Adidas Terrex Agravic Speed ReviewFebruary 20, 2018
- Responsive midsole
- Very fast
- Very protective for weight
- Imprecise fit
- Poor lacing system
- Uncomfortable for long distances
- Harsh ride
The Adidas Terrex Agravic Speed is a full on trail race shoe. It is lightweight, firm and responsive. Similar to other race oriented shoes, it is not exactly a comfortable shoe. Although the upper is thin it’s still protective but has an imprecise fit. Because of the one piece, booty like upper, it’s hard to get the right fit. Surprisingly enough, the looser you tie the shoe, the better it seems to fit. It is very easy to over tighten and because of the very thin tongue, it can pinch the top of the foot. There are also probably not enough eye holes to distribute the pressure more evenly across the top of the foot. Underfoot there is a surprising amount of cushion for such a thin midsole. As one tester described it, it is not Hoka levels of cushion with bulk but is excellent for shock absorption. Even on roads and steep descents there is enough protection and cushion so that the ride is not too harsh. The midsole is flexible and very responsive.
With the full rubber outsole made with Continental rubber, the grip on a variety of terrain types is good. The lugs are fairly shallow which makes this shoe better on hard packed trails rather than muddy trails. Protection from the firm midsole and outsole is adequate for moderately technical trails but if you catch a rock in one of the flex grooves, you will feel it. In this respect it is very similar to the Inov-8 Trail Talon 235 in this regard specifically.
With all of this combined, the Aggrevic Speed is built for shorter distance trail races. Most would find this shoe adequate for half marathon or shorter races, while some might be able to take it up to a marathon depending on the trail. Smooth rolling single track is what this shoe thrives on and can beat you up on rough technical trails.
The Agravic Speed had the second lowest comfort score of any shoe tested this season. There were some very comfortable shoes tested and brands are starting to figure out how to make a lightweight shoe comfortable. This shoe is like a high end sports car that is designed for speed that has a firm, sometimes harsh ride. The upper was the main culprit in the low score. While there are definite positives, such as being very durable and protective. This shoe runs very long in the toes which is nice to have plenty of room up front, but because of this there is substantial forward sliding on downhills which, because of a poor lacing system, causes severe discomfort on the top of the foot. When we tried to tie the laces tighter to combat this, the plastic eye holes dug into the ankle. All that being said, you can get a comfortable secure fit, but it takes some trial and error to find what works.
Feeling fast in a shoe is one of the top indicators that you can go fast in that shoe. This shoe definitely feels fast. On buffed single track this may be the fastest shoe tested this season, what caused it not to score higher were the comfort and fit concerns of the upper. The midsole is was extremely impressive in its responsiveness and protection which really made going fast easy. The grip is great in the right conditions and compliments the midsole nicely. This is definitely a niche shoe that is great to have as an occasional race or workout shoe.
Security of fit
Not surprising, feeling secure in this shoe was not a strong point. For all of the reasons previously mentioned (poor lacing system, odd fit, long length, etc.) it is hard to get the fit just right. Once we figured out the fit, however, we found the shoe to be adequately secure. The interior booty does a good job of securing the foot. It is a narrow shoe, but does have a high volume upper which is probably what causes a lot of the problems most testers had.
Again, for a lot of the reasons this is a fast shoe, it is also an agile shoe. With its firm midsole, good grip, low profile and drop there is a high degree of ground feel, which really helps with being to cut around obstacles. A couple of points were lost here again because of the poor fit that caused some testers to not feel confident in the shoe. Confidence is key when trying to avoid obstacles, especially on descents.
After just a few steps in the Agravic Speed, you can already feel how responsive it is. You easily get up on your toes and can feel the shoe spring back. This shouldn’t be too surprising since Adidas does tend to be a more performance oriented company and knows how to make a fast shoe. The midsole really shines here. As mentioned before, you can feel the impact being absorbed, but then it very actively returns that energy back into your stride.
Protection in the Agravic Speed is very good for how little shoe there is. In this season, the closest competitor to this shoe is the Inov-8 Trail Talon 235 and the Agravic Speed has significantly better protection all around. Underfoot the firm rubber outsole provides great puncture protection. The toe bumper wraps well up over the top of the toes and adequately around the sides and is really solid. The upper material is thin so you will feel a sharp rock but the material is unlike any other shoe and does a very nice job protecting the foot. For a race day shoe, protection is great. But, just a word of caution, this is not a rugged mountain shoe and compared to some other shoes here there is very little protection.Continue Reading
Out testing spans the course of several months. Our testers spend a few weeks running at least 50 miles (typically much more) in each shoe. They live all over the country so each shoe can be put through our testing protocol in a variety of terrains and conditions. Each tester is encouraged—to the best of their ability—to test the shoes in as many different terrain environments as possible: in the mountains, on dirt roads, buffed single track, technical terrain, etc. In addition to varying terrain, our testers have to test each shoe at different efforts including a long run, easy running and fast running. As mentioned above we test for six different criteria: comfort, speed, security of fit, agility, responsiveness and protection.
Gavin Coombs brings 20+ years of running and racing experience and a background in run specialty retail to his reviews.