Sunday, April 24, 2022

adidas Terrex Agravic Pro Review: more carbon plated hiker than runner. 8 Comparisons

Article by Jeff Valliere and Mike Postaski

adidas Terrex Agravic Pro ($220)


Jeff V:  adidas Terrex’s entry into the carbon plated trail shoe market, the Agravic Pro features a BOA dial for quick, easy and precise fit, Lightstrike midsole for long distance support and an aggressive Continental outsole with 5mm lugs.  I am not sure exactly what adidas was aiming for with the Agravic Pro, but I find it to be much better suited for long day hikes/slow runs on technical, all mountain terrain, vs. being a quick or efficient running shoe due to its weight, stiffness and lack of response.  Protection is bulletproof underfoot, as is the upper.


Protection, traction, BOA fit dial, recycled materials Jeff V/Mike P

Efficient (for weight) forward ride Mike P

BOA fit is great (up front only) - nice security without any lace pressure Mike P

Bombproof protection and outsole Mike P


Weight, heel hold, stiffness, toasty upper, lack of agility, price Jeff V/Mike P

BOA seems to have no effect on rear foot hold Mike P

Single direction BOA - no way to gradually loosen Mike P

Non-fitted neoprene collar lets any & all debris in Mike P


Sample men's (US10) 12.4oz  / 350g 

Stack Height: men’s 32mm heel / 28mm forefoot (4mm drop)

Available now: $220 

Tester Profile

Jeff V.  runs mostly on very steep technical terrain above Boulder often challenging well known local FKT's. 

Mike Postaski currently focuses on long mountainous ultras - anywhere from 50K up to his favorite - 100M. 5'10", 138 lbs, midfoot/forefoot striker - he typically averages 70 mpw (mostly on trails), ramping up to nearly 100 mpw during race buildups. A 2:40 road marathoner, his easy running pace ranges from 7:30 - 9:00/mi. Mike’s shoe preferences lean towards firmer, dense cushioning, with plenty of forefoot space, and he strongly dislikes pointy toe boxes.

First Impressions and Fit

Jeff V:  I like the look of the shoe and I am a sucker for aggressively lugged shoes, as well as BOA, but the Agravic Pro is much heavier than I expected.  Sliding my foot in, they feel long and narrow, not necessarily too long in regards to fit, but something feels a bit out of proportion.  

I appreciate the BOA dial and it provides a nice lockdown, however I have a bit of trouble achieving secure heel hold.  While the lack of lockdown in the heel does not create any true lift or rubbing, it is just enough to be bothersome and contribute to a lack of confidence in controlling the shoe.

Mike P: When we first received the spec sheet, I was extremely excited about these - I had been hoping that Adidas would split the difference between the Speed and Agravic Ultras.  The Speed Ultras (RTR Review) are my favorite trail shoe, so throw in a bit more protection, maybe a flexible carbon plate, and that could be an awesome shoe.  

The Agravic Pro were posted on the Adidas website before I received my sample pair- and I noticed the ‘320’ standard weight (grams) printed on the shoe.  That was my first hint that these would not be what I expected.  The Agravic Ultras which I previously tested show ‘299’ and my size 9.5’s weigh in at 334g.  My Agravic Pro samples tip the scales at a whopping 352g, falling just short of my heaviest pair of running shoes, the TrailFly Ultras (362g).

Fit-wise, I requested a 10.0.  I have both Speed and Agravic Ultras in 9.5, which are comfortable, but the 10’s provide more space and are better suited for “ultra” distances.  In fact I ran a 50 miler in size 10 Speed Ultras.  The fit sizing-wise is the same as the other two Terrex shoes, but as Jeff V mentions, the taper gets a bit narrower up front in the Pro’s.  Walking around in them, the plate effect is very noticeable.  I notice a Vaporfly-esque tipping forward sensation which is slightly different than the Agravic Ultra.  Those seemed to hinge more forward towards the toe, whereas the Pro’s have a more distinct roll from the ball of the foot.  Pure “heft” is also apparent - the weight is noticeable on foot and they feel very bulky.


