What’s So Special About Tigist Assefa’s £400/$500 Single-Marathon Supershoe?
Tigist Assefa’s staggering 2:11:53 finish at the 2023 Berlin Marathon yesterday [Sunday 24 September] has got the running world talking. And one question on the lips of supershoe super fans is: what’s so special about her new adidas footwear?
In the fiercely competitive world of marathon running, athletes and manufacturers are perpetually in pursuit of the next innovation that could shave valuable milliseconds off finish times. The German sportswear giant chose its home marathon in Berlin to debut the “revolutionary” £400/$500 Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1, adidas’ industry-defining supershoe, as seen on the feet of the extraordinary Tigist Assefa as she shattered the women’s marathon world record on Sunday.
Defending her Berlin Marathon title from last year, Tigist blew away the competition yet again to secure her second consecutive Abbot World Marathon Major victory. Last year in Berlin she set the course record of 2:15:37, which was the third-fastest women’s marathon in history at the time. This year, she broke the world record and bettered her own course record by an incredible 2 minutes and 11 seconds.
The Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1 weighs just 138 grams, even with a sizeable 39mm heel, and was what Assefa said gave her “that extra boost today to go and achieve a world record time,” a press release by adidas added.
Assefa’s win at the 2023 Berlin Marathon left spectators in awe and certainly brought adidas’ new creation into the limelight. However, with a shelf life that spans just one marathon and its respective training sessions, and a price tag bordering on the extreme, the shoe raises questions about sustainability and value in sports technology. At the full retail price – a market-stretching £400 GBP/$500 USD – when used in a full marathon the cost works out at £10/$12 per kilometre run.
Key Features (in adidas’ own words)
Despite the cost, there are many reasons to succumb to the Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1.
In adidas’ words, this supershoe is optimised for speed over durability, while still built to the highest possible standard. Its fusion of cutting-edge technology and prime materials offers lightness and speed, with a silhouette made to redefine performance running.
Supportive and soft, the latest version of the LIGHTSTRIKE PRO foam significantly reduces the weight of the shoe while providing greater energy return for runners. The first-of-its-kind forefoot rocker also triggers forward momentum, resulting in record-breaking speed that improves the wearer’s running economy. In addition, the outsole features a state-of-the-art liquid rubber compound that provides optimal traction at a significantly lower weight, making you feel like you’re flying with every stride.
Two in Two
adidas says that the shoes are lab-tested to improve running economy and that Assefa’s history-making performance has demonstrated what adidas athletes can achieve while wearing them. Her victory in Berlin follows Peres Jepchirchir’s remarkable win at the 2023 Great North Run – the world’s largest half marathon – where she debuted the revolutionary road-racers. This makes it two in two for adidas’ lightest and now fastest racing shoe since its launch in the US on 14 September.
The shoe will also be worn by some of adidas’ best athletes at other Abbott World Major Marathons this autumn, including the New York City Marathon in November.
With only 521 pairs available in the USA and the supershoes not going on sale in the UK until 26 September, acquiring this exclusive running footwear requires speedy action from prospective buyers.