Adidas Agravic Boost

The Adidas Terrex Agravic Boost is a low drop (6mm) shoe promoted for use on trail and on mountainous terrain. They have a strong mesh upper with a Gore-Tex waterproof lining membrane and breathable EVA tongue. The midsole has the now-infamous Adidas boost pad. I have been testing a pair of Adidas Agravic Boost for Blacks for a few months now. Hold tight, this review is going to be a right mixed bag...

The Adidas Agravic Boosts

I love the sole. The rubber lugs were actually created in collaboration with Continental Tyres™. They have aggressive 6.5mm v-shaped lugs, arranged in multiple directions. The rubber material is sticky and seems incredibly durable- I imagine these will show little wear for a long time. The shoe grips incredibly well on all technical terrain; rock, grass, mud, and tree roots, and would likely also perform well in snow. The spacing of the lugs means that mud doesn't get caught up. As a result I can trust these shoes completely on fast downhill ascents, an excellent quality in a mountain show. 

The sole does feel very stable, sometimes too stable. I do think that over longer runs or long descents they would get a bit 'slappy' on the sole of the foot. The shoes don't have a rock plate so they rely on the thick rubber to do the protection job. Therefore you don't feel the ground as much as you would in other mountain or fell shoes; which could be good or bad. They are still very flexible though. 

The upper seems very hardy with Gore-Tex lining and bonded outer edges. The Gore-Tex didn't make my feet sweat and until total submersion it kept them completely dry. The rest of the upper is breathable mesh and the nice high EVA tongue kept water and grit out. The upper design also looks really awesome.

Sticky lug-tastic soles
My big issues with the Agravics are all in the midsole. Firstly, they are narrow, and were too narrow on the toe box on one run. If I were to get them again, I'd go up a half size. That said, I had one run in particular on the Kilpatrick hills where they murdered my heels (still dealing with the fallout 2 weeks later) which is usually an indicator of a shoe being too loose in the heel (7 miles, hilly muddy terrain). They are not particularly padded at the heels and my feet would love some more cushioning there. I also think the heel fault lies in the lacing- the laces are very thin cord. They are hard to adjust to get the right fit, and they come apart easily too. The two runs where I've felt the Agravics were uncomfortable could both be mitigated with better lacing to allow a more personalised fit.

Night in the Kilpatricks- photo taken by Graham Kelly

The Agravics are trustworthy on a jump- photo taken by Graham Kelly

I don't run in Adidas so don't know how the midsole boost pad feels in other Adidas shoes, however I would say the job it's doing on the Agravics is making a relatively heavy trail shoe feel pretty light. The shoe is just not that cushioned all-round, it's the payoff for such an aggressive sole. They are softer than my thin soled Inov8s on road, so the boost pad is doing something.

Overall I'm not sure what to think. The Adidas Agravic Boosts have great technical aspects. My original thought was that they'd be a perfect shoe for long mountain days. But you can't use a shoe you can't trust in the mountains- if your feet get trashed that's it. I'd recommend these instead for faster shorter trail and hill runs. I'll give them some more chances and try to work out what went wrong on those two horror runs. Were they tied too loosely? Did I have swollen feet through humidity? Old socks with no back padding? I currently don't know.

I would never say that a particular shoe will or won't work for someone. All shoes are different and our feet are all different . Right now the jury is still out on my relationship with the Agravics, but my intuition is that if you have fairly narrow feet, like low-profile minimally-cushioned shoes, and are looking for a fast mountain shoe that will perform on any terrain and in wet conditions... then they might be a shoe to try.

The shoes are a relatively expensive choice but they do seem incredibly durable and have some great technical aspects. They are currently on sale at Blacks (male version here).

Blacks sent me the Adidas Agravic Boost in return for this review. However my opinions are always honest as you have just read! Thanks to Graham for use of the photos, it was a stunning evening in the hills. 


Which trail shoes do you wear?

Ever worn road shoes with the Adidas boost pad? What's your thoughts?

Post written by Scallywag and published on Scallywag Sprints on 08/08/16


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