Jeff V:  The “Protective, Sustainable” upper is very substantial, high quality, durable and indeed protective, yet simultaneously somewhat stiff, heavy and warm.  I do not find the upper to be particularly breathable and combined with the black color, I would avoid wearing these during warmer months.  

The single BOA dial lateral fit system does provide a nice snug lockdown, but as I mentioned above, heel hold is less than ideal and I do not think sizing down would help with this, as I feel the length is just right and any shorter my toes would be bumping the front.  

The toe bumper is very substantial and there is a near 360 degree rand that offers impeccable protection when using them in rocky, technical terrain.  

The heel counter is very stiff and gives good protection and I do like the extended Neoprene cuff that extends the heel collar and forms a booty like entry with no tongue.  There is a nice substantial heel tab to aid foot entry which is appreciated.

Mike P:  There are 3 main factors in analyzing the Pro upper: 1) the BOA as it affects foot hold up front, 2) the BOA as it does not affect foot hold in the rear, and 3) the neoprene material and bootie design.  I’ll cover them one by one here-

This is my first experience with BOA in a running shoe.  I found that it works really well in that you can snug them up as much as you like without feeling any lace pressure across the top of the foot.  Sometimes, depending on the upper design of a shoe, you have to balance how much you can tighten the laces with how much the laces will bite across the top of your foot.  The gap between the sides of the upper as well as tongue padding and construction comes into play here.  None of those factors apply with the BOA as you can really crank them down before you feel uncomfortable pressure.

[Some padding inside, but not enough to create a heel “cup”]

Now the other side - the BOA design in the Agravic Pro seems to only affect the midfoot/front of the shoe.  You can see from the pictures below how it wraps over the top of the foot, but there’s really nothing tying it to the heel of the shoe.  For me this led to extreme looseness in the rear of the shoe, and uncontrolled heel slippage.  They felt pretty much like a "slipper" when I was running in them.  I tried thick socks, plus cranking the BOAs down almost to their limit, and I still had movement. There are some bolsters of padding around the inside of the collar, but not enough to create any type of heel “cup”.  I’m fairly certain in saying that you would need to have a fairly high volume heel for these to feel secure.  Another option would be to size down, but in that case you’d be leaning towards a more snug shoe that’s supposedly meant for longer distances, with all that weight and bulk.  So that’s not really the best option either.

[BOA completely loose - compare to completely tightened below]

[BOA completely tight - notice tightening over the front but little/no effect at the heel]

I think the neoprene bootie construction is a big miss here, especially around the collar.  As Jeff mentions, they definitely run warm, as well as being black.  We both run in the American West and color is definitely a factor in the summer in mostly very sun exposed conditions.  The bootie is also not fitted around the ankle, i.e. there’s no stretch to it, so I find gaps on all sides around my ankle/heel which let anything get into the shoe.  Even if you have a larger ankle volume than me, I’m sure with the natural flexing during running, there would still be gaps around the collar.

[Wide-open ankle/heel collar.  Note: I am sized correctly.  I agree with Jeff - I wouldn’t want to size down since my toes would then be bumping up front.  Sizing is in line with Agravic Ultra]


Jeff V:  The Lightstrike midsole, with embedded carbon plate feels very firm, stiff and not particularly lively.  I think this midsole in a lighter shoe, perhaps without a carbon plate might feel more lively and forgiving, however the overall combination here is not very forgiving or energetic.  For slower paces and rough terrain, it is protective and predictable.  The shape of the shoe is particularly rockered which aids some in forward motion, but is so rockered and stiff that I sometimes feel off balance.

Mike P:  I agree with Jeff - the midsole feels very firm and stiff.  I was surprised there was not more of a cush feel, given the stack height.  The spec materials noted that there was a star-shaped cutout in the carbon plate - right under the heel.  I thought that it was curious that it was needed given how big the stack was, but now I see, given the firmness why it was needed.  Downhill heel landings also feel surprisingly firm.  

