Wednesday, May 17, 2017

adidas Terrex Agravic Speed Review

by Jeff Valliere

adidas Terrex Agravic Speed
8.8 oz. (250 grams) US Men's Size 9
25mm heel/17mm forefoot

The adidas Terrex Agravic Speed is the latest lightweight trail racer from adidas, featuring a sticky Continental rubber outsole and minimal booty style upper.  The Agravic Speed is the replacement for the Adizero XT 5 Boost that we reviewed here and found to be a real hit, as it is super light, responsive and has firm, but adequate cushioning with Boost in the forefoot.

How does the new Terrex Agravic Speed stack up?

adidas Terrex Agravic Speed

The Agravic Speed is a completely different shoe from the XT Boost in just about every way, including the upper.  The upper is a booty style, minimal and quite breathable with no overlays where the midfoot wrap is essentially all that is locking the foot down.  I figured that with the slipper like look and no tongue, that this would be a precise fitting race machine and an improvement over the XT 5 Boost, but unfortunately, the Agravic Speed just did not work particularly well for my foot shape/size.  This shoe is long and narrow, where is excessive room in the toe box (but sizing down would make the shoe feel too tight elsewhere). With only four lace eyelets and no overlays beyond the midfoot wrap to hold the foot down, I just could not keep my foot locked down in the shoe no matter how much I snugged down on the laces.

The Agravic Speed has nice sleek toe bumper that is sturdy and protective.
adidas Terrex Agravic Speed
The Agravic Speed is long, straight and narrow.  There is no tongue with the booty design and there are only 4 lace eyelets.  It takes a bit of force to snug up the laces and keep them adequately tight.
adidas Terrex Agravic Speed
adidas Terrex Agravic Speed
To add to my fit concerns, the Agravic Speed has a fairly minimal heel counter, with very little padding, structure or shape to it, which results in a bit of heel lift.
adidas Terrex Agravic Speed
adidas Terrex Agravic Speed

The EVA midsole is light and very responsive, though quite firm and not particularly forgiving or plush from a cushioning standpoint, feeling a bit harsh at speed on hard surfaces.  In my opinion, the Agravic Speed feels a bit more minimal than the 25/17 advertised stack height would suggest. Ground feel is good without compromising protection.
adidas Terrex Agravic Speed

The Continental rubber outsole comprises of large directional chevron lugs around the perimeter with smaller trapezoidal lugs in the center.  The Continental rubber compound used here on the Agravic Speed is among the most sticky out there, while still being quite durable and is what I like most about this shoe.
adidas Terrex Agravic Speed Outsole
The lugs are a very good compromise between versatile traction on any surface, yet low profile enough for fast, up-tempo running.
adidas Terrex Agravic Speed Outsole
adidas Terrex Agravic Speed Outsole

The Terrex Agravic Speed is a trail racing shoe, best suited for shorter distances up to a half marathon.  Having really enjoyed the XT 5 Boost, I had high hopes for the Agravic Speed, but was unfortunately unable to make this shoe work for me.  Fit is the primary issue, as I find it to run long and narrow, with excess toe room in my normal size 10.  Exacerbating the fit concerns, the upper does not hold my heel or forefoot in place and midfoot hold is only marginal.  This is a shoe built for going very fast over rough terrain, but with the foothold/fit issues, I did not feel comfortable doing so.

Traction is outstanding in a very wide variety of conditions, wet, dry, snow, off trail, hardpack, dirt roads, etc...  Road performance is also very good, as this shoe is very responsive and the lugs are such that it makes for a great door to trail shoe (though with the minimal cushioning, I would certainly keep paved miles to a minimum).

If the Agravic Speed happens to fit your foot, I would highly recommend it for shorter trail races, especially where traction is paramount on a wide variety of surfaces.

