Article by Mike Postaski
adidas Terrex Agravic Flow 2 ($140)
After never having previously run in any adidas trail shoes, I’ve been able to run and test most of the current Adidas Terrex/Agravic trail lineup. Just to set expectations – the Speed Ultra (RTR Review) still holds the spot as my favorite all-time trail shoe. But I’ve been quite disappointed with the Adidas trail shoes designated with the ‘Agravic’ tag. Neither the Agravic Ultra (RTR Review) or the Agravic Pro (RTR Review) have found a spot in my rotation. Both felt overly heavy and bulky on the run, and both had big problems with their uppers. Will the Agravic Flow 2 break the string?
Secure fit and foothold
Good width across the forefoot – no foot squeezing
Solid and durable Continental rubber outsole
Rocker up front keeps the shoe moving
Upper made from 50% Parley Ocean plastic, 50% recycled polyester
Weight (320g printed on shoe) – seems too high for this type of shoe
Midfoot (Promoderator) insert is very noticeable under arch
Feels thin at forefoot – combination of lower stack/higher drop/firm cushion
Mike Postaski currently focuses on long mountainous ultras – anywhere from 50K up to his favorite – 100M. 5’10”, 138 lbs, midfoot/forefoot striker – he typically averages 70 mpw (mostly on trails), ramping up to nearly 100 mpw during race buildups. A 2:39 road marathoner, his easy running pace ranges from 7:30 – 9:00/mi. Mike recently finished 3nd at the Scout Mountain (Idaho) 50 mile trail ultra. Mike shoe preferences lean towards firmer, dense cushioning, with plenty of forefoot space, and he strongly dislikes pointy toe boxes.
Weight: men’s 11.3 oz / 320g (US9)
Sample: men’s 11.7 oz / 332g (US 10)
Stack Height: men’s 28 mm heel / 20 mm forefoot (8mm drop)
Available now. $140
First Impressions, Fit and Upper
After testing the Agravic Ultra (AU) and Pro, the first thing I wanted to check was the upper fit – specifically the ankle and achilles collar. The Flow 2 clearly features a similarly designed and shaped upper as the AU. I find the Flow 2 collar has the same shape and design as the AU, which right off the bat, was not a good sign for me.
I inspected closely and found that the collar is less rigid all around than the AU, and the material also seems to be a bit softer. I also noticed a slight depression at the top of the achilles collar, but it’s still the same (in my opinion, needlessly high) height as the AU. I guess they are stuck with whatever last they are using for this iteration of Agravic shoes.
I sized up to a 10 for the Flow 2, after finding the AU in my usual size 9.5 to be a bit snug for longer distances. The 10 fits me well, so I’d say it’s in line with the rest of the Adidas Terrex trail lineup – 10 fits best for me in all versions. The fit feels very similar overall to the AU – solid midfoot hold, wider across the forefoot, and squared off at the front rather than pointy.
On the run, I noticed that the ankle collar felt a bit more compliant than the AU and I didn’t notice any irritation. The Achilles collar on the other hand, was still noticeably high, and I was constantly worried about getting a blister. As mentioned in my AU review – it is without a doubt the highest achilles collar of any shoe I’ve ever run in. Frankly, I don’t see how having an overly high achilles collar serves any stability purpose. It’s definitely a drawback for this shoe.
[Yarn in upper contains at least 50% Parley Ocean Plastic and 50% recycled polyester]
The midsole features standard (not Pro) Lightstrike EVA foam, with what is called out asl an embedded “full length promoderator foil”. The intention of the “promoderator foil” is to provide full protection underfoot to handle technical terrain. The combination definitely feels firm underfoot. I also notice a somewhat blocky feel under the arch. It feels similar to the Torsion insert of the Speed Ultra, but it’s even higher and more noticeable. If you’re a fan of big under-arch support, this will be nice, but if you dislike any pressure under the arch – this is not the shoe for you.
