Adidas is on a mission to make ground-breaking, elite-level race shoes that punish the opposition with massive stacks, carbon plates and insanely light weights.
Take the Adizero Prime X 2 Strung, for example. There’s so much foam and carbon tech in that bad boy, it has been declared illegal for fully sanctioned racing. Instead, it is designed for runners outside of race regulations to go and smash PBs.
Now, Adidas has unveiled its latest weapon, which is legal, in the form of the 138g Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1, its lightest-ever innovation-packed racing shoe.
According to the brand, with lighter footwear comes the opportunity for greater speed, and its latest offering is a whopping 40 per cent lighter than any 'super shoe' it has ever created.
How does it do it? Well, Adidas went back to the drawing board and stripped the shoe of any potential flab that might slow it down. The result is the newest version of Lightstrike Pro foam, which is made in a "non-compression" moulding process, which apparently strips weight and improves energy return.
There’s a distinct lack of a sock liner, the upper is fashioned from the lightest mesh material going and the outsole is kept to the bare minimum, providing just enough traction without adding any excess mass.
According to its maker, the development process involved shipping elite athletes out to training camps in Kenya and getting them inside the lab at HQ in Herzogenaurach, Germany. That included the likes of Olympic champion and two-time Major Marathon winner Peres Jepchirchir and two-time Major Marathon winner Benson Kipruto donning prototypes in pursuit of perfection.
The result is a shoe that packs a first-of-its-kind forefoot rocker, placed at 60 per cent of the length of the shoe, as well as a 6mm heel-to-forefoot drop for added propulsion. The resulting design is very much form over function, but Adidas has deliberately introduced translucent and see-through materials that act as a "metaphor for its lightness".
A limited number have dropped now, with runners encouraged to sign up for a chance to get them on foot. A second drop will follow in November 2023. But hold tight for the price: it is slated at £400/$500/€500, making it one of the most expensive running shoes out there. Will it make it to our best running shoes guide, though? We'll have to wait and see.