The adidas Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1, which I’ll call the Adios Pro Evo 1 for “short”, is an adidas marathon racing shoe built for adidas sponsored pro athletes. As part of World Athletics policies, the shoe had to be released to the public to be worn by the pros. So in late September adidas released 521 pairs. I was one of the lucky few to get a pair, number 88 of 521.
Since receiving the Adios Pro Evo 1, I ran a few miles to familiarize myself with the shoe, ran a 10-mile race, and did a workout including marathon pace miles. Afterward, I was unsure why I should do a review when no one really had access to the shoe. I put some thoughts up on Instagram and figured that would be it.
Then I found out there’s another release planned for December 15, 2023. So I’m putting my full thoughts on the site to help anyone considering buying the shoe.
But right up front, let’s be clear. This shoe is not for everyone. It’s not even for most people. I expect some of its technological advances to filter down to the regular Adios Pro line. Most people should wait until that happens and kind of ignore that this shoe exists.
However, those chasing big goals may find it worthwhile. After all, in Berlin this year, Tigst Assefa wore the Adios Pro Evo 1 to set the women’s marathon world record by almost three minutes. And earlier this month Tamirat Tola wore them to set a new course record at the New York City Marathon.
This shoe’s ability to help enable record-setting runs is now well-proven. But is the Adios Pro Evo 1 a great shoe for you? Let’s find out.
Release Date: September 14, 2023
Weight: 4.87oz. Unisex
Sizing: True to size
The midsole on the Adios Pro Evo 1 is a non-compression molded version of Lightstrike Pro. To the touch, it feels like a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. It also feels less dense and lighter than a typical Lightstrike Pro midsole. Weighing in at a ridiculous 4.87 ounces, the Adios Pro Evo 1 pays dividends in the later stages of races. Your feet don’t feel like they’re dragging when there’s basically nothing on them. It’s a confidence booster as the going gets tough late in long distance races.
But for my money, the real magic of this midsole is the change adidas made to the rocker shape. The start location of the rocker on the Adios Pro Evo 1 is about 10% further back (placed at 60% the length of the shoe) than the rockers adidas has used previously. This is the true secret sauce.
Previous adidas race shoes felt smooth but in the Adios Pro Evo 1, I felt like I was “falling” onto my toes. This enabled a quick turnover and push-off even when traversing a hilly race course. The new rocker location needs to make it into more adidas racing shoes as soon as possible. It prevented the shoe from getting in the way of my speed/strength and made it feel like the Adios Pro Evo 1 was working with me in a way I rarely feel while testing shoes.
However, I will note that the heel stability of the Adios Pro Evo 1 is almost nonexistent. Pro runners don’t spend much time on their heels so adidas saved weight by not having to add structure to the heel.
The way the midsole flares wide at the toe box means the front half of the shoe is plenty stable. But heel striking at slow speeds reveals the heel’s sloppiness. My old, basketball-wrecked ankles had a hard time staying straight up and down and threatened to collapse inward or outward depending on the ground contact. How did I solve this? By getting more on my toes and speeding up.
Think of the Adios Pro Evo 1 like a track spike for the roads. It’s meant to keep you on your toes and go fast. It’ll struggle if that’s not what you’re trying to do.
The lightweight upper is basically a see-through screen mesh with synthetic suede and vinyl overlays. The vinyl makes up the logo and a piece that wraps around the heel for stability and lockdown. The synthetic suede helps reinforce the lace holes and adds comfort to the heel in various ways including covering the ankle collar padding.
The upper is surprisingly comfortable considering how minimal it is. I didn’t experience any hot spots or pinching. The only annoying thing about the upper is the tongue. The tongue is well-integrated but not gusseted. That makes it extremely difficult to wrangle as you put your foot into the shoe. Once you get used to it, it’s not horrible, but be prepared to finagle the tongue left and right to avoid folding each time you put on the Adios Pro Evo 1.
The outsole technology is bonkers. The Adios Pro Evo 1 uses a new in-house adidas innovation that’s basically a shiny liquid rubber. It’s the thinnest and lightest outsole adidas has ever created and if you see it when it’s not on the shoe it resembles a sheet of flimsy black paper.
Outsole rubber can be a huge source of weight so this new tech cuts that down significantly. But how does it perform? Better than I expected. I got some slippage at water stations during the race but otherwise, the Adios Pro Evo 1 gripped the ground well.
It’s also surprisingly durable. I expected to be wearing through the outsole quickly but with 30 miles on the shoe, the outsole is still holding strong. I guess we’ll see how far I can push it as I continue using the Adios Pro Evo 1 as a race day and track day shoe.
Is the adidas Adios Pro Evo 1 wide foot friendly?
Definitely not. Again with the track spike analogy. The Adios Pro Evo 1 fits true to size lengthwise but leaves little to no room for wide feet. The screen mesh upper is stretchy, but not enough to accommodate wide feet.
Is the adidas Adios Pro Evo 1 worth $500?
Only for a very limited group of sub-elite runners who don’t get free shoes but are chasing big goals like Olympic Trials qualifying standards and have the money to grab a pair.
They’re amazing shoes. One of the best super shoes I’ve ever run in. But very few people will get $500 in value out of them. The majority of us are better off waiting for the Adios Pro Evo 1’s innovations to trickle down to more affordable and attainable adidas racing shoes.
adidas Adios Pro Evo 1 Summary
The adidas Adios Pro Evo 1 is an incredible achievement of a shoe. The team at adidas stripped out everything you don’t need from a race-day shoe and tweaked other aspects like the cushion, outsole, and rocker to push race-day footwear boundaries. The changes they made work. The records are proof. This shoe is helping their runners chase down records.
Could it help you set a personal record? Of course. But plenty of other super shoes can do the same for a lot less money (like the high-performing adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3).
Think of the Adios Pro Evo 1 as a concept car for footwear. It’s showing off what’s possible so that in a couple of years these innovations find their way into the broader adidas line and become more accessible to the typical long distance runners. You know what I mean…those of us who want to chase personal records, but can’t spend $500 to do it.