Adidas Adizero Ace 4 Review

The Adidas Adizero Ace 4 is probably the easiest shoe that I own to review. It’s a solid light-weight neutral trainer that can easily serve a role as a marathon and road racing shoe for many runners. The Ace is also about the closest thing I’ve managed to find that compares favourably with the original Adidas Adizero Adios marathon racing shoe. Like many runners I’m not quite as in love with the Adidas Adios 2 as the original version, largely because of the additional stiffness added through the forefoot. The Ace on the other hand is probably a touch more flexible than the original Adios, which pushes it slightly more towards being a light-weight trainer rather than a racing shoe. Having said that many runners who prefer a more flexible shoe will enjoy the Ace racing from 10k through to the Marathon on the road.

Adidas Adizero Ace 4 Review

I’ve now worn three iterations of the Adidas Ace, version 2 of this shoe was almost identical to the original Adios, but a bit more flexible through the forefoot – I liked it a lot – version 4 of the Ace marks a return to this style of shoe. The third version of the Ace (pictured in green below) had a bit more stiffness and cushion through the forefoot. They’re were heavier as a result and didn’t have quite the same feel for the ground.

The Ace 4 seems to be a bit unloved by the Adidas marketing machine – it doesn’t get brought into Australia and I haven’t seen it promoted much on the Internet. I came across it almost by accident on the Wiggle website. The Ace 4 is much more flexible than the new Adios 2 so those that liked the old Adios but prefer a more flexible shoe may want to move over to the Ace – hopefully Adidas keep it going!

Adidas Ace Review Sole

Breaking in period

These shoes shouldn’t need a long breaking in period – mine have started feeling good after about 40km of running. The cushioning compound used feels slightly more forgiving than that deployed in the Adios 2. You’ll also note the so called torsion system and plastic strips that extend the full length of the sole in the Adios 2 do not extend into the forefoot on the Ace 4. This is a major contributing factor to the shoe feeling much less stiff and unforgiving.

Uses of the Ace 4

As I indicated I feel this shoe could fulfill a range of purposes depending on the background and intent of the runner. In terms of the structure we generally use to classify and recommend running shoes to clients I’d have these in the tempo running/light-weight trainer category. This means they’re suited to longer tempo runs or tempo pace intervals done at somewhere between your 10km and half-marathon race pace – solid rather than flat-our running. However, given the flexibility inherent in the Adidas Ace 4 they’re also going to be ok for use on steady paced longer runs and potentially as a minimalist running transition stepping on point. They’re obviously not a flat shoe but they’re much lighter and more sparingly cushioned than most everyday trainers. Not a bad place to start you minimal running aspirations if you were so inclined.

Shoe-recommendation-mix-for-individual-needs-e1343098756477

If I were to step down to running mile paced shorter repetitions of 200 – 400m or 5km race paced 1,000m intervals I’d probably start to look towards a shoe that has a bit more pop and stiffness available to help out when searching for some extra speed. However, I also see benefit in doing some of these sessions in a flatter, and/or more flexible shoes. In my case I’d probably do some of these types of training paces in the Nike Free 3.0 version 3 or in spikes (faster reps) for variety and race preparation. In the past 12 months I’ve also cautiously done the occasional tempo paced fartlek session barefoot on grass. The Ace could conceivably be used for faster work, but I personally wouldn’t do so.

Adidas Ace Review

Profile

I’m not able to provide any measurements around the heel-to-toe drop on this shoe but if feels pretty similar to the old Adios – perhaps even a touch flatter. The good news is it tapers away nicely toward the toe end of the shoe – something that I always enjoy in shoes made to go faster. The foot-bed is pretty flat and unshaped so over time your foot can make its own impression – another reason why this style of shoe responds well to a controlled wearing in period.

Surfaces

I’d be relatively comfortable wearing the Ace on a range of surfaces from road, packed granite sand and trails. Just be aware if you’re heading out to run fast in these shoes on rocky unsealed roads and trails you might get some stones pressing up into the forefoot.

Fit

I wouldn’t describe the Adidas Ace 4 as an extremely generous fitting shoe but it does have a decent amount of room. My slightly wide forefoot and high arch fits in well, so unless you’ve got particularly wide flippers your should be ok in these.

Conclusion

Overall this a a very nice simple shoe. Not much more to say than that, it slides into the background and lets you get on with running.

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18 Responses to Adidas Adizero Ace 4 Review

  1. Malone November 26, 2013 at 11:04 pm #

    Hi Brian,

    My Ace 4 is only 1 month old. I got my data analysis and this was recommended by the sales person because my feet are nuetral. However, I feel crumps/pain at my left leg for the first 15 minutes since I used this, but never happened before. Is there a chance that though this is a good quality running shoes, my feet are rejecting these?

    Thanks!

    • Brian November 28, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

      Hi Malone, You might need to try a different shoe model if this problem doesn’t settle down.

  2. pete May 27, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    Hey brian thank you for your quick response.So i will go
    after my nornal adidas size.It is awkward but i have tried boston 3
    and size 9 felt kind of small but the same size at boston super 13
    they are quite similar it is the right one(i could say a lot of roomier).So i had the same question about ace4 and tempo 5.Thank you again for answer it.

