adidas Terrex Agravic Tech Pro with BOA Winter Shoe Review

2021 has been the year of adidas for me. The three stripe brand with the distinctive TERREX logo has made great progress in the trail, mountain and ultra world with some stand out shoes.

Early in the year, I called out the Speed Ultra as not only my favourite shoe but arguably, one of the best shoes I have ever used. Three pairs on and I still think the same. Without doubt one of ‘the’ shoes of 2021.

Recently, I received a pair of the adidas Terrex Agravic Tech Pro with BOA.

Now I have to say, I was initially frustrated, here in Norway we still had ‘decent’ weather and this boot would have just been way too much for the conditions… Gladly though, winter arrived in November and we have plenty of snow, ice and temperatures well below -10. A perfect testing ground.

The adidas Terrex Agravic Tech Pro is distinctive! The shoe does come in a more sedate and classy looking black with hints of red, I received the ‘stand out’ look at me colour way of black, Mesa and Halo Blue.

Let’s be clear, this is a shoe for very specific use and that I love! Far too often when it comes to winter, I am compromising trying to make the best os shoes that are not specific for the task. Here in the adidas Terrex Agravic Tech Pro you have shoe that is designed for harsh, rough, wet and cold conditions. And trust me, when it is -20 snow and ice, warm feet make a very happy runner.

The adidas Terrex Agravic Tech Pro has some really incredible design and engineering. Inside the boot is a Terrex Agravic shoe with the usual adidas comfort, continental outsole and Boost cushioning. The shoe is wrapped in a water repellent envelope with durable front closure zipper and on the outside the BOA dial to provide tension and security.

The BOA brings a welcome development. Often winter boots like this incarnation by adidas have a laced shoe inside. Therefore, you put the boot on, lace up the shoe inside and then zipper the enclosure. The downside of this, is that when out on the trail, should you need to adjust the lacing, you must unzip the boot and then do the lace… Maybe no big deal you think? Trust me, if it is below zero, freezing cold and your hands are already feeling somewhat numb, the last thing you want to do is take gloves off and tie laces. Here in the adidas Terrex Agravic Tech Pro

That problem is solved as the whole shoe, inner and outer is tightened and released by the BOA on the outside of the shoe. It’s push in/ twist and pull out/ twist for less or more tension is just perfect even with gloves on. It may well be one of the most practical and logical reasons to use a BOA adjustment. It really is spot on! Using the L6 platform, with a L6 dial and TX4 lace, this is a perfect winter shoe fastening system as it protects against dirt contamination. You may well wonder about durability and strength, but the L6 uses a bayonet and cartridge system which is designed to release without breaking. If it releases, you can insert the cartridge back into the bayonet. The TX4 lace is also flexible and light weight with low friction. It’s the best BOA system I have used thus far.

As the number on the side suggests, ‘420’ this refers to weight in a standard UK8 size, 489g for my UK9.5/EU44 . This is not a lightweight running shoe, but what it is is a durable beast to offer support, warmth and protection in the harshest environment. Be that running in snow, climbing, running trail or even crossing a glacier (with the appropriate cramp on).

You may think it’s a boot and to an extent it is, however, because a running shoe is inside, the adidas Terrex Agravic Tech Pro has a completely different feel. It has the best of both worlds!

An 8mm drop sits perfectly in a shoe like this providing the potential for all-day comfort. Protection both at the fore and rear is excellent, there is some stability in the shoe but flex, particularly behind the metatarsals is great, important for when running and climbing.

Cushioning is Boost which is durable in could and challenging conditions, importantly it does not harden in the cold. There is an EVA frame for stability. Front rock protection is good and the outsole is grippy Continental with 4mm lugs.

