Adidas’ latest running shoe comes with a superhero cape on the back. Or, at least that’s how I like to think of it. A small triangular piece of fabric, officially called a “heel flash” by Adidas. For the life of me, I can’t figure out what functional purpose it could serve. But in my opinion, it helps me move quickly—which comes fairly easily on these kicks.
The Adizero SL ($120) is the latest launch in the Adizero franchise from Adidas. This line’s claim to fame is that professional racers have broken seven world records over the past two years while wearing Adizeros. This new model is made with the same technology used in those pro shoes, namely Lightstrike Pro foam in the forefoot. But the Adizero SLs are designed as an everyday training shoe for casual runners (meaning they’re meant to get you through a few hundred miles instead of performing for just one race). And at $120, they’re on the wallet-friendly side for top-tier trainers.
- Weight: 7.4 oz
- From heel to toe: 8.5 mm
- Midsole: Lightstrike EVA midsole frame
- upper: not
- Colors: 3
What do they feel as they run?
I first strapped my husband in for a few miles the day after a light snow storm. The sidewalks were still slippery with some patches of ice and snow. Honestly, I’d wear Trail shoes if I realized how stuck I was. But I quickly learned that the grip on the bottoms of the Adizero SL sole kept my feet surprisingly secure.
I’ve now run with these on concrete sidewalks, asphalt roads, dirt roads, gravel, and cobblestones in sunlight, rain, snow, and sleet. The only times I felt I had to slow down were on slippery wet stones or icy patches. While these soles don’t have the exaggerated lugs of a trail runner, their traction is for a variety of surfaces and conditions, and I’ve found that they hold up on wet trails or packed dirt terrain much better than a typical running shoe. While the lightweight mesh upper won’t keep your feet dry in rain or snow, the rubber sole will help keep you upright.
As a huge cushion lover, I found there was plenty of give in to the Lightstrike EVA midsole for a comfortable, stable ride without feeling like I was sinking into the shoe. I’m not too off the ground to feel it, but there’s enough lather that my instep won’t become cranky after just a few miles. The heel-to-toe drop is 8.5mm, which is just under the 10mm average for running shoes.
I can understand why this model is so popular as a speed trainer: The propulsion is satisfyingly springy, thanks to the Lightstrike Pro foam in the forefoot. Although there’s no trampoline-like carbon fiber plate, I can feel these shoes gently propelling my stride forward with every step.
I will say the Adizero SLs work great. On the treadmill in particular, I feel like there are too many shoes in front of my toes. Not that it’s heavy, just spacious. (In fact, these sneaker shoes are fairly lightweight, clocking in at just 7.4 ounces.) Once the shoe started to wear a bit after a few runs, the heel began to slide off the back. Fortunately, pulling the laces through the extra eyelet near my ankle is enough to help hold the shoe in place, but if I were to get this model again, I’d probably run a size smaller.
Adidas Adizero SL – $120.00
- Lightstrike Pro foam in the forefoot delivers a bouncy take-off for a quick stride
- Great traction on a variety of surfaces
- The mesh upper is made from at least 50 percent recycled materials
- It feels nice and light on your feet at just 7.4 ounces
For whom are the best
Runners looking for a high-performance, versatile everyday trainer without breaking the bank can enjoy the Adizero SL—especially if you’re someone whose running takes you from concrete sidewalks to busy dirt trails, or often gets miles on wet trails.
Adidas recommends using them for everyday running, for distances up to half marathons. I can see why: They’re comfortable and quick, and they’ve become my go-to for easy running. Who wouldn’t want some superhero energy daily?
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