Review: adidas Terrex Speed Pro SG Trail Running Shoes
Written By: SportsShoes
You showed up on the trail for a reason. Don't let anything make you turn around. Be prepared for the slick terrain and rocky patches that the map doesn't always show you in these incredibly light adidas Terrex trail running shoes with enhanced breathability and durability. The Continental™ Rubber outsole is down for the challenge of unpredictability. You'll barely notice the splashes along the way, thanks to the water-resistant design. Meet the new adidas Terrex Speed Pro SG Trail Running Shoes, designed to take on any trail, especially in soft and muddy conditions.
Our Sportsshoes.com Trail Running Ambassador, Ben Mounsey, has been busy putting the adidas Terrex Speed Pro SG trail running shoes to the test. Here he provides a detailed review and compares them to the adidas Terrex Speed Ultra.
Lug depth: 7mm
Length: Small fit
RATINGS (out of 5) - Comfort: 3.5 | Cushioning: 3 | Support: 2.5 | Grip: 4.5 | Protection: 2.5
As the sister shoe of the adidas Terrex Speed Ultra 240, the Terrex Speed Pro SG 225 is almost identical in terms of shape, style and design. However, despite their obvious similarities in appearance, both shoes do have some key differences in terms of functionality and performance.
Firstly, the Speed Pro SG (soft ground) is designed for soft and muddy conditions, with a clear focus on grip as opposed to cushioning. Its aggressive tread with 7mm lugs is perfect for clawing its way through sloppy and slippery terrain and the Continental™ Rubber outsole provides plenty of traction in both wet and dry conditions. Dare I say, it’s even suitable for fell running and not just soft trails.
It’s also worth mentioning that for a lightweight SG trail shoe, there is noticeably more cushioning than many of its comparable rivals. The Lightstrike cushioning does add some bounce on the harder surfaces, but not quite at much as that of the Speed Ultra, which has a thicker, more cushioned midsole thanks to the blend of Boost and Lightstrike technologies, highlighting the clear difference in purpose between these two Terrex models. Aside from the lug pattern and depth, the other major difference here is the narrow shape of the outsole at the most central point of the Speed Pro SG, compared to the much wider surface area of the Speed Ultra.
What impressed me the most about the Speed Pro SG, is the quality of build combined with lightweight performance. In terms of design, this is about as stripped back as a trail or fell shoe can get, yet its lightweight structure is well-built and still provides adequate protection and support for a minimal off-road racing shoe. Its clever upper construction perhaps deserves the most credit. Arguably the most breathable trail shoe that is currently on the market, the majority of the upper material is made from a tough black mesh, which means that air can circulate and water can drain quickly and easily. Forget about keeping your feet dry, it’s just not going to happen. But equally, you don’t have to worry about water not being able to escape. This is, quite literally, the polar opposite of a GORE-TEX waterproof trail shoe design. And this suits me just fine, because in wet and muddy conditions, I’ve found that no trail shoe ever really stays dry anyway, especially when fully submerged in a stream or deep bog, and at least this way water won’t slosh around in your shoe and have nowhere to escape. I’d much rather wear waterproof socks to keep my feet reasonably dry and have a shoe that can drain quickly and effectively. Aside from the mesh, there is thicker, reinforced material at the back of the shoe to protect and hold your heel in place, a protective toe bumper and an extra strip of thin material on the outside of the foot, just above the midsole. But, be aware, protection is minimal and any contact with big, sharp stones or rocks is still likely to hurt.
The shape of the tongue and lacing system is almost identical on both models. However, the Speed Ultra does have a gusseted tongue – meaning it’s connected inside the shoe to both sides of the upper by a thin piece of stretchy material (this is to help repel mud and debris). I can only assume this feature does not extend to the Speed Pro SG because the open design of the upper mesh will allow slop and mud to enter the shoe and thus preventing it from being of any use at all.
Both Terrex shoes are also the same fit in terms of length and width. As I previously mentioned in my review of the adidas Terrex Speed Ultra, although there is ample room in the toe-box, the width of both models across the centre and at the heel is naturally more suited to runners with narrow feet - lucky for me!
Another noticeable difference between the two styles is the drop; the Speed Pro SG is 4mm and the Speed Ultra is much higher at 8mm. The former allows you to feel closer and more connected to the ground and the terrain, for increased control and precision. In my opinion, this is extremely important for fell running.
I honestly believe that adidas have done a fantastic job in creating two new trail shoes that not only share some of the same great features, but are ultimately designed for different purposes and terrain. The Terrex models are lightweight in design, especially the Speed Pro SG, which makes them an ideal choice for racing and moving quickly over off-road terrain. In my opinion, the Speed Ultra and Speed Pro SG form the perfect partnership - providing you with the choice of attacking both hard trails and soft ground at lightning pace.
As individual as the terrain - there’s an adidas Terrex to suit every trail.