The Adidas Terrex Two Boa is a nimble 13.3oz (size 12US) trail running shoe with a plush midsole and grippy outsole. The uppers breathe well, and utilize a Boa lacing system that allows for quick and precise adjustments on the fly. The Terrex Two Boa rides like a road shoe, but still has the trail-ready chops for most of my adventures in the mountains. So is the Terrex Two Boa a shoe I’d recommend? Yes and no. Find out why in this review.
Fit and Weight:
The Adidas Terrex Two Boa fits true to size in my standard 12 US. At 13.3oz the Terrex Two is a little heavier than many other trail running shoes on the market, but they still feel nimble and comfortable. When I first tried these shoes on, I was amazed at the amount of internal volume. I thought they were going to fall off and fit loose. After tightening up the Boa lacing though, everything dialed in nice and tight. I realized that Adidas had to design this shoe with a wide foot opening to allow for the fixed length of lacing on the Boa system.
My heel sits deep into the well-cushioned heel cup of the Terrex Two Boa, and I have not experienced any slipping or wiggle. The heel does sit a little higher than most shoes though, and I could really feel this over the first 20 or so miles. I never got a blister or hotspot, just a little discomfort on my achilles tendon. Once the shoes started to break in, that sensation went away. The heel has a mild counter that has the same density as cardboard, and does a good job of keeping my heel in place on off-kilter trails.
The midfoot of the Terrex Two Boa fits snug and comfortable for my slightly wide foot. The toebox on this shoe is wide, providing a lot of room for toe splay. If you have a narrow foot, you might find yourself swimming upfront in these shoes. My widish forefeet felt like they were in heaven though!
The uppers on the Terrex Two Boa consist of a breathable open mesh that keeps my feet cool, and dries very quickly when wet. Adidas uses a laminate overlay on the midfoot area to provide stability and structure. In use, this overlay helped keep my feet in place on groomed trails, but I could feel a little wiggle on terrain that was really rough and/or steep. I think it is due to the overlay starting so low on the foot. It would help with stability to extend the support up to where the Boa lacing closure is. The Terrex Two Boa uses the same laminate overlay for toe protection up front. This isn’t the most robust toecap you’ll find on a trail shoe, but it will keep your feet in tact after minor toe stubs.
The Boa lacing system on the Terrex Two Boa is where my opinions on this shoe really start to mix. Let me start by saying that the Boa lacing technology is incredible, and works just as it is marketed. The Boa button on the side of the shoe works just like a plug or a cap. Push the button down to lock the lacing closure, pull the button out to unlock the lacing closure. To tighten your shoes, you just turn the button clockwise while the Boa button is locked. To untie your shoes you just pull the button out to unlock the lacing closure.
So if I love the Boa technology so much, why are my emotions mixed? Well, I just don’t think the implementation on the Terrex Two Boa is optimal for trail use. The lacing system only utilizes six lace eyelets, which doesn’t allow for adequate adjustments or fit optimization. The second issue is that the laces don’t extend down far enough on the shoe, which makes for a larger than average toebox. Both of these issues have led to a shoe that just doesn’t feel or perform optimally for my foot shape.
The other minor issues that I’ve found with the upper is that the tongue slides around a bit while in use. The padded EVA tongue is very comfortable, but I find it sliding towards the inside of my foot after a few miles on the trail. This is due to the issue I noted above. Adidas had to make a super wide foot opening to accomodate for the limited amount of lace expansion on the BOA system. This also means that they weren’t able to gusset the tongue or provide anchor points lower down on the tongue.
Aside from the issues I’ve had the the lacing, the performance of the rest of the upper on this shoe has been great. I haven’t had any hot spots or blisters with the Terrex Two Boa, and I’ve found the shoe to be very comfortable over long miles.
The midsole of the Terrex Two Boa is built on a 6mm drop platform, with 28mm in the heel and 22mm in the forefoot. A 6-8mm drop midsole is my sweet-spot, as I find 0-4mm strains my calves and achilles and 10mm+ tilts my center of gravity a little too far forward.
The midsole is composed of a standard EVA foam that rides on the soft side. The Terrex Two Boa is a flexible shoe that flexes right at the arch, but keeps just enough torsional rigidity to remain stable on rougher trails. The midsole rides more like a road running shoe from my experience and reminds me of the first Saucony Kinvara in a lot of ways.
The EVA section is the only protection provided in the midsole of the Terrex Two Boa, as Adidas decided to go without any underfoot rock protection. This is something I have definitely noticed on rockier trails and as the distance adds up.
For the outsole of the Terrex Two Boa, Adidas uses their Continental rubber compound paired with a trapezoidal lug pattern (similar to Salomon’s). The Continental rubber is an amazing compound that has worked well for me on Adidas’ Terrex Agravic and Terrex Swift R2. The outsole provides great traction on gravel, smooth surfaces, sand, and slightly wet rocks.
As you’ll see in the photos below, Adidas decided to use cutouts on the outsole to increase flexibility at toe-off, and to decrease overall weight. Although I like the flexibility of this shoe, the cutouts further reduce the underfoot protection that would have been provided by a full coverage outsole. To have these cutouts and skip on rock protection, makes this shoe lacking in the underfoot protection department.
The Adidas Terrex Two Boa is a shoe that I really wanted to love, but in the end, I just sort of like it. The upper is very comfortable and fits my foot well, but the lacing setup on the Boa system doesn’t allow for the perfect fit at all times. The midsole is very comfortable for short and long days on the trail, but a little underfoot rock protection would be welcome for the rockier trail outings. The outsole is the highlight of this shoe, as the compound and lug pattern work well to provide traction and grip on just about any surface. At $120, the Adidas Terrex Two Boa is competitively priced. It wasn’t the perfect shoe for me, but it was good enough that I would recommend readers give it a try.