The Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1 is Adidas’ newest edition to its running shoes line-up – and it’s ruffling some feathers.

If you’re one of the brave few taking part in marathon season,  you’ll already be thinking about your kit. 

Will you splurge on a CamelBak or sip water from support crews along the way? Are you more a Cliff Bar or a hydragel kinda person? Shorts or leggings? 

It’s all part of the process – but now there’s a new product you may want to consider adding to the list: Adidas has just released a pair of running shoes designed to last only for the duration of one marathon – meaning no training in them and no using them for future races. Oh, and they cost $777.

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The Adidas Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1 went on sale last week, with just 521 pairs up for grabs. They’re designed for maximum success in marathons but, as we mentioned, they’re a single-use shoe, and have a 42-hour expiry.

According to Adidas, the futuristic-looking shoe features the label’s exclusive Lightstrike Foam Pro technology midsole, for greater energy return, and a heel height of 39mm, while the front of the foot rests a little lower at 33mm. Its creators say this design means the runner will trigger forward naturally in their stride, leading to greater momentum and energy return.

For marathon runners, this might be the efficiency-making, energy-saving shoe they’ve been waiting for, but is it worth shelling out $18.50 per kilometre? 

According to Moritz Hoellmueller, vice president of design running at Adidas, the feel of the shoe is paramount, given the hours upon hours on non-stop running.

“There’s still structural support as well as foam in the key areas like the heel collar [for comfort] and the slingshot around the heel to lock you in,” he told Runner’s World.

A lot of that has to do with weight, too. Compared to your average running shoe, it’s 70g lighter.

“To do this, we explored every element of a racing shoe, balancing what we could remove or change to reduce the weight. Created with and for the fastest road racing athletes, this shoe is designed to help ambitious runners go even faster on race day,” Patrick Nava, vice president of product, running and credibility sports at Adidas, said in a statement.

 Charlotte Heidmann, senior global product manager at Adidas, also told the Runner’s World that“It’s the thinnest and lightest outsole we’ve ever created.”

“It’s still [made of] rubber, but it’s completely flat – there are no grooves anymore. But the grip is still the same – we’ve tested it in the rain with our athletes and wear testers.”

But what people really want to know is, how environmentally friendly can the Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1 be? Given its “one race – so one marathon – plus familiarisation time” lifespan, people are concerned. 

Online, people have branded them “Anti-sustainability. Immoral,” and a “publicity stunt”, and have accused Adidas of contributing to landfill, even likening the product to plastic straws.

But, the company responded by confirming they’re actually made from recycled fabric and even oil. “The shoe’s upper is made from recycled nylon and the midsole foam consists of 40 per cent bio-based castor oil,” Adidas explained. Not to mention, so few have actually been produced.

One follower also compared the shoe to a race car tire, which is kind of on the money.

“I feel like people are missing the point here. These are meant to be a speciality piece of equipment. Like a race car tire,” they said.

Publicity stunt or not, is this shoe technology the future for our marathon runners? Only time, and 42 kilometres, will tell. 

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