Jeff's Score:  9/10

-.4 for fit
-.3 for minimal cushioning/harsh ride
-.3 for foothold/upper support


adidas Terrex Agravic Speed vs. adidas Adizero XT5 Boost (RTR review here) - The Agravic Speed weighs a few grams less than the XT5, but find the XT5 to be a far superior shoe due to better fit, better foothold and even though I find response to be similar, the XT5 with Boost feels a bit more smooth and forgiving.

adidas Terrex Agravic Speed vs adidas Terrex Trailmaker (RTR review here) - The Trailmaker is a bit heavier at 10.4 oz but still a light and quick shoe.  Trailmaker fit is much better, with a more secure upper and more cushioned and forgiving ride.  Traction is comparable, each with Continental sticky rubber outsoles.

adidas Terrex Agravic Speed vs Brooks Mazama (RTR review here) - Very close in weight and stack height, but I find the Mazama to fit me better and is more responsive, particularly on the uphill.  The Mazama, while somewhat minimal in the cushioning, has a smoother and more forgiving ride.  The Continental rubber outsole of the Agravic Speed however is far superior in regards to traction and durability/longevity.

adidas Terrex Agravic Speed vs New Balance Vazee Summit (RTR review here) - The Vazee also fits me better, has a more secure upper and more cushion in a shoe that weighs the same.  Both have great traction, but the Continental rubber outsole of the Agravic Speed is more substantial and durable with better wet traction.

adidas Terrex Agravic Speed vs Saucony Peregrine 7 (RTR review here) - Very close in weight, but the Peregrine is a more substantial and protective all around mountain shoe with better fit, more secure upper and better cushion for longer runs.  The Peregrine has superior traction overall, especially in loose gravel and off trail, but the Continental rubber of the Agravic Speed is better in the wet.

adidas Terrex Agravic Speed vs Hoka One One Speed Instinct (RTR review here) - The Speed Instinct weighs ever so slightly more at 9 oz, but is well worth it for the added cushion, better fit and smoother, more forgiving ride.  Again, the Continental rubber of the Agravic Speed has the edge on traction and durability/longevity.

Jeff Valliere's Run Bio
Jeff is a former pro cyclist who now runs and climbs the mountains of Colorado. He has been top 5 Masters, top 25 overall, at the Pike's Peak Marathon several times, finishing 3d Masters this year. Jeff loves vertical accumulating more than 500,000 vertical feet per year, has climbed all the 14's and 200 of the 13's and has held FKT on several.  He often runs and climbs at night. Passionate about the sport but also the gear he has reviewed hundred of shoes for various magazines and sites and participated in product testing for many brands.  Formerly a bike mechanic he has recently worked in Satellite Imagery. He has twin 6 year old daughters who keep him ever busier yet.

The Agravic Speed was provided at no charge. The opinions herein are entirely the author's.
Photo Credits: Jeff Valliere 
Comments, Questions Welcome Below!

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Jeff Valliere said...


Jim Duyck said...

Hey, Jeff! I know it's been a while for this review, but...

If, through a mash-up of being on clearance, a coupon, and a gift certificate, I can pick up this shoe (a 1/2 size down) for around $25, do you think it'd be worth it for something like a trail half marathon I've got coming up in August on an urban mountain bike trail?

Or is is just too firm to bother? I would definitely be focused on speed for this race...mainly single track dirt/grass with some roots and rocks mixed in here and there.

For reference, I've got a pair of the 2016 Montrail Caldorados I bought on clearance in 2017 and they're still pretty serviceable, I think. I may have 100-150 road miles on them (I wasn't really running much or paying attention to shoe mileage the first year I owned them). And as far as current model shoes go, something like the Hoka One One Torrent and Nike Terra Kiger 5 have my eye for a fast-on-trail effort.


Jeff Valliere said...

That is a good deal, but for me fit was not so great and the firmness was a bit off putting. Sounds like you will not need such aggressive lugs either, so maybe even a solid road shoe could do the trick, but your Torrent and Kiger considerations sounds great!

Alvaro said...

This would be a good choice for a triathlon cross (wearing it without socks)?

Jeff Valliere said...

Would definitely not be my pick, would likely go Salomon, perhaps the S/Lab Sense SG or normal Sense. I am also a big fan of wearing socks, so can't really make any legit recommendations for shoes that are good with no socks.