The outsole does leave me perplexed. I am not complaining about the grip, BUT I would have liked to have seen winter spikes on a shoe like this. In soft snow the spikes cause no hindrance but if you hit ice, they are a life saver. I understand why adidas would choose NOT to add winter spikes: it basically narrows the market. So, this boot would require one of two options for me:

  1. Add a micro crampon that could be taken on and off as required.
  2. Add studs myself.

Currently I have used a micro crampon which provides the grip I need BUT the running experience is nowhere near as good as an outsole with studs. With a studded outsole you have the best of both worlds, the outsole grip and the stud. With a crampon, you have just the metal spikes which can provide a much harsher run.

IN USE

You need to invest a little more time putting this shoe on. Make sure you slide your foot in to the inner shoe correctly, adjust your socks and make sure the heal feels correct. On a sizing note, I use an EU44 and I would say these are arguably a little larger. This is a good thing! I have used these with Merino liner socks and Sealskinz over sock and the sizing has been great. So, keep this in mind.

Once the foot is inside and comfortable, zip up the outer. It has sock-like fit. This can be a little challenging to start but once closed, it already provides a snug fit. One thing to note, I wouldn’t want to be trying to zip up the shoe, outdoors in -10.

There is a velcro adjust collar which you tighten, this helps stop or reduce anything going in via the top of the boot. Now adjust the BOA. You do this by pushing in the dial and then rotating. The more you rotate, the tighter the hold. It hold really well and importantly this can be adjusted ‘on-the-go’ with just a quick turn. No messing with laces, just turn. A really important feature for cold conditions when hands are not functioning as normal.

On paper, the adidas Terrex Agravic Tech Pro is a heavy run shoe BUT it feels and acts much lighter. It’s a pleasure to wear. It is agile, has bounce, feels extremely protected, is snug and warm. You really feel as though you have bullet proof protection.

The toe box has width and plenty of comfort. On a scale of 1-5 (5 being wide), I would say they are a 3/4.

One note on BOA, I always feel as though I need to over tighten to get a score feel. It’s no different here in the adidas Terrex Agravic Tech Pro BUT I advise getting tension ‘close’ to how you want it and then run for say 10-minutes or so. Then stop and adjust. Why? Quite simply, in winter and cold conditions, you don’t want to over restrict blood flow. Feet and hands get neglected to keep the core warm in winter, no need to add to the problem with over tightened shoes. BOA is great for this as you just turn to tighten, takes less than 1-second.

While water resistant, they are not waterproof and therefore over prolonged use, partially if you submerge in water, you will get some seepage.

Warmth is good especially with merino socks. This is an active shoe and therefore is designed for the user to be moving at pace, either walking, running or climbing and therefore generating blood flow and warmth. Standing around in snow doing nothing, the adidas Terrex Agravic Tech Pro eventually allows the feet to feel chilly; any shoe/ boot would!

The midsole is firm and cushioned but not plush. As you would imagine, this shoe is trying to balance comfort and protection and it does it extremely well. They are stable and predictable and he Boost works exceptionally well, even in extreme cold with the EVA frame adding extra security. It’s not a fast and light shoe, to be honest I never expected that. The adidas Terrex Agravic Tech Pro is all bout durability, protection and comfort in harsh conditions and it excels at this. The alternative would be a boot which would not have any of the unique characteristics of this shoe, especially for a runner.

Outsole is Continental and having used countless adidas shoes, I know is tried and tested. The 4mm lugs sit in that perfect middle ground providing traction on trail and work well on road if required. I did wonder if the outsole lugs should be more pronounced, say 6mm? This would certainly help in snow. I have already mentioned the omission of winter spikes which for me is a disappointment BUT I fully appreciate that I may have specific and selfish needs.

I have tried the shoe with Snowline Chaisen Trail (as photo) and also Camp Ice Master which is a more substantial  crampon, ideal for glacier and steeper travel. Please note, all micro crampon/ boot combinations have limitations, the adidas Terrex Agravic Tech Pro is NOT a mountaineering boot.

CONCLUSION

If you have rough winter weather, be that wet, cold and muddy or snow, ice and freezing temperatures, the adidas Terrex Agravic Tech Pro is a great addition to your run shoe collection. Only you can decide if the cost (£220) is worth it. For me, they are most definitely worth it and if they had studs, I would use them for every winter run.