  3. pete May 27, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    Hi Brian,i just readed your review and i found it quite helpfull,and i think i will give a try at ace4.Because i ll buy them by internet
    not sure about the size.I am currently running with tempo 5 and
    i wear 9 uk=9.5us and they fell good not small and not large either ideal i could say (for the fit).
    A size uk9 will be ok for the ace 4 or they will fell small?
    Thank you in advance

    • Brian May 27, 2013 at 11:07 am #

      Hi Pete

      They fit true to size i.e. I usually wear 9.0 US and purchased the Ace in same and they were fine. so go with your normal size.

  4. Steve February 18, 2013 at 7:16 am #

    Hi Brian,

    Ive owned a pair of these shoes for 6 months now & Im very happy with them.
    It did take me a few weeks to adjust to them though, I had bad ankle & instep pain first thing in the morning after a long run, which went away after an hour or so. But once I felt I had broken them in I cannot complain about them, great shoes.

    Im thinking about getting a pair of Adidas Boost when they come out as a 2nd pair, but lets see.

    • Brian February 18, 2013 at 8:41 am #

      Hi Steve, Thanks for the feedback on the shoes. Yes the Boost will be interesting given the hype around them – wait and see if they can live up to it …

  5. Kostas February 10, 2013 at 7:51 am #

    Hello there!
    Great site, maybe the best I’ve encountered regarding running, with solid advice and thorough reviews. It is ideal to take advice from someone that has gone through all the stages of running technique and fitness (I was shocked to see your early videos).
    I am a former athlete, and after many years ad many small injuries I decided to start running and if I were healthy enough to train or een race. After my fett rejected the nimbus 13 I bought tha lunarglide 3 which are OK, but now that I actually increase the mileage I think that there is something missing. I need a shoe that is a good for easy running and for tempo runs as well, and then I saw your review on the Ace 4. I have neutral arch and fore/middlefoot striker. Do you think that it can serve me well and how does it fit compared with the Adios 2(Adidas doesn’t sell Ace in Greece- Isaw it on wiggle too)?
    Sorry for the long post.
    Keep up the good work!

    • Brian February 10, 2013 at 8:20 am #

      Hi Kostas, Thanks for the feedback on the site. Much appreciated. I think the Ace 4 would be ok for you and is a relatively similar fit to the Adios 2 (the main difference is the Adios is much stiffer). Some other shoes that you might consider for easy and tempo running include the NB890, Saucony Kinvara or Cortana. Mizuno Elixer or Precision. In the Adidas range you could also look at the Boston and Tempo – both those model lean towards being more tempo running than easy running shoes. Let me know what you decide

  6. Andrew Rowe January 19, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    Hello Brian, I like the sound of the Ace 4, how does the sizing compare to the Adizero or Boston?
    BTW, longest run ever today, 35 km, 4 min 47 sec pace, still using all you’re coaching techniques.

    Thanks,

    Andrew

    • Brian January 19, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

      Hi Andrew,

      From my perspective this shoe is true to size. I’m a 9 US in Adios, Boston and the Ace.

      That’s a very solid paced long run – good work! Are you training for the marathon or iron man at the moment?

      Brian

      • Andrew Rowe January 19, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

        Good one, thanks Brian.

        Training for Melb. IM, not long to go.

        Andrew

        • Brian January 19, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

          Nice work!

  7. Seb January 19, 2013 at 1:12 am #

    Other things equal, would the Ace be a more forgiving shoe than the Adios for a runner like me? Consider also that I’m a lightweight guy. Thanks again, Brian!

    • Brian January 19, 2013 at 8:16 am #

      Yes they definitely would be more forgiving. The Adios 2 is too stiff for marathons done at about 4 hour pace.

  8. Seb January 19, 2013 at 12:09 am #

    Hi, Brian,

    Do you believe that the Ace would be suitable for tempo runs of up to 12 km distance made in preparation for a marathon target time of 4:00 hrs – 4:10 hrs (i.e. tempo pace around 5:20 min/km – 5:30 min/km)?

    Also, do you believe that the Adizero Boston 3 or Adizero Tempo 5 would be a suitable shoe for long runs at around 5:50 min/km pace?

    Thanks a lot for your support.

    Seb (we’ve previously exchanged some e-mails regarding the strength training program, I’m sure you remember :) ) Speaking of which, be informed that I’m following the exercises and I already feel improvements. Thanks!

    • Brian January 19, 2013 at 8:14 am #

      Hi Sebastian,

      They might be ok, it would depend a bit on how well you’re moving. You could also consider breaking that long tempo run down into shorter segments some weeks and running those slightly quicker (close to 5min/km pace) i.e. 3 by 3000m with a couple of minutes recovery between – for that type of session the Ace could be better. The Boston and Tempo are both decent shoes that could work. Whatever you decide for race day make sure you’ve done some longer runs at goal pace to see how they work for you. Both these shoe could also be used for tempo work-outs. The Tempo 5 is a little lighter and slightly stiffer that the Boston.

      That’s great you’re getting some benefit out of the strength work, keep up the good work.

      Brian

      • Seb January 21, 2013 at 1:22 am #

        Thanks for the kind advice, Brian!