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The lowdown on the controversial ‘super shoe’ that’s all the rage right now in running


Tigist Assefa World Record, Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1s

There’s no question Adidas‘ headline-grabbing Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1 is the talk of the running world right now.

For those catching up, Ethiopia’s Tigist Assefa recently smashed the women’s marathon world record in a pair them. It’s being dubbed the ‘super shoe’ and has certainly caused a stir.

If you’re a hardcore runner or avid fan, you’ve probably heard all about it by now.

But what makes the Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1 so ‘super’ — the weight, design or some technological breakthrough? Let’s get into it.

Tigist Assefa World Record, Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1s

What you need to know about the Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1

The new Adidas release is one of the lightest shoes that’s ever been made; the lightest running shoe to date. It’s pushing all kinds of technological boundaries and is designed purely for elite runners looking for PBs… or even the odd world record!

It’s a ‘single-use’ shoe

The Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1 is designed as, essentially, a single-use product that elite athletes will wear literally once. They’ll throw a brand new pair on at the start line and basically wear their way right through the shoe — it has roughly a 70km shelf life.

How much do they weigh?

144g (for a US M10.5)

For reference, that’s nearly half the weight of your more standard running shoe, which have all become incredibly light since technology’s massive ‘strides’ forward in recent years.

Adidas Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1s
The Adidas Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1

What are the features that make this shoe cutting edge?

If you’ve heard someone talk about the ‘midsole’ of a shoe, this is where having that kind of an understanding could help you. The Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1 has a boundary-pushing ‘non-compression Lightstrike Pro’ midsole — in Layman’s terms, an ultra-light rubber compound.

There are two large layers to the sole of this shoe, with an ‘energy rod’ separating them. The one thing designers made sure not to compromise on was the grip underfoot, which is said to feel the same as most other running shoes. Instead, the design teams found other ways to bring the weight down.

“We really tested it to its limits,” Senior Global Product Manager Charlotte Heidmann confirmed in an explainer video via ‘Believe in the Run‘ on YouTube. Watch below.

So what’s with the controversy?

The running world, particularly at the elite level, are firmly divided over whether or not the Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1 should be legal in racing or not. Quickly reflect on the era of swimming where we saw records tumble; swimmers in those full body ‘super suits’ that assisted with buoyancy. They were outlawed and the world records were given asterisks.

The foam in these shoes create more spring than in previous shoes and there’s no doubt the conversation around where to draw the line will continue over time.

How much does a pair of these shoes cost?

$500 USD (roughly $800 AUD)

Yeah, they’re not cheap. Budding runners walk into a shoe shop expecting to drop between $200-$350 AUD on a new pair of road or trail shoes; about a third of the price of the Adios Pro Evo 1s.

‘Should I buy a pair of Adidas Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1s?’

The simple answer is no. Not unless you’re competing for medals on the world stage, essentially. This isn’t an efficient use of money or resources for the slightly more casual or amateur runners.

If money’s no issue and curiosity gets the better of you, we’re not going to stop you. But in a world where waste and fast fashion are becoming major issues with landfill, we suggest that runners leave the super shoes for the elites and target more durable options.

Picture of Phil Prior
Phil Prior
Phil is the editorial lead at Only Sports, bringing more than 12 years of wide-ranging sports media experience to the team. But it’s his unrivalled passion that sets him apart. He also commentates AFL on SEN Radio, plus Rugby on Stan Sport. Find Phil on LinkedIn.

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