The combination of a proper run shoe inside a protective gaiter is not new, but adidas have done a great job in making this a durable, warm and protected package. The BOA adds to the USP as it allows for constant adjustment ‘on-the-go’ with no need to remove gloves.

Versatility is a key feature. You can use them for winter hikes, running, add a micro crampon and you can handle ice and due to the build of the shoe, they will take snow shoes too. This is a great alpine shoe and here in Norway, it’s almost THE perfect shoe. You can mix hard and rock terrain, transition to snow and then add a cramp on to cross ice on with excellent comfort and security.

The comfort, secure hold and cushioning is all excellent and they feel considerably more lively and agile than the weight would suggest.

There is little not to like in the adidas Terrex Agravic Tech Pro. Weight will always be an issue BUT this is not a normal run shoe and there has to be a penalty for all the added comfort and protection. When you take that in to account, this is not a heavy shoe, especially when you consider the options. It certainly runs considerably lighter than you would expect.

adidas Terrex website 

BOA website

Options:

  • La Sportiva Crossover 2.0
  • Salomon X/Lab X Modular
  • Dynafit Sky Pro
  • La Sportiva Blizzard GTX – This boot has AT Grip Fixed Spikes

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Episode 215 – The Chamonix Tapes 3 – Sabrina Stanley and Ruth Croft

Welcome to ‘The Chamonix Tapes’ an inside look at the adidas Terrex Team during the 2021 UTMB.

Starting on Tuesday August 24th and running through to Sunday August 29th, there will be a daily podcast release for your audio pleasure.


In The Chamonix Tapes 3, we speak with Sabrina Stanley and Ruth Croft.

“I obviously want to do the best for the people who support me and make them proud. I feel I can do this but I want to look at the 15-20yr picture and I enjoy running healthy and fast and I want to do that for as long as possible…. I plan on coming back in 2022 and doing something special.” – Sabrina Stanley

Show links:


Website HERE

Spotify HERE  

ITunes HERE  

iOS HERE

Android HERE  

Web player HERE  

Libsyn – HERE   

Tunein – HERE

adidas Infinite Trails 2019 World Championships – Summary and Images

As events go, adidas Infinite Trails has set a new benchmark. I think it’s fair to say that the weekend of activity put together in Austria has elevated trail running to a whole new event. Imagine the best trail running race in the world, then add a three day running festival full of talks, workshops and demos. Then add the most incredible and seamless organization I have witnessed and to add the icing on the cake, Austria, the Austrian amphitheater of mountains and the event location of Bad Hofgastein – you have the makings of what will become an iconic event, mark my words.

Quite simply, adidas have stepped up their game in trail/ off road running. The TERREX brand has existed for some time, but the impact on the trail running community has been minimal. Even with the presence of Luis Alberto Hernando who has been flying the adidas flag for many years.

Dmitry Mityaev and Ekaterina Mityaeva have added to Luis’ trail prowess in recent years, particularly in skyrunning. But in 2018 something changed (probably earlier) as adidas signed many new athletes to the team – Timothy Olson, Yngvild Kaspersen, Tom Evans, Holly Page and Sheila Avilés to name but a few. This was clearly a statement from adidas, ‘we are coming!’

And coming to the trail world they are, Infinite Trails World Championships proved this.

Firstly, the event. The concept is simple but also unique. Teams of three come together, they can be all male, all female or mixed. On the Thursday at 6pm all runners run a mountain prologue – this year it was a 15km event with almost 1000m of vertical gain. The time for each team member is recorded and the team times are all added together. This creates a start time for ‘race day’ with the fastest team going first and then all other teams start based on their respective times to the fastest. It’s a chasing start and an algorithm is used to work out the order.

Race day is Saturday and kicks off at 0400 with loop 1. The race is made of 3 loops and each has its own challenges and distances. Loop 1 25km, loop 2 60km and loop 3 39km. But distance only tells part of the story. The trails and mountains in this area are truly beautiful, magnificent and yes, brutal. At times technical, each loop also has much vertical gain and descent. Without doubt, loop 2 is the highlight, not only visually but in severity.

