The Adidas Adizero Hagio represents a shoe design that morphs the original Adios with some elements of the Adizero Pro. What’s come out is an interesting hybrid that many runners will enjoy as a training and racing shoe. Fans of minimalist or natural running will also be impressed by certain changes in design philosophy that take this shoe away from snug fitting, fast and furious. However, in pleasing these runners, fans of a snug, tight fitting racing flat may find the Hagio not quite to their taste. Here’s what I made of it so far.
Profile and fit
The forefoot profile of Adidas Adizero Hagio, when observed from the side looks very much like the old Adios – I’d venture to say it’s almost identical in terms of cushion volume and taper towards the toe. So if you liked the profile and feel of the original Adios and are a forefoot oriented runner, then these shoes will feel pretty familiar. However, that’s about where the similarity ends, as the Hagio has a much wider forefoot that will allow your toes to spread.
Being a racing flat, this shoe also has a much lower heel; overall the shoe is about a 5mm drop from heel to forefoot. Generally I’d recommend this shoe to forefoot to neutral strikers, but light heel strikers should also be able to take it on as a racing shoe (test them out with some quality faster training first).
Complaint zone – Adidas Australia what a disappointment
This brings me to a gripe about Adidas in Australia. Adidas, who elected not to bring the Hagio into the country, have left their running range compromised by not offering a genuine racing flat. This is not only poor service to Australian runners, but also does not make good business sense.
As my coaching partner and specialty running retailer Mark Gorski has observed Adidas were selling more traditional training shoes in Australia because runners were so impressed with the performance/racing Adizero range. The penny hasn’t dropped, in fact the Adidas sales reps hadn’t even heard of the Hagio. Sometimes the sales numbers don’t tell the whole story.
Given Adidas sponsor leading Australian runners including Craig Mottram and Eloise Wellings, you’d think having a racing shoe for their fans to wear wouldn’t be a bad idea. Anyway the Hagio is popping up through direct importing; I’m seeing them frequently at many running events.
While it might be tempting as a minimalist runner to do your easy training runs in the Hagio, in my opinion it doesn’t feel that great when you’re running slow – however I’m sure this is quite a personal view and one that many will disagree with. When running faster they feel quite zippy and do provide a bit of assistance that feels good when you’re pushing the pace. Use the Hagio for off-track speed work, intervals or shorter <20 minute tempo runs.
Suitable for track, roads and cross country (provided the terrain is not too rocky). Runners not acclimatized to minimalist (flat and un-cushioned shoes) could probably wear the Hagio for races of 5 to – 10km or even the half marathon if they’re sub 1.30 runners. I suspect a few will run the full marathon in the Hagio, but it’s probably suited to sub three hour runners or those accustomed to wearing flat shoes for all their training. A safety first approach should be adopted for racing the Marathon, if in doubt run in a shoe of similar profile to the original or new Adios. Many runners also enjoy running the marathon in lightweight trainers such as the Adidas Boston or Mizuno Precision.
Check out Runblogger Pete Larson’s review of the Hagio. In short, he loves them, so for fans of minimalist running this shoe could be of interest to you.
You could put the Hagio in a minimalist running transition plan, however it probably works best as shoe to rotate into when you need to give your feet and calves a break from completely unstructured flat shoes. As I’ve written previously, even if you’re a minimalist runner it can be nice to rotate your shoes so that your lower legs and feet get a bit more recovery time.
In short the Adidas Hagio looks and feels like a good racing shoe that will suit a reasonable variety of runners, especially if you enjoy a roomier fit in the forefoot. However, there doesn’t seem to be a ladies model available yet, which could prove problematic for runners with smaller feet. Yes women do need racing shoes too. It took a while for the original adios to be offered as a ladies shoe, so perhaps that is in the pipeline for Adidas. Don’t forget to try them on for size before purchasing.
Written by Brian Martin