3 Best Adidas Terrex Hiking Shoes in 2024

Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto on
3 Best Adidas Terrex Hiking Shoes in 2024
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Get better prepared for your next hike with the Adidas Terrex hiking shoes. Well-built and stylish, the impressive lineup of Terrex models offers stand-out protection, comfort, and stability. Tough and responsive, these highly-rated hikers deliver solid performance on the trails in classic Adidas style.

Whether you're up for multi-day hiking jaunts or just want a quick trip to the trail, the Adidas Terrex hiking kicks definitely fit the bill if you want a dependable pair and great quality hiking footwear. Though some models come with a steep price tag, still their strengths spell hiking confidence.

To make your browsing experience a lot easier, we’ve rounded up 20+ of the best Adidas Terrex hiking shoes that we have brought back to our lab. We spent lots of hours just to get to the bottom of every shoe. We also wore them to our actual hikes to discover their features ourselves. Take a peek at our featured models in different categories.

How we test hiking shoes

To review all the models on this list, we’ve done the necessary tests and hiked 30-50 miles for each pair across different terrains and weather conditions. We’ve also checked and double-checked the technologies used in all the models inside our RunRepeat shoe testing lab.

Our selection process involves the following:

  • Purchasing the Adidas Terrex hiking shoes for our wear tests. This ensures 100% objectivity and independence of our rankings and in-depth reviews
  • Trekking and backpacking through the backcountry wearing the Terrex shoes to get a first-hand experience of the model’s actual fit, grip, heel protection, toughness, flexibility, and many more.
  • After putting in the hours and mileage, we do all sorts of testing in our independent lab to help us gather more data about the hiking shoes. We are not only after the experience but also the science behind how a hiking shoe performs. Yes, we're geeks here!

Best Adidas Terrex hiking shoes overall

What makes it the best?

The competition is fierce but, in the world of Adidas Terrex hiking shoes, the best overall is definitely the Terrex Swift R3 GTX. First, because of its insanely reliable grip. Second, it's so stable we forgot we were wearing a shoe and not a hiking boot. Third, the Gore-Tex membrane is what dreams are made of when it comes to waterproofing. It's also so durable it's eager to hit the trails and deal with the obstacles and elements. 

In the lab, we analyzed the rubber and lugs in detail. The rubber is almost average when it comes to hardness. Our durometer showed its hardness sits at 85.9 HC, while the average is 86.1 HC. The lugs are also around the average - they are 4.4 mm deep (the average is 4.3 mm). These almost-average numbers work wonders when it's Continental rubber. We were able to push through puddles, mud, some rocky terrain, and not even once did we feel like we were gonna slip or twist the ankle. Lugs are biting hard! 

What we also loved about this shoe is that the durability of the heel counter is very good, 4 out of 5. We did not manage to damage it, at least not with our legs. We did press our Dremel to it to rate it for durability. Many other hiking shoes have a heel padding that's soft and easily damaged. Not Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX!

Wet terrain also means a lot of balancing. So good that this shoe is stable as hell! We weren't able to twist it manually which is why it scored 5 out of 5 on our torsional stiffness test. It is as stiff as it gets. Plus, the heel counter got 4 out of 5 on the stiffness test and, when we performed the lateral stability test, we understood why its stability is usually compared to the one of a hiking boot! 

In the lab, we checked the upper under the microscope. Hello, Gore-Tex! The membrane looks sick, it is very tight! Water stays out. The price of this? Air also stays out. Not recommended for summer hikes! 

Pros

  • Boot-like stability
  • Highly durable and protective
  • Lightweight for what it offers
  • Excellent waterproofing
  • Breathable for a GTX shoe
  • Generously cushioned
  • Very secure foothold
  • Top-notch grip with deep lugs

Cons

  • Stuffy for summer
  • Can be too stiff (even stiffer in cold)
  • Break-in needed
Full review of Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX

Best lightweight Adidas Terrex hiking shoes

What makes it the best?

