Our verdict

Crafting a budget-friendly shoe that excels in multiple areas is challenging, yet we think Adidas has done a remarkable job with the Duramo Speed. It offers a lightweight ride with superb breathability, complemented by a durable outsole and a solid Lightstrike midsole. While it might be a bit stiffer than we'd like, and the 6.0-mm drop isn't for everyone, we believe it's an excellent choice for those seeking great value.

Pros

  • Awesome value
  • Ideal for midfoot strikers
  • Well-cushioned
  • Excellent breathability
  • Durable outsole
  • Lightweight
  • Spacious toebox

Cons

  • Somewhat limited versatility
  • Lacing system
  • Suboptimal for heel strikers

Audience verdict

82
Good!

Who should buy

We've thoroughly tested the Duramo Speed from Adidas and we think it's a fantastic choice for:

  • Beginners looking for their first running shoe that blends performance with durability.
  • Runners who need a lightweight shoe with a spacious upper.
  • Marathoners searching for a low-drop, cost-effective workhorse for racking up the miles.

Adidas Duramo Speed

Who should NOT buy

The Duramo Speed from Adidas features a 6.0-mm drop, which might not cater well to those who prefer high-drop shoes with over 8 mm of offset. However, Brooks usually lean towards high-drop designs, so if you're looking for alternatives, we recommend the wallet-friendly Launch 10 or the Trace 3 for similar performance with higher drops.

For those with narrow feet, the Duramo Speed might not be the best fit. We think the ASICS Gel Excite 10 offers a similar cushioned and dynamic ride but with a tighter and more secure fit at a very competitive price.

Adidas Duramo Speed

Breathability

Our first take with the Duramo Speed focused on breathability, an area where budget-friendly shoes often fall short. However, the Duramo's upper looked promising!

After testing the shoe with our smoke-pumping machine, we found astonishingly great ventilation, which led us to give it a perfect score of 5 out of 5.

Using our light, we observed that the upper allows air to flow through almost the entire shoe, with the heel being the only part where we found a bit more thickness and structure.

Adidas Duramo Speed microscope

To fully understand the excellent airflow, we turned on the microscope and examined the Duramo Speed with detail. What we found was amazing.

Adidas Duramo Speed mesh

The white part seen below is from us to keep the structure of the upper in place.

The two-layer engineered mesh upper is incredibly thin, and looks super lightweight!

We also found it to be adequately padded. However, like most engineered mesh uppers, it's not very stretchy, so keep that in mind if you prefer sock-like designs like the Glycerin StealthFit 21.

Test results
Duramo Speed 5
Average 3.8
Compared to 228 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

Given the amazing breathability and razor-thin design, we braced ourselves for less than stellar results in our first durability test on the upper.

Unfortunately, the results were even more disappointing than anticipated, as the material developed a full hole immediately after contact with sandpaper. This earns a score of 1 out of 5 in our evaluation.

Adidas Duramo Speed Toebox durability
Test results
Duramo Speed 1
Average 2.4
Compared to 162 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

After a disappointing result, we shifted our focus to the heel counter, hopeful for improvement.

And indeed, improvement was what we found, yet barely minimal. We settled on a 2/5 after the test.

Adidas Duramo Speed Heel padding durability
Test results
Duramo Speed 2
Average 3.1
Compared to 158 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

We then shifted our focus to another crucial aspect of durability—the outsole. Given the modest MSRP of £100, it's unreasonable to expect Adidas to use their top-tier Continental rubber. In fact, we encountered the Adiwear compound.

Adidas Duramo Speed outsole

The outsole offers excellent coverage, with only the central part exposed alongside some flex grooves, which should pose no issues at all.

Upon applying our durometer to this rubber, we recorded a hardness of 86.9 HC. This suggests that the German brand has intentionally used a durable formulation to extend the shoe's lifespan.

Adidas Duramo Speed Outsole hardness
Test results
Duramo Speed 86.9 HC
Average 80.4 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 279 running shoes
Number of shoes
52.1 HC
Outsole hardness
92.8 HC

Outsole durability

The tough-as-nails Adiwear rubber on the Duramo Speed was put to the test in our final Dremel examination. Let's see how it performed.

The outcome was yet again remarkable, showing only a 0.6-mm mark. We think you might get bored of the Duramo Speed long before its outsole wears out. However, it's important to note that while durable, don't expect the grip level of Continental rubber—it's just not quite there.

