adidas adizero Hagio Running Shoe Review: A Roomy Road Flat Built for Speed

adidas adizero HagioOver the past 2+ years I’ve probably run in 50 or more different shoes, but until recently none of them were made by Adidas. I was recently asked if there was a particular reason why I was avoiding the brand, and the honest answer was that there was no reason, I’d just never had the opportunity to try them. I don’t know if it’s that Adidas running shoes seem to be more popular overseas than they are here in the US, but Adidas has never been a brand that I tend to think of when it comes to running shoes.

A few months ago I was independently contacted by two different representatives from Adidas, one a shoe designer and the other a category manager. They offered to ship me out several pairs of shoes, the first of which I’m reviewing here in this post (the others were the Adidas Adios 2 and the ultraminimal Adipure Adapt – disclosure: all three shoes were media samples provided free of charge for review purposes).

I first read about the Adidas Hagio on the Running Warehouse blog several months ago, and my first thought after connecting with the folks at the company was that this shoe would be the one most likely to suit my running style. I was right – this is one impressive shoe. Let’s jump right into the review…

adidas adizero Hagio Side

adidas adizero Hagio Medial

First off, if you are familiar with my taste in shoes, you’ll immediately know that this one is right up my alley. It’s a great looking shoe, and quite possibly the brightest shoe in my collection. This is one shoe that will stick out in any crowd – it makes the bright yellow coloring of the Newton Distance Racer or  Skechers Go Run look almost drab in comparison. The upper detailing is very nice, and the overlays are a shiny synthetic material that makes them really stand out from the surrounding mesh. As for the mesh, there is plenty of it, and the shoe is extremely well ventilated, particularly around the toebox.

Internally, fit and feel are excellent, though my one attempt at running sockless in them ended with several bleeding raw spots on my feet. Strangely, they didn’t seem to develop while I was running, but rather while I was walking home with my kids at the end of my run. The issues are the margins between the mesh and the cloth underlays inside the shoe (the edges of the light yellow strips visible on the toebox in the photo below) – they rubbed the tops of my big and little toes and the inside of the front of my arches the point of breaking the skin. Thankfully, wearing thin socks has alleviated this problem completely. The insole is thin, flat, and removable, so you could easily take it out if you wanted a little bit more interior volume.

adidas adizero Hagio Toebox

One of my biggest concerns with traditional road flats is that they tend to be rather narrow. I’ve never had much luck with Nike flats, and though the Saucony Grid Type A4 had potential the fit was off for me, and it has caused me foot and ankle trouble on a few occasions. The one exception has been the Mizuno Universe, which in my opinion is one of the nicest shoes on the market (I now have the MWU4 and will be reviewing it soon). The Mizuno Universe is super light and has a generously roomy toebox for a road flat. I think I’m prepared to say that Mizuno now has a solid competitor in the roomy road flat category – the Hagio has more than enough room in the toebox for my feet. It feels roomier than the Saucony Kinvara to me, and is quite comparable to the Mizuno Universe in fit.

adidas adizero Hagio Sole

As for the sole, the Hagio midsole is very firm and fairly stiff. Usually that’s a combination that turns me off, but for some reason in this shoe the combination just seems to work perfectly. The manufacturer specs for stack heights are 23mm heel, 17mm forefoot (midsole only = 16mm heel, 9mm forefoot), but the shoe honestly feels flatter than that to me, and the shoe never seems to get in the way on the run. Because of the firmness of the sole, ground feel is quite good, and the grippy outsole pattern under the forefoot works great out on the roads.

In terms of weight, the Hagio comes in at just over 6oz, so definitely in the lightweight category, though not quite as feather-like as the sub-4oz Mizuno Universe. This is definitely a shoe built for running fast, but my early experience with them leads me to believe that they might hold up for longer distance races as well. My longest run in them so far is 8.5 miles, and I felt no unusual fatigue or soreness. I could easily see running a half marathon in these shoes, and might even consider a marathon with a proper amount of acclimation.

Summary

adidas adizero Hagio HeelI must admit to being a bit smitten with the adidas Hagio. It’s lightweight, brightly colored, and plenty roomy for a road racing flat. I’ve found myself choosing to lace it up frequently on my recent runs, and it has more than earned a spot in my regular rotation. I don’t intend to banish it from my closet door shoe rack anytime soon (that’s the limbo where my old shoes that I’m not prepared to give away get put to rest…).