The combination of plate + big rocker effect I find gives a very good forward roll.  In fact, at somewhat moderate paces I had a similar feeling as I had with the Agravic Ultra - that I was moving along quite faster than I felt I was.  I definitely chalk that up to the weight and bulk of the shoe always being apparent.  This is not a shoe that feels lighter than its weight - rather, you end up surprised that you’re running as fast as you are, despite always feeling that weight.

Ultimately it seems like Adidas is moving in a certain direction with its carbon plated trail shoe design, I’m just not sure if it’s the right one.  The rocker and plate effect does feel better and faster in the Pro than the Agravic Ultra, but they also went in the wrong direction with the weight, so I’m not sure if anything was gained in the end.    


Jeff V:  The Continental rubber outsole is perhaps the biggest asset for the Agravic Pro, as the 5mm lugs are deep, aggressively shaped and the rubber is sticky.  Unfortunately I have not been able to test in truly wet conditions, but the little bit that I did they felt well held.  Grip is very good on just about every surface I have run on, be it loose off trail dirt and scruff, snow, mud, rocky trails, hardpack, etc….  

My only complaint though about this outsole is the long, deep groove in the midfoot to heel of the shoe, which is prone to collecting rather large stones.

Mike P:  I found the outsole to perform similarly to the Agravic Ultra - basically bombproof protection, with slightly deeper lugs for grip.  Also similar to the Agravic Ultra is the outsole/midsole cutout to show off the embedded carbon plate.  Again as with the Ultra I found this cavity would fill up with tacky mud and rocks of a certain shape.  Not the most functional design, but I suspect it’s ultimately a marketing and weight reduction tradeoff.  I would just note that while I do describe the protection as “bombproof”, due to the extreme stiffness of the shoe - I wouldn’t recommend bombing down any technical terrain in these.  More details in the Ride section below.


Jeff V:  The ride is firm, stiff and rigid, to the point where it is somewhat cumbersome to try and run in the Agravic Pro.  They are definitely not designed to move fast, or if they were, adidas has missed the mark here.  Because of the rigidity (fore/aft and laterally), they are very difficult to maneuver over rocky, technical terrain.

Mike P:  As Jeff describes, and as I previously mentioned in the Midsole section - I can’t help but feel that Adidas has missed their mark with these.  The plate effect does work well, and is somewhat improved from the Agravic Ultra, but the weight and sheer bulk of the shoe went in the wrong direction.  So anything gained is ultimately lost.  The stiffness is also a big factor, especially laterally - I found them quite tippy and unstable in uneven terrain.  There’s just no lateral give at all so you really have to pay attention to foot placement.  This leads to them being more oriented towards and safer in moderate terrain, where you could get away with a much lesser shoe anyway, even over longer distances.  Hence, missing the mark again. 

The Vaporfly-esque feel that I mentioned earlier is strictly in regard to the forward falling sensation when you get them rolling.  There’s no softness to the ride and certainly no feeling of lightness - “cumbersome” is the correct description as Jeff noted. 

Conclusions and Recommendations

Jeff V:  I find the Agravic Pro to be a difficult shoe to actually run in, as they are heavy, stiff and difficult to move quickly or maneuver in technical terrain.  That said, they do make a solid hiking shoe and because of the tread, security and protection, and they  do well in loose terrain, snowy trails and rocky terrain at slower paces.  At $220 and given their limitations, I would have trouble recommending them, as there are many shoes out there that run better for a far lower price and you are paying a premium for the carbon plate, which does not work well here.

Jeff V’s Score:  7.7 /10

Ride: 7 - even as a hiking shoe, a bit unnecessarily stiff/rigid resulting in poor ground feel

Fit: 7 - the lack of security in the heel is the entire reason for this lesser number

Value: 7 - the Agravic Pro is very durable with high quality materials and a BOA, but $220 is a premium price for a carbon plated hiker.

