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Trail Running Shoes • June 7, 2024

Adidas Terrex Agravic Speed Review: Feelin’ Fast and Fresh

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What You Need To Know

Weight

8.5 oz. (241 g) for a US M9 / 7.8 oz. (221 g) for a US W8

Stack Height / Drop

34 mm in heel, 26 mm in forefoot (8 mm drop)

Best For

Uptempo trail training

Key Features

Dual-layered Lightstrike midsole, Continental rubber outsole, Engineered woven upper, Rocker geometry

On The Run
Lightstrike and Lightstrike Pro are a perfect combo Continental Rubber is ready to rock Not quite enough collar structure
Price / Availability

Available now for $160

Introduction to the Adidas Terrex Agravic Speed

TAYLOR: I’m not sure why it’s so surprising to me. Maybe this is just what happens as you get older, or maybe it’s the timing of it all. I know it sounds like I’m introducing a vague midlife crisis, but I promise this is something else.

Honestly, though, I’ve been doing this reviewing thing for half a decade now. It simultaneously feels like forever, yet no time at all. In those years, the industry has grown immensely. Since I started, a few dreams (for lack of a better term) have come true. One is that the top echelon of shoes from when I started is nothing more than bang-average now. The advancements in shoe technology have just been so wild and unpredictably good. It’s led to a whole lot of trail running shoes developed specifically for distances and types of terrain. At the same time, it’s also much harder to find a shoe that’s really, truly bad.

What am I getting at? Well, it’s a particularly interesting case when a shoe hasn’t been updated for several years and then makes a return that’s about as bold as Reese Witherspoon’s in Sweet Home Alabama. It’s the type of update that gets both excitement and curiosity brewing.

The shoe of which I’m speaking is actually a remnant of one of the most memorable shoes in Believe in the Run history. Due to the ever-changing landscape of running, the two don’t share a name, but they’re as close to direct descendants as it gets. Not gonna lie, it’s about damn time.

The Adidas Terrex Agravic Speed is, effectively, the update to the Adidas Terrex Speed Ultra that we’ve been waiting for (not to be confused with the much newer Adidas Terrex Agravic Speed Ultra). What we loved about the first iteration was the lightweight, high-performance feel, so it’s easy to draw some straight lines to this updated version.

What I mean is that the original Adidas Terrex Speed Ultra was one of the first trail shoes with a dual-layered midsole, and that idea continues in the Terrex Agravic Speed with newer formulations of Adidas’s Lightstrike foam. There’s quite a bit more stack this time, too.

Since the first version was a collective win for the Believe crew, I had high hopes when the new Adidas Terrex Agravic Speed came around.

MELISSA: Taylor’s already taken you for a nice stroll down memory lane, so I’ll keep it short. I’m an Adidas newbie — the Terrex Agravic Speed Ultra and Terrex Agravic Speed were my first Adidas running shoes. I laced up with an open mind and was ready for whatever experience Adidas was to give me.

When reviewing a new (to me) shoe, I normally read up prior to running in it, but this time, I took a different approach. I laced up, knowing nothing about what I was running in. I’m happy to report that it didn’t take long before I realized what this shoe was intended for. Let’s dive in.

What we like about the Adidas Terrex Agravic Speed

TAYLOR: From the start, I’ll admit that the Adidas Terrex Agravic Speed is one of the few shoes that was kind of hard to review. It’s not at all that I didn’t like it; I simply didn’t notice that much about it once I was in motion. The Adidas Terrex Agravic Speed was one that blended into the trail. I suppose that’s a good thing… right?

When I finally started tuning into the nuances of this shoe, I definitely noticed some similarities to its former self and some of our current top choices.

My first inkling was that the Adidas Terrex Agravic Speed has a similar, albeit much much much more subdued, underfoot feel as the Adidas Terrex Agravic Speed Ultra. This mainly comes from the feeling of having a moderate forward/backward rocker as well as a lateral one. Having both planes of movement covered brings the foot back to center upon footstrike before rolling through the toe, making it easy to pick up the pace on any terrain. I like it. I like it a lot. It makes me feel both fast and confident.

