Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 vs Nike Vaporfly 3

Written By Sunny

With the same carbon-plate DNA, Adidas and Nike have blessed the athlete world with their Adios Pro 3 and Vaporfly 3 running shoes.

I was fortunate enough to own each pair and dissect certain defining aspects of each shoe.

And let me tell you, things become quite interesting when you pit them against each other.adidas-adizero-adios-pro-vs-nike-vaporfly

So, let’s see whether the Adizero Adios Pro 3 or Nike Vaporfly 3 deserves a spot in your shoe cabinet.

A Quick Overview of Adidas Adizero Adios Pro and Nike Vaporfly

The Adizero Adios Pro and Vaporfly lineup may seem like any other running shoe series with exaggerated PR talks. But trust me, there’s more to them than meets the eye.

Before we delve into a more in-depth comparison, let’s do a quick rundown of the Adizero Adios Pro and Vaporfly series.

Adidas Adizero Adios Pro

Adidas wanted to take their franchise beyond their traditional running shoes. Intending to capture the marathon/long runner market, they introduced their Adizero Adios Pro lineup in 2020.

It quickly became a fan-favorite series as the carbon fiber plates and lightweight foam made it suitable for fast-paced long runs.

Following this grand reception, this lineup saw two consecutive updates, the Adios Pro 2 and 3.

Adidas Adizero Adios Pro ShoesRelease Year
Original Adios Pro2020
Adios Pro 22021
Adios Pro 32022

Nike Vaporfly

With the rising demand for high-performance running shoes, Nike saw the market opportunity and took it. Thus, the Vaporfly series was born in 2016.

Nike Vaporfly ShoesRelease Year
Zoom Vaporfly Elite2016
Zoom Vaporfly 4%2017
ZoomX Vaporfly Next%2018
ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 22022
ZoomX Vaporfly 32023

The success of the Vaporfly series fueled Adidas to take a shot in this super-shoe segment. That’s why the Adios Pro and Vaporfly shoes are so comparable, and the same goes for Adios Pro 3 and Vaporfly 3.

Technical Comparison of Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 vs Nike Vaporfly 3

While both of these shoes are synonymous with speed and performance, they have a clear difference in core technical aspects.

Let’s see a side-by-side comparison of Adios Pro 3 and Vaporfly 3 across various aspects:

AttributesAdidas Adizero Adios Pro 3Nike Vaporfly 3
Weight7.70oz for men’s 8-size6.60oz for men’s 8-size
Upper materialCelermeshFlyknit
InsoleRemovable, molded socklinerRemovable, OrthoLite sockliner
MidsoleLightstrike Pro foam with ENERGYRODS (carbon fiber rods)ZoomX foam with a carbon fiber plate
OutsoleContinental rubber with aggressive lugsWaffle-patterned rubber with minimal lugs
Heel drop6.5mm8mm
Stack height33-39.5mm32-40mm
Break in periodMinimalRequires a few hours to adjust
CostSlightly less priceySlightly more pricey

These on-paper differences may not mean much at a glance, but each facet provides a notable difference once you put them to the test. This brings us to our main topic.

Differences Between Nike Vaporfly 3 and Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3

From outer construction to the actual performance during long runs, these shoes have quite a few notable differences. But two different shoes from two different brands will obviously have those differences.

Before making a purchase decision, we need to discuss how those differences translate to real-world performance.

With that in mind, here’s what happened when I put the Adios Pro 3 and Nike Vaporfly 3 to the test:

1. Upper Construction

The Adios Pro 3 and Vaporfly 3 boast different upper materials to stand out from each other. While doing so, both managed to execute the athletic needs perfectly. But one fared better than the other.

Material & Quality

The Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 went with a newly designed Celermesh that provides ample support.

It’s also reasonably durable in construction and has minimal seams to reduce irritation.

Personally, I liked the extra padding across the heel and ankle collar compared to the Nike Vaporfly.

Speaking of, the breathable Flyknit upper of the Vaporfly 3 increases the comfort and fit that contours your foot.

Not to mention, the varying knit patterns add a layer of support and flexibility.

Overall, Nike offers a better upper material, which you can quickly feel after wearing both shoes. material-of-vaporfly-3

Toe Box

The toe box in Adios Pro 3 is slightly narrower compared to the Vaporfly 3.

