Neutral / cushion / high arch
Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with normal, high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.
Stability / overpronation / normal arch
Shoes for runners who need mild to moderate arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a low arch. See the best stability shoes.
Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet
Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.
Good to know
Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.
Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.
Good to know
If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.
WeightMen: 9.5ozWomen: 8.5oz
Heel to toe dropMen: 10mmWomen: 10mm
The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.
There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.
Heel heightMen: 26mmWomen: 26mm
Forefoot heightMen: 16mmWomen: 16mm
WidthMen: normalWomen: normal
Experts are runners, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.
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89 / 100 based on 11 expert reviews
Will Adidas Help You Keep Up the Tempo in the Adizero Tempo 9?
The Adidas Adizero Tempo 9, according to Running Warehouse, is a shoe offering “A responsive ride with a hint of support… best suited for tempo runs, but [it] has sufficient cushioning for daily runs as well.”
Do we agree?
See the verdict below, as well as a rewrite of this statement.
An Opening Comment
You don’t have to say it. I understand that this review is a bit late to the party due to factors and circumstances beyond our control. But sometimes there’s an advantage to not being an early adopter.
In this case, it’s that Adidas is currently offering the original colorway versions of the Tempo 9 at 40% off of the list price of $120. That’s just $72.00 and some online retailers are offering it for $71.88.
The Tempo 9 is a lightweight mild stability shoe. These shoes happen to be among my favorites. They don’t all work, but when they do it is certainly good news.
The Tempo 9 weighs 8.9 ounces in the men’s version, is semi-curved and slip lasted, and offers a 10mm drop. On the road, the drop feels like 6mm. The fit of the shoe is snug and tight, like a racing flat.
Most runners will want to go up a half-size over their walking shoe size. I went up a full size and was glad I did. But it should be noted that the upper on the Tempo 9, like a well-worn slipper, does expand over time.
The laces on the Tempo 9 are not elastic, but they stay tied. It takes some practice to perfect the proper lacing system. Tie the laces too tightly and you may feel some pressure on the top of your feet.
The supplied insole is attractive and relatively thin, but I decided that I wanted more space in this racing flat-performance trainer hybrid. So I substituted an extremely thin Ortholite sock liner which seemed to be a better match for the shoe’s true character.
The Tempo 9 sits on an ultra-responsive BOOST midsole, which is said to use “zones of deeper BOOST material to create added support.” Had I named the shoe, I would have labeled it the Adidas Adizero BOOST Tempo 9.
The Tempo 9 provides a modicum of stability for slight pronators by utilizing three engineered components: Dual-density BOOST on the medial side, a midfoot torsion brace on the sole, and a strip of applied reinforcement under the heel on the medial side.
These features work well in a non-obtrusive way. The Torsion System brace is quite effective in providing a welcome feel of the structure at the midfoot. (I’m not a fan of running shoes that feel formless; like there’s no there-there.)
You do not need to be a pronator to run in the Tempo 9. Because the support provided is minimal, it is unlikely that neutral runners will feel the anti-pronation mechanics built into the shoe.
And the Tempo 9 will accommodate forefoot and midfoot landers, as well as heel strikers.
The Tempo 9 turns a mild pronator into a neutral runner but does not turn him/her into a supinator.
Cushioning: B- to B
The cushioning in the Tempo 9 is fine. However, it is not going to blow one away with pogo stick-like springiness. The shoe is not as springy as, for example, the Adidas Supernova or the Reebok Floatride.
Responsiveness/Speed: B+ to A-
The BOOST cushioning allows one to quickly put one’s feet down and pick them up on medium to fast-paced runs.
The bounce back on each foot fall is enough to propel you on to the next step. But there’s not so much bounce that it produces wasted energy.
The semi-firm ride may remind some of the Adidas Adios racing flat. Adidas has dialed in the midsole to the “just right” setting.
The Tempo 9 is not the fastest-feeling shoe on the market, but it offers the low-end torque of a roadster. And it definitely feels speedier than a mainstream trainer.
The forefoot on the Tempo 9 is surprisingly inflexible.
