Adidas Terrex Agravic Pro Trail Running Shoes Review
The Terrex line from Adidas is built to take you into the mountains with efficiency, comfort and speed. More popular in Europe, the Terrex line isn’t as widely-known here in the United States. With the all-new Terrex Agravic Pro trail runners, they have further developed their longstanding relationship with BOA Fit System by coming up with the PerformFit Wrap to fully-cradle the midfoot in a way that only BOA can. After some use on the local trails, the whole package is a bit of a mixed bag.
Adidas Terrex Agravic Pro Trail Running Shoes Features:
- Integrated sock liner for additional protection and comfort
- BOA Fit System with PerformFit Wrap design (L6 dial, TX4 lace and FormTX guides)
- Aggressive Continental outsole with 5mm lugs
- Lightstrike midsole with 4mm drop (32mm heel / 28mm forefoot)
- Midsole rock protection plate
- Partially constructed using Parley Ocean Plastic and other recycled materials
- Weight: 13.9 oz each (11.5, actual)
- MSRP: $220
Agravic Pro has some promise
I’m admittedly a BOA Fit System fanboy. When executed well, there’s nothing more sublime than a well-fitting shoe with a BOA dial. For the most part, this love affair is isolated to cycling shoes, but the Saucony Switchback ISO and Switchback 2 showed me what’s possible with BOA in a trail running shoe. Compared to the Saucony’s I’ve tested, Vionic Sneakers the all-new Adidas Terrex Agravic Pro is much more aggressive in design and the only thing they have in common is they both use BOA dials.
The Terrex Agravic Pro uses an all-new PerformFit Wrap upper that allows the foot to flex naturally throughout each step. That fit, is then matched to a high stack with a modern drop and an aggressive outsole. Since the shoe doesn’t use a traditional-style upper, the design is more sock-like with a full 360-degree foot wrap. That being said, I would expect the diameter of the neoprene bootie to be smaller to keep trail scree out and act more like a gaiter, but instead it leaves significant gaps where debris can enter.
Out the gate, I can differentiate the good trail running shoes from the mediocre ones by my willingness to run in them right out of the box. Well, these are definitely not on my list of “box-to-trail” shoes. I wore them around town for several days, then on a 5-mile dog walk and still didn’t feel like they were truly broken in. In spite of that, I needed to move on, so I hedged my bet with the Runderwear Anti-blister socks and took them out on the trail.
My main worry was with the heel pocket — or lack thereof. The unique wrapped upper doesn’t seem to work super well with the design of the heel cup. Truthfully, there isn’t much of “cup” in these shoes, instead there’s a pillow above the heel that’s intended to Vasque Shoes keep the heel in place. It sorta works, but still allows heel slippage, even if I cinch them down. You may wonder if I was sized properly, but I couldn’t comfortably go any smaller than my 11.5’s. Luckily, I haven’t gotten any heel blisters, even after switching to a traditional sock, but that heel slippage is troubling.
In spite of the heel issues, I kept on running in them to see just what makes the Agravic Pro’s tick. I do honestly love the way the PerformFit concept works. That split design works a little like fish scales that allow for a more natural flex. Cinching down the L6 dial was always easy and my feet felt solidly wrapped and supported. I did notice that, oddly, I had to continually ratchet down the fit throughout the run. What was sufficient at the start wasn’t at the end. Usually feet swell on long trail runs, but I kept stopping to tighten them a notch or two as the run progressed. Luckily, that process is simple to do and, would not have been possible with traditional laces. I’d say that’s a win for BOA.
The Continental outsoles are aggressive. 5mm lugs are about the most extreme I’ve got on-hand and they bite the terrain with precision. If you want the ultimate traction, there’s nothing these can’t handle. Loose terrain was no match and even rocky terrain was met with confident grip. I can climb up anything without any concerns. When it comes to descending, the PerformFit Wrap confidently holds my foot in place and I can descend with the utmost confidence.
The unique uppers and grippy, lugged outsoles sandwich a unique midsole that doesn’t deliver in the real world what it promises to deliver on paper. With a tall stack (33mm heel / 28mm forefoot), I’d expect these to be much more forgiving and comfortable, but they aren’t. I find them to be harsh and numb feeling. The Hoka Speedgoat 4’s have the same stack and drop as the Terrex Agravic Pro’s and the difference in comfort is night-and-day. Terrex also chose to cut out a large portion of the midsole to reduce weight and increase comfort, but it doesn’t help much. That large gap only serves as a rock trap.
I do appreciate the stride of the Agravic Pro’s. I feel like I can naturally step and roll throughout my natural running motion. And, stability has been outstanding, Rockport Shoes with nice arches and midfoot wrap to control any tendency to pronate. That said, I never felt comfortable running in these and always felt slowed down by them. There’s no getting around just how heavy they are on the scales and on the trails. I don’t have any other trail runner that weighs anywhere near the 13.7 oz. each of these weigh.
Again, I hate to point out more flaws, but it’s hard to overlook just how warm these shoes are. The forefoot feels like a steam room. During my break-in period, I wore them to my son’s musical performance and by the end of those two hours in the theater, I wanted nothing more than to take these shoes off. The forefoot fabric is very, very thick and traps heat. Interestingly, the forefoot also makes noise as it flexes with every step as well. Out on the trail, they do run warm. Luckily, it’s been chilly for all my test runs, but I wouldn’t choose to wear these for mid-day summertime trail running.
As you can imagine, the aggressive lugs and dense midsoles don’t translate to a very responsive feel. That is absolutely true as these shoes have very little to offer as far as trail feel. Sadly, you don’t get much of a sense for the nuances of the trail in the Terrex Agravic Pro.
- PeformFit Wrap provides excellent support and feel
- Traction is fantastic
- Rockered outsole does roll naturally
- BOA Fit System makes for easy adjustments
- Heavy and slow on the trails
- Never felt “broken in”
- Numb trail feel
- Heel slippage woes
- Cushioning is overly firm
- Outsole cutout attracts rocks
- Uppers are thick and warm
- Sock bootie doesn’t cinch tight enough to keep debris out
The Bottom Line: Adidas Terrex Agravic Pro
You’ve made it this far, so what’s the overall verdict? Honestly, these shoes have some promise. That PerformFit upper works as advertised, but that’s about where the fairy tale ends because the rest of the shoe just falls flat. They aren’t nimble enough for real trail running and also aren’t super comfortable either (which is odd with that much stack height). Potentially, they could be a decent hiking shoe, but the heel slippage woes are still troubling to me. To close on a positive note, those Continental outsoles do pack a punch if traction is tops on your list.