Adidas Adizero Takumi Sen 8 Review Analysis (2022)
Last update: October 2022
The Adidas Adizero Takumi Sen 8 is a carbon-fiber plate running shoe to go very fast over short/medium distances.
The Takumi Sen 8, a new version of this iconic Adidas model, is a lightweight carbon-plated gem to pulverize your PBs in short-distance competitions.
The TS8 takes the core technologies of its big sister, the Adios Pro 2, but with a thinner stack: 33 mm under the heel with a drop of 6 mm. The result is a soft and responsive cushioning, but it requires a reasonably fast pace to reveal its full potential.
The foot lockdown is comfortable and relatively effective. The Celermesh technology translates into a very thin mesh with great flexibility. Thus, there’s little structure, which may not be enough for some athletes for an optimal foothold. Additionally, testers note that the very thin laces are somewhat inconvenient, making it difficult to adjust the pressure around the foot. Combined with the thick, soft sole, this can cause stability issues for some runners. Simply put, it’s best to avoid it if you have pronation issues.
Finally, the outsole, which uses Continental rubber among other materials, allows for excellent traction and gives this fast shoe good durability. It’s an important point considering that most carbon plate shoes tend to wear out quickly.
The Takumi Sen 8 marks a very good evolution in the series, but its very edgy configuration does not make it accessible to everyone. Above all, it’s built to beat a personal record at the 5K or 10K. For the (half-)marathon, the Adios Pro 2 seems to be a better choice in the Adidas collection.
Please read our full review of the Adidas Adizero Takumi Sen 8 for more information.
- Ultra-light shoe
- Comfortable cushioning that provides impressive propulsion, especially when you’re going fast
- Thin mesh that offers good support overall and stays loose enough
- Good durability thanks to the robust outsole
- Great design
- Laces that are not very practical
- Lack of stability according to some runners, especially at slower paces
Adidas Adizero Takumi Sen 8 Complete Review Analysis
Adidas has decided to beef up its entire collection, and no shoe escapes a significant overhaul. After the Boston 10, which became a maximalist trainer, it’s the turn of the Takumi Sen 8 to see a boost in the stack height (no pun intended). And, with that, you probably guessed it: a carbon plate to make it pop during races!
The results speak for themselves: in 2021, Senbere Teferi crushed the women’s 5K record in 14 min 29 s! The Adidas running shoe was not at its first exploit. Rhonex Kipruto was wearing version 5 when he set the new 10K record with 26 min 43 s.
So ok, these shoes work very well for short distances, at least for elite athletes. But is the Adidas Takumi Sen 8 versatile enough to go beyond that and can it be suitable for amateur runners as well? Keep on reading to find out.
The design with a cut-out on the medial side of the sole is very reminiscent of the Adios Pro super shoe. However, while thick, the Takumi Sen 8’s sole is lower, with 33 mm under the heel and 27 mm under the forefoot.
This configuration is atypical for racing flats (or wanna-be) made for short distances. However, there’s inflation in stack height these days. Ultimately, 33mm is likely to become the new standard for this type of shoe.
The midsole uses Lightstrike Pro foam coupled with Energy Rods, carbon plates that equip the front part of the shoe (see photo below). Unlike the Adios Pro, the TS8 doesn’t have a plate under the heel.
According to the testers, the medial cut lightens the shoe and improves flexibility. The Lightstrike Pro foam provides a comfortable and rather soft cushioning. In terms of bounce, runners note that the plate does give a trampoline effect but it remains moderate.
Finally, let’s note that the platform is rather wide for a racer: these shoes tend to be narrow, but Adidas chose to widen the base, probably to compensate for the high stack.
Please read on below to find out what the ride feels like!
Foot lockdown (upper)
The ultra-thin mesh Celermesh is not unanimously appreciated by runners. Everyone enjoys its ultra-lightweight design (6.8 oz/193 g in size 42, unisex) with 50% recycled materials to reduce plastic waste, but some deplore a lack of structure.
Indeed, it seems that Adidas has preferred to sacrifice a little efficiency in terms of foot support to lighten the shoe to the maximum. The fit is still good (thanks in part to the midfoot reinforcements and snug yet minimal heel counter) but not as good as the Takumi Sen 7, which offered a thicker mesh with a more straightforward design.
Some testers see no problem running in this shoe for a half-marathon race, but several others recommend not going beyond 10 km because of this support issue.
Another problem highlighted during the tests is the thin laces that are difficult to adjust. Not only it’s not easy to put the shoe on (you have to open the upper well) but the laces are also not very practical. There are many holes and you have to tighten them to keep the foot in place. Unfortunately, such a tightening may not be very comfortable during long runs.
Finally, the shoe offers a good volume for a racing shoe, which should reassure runners with wide feet.
Grip and durability
Adidas has a reputation for providing impeccable outsoles, especially with the use of Continental rubber.
The Takumi Sen 8 comes with three types of rubber perfectly positioned to maximize durability and grip, even on wet surfaces.
The testers didn’t notice any wear issues, which is pretty rare for an ultra-lightweight running shoe like this one. So that’s a very good point, especially considering the “reasonable” price of the TS8 compared to other carbon shoes.
As with the fit of the upper, the running feel received mixed reviews. Let’s start with the highlights: the Lightstrike Pro + EnergyRods combo delivers very comfortable, soft cushioning with a slight bounce.
The trampoline effect is not as dramatic as other carbon shoes like the Nike Vaporfly, but it may appeal to runners looking for a carbon shoe with a more traditional ride.
Testers note that the Energy Rods feel good under the forefoot and give a good boost when pushing off the ground. However, they note that you need faster speeds to activate them. The propulsion is not as effective at slow speeds (it can even feel pushy).
Finally, according to some runners, the thin, flexible upper combined with the high-stack cut platform can cause stability issues. This contributes to confine the TS8 to relatively short distances such as 5K or 10K.
With the decision to turn the Takumi Sen into a carbon plate racer, Adidas has turned this iconic model into a specialist shoe at the risk of losing versatility.
Let’s be clear: the TS8 is a very good shoe that offers excellent value for money given the ingenuity, style and quality of its design. However, its slight lack of stability and hard to adjust fit make it primarily relevant for short runs to allow it to reveal its full potential.
|Heel stack height||33 mm|
|Forefoot stack height||27 mm|
|Weight (men)||193 g/6.8 oz|
|Weight (women)||193 g/6.8 oz|
|Features||Carbon plate, Unisex sizing|
|Athletes||Senbere Teferi, Rhonex Kipruto|
|Softness (1-5)||4 – Soft|
|Bounce (1-5)||4 – Bouncy|
|Midsole||Energy Rods, Lightstrike Pro|
|Distance||Short, mid, 5k, 10k, half marathon|
Reference: Adidas’ official site
Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2
The Adios Pro 2 has a higher stack and has the half marathon and marathon in sight. Check out the full comparison side by side.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
This shoe runs true to size with good volume inside. However, the lacing is not easy to adjust. So we recommend you try them on if you can.
While these shoes may suit this distance, they are not marathon racers. This model is primarily intended for shorter distances as its lockdown is not always optimal. However, it’s a personal question. Its 33 mm stack at the rear has what it takes to be suitable for long distances.