Style: 8 

Traction: 9.5 - Continental rubber is very effective on varied surfaces.

Rock Protection: 10 - with a carbon plate, you can step on anything and not feel it.

Mike P:  The Agravic Pro was probably one my most anticipated shoe of 2022, given my experience with the previous two Terrex shoes.  But ultimately I’m left disappointed, and still hoping that Adidas can find a way to split the difference between the Speed and Agravic Ultras.  As with my conclusion for the Agravic Ultra - I still feel like the pieces are there, but for me the Agravic Pro was a step in the wrong direction.  I find it quite strange that while the Speed Ultra is my all time favorite trail shoe and the shoe that I most recommend, the Agravic Pro would likely be the shoe that I least recommend for trail running which is how I tested them. Hiking them may be a different story.

Mike P’s Score: 7.3 / 10

Ride: 7  Somewhat efficient in a straight line, but weight/bulk/stiffness counteract any positives
Fit: 6  BOA works up front, but very poor rear foot fit & heel hold

Value: 6  Very expensive, you can find a more versatile and fun shoe for much less

Style: 9  The sleek upper with BOA wraps looks cool 

Traction: 9  Solid Continental rubber, and deep, effectively shaped lugs

Rock Protection: 10  Bombproof, but beware of stiffness

8 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Adidas Terrex Agravic Ultra (RTR Review)

Mike P (9.5):  Mostly compared throughout the review, the Ultra has a similar plate-based forward propulsive feel, the Pro has more rocker.  The Ultra is more suited to actual running, but they are still heavy at 11.8 oz in my size 9.5.  I would have preferred a 10 in the Agravic Ultra, and the sizing between size 10s would likely be the same.  Both suffer from big issues with the upper.  The Ultra has an extremely high and rigid heel/achilles collar.  The Pro has an almost non-existent heel/achilles collar (the neoprene doesn’t hug the foot at all), and very poor rear-foot hold.

[Pro in 10.0 on left, Ultra in 9.5 on right.  Ultra in 10.0 would be comparable in fit, and preferable for me.  There’s more width across the forefoot in the Ultra, Pro is slightly more tapered]

[Way too rigid collar with the Ultra (had to carve it down), Little/no effective collar with the Pro]

Adidas Terrex Speed Ultra   (RTR Review)

Mike P (9.5, 10.0):  My current all-time favorite trail shoe, I have them in 2 sizes.  The 10.0 is comparable in sizing to the Pro, but security and upper hold is night and day.  I find the Speed Ultra to be near-perfect, while the Pro has little/no rear-foot hold.  Speed Ultras are light, fast, and flexible, even with the Torsion insert.  The Pros are heavy, cumbersome, and stiff.  The Pros are more protective, but that’s about it.  Buy two pairs of Speed Ultras instead. 

Asics Trabuco Max (RTR Review)

Mike P (10.0):  Similar in high stack, stiff, rockered design, but without the plate.  Both shoes are very stiff, and feel equally unstable in technical terrain.  But the Trabuco Max’s come in at 10.9 oz, which is 1.5 oz less than the Agravic Pros which makes them feel way more runnable in comparison.  The Trabuco Max upper is not the best, most modern design, but still works better than the Adidas upper. 

Hoka Speedgoat 4 , 5 (RTR Review)

Mike P (10.0):  No contest between these shoes, the Hoka is way lighter, especially the new V5.  The SG is the standard for underfoot protection, but despite lack of ground feel, still retains its technical chops.  The Hoka upper works much better overall than the Adidas, and you likely already know if or which version of the SG works for you.  Go SG all day.

