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(The Gear Loop) - Collaboration can be a beautiful thing. From Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson to Scorsese and DiCaprio, the right partnership can often lead to a masterpiece.

There are three big names involved in the Adidas Terrex Agravic Pro trail running shoe: a collaboration between Continental, Boa and, bringing everything together, running shoe maestros Adidas. 

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Firstly, there’s the name that may not be on your radar: Boa. Boa’s innovative and unique precision fit lacing systems have been causing a stir in the outdoor world for a while now and are frequently turning up in mountaineering, hiking, trail running, road cycling and snow sports footwear, as well as in helmets and other performance products. 

Rather than traditional laces, Boa’s strong, lightweight laces are tightened by turning a dial until you achieve the desired fit. Like a boa constrictor, the laces wrap tighter and tighter with each turn of the dial. When you’re done, simply pull the dial outwards until it pops and everything loosens off.

The second player in this collab is Continental. They bring their expertise in the field of grippy rubber to give the Agravics the traction they need on technical trails. And the biggest name in the trio, Adidas, which shouldn’t really require an introduction…

Our quick take

This is a solid collaboration involving some serious players in their collective field. In terms of ease and practicality, the Adidas Terrex Agravic Pro score highly in our book, but there’s no getting away from the fact they feel heavy and bulky compared to some advanced trail running rivals.

Adidas Terrex Agravic Pro trail running shoe review: innovative laces and a maximalist ride

Adidas Terrex Agravic Pro trail running shoe

3.5 stars
For
  • Great looking
  • Quick to put on and take off
  • Well cushioned
  • Superb traction
Against
  • Bulky
  • Heavier than rivals
  • Very hot in warm conditions

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In the Loop

A quick look at what you can expect from the Adidas Terrex Agravic Pro trail running shoe:

  • Innovative Boa L-Series lacing technology means a speedy, customisable fit
  • Continental rubber outsole with 5mm lugs
  • 4mm drop
  • 616g per pair
  • Loops for harness attachment or for ease when putting on or taking off
  • Lightstrike cushioning for a comfortable ride
  • Made (partially) from recycled plastic
Alex FoxfieldAdidas Terrex Agravic Pro trail running shoe review photo 1

Features

The Boa fit system employed here is the low-profile L6 system, which is widely used elsewhere in cycling, other trail running shoes and for golfing footwear. Our initial question to Boa was around the durability of the system, given that the laces look so thin. We were assured that their 350-strong team of field testers have taken the to all kinds of environments, from the toughest running trails to high-altitude mountaineering use.

The Continental rubber outsole is armed with 5mm lugs, designed to grip everything from chossy trails to slick rock. Meanwhile, your foot gets plenty of bounce with each strike thanks to the Lightstrike cushioning, meaning the Agravics are slightly more on the maximalist side of things, so don’t expect much trail feel, you barefoot beauties.

If you’re a heel-striking runner, the heel to toe drop may be slightly too small for you at 4mm. However, this will suit regular trail runners down to a tee. There’s also a tick in the environmental stakes, thanks to Parley Ocean Plastic recycled materials used in the construction.

Alex FoxfieldAdidas Terrex Agravic Pro trail running shoe review photo 6

Performance

The wrap around, sock-like upper combines with fabric loops to make the Agravics a doddle to pull on. As expected, tightening is also quick and easy with the Boa dial and you can find the fit that suits you. It’s easy to see the immense potential of this kind of lacing technology, especially when making micro-adjustements on the fly.

The shoe grips well around the midfoot and feels nice and precise, though there’s nothing you can do about how loose or tight the heel is. However, we found the heel was relatively comfortable and stayed in place without any unwanted rubbing or slippage. 

On steep descents, the Boa fit meant this reviewer’s foot was held superbly, while the rubber lugs dealt with the terrain just as well.

AdidasAdidas Terrex Agravic Pro trail running shoe review photo 9

This all added up to a comfy ride on the trails, though their size and weight give them a bit of a bulkier feel than most leading trail shoes. The upper fabric also traps heat, meaning the forefeet felt very hot on warm days. 

Nevertheless, you get a propulsive ride thanks to the Lightstrike cushioning, so it never feels like you’re being slowed down too much by their above average weight. This level of cushioning means less muscle fatigue but comes at the cost of more intimate trail feel, which won’t suit everybody.

The high bootie design leads to a small gap around the ankle, which is prone to let small pieces of debris through. The height of the ankle also means you’ll need to wear long running socks rather than trainer socks on your escapades to avoid chafing in the Achilles region.  

Alex FoxfieldAdidas Terrex Agravic Pro trail running shoe review photo 7

The aggressive 5mm lugs give you a vice-like grip on terrain and they are spaced out enough to shed mud and other debris. They’re designed for year-round use and should excel just as much on boggy February runs as on dry summer outings. You would think they’d suffer on tarmac but the level of cushioning in the Agravics means you still get a relatively bouncy ride.

However, there’s a large midfoot gap in the outsole, which is intended to save weight, but instead traps items, like small rocks. The first time this happened, it caused an irritating clicking sound with each footfall for a few miles before we realised what was going on. This occurred on a couple of occasions and unfortunately led to the sole becoming damaged slightly. Tellingly, other reviews have also picked up on this as an issue. 

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To recap

A solid collaboration. There’s no doubt you’ll love the look and novelty of the fit system, along with the comfort and ironclad grip the Agravics provide. They perform well on a variety of surfaces and the ease with which you can take them on and off means you’ll often reach for them. However, serious racers and those who prefer more minimalist running footwear will find them to be too heavy, too hot and, ultimately, too slow.

Writing by Alex Foxfield. Editing by Leon Poultney.