Adidas Duramo Speed Outsole durability
Test results
Duramo Speed 0.6 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 140 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

We conducted one final measurement on the outsole to gauge its thickness. In a move we consider quite clever, Adidas opted for a slim 2.0-mm rubber layer.

Adidas Duramo Speed rubber

This choice, leveraging the durability of the material, effectively reduces the shoe's overall weight.

Adidas Duramo Speed Outsole thickness
Test results
Duramo Speed 2.0 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 298 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

Weighing just 9.2 oz or 261g, the Duramo Speed proved to be exceptionally lightweight for its size, a quality that was clearly evident during our test runs.

With many of its competitors tipping the scales at or above the 10-oz mark, it's refreshing to discover such a lightweight option at an affordable price!

Adidas Duramo Speed Weight
Test results
Duramo Speed 9.21 oz (261g)
Average 9.35 oz (265g)
Compared to 299 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

The heel boasts a height of 32.7 mm, which a few years ago would have been considered highly cushioned, but by today's standards, it aligns closely with an average daily trainer.

Nonetheless, it still offers ample cushioning for heel strikers.

Adidas Duramo Speed Heel stack
Test results
Duramo Speed 32.7 mm
Average 33.6 mm
Compared to 298 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
42.7 mm

Forefoot stack

Moving to the forefoot, we measured a height of 26.7 mm using our digital callipers. This suggests that Adidas may have designed this shoe with midfoot and forefoot strikers in mind, though our upcoming test will confirm this hypothesis.

Adidas Duramo Speed Forefoot stack
Test results
Duramo Speed 26.7 mm
Average 24.9 mm
Compared to 298 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
35.8 mm

Drop

The Duramo Speed features a real 6.0-mm heel-to-toe drop, ideally suited for midfoot or forefoot strikers. We appreciate this design choice since the market is saturated with high-drop trainers, yet offers few moderate-drop, budget-friendly options.

We are also excited to report that this model is one of the rare shoes where the drop measurement matches exactly what the brand advertises. Glückwunsch Adidas.

Adidas Duramo Speed Drop
Test results
Duramo Speed 6.0 mm
Average 8.6 mm
Compared to 298 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

We measured the tongue of the Duramo Speed at just 4.0 mm, typical for most running shoes. The insole mirrors those in many other Adidas shoes, crafted from standard, non-special EVA foam.

Adidas Duramo Speed Insole thickness
Test results
Duramo Speed 4.0 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 294 running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Insole thickness
7.3 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

Now, let's discuss the midsole. While we were expecting a basic foam from Adidas, we were pleasantly surprised to find Lightstrike instead—a material rarely used in their budget-friendly trainers. The inclusion of Lightstrike in the Duramo Speed is definitely a welcome upgrade, yet don't expect world-class energy return.

Lightstrike is essentially an enhanced version of EVA foam, offering a softer feel than average low-cost midsoles due to its airier composition.

Our tests with a durometer showed a 21.0 HA score, suggesting a balance—not too plush, not too firm. At £100, this represents a solid value.

Adidas Duramo Speed Midsole softness
Test results
Duramo Speed 21.0 HA
Average 21.4 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 226 running shoes
Number of shoes
8.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
41.5 HA

Difference in midsole softness in cold

After placing the Duramo Speed in the freezer for 20 minutes and retesting it with the Shore A durometer, we found that it became 20.9% firmer. This is another impressive result, showing its adaptability to temperature changes.

Adidas Duramo Speed Difference in midsole softness in cold
Test results
Duramo Speed 20.9%
Average 25.6%
Compared to 225 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Stability

Lateral stability test

The moderate drop of the Duramo Speed offers some inherent stability, but it's a good choice only for neutral runners. While slight pronators might manage with it, they would likely benefit more from opting for a dedicated stability shoe.

Torsional rigidity

Running shoe design often involve trade-offs, and the Duramo Speed rigidity exemplifies this well.

It offers decent stability with a 4-out-of-5 rating in torsional rigidity, yet this comes at the cost of a more comfortable, flexible ride. And we're not sure if this trade-off is worthwhile for a do-it-all, budget-friendly shoe.

Test results
Duramo Speed 4
Average 3.2
Compared to 277 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The heel counter offers a better balance by not being overly rigid—a smart move considering this shoe isn't specifically designed for heel strikers. We assigned it a rating of 3/5.

