The new Terrex Agravic is further proof that Adidas can crossover from track and road running to the trails. Featuring their proprietary Boost midsole, the shoes are well cushioned and comfortable despite having a low profile. The Agravic is one of Adidas Outdoor's more aggressive designs, with substantial lugs and a modestly stiff build, but I’ve found the shoes to be one of a select few that’s equally at home on both rough and non-technical trails. With a durable construction, they’re also great for lightweight hiking and backpacking. Below we break down the Agravic's traction, durability, fit and comfort, and more. To see how the Terrex Agravic stacks up to the competition, see our comparison table and article on the best trail-running shoes.
 

Performance

Traction: All-Around Excellence

In two months with the Adidas Outdoor Terrex Agravic, I’ve worn them on everything from runs on steep and rocky single track to fastpacking in snow and mud. Across it all, I have found the traction to be exceptional. In fact, few shoes we’ve tested are so capable on variable surfaces (one being the La Sportiva Bushido, which happens to be our favorite shoe for mountainous terrain). The Terrex Agravic is not specialized like the mud-loving Salomon Speedcross 4, but its all-around nature works better for our purposes in Washington State, where it’s consistently wet and muddy on the west side of the Cascade Mountains and dry and rocky on the east side.
Adidas Terrex Agravic (running)

Adidas employs the popular car and bike tire brand Continental for its outsole rubber, and the specific tread on these shoes mimic the pattern of a mountain bike tire. While it may seem like a gimmicky concept, the compound is exceptionally sticky and the open lug design works well for mountain running. Despite the hard use over more than 120 miles, the soles are wearing evenly and not excessively.
Adidas Terrex Agravic (sole)


Durable Construction

With a hard face textile upper fabric, welded overlays, and solid toe and heel protection, the Terrex Agravic is one of the more durable trail shoes on the market. I’ve collected my fair share of nicks in the rubber outsole from rocks, but the rest of the shoe still looks almost brand new. More, the tightly woven fabric does a decent job shedding light moisture and snow. Even with this non-waterproof model (there is a Gore-Tex version), my feet stayed relatively dry after crossing a few surprise snowfields near Mount Baker.

As a consequence of the beefed-up construction, the Agravic’s are a little heavy for extended runs. On our scale, the shoes weigh 1 pound 7.2 ounces in a men’s size 9—for reference, the La Sportiva Bushido’s are 1 pound 5 ounces, while ultralight shoes like the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 are 1 pound 0.6 ounces. Over short to medium distances and even as a fastpacking shoe, the extra weight was hardly noticeable, but I found myself wishing for something lighter once I reached a half marathon distance.
Adidas Terrex Agravic (toe)


Ventilation

Very few mountain-ready shoes offer excellent ventilation, and the Terrex Agravic is no exception. Even without the optional Gore-Tex liner, I found it to run hot when temperatures crept into the 80s. My feet were much happier at high elevations and in cool temperatures, when the shoes provided modest insulation from the cold. The same issue crops up for draining. When water makes its way through the tough outer fabric, it takes longer than we prefer to dry.
 

Cushioning and Stability

When we first saw the Terrex Agravic’s at Outdoor Retailer, the exposed sections of the midsole along the instep and outside of the shoe immediately stood out. These strips of white foam are the “Boost” cushioning and designed to offer a soft feel and excellent energy return for, as Adidas claims, “endless energy”. While I take issue with the endless energy statement—perhaps I just need to spend more time training—I do agree that the ride is exceptionally smooth, responsive, and comfortable.
Adidas Terrex Agravic (side)

In fact, the Boost midsole, along with a low stacked height, makes the shoes an absolute standout for runs on hard packed dirt or even pavement. I prefer to stick to trails, but I’m in the process of training for a road race, so this hybrid use has been particularly helpful to me. Following a recent 16-mile run, with about 6 of those miles on pavement, my feet felt great—something I can’t say for similar runs with my Salomon Speedcross 4 or La Sportiva Wildcat. For those like myself that need to cover some miles on asphalt to get to dirt, the Agravic are a great match.

Stability is another strong suit and the feeling underfoot is of complete security. The shoe sits low to the ground, the Continental outsoles have a wide platform, and it’s stiff enough to power through rough sections of trail. I’ve even felt comfortable using the Agravic for extended day hikes and fastpacking. With about 25 pounds on my back, I didn’t experience any foot fatigue and I was impressed with the shoe’s lateral stability. We think they stack up well with other crossover hiking and trail-running shoes, like the Brooks Cascadia. Within the trail-running shoe crowd, the Terrex falls midpack in terms of stiffness—it’s more rigid than the Saucony Peregrine 6, but more forgiving than a dedicated mountain shoe like the La Sportiva Bushido.
Adidas Terrex Agravic (fastpacking)


Fit, Sizing, and Comfort

I’m wearing my typical running shoe size with the Agravic and have found it fits about as expected. My heel and forefoot are slightly narrow, but I fit most “average” width shoes and haven’t had any issues with heel slippage or discomfort. Those with wide feet may find the Agravic too tight, but if you’re comfortable with other performance-oriented shoes from Salomon or La Sportiva, it should work just fine.

