The Adidas Adizero Prime X 2 Strung is quite something else. I had never tried its predecessor, so when I first slipped my feet into the cocoon-like Strung, I was blown away by it. Actually, my astonishment started when I opened the box the shoes came in, which was pretty mind-blowing already. I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's start at the beginning.
Adidas is currently on a mission to expand its Adizero running footwear portfolio. First, the Herzogeanuch-based overhauled the Boston 12 and Adidas Adizero Adios 8 shoes in June. Then, it announced the Adizero Prime X 2 Strung, the subject of this review, in early September. Finally, it just launched the Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1, the lightest running shoes Adidas ever made.
It goes without saying that I'm super excited about the Pro Evo 1, should I ever get the chance to try it, but I was also extremely curious to run in the Adizero Prime X 2 Strung. The Strung upper fascinated me since it was announced, and I never tried running shoes with multiple carbon plates embedded in the midsole. Plus, Kieran gave the previous version of the shoes five stars in his Adidas Adizero Prime X Strung review.
With all that in mind, I was ready to embark on a journey to see if the Adizero Prime X 2 Strung is, in fact, the best running shoe from Adidas to date. Is it? Read my full review below to find out.
Adidas Adizero Prime X 2 Strung review: price and availability
The new Adidas Adizero Prime X 2 Strung was announced on 15 September 2023 and retails for €300/ $300/ £250/ AU$ 450. It's available to buy globally now via Adidas UK, Adidas US, Adidas AU, the adidas app, in stores and selected retailers. It's currently available in two colourways, Cloud White / Core Black / Lucid Cyan and Lucid Lemon / Core Black / Arctic Night.
The Prime X Strung retailed for $300/ £230/ AU$ 420, so the new iteration is marginally more expensive in certain regions. The shoes aren't cheap, as expected from one of the most 'out-there' Super Trainers, so it's hard to recommend them to everybody, especially considering they don't comply with World Athletics Footwear Regulations.
If you run a World Record in elite/professional fields at World Athletic-sanctioned events wearing the Adidas Adizero Prime X 2 Strung, your times won't be official. Sorry. Otherwise, you can use them anywhere you want to.
Adidas Adizero Prime X 2 Strung review: specifications
- Fit: regular fit
- Foam: Lightstrike Pro cushioning
- Weight: 10 ounces (size 9)
- Midsole drop: 6.5 mm (heel: 50 mm / forefoot: 43.5 mm)
- Outsole: Continental Rubber outsole
- Sustainability: Upper contains a minimum of 50% recycled content
Adidas Adizero Prime X 2 Strung review: design and quality
The Adidas Adizero Prime X 2 Strung is very similar to the previous iteration of the shoes. It features the data-driven Strung upper, a yarn composite coded thread by thread, which provides a seamless, lightweight cocoon around the foot. It looks pretty cool, too, which has nothing to do with the performance, but it lends an aura of agility to the shoes.
The Strung upper on the Adizero Prime X 2 Strung slightly differs from before and now includes a knitted tongue designed to further enhance the lock-in feel. This stretchy tongue isn't made of the Strung material but a softer, synthetic material. There is some light padding around the collar, and the shoes lack a heel counter, other external or internal.
Moving on to the midsole, the stack height increased by 0.5 mm to 50mm. It features three layers of Lightstrike Pro foam, which not only sounds ridiculous, but it actually is tons of foam underfoot. The shoes also have an aggressive rocker shape, moving you forward almost effortlessly mile after mile.
Another technology that helps you go fast is the dual carbon-infused plate system. Adidas is edging away from its Energy Rods system, slowly turning the tension rods into full-blown carbon plates. The two plates are stacked on top of each other with a thin-ish layer of foam wedges in between.
In order to reduce weight, Adidas' engineers and product designers removed quite a lot of foam from underfoot. I'm glad the little notch that annoyed me on the Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 has been refilled with foam. A big chunk of foam is missing from the middle, and there are three smaller gaps under the balls of your feet. The heel has an almost asymmetrical design.
Most of the outsole is covered by a fine layer of Continental rubber. It's smooth as butter, apart from the area coloured blue, which is slightly textured.
Adidas Adizero Prime X 2 Strung review: running performance
I expected a lot from the Adidas Adizero Prime X 2 Strung. Super Trainers and this shoe, in particular, is how I imagine top-tier racing shoes would look should the World Athletics never have imposed any regulation on shoes. Super Trainers are running shoe evolution at its best. And the Adidas Adizero Prime X 2 Strung is one of the best Super Trainers out there.
You have industrial amounts of foam combined with a supportive upper and two stiff carbon-infused plates providing propulsion – what's not to like? The only issue I imagined might hinder the overall performance was the stack height and the inherent instability that might arise from being away from the ground so much.
Luckily, the improved Lightstrike Pro foam provides the right firmness to help you stand on your feet without much swaying. And as soon as you start moving, there is no stopping! The shoes roll easily, and the energy return from the foam and the carbon plates is phenomenal.
During testing, I found my legs wanting to go faster despite my lungs not being able to keep up with the current pace. I didn't experience much fatigue, either, at least in my legs. I'm not an ultra runner, so I can't tell how well the Adizero Prime X 2 Strung fares over super-long distances.
The shoes feel durable, but it's impossible to tell how well they'll perform after 3-400 miles after just a couple of weeks of testing. The Adizero Prime X 2 Strung feels solid, but that Continental layer isn't thick, and once it wears off, traction might be compromised. This could be an issue, especially if your gait deviates from optimal (e.g., pronation).
Adidas Adizero Prime X 2 Strung review: verdict
If you're into long-distance running, you must give the Adidas Adizero Prime X 2 Strung a try. You won't be able to use them on races, so it's hard to recommend the shoes for everybody, but if you're the kind of person who likes to push their limits and isn't afraid of going the extra mile, these shoes feel almost unmissable.
The updates might not sound mind-blowing, but they are important. The new tongue construction reduces chafing and improves comfort. The extra foam underfoot helps you go even further than before, and the two carbon plates ensure you won't only go far but get there quickly.
Despite the evident performance benefits of running in the Adidas Adizero Prime X 2 Strung, it's hard not to address the price. They aren't cheap, even in the generally expensive running shoe market, which might limit their appeal. The price reinforces the shoes' uniqueness, and that's how it should be. There are plenty of affordable shoes available, even from Adidas, if you can't justify spending this much money on running shoes.
If you can, though, you'll be able to run fast. Real fast.
Adidas Adizero Prime X 2 Strung review: also consider
Nike's Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% 2 running shoes look as chunky as Adidas' Super Trainers, but they are incredibly lightweight and able to propel you forward mile after mile. They feature an updated Atomknit 2.0 upper and reworked midsole for improved comfort and better energy return. Read my full Nike Alphafly 2 review.
My favourite shoe from last year, the Puma Fast-R Nitro Elite, is a seriously underrated high-stack racer. The energy return the shoes provide is on par with the Vaporfly, and despite the bold design, the Fast-R Nitro Elite is perfectly fine-tuned for high-octane training and racing. Not to be missed if you're on the market for your next race day shoes. Read my full Puma Fast-R Nitro Elite review.