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adidas Prime X 2 Strung Performance Review

adidas Prime X 2 Strung

The adidas Prime X 2 Strung is a highly anticipated sequel and became even more so when news leaked that it would include two carbon fiber plates and three layers of Lightstrike Pro in the midsole. The original adidas Prime X wowed runners with its 50mm heel stack and trampoline-like midsole. Though the Prime X was illegal for pros to use in competition, plenty of amateurs grabbed a pair for marathon racing as its otherworldly bounce felt fantastic and unique.

But the original Prime X featured a narrow base and stability was a big issue. If your feet and ankles weren’t rock solid, you feared turning an ankle around turns or on any uneven ground. Then adidas updated the Prime X with a Strung upper and it was an improvement to both the stability and the upper’s comfort. But it still needed work to get it just right.

So let’s find out if the adidas Prime X 2 Strung can deliver the improvements we wanted to make the Prime X line every non-elite runner’s go to long distance shoe.

adidas Prime X 2 Strung

Release Date: September 1, 2023

Price: $300

Weight: Men’s 10.4 oz., Women’s 9.9 oz.

Drop: 6.5mm

Sizing: Typical adidas size or a 1/2 size down from running shoe size in most brands

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  • Rundown: The adidas Prime X 2 Strung is a big bouncy beast meant for miles and miles of long-distance running but feels too heavy for marathon race days.
adidas Prime X 2 Strung Deconstructed View


3 layers of Lightstrike Pro with two carbon fiber plates? Absurd. Just look at the exploded view above. The running shoe industry has never seen something like this. adidas went way outside the box with this design.

And that outside-the-box thinking paid dividends. Even though it contains a ton of cushion, the adidas Prime X 2 Strung feels just as stable as a traditional running shoe. The double carbon plates work in conjunction with new midsole geometry to better stabilize the ride. The midsole is flared on both sides of the heel and forefoot to provide natural outriggers that keep you upright. And turns don’t feel like a disaster waiting to happen. I felt secure planting hard, even on wet boardwalks.

That said, you won’t feel that way if you add an aftermarket orthotic. You won’t get the benefits of sitting inside the midsole at the heel and will just be sitting a little too high. I tried it and it wasn’t an experience I ever want to repeat.

The cushion itself is 2 different kinds of Lightstrike Pro. The top and bottom layers are exactly like the Lightstrike Pro found on the adidas Adios Pro 3. But the middle layer features a higher level of resilience and is specially tuned for rebound. You can feel the difference when you press into the various layers with your fingers.

It’s hard to tell which layers are doing the most work but this midsole will save your legs. It’s the perfect long run shoe. You’ll feel well-protected and bouncy the whole run and won’t ever feel the cushion bottoming out. And yes, you’ll feel the extra weight all this cushion and carbon brings with it, but we’ll talk more about that in the cons section.

adidas Prime X 2 Strung Upper


The Strung upper returns, but with some changes. The biggest change is the integrated tongue. If you have a tall foot, be prepared for a struggle getting your foot inside the shoe the first couple of wears. What helped me was using the elf tab on the heel collar as a pull tab. I could slide into the shoe much easier using that method.

The lacing and achilles padding on the adidas Prime X 2 Strung are also different but neither change affected the experience much. I do think both changes are improvements because they help the shoe accommodate more foot types.

Also, I need to mention that the Strung upper is surprisingly breathable. My foot stayed relatively cool on hot summer days. And due to its construction, it can’t absorb water. So at least it won’t get any heavier as the run goes along.

adidas Prime X 2 Strung Outsole Traction


The outsole of the adidas Prime X 2 Strung also gets a facelift from the original. Gone is the ribbed outsole and in its place is a smooth, Indy car tire outsole similar to the Adios Pro 3. It features a lot of cutouts for weight savings and a transparent, plasticky rubber section on the medial heel. Since no one really lands on the medial heel, adidas saved some weight by using this layer instead of Continental Rubber. I didn’t get any slippage from the medial heel section and it seemed to get more gritted and grippy after each run.

The Continental Rubber outsole did its job, and especially when combined with the improved stability of the shoe, delivered a secure, trust-inspiring experience. To top it off, I don’t see any significant wear after testing, so this outsole will last a long time.

adidas Prime X 2 Strung Side View

Is the adidas Prime X 2 Strung wide foot friendly?

Yes, similar to the original, the adidas Prime X 2 Strung is quite accommodating. Most wide footers will be able to go with their typical adidas size (half down from most other shoe brands). The only type of feet that may have a problem with the Prime X 2 Strung are high-arched or high-volume feet. And that’s just because of the integrated tongue. That said, I’ve got a high arch and was able to figure out how to get in and out easily after some experimentation.

adidas Prime X 2 Strung Cushion

Is the adidas Prime X 2 Strung worth $300?

That’s a really tough question for this shoe. It’s really a question of whether the perfect long-run shoe is worth $300 to you. That likely depends on the way you train. Do you need something that saves your legs on 16-22 mile runs during marathon training? Do you like training in a heavier shoe so your race day shoe feels lighter? Do you want a shoe that’s extremely durable?

If so, the Prime X 2 Strung is probably close to worth its retail price. I’d expect most people to try and grab it during an adidas or Running Warehouse sale, but your use case will go a long way in determining the true worth of this shoe.

adidas Prime X 2 Strung 50mm Stack Height


The cons are weight, price, and ease of entry. Since we’ve already discussed the price and ease of entry in previous sections, I’ll focus on the weight.

The weight of the adidas Prime X 2 Strung is evident in hand and on foot. It’s not ridiculous, but you know immediately that it’s not light enough to truly be considered a race-day shoe. It can pick up the pace on speed days and can lock in at marathon pace, but you’ll feel like your legs are lifting a bit more bulk with each step.

And this is coming from someone who is typically not bothered by a shoe’s weight because at 6’6″ and 205 pounds, how much a shoe weighs is the least of my issues while running. This leads me to believe that weighty feeling will only increase for smaller runners.

I’ll be using the adidas Prime X 2 Strung as my long-run shoe for my fall marathon training block. The extra weight will be worth it to save my legs and joints from extra pounding. I’m also going to feel like a million bucks on race day when I lace up a much more slender shoe on race day.

adidas Prime X 2 Strung In Hand

adidas Prime X 2 Strung Summary

The adidas Prime X 2 Strung is built for long distances. It’s got plenty of protective squish and good bounce that feels great no matter how long the run gets. You’ll trade both a lot of money and a fair amount of weight for that feeling, but the Prime X 2 Strung does the long-run thing so well many people will find it worth the trade-offs. Whether you love it will depend on what races you run and how you like to train for them.

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