The updated foam certainly helps with the overall motion of the shoe, too. The top layer consists of a modern version of Adidas’s Lightstrike, which is an interesting move as it’s the firmer of the two in this formula. Usually, the firmer foam is placed closer to the ground to soak up the beating from the trail rather than pass it into your foot. Actually, though, the flip seemed to give my foot a more consistent sensation and helped to stabilize the shoe better than some others with a softer layer right under my foot.

Lightstrike Pro makes up the other layer, and it’s the same formula as found in the Agravic Speed Ultra. It serves the same bouncy, fast purpose here, just in a much less intense way. I like that Adidas’s Lightstrike Pro adds both comfort and energy return with each step without being over the top. As the Agravic Speed broke in, I found that the comfort sensation and consistent next-to-foot feel remained while the slight bit of responsiveness was more relegated to the rocker. As mentioned, it was a nice balance for a variety of terrain and paces.

The overall feel is medium/soft, and I felt a decent amount of protection, some responsiveness, and a little bit of the ground. I’d probably compare the Terrex Agravic Speed to the Brooks Catamount 3, La Sportiva Prodigio, Salomon Genesis, The North Face Altamesa 300, and a few others.

The upper on the Adidas Terrex Agravic Speed goes the other direction, having only one layer of seamless synthetic mesh and a very low profile throughout. First, the heel construction is quite thin, very breathable, and maybe a bit too flexible (more on that later). The rest of the upper is a very fine woven material with few overlays for structure. Even though this mesh felt airy, it maintained its integrity really well, and I found it to be very nicely mapped from heel to toe. It’s easy enough to dial in the fit when paired with a lightly constructed gusseted tongue, though it was made slightly trickier due to sizing issues. Overall, the upper checked pretty much all of the performance boxes.

As expected, the outsole is a sweet bed of Continental rubber. If you’re not already familiar with it, know that it’s impressively tacky and fairly durable. Even though the four-millimeter lugs felt kind of rounded and soft, they had a surprising amount of grip and general security on a lot of terrain. I think it might even have more grip than I experienced in the Agravic Speed Ultra.

All in all, considering that the Adidas Terrex Agravic Speed weighs 9.2 oz. for a US M10.5, this is a pretty stout and versatile package.

MELISSA: My initial impression of the Terrex Agravic Speed was that it’s a shoe that’s made for fast trail running. It’s incredibly lightweight, super responsive, and feels great when you’re pushing the pace.

The upper is minimalistic and reminds me of a road racing shoe. It breathes really well and mostly has a great lockdown (more on this later). The sawtooth laces are a nice touch, kind of like Nike and Asics have adopted on their road racing models. I didn’t have the sizing issues with this shoe that I experienced with the Terrex Agravic Speed Ultra, either.

The midsole is noticeably firmer than that of the Terrex Agravic Speed Ultra. It’s like running on the box spring rather than the mattress itself, resulting in a super responsive ride. If you’re familiar with the Hoka Mach series, the midsole feels like the trail version. Like the Terrex Agravic Speed Ultra, this version has a rocker shape that propels you forward. I really appreciate that the rocker isn’t as pronounced as the Terrex Agravic Speed Ultra, and I had no issues with the outsole grip on most surfaces.

I tried the Terrex Agravic Speed for a mix of easy trail runs and speed work, and I noticed a huge difference in how this shoe feels between the two. It just wants to go fast. During the uptempo sessions, I felt like I was being pushed forward. It was excellent.

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What we don’t like about the Adidas Terrex Agravic Speed

TAYLOR: As with the positives, the Adidas Terrex Agravic Speed seemed to have a lot of the same negatives as the Speed Ultra, just in a much more subdued manner.

Take sizing, for example. It surprised me how much room there was in my US M10.5. It seems that the general rule of thumb for Adidas Terrex shoes is to order a half-size down. The Agravic Speed ran a little long and had slightly more volume than I would like for an all-around race day shoe as it’s marketed.

