The Ambition 4 from Adidas is designed for middle-distance races with its lightweight construction, grippy spikes, and nice upper. On the track, they prove to be all of the above.
I got an EU size 46 which fits me well but I think I could run with a size smaller. The shoe weighs 143 grams which is much lower compared to my previous spikes, the Adidas Sprintstar (191 grams at EU size 46 as well).
I did many track miles in these, mostly fast speedwork. It was my go-to spike for races and training for the past half year and I will still use it as long as I can (the “can” part is very important).
I will also give you some feedback from a girl who runs track in my club as well and has the same track spikes. Now, let’s get to business.
The upper is a two-layer mesh fabric and it is very breathable and light. The whole front is basically see-through, so don’t wear any funky socks with these.
It is made out of two different-colored mesh materials that are stitched together in the front from the tip to the lowest part of the laces — the direction everyone is cutting the Vaporflys these days.
It isn't intrusive in any way. Around the part on the sides of the spikes, where the three stripes are, is coated with some plastic for added strength.
The mesh is also strengthened on the part where my previous spikes failed to hold the forces of running — the part where the pinky toe connects to the foot.
It has a nice rubber that will hold longer, for sure. The laces are not the best because they can't hold up even after double knotting.
Some holes are extra stitched around a bit for extra strength, as well. The back part of the shoe has a very nice heel frame (and it really is a frame, not a heel-cup) with the same awesome mesh in between like on the front.
There is also a part on the top of the heel-frame that is cushioned, probably meant to keep your leg inside the shoe.
The tongue is very, VERY thin. Literally just a slice of fabric that doesn't want to fit exactly nice around my feet.
Overall the upper is very breathable and nicely snug but the tongue and the front mesh can get wrinkles that are mostly felt while walking, but once you're running, they're unnoticeable.
However, there is a problem with the mesh. While my last spikes’ upper tore because of actual friction to the ground, this time, it is because of bending.
Just in front of the rubber, where the mesh bends, a small hole has occurred on both shoes. And from my friend’s, it has been even worse as it tore even further than that, to the point where she couldn’t run and had to take them to the local tailor.
And that happened in a matter of about two months. I, on the other hand, can still run in them.
Midsole & insole
The midsole is somewhat a thin layer of EVA foam that absorbs the impact enough but doesn't eat up too much energy in the process. It is nice and pretty light if I look at the weight of the whole spike.
And there isn't much more to say about the midsole really. The insole is unremovable, which I understand as you really don’t want any sliding in the shoe while trying to break 2 in the 800.
But the problem is it already shows a lot of wear. It can be seen in two places, both on the ball of the foot, one at the pinky part, and the other at the big toe part.
And the latter one is the one I don’t like as the first one happens to almost every shoe I ever ran in (though still after a bit more time and a few more miles).
I got some information that these running spikes are meant for half a season though, so it isn’t too surprising that it happened. While I’ll still be using them, don’t buy these if you want them to last two years or so.
The whole spike has a hard Pebax plate running from the front to the back with 4 spike holes on the front (I believe that it is the same one as on the Avanti spikes, Adidas' 5-10km spike).
The plate is nice and has many small teeth-like spike pins which help with the traction even more, though 4 spikes are well enough to provide 100% grip on the track.
I had only two problems with the outsole. One is that I didn't screw the spikes in well enough, so make sure you do because I had to look for them all over the track that day (lucky I had 100m repeats on only one part of the track).
And the other one is that the shiny coating on the plate is peeling off, interestingly more on the right shoe than on the left (I know, very important stuff, especially because it is at the bottom of the shoe).
As I am always, I was a bit skeptical about these spikes when I got them. The main fear was that because I bought them without trying them on first, they wouldn't be the right shoes for me. But they are really nice.
All of my recent shoes, even the older Supernovas, and the UB 4.0s, are the same size with very little variation if any (spikes and flats).
The smaller problems that I had with them were the wrinkles and the laces but I experienced the first ones on my Boston 7s, and the second on most of the running shoes and spikes I owned.
