Time for a sleeper shoe to step into the limelight?
The Adidas Adios 8 gets even better
Unlike the Adidas Boston 10 and Boston 11, the predecessors of the Adidas Adios 8 were good shoes. Probably underrated in their respective categories but nevertheless products that deserved attention. The Adidas Adios 6 is the one I last tested and I must confess that it was a true favorite of mine. I didn’t use it as much as I would have liked to (the joys of being a shoe reviewer) but every time I grabbed it for a session it delivered. With the positive updates to the Boston 12 (see review here), one could wonder whether it’s the turn of the Adios to be a miss. The answer is no. Adidas managed to even improve it over the last two versions. How? Let’s find out.
Specs: shedding weight from last time
Adidas product designers managed to shave off some weight on the Adios 8. The Adios 6 was already a lightweight option at 256g in my size US 11 / EU 45. The Adidas Adios 8 gets even lighter at 236g.
A super thin upper but still not a perfect fit
The upper plays a huge role in those weight savings. The new upper is made of a paper thin engineered mesh. Its see-through aspect will allow you to play with socks if you like to put nice colors in your shoes. Most importantly, it is probably one of the most breathable options out there. Overall, a much lighter feel against your feet.
The material itself isn’t the nicest and it’s a bit abrasive but not quite as much as the Boston 12. The tongue isn’t padded by any means but I did not experience any lacing pressure. It’s a classic semi-gusseted tongue, which I do prefer compared to the tongue and lacing system of the Boston 12. The fit is still not ideal on the Adidas Adios 8 and the shoe runs quite long. I would probably go half-size down, at least to try how it would fit, but I can imagine it would work better. No lockdown issues though.
The overall experience from the upper isn’t ideal but is certainly far from being an issue.
The Adios 8 allows Lightstrike 2.0 to fully deliver its magic
The Adidas Adios 8 remains a shoe with a dual foam setup in the midsole. Like on the Adios 6 and 7, the forefoot is made of Lightstrike Pro, Adidas’ super foam which is a blend of PEBA and EVA. The torsion plate is updated on this shoe. I believe that it brings more to the table than Energy rods. It definitely creates the snapiness in the ride of the shoe while being flexible and allowing the foot to work. It preserves the decoupling of the shoe, which is in my opinion a good thing.
Last but certainly not least, Lightstrike 2.0 is the most significant upgrade to this pair of shoes. This foam replaces traditional Lighstrike and being a softer, less dense and bouncier compound, it just offers a more modern ride to the shoe. This is still an EVA-based foam but it shines much more compared to the duller and firmer Lightstrike. Heel landings get more comfortable and with the 28mm of stack, one could almost call it “cushion”.
I would also argue that less Lighstrike 2.0 is better – and that is of course in comparison with the Boston 12. The latter comes with 37mm of Lightstrike 2.0 in the heel and the ride is a bit more muted compared to the Adios 8, where the newer foam expresses itself more. With 8mm of drop and a relatively absent rocker in the front, the Adios 8 rides like a modern racing flat. Modern because of the stack height and the extra comfort provided by the two more advanced foams. No matter the footstrike you have, this shoe will take you instantly to the forefoot. There is always an invitation to push on your toes and get a snappy transition to the next footstep. The Adios 8 can run slow but it’s a shoe that shines at interval pace (5k/10k).
The Adios 8 is a shoe you need
Despite the small price increase (the shoe now retails for €140, instead of €130 previously), the Adidas Adios 8 is a great offering. It’s not an all-rounder option like the Boston can be but it will fit in pretty much any rotation. Actually, I would even go as far as saying that no matter your running style, your preferences and your needs, this shoe has you covered.
The lateral heel bevel and the outsole groove help for stability. Neutral runners will enjoy the experience of that modern fast shoe with a lower stack compared to super shoes. You can use it as your tempo/interval shoe if you have a daily trainer and a race day shoe in your rotation. That’s how I would use it.
Not being personally a huge fan of the Adidas Adios Pro 3, I think the Adios 8 is my favourite shoe in the Adizero lineup. What about the Takumi Sen you may ask. Well their uses almost fully overlap. While the Takumi Sen (8 or 9) is a shoe with a full length Lighstrike Pro midsole, it does not have the explosivity nor the snapiness of the Adios 8 for me. The Takumi Sen will probably save your legs a bit more but the Adios 8 feels a bit more special and brings more fun.
Value for money and other considerations on the Boston 12
Let’s quickly add a point on the outsole before going into the money talk. Continental rubber has proven its strength on Adidas shoes and that German partnership provides with one of the best outsoles on the market. Not much too add here other than I’m glad to see the collaboration continues.
Now the price. €160/$160 for a shoe that can technically cover most of you training regimen. In a way it’s good value for money for people considering this shoe as their allrounder. But I would argue it’s not one as easy and recovery paces don’t work super well in it. Even with an easy day shoe or a racing shoe to complete the rotation, the price tag remains correct for what the shoe does. It can be a great endurance, long run, tempo (and even race day) companion. And long run is probably how I would use it, making the most of its light stability features.
One thing that I would really like to see improved is the comfort of that upper. There are worse uppers out there but let’s compare it to the better ones. In that price range you have the Endorphin Speed 3, the On Cloudmonster, the Asics Novablast (or Magic Speed). All of these shoes are more comfortable than the Boston 12 despite most of them carrying a lower amount of technologies. My point is: the Boston became a complicated shoe. There are so many elements in it, so many updates to this version in particular – whereas the core of the shoe, i.e. the last, the fit, seems to have been abandoned a bit.
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