This may enhance the responsiveness for faster runners, but I’m hopeful that Adidas will improve the shoe in future editions with one or more deep flex grooves up front.
The ride in the Tempo 9 is similar to that of the Brooks Asteria - another minimal support shoe but is firmer in nature.
The firmness present in the Tempo 9 means that it is not as smooth-riding as the Adidas PureBOOST DPR (deconstructed performance runner) trainer. I give an edge to the DPR in ride quality, but the Tempo 9 and DPR models together would make for a great two-shoe rotation.
Grip: A- to A
The Continental Rubber sole does an excellent job of holding on to and gripping anything on a running surface.
The downside is that the sole also picks up strange and unwanted items – like wild berries that will discolor the sole.
Durability: A to A+
The Tempo 9 shows virtually no wear on its sole after many weeks.
I have little doubt that this shoe’s sole and midsole will hold up for 700 or so miles; about twice the mileage expected out of an average trainer.
Style: A- to A
The grey-neon green-black upper on the Tempo 9 is sharp, and Adidas has been out front in producing “24/7” shoes that can be worn for sport, for work, and play.
The shoe definitely gets noticed by younger runner-consumers, perhaps because they relate to its retro 90s appearance. (It’s in the eye of the beholder; however, as some look at the Tempo 9 and see the look of running shoes from the 1970s and 80s.)
I would rewrite the opening statement about the Adidas Adizero Tempo 9 as follows: “This is a responsive, light stability performance trainer. It can be used for daily tempo training runs and also as a protective yet fast-feeling race day shoe.”
And this would pretty much sum up why this shoe gets an “A” grade and score overall.
The Tempo 9 gets the job done in almost every respect and is a very good option for someone who can train in a racing flat but prefers more cushioning underfoot.
It would work well for the majority of runners as a trainer, keeping in mind that attention should be paid to getting the proper fit in this somewhat snug and narrow model.
Well done, Adidas!
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
A track day hero: Adidas Adizero Tempo 9 review
For runners who need mild stability for speedwork on the track or road races, the Adizero Tempo 9 is your feet’s hero.
Who the Tempo is perfect for
Anyone looking for a lightweight (9.5oz for a men’s size 9), responsive running shoe with a touch of stability for mitigating mild overpronation will find a perfect fit in the Tempo 9.
The shoe is a track-tuned sportscar for your feet, and everything about it is designed to help you go fast.
Starting from the bottom of the shoe, the outsole is a lightweight, grippy Continental rubber that performs perfectly on any smooth surface and has exceptional durability from a rubber infused with graphene that prevents wear and adds energy return. After a few hundred miles, the outsole showed no sign of wear.
Moving up, the midsole is light, springy, and responsive from a mix of Adidas Boost in the heel and midfoot, and a firmer foam in both the midfoot and forefoot to add stability.
Both materials maintain their springiness for hundreds of miles. The midsole is shaped with a nice curve to ease the heel-toe transition and facilitate quick turnover for rapid cadence running.
The shoe’s midsole positions you at a 10mm heel-toe ratio, raising you slightly up on to your toes, and encouraging a more aggressive running stance and faster turnover. This position feels great when doing short repeats on the track, or on a <10K race day, but may feel uncomfortable on longer runs where a more natural, lower heel-toe ratio may be preferable.
Finally, on the top of the shoe, the upper is a lightweight, breathable mesh that wraps your foot snug like the racing seat in a Formula 1 sports car. Adidas opted to also include a nice rigid heel shank, which adds a smidgen of weight, but helps lock the foot down and works well with the midsole to effectively manage mild overpronation.
The use of several overlays in the upper also adds a little bit of weight but adds to durability: the upper kept a comfortable, snug fit for hundreds of miles. For most foot shapes, the upper’s overlays will give a good snug fit without causing abrasion.
A look at the competition
The number of lightweight stability shoes available for speed work are countable on one hand, but there is still some tough competition for the Tempo.
The toughest competition is the New Balance 1500 v4: it has the same amount of arch support as the Tempo but is a full ounce lighter (8.4oz for a men’s size 9), has a more natural heel-toe ratio (6mm), and has a fully seamless upper that will accommodate a wider range of foot shapes.