As I’ve mentioned a few times, the most comparable shoe on the market to the Hagio is the Mizuno Universe. The latter is lighter, slightly more flexible, and rides a bit closer to the ground. However, the Universe is priced $30 higher than the Hagio (MSRP = $90 for the Hagio), and the Hagio has a bit more outsole so durability might be a tad better. Both are excellent shoes, so a decision between them comes down mainly to personal preference. In any event, my first experience with an adidas shoe was overwhelmingly positive, and I can give the Hagio a big stamp of approval.

The adidas Hagio is available for purchase at Running Warehouse.

Running Warehouse: Great prices on closeout shoes! View men's and women's selections.
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Recent Posts By Category: Running Shoe Reviews | Running Gear Reviews | Running Science

About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.

Comments

  1. Beckyhollowbread says:

    What about the sizing. Previously to wear adidas I have always had to go up half a size did you do this for the Hagio?

  2. How do these feel/fit compared to the gazelle? Thanks!

  3. Ethan Munang says:

    Hey Pete, how does the width of the Hagio’s compare to the Kinvara’s and the Green Silence? Wider? I hope so…..

  4. Brian Martin says:

    Hi Pete, nice review! It’s a shame that Adidas are are not bringing the Hagio into Australia. It leaves the Adios as their flattest racing shoe on offer here. Brian

    • Adrian Miles says:

      Brian, order from Running Warehouse. I’ve been running in the Adios and am looking at the Hagio as my minimalist shoe.

      Pete, would love to hear your comparison betwwen the feel of the adios 2 and the hagio. I suspect that the adios would be far too much shoe for you however.

      Cheers!

    • Pete Larson says:

      No Hagio in Australia? Haven’t run in the Adios yet, worried about the heel height as I haven’t run in a shoe with that high a heel in quite some time. Should be interesting.

  5. Nick Fusco says:

    Thanks for the review of the Hagio. How would you compare the ride to the Saucony A4?

    • Pete Larson says:

      Similar feel underfoot, but the fit of the Hagio is a lot better for me – I find the A4 has kind of a strange shape.
      Sent from my iPad

  6. Jay Mueller says:

    Hi Pete,

    No issues with shoe-induced pronation?  I seem to have always had issues with neutral Adidas shoes that are more minimal in that they seem to increase the amount and rate of pronation I experience, often leading to Achilles issues; the same happened with the ASICS Tarther.  Anyway, just wondering if this issue (which I think was also touched on in your blog via Anders’ guest post a LONG ways back?) presented itself with the Hagio,,,

    Jay

    • Pete Larson says:

      Jay,

      Good question, the Adios worries me more on that front. I think the Hagio rides close enough to the ground and has a firm enough sole that it won’t be a problem. Haven’t noticed it so far. I think shoe induced pronation is more likely the thicker the sole gets.

  7. Pete,
    Anxiously awaiting your Adios review. I’ve been mostly in Adidas recently, RC, then the replacement Rocket. Rockets are still going strong so I haven’t moved to the Hagio yet. I’m interested in a marathon shoe. I want to know how the much higher heel of the Adios feels for someone who is used to lower heels.

    • Pete Larson says:

      I’ve run in the Adios several times, and have been surprised that the heel does not bother me as much as I thought. I do feel like it runs a half size or so shorter than the Hagio, but the heel is sculpted in a way that it works OK for me. Definitely not my preference to have a shoe with an 11mm offset, but the Adios is manageable.

  8. Sometime I hope you get to check out the Adidas Rocket.  It sounds similar in many respects to the Hagio – stiff and firm but not bothersome, 6mm drop – but it’s almost always available for less than $70 at RW.  I bought a pair last winter because I wanted something light, low and durable and they are definitely all that.  I’ve got 500 miles on a pair and if you look at the sole it looks like there’s probably another 500 miles left in them.  Very, very durable and surprisingly good winter ice/snow traction!

    • Pete Larson says:

      The Hagio is actually replacing the Rocket, hence the similarity.

      Pete

      Sent from my iPod

      • That explains it.  I just hope the Haggio has the durability of the Rocket then.  The picture of the outsole makes me skeptical.  I love the full rubber outsole on the Rocket.

  9. Hi Pete
    Thanks for the post on Adidas, not sure how i missed this. Must have been holiday festivities! I would say generally that your observations on the Hagio are idiosyncratic of Adidas shoes. I run in the Adios and they also are a fairly stiff shoe, feel closer to the ground than they actually are, are fairly light and resemble a racer more than a neutral distance shoe which they are designed to be.

    My advice for anyone wanting to take an Adidas shoe further than 13.1 miles is to try the Adios. The little bit extra they carry in the heel – in comparison to a Saucony shoe like the Kinvara or the Grid Type A4 (both of which I own) – I find is a little more protective on the calves and joints after 15 miles as the body begins to tire and running form suffers.