Test results
Duramo Speed 3
Average 2.8
Compared to 261 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

Shifting our callipers to the forefoot, we measured a width of 114.9 mm, which is quite typical. This is a key reason we primarily recommend this shoe for neutral runners, who are likely to find it more comfortable due to its standard width.

Adidas Duramo Speed Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Duramo Speed 114.9 mm
Average 113.7 mm
Compared to 299 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The clearest evidence that this shoe isn't designed for heel strikers is the midsole's narrow width at the heel. Our precise measurement yielded an 85.2 mm result, placing it on the narrower side.

This design choice also contributes to the shoe's remarkably low weight, a notable achievement for a budget-friendly option. We discovered that by crafting a smaller, narrower heel, the German brand successfully produced a more agile and lightweight shoe.

Adidas Duramo Speed Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Duramo Speed 85.2 mm
Average 90.4 mm
Compared to 299 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

We measured the tongue of the Duramo Speed at just 4.0 mm, typical for most running shoes. The insole mirrors those in many other Adidas shoes, crafted from standard, non-special EVA foam.

Stiffness

We were initially concerned about the shoe's everyday versatility due to its high torsional rigidity, but we still needed to conduct the most critical test in this regard—our 90-degree bending challenge.

The result we obtained from our force gauge was 28.3N, indicating that the shoe is capable of handling multiple activities, such as walking or hitting the gym. However, it is on the brink of feeling a bit stiff underfoot for us, and feels nowhere near something like a Nike Free RN NN.

Test results
Duramo Speed 28.3N
Average 29.1N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 281 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

After chilling the Duramo Speed for 20 minutes, we re-tested and observed an 18.4% change in stiffness, which is quite impressive for such an affordable shoe! This result highlights the shoe's robust performance under varying  climate conditions.

Test results
Duramo Speed 18.4%
Average 36.2%
Compared to 281 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

Great news for those needing extra room: the shoe's upper spans an impressive 102.1 mm at its broadest point, surpassing the width offered by many other brands.

Adidas Duramo Speed roomy

This makes it a top pick for individuals with wide feet, though it may be less suitable for those with narrower feet.

Adidas Duramo Speed Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Duramo Speed 102.1 mm
Average 98.3 mm
Compared to 299 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

However, there's a caveat. While the Duramo Speed is notably broad at its widest part, our secondary measurement came in at an average 77.7 mm, aligning with a typical fit. This suggests that individuals with exceptionally wide or square-shaped feet might not find the ideal scenario with this tapered toebox, though most will find it sufficiently spacious.

Adidas Duramo Speed tapered toebox

This situation highlights why it's crucial to take two measurements instead of one—it's the way to fully understand the fit of a shoe.

Adidas Duramo Speed Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Duramo Speed 77.7 mm
Average 78.2 mm
Compared to 173 running shoes
Number of shoes
60.4 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
92.5 mm

Tongue: gusset type

Given that the shoe is priced under £110, it wasn't surprising to us that Adidas opted not to fix the tongue to the sides of the shoe.

Adidas Duramo Speed Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Duramo Speed None

Comfort

Tongue padding

The tongue of the Duramo Speed strikes an ideal balance between weight and comfort.

Adidas Duramo Speed tongue

We prefer consistent lacing systems and are not fans of designs that mix different types of eyelets.

At 7.0 mm, it boasts a substantial slab of foam that provides ample protection to the instep. We believe this design is a superior approach compared to the cumbersome, bulky tongues found in other competitors' models.

Adidas Duramo Speed Tongue padding
Test results
Duramo Speed 7.0 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 296 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Heel tab

Adidas usually omits heel tabs in their road running shoes, as evidenced by this model. Similarly, we did not find the flap tab that is featured in shoes like the Adidas Adizero SL.

Adidas Duramo Speed Heel tab
Test results
Duramo Speed None

Removable insole

We easily removed the insole and tested the Duramo Speed with custom orthotics, which, despite the slightly narrow last in the heel, fit well inside the shoe.

Adidas Duramo Speed Removable insole
Test results
Duramo Speed Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

We were delighted to discover reflective elements in such an affordable shoe as the Duramo Speed. Most brands often omit these details from their less expensive offerings...

Test results
Duramo Speed Yes