The stats say the 1500 v4 is a better shoe, but I personally prefer the Tempo. Its more aggressive heel-toe ratio just feels more fun on the track, like bursting out of sprinter starting blocks with every stride.
Further, the springiness of the Adidas Boost midsole material has a liveliness that New Balance’s REVlite foam lacks, and the all mesh upper of the 1500 v4—while more comfortable when standing or walking around—starts to feel mushy and insecure during rapid turnover, high cadence running compared to the Tempo’s locked down upper.
I suggest trying both out at a local running store and seeing which one feels better for you.
Who the Tempo is Not good for
For all its deserved praise, the Tempo is built for a small niche of runners and a narrow band of running conditions: for many, there may be better options.
Neutral runners who do not need arch support should look for lighter options with the same feel, like the Adizero Adios. The extra stability features of the Tempo add a little bit of weight that you don’t need.
1. Runners with more than mild overpronation who need additional support should look for shoes with more robust arch support: it’ll be worth the extra bit of weight. The Asics 2000, for example, is a bit heavier but has similar responsiveness to the Tempo with much more arch support that’ll make you more efficient with your running and stave off injuries. If you have questions about how much support you need, head to your local specialty running store and talk with an expert.
2. Runners who intend to do long distance runs or looking for a high mileage trainer should look elsewhere. I personally find the Tempo jarring on the legs after about six miles: it’s just too snug in the upper, too aggressive a heel-toe ratio, and too firm in the midsole. Doing distance runs in the Tempo feels like going for a long-distance road trip in sport-tuned roadster.
On the track, sporty bucket seats and a stiff suspension are great, but on longer distances, that cushy sedan starts to feel pretty great. If you’ll be putting in long runs, a softer, more forgiving stability shoe like the Adidas Ultra Boost ST, Saucony Liberty ISO, or New Balance Vongo may be better options than the Tempo.
3. Anyone doing runs on surfaces any rougher than a track, treadmill, or smooth pavement should find a shoe with an outsole designed for a wider range of conditions. The Continental outsole on the Tempo is great on smooth, dry surfaces, but doesn’t perform well on even mild crushed gravel trails, much less dirt, mud, or other gritty terrains.
4. Runners that need a wide toe box will find the Tempo’s triangular, narrow forefoot to be too tight, and those with bunions or wide splay between the first and second metatarsals (the bones in your foot just before the start of the big toe and second toe) are likely to get blisters from the Tempo’s forefoot overlay placement, and will prefer a similar shoe with a wider, all mesh forefoot like the New Balance 1500 v4.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
The Adidas Adizero Tempo 9: A Solid Everyday Training Option
The Adidas Adidas Tempo 9 is a nice option for a daily trainer. By its name, the Tempo 9 is built for uptempo, faster running.
I found the shoe to be fairly conducive to fast running. It is, however, a bit bulky for the faster running one might describe as true tempo efforts.
The tempo is perfect for something more of a recovery or easy run but may fall a bit short when you need a lot of responsiveness and speed.
Adidas uses what they call an “air mesh upper” to enhance breathability.
You can see in the picture below that Adidas also employs a “stretchweb” webbing system for an added structure to the shoe. The webbing on the upper is designed after Japanese origami.
The Tempo 9's air mesh upper in combination with the webbing system, offers a sock-like coolness while the revising structure around the foot reduces movement between the shoe and your foot.
Adidas offers a Microfit design to lock in the heel and this really adds to the secure responsive feel of the shoe. The secure fit helps to feel as if the shoe isn’t too bulky.
Dual density Boost material provides stability on the medial side of the foot combined with the well-publicized energy return that is found in all Boost shoes.
As a neutral runner it was hard to appreciate the stability aspect of this shoe, however, I was dealing with a plantar fascia issue that was resolved after a few runs in this shoe. The stability no doubt had a little something to do with the injury recovery.
There is plenty of cushioning in the Tempo 9, making it a great option for a daily trainer.
The Boost technology provided by Adidas is an incredible innovation, providing cushioning and energy return without much added weight. The cushioning is a bit bulky for a true tempo worthy shoe though.
