AdiZero XT Shoe Review

Alternate Title: Trail Shoes, a Love Story.

A few weeks ago I picked up a pair of AdiZero XT trail shoes. It was my birthday and more than anything else  I craved a new pair of trail shoes. OK, wait… that wasn’t the ONLY thing I was craving, so let’s edit that sentence to read; It was my birthday and besides craving chocolate, wine, mashed potatoes, a pedicure and time with my best friend, I also lusted  fiercely for  a new pair of trail shoes.

Once sated on chocolate and other birthday delicacies, I beelined to the run shop for some serious shopping. That is where I met these  bright yellow beauties.

AdiZero XT - a.k.a The Hornets

AdiZero XT - a.k.a The Hornets

My previous trail shoes – The Brooks New Cascadias (The Incredible Hulks, I called them) – were fine, but very ready for retirement.  I tried on at least 7 different pairs of trail shoes at the shop,  but I  kept coming back to the AdiZeros. In my test jog down the block they felt supremely  light and grippy. I snapped them up and waited impatiently for a trail running opportunity to present itself.

That opportunity, when it came, turned out to be a 22-mile mudfest. This probably wasn’t the best way to  break in a new pair of shoes, but the thought of  logging another 5 minutes in a pair of deflated, broken New Cascadias was too much to bear. I strapped into AdiZeros, which I had already nicknamed in my head  as The Hornets, and off I went.

Oh, my goodness, my first impressions were not wrong!




Dare I say perky!?

Wow, these are some shoes. Twenty-two miles and The Hornets and I were still happy. I  felt so confident in my new shoes that I wore them the next weekend in my first ultra marathon where we bonded over many muddy miles. My feet, while not totally excited to run 31-miles, did not hate me or the shoes either, which I take as a huge compliment.

So, back to the shoes, here’s what I think:

AdiZero XT: These hot mammas are trail running sport cars – if that’s possible. They are light, responsive and rarin’ to go muck it up. In my experience they required little break-in and a grippy sole helped instill confidence in this usually clumsy runner. Beware, though, the bright yellow uppers won’t stay that way for long, especially in the muddy Northwest.


They want to go, go, go – preferably very fast, and up hills.

They will make you feel nimble and speedy which is great, unless you bonk. So bring GU and water!

The unique tongue attachment makes for a snug fit and more secure feel – I liked it.


The mesh uppers do not provide much protection against rain and mud.

They did not make dinner for me after the trail run, proving that trail shoes may be magical, but they won’t solve ALL your problems.


About heatherdaniel

I'm a runner, writer, eater and traveler.
This entry was posted in clothes, nerd alert, portland, running and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to AdiZero XT Shoe Review

  1. Aileen says:

    Ha! Well, my shoes won’t make dinner for me either. Nor will they dry out fast enough. Further proof that you can’t have it all 😉

  2. Ok, but despite the dinner, a good pair of shoes always provide so much more than just weight, grip and speed 😉

  3. Ana-Maria says:

    Congrats on finding the “almost perfect” shoes. I am still on the lookout. Nothing fits my high arch overpronating feet comfortably for long enough..
    P.S. The shoes can’t take you out to dinner, but maybe you can take them? Let equality prevail:)

  4. Irish Cream says:

    HA! Maybe they were just embarrassed by their obvious hygiene issues after all that muddy ultra-marathoning fun? Perhaps after a good bath, they could be talked into making you some grub!

    At any rate, the Hornets sound like keepers to me! 🙂

  5. Jonnifer says:

    I have been researching the internet for personal reviews on these shoes since I am planning to buy a pair this week. I prefer low, fast and light trail shoes. Last Sunday, I saw a pair and the color just grabbed me. I mean they looked good and even better when I tried them on.

    My NB800 is about to retire in a few months.

    Thanks for the review.

  6. Tom says:

    Thanks for the review of the “The Hornets”, I’m in the market and found your post via a Google search!

    Spent a week in Paris in ’03 during the Track Worlds …. ghetto 5th floor walk up, I slept on the kitchen floor 🙂 fun times !!!!

    Much metta,


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