Another issue is the ankle collar. As far as I can tell, it’s identical between the two Terrex shoes, so a positive is that it’s light and race-ready. On the other hand, I had the same issue of digging into my ankle on all sides. The whole collar is simply rough, man.

It’s thin and flexible, and because of the extra room in the shoe, I had to cinch up the top half of the shoe more than I would have liked for this type of upper. After a few runs, it became a bit more malleable and much less of an irritant, but the first runs gave moderate irritation on my heel and front of my ankle. Simply put, this shoe needs more padding around the heel collar for both comfort and security.

Adjusting the lug depth would set this shoe apart a little more, too. Bumping the lugs to a 5-6 mm depth would result in a shoe that’s ready for just about anything with a little more range into the more technical stuff. Muddier conditions ate this outsole pattern for breakfast, and so did anything loose. It simply needs more bite in the more technical realm.

MELISSA: Just like the Terrex Agravic Speed Ultra, I had a few issues around the ankle. There’s a degree of ‘looseness’ and a lack of padding, so I’d recommend wearing thicker, higher socks.

Also like the Agravic Speed Ultra, this shoe feels better when you’re running faster paces. Otherwise, it feels awkward and like it’s working against your favor when you’re running slow recovery miles.

I agree with Taylor that adjusting the lug depth would really enhance the Agravic Speed’s versatility. However, I’m still not sure if I could trust this shoe on a more technical course.

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Final thoughts on the Adidas Terrex Agravic Speed

TAYLOR: As Adidas Terrex’s “other racer,” the Agravic Speed offers something a little different yet maintains a familiar feel compared to its latest shoes. This shoe’s ability to handle quite a bit of terrain and intensities really well deserves praise. The Adidas Terrex Agravic Speed will please a lot of runners as a do-it-all performer for day-to-day easy trail runs and especially for the faster days out there.

Sizing seems to be the biggest issue with this shoe. It runs a little big in all directions, which could make it tough to dial in. Hopefully, going a half-size down will mitigate those issues.

MELISSA: I agree with Taylor’s note that this shoe (and many others) signifies movement toward specificity in the trail shoe world. The Terrex Agravic Speed is a shining example. It’s a shoe for speed work on trails and racing distances of 50k and less. Note that it’s a bit on the firmer, responsive side and has a slight rocker shape that will help propel you forward, but you can’t argue with it as a racer on a relative budget.

You can pick up the Adidas Terrex Agravic Speed for $160 from Adidas by using the buttons below.

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  1. Oliver says:

    “The Adidas Terrex Agravic Speed is, effectively, the update to the Adidas Terrex Speed Ultra that we’ve been waiting for (not to be confused with the much newer Adidas Terrex Agravic Speed Ultra). “

    This sentence is an unintentional condemnation of all shoe naming conventions right now. Settle tf down, shoe brands!

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Authors

taylor
Taylor Bodin
Lead Trail Reviewer
  • Strava
  • Instagram

Taylor Bodin is a trail and ultra runner living in Estes Park, Colo., with his wife and daughters. Trail running is pretty much the only hobby he can manage right now and loves it. Every so often, he will pop off a race or FKT attempt because competition is pure and the original motivator for him getting into running anyways. When not running, Taylor is a 1st grade teacher, running coach (track & field, Cross Country, and Trail/Ultra athletes), and volunteers at his church.

More from Taylor
Shoe Size

10.5

Fav. Distance

100K

PRs
  • 27:03

    100M
  • 13:40

    100K
  • 7:42

    50M
  • 4:34

    50K
woman running
Melissa Guillen
West Coast Trail Reviewer
  • Instagram

East Coast raised and West Coast trained, Melissa truly enjoys running, especially ultra distances. She currently lives on the Southern California coast and can be found exploring Santa Barbara front country on the weekends.

All-time favorite shoes: HOKA Clifton, Nike Vaporfly NEXT %, Altra Lone Peak

More from Melissa
Shoe Size

6.5

Fav. Distance

100 Miles

PRs
  • 20:28

    100 Mile
  • 8:51

    50 Mile
  • 4:58

    50K
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