The biggest problem is durability as they aren’t very good at that. If you had mostly closed shoes regarding what kind of upper you had, you might be unpleasantly surprised on colder days as the air has basically no resistance to enter your shoe.
But after you get used to it, it is a great spike for middle distances and I am still very happy that I got these.
At the time of writing this review, Adidas had already released a new version of these spikes and while I can’t say anything about the insole problems, the mesh problems were likely fixed based on the pictures from the official site.
Profile of the Adidas Adizero Ambition 4
Use - The Adidas Adizero Ambition 4 is best for middle-distance events like the 800m, 1500m, 3200m, and one-and two-mile events.
Spike Type - This track running shoe uses the 3/16 Pyramid spikes. It provides the shoe with the needed grip and traction while running.
Spike Plate - The Pebax spike plate is incorporated in the Adizero Ambition 4. It provides stability with minimal bulk and custom traction for multiple events like the middle distance track racing.
Updates to Adidas Adizero Ambition 4
- The Adizero Ambition 4 has been updated with the molded EVA from heel to toe. This material is lightweight and offers resilient cushioning.
- The shoe’s Pebax Spike Plate in the forefoot is also lightweight yet offers durable traction for optimal performance. The spike plate contains four spike receptacles per shoe.
- The Sprintweb technology is also featured in this Adizero Ambition 4 update. It is a seamfree fabric web on the upper which adds to the shoe’s upper support.
- Also working with the Sprintweb technology is the Two-Toned Mesh. This material is extremely lightweight, with an asymmetrical design that helps cut down the shoe’s weight.
- Another Adidas running shoe technology found in this update is the Microfit. It is an Adizero-specific fit that is designed for smooth, locked-down security.
- The Adizero Ambition 4 also uses Sharkskin, which is set in a small, sharp, crisscross pattern over the outsole that helps provide the ultimate grip on track and field surfaces.
- Lastly, the Slip Last, which involves wrapping and stitching the upper in a cleatie-like shape which is glued to the midsole to increase the shoe’s flexibility and also to help decrease weight.
Size and fit
The Adizero Ambition 4 is available in men’s and women’s versions. It has been designed to make sure the toes do not feel cramped up against the front of the shoe. This track running shoe is meant to be a little snugger compared to that of a running or training shoe.
The Adidas Adizero Ambition 4 has an outsole that is made using a Pebax Plate with a four spike footfall. This allows the wearer to dig into the ground with more grip. It also helps in launching the athlete forward from the very start. The Pebax Plate provides maximum energy return while remaining extremely lightweight and durable. The Adizero Ambition 4 comes with replaceable spike pins, which helps extend this track shoe’s racing life. It is also a must for middle distance sprinting events. There are many other track shoes that use a Pebax plate, such as the Nike Zoom Rival S 9.
The Adizero Ambition 4 features a full-length EVA midsole. EVA stands for ethylene-vinyl acetate, which is a man-made material that is considered foam. The EVA midsole has a low density, and it is incredibly lightweight. It is ideal for track shoes like the Adizero Ambition 4 since it is made of thousands of tiny bubbles joined together that hold air. Once these small bubbles are compressed, they provide cushioning and shock absorption.
The shoe’s EVA midsole also helps in providing stability for the wearer’s foot. And in that sense, the midsole has to be made of a material that will endure challenges on the track, a person’s weight, and possible pressures that happen during the competition.
The Adizero Ambition 4’s upper consists of the Adidas SprintWeb mesh material. It is a dual-layer mesh that provides breathability. This upper material is also extremely lightweight in order to promote elite performance. Despite the stripped bulk of the SprintWeb, it also offers a similar level of durability that one would find in traditional materials.
The SprintWeb technology is also combined with the Microfit technology, a technique developed to create the best support, comfort, and fit for high-speed road racing. This combination helps lock the foot down for that supportive fit that is crucial to track and field running.