adidas’ “Super Shoe”, the adizero Adios Pro, Is a Huge Winner in Valencia with Half Marathon World Record
December 6, 2020
Kibiwott Kandie, with his amazing 57:32 world record in the half marathon, was the big winner in Valencia today. Genzebe Dibaba (65:18 women’s half marathon champ), Peres Jepchirchir (2:17:16 women’s marathon champ), and Evans Chebet (2:03:00 men’s marathon champ) also have to be feeling pretty good right now.
However, the next biggest winner out of Valencia may not be a person, but a company and a shoe. That is adidas and the adidas adizero Adios Pro, which was the shoe worn by three out of the four champions in Kandie, Jepchirchir, and Chebet.
Since the advent of the “super shoes” in 2016 with carbon plates and a high stack height, road racing has been revolutionized and dominated by Nike athletes wearing some version of the Nike Vaporfly series, starting with the Vaporfly 4%. Every other shoe manufacturer has been playing catch-up.
In Valencia, adidas was back on top. We shouldn’t draw too many conclusions from a single day of racing, but the fact that Kandie obliterated the old world record and a slew of Nike athletes gives the strong impression he is not at a competitive disadvantage. You couldn’t say that a year ago. (Jepchirchir set a women’s-only world record earlier this year in the adios Pro, but that was a soft mark).
Fans of the sport may still be wondering if the stellar performances are thanks to the shoes, but they are not wondering if it was the Nike shoes. We think that is a step in the right direction, but want a level playing field for everyone. Scientists will have to figure out if the playing field is level or even if adidas athletes now have an advantage.
And we have reason to believe the shoe war may just be getting started.
For one thing, the adizero Adios Pro does not have a single carbon plate; instead it has five carbon rods in the forefoot and a separate carbon plate in the heel. That is unique.
Secondly, the shoe war may also be shifting to the track. An industry insider told us, “(The) next battleground is spikes. World records are going to be shattered.” We asked him to clarify and he said a 25mm stack height spike is “ludicrous” and to pay attention to the 5,000m and 10,000m world records.
You can buy the adizero adios Pro for $199.95 from our partner Running Warehouse (we receive commissions on purchases through our links).