One runner takes on loop 1, one loop 2 and one loop 3. The objective is to finish each loop as fast as possible, pass on to the next member of the team and then after the final loop 3 is completed, all three team members run a final 700m loop around the town of Bad Hofgastein, the fastest are World Champions.

But the weekend is not only about racing. This event is all about community, a coming together of like minded people in a stunning location and all enjoying some trail love.

As one runner said to me, ‘We have the stars of the sport here like Luis, Timmy and Jasmin, but we are all made to feel like rockstars.’

And that was the theme of the weekend. Most certainly the three person team format brings a whole new dynamic, but it was the events around the weekend that made me feel like I was at a ‘Glastonbury’ for running. There was an athlete panel talk, talks on Mindfulness, and nutrition. You could test run Terrex shoes. It was possible to create your own ‘tie died’ Terrex T shirt. Yoga classes were available and on the Friday before the race there was a brunch were all food and drink was provided free.

Race day needless to say was a full on day, with runners, staff and the village pretty much on standby for 24 hours.

Austria, like much of Europe was blessed with a heatwave that gave blue skies, perfect visibility but intense heat.

Runners on loop 1 were blessed with a 4am start, for all of them, they were done before the heat of the day really kicked in.

Loop 2 was a visual masterpiece of stunning views, relentless climbing and descending and some truly challenging technical terrain. Combined with the heat, loop 2 was brutal. Luis Alberto and Amy Hall lead the way for their respective teams and neither found it easy, so you can only imagine the carnage and pain behind. The 2019 Infinite Trails will be remembered for loop 2.

Each loop had its own cut off time. If a runner failed to arrive before the cut off, the next runner could leave but of course, they would be out of the ranking. For loop 2, this was 1900 hours and as the clock chimed, the severity of the second loop was obvious with many loop 3 runners leaving before the arrival on their 2nd team mate.

The atmosphere at the finish was electric with one of the most impressive start/ finish lines I have witnessed. Due to the nature of the event and the constant arrival and departure of runners, there was always a big crowd. As night came, it felt more like a rave than a race. Music screamed out, panels were illuminated and a constant light show welcomed the runners all the way through to the 1am cut off, remarkably the last team arrived just 20-seconds inside the closing of the race.

Of course, World Campions were crowned and the dream teams of Dmitry Mityaev, Luis Alberto Hernando and Timothy Olson were the male champions. Yngvild Kaspersen, Ekaterina Mityaeva and Jasmin Nunige were the female champions.

But as was said previously, everyone was made to feel a champion in an event that really marks a new era for trail running. In 2019, 200 teams toed the line, in years to come, I can see those numbers increase significantly and of course, the dream scenario would be to see teams come together from other brands. Imagine it if Salomon, The North Face, Scott, Nike, La Sportiva, inov-8 and so on, assembled teams of three to see, who are the Infinite Trails World Champions.

I for one cannot wait to see this concept grow and certainly, adidas with the Terrex brand will now be making significant impact in the trail running world. A true sign of this is shown at Western States.

While the whole Terrex team celebrated and embraced Austria, the UK’s Tom Evans toed the line of the iconic WSER in Squaw valley, USA. A new year signing to adidas, this was Tom’s first hundred miler. He crushed it, not only running under the iconic 15-hour mark put placing 3rd overall, a truly remarkable result.

If you love running, if you love trail, if you love the community of off-road running, then the Infinite Trails is for you. I cannot encourage you enough, get a team together, travel out to Austria and experience something truly special in 2020.

Race website HERE

Race Facebook HERE

FULL IMAGE GALLERY TO BE UPLOADED HERE

Disclaimer: I was employed to be an official photographer of the 2019 Infinite Trails. I was not employed as a journalist and I was not employed to write this article. The words are my own and my own thoughts of a truly great weekend. 

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