Let’s start talking about the adidas Adizero SL with a simple consideration that encapsulates their entire essence: I have never seen shoes that are seemingly traditional that are so innovative and disruptive.
This -without other additions- could be the summary of all the following lines.
I have never made it a secret that I am a big fan of lightweight, fast and responsive shoes. The ones you use in quality training or when you want to have more fun than usual. The Adizero SL fully fall into this category and they add a very important element: accessibility.
I’ll get straight to the point: in almost 11 years of writing for Runlovers, I have never encountered a shoe that deserved the top rating in value for money. Before adidas Adizero SL which, with a list price of 130 euros, are extremely affordable, even with the quality of the product.
Let’s start from the beginning
The new Adizero SLs, as the name says, are part of the Adizero family that, in recent years, we have seen in many podiums on the feet of pro runners.
It is a product group that packs a lot of technology: the LIGHTSTRIKE and LIGHTSTRIKE PRO midsole compounds, ENERGYRODS, and PRIMEKNIT or STRUNG uppers. We will have time to delve into all these technologies, for now let’s just open the box of the Adizero SLs.
The first thing that jumps out is the traditional design of the shoe. It is not scary because of an aggressive design, typical of racing “spaceships.” And, when you pick them up, you understand what the abbreviation SL means: super light.
When you wear them, they feel wonderfully comfortable. The foot is hold without being suffocated by the shoe: the heel is supported properly, the toes have space to amplify the foot mechanics, and the support is only where it’s needed. And the engineered mesh upper is breathable and comfortable, thanks in part to the fabric lining.
A glove, in a nutshell.
How do they are
Before describing the behavior of the adidas Adizero SL it is good to make a small technical aside about how they’re made.
The upper, as I mentioned, is made of engineered mesh, with deformability points at the forefoot and more structure in the medial area to give the right support. Special mention must be made of the tongue, which, for comfort and lightness, is one of the best I have encountered.
All lays on a midsole made of LIGHTSTRIKE: a lightweight and fast compound. At the forefoot, as you can see from the image below, there is a large area made of LIGHTSTRIKE PRO, the same material of Adios Pro and many other flagship models of the brand from the “three stripes.”
This construction results in a running experience that reveals the intentions of adidas designers: these are shoes for going fast and having fun. Shoes that, in my opinion, make you want to run. You can’t wait until your next workout to put them on again.
Needless to say, they are at their best when accelerating but, very interestingly, they are comfortable and smooth during recovery stretches and in more relaxed rides. This aspect should not be overlooked: in fact, many “super fast” models have a tendency to “impose” a certain pace. With the Adizero SL, on the other hand, you decide. They are tame felines who purr when you cuddle them slowly, but they can also pull out their claws when you get aggressive and demand speed and responsiveness.
The traditional setup, with an 8.5-millimeter drop, and without tons of “super bouncy” and responsive midsole material, makes them immediately familiar, like friends you haven’t seen in years but with whom you find yourself always comfortable.
I have to be honest, the adidas Adizero SLs have proven to be comfortable in all types of training (fartlek, intervals, progressives and recovery) and I have never been able to find any noticeable gaps. As well, the grip of the outsole is very good. Even on these cold, wet winter days.
The adidas Adizero SL express their fast vocation in every aspect of construction and function. However, without ever being excessive or extreme in design or behavior. These characteristics make them suitable for any type of runner – even the beginner – who want to speed up a little more, have fun, and, most importantly, improve in technique and performance.
Weighing 241 grams in the men’s version and 211 grams in the women’s version and with a drop of 8.5 mm, the Adizero SLs express their democratic nature in performance as well – adapting and proving to be a valuable tool for every runner.
Special mention should also be made of the build quality and mix of technologies used. Especially at a list price of 130 euros.
Ultimately, the adidas Adizero SL have the extraordinary characteristic of being premium while being democratically priced.