The Continental Rubber outsole is another great innovation by Adidas.
The outsole provides incredible traction. You really don’t know what you are missing in terms of traction until you wear a newer pair of Adidas with this technology.
The Adidas Adizero Tempo 9 offers a responsive feel mixed with stability and quite a bit of cushioning.
There is more than enough cushioning to make this shoe your daily trainer. It’s a great quality long run type shoe.
It isn’t aggressive enough to race a marathon or a half marathon in and those are the type of shoes that I think of as a true tempo shoe.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
Adidas Adizero Tempo 9: Good looking, fast mover WLTM...
Sometimes it's love at first sight, other times it’s a slow burn. With the Adidas Adizero Tempo 9, it was more like a war of attrition. I’m a slower, neutral/under pronating runner and the Tempo 9 is a mild stability trainer for faster runs, so it’s no wonder we didn’t hit it off at first; on paper we weren’t a match made in heaven.
I hated them initially but reluctantly kept trying, wondering whether I was missing something. Finally, they wore me down, and I love them, dearly. (I had a similar stormy relationship with the Adizero Boston 7, but it didn’t have such a happy ending... let’s not talk about that).
I may seem shallow, but it was the classic good looks of the Tempo 9 that first caught my eye. Like the Adios 3, it sports a vintage style, the mesh and synthetic suede upper wouldn’t look out of place on a causal 1980’s football terrace (apologies for the niche UK reference).
Likewise, the color schemes have a suitable retro feel, think turquoise, jade greens and grey with burgundy. The mesh in the upper lends an airy feel in warmer climes.
There’s no denying this is a narrow fit, suited to the Tempo’s racy nature. I went half a size up from my usual Adidas fitting, those with narrower feet may not need to.
Even so, the main reason we didn’t hit it off on our first few trips out related to the fit rather than anything else, I know things aren’t going well when I’m repeatedly trying different lacing patterns without success.
In the end, the thing that clinched it was as simple a change of laces. The Tempo comes with flat cotton type laces, from one perspective these are great: they refuse to come undone, and they don’t shift about once you’ve adjusted the lacing. However, it’s this tenacity which caused problems.
If the lacing wasn’t perfect the tops of my feet ached and my toes went numb, consequently I was forever stopping to make little ‘micro-adjustments,’ it was frustrating. A change to a ‘slippier’ flat polyester lace made all the difference, I believe this helps the shoe adjust to your foot during a run.
In addition, there is a smart little touch where the overlay strip folds back on itself forming a loop thus providing the first two lacing eyelets. Not only does this look good, but it also allows the first two laces to work independently from the rest allowing you to have the forefoot locked down more, or as I preferred leaving it a little looser than the rest of the lacing.
There’s traditional tongue with a loop. The edges look unfinished, and although I had no problems with tongue slippage, it may cause irritation if you run sockless.
The heel grips your foot tightly, similar to the adios 3. The toe box is shallow, narrow and pointed again in keeping with the Tempo’s racing pedigree. It’s a shame Adidas don’t tend to produce different width options, especially in this ‘premium’ Adizero range.
Midsole & outsole
The Tempo benefits from the proven combination of Boost midsole with continental rubber and adiWear outsole. There’s a layer of EVA over the Boost, the latter seems to run almost full length.
Consequently, this makes them bouncier than the Adios 3 but firmer than the Boston 7. I found the Boston bottomed out with my midfoot strike.
There’s a 10mm drop, although again like other shoes in the Adizero range, this doesn’t feel as high when running. Heel strikers will definitely benefit from the cushioning in the heel. The ride is firm but responsive, and the forefoot feels stable and planted with a forefoot or mid-foot strike.
They feel fast on the foot and are ideally suited for quicker tempo or speed work. However, I have also been using them for longer runs up to half marathon distance and would consider them for marathon distance once you have the fit nailed down provided you don’t want too much cushioning.
The stability elements are threefold. Firstly there’s the plastic ‘torsion system’ which although found in several non-stability shoes in the Adidas range, in this case, has a longer and wider span.
