adidas Adizero SL2 Review: Big Bounce for Baby Budgets

A full length Lightstrike Pro midsole for €130? What's the catch, adidas?

adidas Adizero SL2: A Low Budget Daily Delight?

Alex: This shoe is very interesting because it’s the entry level price point shoe for the Adizero range at adidas. Other shoes in that range include the famous Adios, Boston, the Takumi Sen and all of them come at a much higher price point. Furthermore, the Adizero SL2 also comes with an interesting update in the midsole. Given the price point of €130, this is one to look out for!


Andy: For a while, people bemoaned adidas’ lack of a decent daily trainer. Boost had become outdated, heavy and overpriced. At the start of the year, adidas released the Supernova Rise. PEBA infused Dreamstrike+ with support rods for stability. It was a massive step in the right direction. Versatile and comfortable, it was adidas best daily trainer. Fast forward 5 months and the SL2 appears on the scene. Cheaper, a very interesting midsole and perhaps more robust. Seemingly, good adidas daily trainers are much like the proverbial bus: you wait ages for one and two arrive at once!

adidas Adizero SL 2 (19 of 25)
adidas Adizero SL 2 (9 of 25)


Stack Height: 35mm heel and 26mm forefoot

Drop: 9mm

Price:  £109.95 | €130

adidas Adizero SL 2 (4 of 25)
adidas Adizero SL 2 (20 of 25)

Adizero SL2 Upper: Plush 

Alex: The upper of the Adizero SL2 is a traditional engineered mesh with nothing too fancy about it. Furthermore, the material is on the thicker side of things and is not super breathable. But I nevertheless found the upper to be comfortable. The tongue is really plush and this continues to the heel. However, those with wide feet, be careful, the SL2 is on the snugger side of things especially compared to previous adidas lasts. 


I believe adidas changed their last for the Adizero SL2. This one feels a bit shorter and especially more narrow, which makes the Adizero SL2 less adequate for people with wide feet. The other drawback of that upper is that being so plush and comfortable it also soaked up quite a bit of my sweat. This was especially apparent on the interval session that I ran with Andy on the track. Even a few hours after the run, the upper was still really wet. I think this speaks against the breathability of that material

Moisture Retaining

Andy: I agree with Alex on most of his points about the upper of the SL2. It does have a daily trainer level of plushness and padding. This is no stripped back racing machine. The change of last was also apparent to me. Usually I find adidas trainers to be very long on my foot despite not having excess width. When I put the SL2 on foot for the first time, it felt snug! Thankfully, adjusting the laces meant that I have had no issues with the fit on any of the runs I have taken in it so far. It is probably a shoe to half size up if you are an inbetweener. 


Overall, the lockdown of the SL2 is easy to achieve and secure. The heel pads hold the heel in place with no rubbing or irritation. It is comfortable enough for slow paced social bimbles while being secure enough to not slip and slide when pushing the pace on track reps. It does definitely soak up moisture. Both on sweaty days and after a run in the torrential rain, it took a decent while to dry out.

adidas Adizero SL 2 (13 of 25)
adidas Adizero SL 2 (22 of 25)

Midsole: A Real Premium Addition

Alex: This is where the Adizero SL2 is really an upgrade compared to the Adizero SL. We have two different foam compounds from adidas in that midsole. First we find some Lightstrike and then the addition of  Lightstrike Pro. It is hard to tell whether the regular Lightstrike is the same 2.0 flavour as on the Boston 12 or if it’s the regular entry level line strike that we have known for years now. 


Nevertheless, I think it’s softer than the regular Lightstrike from the past. So it may very well be Lightstrike 2.0. The key addition to that midsole is definitely Lightstrike Pro. It’s a full length piece of Lightstrike Pro sandwiched in between two layers of Lightstrike. Happily, the  addition of Lightstrike Pro adds a ton of explosiveness to the midsole. It also gives a more cushioned feel to it. That’s also what makes this shoe so versatile. The regular Lightstrike comes as that entry level carrier foam, but then the Lightstrike Pro is that extra compound that allows the shoe to be so versatile and so good across different paces. 


When it comes to the specs of the shoe, the Adizero SL2 comes with 35 millimetres of stack height in the heel and 26 millimetres in the forefoot for that nine millimetre heel to toe drop. It feels like a bit more than 26 millimetres in the forefoot and that’s maybe also due to Lightstrike Pro, adding a bit of cushion and of extra comfort in the forefoot. This shoe really really feels super snappy in the forefoot and I have a hard time believing that there are only 26 millimetres of like height there.