But it’s nothing to be concerned about.

Both shoes felt great and provided sufficient protection for your toes while running.

However, since Adios Pro has a comparatively stiffer upper material, it can limit the natural movement of your toe. Such issues aren’t present in Vaporfly.

Tongue and Laces

The Adios Pro 3 and Vaporfly 3 use the same material in the tongue as they used for the upper.

That being said, Adidas Adios Pro offers a padded and thicker tongue, which provides plush and additional pressure relief.

On the other hand, the thinner tongue in Vaporfly can be interpreted as a good or a bad thing.

During my 10-mile-long runs, the minimal padding in the Nike Vaporfly 3 gave a more streamlined fit.

So, for me, it’s a plus point.

And the lace-up system is also better in the Vaporfly 3, as I didn’t get the similar locked-in feel with the other pair.

Overall, the high-quality and durable upper construction of the Vaporfly 3 gave the Adios Pro 3 a run for its money.vaporfly-3

2. Different Sole Technology

Some might say that the sole of a racing shoe is by far the most crucial aspect, and I wholeheartedly agree.

Having a propulsive and comfortable sole, along with solid build quality, is what makes or breaks the deal.

Both Nike and Adidas made bold claims regarding their proprietary sole technology.

While they may sound like chalked-up PR talks, each shoe had its ups and downs due to such implementations. Here’s how:


The insole in both shoes is removable, but I wouldn’t consider changing it with a custom one.

During my 10-mile run in summer, the OrthoLite sockliner found in the insole of Adios Pro 3 did a great job keeping my feet dry.

That can’t be said for the ZoomX insole of Vaporfly 3, despite providing better cushioning and comfort in a same-length run.


When we spotlight the midsole of these kicks, they genuinely start to differ.

The Nike Vaporfly 3 uses a revamped ZoomX foam in its midsole with a full-length carbon fiber plating. This and the narrower profile provide a more race-oriented feel and maximum energy return.

Meanwhile, the Adios Pro 3 features in-house Energyrod 2.0(carbon rods) running the entire length of the shoe.

It works alongside two Lightstrike Pro foam for a stiff ride and excellent energy return.

Taking both of these kicks on a 20-mile long haul, the Adios Pro 3 had less comfort and bounce than the Vaporfly 3, making the latter more suitable for half marathons.


While the generous amount of Continental rubber provides a greeted grip for long runs, the Nike Vaporfly 3 handles this aspect differently.

Nike decided to use a thinner outsole padding to increase the midsole foam and added a waffle pattern at the front of the shoe to compensate for the grip and stability.

To some extent, it worked in favor of Nike, but the overall durability got hit compared to Adios Pro 3.

Overall, if I have to pack only one pair of shoes for a marathon, the Vaporfly 3 would be an easy choice due to its better sole implementation.outsole-of-vaporfly-3

3. Design and Ergonomics

The sleek and modern aesthetics of both of these running shoes take different turns for ergonomics. Such geometrical differences should be noted by the user if they want the perfect long-haul kick.

Let’s start with the design.

The Adios Pro 3 rocks a semi-transparent mesh with a more traditional lacing system.

Adding the flashy colors and easily visible 3 strips to denote the Adidas logo gives this shoe unique characteristics.

On the flip side, the Nike Vaporfly 3 takes on a more minimalistic design with fewer color options than the competitor. But that doesn’t mean it looks any less appealing than Adios Pro 3.

To be frank, I prefer the engineered mesh and the Flywire lacing system of the Vaporfly as it adds a premium look.

Now, when it comes to ergonomics, the Vaporfly takes the lead with a slightly higher heel drop.

And with the wider heel base of the midsole, this shoe delivers a great high-tempo running experience.

The Vaporfly 3 also has a springier toe region and better cushioning for shock absorption.

Hence, it is more suitable for a seasoned runner.

In a nutshell, the Nike Vaporfly 3 is tailored for experienced runners seeking a fast, race-oriented shoe.

Meanwhile, the Adios Pro 3 is more versatile yet falls short in the long run.

4. Fit and Sizing

Since both of these shoes are true to size, I’ve got a US men’s 8 for both of these shoes.

The Nike Vaporfly 3 fits perfectly with my feet, thanks to a more flexible upper material and a roomier forefoot.