Adidas have really come up with the goods with their lightweight Trailmaker. It quite literally outweighs the competition in the Terrex line, and with its unbeatable breathable upper, it’s our shoe of choice for hot, summer days. Its tried and true stability is due to an extra-wide midsole, which has us trusting our feet every inch of the way. All this - and more - is why we have chosen the Adidas Terrex Trailmaker as the best lightweight Adidas Terrex hiking shoe.

It doesn’t get any better than the Adidas Terrex Trailmaker when it comes to a lightweight Adidas hiking shoe! It's so light and agile that we almost forgot we had shoes on! It was easy to understand why when we weighed them in the lab. Weighing in at just 12.7 oz (361g), they are among the lightest hiking shoes we have tested and come in 12% lighter than the chunkier Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX. No tired feet while hiking in this shoe!

The shoe’s upper looks like it’s hard as nails, and it did in fact stand up impressively to our durability test. After 12 seconds’ exposure to the Dremel, it displayed only mild cosmetic damage, earning itself a middling 3/5 for durability. And yet, that solid upper doesn’t prevent significant airflow in or out of the shoe. Pumping smoke into the shoe, we found it breathed evenly throughout the upper. We awarded it a breathability score of 4/5, far more breathable than the average hiking shoe of 2.3/5, making it our go-to shoe for summer hikes.

We tip our hats to the Trailmaker, which combines a number of features to make it a trustworthy and stable companion for the trail. First, the wider-than-average midsole provides a steady landing platform that measures 3.3 mm wider than most of our other lab-tested hikers. Second, it has a rubber sidewall running around the outsole, which contributes to the rigidity of the shoe. Twisting the shoe was no easy feat, and we rated the shoe with a rigid 4/5 rating. Together, these make for a stable shoe when out hiking.

With lugs measuring 1.1 mm less than average, we can safely say the Adidas Terrex Trailmaker is not the best shoe for wet grass, slippery mud or ice. Hikers needing a tackier shoe for anything beyond a light hike should look into other options.

Pros

  • Extra lightweight
  • Amazing in-shoe comfort
  • Highly breathable
  • Balance of cushion and ground feel
  • Stable for a light shoe
  • More flexible than average
  • Welcomes wide feet
  • Secure lockdown (bootie upper)

Cons

  • Outsole lacks durability
  • Not enough grip on wet terrain
Full review of Adidas Terrex Trailmaker

Best budget Adidas Terrex hiking shoes

What makes it the best?

The Adidas Terrex AX4 stands out from the crowd among the Adidas Terrex lineup. Sitting on the spectrum between a hiking and running shoe, the wide toe-boxed AX4 is delightfully flexible yet still keeps our ankles firmly tucked into the shoe for a blister-free experience. Starting at just £100, £30 cheaper than average, the Adidas Terrex AX4 is our best pick for the best budget Adidas Terrex hiking shoe.

Both in the lab and out on our test hikes, we noticed the extra wiggle-room for our toes in the AX4 compared to its Terrex siblings. Adidas has really raised the bar with a toe-box measuring 102.1 mm, which is 3.2 mm wider than average. Our toes had plenty of space to splay out, giving us a firmer foothold and a more natural feel.

With the support of a hiker and the flexibility of a trail runner, we feel the Adidas Terrex AX4 is like getting two shoes for the price of one! The low-cut collar supports our ankles, and the heel counter is among the stiffest we have assessed, scoring a stiff and supportive 5/5. At the same time, when we tested it for longitudinal flexibility, we rated it as a middling 3/5 - not too stiff but not too flaky either. Its versatility in a variety of situations makes this shoe a winner!

We did find that the Adidas Terrex AX4 runs a little small. Measuring 256.6 mm lengthways in a size 8, we found it necessary to go at least half a size up to get the full benefit of the spacious toe box.

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Feels like a trail running shoe
  • Breathable
  • Water-repellent
  • Solid grip
  • Durable for the price
  • Stable platform
  • Contains recycled materials

Cons

  • Lacks toe protection
  • Flimsy insole
Full review of Adidas Terrex AX4

Adidas has been a major leader in the footwear industry for decades. For example, they’ve created iconic shoes for football, basketball, and running. But did you know that Adidas also has an entire selection of adventure-focused, outdoor footwear?

Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX support

Adidas’ outdoor performance footwear line is called Adidas Terrex. Keep reading to learn more about what makes Terrex hiking shoes so special. 

Core components of Adidas Terrex hiking shoes

Grippy and durable outsoles

Adidas Terrex hiking shoes come with grippy and durable outsoles to provide traction on off-pavement terrains, such as gravel, dirt, sand, mud, ice, snow, and grass.

Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX outsole

Adidas Terrex hiking shoes use outsoles with special rubber compounds that are grippy and durable so they don’t wear down quickly. The shoes also use lug profiles specifically designed for off-pavement surfaces.

  • Deeper lugs facilitate traction in loose terrain.
  • Wide-spaced lugs prevent mud from building up
  • Uni-directional lugs help push forward and grip on steep uphills.
  • Aggressive lugs under the heel help you brake and slow down on descents.

Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX Lug depth

Lug depth ranges from 3.5 to 4.5 mm in Adidas Terrex shoes

Adidas Terrex also collaborated with Continental to level up their outsole game in terms of durability and grip. The brand claims that Continental rubber outsoles on their shoes offer 30% more traction.

Continental is one of the most durable rubbers we've seen to date

Shock-absorbing midsoles

Hiking terrain can be rough and rocky. Sharp rocks, roots, and other hard terrain can wear your feet down and cause injury. Therefore, hiking shoes need to incorporate midsoles that provide cushioning and shock absorption for impacts.

Adidas Terrex Trailmaker Midsole softness

We use a durometer to measure the midsole softness of each Adidas shoe to let you know which ones are plusher/firmer

Durable and protective uppers

Adidas Terrex hiking shoes are intentionally designed to protect your feet from harsh terrain and weather. They are made with sturdy and protective materials. For example, Adidas Terrex hiking shoes come with robust protective toe caps. Or for extremely cold or wet conditions, they’ll come with insulation or waterproofing.

We put each Adidas Terrex shoe through a Dremel test to measure its durability level

How to decide which Adidas Terrex hiking shoe is ideal for you

Not all Adidas Terrex hiking shoes are created equally. Some models will suit you better than others. But how do you figure that out? Let us help you out.

When thinking about which Adidas Terrex hiking shoe will suit you best, it’s helpful to think about four essential considerations.

  1. The terrain type you most often hike
  2. The weight of the load you carry
  3. The duration of your hiking efforts
  4. The typical local climate 

adidas-terrex-ax-4-average-weight.JPG

The terrain type you most often hike

Selecting the best possible hiking shoe depends on the terrain you enjoy the most and the terrain you most often travel over.

Do you spend most of your time on “easier” trails? Is the terrain flat, rolling, or steep? Do you spend most of your time on “harder” technical trails? Typically, how are the conditions– are the trails dry and loose? Maybe muddy?

  Trail type Characterised by
Easy to moderate
  • Fire roads
  • Well-maintained double track
  • Even and stable surface
  • Open areas, meadows, shallow valleys
  • Gravel, dirt, maybe mud

Shoes for easy/moderate trails: Adidas Terrex AX4, Adidas Terrex Trailmaker

Adidas Terrex Trailmaker review

Technical and advanced
  • Single track
  • Uneven and unstable surfaces
  • Rocky and loose
  • Steep inclines and declines
Backcountry, non-maintained trails
  • Single track
  • Path of least resistance
  • Uneven and unstable surfaces
  • Rocky, rooted, and loose
  • Rock scrambling
  • Very steep inclines and declines

Shoes for advanced trails/backcountry: Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX

Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX review

Everyone is different, however, more often than not, hikers who frequent easy to moderate trails are happy with lightweight, flexible, and cushioned hiking shoes. Something similar to a running shoe but with a more rugged outsole and upper.

On the other hand, for highly advanced terrain and backcountry travel, many hikers prefer a more robust and stable hiking shoe. Something that feels like a hiking boot but still sports the low-cut cuff of a hiking shoe.  

Weight of the load you carry

The next item to consider when thinking about which Adidas Terrex hiking shoes are best for you is the typical weight of the load you carry when you’re hiking.

Do you always carry a day pack with hiking essentials? Do you typically go hiking only with your car keys and cell phone? Do you frequently go backpacking and carry heavy loads?