    You mentioned Adidas also sent you a pair of the Adios. Any quick opinions?

    Cheers!
    Al – TBR (thebeardedrunner.com)

  10. Alex Beecher says:

    I’ve run in the original Adios and… don’t hate it. If I’d never run in lower shoes, it would seem a revelation. It’s firm, snug, and feels fast. It’s not really at home running slow and comfortable, or blistering intervals, but chugs along at race pace pretty well. And as a “marathon flat”, I suppose that’s what it’s supposed to do. On that note, why wouldn’t you run in the Hagio for longer races? Too firm?

    • Pete Larson says:

      Fear – had a bad experience running a marathon in Saucony Grid Type A4 flats. But, I was not acclimated to them at the time so that might be why. I think this could work as a marathon shoe if I built up in them.

      • Alex Beecher says:

        My first half marathon was in Trail Gloves, and I felt pretty trashed after. So I totally get feeling a little skittish about running hard and long on pavement in less cushy shoes. The balance is tough to strike, though god knows we keep looking.

      • Tim Gavan says:

        I just ran a half marathon in my new Grid type 5′s, wow. I use Kinvara for the marathons but for the HM they were fantasic, stayed cool and worked well. I cant wait for my Hagios to arrive to compare the two.

        • Pete Larson says:

          I’ve been tempted to give the Grid Type A5 a go – did you size up at all in them? I feel like my A4′s run a bit short.
          Sent from my iPad

          • Tim Gavan says:

             True to size for me, same as my Kinvaras perhaps fractionally looser due to the less structure in the upper but very comfortable. I ran the half in them after only 30ks of running them in.  the only issue I had was around corners and slightly less on down hills where both these situations saw my foot to move around but with no undue effects. No black toes or anything, I guess thats what you get for such a minimal shoe. Im forcing myself to have a 10k run tomorrow in my Kinvarras because the Grid 5s have taken over and I need to keep my feet used to them for the next marathon. Im waiting for Kinvara 3s to be released in Australia. Ive also been reading about the Adidas Rush, cant see the drop on them anywhere?  cheers

          • Tim Gavan says:

             also Ive found since switching to the elastic laces my feet move around but much more importantly for me they are allowed to expand as the long race goes on, so this might be the reason they are moving around?

          • Pete Larson says:

            Thanks Tim – may have to give them a try. Need a third flat to round out my rec list.

            —-
            Pete Larson’s Web Links:
            My book: Tread Lightly – link to ow.ly
            Work: link to anselm.edu
            Blog: http://www.runblogger.com
            Dailymile Profile: link to dailymile.com
            Twitter: link to twitter.com

  11. Hi everyone.

    im 98 kg, and 1.88 m (6.1 height, i think) im a avid mountain biker, but a friend invite me to run a spartan sprint race on next february. and i recently started to run.

    as im not in running world i bought some nike shoes (lunarglide 2) but i dont like the feeling in the heel zone, my footstep was feeling insecure like my heel was floating, and my middle foot started to hurt a lot, even just walking around in those shoes, so i changed to nike lunarflys and the same amount of problems came back, later i found this shoes(adidas adizero hagio) on a discount sale and for my surprise my feet hurt only the first half mile, my average speed increased a lot; i was so confident on my footsteps ( i love those shoes ) also i tried to increase my minimal style running and it helped me a lot, so point of this story im super glad with this kind of shoes and now im thinking to buy some trail shoes and trying to chose between some inov8 x-talon, salomon fellcross or new balance minimus…

    greetings from mexico

  12. Michael Patti says:

    How do you feel about their potential shelf life?  I know it’s impossible to predict lifetime mileage for a shoe, but what do you think about the manufacturing and quality of materials?

  13. Martin Schyllert says:

    Hi Pete, got a question about sample shoes. I got a pair off Adidas from a friend at a runners store. It was my model and my size so I was quite happy, until I saw the sample tag on the inner lip.
    So my question is this; Are sample shoes as good as store-bought ones? My ankles and knees need the real deal so I haven’t taken the sample ones for a run yet.
    Kind regards

    • Martin Schyllert says:

      a pair of*

    • Pete Larson says:

      Depends on how early in the design process they were produced. Most of the samples I get are basically the same as the final production shoe.
      Sent from my iPad

      • Martin Schyllert says:

        This is an old model (Adidas Adistar Salvation 3M) that comes out in new colours every season.
        It looks the part but as a former basketball player I’m weary when it comes to cushioning.
        Thank you

  14. Shellq37 says:

    I have the Adios and love it. How does this shoe compare to the Adios? Not liking the yellow, maybe I’ll wait for some other colors to come out.

