What You Need To Know
- Weighs 11.3 oz. (320 g.) for a US M9 / US W10.5
- The upper is on the up and up
- Lightstrike still ain’t it
- Three cheers for recycled materials (and Abby Hall)
- Available now from Adidas for $140
MATT: There’s been a trend of late, at least in the trail running world, for brands to officially partner with athletes and tailor shoes and gear to meet their needs. We’ve already seen this approach lead to success for Hoka, Speedland, and Norda (to name a few). Adidas Terrex (their trail division) is no stranger to this and has partnered with Abby Hall, one of the best ultra trail runners in the game, to create the Terrex Agravic Flow 2. In doing so, their goal was to build a shoe that could navigate mountain terrain with enough comfort and protection for long days.
Learn more about the process: Our Interview with Abby Hall
Before we get to the good or the bad, I want to start with the great — Adidas keeps finding new ways to recycle. The Terrex Agravic Flow 2 incorporates Parley Ocean Plastics and recycled polyester straight into the yarn used for the upper. It’s great to see brands emphasize the environment and double down on a greener approach.
And lastly, a short history of my time reviewing Adidas trail: I’ve tested most of the Terrex line over the past couple of years, but it hasn’t always been smooth. Adidas hit a home run with the Terrex Speed Ultra, but I’ve generally been disappointed in the progression since then. The Agravic Ultra was a massive tank and the Agravic Pro was… a hiking boot more than a running shoe. I mean, who is buying the overbuilt models in the Agravic line? That said, I came into the Adidas Terrex Agravic Flow 2 review hoping for a return to the right (single) track.
MATT: The Terrex Agravic Flow 2 comes in four colorways, and in my opinion, I got the best one. Adidas calls it Pulse Lime/Turbo/Cloud White, and it gives off heavy 90s Nerf gun vibes mixed with a splash of Hi-C Ecto Cooler. It’s loud but oh so pretty.
The recycled upper provides a nice fit. It seems to have a sweet-spot shape through the mid-foot and toe box. I have narrower feet, and the fit for me was great, even if it was a little long. Still, it wasn’t long enough that I’d worry about sizing down. The recycled knit material also was breathable, a nice touch for the Mid-Atlantic summertime. I had no problems achieving a nice lock-down with the lacing system, and I didn’t need to use the top eyelets. A thin, perforated upper is the icing on top and seals the deal as a much better upper than I experienced with the Terrex Agravic Ultra.
Something consistent across the recent Terrex launches — other than my general dislike — has been stability and protection. You can add the Terrex Agravic Flow 2 to the list of tanks in the Adidas army. It features Pro-Moderator support inserts in the inner midsole, which add an extra dose of stability across technical terrain and big descents. I also felt like there was just enough material in the toebox to block roots and rocks.
Of course, what would an Adidas running shoe be without a Continental outsole? In my experience, the sticky rubber blends seamlessly with a blanket of moderate 4mm lugs for reliable traction across most types of terrain. I think Adidas found a better lug shape and pattern with the Terrex Agravic Flow 2, especially compared to the Agravic Ultra and Pro. It packs more lugs, but they’re about half the size of the lugs on other models. Overall, it adds some versatility when you come to mixed terrain.
Finally, the stack of the Terrex Agravic Flow 2 felt closer to that of the Speed Ultra. The ground feel was much better at 28mm in the heel and 20mm in the forefoot than what the Agravic Ultra (34mm heel, 26mm forefoot) provided. I feel like the closer-to-the-ground design gave a much more nimble ride.Shop Agravic Flow 2 – Men Shop Agravic Flow 2 – Women
MATT: As marked on the upper, the Adidas Terrex Agravic Flow 2 falls into the brand’s 320G group. This is the heftier end of its weight tiers, with my US M10 coming in just a hair under 12 oz. It gained weight from the previous version — about 10 grams — which is the opposite of what you’d expect. The fact that it’s about the same weight as the BOA-equipped Agravic Pro and heavier than the tank-like Agravic Ultra gave me some real concerns about lacing up for an ultra distance.
However, I will say that the Terrex Agravic Flow 2 feels lighter on foot than the models mentioned above, even if it’s still not a feather.
So far, I’ve called out some positive trends for the Terrex line, but it’s not all good news.
I can’t put my finger on exactly what Adidas is going for with the recent Terrex heel collars, but it ain’t working. The Agravic Ultra and now the Agravic Flow 2 have had the hardest, most rigid structure I think I’ve ever seen. They’re so stiff that I need to wear a higher-cut sock to protect my ankle bone from my shoe.
Taking rigidity a step further, Lightstrike just isn’t it, man. It doesn’t work in their road shoes and it’s a solid 0-for-3 on recent Terrex models. It might as well be batting in the nine hole for the Baltimore Orioles. Maybe it’s just how the foam interacts with trail-style outsoles, but it needs to stop. Adidas, please give Lightstrike Pro a chance, or at least go back to a combination of Lightstrike and Boost. It worked for the Terrex Speed Ultra, and it can work again.
I’ll admit that I lean towards a softer durometer with foams, but I’ve run in plenty of firm shoes and have appreciated and enjoyed them all the same. This ride is just way too harsh and lacks any energy return or responsiveness.Shop Agravic Flow 2 – Men Shop Agravic Flow 2 – Women
Adidas Terrex Agravic Flow 2 Conclusion
MATT: Adidas took several steps back in the right direction with the Agravic Flow 2 — namely, the improved upper and better ground feel. However, I’m still struggling to find excitement in the Terrex lineup until it addresses the elephant in the room. That stiff Lightstrike midsole has got to go, especially with so many other options out there that remain super comfortable even while maintaining an aggressive edge (e.g. Hoka Speedgoat, Brooks Caldera 6).
I think the Agravic Flow 2 is the winner of the recent Adidas offerings, and maybe the Agravic Flow 3 can keep righting some wrongs. But with Brooks and Hoka both moving into supercritical midsoles for trail and Nike laying down some ZoomX for the upcoming Zegama, Adidas needs to move forward faster. Or at the very least, let Lightstrike die a quick death.
You can pick up the Adidas Terrex Agravic Flow 2 for $140 by using the shop link below.Shop Agravic Flow 2 – Men Shop Agravic Flow 2 – Women