Inov-8 TrailFly Ultra G 300 (RTR Review)

Mike P (10.0):  Similar to the Agravic Pro “320s” at 352g, my G “300s” weighed in at 362g.  Despite being even heavier, the Inov-8’s actually run much better than the Adidas.  Especially in technical terrain - I found the Adapt-Flex cutout in the TrailFly to really work as I felt very stable and never had any ankle rolls even in very rough terrain.  The Inov-8’s also feel more cushy, although densely so, and not soft.  The Inov-8’s drop/rocker combination worked somewhat well to keep them moving forward, but their weight still became evident over longer runs.  The Agravic’s weight and bulk is evident right from the start.  I would love to see both companies come up with “slimmed-down” versions of each of these shoes.

Scarpa Golden Gate Kima RT  (RTR Review)

Mike P (10 ⅓):  The Scarpa is nearly a full ounce lighter, and the gap between the two feels even bigger.  I feel like Adidas could go a long way if they even reduced the weight to the low 11 ounce range.  The Scarpa is also somewhat stiff, but you’re lower to the ground so you get a bit more feel and they don’t feel as hazardous as the Adidas.  Scarpa also features premium upper materials as well as a super durable full coverage rubber outsole.  While the Scarpa has a somewhat unique fit up front, it is way more secure in the rear than the Adidas, night and day in fact.  Given the Agravic Pro’s more tapered toebox, width up front is actually comparable to the traditionally narrower Scarpa.

Speedland SL:PDX (RTR Review)

Jeff V:  Both carbon plated and featuring BOA fit, the Sppedland is more than an ounce lighter and feels even lighter than that.  The Speedland has less cushion, but the cushion is much softer/friendlier and has almost the same level of protection.  The removable carbon plate of the Speedland is also more flexible and conforms to terrain underfoot without feeling excessively rigid.  The dual BOA of the Speedland combined with Dyneema upper is much more soft, comfortable, well held and conforming.  Traction is comparable.

Mike P:  I did not run the Speedland, but just wanted to throw my 2 cents in regarding the BOA design.  Speedland obviously has a dual BOA, and based on looks alone, it looks like the upper BOA is more connected to the rear of the shoe, and I’m sure this leads to a more secure fit.  The Adidas single BOA has no such connection to the rear of the shoe.

The North Face Flight Vectiv  (RTR Review)

Jeff V:  The Vectiv also has a carbon plate and is lighter and more responsive, but is comparably stiff and unsuited for running or even hiking in technical terrain, which is further complicated by the ill fitting and insecure upper.  The Agravic Pro is more suited for slower paces on more rugged terrain, where the Vectiv is better for faster paces on straight line non technical terrain.

Mike P (10.0):  I had the Enduris flavor, but ultimately returned it.  I found the rocker to be very strange and unnatural - something I did not want to attempt to get used to.  The Adidas has a more “normal”, up front rocker, but it’s also very stiff - which still leads to all the not-fun aspects of stiff rockered shoes.

Scott Supertrac Ultra RC (RTR Review)

Mike P (10.0):  To be clear, I tested the “Supertrac Ultra RC”, not the regular “Supertrac RC”.  The SURC is quite a different shoe - oriented towards technical, alpine terrain - and unlike the Agravic Pro - it hits the mark.  Its deep lugs give good protection. It has a firm but responsive ride, and a durable upper and design.  The SURC is also heavy, but the rocker design is effective enough, and without using a plate, it is just flexible enough to be runnable and effective in alpine-type terrain.

STR/KE MVMT Vimana Carbon Runner  (RTR Review)

Jeff V:  While I like the comfort and style of the Vimana, the carbon plate seems a bit unnecessary for a shoe that I find to be much better suited for casual use or light hiking.  The Agravic Pro has significantly better traction and is better suited for all mountain terrain, but is an ounce heavier.

The Agravic Pro is available from our partners below

Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'

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Unknown said...

Possible for comparison to Agravic Ultra? It seems much much stiffer the Pro....

Mike P said...

Unknown- I will be contributing to the review within the next few days. I was out running Canyons 100K (not in these) and didn't have time to get it together. I will be comparing to both Agravic and Speed Ultra.

Mike P said...


Plenty of Agravic Ultra comps throughout the review now. Hope that helps.