    • Pete Larson says:

      Definitely flatter than the Adios, though the cushioning has the same firm feel. My sense is the toebox of the Hagio is roomier, but I think the Adios runs a little small so that might explain it.

      Pete

  15. Loving this shoe for running.  My go to for the past year has been the Road-X 233 and these are very similar.  My only complaint is during walking.  The extended flat heel is just no good for walking compared to the scalloped heel on the Inov8′s and Altras.  Going to be taking the hack saw to that back lip, 45 degree cut to remove about 1/2 inch from the back extension of the heel cushion.

  16. John Molander says:

    Hi,

    thank you for the review. And for everything else on the blog for that matter. Really inspiring for us all.

    I saw by the looks that this shoe was my shoe, even if I never have been running in Adidas. So, I bought a pair a couple of weeks ago. And my plan was to get another pair or two before they get discontinued by Adidas (great fear). For me, Hagio is the best fitting shoe ever, and perfect friends to my Piranhas and MR00. 

    But Im sorry to say, the mesh got ripped on the right shoe after the 5th run, without any visits on trails. I went to the local Löplabbet (Sweden) for a new pair, they agreed without problems (great!!), so I will get the new pair delivered today. By now, after eight runs, the mesh on the left shoe starts to loosen from the sprint web. See picture.

    My concern is; Is the next pair as my first? Bad construction? Hope not. So, Ill wait a bit before stacking them up in my closet.

  17. adidas promo code says:

    This is Adidas shoes that will keep out in any audience. The higher detail is very awesome, and the overlays are a gleaming artificial materials that creates them really take a position out from the nearby capable.

  18. Harry Thorpe says:

    Ordered a pair of these online after reading your review because the Nike lunaracers i had came up far thinner than my other pair of nikes! but as you said great shoe that has room for us with wider feet!

  19. Hello Pete,

    I’ve been following your blog since May and I’ve really appreciated your recommendations and insights on the fit and feel of different shoes. Keep up the good work! I’ve been running in the Kinvara 3s and the New Balance MR00s since the summer, but since I’ve been increasing my mileage lately I decided that I needed something with a bit more heel than the New Balances and more stiffness than the Sauconys – lately I don’t appreciate the marshmallowyness of them as much as I did. I found the Mizuno Universe to be the perfect middle ground (and they feel soooo fast) and ordered them from Running Warehouse. Thank you for the discount. To take advantage of the flat rate shipping costs to Canada, I also decided to take the risk and order these Hagios as well. I’ve been curious about them for some time, but only managed to try on the Adios to get a feel for how they might be since I couldn’t find the Hagios anywhere in Ontario. On my first run in them today I was surprised by the high degree of sole stiffness to them when running on grass – a pretty radical departure from the MR00s. I was wondering if that stiffness persists or do they soften up a bit as you break them in. The reason that I ask is that I’m fairly certain that running barefoot would lead to a softer landing as my feet would bend more naturally and I’m concerned with the impact of running in these. Besides a bit of soreness in the top of my right foot, my legs didn’t feel any more beat up than usual after running with them, but I could tell that my feet were hitting the ground harder with every step, and the slap sound they make on pavement was a bit off-putting. I know it’s all part of trying things out to see for yourself and adjust foot-strike accordingly, but I was wondering what your experience was in this regard. Thank you.

    • Pete Larson says:

      Paul,

      Thanks for the kind words! As for the Hagio, they are probably the stiffest shoe I own, which is typical of many adidas shoes. For that reason I find them great for speedwork and 5k racing (wore them in my last two), but not so great as an everyday trainer or distance shoe. I’m a big fan of the Saucony A5 for the latter. As you say, the Mizuno Universe is an awesome shoe, and I’m liking the New Balance RC1600 as well – the latter is firm and fairly stiff, but not quite as much as the Hagio. I haven’t consciously tried to assess if the Hagio breaks in with time, so can’t give feedback on that.

      Pete

      —-
      Pete Larson’s Web Links:
      My book: Tread Lightly – link to ow.ly
      Blog: http://www.runblogger.com
      Twitter: link to twitter.com
      Facebook: link to facebook.com

  20. Anthonyv says:

    Really like this shoe, with 2 exceptions: 1) the upper material is rather plasticky and not very supple and 2) it’s loud (the sound when running, not the color). The shoe is nice and light with a wider toe box so that’s really good. I have to say thought that this shoe doesn’t seem much like the mizuno universe (at least the universe v3 that I’ve run in a lot). The universe is certainly more flexible, lower height, less drop, lower weight, and softer. It also has a way different tongue and lacing setup. If anything, I’d compare the hagio to the Nike streak xc 3.

