Adidas Terrex Soulstride Flow Review: Feel The Flow
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11.2 oz. (317 g) for a US M9,
9.9 oz. (280 g) for a US W8
32 mm in heel, 24 mm in forefoot (8 mm drop)
Long, kinda slow trail days
Full-length Repeater midsole, Continental rubber outsole, Recycled material throughout
JOHN: How do you do, fellow kids? Do you trail run? This is my first review at Believe in the Run, and I’m going to try to break into the scene and show that I’m worthy of being here, just like the Soulstride Flow from Adidas Terrex is trying to establish itself as worthy of being a favorite in the trail running community. Really though, neither the Soulstride Flow nor I am like the Steve Buscemi of the memes. I run a lot of races, including lots of trail stuff and there aren’t a whole lot of people out there in Adidas shoes. When I worked in specialty run, we never carried Adidas trail shoes, so this is actually the first one I’ve ever seen. There’s definitely an opportunity for the Soulstride Flow to get bigger in the trail scene but it’s a crowded party with some well-established competition.
The Adidas Terrex Soulstride Flow is made for going long across different surfaces in comfort. It boasts Repetitor EVA foam and lightweight padding, which makes running long enjoyable, but it is also designed to be comfortable across different surfaces making for easy transitions from road to trail. In technical situations (wet, rocky, and rooty), the Continental rubber outsole is there to keep you upright while the upper keeps your feet comfortable and drains water (doing a good job of keeping out stuff that belongs on the trail and not in your shoe).
A cool aspect of the Soulstride Flow is that it’s made with at least 50% recycled materials, which represents just one of Adidas’ solutions to help end plastic waste.
EMILY: I love that Believe in the Run put us gumshoes on the case together because, like John, I too am a first-time trail reviewer (second time, by the time this is published). Apologies in advance, John — as a kid, I never made it past gumshoe status in the 1980s computer game version of Carmen Sandiego, which is kind of embarrassing considering how often I played. I was much better at climbing trees and running amok in the woods. I guess things haven’t changed much, which is why the Adidas Soulstride Flow and I hit it off ok. This shoe was truly designed with a purpose in mind: to deliver a smooth all-terrain ride for miles and miles, probably in the woods, likely over trees.
John really covered the specifics nicely, from comfort and functionality (yay, Repetitor EVA) to the much-appreciated, much-needed inclusion of recycled material throughout so your soul can feel even better while striding.
Thank you, Adidas Terrex, for all that you do.
JOHN: I felt that the sizing of the Terrex Soulstride Flow was perfect for my foot. I wear a US M11.5 (the shoe seems like it could even accommodate a somewhat wider foot) and had no issues. On the road, I wear the Adidas Boston and Adios Pro, so even though I haven’t really run in Adidas trail shoes, I found the fit extremely similar to the road shoes. The heel felt great — I didn’t have any slippage, though I did wear thicker trail socks when running in the shoe (which is usually what I wear on the trails).
Initially, I got scared when I saw the tongue because it does come up pretty high, but it’s extremely soft and doesn’t cut you like some others. I was extremely impressed with the outsole. The grip was solid, handling my jaunt across a sketchy wet bridge during a run without budging. Also, I didn’t slide while rock hopping on wet rocks and other fun playthings I could find on the 20 miles I’ve run in the shoe so far. The upper is also pretty nice and I definitely tested it by jumping in every water crossing I encountered. The Soulstride Flow drained well and didn’t slosh around or anything. One thing that I’m really in awe of is, after 20 miles on the trail, there’s no noticeable wear just yet. It’s a tough shoe.
I ran in this shoe on back-to-back days (something I usually never do) for 11 miles and 9 miles on varying surfaces and multiple stream crossings. I really have had a great time using it. I love it so much that I plan on using it for an upcoming race, the Just a Training Run Backyard Ultra. I’m really confident Adidas has created a straight-up great shoe for training runs or slower-paced ultras that touch multiple surfaces.
One thing I will say is I didn’t try to push the pace in this shoe. I don’t run trails crazy fast to begin with but I get the sense that if you do try to push in this one, it may feel a little clunky. With that said, throughout the course of my runs, it felt extremely comfortable and not clunky but if I wanted to really push it, I’d probably wear something different.
EMILY: Despite the fact the Terrex Soulstride Flow was a little larger than my typical US W9.5 shoe, I still navigated with confidence (and success) along rugged terrain cast in mysterious evening shadows. You know the type of light that makes you ask, is it a root or a snake, or who put that fist size pebble there?
