Is it time to replace your trail running shoes?
Women from our Grassroots Teams donated their trail time to test some of the newest shoes on the market. Take a look below and get filled in on which shoes passed their critiques:
What: Adidas Terrex Agravic GTX
Perfect for: all types of terrain; excels on rocky trails
The uppers feature abrasion-resistant welding; the lining uses GORE-TEX® SURROUND technology. The midsole has Adidas’ Boost cushioning technology, a technology intended to provide more energy return than other foam cushioning material on the market. The outsole is constructed with a 60a rubber from Continental (a tire manufacturing company), with lugs inspired by the pattern of the company’s tires. The lugs are 5.5 mm.
Weight: 10.8 ounces per shoe
Heel-toe drop: Stack heights in both are 24.5mm heel and 18mm forefoot (a 6.5mm drop)
Colorado: Apex Open Space Trail (rocky and technical); single track at Pawnee National Grasslands (chalky); Sky Pond Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park (rocky, muddy, steep); Challenger Point/Kit Carson Peak traverse (loose rock, steep technical terrain)
The outsole is the highlight of the Terrex Agravic GTX. Made with thick “car tire” rubber, the sole better protects the foot from sharp rocks. The outsole, made of 60a (hardness rating) rubber—the same that Continental Tire uses for car tires—is harder than most running shoes. This makes the outsole more resistant to indentation by sharp objects.
Adidas claims that Continental’s rubber also offers up to 30 percent more traction in dry conditions and 32 percent more traction in wet conditions versus other brands. I have taken these shoes on pretty much every terrain I can think of—dirt, mud, small gravel, big gravel, medium sized rocks, larger skree, slick rock, and stream crossings—and they have never slipped.
Other highlights of the Terrex Agravic GTX outsole include the aggressive lugs and its flexible quality. The lugs help create substantial traction; while running, I could really feel them biting into the dirt. The sole’s flexibility conforms to the terrain underfoot, bending slightly when running on things like uneven rocks. This flexibility helps protect the ankles.
The cushioning in the shoe’s mid-layer uses Adidas’ “Boost” technology. This Styrofoam-like tech is made of thousands of specially-formulated foam pellets that the company calls “energy capsules” and delivered a noticeably high energy return during my runs. During foot strike, the midsole also absorbed shock which was a big help for my knees.
The Terrex Agravic GTX is outfitted with a breathable, waterproof GORE-TEX lining; I have yet to get wet feet while running despite taking these shoes on muddy trails and splashing through a stream crossing.
These shoes feel heavy when you pick them up; however, possibly due to the Boost energy-return tech, my performance didn’t seem