Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Adidas Adizero Adios 2 Review

Typically, I like to run 100 miles in my shoes before dropping a review. However, because the Adidas Adios 2 are considered racing flats, I decided that 50 miles would suffice.

I initially picked these shoes up with guidance from my Runner's Roost rep. If you're from Colorado, you know about Runner's Roost, an in-state running chain. They've been my go to for shoes, minus certain, harder to find models like my Skora Forms. I was looking for a light, stable-ish flat to race Ironman 70.3 Kansas in. My Brooks Pure Flow 2 shoes, which I loved, were falling apart. They had been relegated to gym/weigh session duty.

That kind of put my in a pickle. I had planned on racing in Kansas with those on my feet. But, with them being so worn, and Kansas over two weeks away, I need options. I was close enough that I had begun to taper, so runs were short enough I could get by in my Skora Forms for every day training. I knew that they wouldn't do for me in Kansas, though. Nothing against Skora, my feet just aren't physically strong enough yet to handle a half-marathon when I'm fatigued to begin with. So I made a trip to Runner's Roost, who set me up with a couple different options. They had the Hagio, which I've run in before, a long time ago. Unfortunately, they weren't stocked in my size. They had one that was half a size too small, which I tried without success. I'd never run in the Adios 2, but were more than willing to give them a try.

My impression: This shoe is fast. Crazy fast. The only other shoe I've ever owned that compares is probably Nike's LunarRacer. The drop was more than I'm used to, 9 mm (24mm heel, 15mm forefoot). But it didn't seem to hamper me. I've gotten to the point where I'm always on my forefoot anyway. If you look at any given pair of my shoes, the heel looks brand new, while the forefoot is trashed. And to think all through middle and high school I was mocked for walking on my toes (it's great for your posture, by the way).

So I bit the bullet, purchased the pair (they're not cheap at $115), and went on my merry way. I was pleased to see that aesthetically, they matched my Skins Tri400 suit, black and yellow. It's worth noting that while they aren't cheap, especially for a racing flat, they're not at the top end of the price spectrum (I'm looking at you, Newton).

I did a couple quick miles on a treadmill before I went to Kansas to get a general feel for the shoe with a higher turn over. Runner's Roost is always understanding and allows anyone and everyone to do a test run outside, which I did, but I didn't do any top end speed. I don't want to be that guy, looking like he's running in the Olympics, when in all reality I'm in the middle of a crowded mall in Fort Collins. These quick intervals gave me a general confirmation of what my first impression imparted: The heel drop wasn't a big deal.

When Kansas came around, I was ready. I ran out of T2, and felt wonderful. Up until the first hill, when I more or less bonked from the exertion of chasing the pack on the bike all day. Long story short (you can read my race report for all the details) I dropped to about 10 minute miles and stayed there. Embarrassing. The Adidas were probably the only good thing about the run. I was running (well, jogging) along pretty well for someone who was dead for the first ten or so miles. Then I really started hurting. Let me explain: Bonking doesn't hurt. It just feels like there's nothing left in the tank, because there isn't. I was hurting. I had been cramping the whole run, but this was really where it hurt. My form started to disintegrate. Through all of it, the Adidas were wonderful, mainly because when I say my form started to fall apart, I started to heel strike. It was a relief to have the heel support there, even though I'm certainly not proud that I had to rely on it.

I've done a lot more speed work since Kansas, particularly because I haven't ratcheted up the mileage again. And when I know I'll be running on pavement, the Adios are the shoes I reach for. That little extra support makes them a worthwhile investment for your next speed run if you're not on the track or a soft surface.

Additional note (2/1/14): I've been using the Adios a lot more since June. They've seen me through several high tempo training sessions, more than a few double digit runs, and a PR 5k of 17:45 (in training, no less!) and I'm happy to say that they're still in my rotation. I try to use them sparingly, they are a racing flat after all, but when speed calls, the Adios answers. 


  1. This is a great and honest review. I concur, a great shoe. And no, bonking is no fun!

  2. If you haven't heard, Adidas is bringing their new Energy Boost tech to this shoe next year. Excited to try them!