    • Pete Larson says:

      I agree on the Hagio upper – that’s the weak point of the shoe. I can’t run sockless in them. I also agree that it is a different shoe than the Mizuno, just compared them because the Universe is my other favorite racing flat.

      • Anthonyv says:

        Sure. Makes sense.

        Holding out hope that Adidas gets the upper right on the next rev. This could be my top choice if they do.

  21. Felipe Fassy says:

    Thanks again, Pete, for the review.
    I am really enjoying speed work and 10k running races with the Hagio. It’s amazing! Great ground feel!
    I continue using the kinvara for higher distances such 15k and half marathon, but maybe later i will think about using it too.

  22. Gmggwebber says:

    hi,
    i was really excited after hearing this review, and it took me months to finally get these shoes
    one word to describe these new racers… AMAZING
    they are light, and they didnt give any fresh blisters (usually happens to me with new shoes :P)
    anyway, turns out a friend of mine bought the mizuno universe after i got these, and youre right: it is not much different from the hagio

    thanks for the review! :)

  23. Felipe Fassy says:

    Hi Pete,

    I am a really fan of your blog.
    Since i started reading it, i decided to move from more cushioning shoes to the side of the minimalist. I was a little bit afraid in the beginning, as i have 201 lbs and 6’1″, but that was not a problem.
    I started with the kinvara, as your 2010 choice, and after using them (i have 2 pairs), no more pain noticed and my running got better.
    I am from Brazil, started running 9 months ago and i will return to US in March. I decided to see indian wells (master series of tennis) and take the opportunity to run outside of my country (hot chocolate 15k – San Diego).
    As a gift for me, i intend to buy some pairs. Could the hagio be one interesting for me as the kinvara is? What could it be other interesting options? Considering my weight, do you think moving for more minimalist shoes can be complicated?
     
    Thanks a lot and congratulations for your blog,
    Felipe

    • Pete Larson says:

      Felipe,

      The weight issue is an interesting question – I know some people who think it’s a problem and others who do not. I’d sy let your experience be your guide – if the Kinvara is working well, and your form is good, I think the Hagio would probably be no problem. This shoe actually has a bit more heel lift than the Kinvara, but is firmer so not quite as forgiving. I do know one guy who is bigger than you who runs marathons in the Mizuno Universe, so it’s certainly possible to be on the heavier side and run well in a more minimal shoe. I also know some big guys who regularly run barefoot without issue.

      One other shoe to consider that is comparable to the Kinvara is the Brooks Pure Flow. Nice springy sole and a similar fit.

      • Felipe Fassy says:

        “Let your experience be your guide”: nice words, Pete!

        The flow, as the kinvara, is a better option for long races, is that right?

        I don´t intend to run more than 21k and here we have more 10k running races.

        In other words, as i got a good experience with the kinvara and i am in a good form, i am really thinking about dropping to these new models, such as the adidas hagio, Merrell Bare Access, mizuno universe and MT00.

        Does it sound crazy?  :)

  24. Thanks for the review. I’ve been looking at the Adios but I think this sounds better. Alas not coming to Australia apparently

  25. Hello Peter, Thanks for those comments about midfoot running. I totally agree with you on this. I changed my running form 3.5 years ago and threw out my expensive and mostly useless orthotics as well. I would agree that once one starts mid-foot running, NO shoe can make you a heel striker, although you might hit the heel from time to time reminding you that the heel is there. Also bigger heels seem beneficial for downhill running! (Need a shoe that self-adjusts with different terrain!)

    Anyway, how does the Adidas Hagio compare to the New Balance 1400, K Swiss Kwicky Blade Light or the K Swiss K Ruuz? (I also train in the NB 870 or NB 890.) I sprained my left ankle badly 9 years back, so it really pronates a lot, so a little anti-pronation support is useful, otherwise, this midfood running is totally awesome! (I almost won my last race–at age 54, (in K Swiss K Ruuz shoes), but some 26 year old passed me with one mile to go. Full disclosure, it was a small 5 km race and my time was a slow 18:54)

    In short, IS there a “midfoot shoe” that you like that’s lightweight AND offers some anti-pronation support like the NB 870 or K Swiss Kwicky Blade Light? The Adidas Hagio seems to have none. Yesterday I saw a pair of Adidas Adizero at Marshalls for only $32 and was tempted to purchase them, but they too seem to have no dual-density midsole. Sorry about my run-on comments!

    • The Hagio is a very firm racing flat, so it’s not going to compress much medially. Probably not enough sole there to even bother with a dual density midsole. Maybe take a look at the Saucony Fasttwitch? I have no experience with K-Swiss so can’t compare to those.

  26. Thanks!

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