As the race to engineer the world’s fastest performance running footwear heats up, Adidas offers up its own entry: the Adizero Pro.
For more than two decades, the Adizero has been one of the brand’s premier technical running silhouettes, owing its origin to a collaboration between Adidas and Japanese footwear designer Yoshitori Omori.
“From the early 2000’s, the Omori Last’s were a hallmark of quality and innovation—the Adizero name on a product was a sign that the shoe had been built around a new last designed with runners feet and motion in mind, and then carved by Mr. Omori in his workshop in Japan; the home of technical running,” the brand said.
For the latest Adizero update, Adidas asked its long-time design collaborator to build the brand a new last in order to design the Adizero Pro around a fresh shape. Adding its latest innovative technology, Adidas will make the Adizero Pro the first Adidas running shoe to incorporate Lightstrike TPU foam in the midsole. The presence of Lightstrike—which was first used in the Adidas NXTLVL basketball shoe in 2018—will increase energy return and stability while running, according to the brand. Lightstrike is also one of the lightest TPU foams on the market, something long-distance runners will appreciate, Adidas said.
The shoe will also include a Carbitex carbon plate between the sockliner and the Lightstrike foam—not to be confused with Nike’s Next% performance running footwear, which also relies on the energy return provided by embedded carbon plates.
Carbitex plates have been in use in Adidas footwear since the 1980s, the brand noted, and the model that appears in the Adizero Pro was newly-commissioned to give the updated silhouette “an economically guided stride.”
Adidas Boost foam sits at the heel, for a “plush element of comfort” in an otherwise highly-technical shoe. The brand’s proprietary midsole material will also be covered in a layer of Continental rubber on the outsole and is said to retain the same level of energy return and bounce in all temperatures and conditions.
Topping it all off is an all-new upper mesh called Celermesh, the thinnest mesh Adidas has produced yet. Celermesh completely secures the foot, creating a tight fit while allowing for maximum breathability, the brand said.
Marathon footwear has recently come under heavy scrutiny by the sports governing body, World Athletics, mostly as a result of recent innovations made by Nike in the field of performance footwear. Nike’s Next% Vaporfly running shoes became so popular, in fact, that World Athletics was rumored to be considering a ban.
Ultimately, the group decided against a rule change that would disqualify the Vaporfly and the records its wearers have set but warned that shoes with prototype technology may not receive the same treatment in the future, citing the need for fairness in the sport.
While the Adizero Pro boasts similar features to the Vaporfly—like thick, specialized foam in the midsole and the embedded carbon plate—the recent ruling has made the presence of those features legal in official competition and the shoe is unlikely to face any additional scrutiny.
The Adizero Pro will be available in select markets starting April 1 and will release worldwide on May 15.