Big Cushion, Small Price

Andy: I have not much to add to Alex’s technical description above. The addition of a full slab of Lightstrike Pro is a real bonus at this price point. The low stack height of the forefoot is belied by the depth of cushion the Lightstrike Pro brings to the table. Unlike the Cloudmonster Hyper, the two foams here work really well together. The carrier foam adds stability to the much softer Lightstrike Pro section and ensures the versatility.

adidas Adizero SL 2 (3 of 25)

adidas Adizero SL2 Ride: Versatility In Action

Alex: The ride of the Adizero SL2 is one that allows you to take this shoe with confidence for pretty much any run. Firstly, the heel is soft enough to allow for slower paces and without having that feeling of hard foam. It will be a good companion for cruising along at intermediate paces around that endurance base. 


Secondly, for faster stuff on the track or on the road, this shoe definitely has some zestiness. It gives some responsiveness without having that effect of carbon plates that can sometimes make the shoes feel a bit too stiff and remove some of that footwork that strengthens your foot muscles. I definitely would see this shoe as a solid recommendation against many other entry level performance shoes at other brands.

A Single Shoe Rotation

Andy: I have really enjoyed the ride of the SL2. As a conversational pace jogger, it is very comfortable. The depth of cushion it provides is great and allows effortless bouncing along the road. When times get more serious and paces are pushed, the combination of Lightstrike and Lightstrike Pro work really well to get moving. After the interval session I ran with Alex, I was very happy to find that my legs were not battered and exhausted despite it being my first session in a couple of weeks. 


As I write, I am just back from my longest run in the SL2. The 15 km flew by very pleasantly and if it weren’t for the hideous, gusting winds, I’d have been happy to stay out for much longer. I genuinely can’t think of a shoe at this price point which has such a premium feel.

adidas 2
adidas 2

Outsole: One Weakness

Alex: The outsole of the Adizero SL2 is maybe the only area where I could see some improvements, but I can also understand the justification of it’s 130 euros price points there. The Adizero SL2 doesn’t come with that Continental rubber that other Adizero shoes have had in the past like the Boston the Adios Pro. Even the regular Adios are fitted with that very grippy compound offering a lot of traction. 


Here, the Adizero SL2 is shod with adidas’ own compound. On the wet track at least, the Adizero SL 2 lacked a bit of traction. For Andy, I know it was when he was cornering. For me, it was really at that final stage of my toe off phase. I could feel the shoe slipping a bit. I could see this shoe becoming a real killer if it had Continental rubber. But, even without it given the thickness of the rubber compound on the outsole, the shoe will offer a ton of durability and a decent amount of grip on dry surfaces. On wet surfaces just keep in mind that it is not perfect.


Andy: Again, I think Alex has summed things up well here. When pushing power around corners, the SL2 did feel a little skittish laterally. However, for the majority of my running in the SL2, it has given me the grip I need to feel secure. Across damp grassy areas, through puddles and even a couple of gravel sections it has been fine. When pushing the pace, it could be improved but, for the price, I have no real complaints here.

adidas 2
adidas 2

adidas Adizero SL2 Conclusion: Excellent For The Price Point

Alex: The Adizero SL2 is a shoe I didn’t expect much of. It’s an entry level shoe in that high level silo from adidas. I was seeing this shoe as a competitor against the Pegasus from Nike. Now that I have tried it, I realise how much value it brings to the table. Especially when keeping in mind that €130 price point. The Adizero SL2 will be the perfect shoe for beginner runners, intermediate runners and even advanced runners who want to have that dual shoe in their rotation. A shoe offering some comfort and some versatility without feeling like an old school EVA based shoe. 


Should you pick this over other Adizero shoes? Well, it really depends how much you value the addition of Continental rubber and Energy Rods in the other shoes. The Adios is that 5 – 10k interval shoe that will provide you with much more ground field and much more snappiness. The Takumi Sen is that 5 – 10k racer and it will again provide you with much more energy return, and much more snappiness in the forefoot. Meanwhile the Boston is an all rounder trainer that has a much more breathable upper and that Continental outsole but it also costs a bit more money…

Clear Of The Competition

Andy: For me, the SL2 was a real surprise. A cheap, entry level adidas trainer is not something that usually gets the heart racing. However, they have created a really good shoe. The combination of foams works very well to give a versatile ride which can take you through all your training needs. Whilst there are some areas for improvement in the upper and outsole. For a £109.99 shoe, I can’t really think of a competitor which offers this premium of a feel and versatility. Whilst it may not be as nimble or offer as much mechanical assistance as some of its higher priced siblings, it is a real gem of a shoe. adidas now have a couple of very good dailies to pick from, although, I would probably pick this!



45 years old

173cm (5’8″) – 66kg (145lbs)

Forefoot striker – (Very) high cadence runner


Alex Filitti Meta Circle


29 years old

183cm (6′) – 68kg (148lbs)

Mid/Forefoot striker – Stride runner

Moderate pronator


Get in touch

Want to find out more about how Meta Endurance can help you?  Get in touch with our team today, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.