Adidas Tempo 9 – 50 Mile Review

Every once in a while there is a shoe style that you have been looking at for several model versions. You have picked them up and looked at the style and the changes more than a few times over the years, read multiple reviews and even thought about getting a pair when the previous models have been on closeout, but never got around to doing it.

For me that is the Adidas Adizero Tempo line of running shoes. Unfortunately, since the late 80’s adidas running shoes and my feet were not a match made in heaven. The pointy, narrow toe box and often heavier than I like running shoes were not what I wanted on my feet. Plus there is nowhere locally that sells the adidas performance line of shoes, so I usually looked at other brands.

That being said, I have run in a 3-4 of adidas’ Boost based running shoes over the past 5-6 years and while I have been impressed with the Boost part of the shoes, but typically disliked the way the uppers fit my weird feet, with the exception of the Adios 3, but the performance fit was a bit too snug in the past for me.

Although I have to admit that when I read Sam’s review of them over at Road, Trail, Run, Sole Review’s words of wisdom and Dr. Klein’s review last year, I was much more intrigued by them. A stability shoe that didn’t weigh a ton, comfortable (wider toe box, narrow heel), decent outsole and best of all featuring the Boost midsole which I really like how it feels under foot.

However, I had other shoes that I wanted to try when those reviews came out.

Earlier this month I had hit a weird spot in my running shoe rotation where nothing in the house seemed to be really what I was looking for and one night while wandering around the Internet, I read a review on the Tempo 9s again and clicked the link. When I got there I found a sweet deal for a pair of Tempo 9s on Amazon and thought why not get them.

Initially, they were supposed to be a Christmas present from Bennie, but I still wasn’t all that happy with my running shoe rotation and after they got here decided put another pair of shoes into the adidas box (yeah, I know pretty lame) for under the tree and see if the adidas Tempo 9s were better than what I had in my rotation at the time.

That was 50 miles ago.

What do I think of the adidas Tempo 9s after 10 runs and just over 50 miles in them?

The Good

The Tempo 9s run smooth, quiet and are comfortable. The heel-to-toe transition for me is very good, there is not any slapping in the forefoot and with the heel bevel I do not have the heel scuff then land that I do in other shoes.

I recently ran a 10 mile run on the treadmill – a run that typically screws up my feet for multiple days due to the lack of variation and repetitive nature of my form on the treadmill. During that run my feet didn’t bother me (a very good thing) and the next day I was able to do a 5.0 mile recovery run outside in the Tempo 9s without any issues. I haven’t had a pair of shoes that I could say that about in quite a while, so they are comfortable for me.

They are light enough at 8.9 ounces, that if I want to run faster in them I can. I did a treadmill speed workout with 9.1 mph quarter repeats and felt good doing it.

Initially, I was concerned because the toe box looked as though it was going to be too pointy and narrow for my Hobbit feet. Guess what – no issues with the Tempo 9s pressing against my Tailor’s Bunionette…and I don’t anticipate it becoming a problem in the future.

The heel cup could be just a tad narrower, but it is better than most running shoes I have been in this year.

The outsole works well in a variety of conditions, which makes it versatile and a year-round shoe for me. I wouldn’t hesitate to take it on moderately difficult trails, snow or on a treadmill, besides the normal roads and dirt roads that I get to run on around the house.

I have run in a messy half inch of rain, snow and sleet mixture without any major issues and then did a run down-back on packed snow and white ice where they performed much better than I expected.

The T9s have done well on all the surfaces I have put them on: dry roads, wet roads dirt roads, snow and the treadmill. All the different types of runs that I do this time of year.

While the upper styling looks pretty old school, I do like it. It holds my feet in place and when I corner hard I do not feel as though my foot is going over the side of the shoe. The T9s might be a warmer shoe during the summer, but for three seasons it works just fine.

What don’t I like?

White shoes in a rural area during rifle deer hunting season probably ain’t the safest choice that I could make and I wouldn’t make a habit of wearing them up heah that often on the back roads.

Boring. Yes, in my opinion the colorway choices for the Tempo 9s are rather boring…where is the flash and dash. I guess adidas is now catering more towards the athleisure crowd that wear their shoes for “after running” with their “cool and calm” colorways, than getting the bright blues, yellows and oranges on their running shoes, so we can be seen while out running.

Personally, I prefer the bright, loud colorways, but I am probably in the minority in that preference.

There is a little place on the forefoot outsole where the Boost has separated from the EVA just a little. While this doesn’t affect the shoe, it is a small attention to detail kind of thing that seems to be an issue with some of the adidas shoes that I have run in.

The original shoelaces were too darn long. When I tied them and they are wacking the other leg while running that is a bit too much for me. Plus the blue color blended in too much with the two-toned upper, so I swapped them out.

The reality is that

I like my adidas Tempo 9s – a lot. They are the best adidas running shoe that I have run in since the original Blue Marathon Trainers with the Dillinger Web and one of the better shoes I have run in this year.

The 50 mile review is often “fool’s gold” and by the time I get to 100 miles I have a much different feeling about the shoes I run in. However, this time something feels a bit different than I have had with other shoes recently – the fit, road feel and comfort that I have while actually running in them has been good consistently.

I have not had a run where my feet feel beat up or hurt during a run, which is all I ask of a pair of running shoes. There have been no hot spots or blisters and even the stuff I didn’t like about the T9s is pretty minor.

The bottom line is that they run smoothly, quietly and comfortably for me.

At this point I would use them for any kind of run, in most any conditions that I typically run in. While they would not be my first choice as a trail racer or race day shoe for a 5-10K, I think for most anything longer the extra cushioning and comfort would make up for the extra weight over a true race day shoe like the Adios 3 or RunFast for me.

I was impressed enough after the first run in them, yeah you read that right, after my first run in the Tempo 9s, when I saw a super special deal on the Tempo 9’s on Amazon that night; that I asked both Mary and D2 to take advantage of the special and each get me another pair of the Tempo 9s to actually put under the tree this time.

Yep, I have a feeling that I might be running in the adidas Tempo 9s for a while as my primary training shoe.


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