The shoe provided some noticeable energy return as well, which is greatly appreciated as someone who runs for hours on end and so experiences tired legs A LOT. This was important to experience early on as I was admittedly a bit skeptical about the Soulstride’s silhouette with its beefier drop and tapered front. I found a great deal of success avoiding the common trail running pit-falls (like falling in pits and rolling ankles) after switching to minimal drop/zero drop shoes like the Topo Pursuit. I also have wide feet for a little lass and like a girthy toe box, so I couldn’t help but be a little cautious out of the gate.
Well, after 25-plus miles on road, trail, hill, and dale, my feet were not offended in the least and I hadn’t fallen into any pits. The shoe held up like a boss in the slick aftermath of a rogue rainstorm as well and I can say with a giggle that the lad in front of me slid out on his mountain bike while my feet stayed the course. The lad was fine. Don’t worry.
The more I wear the Terrex Soulstride Flow, the more I think about how perfect it would be for fellow runners who have a desire to explore trail running after years of pounding the pavement. What a pleasant introduction to the wild world of stream crossings and elevation gain.Shop Adidas Terrex Soulstride Flow - Men Shop Adidas Terrex Soulstride Flow - Women
JOHN: At this price point, I can’t really pick too many nits with the technical aspects of this shoe. I truly believe Adidas Terrex has done well with the Soulstride Flow — it’s definitely solid.
I’m not sure how I feel about the overall look, however. Adidas always brings the style, but this time it just feels off, maybe because it screams that trail running is popular so we made a trail shoe. There are so many similar shoes out there that are well established with trail runners (Nike Pegasus Trail, Saucony Peregrine, Brooks Cascadia, just to name a few) and are similarly priced. As much as I enjoyed the Soulstride Flow, it isn’t priced to stand out when there are a lot of competitively priced trail shoes available.
As I mentioned in the introduction, not a lot of the run specialty stores carry the Adidas trail line, so people often end up very fixated on the other brands. The question for this shoe is if the features offered are enough for people to take a flyer on the Soulstride Flow. As good as the shoe is, it may still be a challenge for it to gain popularity because trail runners are dug in on the brands of trail shoes they have used in the past.
EMILY: While my feet prefer to be a little closer to the ground, I think that the Soulstride Flow offer an elevated experience without compromising stability. I would caution that it ran on the long side for me — I typically wear a US W9.5 and it left my feet swimming with about an inch of room to spare. I wasn’t able to get a true lockdown, which left my foot searching for some inner shoe security. That being said, after logging 20-plus miles, I didn’t once lose a shoe, nor did I roll an ankle. However, I did miss the full leg extension that I’m used to with a lower heel.
I was also disappointed that while Souldstride Flow offers a tongue with an edgy angular cut, it’s not anchored, which I feel is almost expected now a days. Note to self, manage tongue expectations.Shop Adidas Terrex Soulstride Flow - Men Shop Adidas Terrex Soulstride Flow - Women
JOHN: I’m rooting for this shoe and absolutely love running in it. I definitely believe Adidas has a good shoe here, but the challenge will be getting people to pick Adidas. If you’re wavering with similarly priced trail shoes or just burning up the miles and need another rotation option, definitely try this one out. Before buying the Soulstride Flow, I highly recommend reading about the Nike Pegasus Trail 4 here on Believe in the Run to help with your decision-making.
The different look of this shoe may turn out to be attention-getting and will surely get noticed on the trail (trail runners get bored and need something to talk about). To all my fellow trail runners out there, give this shoe a chance — you’ll be surprised.
Like me, it’s tough and scrappy and just wants to be loved, so give the Soulstride Flow (and me) a chance at Believe in the Run.
EMILY: Well, in concurrence with John, I think all evidence suggests that the Adidas Terrex Soulstride Flow is a must-try, especially for people new to long-distance trail running who may not be wild about a zero-drop shoe. Plus, if you’re transitioning from road to trail running and are familiar and comfortable with Adidas’ other lines, the Soulstride Flow can serve as a trusted companion during those first months of getting acclimated. I’d be aware of sizing, perhaps ordering a half size down, but other than that, go with the Flow.
You can pick up the Adidas Terrex Soulstride Flow for $129 from Adidas using the buttons below.
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An obsessed runner, John has run in most ultra races in the Mid-Atlantic area. Since he’s an ultra runner, it’s no surprise he’s also a lover of food. He’s also a dedicated father, caregiver, and veteran.More from John
Born and raised in Smaltimore (Baltimore), Emily relishes running for hours in the woods. It’s where she works out the kinks in her approach to being a mother, partner, writer, and a better human being.More from Emily
Interesting shoe but my money is on the SL which I have put through the ringer on all trails including a 30k into the grand canyon with ice and snow. The lighstrike/pro midsole is the real deal and my legs feel awesome even after long runs on technical trails. The upper is completely unfazed and the outsole is doing great even though the superficial layer is wearing off at nearly 600 km exclusively on trails.