Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Gear Closet: Adidas Terrex Two Boa Trail Running Shoes Review

When it comes to reviewing outdoor gear, shoes and boots are the hardest thing to nail down. On the one hand, it is usually really easy to tell if a shoe is durable, well designed, and offers good traction and cushioning. On the other hand, comfort is often a main concern and what fits my feet nicely may not fit yours quite so well. As a result, a shoe that I like may not fit your needs, and vice versa. Recently, I experienced this very thing with the new Terrex Two Boa trail running shoes from Adidas, footwear that I really wanted to like, but ultimately came away a little disappointed in.

The Terrex Two Boa builds on Adidas continued commitment to making great gear for the outdoors. Over the past 5+ years, Adidas has made some excellent equipment for hiking, backpacking, trail running, and even adventure travel. As such, these shoes are made from very durable synthetic materials, including a breathable mesh upper. I've been running in fairly warm weather already this year and I found these shoes did breathe nicely, allowing my feet to vent off excess heat and perspiration. This helped to keep them drier, even on longer runs in temperatures above 90ºF (32ºC), which hasn't always been the case with some other shoes I've worn.

The Terrex Two Boa also feature a thick midsole that serves as a suspension while running over rocks, dirt, and other challenging terrain. That midsole sits above an outsole that offers excellent traction, even on slick, wet surfaces. These two parts of the shoe provide a nice level of confidence for the runner, making him or her feel like they can run for extended periods of time without become excessively tired or sore. I tested these shoes on runs between 5 and 10 miles in length, and came away feeling fresh each time. Better yet, I felt like I recovered nicely the following day when I was ready to run again.

In building these shoes, Adidas incorporated one of my favorite pieces of equipment in the form of the Boa lacing system. This is – by far – the best quick-lacing system on the market today, making it easy to get these shoes on and off in a fast and efficient fashion. They also allow you to dial in a nice fit and keep the laces squarely in place throughout your run. With Boa you don't have to worry about having to stop and tie your shoes while in the middle of a workout, even if the shoes get wet, muddy, or snag on grass, sticks, and so on. I absolutely love the Boa lacing system and wish I had it on all of my shoes, so it was nice to have it included here. Adidas and Boa have been working together for a long time, and is shows. No one knows how to integrate the Boa laces better than Adidas.

In terms of weight, Adidas says these shoes tip the scales at 9.7 ounces (275 grams), although thanks to its substantial build quality, they actually feel a bit heavier. These shoes are certainly not a minimalist option, and I'd say they are a little heavier than even the more mainstream running footwear that I've tested in recent months. For the most part, this wasn't super noticeable during a workout, but it is something to keep in mind if you're the kind of runner who counts every ounce in your gear.

The Adidas Terrex Two Boa is a good looking shoe. In fact, if you weren't running trails in them, they'd fit right in for a casual night out on the town. They look a lot like an "athleasure" (not sure I like that term) shoe, making them perfect for hanging out with friends, going to concerts, or just running errands. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that a number of people who use these shoes will end up wearing them in more places than just the trail.

So far, this review has been pretty positive and you're probably wondering exactly which aspects of the shoes ultimately left me disappointed as mentioned above. As much as I respect what Adidas has done in designing and contracting this shoe, ultimately they just didn't really fit my feet well. It felt like I had way too much room in the shoes, even when I adjusted the Boa laces properly. Some parts of the Terrex Two fit snugly, while others seemed far too spacious. At the end of a run, I frequently ended up with hotspots too, and while I never developed blisters, it felt like it could have happened had I continued to running further.

As much as I enjoyed the durability, cushioning, and traction that these shoes offered, and as much as I appreciate the inclusion of Boa, the fact that the Terrex Two just didn't fit my feet well ended up being a disappointment. That said, your feet are probably very different from mine, which means the shoes might work well for you. I'd recommend trying them on first however, and maybe even sizing down a half size, to see if you get a better fit than I had. Because other than feeling like I had far too much room in the shoes, I found these to be an impressive pair of trail runners.

The Adidas Terrex Two Boa is even priced nicely, particularly since it includes Boa. At $120, these are an affordable pair of trail running shoes that I'd recommend, provided you can find the right fit for your feet.

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