But with Adios Pro 3, my big toe kept rubbing with the front section of the shoe due to having stiffer material and less wiggle room.

It gives a tighter and locked-down fit, which some may prefer for fast-paced running.

Expert tip: The UK size of the  Adidas Adios Pro 3 differs by half a size small compared to the EU and US versions. So, I’d suggest getting a full-size shoe for added comfort instead of a half-size shoe.

Regardless, the fit and sizing for both shoes are undoubtedly suitable for long hauls, with Vaporfly 3 having a slight edge for comfort.sizing-of-vaporfly-3

5. Performance & Durability in Fast-Paced Runs

Having more outsole padding and a stiffer upper has its own benefits, which is evident in the durability concern for both of these shoes.

Despite having a more race-oriented construction, the thinner rubber outsole of the Vaporfly can break down after extensive training for a marathon. The softer upper material is also less protective compared to Adios Pro.

If durability and protection are a concern, the Adios Pro 3 should be a better choice.

Things take a drastic turn as soon as we move on to real-world performance. There’s a reason why around 60% of the marathon runners prefer Nike’s Alphafly and Vaporfly series.

The carbon plate of the Vaporfly provides a snappy feel and adequate propulsion to every stride. The ZoomX midsole is also squishy and comfortable enough, as my feet didn’t tire after long, fast-paced runs.

The Adios Pro 3 falls short in these regards but by a small margin.

I’d take the Adios Pro 3 for the marathon training session and keep the Vaporfly 3 for the main event.

Pros and Cons of Nike Vaporfly 3 and Adidas Adios Pro 3

The best way to know why you should buy or avoid a particular product is by looking at its pros and cons. The same goes when you want to pick one from two available options.

On that note, here are the contrasting pros and cons of Adidas Adios Pro 3 and Nike Vaporfly 3:

Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3

  • »Wider heel area for better stability.
  • »More responsive ride due to ideally placed carbon fiber rods.
  • »Efficient and propulsive running experience with a more aggressive rocker geometry.
  • »Aesthetically pleasing design.
  • »Slightly lower stack height.
  • »A year older than the competitor.

Nike Vaporfly 3

  • »Comparatively lighter.
  • »More flexible for stiffer stride.
  • »Better cushioning and protection for longer distances.
  • »Wider toe cap for added comfort and wiggle room.
  • »Better bounce due to a better midsole.
  • »Slightly narrower heel area.
  • »Less nimble for short events.

These precise points should give you a good idea for picking the right one for you. But if you want a more conclusive answer, move on to the verdict.

Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 vs Nike Vaporfly 3: The Best Pick

The Nike Vaporfly 3 is a better choice overall for a propulsive yet responsive racing shoe. With its flexible and ergonomic design, this shoe has the perfect mixture of balance and comfort for both short and long runs, regardless of the speed.

However, the nimble feel of the Adios Pro 3 makes it a suitable candidate for short, fast-paced runs where you need to make quick turns.

Not to mention, it also fits the bill for long workouts as it has an excellent, breathable material and a wider heel area.

But for the 5K, 10K, or any kind of marathon, the Nike Vaporfly 3 will give you more punch, propulsion, efficiency, and overall better versatility compared to the Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Adidas and Nike carbon plate shoes?

The critical difference between Adidas and Nike carbon plate shoes is that Adidas uses multiple carbon plates in their Lightstrike Pro midsole. Meanwhile, Nike uses only one sandwiched plate in their ZoomX midsole.

Is Nike Vaporfly 3 suitable for long runs?

Yes. Nike Vaporfly 3 and %Next 3 are both suitable for long runs, thanks to the comfortable yet responsive midsole and the overall ergonomics of the shoe.

Which shoe is best for a marathon?

Nike Alphafly 2 is currently the best for running a marathon. However, the Nike Vaporfly 3 is also a good option for training and racing.

About The Author
Sunny is all about action and activities. He finds it difficult to contain himself. Be it motorcycling, playing football, or exploring the great outdoors, he loves to keep his legs busy.Sunny quickly realized the importance of footwear to keep himself going healthily. This was when he decided to share all his knowledge and expertise regarding different footwear and their significance.Now, he’s on a mission with this humble platform by his side. With time he plans on doing bigger and better things.Apart from his writing and other hobbies, he loves spending time with his cat Sophie. He loves to cook for his friends and family too.

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