The medial midsole is shored up by a greater density of Boost foam, with a thin layer of laminate. This combination provides some mild stability without resorting to an intrusive medial post.
Runners requiring more support may find this less beneficial than previous versions of the Tempo. You could look at the Solar Glide ST if you want greater motion control; however, this is a substantially bulkier shoe. The Tempo 9 weighs 282g for my UK 9.5
I’ve mostly used these on the road, and the traction is predictably good in both dry and wet conditions. I’ve run trails on the same outsole without any issues; however, the upper on the Tempo probably wouldn’t stand up to the abuse.
Unusually for a shoe these days, breaking in period is called for. However, once we’d got to know each other and overcome the awkward lacing issue, things really took off, and I see a bright future, maybe even going the full marathon distance.
The Adizero Tempo 9 is good looking with a dynamic personality. Although I wouldn’t recommend them as a blind date - if you’re compatible it could be a match made in heaven.
Updates to Adidas Adizero Tempo 9
- The Adidas Adizero Tempo 9 is a running shoe that’s designed to provide mild support for overpronators. The build is optimized for the roads. Regarding design, it’s subtler than the previous iteration, the Adizero Tempo 8; the overlay system is made up of a Microsuede fabric for structure-reinforcement, as well as foot-security.
- The midsole unit features the boost™ foam, a full-length unit that’s designed to offer a springy ride. A dual-density version of this component is placed on the medial side for pronation correction. Additional midfoot support is afforded by the TORSION® SYSTEM.
- Continental™ Rubber is the material that’s used in the outsole of the Adizero Tempo 9. It’s designed to be durable enough to withstand abrasion and wear. A webbed configuration accommodates the natural flexibility of the foot.
Adidas Adizero Tempo 9 size and fit
The Adidas Adizero Tempo 9 has a standard running shoe length. It makes use of regular measurements when it comes to size. The available widths are B – Medium and D – Medium for women and men, respectively. Its semi-curved shape mimics the natural curve of the human foot.
The outsole unit of the Adidas Adizero Tempo 9 features Continental™ Rubber. It’s created to provide durable protection against the abrasive nature of the asphalt, thus making it suitable for road running. Its subtle gripping lugs help in holding onto the ground.
Stretch Web is a proprietary outsole design that evokes a webbed visual output. Shallow trenches and grids cover this entire section. They make sure to encourage flexibility and natural foot movement.
The underfoot platform of the Adidas Adizero Tempo 9 is made up of the boost™ foam. It’s created from the amalgamation of thousands of TPU pellets. The resulting material brings springy cushioning and responsive support for the foot of the wearer.
Mild overpronation is prevented with the use of a Dual Density Boost unit. It is placed underneath the main foam compound, on the medial side. It acts as a foundation on which the foot stands, supporting the arch and preventing it from collapsing during the running session.
A thermoplastic unit is added to the midfoot section. Coined the TORSION SYSTEM™, it holds the underfoot in place and steadies it throughout the run. Its presence also allows the foot to move more smoothly through the gait cycle.
The respoEVA Sockliner offers additional cushioning. It is molded to follow the contours of the underfoot, providing support to the arch.
Air Mesh is the primary fabric used for the upper unit of the Adizero Tempo 9. Its open construction allows environmental air to enter the foot-chamber, therefore providing a dry and ventilated experience.
Microsuede makes up the overlay system. Thin portions of it are stitched onto the mesh, giving a stylistic look that complements its function of delivering a secure foot-wrap.
Adizero Webbing is a unique stitching technique in the forefoot section that’s reminiscent of Japanese origami folding. The Microsuede is folded and pattered across the front of the upper unit, sometimes acting as loops for the shoelaces. This configuration allows the shoe’s façade to be more intimate with the lacing system, adapting and adjusting along with the tightness or looseness of the fit.
Strobel is a lasting technique in which the upper and the sole unit are combined via stitching. It’s one of the sturdiest methods of constructing shoes. Additional benefits include a seamless in-shoe feel and flexible coverage.
A pull-tab is added to the back part of the collar. Its purpose is to allow the runner to put on and remove the shoe with ease.