In terms of comfort, the Adidas Outdoor Terrex Agravic has a neutral feel and is great for even long stretches. The wide tongue feels almost rubbery in hand, but the EVA foam conforms nicely around the top of the foot. The lacing system does a nice job of keeping everything locked in place, and I particularly like the wide set eyelets near the base of the toes that pull the fabric in evenly. Again, those with wider feet may find that the laces pinch at that point, but I think the lacing system should work well for most people.
Adidas Terrex Agravic (tying)


What We Like

  • A great all-around shoe: it's comfortable for trail running, hiking, and even for runs on pavement (just be aware that the tread will wear faster on asphalt).
  • Exceptional traction that works in the dry and wet.
  • The low stacked height and stable platform are a great pairing for rough and steep trails.
     

What We Don’t

  • A bit heavy for long distances.
  • The tough upper fabric doesn’t ventilate very well in the heat.
  • The fit is slightly narrow and probably won’t work for those with a wide forefoot.

Adidas Terrex Agravic (creek)


Comparison Table

Shoe Price Category Cushioning Weight Drop
Adidas Outdoor Terrex Agravic $135 Mountain / light trail Moderate 1 lb. 8 oz. 6mm
La Sportiva Bushido $125 Mountain / light trail Light / Moderate 1 lb. 5 oz. 6mm
Salomon Speedcross 4 $130 Mountain / light trail Moderate 1 lb. 6 oz. 11mm
Saucony Peregrine 6 $130 Light trail / mountain Moderate 1 lb. 2.8 oz. 4mm
Brooks Cascadia 11 $120 Light trail / mountain Moderate 1 lb. 7 oz. 10mm


The Competition

The all-new Adidas Terrex Agravic enters a highly competitive trail-running shoe market, but even with a price tag of $135, we think it holds its own. It’s a far more serious shoe than the popular Brooks Cascadia 11 and Saucony Peregrine 6, which are lighter but less stable. For its durability and technical prowess, one of its most formidable competitors is the La Sportiva Bushido. The two are quite comparable in terms of traction, but the Bushido gets the slight edge in weight and is the better option for long distances (see our in-depth review). If you prefer a cushioned ride, however, the Agravic’s Boost midsole is more comfortable and offers better isolation from sharp rocks than the thin Bushido.

Another shoe designed for rough trails is the Salomon Speedcross 4. The tall, arrow-shaped lugs are class leading for soft terrain and mud, and we’ve found the Salomon’s are nicely cushioned for rocky trails (read the full review). But as an all-around shoe, I’ve been surprised to find myself preferring the lower stacked height of the more stable Addias. If weight and traction are the priority, the Speedcross is still best. But for daily training and the occasional hike, I recommend the Terrex Agravic.

If you’re thinking about buying gear that we’ve reviewed on Switchback Travel, you can help support us in the process. Just click on any of the seller links above, and if you make a purchase, we receive a small percentage of the transaction. The cost of the product is the same to you but this helps us continue to test and write about outdoor gear. Thanks and we appreciate your support!

Depending on the seller, most products ship free in the United States on orders of $50 or more. International shipping availability and rates vary by seller. The pricing information on this page is updated hourly but we are not responsible for inaccuracies.

Best Trail-Running Shoes of 2019

For many, running on varied and challenging trails is a welcome break from the monotony of pounding pavement (or even worse, the belt of a treadmill). Better yet, trail running is...

Salomon Speedcross 4 Review

As one of their most popular and recognizable designs, the Speedcross trail-running shoe has been a huge hit for Salomon. The toothy, exposed traction and bright colorways are a common sight at...

Review: Saucony Peregrine 6

Saucony’s Peregrine has long been a favourite among trail runners, so much so that introducing changes could be seen as a risky move. With their sixth version of the Peregrine...

Best Lightweight Hiking Shoes of 2019

The momentum in hiking footwear is moving away from bulky boots toward lightweight shoes and even trail runners that are faster and more comfortable. You do lose some ankle support when carrying...

Best Hiking Socks of 2019

You just can’t overvalue a great pair of hiking socks: they keep your feet comfortable and dry while helping to prevent blisters and hotspots. We tested the full array of hiking socks from the heat of Utah’s...

Review: La Sportiva Bushido

Over a decade ago I purchased and wore a La Sportiva Wildcat trail runner, and though I loved the tacky tread, the stability was unimpressive. I easily dismissed the brand as simply...

Best Rain Jackets of 2019

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we know a thing or two about rain. From months of daily drizzle to heavy downpour in the mountains, we’re acutely aware of the benefits of a quality waterproof and breathable jacket. The rain jackets for men and women...

Arc'teryx Norvan SL Hoody Review

In February of 2016, Arc’teryx introduced two new minimalist jackets: the Norvan Jacket and Norvan SL Hoody. In the latter, the “SL” stands for super light and the jacket is marketed as the lightest...