Sports Tech : Adidas Adizero Mana 5

Welcome to the first of my posts in which I’m going to talk about some of my favourite sports technology. For me sports tech is anything that I use for running, cycling, walking and any other type of working out. So not just gadgets, but all of the kit we need to help us keep on keeping on.

I’m going to start with one of my newest aquisitions – my Adidas Adizero Mana 5 running shoes.


I should start by saying that I’m a fairly recent convert to running and have only been enjoying pounding the local paths and pavements for less than two years. So I’m no expert with years of experience of different shoes. However, the Adizeros have been quite a revelation to me.

My first running shoes were a pair of Asics Gel Kayano 16. I’d started doing a little running and just worn old trainers. The Kayanos were a revalation. I instantly felt quicker and more confident. Whilst this was partly just a psychological phenomena, I was quicker. I completed 250 to 300 miles with the Kayanos with no complaint. My left knee would occasionally get a little tight, but a few days rest from running would sort it out. With the big five-oh looming up I put it down to my age and years of neglect.

With over 250 miles on their clock I followed advice and looked around for a replacement. I considered updating the Kayanos to a newer model, but I’d also read a few articles about minimalist shoes and was intrigued. I wasn’t ready for barefoot running or the Vibram foot gloves, but liked the idea of trying something a bit lighter. I’m always wanting to try new things so decided on the Adizeros. They’re definitely on the less minimal side of minimalist shoes, but are a long way from the padded, rubberised Kayanos.

I’ve spent nearly six months with the Adidas shoes now and have to say that, for me, they have been a revalation. I immediately saw an improvement in my times, but it was more than that. My running style has become more relaxed. I had always had to make a constant effort to relax my shoulders or else find them hunched up near my ears halfway through a run. Now that isn’t a problem. Also, no more knee stiffness. Now any of these may be coincidence or just part of my progression as a runner, but I think the shoes are due a lot of the credit.

My, unscientific, explanation is that, sans all of the padding, I run in a way that is more natural to my body. Without bouncy soles to protect me I have to run in a way that doesn’t jar my joints.

Right now the Adizeros are one of my favourite bits of kit and I’d give them a solid 9/10 and it’s only a 9 because I hardly ever give anything 10.


  1. 11 years ago

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