Adidas has an answer to Nike Vaporfly: carbon-infused Adidas Adizero Pro running shoes announced

Featuring a Carbitex carbon plate for propulsion and the new Lightstrike midsole for speed

Adidas Adizero Pro running shoes announced
(Image credit: Adidas)

Just today, Adidas introduced the Adidas Adizero Pro, its newest elite running shoes. The latest iteration of the Adizero franchise brings a whole new cushioning system – Lightstrike – to the table as well as an integrated Carbitex plate in the middle of the sole.

Does this combination sound familiar? The hotly debated Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% (Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% first run experience) uses a similar system in the form of the ZoomX cushioning and the carbon-plate in the middle of the foam. Even the new Nike Air Zoom Alphafly is using a system like this.

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Although Adidas has been experimenting and using carbon inserts in their running shoes since the 80s, the technology has only recently got to a stage where different materials can be assembled ultra-precisely to create running shoes with minimal energy loss.

The silhouette of the Adidas Adizero Pro is a reinvention of the legendary and record-breaking Adidas Adizero Adios, used by Haile Gebrselassie to shattered his own marathon world record in 2008, and it's been upgraded in every possible way to "provide the wearer with lightweight temperature-independent comfort, explosive movements, maximum cushioning, and durability, all working in harmony".

Adidas Adizero Pro running shoes announced: profile view

The Celarmesh upper sits on a foam + carbon midsole compound

(Image credit: Adidas)

Adidas Adizero Pro: running shoe innovation

Running shoe manufacturers work in long development cycles so it would be hard to say when the idea of the Adidas Adizero Pro was conceived or whether the development of the shoes have been affected by the success of the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%.

One thing is for sure: Adidas hasn't just quickly cobbled together some random technologies to try and match the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%'s performance. In fact, the Adidas Adizero Pro is a combination of biomechanical design and in-camp road testing with world elites, including Joyciline Jepkosgei, Amos Kipruto, and Rhonex Kipruto. Marathon world record holder Mary Keitany also played a key part in the shoe’s development.

• Read our Adidas 4D Run 1.0 review

Adidas engineers and designers also took insights from Japanese master shoe creator and 20-year adidas collaborator Mr Omori, who spent months on the lasts which the shoe was built around. With his ‘inside out’ approach to shoe crafting, he first perfected the shape and its complex curves, and then chose the right materials and textiles to provide an exact fit.

Adidas Adizero Pro running shoes announced: Mary Keitany running

Mary Keitany running in the prototype of the Adidas Adizero Pro

(Image credit: Adidas)

Adidas Adizero Pro features

  • The multidirectional Carbitex carbon plate provides flexibility at touchdown and maximum propulsion.
  • The new midsole features a combination of Lightstrike, which provides super-light cushioning, and the Boost technology in the heel for temperature-independent comfort and optimised energy return.
  • Single-layer Celarmesh – Adidas’ thinnest mesh ever, which completely locks down the foot.
  • Quickstrike DSP and Continental rubber transition: the lightweight, injected DSP outsole provides flexibility and durability both on road and track, whilst Continental – a high-performance rubber compound – provides superior grip in all weather and ground conditions

Adidas Adizero Pro running shoes announced: the sole

Continental rubber has been applied for extra traction

(Image credit: Adidas)

The Adidas Adizero Pro (RRP €180/£180) will be available online and in-store in select markets from 1 April, and worldwide from 15 May 2020.

In case you can't wait until April to buy yourself some running shoes:

T3 ❤️ running

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.