Wednesday, June 05, 2024

adidas Terrex Agravic Speed Multi Tester Review: 4 Comparisons.

Article by Jeff Valliere with Sam Winebaum

adidas Terrex Agravic Speed ($160)


Jeff V:  New from adidas Terrex, the Agravic Speed is a lightweight well cushioned trail trainer/racer, best suited for fast running on less technical to moderately technical terrain.  The Agravic Speed features a dual layer midsole, with softer Lightstrike Pro foam (as found in adidas road racing shoes) for a core and base that is cushy and bouncy, ringed below the foot with firmer Lightstrike foam for stability.  The outsole features 3-4mm mm lugs utilizing a sticky Continental rubber compound.  The upper is thin, minimal, breathable and somewhat stripped down with little padding or added protection.


Very consistent smooth running on mellower terrain with quick energy return, flex and a bit of rocker: Sam/Jeff

Near ideal mix of foams for a  trail shoe: upper supportive firmer ring, softer high returning dense supercritical foam below : Sam/Jeff

Light: very strong weight to stack height (cushion) ratio : Sam/Jeff

Traction: a sticky compound with well rounded grip on a variety of terrain, though not ideal in loose terrain or snow. Jeff


Upper while breathable and draining is somewhat stiff (though softens after several runs): Sam/Jeff

Heel collar/counter could use more padding for lockdown and comfort: Sam/Jeff

Tongue is thin/short and I get lace bite on steep downhills: Jeff

Foothold is good for moderate to easy terrain, but struggles some in technical terrain and steep off camber: Jeff

Most comparable shoes 

Terrex Agravic Speed Ultra 

Brooks Catamount

Salomon Genesis



Sample Weights: men’s 8.4 oz / 238g US9,  9 oz/255g US10

Stack Height: men’s 34 mm heel /  26mm forefoot (8mm drop spec) 

Platform Width: 80mm heel / 62mm midfoot / 120mm forefoot

$160. Available now including at our partner Running Warehouse HERE 

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Jeff V:  The Agravic Speed feels quite light and minimal and has a sleek, race-like look out of the box.  The upper is thin, light and breathable, with very minimal padding in the heel collar/counter or tongue, nor any significant upper protection from rocks 

While the upper is thin and minimal, it is somewhat stiff at first, at least until they have been run in a few times and broken in.

The toe bumper is quite minimal, but enough to ward off bumps and hits if running on light to moderate terrain.

The tongue is gusseted and is really quite thin with just a little bit of padding down the center to protect from the laces.  I find the tongue protects your foot from the laces reasonably well for most running on less technical to moderate terrain/gradients, but I did find that on fast, steep downhills, I do experience some lace bite.

The laces are serrated and grab really good, staying quite secure and snug, although they are exceptionally long.  

Even triple knotting, there is still a lot of extra lace.

The heel counter is very thin, minimal and flexible, with very little padding. 

I find it works generally well, but I wouldn’t mind a little extra padding and structure here for longer runs.

Fit is true to size, though the toe has somewhat of a long taper and I find a bit of extra wiggle room there.  I am not sure I would size down, but if you are borderline, then you may want to consider sizing down a half size.  

Overall the heel and midfoot are secure, with a roomy toe box, but I find that there is not enough lockdown or structure to push these shoes in technical terrain.  They handle moderately technical terrain well as long as not too steep or pushing too hard, but are not locked down or supportive enough for technical terrain.

Sam: I agree with Jeff’s take on the upper. We have typical adidas road race and Terrex performance shoe construction of a thin non stretch woven mesh with extensive underlays and not much padding at the collars, and this is a trail shoe.  

Breathability has been excellent. My pair was half size up from my normal and I could have been true to size as at a half size up I needed both a lace lock and thick socks to get a good lockdown.

Midsole & Platform

Sam: The midsole has a dual foam construction with a rim of Lightstrike with through the center and as a bottom layer adidas Lightstrike Pro. The foot sits deeply into the midsole sidewalla at the heel and also at the medial midfoot to stabilize the foot in the pliable heel counter and minimal upper. This works well but has its limits on more technical terrain due to the upper.

Note in the picture above the rising midsole side walls in this medial view. Along with the foot sitting way down in the midsole at the heel, the midfoot sidewalls help stabilize the medial side well.

Lightstrike Pro is a quick reacting supercritical light foam also found in adizero road shoes with the Lightstrike above denser.I have always felt Lightstrike Pro would a good trail shoe midsole due to its somewhat denser more stable feel than other supercritical foams while remaining decently soft. And here we have it and it is a fine trail midsole set up.

There is no additional plate or woven layer for rock protection or propulsion, unlike the Speed Ultra which has adidas Energy Rods and a full LightStrike Pro midsole with no Lightstrike.

Jeff V:  Sam describes the midsole well and I find the Lightstrike/Lightstrike Pro combo to be very effective for providing a great balance of being light/fast/responsive/energetic with maintaining great protection, stability and so far resiliency.

I find the midsole here to be adequate for fast, shorter runs, as well as mid distance or longer, without hesitation.


Jeff V:  The 3 - 4mm mm Continental lugs are adequate for the intent of the Agravic Speed and provide good traction on most surfaces/circumstances, at least adequate for moderately technical trails.  While the lugs are low profile, the Continental rubber compound is sticky and the lugs have an effective shape and overall design.  Durability thus far indicates above average.

Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations

Jeff V:  The Agravic Speed is light, lively, responsive and fun to run in.  They are a fast shoe, as the name implies, however I find their use and speed limited to uphills, less technical terrain and more buffed out rolling fast running.  The upper hold and level of support/security limits the range of terrain for which this shoe can excel, as it is easy to go beyond the limits of foothold/control if moving fast on steep rocky trails/off trail.  

The lug depth also limits these shoes to be more suited for the buffed paths and singletrack, but I found that I was backing off the pace/intensity in technical terrain due to the upper before traction became an issue.  None of the above is necessarily a complaint, but more to set appropriate expectations for the shoe.  I would recommend them as a race day shoe, or uptempo trainer for fast running on moderate terrain and technicality.  In a perfect world, I would love to see a more secure, dialed in upper that could better hold up to more technical fast running, adding to the versatility and value of the shoe.

Jeff V’s Score: 9/10

Ride: 9.5, Fit: 8.5, Value: 8.5, Style: 9, Traction: 9, Rock Protection: 9


Sam: My runs in the Speed were on smooth non technical trails, gravel/granite dust rail trails and roads. The ride was smooth and energetic with the midsole providing plenty of cushion and a quick return. The Speed has a snappy flex point at the second lace hole from the front which made them a fine uphill shoe. I prefer the more moderate but still present spring here to the highly sprung, almost hard to handle  and run at anything other than fast Speed Ultra. It’s almost as if, between these 2 shoes, the names could be swapped for non elites. 

The ride, as Jeff alludes to is held back by the upper. The upper is minimal and while secure on the smooth with no issues it does lack in rear collars padding and hold. As I was a half size up I had to use both a lace lock and thicker socks to get a secure hold.  This upper is not one to size up in for more “room”. A more stout heel counter and more pliable foot wrapping mesh along with a snugger gusset on the tongue I think would help improve rear and mid foot lockdown. 

The outsole played particularly well on gravel and loose sand and was not in the way on pavement although it was noticed.

The key advantage of the Speed is its weight to cushion ratio as at 8.4 oz / 238g US9 with a relatively big stack height of 34/26 and a full coverage if not deeply lugged outsole it is light for its substance. The energetic Lightstrike Pro in the mix really shines at faster paces on smooth terrain, even roads, making them a really fine door to trail, more mellow gravel and forest paths shoe and not only on flats but steeps.

Sam’s Score: 9.1/10 The ride is great, the upper needs more substance and a more secure rear hold. 


4 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE Roadtrailrun 

Agravic Speed

8.4 oz / 238g US9 ,

34 mm heel /  26mm forefoot ( 8mm drop spec) 

Terrex Agravic Speed Ultra (RTR Review)

Sam: With yet more stack height at 38 mm heel / 30mm forefoot, 8mm drop the heavier Ultra has very springy Energy Rods in the mix. Tom Evans Western States winning shoe it is not a shoe for going slow whereas the Speed is much more forgiving of a variety of paces, climbs easier and is more versatile.

Brooks Catamount (RTR Review)

9 oz  / 255g (US9

Stack Height: 30mm heel / 24mm forefoot

Jeff V:  The Catamount is similarly fast and responsive, but has a better foothold and an overall more supportive upper with better padding.  The Catamount also has a better fit overall and perhaps a bit better traction.

Salomon Genesis (RTR Review)

9.63 oz / 273g (US9) 

Stack Height: men’s 30 mm heel / 22 mm forefoot ( 8mm drop spec) 

Jeff V:  The Genesis is not quite as light, or responsive, but has a much more secure, substantially better fit for overall comfort and support.  The Genesis also has better traction and overall protection.

VJ MAXx2 (RTR Review)

8.47 oz  / 240g (US9) 

Stack Height: men’s 31 mm heel / 25 mm forefoot ( 6 mm drop) 

Jeff V:  The MAXx2 is superior in many ways, at least for my foot and running preferences.  Lighter, more secure, better protection, better traction and overall is more versatile for a wide range of running surfaces and terrain, the MAXx2 is one of the best trail runners out there.  The Agravic Speed does have a little more bounce in the midsole.

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Tester Profiles

Jeff Valliere loves to run and explore the mountains of Colorado, the steeper and more technical the better. He has summited all of the 14ers in the state, many 13ers and other peaks in Colorado and beyond, plus, he has summited his local Green Mountain over 2,100 times in the past 20 years.   He can be found on mountain trails daily, no matter the weather, season, conditions or whether there is daylight or not.  On the side he loves to ski (all forms) bike and hike, often with his family, as he introduces his twin daughters to the outdoors. Jeff was born and raised in New Hampshire, but has called Colorado home for over 25 years. He is 5’9” and 145 lbs.

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is in his 60’s  with 2024 Sam’s 52th year of running roads and trails. He has a decades old 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range if he gets very, very lucky. Sam trains 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah be it on the run, hiking or on nordic skis. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs, if he is not enjoying too many fine New England IPA’s

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

Comments and Questions Welcome Below! Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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1 comment:

emf said...

Adidas often combine Lightstrike (LS) and LS Pro (LSP) in their midsoles. I wonder if that's become a way for them to stratify their tiers of shoe, more than something that's optimal from performance or cost perspectives. Surely combining an extra layer of foam adds complexity?

E.g. Adios pro is all LS Pro, mid-price shoes are LS+LSP mix, cheaper shoes are LS only.