If you’re looking for a shoe to tackle tempo runs, fast sessions and races in, it might be well worth your while taking a look at the latest release from Adidas: the SL20.
It’s a ‘mid-level’ performance shoe aimed at intermediate level runners who want something lighter and zippier than, say, an Adidas Ultraboost, but who aren’t ready for anything as extreme as an Adizero.
It’s not the first Adidas shoe to have the SL (‘Super Light’) moniker, and is in fact a revival of their popular SL72 model from, yep, 1972.
'What we're trying to do with this shoe is cover the huge array of runners who are looking for that feeling of being fast – not just the top runners,' said Adidas Global Director of Footwear Stephen Schneider at a media event in Herzogenaurach, Germany. ‘It’s a mix of punk rock and precision - a more democratic shoe than a racing flat - and we think runners will love it.’
The shoe itself features Lightstrike, Adidas’s brand-new midsole foam which is substantially lighter than their Boost foam. The engineered mesh on the upper is also new and, while also lighter than previous uppers, offers a snug fit and keeps the foot locked in place.
We’ve been for a few runs in the SL20 and initial thoughts are these:
- As always they come up small so go up half a size, plus it’s a slim fitted model so if you have wide feet these will NOT be an option for you
- The upper does indeed keep the foot locked in lace impressively, even when cornering. Often, lighter shoes suffer from a lack of lateral stability meaning your foot can shift in the shoe, but no such issue here.
- It offers both bounce, a reasonably quick heel to toe transition
- The midsole cushioning and overall heft is sufficient to make this an option as a lightweight marathon training shoe for speedier runners – but for the masses it’ll be worn once or twice a week for your shorter sessions.
- For £100 these are a very decently priced shoe for what you get.
A full review, along with reviews of 15 other top performance models, will be online by end of March.
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