Adidas has been getting everything right when it comes to releasing shoes that meet runners’ performance expectations. The Adizero line is one of the most impressive Adidas shoe models. However, they are performance focused. Hence, Adidas has not had an excellent daily trainer for a long time. So Adidas brings the Adizero SL, a daily trainer, which I consider a low-budget Adidas Boston 11. Though simple like Roman architecture, the Adizero SL has imposing grandeur for a daily trainer. It comprises the Lightstrike Pro and Lightstrike midsole foams, making it a daily trainer with extra pop during toe-off.
When it comes to the upper layer, this shoe has a standard design but with careful execution. The upper part features a soft engineered mesh with a thin neoprene-like cap supporting the toes. Adidas also used a thick neoprene material to bolster the heel counter and to support the Adidas stripes on the medial and lateral heel. The voluminous upper is not too snug-like. Still, the generous padding in the tongue and heel enhances comfort and foothold.
The tongue and heel collar padding is enough, just what most runners would love in a daily trainer. The sizing and step-in are top-notch. It fits true-to-size, unlike most Adidas shoes which can be too long. For instance, the Adizero Strung requires going at least a half size up.
Besides, I find the Adidas Adizero SL highly breathable. The upper has several perforations that allow air to permeate in and out of the shoe.
The lacing system is made up of eyelets and loops. The first two rows comprise cord loops that are shallowly attached to the internal support system. They help pull the extra mesh material to create a snug foot fool from the top. There are more eyelets; thus, it takes time to lace up. The medium-width laces do not dig into the tongue.
Overall the upper lacks any deal-breaking features. It has an impressive, simplistic, modern, and excitingly refreshing look.
The Adizero SL has dual-density midsole foam, whereby the Lightstrike, the medium-density EVA foam, is positioned between the bouncy Lightstrike Pro foam.
The stack height is 35mm in the heel and 26.5 mm in the forefoot, making an 8.5mm heel drop. It is also less dense, but the two combined foams work together to provide an exciting ride. The Lightstrike midsole may be firm, but I love a bit of ground contract. Besides, it is lightweight and quite bouncy.
The soft Lightstrike Pro ensures a snappy toe-off, The ability to pick up the pace makes tempo runs effortless and exciting. There is also evidence of resilience in the midsole. It has well-balanced softness and firmness and doesn’t dip from the inside. Hence, as a daily trainer, Adizero SL can handle many training sessions. Also, the firm Lightstrike in the heel and soft Lightstrike under the forefoot, which is then enclosed with the Lightstrike, give the Adizero SL the needed stability. Hence, there is consistency in the foot strikes.
The outsole features the reliable Continental rubber, but I doubt it because it's not branded ‘continental’ as Adidas does in its Adizero models. Therefore, the implementation of the continental rubber in the Adizero SL is quite different. A channel splits the outsole right in the middle from heel to toe, and another isolates the medial forefoot and heel.
Hence, we have four outsole rubber compartments. The outer and inner forefoot features soft outsole rubber, creating a smooth transition when the foot rolls toward the medial side. The rubber grip lines run diagonally at full length to provide sufficient grip. The soft continental rubber curves upward to form a medial tip that acts as a buffer for the big toe. I experienced an excellent grip even on the wet surface, and my
The Adizero SL ticks several boxes. It is primarily for someone seeking a neutral daily trainer with a somewhat firm ride but responsive enough for up-tempo training. At 277g / 99.8 oz (US M11) and 235g / 8.29 oz (US W9), the Adizero SL is lightweight on foot, snappy in the forefoot, stable, and solid enough to tackle long-distance running and cross-training. It rides like the Takumi Sen. 8 and Adios 7, which also features the Lightstrike Pro midsole foam.
However, it feels more like a daily trainer because of the new upper mesh, reduced weight, and the Lightstrike Pro foam in the forefoot. Another notable difference is the new outsole design that guarantees a smooth ride and stability. Therefore, the Adizero SL has everything a runner needs for long and mid-range distance running or daily casual wear. It is versatile and worth the price.
- Premium appearance
- Responsive and stable ride
- Grippy outsole
- Affordable premium shoe
- Versatile daily trainer
- Excellent for casual wear
- Somewhat firm in the heel area
- Voluminous upper, thus fitting is not too snug-like
By Dick Harrison
Harrison is an Australian who lives in Sidney. He trains for fitness and the fun of it but does it like a pro. Harrison has the experience of running in various running shoes and understands the technology behind each shoe model he has worn.