusseted tongue and a normal to slightly snug fit. I did have to tighten the laces a little bit due to a lack of additional security from the tongue. Additionally, I did have some tongue sliding with quick turns but not during other times. This continues into a snug midfoot that features a large amount of heel collar padding especially at the top edge of the collar. The heel counter is fairly flexible so most people with heel sensitivities should be fine. The inner aspect of the upper is a little scratchy, so socks are recommended. The upper is also a tiny bit thick and runs warm, so thinner socks are highly recommended. 

Typical Size: Men's US Size 10
Shoes that have fit Matt well: Saucony Guide 17, ASICS Kayano 30, Hoka Gaviota 5, Saucony Endorphin Elite, Nike Ultrafly
Shoes that have fit snug: Hoka Arahi 7, Saucony Kinvara 14
Shoes that have fit large: Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2, Altra Timp 5

Doctors of Running Checklist

Is This a Good Shoe for Walking: Somewhat
Is This a Good Shoe for Standing: Somewhat
Is the Forefoot Flexible: Slight to Moderate
How Flexible is the Shoe: Slightly
Is This a Good Heel Bevel: Yes
Recommended for Haglunds: Mostly Yes
Recommended for Sockless: No
Durability Expectation: Above Average


Matt: The Adidas Adizero SL 2 is a lightweight performance trainer meant for daily and faster miles. The midsole features full length Lightstrike Pro which provides a noticeable bounce underfoot compared to the prior version. This is surrounded by Lightstrike 2.0 which seems to keep the ride from being completely unstable but keeps the mild to moderate softness. The ride is cushioned, mildly soft and resilient. The lighter weight is noticeable although this depends on the pace of the shoe. At slower speeds the weight seems to be more normal (feels mid 9 ish ounce) but when the pace picks up, the low 8 oz range is noticeable and it is easy to keep the legs turning over. As expected with Adidas, there is a large posterior lateral heel bevel. Despite the bevel, the 10mm is noticeable and feels a little higher. The heel transition is still smooth but will work best for those who like a higher drop. This transitions through the midfoot quickly and into a mild to moderately flexible forefoot. There is a moderately sized forefoot rocker that combined with the moderate flexibility keeps transitions off the front smooth. This feels better at faster paces that cause the transition to quicken.

Purpose-wise, the Adidas Adizero SL 2 can handle daily training for those who want a lighter shoe. It really excels at tempo runs, fartleks and faster efforts. It is not quite light enough for extremely fast track work but can still handle it. It feels best at longer uptempo/tempo efforts, particularly with the Lightstrike Pro section. There is plenty of shoe for this to be a great uptempo long run shoe and I used this once for a 10-mile run that my posterior tibialis (inner ankle) muscle was only slightly sore from. The traction and durability are excellent for a road shoe. The extensive outsole material has remained durable with no wear despite 40 miles of use. The outsole also provides some traction which can be used on mild trail but other true trail shoes should be considered for technical terrain. 

(Learn more about stability in our full guide)

Matt: The Adidas Adizero SL 2 is a neutral shoe. There are no major methods of stability with no sidewalls or traditional interventions. The posterior lateral heel bevel does provide some lateral resistance on transition but this is offset slightly by the higher drop. The midfoot does narrow and is best for those with more neutral mechanics. The forefoot features some medial and lateral flaring that keeps things subtly centered in the front. The most interesting component of this shoe is the internal layer of Lighstrike Pro surrounded by Lightstrike 2.0. This encapsulates the softer Lightstrike Pro and creates mild central guidance throughout the length of the shoe. This is not enough to make this stable neutral but takes the narrowed midfoot and softer ride and keeps things solidly neutral without being unstable. The SL 2 is overall a neutral trainer with mild guidance in the forefoot. 

Thoughts as a DPT: Do I Need A Super Shoe or a Lightweight Trainer?
By Matthew Klein

For the first time in running footwear history, racing shoes are selling in massive quantities. What used to be a niche category that most companies lost money on now is a decent-sized area of sales. Entire footwear companies may often be judged based on their single super-shoe rather than the extent of their entire line of daily shoes. While it is easy to get excited about the next super fast day shoe, it is still unknown whether these aggressive shoes are really appropriate for everyone. It is well known the super shoes can alter movements and forces in certain people. Additionally, with so much going on, there is a ton to learn about controlling them, especially over longer distances.

For those reasons and more, I frequently suggest that newer runners and even slower runners consider lightweight trainers rather than super racing shoes for longer distance racing. Those new to running must get used to the simple act of running, which can be overcomplicated by the presence of insanely bouncy foams, plates and geometries initially. Those who are slower may found that the angles, rate of foam compression and reformation and plate designs may not match their mechanics and forces. We also know that while you need to practice with them to prepare if you plan to use them for races, super shoes may not have the same economical improvements compared to traditional shoes (Mattie & Rowley, 2023). These can be great tools to save your legs, but if they blunt some of the stimuli that improve efficiency in newer runners, this may be problematic. Lightweight trainers like the SL 2 provide a bit of both worlds. Featuring a super foam that is bouncy not unstable, some flexibility and lighter weight, the SL 2 can still handle exploration into faster paces for both newer and experienced runners. So as we learn when and where super racing shoes are appropriate, shoes like the SL 2 may take up larger spaces in the arsenals of carefully training runners in the future. 


Matties, J. R., & Rowley, K. M. (2023). A pilot study: effects of an 8-week training intervention in carbon-plated running shoes. Footwear Science15(sup1), S182-S183.


Matt: The Adidas Adizero SL 2 is a different shoe from version one. Softer, more bouncy, a taller stack height and a tiny bit more neutral. The shoe is a clear improvement given the improved resilience, taller stack height and lower weight. The upper is snug but secure and feels ready for faster stuff. My major suggestions are to lower the drop to 8 mm, widen the midfoot slightly and gusset the tongue. The more moderate drop would smooth out the larger heel sensation while still being protective. The slightly wider midfoot would allow for a more centered ride in the middle. A gusseted tongue would increase security and keep the tongue from sliding on turns. There are large improvements overall, but there are some mild refinements which could take this shoe even farther.


Matt: The Adidas Adizero Sl 2 is for those who want a shoe for daily training and workouts in a lighter, softer package. The midsole set up will work best for those who want a mildly soft, bouncy but not overly unstable ride. The fit will work best for those with lower volume, normal to narrow width feet. The function is best for those looking for a more wallet-friendly speedy day option with the range into daily training. The Adidas Adizero SL 2 is a complete redesign from the prior version and this risk paid off. The price is still on the lower side but the $130 price range moves a bit more into the daily training range. Fortunately, this shoe has the durability to back it up and the price is excellent for the versatility you get. So for both new and experienced runners, the SL 2 my be a great option for base training, using a shoe that can handle a variety of things speed wise and an excellent lighter shoe that still has the durability to handle daily miles. 


Fit: B+ (Lower volume with slightly snug forefoot and normal width elsewhere)
B+/A- (Quick shoe but not the fastest. Better into uptempo/tempo runs)
Stability: B [Neutral] (Solidly neutral ride. No major guidance methods).
Value: A ($130 is a great deal for this soon-to-be-discounted shoe on top of the awesome durability). 
Personal: B+ (A shoe I want to like more but the more neutral ride and higher drop make it harder for me to choose these over others)
Overall Design: B+


Adidas Adizero SL 2
Price: $129.95 at Running Warehouse

Shop Men | Shop Women

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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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