Adidas Adidas Adizero Takumi Sen 10 Introduction
I received a lot of angry comments after my review of the Takumi Sen 8 where runners disagreed with me on my rating of the shoe. I just didn’t get along with it. It gave me blisters on my first 2 runs in it and I felt that it wasn’t as fast as other racers. I didn’t test the 9th version but it was just an upper change.
These days, I don’t see many runners standing on the start line of 5K and 10K local road races wearing the Takumi Sen or other short distance racers such as the Streakfly, Cielo or SC Pacer, even though they are much cheaper than long-distance super shoes.
That’s because long distance racers offer more speed assistance due to their thicker midsoles and stiffer plates. Most runners (myself included) would rather race a 5 or 10K in a marathon super shoe rather than a modern racing flat like the Takumi.
So then why does the Takumi Sen exist? Adidas says in its product description that it’s a 10K racer built for speed. It bears a striking resemblance to the Adios Pro 3 but it has a thinner midsole. It measures 33 mm in the heel, 27 mm in the forefoot.
Some, more efficient runners (who don’t want as much speed assistance) prefer a lighter racer with more ground feel. That’s who the Takumi Sen is for. Over the past 2 years, I didn’t use it for racing but I regularly used it as a workout shoe for intervals and hill sprints. I enjoyed the fact that it was more stable and more flexible than a marathon super shoe. It made me work harder in my workouts which made me fitter for my races.
The Sen 10 has received some significant updates but it still rides similar to the last 2 versions. It’s picked up a little bit of weight but it has the same stack heights and the same price. It now weighs 200 g (7.1 oz), an increase of 19 g (0.7 oz) for a men’s UK 8.5.
Adidas Adidas Adizero Takumi Sen 10 First Impressions
The Takumi Sen 8 was too narrow for me so I opted for a half size bigger in the Sen 10 and it felt much more comfortable but still very narrow in the midfoot. I think I could go up another half size because I have a flat arch and I can still feel the medial side press into my arch.
My first run was a steady paced 20 kilometre run with 4 x 1 km marathon pace intervals at the end of it. During the steady paced section, the shoe felt average but during the faster intervals at the end, that was when it came alive. It was easy to increase my pace and it felt a lot more fun.
The first difference that I picked up was that the forefoot felt stiffer and more snappy than the Sen 8. This resulted in a faster ride on that first run. The upper also felt more comfortable and I didn’t get any blisters.
The Takumi Sen 10 felt like a leaner, firmer version of the Boston 12. It didn’t remind me of the Adios Pro 3 because the Adios Pro has a more aggressive forefoot rocker with more energy return.
I was satisfied with the performance of the Sen 10 on that first run and it definitely felt like a race day shoe.
Adidas Adidas Adizero Takumi Sen 10 Upper
The Takumi Sen 10’s racing upper is lightweight, thin and extremely breathable. Foot lockdown is good but I experience a prominent arch sensation due to its narrow midfoot so I have to wear thick socks in it for extra protection against blisters.
It has a thin, non gusseted tongue which slides down during runs and pokes into the top of my foot. This is the same issue I had with the Adidas Boston 12 and every time I stop, I have to pull the tongue back up again to get rid of the pressure.
The fit is true to size but if you have flat feet, you might consider going up a half size for the extra midfoot width. It has a normal forefoot with a very narrow midfoot and heel. This racer is one that’s not suitable for wide feet or sensitive arches.
Adidas Adidas Adizero Takumi Sen 10 Sole Unit
The biggest and most important change is that the Takumi Sen 10 feels faster than previous versions. This is all down to the updated EnergyRods which are stiffer. Stiffer rods result in a snappier forefoot which returns back to its original position quicker after it flexes.
I enjoy it much more than the Sen 8 for faster efforts such as intervals and short tempo runs because it’s snappier. It performs best at uptempo paces below 4:40 minutes per kilometre (7:30 per mile) although I still wouldn’t race in it because you don’t get the same level of speed assistance as a marathon racer and it won’t help you to sustain a fast turnover for long periods.
There is no more plate in the heel of the midsole like in the last 2 versions which made the heel firmer than the forefoot. Now, the EnergyRods extend to the back of the shoe in a “pretzel” shape which results in a more consistent, smoother ride.
There is still a midfoot medial cutout in the midsole to save weight and to display the fibreglass rods. This makes it a little bit unstable for runners who overpronate, although I don’t find it too unstable after running in tall shoes like the Wave Rebellion Pro.
The Takumi Sen 10 is not a good long run shoe due to how firm its midsole is and its lack of a forefoot rocker. The longest run I did in it was 22 kilometres and it did have enough cushioning but it didn’t feel comfortable due to the narrowness. Efficient runners used to a firm ride could easily race a half marathon in it but most runners will find the firm ride too harsh for distances longer than 15 km.
You should also be warned that even though it uses Lightstrike Pro, Adidas’ premier racing foam, the ride still feels flat, hence the name racing flat. There isn’t as much bounce or energy return as thicker stacked racers like the Adios Pro and Prime X and it doesn’t have a rocker to speed up transitions either.
On the outsole, there’s now more rubber coverage on the lateral side of the heel. On previous versions, there was a gap between the rubber pieces on the outer lateral heel and this gap is where I noticed a lot of wear. On the Sen 10, there is 1 long strip of rubber on the lateral side which offers more protection for heel strikers.
Thick Continental rubber protects the forefoot area while there is thin rubber on the midfoot and rearfoot. This tells us that this shoe is designed for forefoot strikers. The rubber on the heel and midfoot is quite thin so this shoe doesn’t have the most durable outsole and should be saved for races or key workouts.
Adidas Adidas Adizero Takumi Sen 10 Conclusions
The Takumi Sen 10 is a specialist tool for advanced runners. It’s for those efficient runners who want a racer or workout shoe with a more natural ride than your average marathon super shoe. It has a high level of ground feel and it makes you feel like you are in control of the shoe but I feel that those runners who wear the Sen 10 for races are at a disadvantage against the runners who choose to wear marathon super shoes.
Version 10 is an improvement over its predecessor because it feels faster. Even though it has picked up weight, the stiffer rods provide more speed assistance and a more aggressive ride. It also has a more durable outsole with extra rubber on the heel. I will continue using the Takumi Sen for workouts, specifically hill sprints because it works really well for short, fast bursts.
Compared to the other short distance racers, the Takumi Sen 10 feels faster than the Nike Streakfly and New Balance SuperComp Pacer but the Pacer has a more comfortable upper and is suitable for more foot types.
Even though it costs $70 less than your average marathon super shoe, I probably wouldn’t buy it again. I would rather pay more to get a softer, more cushioned racer which provides more speed assistance that I can use for short and long distance races.
The Sen 10 only works in a 3 shoe (or more) rotation where you already have a daily trainer and a durable speed trainer, then you can use the Sen 10 for races or key workouts. The very thin outsole rubber on the heel section means that it’s not very durable so you have to save it for special occasions.