adidas Adizero SL under review (2023)

Adidas Adizero SL Introduction

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The adidas Adizero collection includes shoes, cleats and spikes for soccer, tennis, baseball and of course running, all in line with Adizero's tagline "light makes fast".

Adizero SL embodies this objective inhis name means "Super Light",This compares to other shoes with comparable midsole thickness and upper support.

This shoe replaces the brand.SL20.

My introduction to the Adizero was with the now discontinued Adizero Tempo 9, a low profile shoe with just the right amount of boost foam (a thin layer) and support. I found the same snug, comfortable fit in theAdizeroPro, a scaled down racer with a carbon plate that I keep for 5k races.

Like the Adizero Pro, the Adizero Adios features an extremely thin top section and stiff, speed-focused steering. Look out for a review of the Adios 7 soon, but for now I'll say that the Adios fits about half a size larger than the other Adizeros I've worn.

The Adizero RC has a full-length Lightstrike midsole, while the Taumi Sen features a full-length Lightstrike Pro.

Finally, we come to the Adizero Boston, which has a thicker midsole than the rest, similar to our focus shoe in this review, the Adizero SL. The Boston 11 includes a nearly complete layer of Lightstrike Pro on top of a Lightstrike base, which I'd hope to add a touch more flex and also jitteriness underfoot.

Der Adizero SL is the economical version of Boston, which uses less upper midsole foam but is also $40 cheaper at a list price of $120.

The SL weighs 8.6 ounces. for men size 9 and 7.4 oz. women's size 7; It's very light for a shoe with so much midsole and substance in the upper. It's 0.3 ounces lighter than my old Tempo 9, with more cushioning in the midsole, and it's just a half-ounce heavier than the best-selling Adizero Pro in the line (based on a women's 9.5).

Clifton da HokamiMach 5They are similar shoes with a smaller drop.

Other similar shoes include the Puma Velocity Nitro, the New Balance FuelCell Rebel, the Nike Pegasus, and the Reebok Floatride Energy. There are so many technical features on this shoe that this review covers more similar shoes in the sole and upper area.

Adidas Adizero SL First impression

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When I first picked it up, I was surprised at how light it felt. Trying it out brought smiles with the familiar comfort you've come to expect at Adizeros.

My first race was a wonderful 10 miles on a cold but clear day just after a winter snow storm. I loved the lightweight cushion and appreciated the firm Lightstrike under the heel so it doesn't feel too soft.

Now with more miles on the shoe, I still enjoy running in them and prefer them to heavier everyday shoes. The drive feels best when picking up the pace with a centered midfoot strike, as the transition to toe-off is a bit "blocked" and not smooth and fast when building an easy pace with a heel strike.

adidas Adizero SL upper

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The Adizero SL features a soft engineered mesh upper with a thin neoprene-look overlay that supports the toe box with the same material that houses the logo on the medial side and runs up the back of the heel. Side logo stripes are approximately twice as thick. Another rectangular patch holds an opening in the tongue for the laces to go through, helping to keep the tongue in place.

Fits true to size.

The heel and tongue are moderately padded to provide comfort during long workouts without adding a lot of weight. A midweight internal heel is reinforced with thicker neoprene lateral and medial heel support straps, with a similar internal/external construction adding durability to the lace eyelets.

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The two front laces pass through loops similar to Nike Flywires, but attach to the inner support piece about an inch below the opening instead of all the way to the midsole. The medium-width laces don't dig into my foot because of the padded tongue, but the extra-wide tongue tends to bunch up when laced, since it doesn't have an internal bootie-like attachment to anchor it like found on the Nike Odyssey React. . and Saucony's older ISOFIT upper Odyssey. This "tying" is easily avoided by tensioning the reed horizontally before tying.

A final design piece to consider is a small pull tab at the top of the heel to make it easier to pull the shoe on.

This top is made from at least 50% recycled materials.

Adidas Adizero SL sole unit

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Adizero SL is based on Lightstrike, a medium-density EVA foam that falls between the formulations of the Bounce and Lightstrike Pro brands. The heel is 35mm. 8.5mm drop. up to 26.5 in the forefoot.

With about 80 miles on the shoe when the photos were taken for this review, you can see the compression lines developing into the Lightstrike midsole, which makes me suspect that it can take plenty of miles of beating for those who tend to wear heels. quickly. .

Lightstrike is a less dense version of the brand's EVA Bounce midsole, making it lighter. It has excellent rebound, but the lower density means it wears out faster.

That being said, now, 100 miles in the shoe, there is no drop under the balls of my feet in the softer Lightstrike Pro when I remove the insole and run my hand through it to test for compression, which speaks to durability. . Also, there's still plenty of bounce when you push the sole up.

For comparison, running on Nike's super-soft Lunarlon foam saw a noticeable drop off at 100 miles.

This off-white Lightstrike Pro material protrudes through two small cutouts in the sole under the forefoot. The softer Lightstrike Pro reminds me a lot of Nike's soft and plush React foam and ASICS' FLIGHTFOAM Blast.

With the Adizero SL, the combination of Lightstrike in the heel with Pro under the forefoot, framed by Lightstrike on the sides, ensures stability while running.

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This construction is similar to the Adizero Adios 6 and 7, allowing for a more stable ball of foot than a full React or FLIGHTFOAM Blast midsole, but a softer feel under the ball than a full Lightstrike midsole like found on SL20 or SL replaces; The softer feel is also aided by the almost double thickness.

Tough rubber grip lines run across the sole in narrow diagonal stripes, providing a high level of grip in most conditions. I've run a lot in the snow and mud in the Midwest this winter and I can attest that the grip helps. Snow easily collects in the spaces between the rows, and I find myself scraping off the excess and kicking as I work my way out of the snow onto a clean surface to regain some traction.

The rubber sole curves the medial toe to provide cushioning in the event of accidental toe scrapes.

One final note about the sole is that a vertical line divides the rubber for most of its length and limits the horizontal force transmitted during pronation.

Adidas Adizero SL Conclusions

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The Adizero SL is one of my favorite everyday shoes for both mid to long runs and casual, comfortable wear. I really want to give this shoe all stars, but I'm holding back because I'm hoping adidas will improve the transition to future models.

Overall, it's a fabulous shoe for the money, especially for those who appreciate some firmness in the midsole for underfoot stability, but also a softer material to cushion impact under the ball.


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