I didn’t notice much bounce or “energy return” from the midsole. It just generally feels firm. Out of the box they felt really firm, but as with the Agravic Ultra, they did break in a little bit after 20i miles or so. As a forefoot striker, the firmness was most noticeable up front, as there’s only 20mm under the forefoot. The firmer foam makes the 20mm feel thin in comparison to a “softer” 20mm.
The outsole features full coverage Continental rubber. In my experience the durability of adidas’ Continental is excellent. The lug pattern grips well in dry, rocky, and loose terrain and should also shed mud well. The lugs themselves are similarly shaped to those of the Agravic Ultra and also resemble those of the Saucony Peregrine. I didn’t have any appreciable rain in my test period, but based on previous experience, Continental rubber is a great all-around outsole.
There are no cutouts up front for rocks to collect, and the cutout under the midfoot is much shallower than that of the Agravic Ultra. There were no issues with mud or rocks collecting in those areas for any extended periods.
The ride noticeably depends on a front rocker – starting around the ball of the foot. The midfoot/rear of the shoe feels quite firm, and there’s a distinct falling-forward rocker effect up front. The rocker effect does help mitigate the weight of the shoe. It feels like the shoe should be lighter, but it’s not, nor does it feel lighter on the run. The rocker just makes it feel slightly less bulky. It does feel quicker than the Agravic Ultra, which depended on the carbon-plate impulse rather than a rocker effect.
While the Promoderator Foil definitely does the job of protecting the foot – especially at the midfoot/rear, I did feel a bit “dis-engaged” from the ground. The blockiness under the arch really takes away from any sense of ground feel, yet at the same time you feel some harshness under the forefoot. They felt ok in moderate, predictable terrain, but in anything uneven or technical, I felt a bit unsteady due to lack of feel around the midfoot area. It’s a bit of a strange sensation with the shoe feeling tall and stiff under the midfoot, yet firm and thin under the forefoot. The Lightstrike EVA is also firm at the heel. I guess it makes sense why the Agravic Ultra uses a Boost insert at the heel, but you don’t get that in the Flow 2.
Also of note – I was constantly aware of the potential of the very high Achilles collar grating across my Achilles. My first few runs felt just on the edge of blisters. In subsequent runs I preemptively taped my Achilles.
Conclusions and Recommendations
While it’s the best and most runnable of the “Agravic” line so far, I’m still disappointed with the Flow 2. Based on the listed features, and even the name, I would have expected a lighter, more flexible, and agile shoe for technical terrain. Instead, it’s just a slightly different flavor of the Agravic Ultra.
Mike P’s Score: 7.65 / 10
Ride: 7 – Ok in predictable terrain, weight is apparent though
Fit: 7 – Excellent and secure, but same stiff ankle collar, high & stiff Achilles collar
Value: 8 – A well made shoe, with durable materials, but doesn’t stack up well against competitors
Style: 8 – Kind of generic Adidas look, aside from the colors
Traction: 9 – Solid and durable
Rock Protection: 9 – Very good, but firm, and hinders ground feel
“Smiles” score: 3 / 5
This score is about how pleasing/fun the experience is on the run, or in the case of race type shoe how effective it is to race.
Comparisons coming soon as Mike is in the wilds of CO with limited internet access.
The Agravic Flow 2 is available from our partners including REI, Running Warehouse US, Backcountry, and Roadrunner Sports below
Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors’
Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and currently preferred shoes
RoadTrailRun receives a commission on purchases at the stores below.
Your purchases help support RoadTrailRun. Thanks!
RUNNING WAREHOUSE US
FREE 2 Day Shipping EASY No Sweat Returns
RUNNING WAREHOUSEEUROPE Men’s & Women’s SHOP HERE
Europe only: use RTR code RTR5ALL for 5% off all products, even sale products
FREE Shipping, 30 days return policy, Low Price Guarantee
Use RTR code RTRTOP4 for 5% off all products, even sale products
FREE Shipping on orders over 99€,, 30 days return policy, no questions asked.
FREE Shipping on most orders over $40
WATCH OUR YOUTUBE REVIEWS ON THE ROADTRAILRUN CHANNEL
Please Like and Follow RoadTrailRun