Most hikers prefer stiffer and more stable hiking shoes for heavier loads. The extra support they get from stiffer hiking shoes helps protect their feet and prevent foot fatigue from carrying a lot of weight.

On the other hand, for light and fast missions or casual day hikes, some hikers prefer lightweight, flexible, and sensitive hiking shoes.  

Duration of your hiking efforts

We kind of alluded to this point in the previous section when talking about how much weight you typically carry when you go hiking. Usually, the longer you plan to be out hiking, the more weight you carry. That’s because you need to bring provisions to keep yourself hydrated, fed, and warm throughout your adventure.

So it’s common for hikers who frequently go backpacking to prefer robust, stiff, and protective hiking shoes. This is also true for hikers who frequent rough and rocky advanced terrain.

On the other hand, for the hikers who like to go for short day hikes or who may enjoy the occasional trail run, a simpler, lighter weight is ideal. However, even if the duration of your hike is short but the terrain is particularly rough, you may still consider a more robust hiking shoe.

The typical local climate

The last important consideration to make when shopping for Adidas Terrex hiking shoes is the typical local climate. The weather will tell you a lot about the type of hiking shoe you should select.

Is it hot and dry where you live? Does it frequently rain? Do you go winter hiking in the snow?

When thinking about the climate, what you’re debating about is whether or not to buy waterproof hiking shoes, or something different, like water-resistant or repellent.

Breathable non-GTX shoe vs. waterproof GTX shoe

If rain, snow, or other forms of precipitation are frequent obstacles while you hike, and if getting wet and staying wet would make you cold and uncomfortable, we recommend considering a pair of waterproof Adidas Terrex hiking shoes.

However, if the climate you frequently hike in is warm and dry, or if you don’t mind getting wet, or if it feels good (for example, during a hot summer day), you may not need waterproof hiking shoes. You may be better off with a water-repellent model or a quick-drying and breathable hiking shoe.   

Finding the perfectly fitting Adidas Terrex hiking shoe

The perfect-fitting shoe does exist! Here are some tips to help you in the process of trying on new Adidas Terrex hiking shoes. 

Purchase multiple pairs

Shopping alone for shoes is super convenient. However, it can also feel tricky because you cannot see the shoes in person. That’s why we recommend buying multiple pairs.

With multiple pairs of the same shoe but in different sizes, or multiple pairs of completely different shoes, you can experiment with what feels the most comfortable. Then, after you’ve decided which pair of shoes fit perfectly, you can return the other pairs.

Just remember that if you employ this strategy, it’s best to double-check the return policy of your online retailer to make sure your return fits within their parameters.

adidas-terrex-ax-4-fit.JPG

Try shoes on in the afternoon

Believe it or not– your feet swell over the course of the day. But you don’t need to panic, it’s perfectly normal.

Because your feet are slightly larger in the afternoon and evening than in the morning, we recommend trying on new Adidas Terrex hiking shoes later in the day.

 Trying on shoes with swollen feet will guarantee that the shoes fit despite the swelling. Therefore, you won’t end up with a pair of hiking shoes that feel too tight after you are on your feet for a while. 

Keep them on around the house

When you purchase a new pair of hiking shoes, it can be tempting to put them on right away and head straight for the nearest trailhead. However, we recommend slowing down the process slightly.

Instead of going straight to hiking, try wearing your shoe shoes around the house for a while. Wearing your new shoes around the house will give your feet time to acclimate to their new environment and inform you of any issues with the fit.

Then, if there is an issue with how the shoes are fitting, they are still clean and can be easily returned because you stayed in the house and didn’t go hiking in the dirt.    

Try the shoes on with socks

Nowadays, we live in a day and age where socks are designed for specific purposes. For example, there are cycling socks, winter socks, dress socks, hiking socks, and running socks.

So when you try on new pairs of Adidas Terrex hiking shoes, it’s best to do so with hiking socks. Wearing hiking socks while trying on hiking shoes will give you the most accurate fit possible and allow you to make an informed decision.

Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX stability

Go with the larger pair

Sometimes, if you are unlucky enough, you fall between sizes. If this sounds familiar, we recommend going with the slightly larger size. But why?

First off, slightly larger shoes will accommodate foot swell more effectively. In addition, a little too much room is easier to manage than not enough room. You can do so by wearing slightly thicker socks, changing out the factory insole, or lacing up your shoes a little tighter than normal.  

An abbreviated history of Adidas Terrex

Adidas has been involved in hiking and trekking since the 1970s. However, around that time, things changed. Adi Dassler, Adidas’ founder, wanted to create something different for the company. Specifically, Dassler wanted to create more adventure-oriented footwear.

So, in the late 1970s, Adidas Outdoor, a subsidiary of Adidas, started finding success. The success of Adidas Outdoor was in part due to sponsoring iconic mountaineer Reinhold Messner with lightweight and durable shoes for his expeditions.

Finally, after much research and experimentation, in 2009, Adidas produced its first line of outdoor-focused performance wear and footwear. It was an exceptional success.

Then, in 2011, Adidas Terrex was finally born. Adidas Terrex was the ultimate conglomeration of high-quality outdoor-oriented performance gear and footwear.

In the present day, Adidas Terrex is an industry leader in the hiking and trail running categories. This is possible because of Adidas Terrex’s track record with footwear innovations and material usage. As a result of their high-quality design and manufacturing, Terrex hiking shoes are an excellent choice for off-road usage, whether you’re a casual weekend hiker or an amateur endurance athlete.

adidas-terrex-ax4-mud-guard.JPG

Adidas’ sustainability commitments

Adidas understands its position as a powerful leader in the footwear industry. That’s why they have been making personal sustainability commitments to evolve the industry and show that a more sustainable way of making footwear is possible. 

Adidas is rethinking its materials

Adidas believes in a sustainable footwear industry. Therefore, they are committed to do their part to push the industry in the direction of sustainability.

In particular, Adidas is expanding its portfolio of materials, textiles, and fabrics to include recycled and natural products. They are also diving into innovative and sustainable recycled products.

To demonstrate their commitment, Adidas has made the goal of replacing virgin polyester with recycled polyester by 2024. In addition, by 2025, nine out of ten Adidas footwear products will contain a sustainable material.

Adidas Terrex Trailmaker lab test

Adidas is redesigning its manufacturing processes

Over the years, Adidas has been rethinking and redesigning its manufacturing process. In particular, they have been focused on removing excess waste from their processes.

Mitigating waste that goes to landfills is the inspiration behind Adidas’ Made to be Remade campaign.

Using the Made to be Remade process, Adidas customers can now give back their old footwear  instead of throwing it away. When Adidas receives old shoes, they clean them, shred them, melt down their components, and remake something new using recycled materials.  

Adidas is focused on reducing their carbon footprint

Adidas wants to continue to reduce the carbon footprint of its manufacturing processes. To accomplish this, they measure carbon emissions from start to finish of the shoe manufacturing process.

For the sake of transparency, the results of their measurements are provided to the consumer.

As a testament to their commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of their shoe manufacturing processes, Adidas partnered with Allbirds to create the first pair of running shoes using less than 3kg of CO2

Frequently asked questions

Which Adidas Terrex hiking shoe is best for winter hiking?

Just because it’s cold and snowy outside doesn’t mean you have to hide indoors. The Adidas Terrex Free Hiker Cold.RDY is the perfect shoe for winter hiking. It’s insulated to keep your feet warm and grippy on slippery and wet surfaces. 

Which Adidas Terrex hiking shoe is the most lightweight?

Lightweight hiking shoes prevent foot fatigue and enhance the ground feel. For hikers wanting a lightweight hiking shoe, we recommend the Adidas Terrex Trailmaker. It only weighs 8.8 ounces. With numbers like those, you’ll hardly know you have these on your feet!

Author
Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto
Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and run all over the world. He has summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races as well as 6 marathons. On average, he runs 30-50 miles a week in the foothills of Northern Colorado. His research is regularly cited in The New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, etc. On top of this, Paul is leading the running shoe lab where he cuts shoes apart and analyses every detail of the shoes that you might buy.