The Adios 5 reminds me of a precise surgical tool that has a very specific purpose: you have to know exactly how and when to use it. It’s a fantastic tempo day or race day shoe if your ankles, feet, and calves are strong enough.
The upper provides a secure lockdown and is light and breathable. The Boost in its midsole provides cushioning and bounce, while the Lightstrike provides the snappiness.
- Not for long runs
Adidas Adizero Adios 5 review
Before the VaporFly, there was the Adios. The Adios was one of the most popular racers and the weapon of choice for many of the elite marathoners in the world.
What made the Adios so popular is the fact that it isn’t a true racing flat. In cushioning terms, it’s one step above true racing flats, and people loved that it didn’t beat up their feet over long distances while still managing to maintain its feather-light weight
Previous versions of the Adios paired Boost foam with a firmer layer of traditional EVA on top of the Boost for more responsiveness and a firmer toe off needed for fast paces.
This year, the Adios 5 is the first version to replace the EVA layer with a TPU layer called Lightstrike. Boost is still used but more conservatively.
Lightstrike is supposed to be Adidas’ new, next generation super foam, but I wasn’t impressed with Lightstrike when I reviewed the Adidas SL20. The SL20 has a midsole consisting of 100% Lightstrike. To me, Lightstrike felt too firm, lifeless, and stiff.
Perhaps Lightstrike needs to be paired with a softer, more forgiving foam to get the best out of it? So does the Adidas Adios 5 with Lightstrike make it a better shoe?
Breathable, lightweight upper
The upper of the Adios 5 is made from single-layer Celermesh, which is lightweight and breathable. The tongue is thin and flat and is connected on the sides, so no sliding occurs.
The tongue of the Adios 5 has holes in it, which act as air vents to increase breathability and cool the foot down.
The upper is free from plastic cages and any additional stitching to provide midfoot structure. The three stripes are fused onto the sides to save weight.
The heel counter is padded and does a good job of keeping the foot locked in. I’m glad Adidas has not switched to a flared “elf heel” counter for the Adios 5.
The overall fit of the Adios 5 is what can be best described as a snug, racing fit. It’s by no means tight anywhere, but there isn’t much room for your feet to move around inside the shoe, which is what you want in a racing shoe.
The upper of the Adios 5 is extremely polished with no rough edges. It does its job well and has no major flaws.
An interesting design choice that I noticed is that on the back of the shoes, the seam is not symmetrical but tapers off to the side. This doesn’t make any functional difference but is an interesting design choice.
Perfect for short distance
A thick slab of Boost foam is located in the rearfoot underneath a layer of Lightstrike. A thin layer of Boost is in the forefoot but is encapsulated inside Lightstrike.
The Adios 5 feels firm but is padded enough to protect your feet for short distances. I felt like 10 km was the perfect distance in the Adios. Anything longer and my legs and feet felt uncomfortable.
The Boost in the midsole adds a soft and bouncy dynamic to the Adios 5. The all-Lightstrike midsole of the SL20 feels flat and dead in comparison.
What makes the Adios 5 so special is that it makes me want to run fast. When I put them on and start running, I automatically speed up and increase my cadence like in no other shoe in my rotation.
Outsole of the Adizero Adios 5
Durable Continental rubber is used on the forefoot of the Adios 5, with less durable Adiwear rubber on the heel.
This setup makes sense as you should be spending more time on your forefoot than your rearfoot when racing or doing tempo runs.
Under the midfoot, is where the plastic Torsion shank sits. This is a trademark of Adidas shoes.
It adds midfoot structure, makes the shoe snap quickly back into place, and helps the shoe bend in the correct place in the forefoot.
Feels softer on the heel
The midsole is dual-density with the heel having most of the Boost, making the heel much softer than the forefoot.
This big difference in densities prevents the ride transitions from being smooth. The middle of the outsole where the Torsion System lies does not touch the ground, which also adds to the disjointed transitions.
Insole of the Adidas Adios 5
The Adios 5’s insole has a furry layer of fabric glued to the top of it, which is soft to the touch but gathers pieces of sock over time- a characteristic of all Adidas insoles.
The insole is thin and doesn’t add much cushioning, so there isn’t any step-in softness. All of the cushioning is contained in the midsole, which makes the shoe super responsive and perfect for racing or tempo runs.
At $140, the Adios 5 is excellent value for money compared to all the carbon fibre plated shoes on the market.