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Adidas Terrex Speed Pro Shoe Review: A Racing Flat for the Trails

Considering it has been a very long time since the last time I wrote a shoe review, I figured I’d make a return for a shoe that has gained a special place in my running life. Over the past few years I have been coaching indoor and outdoor track at my school, but this Fall my daughter made a switch from soccer to cross country, and I have now become a volunteer coach with the XC team as well. Coaching has been a great experience, and one of the benefits of coaching cross country is that I get to run with the team every day after school.

I’m fortunate in that my school, Coe-Brown Northwood Academy, has a storied history when it comes to success for our cross country teams. We are almost always in the running to win the state championship (both our boys and girls won XC and outdoor track states last year), our boys XC team was nationally ranked last year, and we have a wonderful set of trails right on our campus. I have found my niche in helping train the Freshmen and newer upperclassmen, and have managed to string together several 25 mile weeks since the season began. Life is pretty good!

At the beginning of the season, my daughter needed a new pair of running shoes, and since we run most of our XC miles on rooty, rocky trails and some single-track, I decided to get her a trail shoe (for some reason most of our athletes run trails in road shoes). Her favorite shoe for track training and road running is the adidas Adios Boost line, and she is partial to adidas as a brand, so I decided to check out what they had to offer for trail shoes. I’ve always thought of adidas trail shoes as clunky and heavy, but saw on their website that they had a couple newer models in their trail lineup that looked pretty intriguing. She prefers a bit more cushion, so I ordered her a pair of the Terrex Speed Ultra shoes, which have Boost under the heel. Still a shoe geek, I couldn’t resist the pull to order a pair for myself (I was going to be running a lot of trails after all!), but I opted for the sleeker Terrex Speed Pro, which are essentially a racing flat for the rails. I’m quite glad I did, as I have come to love these shoes!

Some readers might not get the reference I’m about to make, but if you do, you probably don’t really need to read much more of this review as the comparison tells you pretty much all you need to know. Back in 2011, adidas produced a racing flat called the Hagio. It was a great shoe – firm, fast, and with a highly breathable upper. The adidas Terrex Speed Pro is essentially the Hagio built for the trail.

My decision to opt for a trail flat was due to an experience running trails in the Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 over the summer. The stack height of that shoe plus the soft cushioning led me to nearly roll my ankle several times on that run. I needed something firmer and closer to the ground to be able to handle the roots and rocks without injuring myself. The other thing that appealed to me about the Speed Pro (aside from the fact that it’s a fine looking shoe…) was that it has an incredibly porous upper. With the rain we’ve had this summer, running through shin deep puddles and crossing streams has become commonplace, and I needed something that would not hold water.

I’ve now put probably 30-40 miles on the Speed Pros, and it is truly a fantastic shoe. The stats are typical of a racing flat: 23mm heel height, 19mm forefoot for a 4mm drop. The 190 written on the side of the forefoot refers to the weight in grams, though that scales with size. Mine are soaked right now, but I’d guess they are under 8 ounces, with most of the mass coming from the Continental rubber outsole.

In terms of fit, I feel like they run a tiny bit large. I have a 10.5, but if I was using them to race, I’d probably prefer a 10 just to snug up the space in front of my toes. The forefoot is surprisingly roomy for a racing shoe, and they are super comfortable on the run. Interestingly, the Speed Pro’s do not come with an insole/sockliner, and I found that by adding one from another pair of adidas shoes the fit improved significantly. I suspect in a half size down I would not need the added sockliner.

The Speed Pro’s feel firm on hard ground, as you would expect from a racing flat, but the Lightstrike midsole does have a little give under the heel (this is one way it deviates from the Hagio, which had a firm midsole throughout). Running at pace on the trail they feel amazing, and the protection afforded by the outsole and what appears to be a nearly full length rock plate is excellent (you can see what I think is a rock plate in yellow in the sole cutouts in the photo below, not sure what it is made of). These shoes are built to run fast on trails, and they do that job exceptionally well.

As I mentioned previously, one of my motivations for getting this shoe is that I wanted something that drains really well. I long ago learned that trying to prevent water from getting into a shoe on trails is pretty futile, so it’s far better to have a shoe that lets the water out so that you are not running with a heavy, sloshy mess on your feet. The Terrex Speed Pro’s are a near ideal shoe for running straight through streams and deep puddles and not worrying about it. Much of the upper is completely open mesh, and any water that gets in comes out just as easily. It’s fun running straight through water while watching our young runners pick their way around puddles or over rocks to cross streams on training runs!

This review has already gotten way to long, but I guess that has always been my style… I’ll finish by saying that I like these shoes so much that I bought another pair for my daughter after her first XC race. She opted to wear spikes during that race, and realized quickly that metal spikes on rocks make for a not very comfortable run, and she wanted something that was still light and grippy, but that would offer a bit more comfortable ride on our trails. Given her fondness for the Terrex Speed Ultras, getting a pair of the Pro’s was a no-brainer. Just hoping they arrive before her race next week!

The adidas Terrex Speed Pros are available at adidas.com in the US and Amazon, and at Running Warehouse EU across the pond. Enjoy!

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Recent Posts By Category: Running Shoe Reviews | Running Gear Reviews | Running Science
About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a biology teacher, track/soccer coach, and dad (x3) with a passion for running, soccer, and science. If you'd like to learn a little bit more about who I am and what I do, click here, or visit petermlarson.com.

Comments

  1. Interesting that you prefer shoes that drain really well. I’ve had really good luck with Gore-Tex for winter runs, and running trails in the rain, but I’ve never fully immersed them in water knowing I wouldn’t like the outcome. So you have me rethinking the drainage issue since I have several pair of Adizero Boost Parleys and some Supernova Boosts. But I never tried any Adidas trail shoes, so I might give these a try for running and hiking where I know I’ll need to get my feet completely wet.

  2. Can’t wait to get my hands on one pair. Thank you for sharing this.

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