Adidas Adizero Takumi Sen 8 Review
by iRUN Singapore on January 31, 2022
Weight: 182 g / 6.42 oz (Men’s UK 8/US 8.5)
Price: $260 SGD
Stack Height: 27/33mm (6mm drop)
Pros & Cons
Fantastic Cushion-to-Weight Ratio
Bouncy & Fun Midsole
Limited Outsole Durability (Non-Continental Parts)
Challenging Upper Fit
The Takumi Sen 8 is a complete overhaul of the Takumi Sen 7. The Takumi Sen 7 uses older midsole materials (Lightstrike foam in the midfoot and heel with boost foam in the forefoot). The Sen 8 replaces this with a full-length Lightstrike Pro midsole. With an extra 10.5mm and 7.5mm in forefoot and heel stack respectively, expect the Takumi Sen 8 to feel nothing like its predecessor.
If Adidas released this pair in 2017, people might have thought that this was a maximal cushioned shoe like the OG Vaporfly 4%. It’s crazy to see how much things have changed since then. I’m a fan of this current trend of higher stacked short distance racers as I’ve never enjoyed old-school racing flats and their close to non-existent cushioning.
Upper & Fit
The upper is made from Celermesh, with 50% of recycled materials. This is one of the most breathable uppers I’ve tried from any shoe, which works really well in Singapore’s hot and humid weather.
I noticed that the sizing is a little weird for the Adizero series. The Prime X and Adios Pro 2 had lots of heel slippage at a true-to-size fit. The fit is narrower here but the length is the same as the aforementioned two. I tried true-to-size and half-a-size down and eventually opted for the smaller pair. This takes into consideration of the thin socks that I use together with racing shoes. The fit at half-a-size down is snug but fits me well. For those who wear thicker socks or have very wide feet, you might want to go true-to-size.
The tongue is stitched to the upper, which is both good and bad. This means that the tongue would not shift during runs, but it also made wearing the shoe difficult. I was afraid I would tear the site where the tongue was attached to the upper. Also, the tongue would fold up at the sides, and was difficult to straighten it out.
This, coupled with the laces, made the upper fit really tricky. All 3 shoes in the Adizero line-up had this problem: tie the laces too tight and you would feel an immense amount of lace pressure, tie it slightly too loosely and the heel slippage becomes very apparent. While I did not experience any heel slippage, partly due to sizing down, it took me a while to get the lacing just right.
Midsole & Ride
The Takumi Sen 8 uses Adidas’ flagship foam: Lightstrike Pro. This midsole material feels denser than some of the other PEBA foams that you would find in other brands like Nike’s ZoomX and Puma’s Nitro Elite foams. No one knows for sure what this material is, but it is speculated to be a nitrogen-infused thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). This foam, while not as springy as the above-mentioned foams, is more stable and has a more dense and stable bounce to it.
That said, there is 27/33mm of foam stack here. This is lower than the Adios Pro 2 (Adidas’ marathon racer- 29.5/39.5mm). The lower stack is evidently felt. This results in a more stable and lower to the ground feel. When I say stable, my reference point is other plated shoes. Don’t expect the stability you would find on daily trainers. Unlike the Adios Pro 2 which is laterally biased, I observed some form of medial bias here, though it disappears when running faster. You won’t find that lateral cut-out in the Adios Pro 2 that causes you to under pronate like crazy.
I took this pair on a couple of runs which mainly ranged from 4:15min/km down to 3:15min/km. Unlike many marathon racers, it was much easier to push the paces the faster I went, though the ride was not as smooth or as effortless. Warmup paces at about 5:45-6:00min/km felt alright thanks to the combination of flexibility and the foam, though you won’t want to be using this pair for easy or long runs.
The 6mm drop compared to the 10mm in the Adios Pro 2 manifests a noticeably flatter ride. If you are looking for the same “fall-forward feeling” as many carbon-plated shoes, you won’t find it here.
The ENERGYRODS here are not carbon; they are much less rigid. While you would notice the presence of carbon plates/rods in a shoe, the flexible rods blend in with the midsole so well that you don’t notice them at all.
Outsole & Durability
The outsole uses a combination of continental rubber in the medial forefoot section and a thin piece of very grippy textured rubber in the lateral forefoot and heel sections. The textured rubber reminds me of what you would find in climbing shoes.
The textured strip of rubber is not durable; it wears out much faster than normal, although the grip is excellent while it lasts. Coupled with the continental rubber, I did not slip when turning tight corners, or even on wet surfaces. The continental rubber is sure to outlast the textured rubber, which means that mid or forefoot strikers who land towards the center or medial side of the shoe would enjoy a longer shoe lifespan. Those who heel strike will see the heel rubber quickly disintegrate.
Areas for Improvement
The areas for improvement here are very subjective. I would have preferred at least an 8mm drop for a more rockered feeling. This would help the shoe feel less flat. That said, I think Adidas has a reason for doing so (The upcoming Nike ZoomX Streakfly has a 6mm drop too). I would have also preferred a slightly stiffer ride. (I respond really well to stiff and rockered shoes).
The area where the tongue is stitched to the upper could have been shifted lower to aid with wearing the shoe and avoid bunching up of the tongue. I honestly think that Adidas needs to either change the tongue’s thickness or their laces.
The Adidas Adizero Takumi Sen 8 is a fast and breathable racing shoe best suited for 5km-10km distances. If you are looking for something in between an old-school racing flat and a carbon-plated shoe, the Takumi Sen 8 is a great choice.
Reviewed by Xtride Running