Adidas Terrex Free Hiker

8.8
8.8 score
[Editors rating (8.8)] = (Gearweare.net) score (8.8)/10

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Editor rating: 8.8 / 10
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Editor’s Conclusion
Adidas probably isn’t the first brand that comes to your mind when you are looking for a hiking shoe, right? They have successfully surprised us with the innovation and features of the Terrex. It is a great blend of a trail runner and a hiking shoe.

If you have a long trail ahead of you, take the Adidas Terrex Free Hiker as your comfortable companion. I think of this shoe like a sock with a durable shoe frame. It provides great flexibility without compromising protection and durability. It comes up mid-height and wraps around the ankle. Continue reading to find out if this shoe is a good option for your lifestyle.
Adidas Terrex Free Hiker Review Facts
Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Lightweight

Sock-like fit and comfort

Responsive cushioning

Similar to a trail runner

Good for long distances

Breathable

Cons

Not waterproof

Not good for scrambling or mountaineering

Key Features

Comfort

As I mentioned before, this Adidas shoe fits like a sock. This makes it incredibly comfortable and flexible as it stretches and contours to the shape of your foot. While you may think flexibility is a bad thing, the most important areas are reinforced with added protection. Each shoe weighs only 13.5 ounces.

The Terrex features a 10mm heel-to-toe drop. The heel is 33mm and the forefoot is 23mm. This drop is high for a trail running shoe but average for a hiking boot. At the heel of the shoe, there is comfortable padding on each side that holds your foot in place.

Fit

This shoe features a traditional lace up system which allows you to make them as tight or loose as you like. There is a heel tab that makes it easier for you to slide your foot into the shoe without fighting it.

Because they are made from a knit material and have a sock-like fit, they have the ability to contour to your foot. If you are between sizes, a size down would probably be best for you. If you have a wide foot, perhaps a size up would be better.

Features

Continue walking, hiking, ascending, and descending for hours. The Boost cushioning is very responsive and offers great energy return. It is almost as if each step you take pushes you into the next one. This great return will allow you to explore longer without getting tired.

The materials used to make these shoes make them inherently water repellant, but not waterproof. If you get stuck in light rain, you’ll be fine. However, trudging through mud or river crossings will leave you soggy. The tight-knit material, mid-height, and elastic fit make it very difficult for debris to enter. All the while, the Terrex retains its breathability.

Durability

Hearing a shoe described as “sock-like” doesn’t exactly scream durable. However, the Terrex has proven itself time and time again. It stands up to the roughness of a trail without complications. The Primeknit construction is abrasion-resistant. If you intentionally tried to catch your shoe on a sharp plant, it’s possible you could rip the material, but I don’t see any reason why you would purposely do such a thing.

Other great features that add to the shoe’s durability include a molded TPU toe cap and heel cap. These two areas take the brunt of the trail and tend to suffer the most damage. Aside from keeping the shoe in good condition, your toes and heel will also be more protected.

Stability and Traction

Starting with the most notable and loved feature, the Continental outsole provides amazing traction. Continental started out manufacturing tires. About 150 years ago, they broke into the industry of outsoles. The rubber outsoles they create provide thirty percent more traction than other leading brands. The lugs are multidirectional but not overly aggressive. They still allow you to feel the trail beneath you.

Along the outsole, you’ll also notice the torsion bar. This bar, in addition to the heel cap, provides great stability. While it doesn’t provide as much ankle protection as stiffer shoes and boots, it is still impressive. There is an elastic strap around the ankle that makes you feel more stable-footed without sacrificing comfort or flexibility.

Comparison to Similar Hiking Shoes

Sticking with the theme of running companies making hiking shoes, the On Cloudrock Waterproof boot is worth a look. It is made with a synthetic mesh upper, Zero-Gravity Cloud cushioning, and Missiongrip rubber outsole.

The collar and tongue are both well padded. This padding mixed with a sock construction makes this a very comfortable option. Each shoe weighs 15.7 ounces and has a 7mm heel-to-toe drop. The FlexLock lacing is versatile. You can choose to lace them traditionally or to do it with one pull. In terms of price, these cost slightly more than the Terrex, but also have more features.

The Nike ACG Terra Antarktik GTX is a great option for winter. It is often referred to as a “jacket” for your feet. It is waterproof and windproof, yet breathable, and helps to keep your feet warm. It is made from ripstop fabric and features Zoom Air cushioning. The outsole is rugged and sticky, even on wet or snowy terrains.

The synthetic mudguard that covers the toe box adds durability and protection. If you’re an early morning or evening hiker, you’ll also appreciate the reflective accents. The shoe is tightened and closed with a unique lacing system and a velcro closure, similar to the velcro you would find on a jacket sleeve. One downside to this option is the price. It is quite expensive.

Verdict

The Terrex Free Hiker is not only incredibly functional, but it is also stylish. It’s a comfortable shoe that you can wear every day, as well as into unchartered territory. Keep in mind that it is not a great choice for scrambling or mountaineering, but this hybrid trail runner/hiking boot can be used in almost any other situation.

The price is slightly high, but worth it if your main concern is comfort. It has great traction and decent stability. The flexible fabric might not be ideal for those of us who have weak ankles, but it’s adequate for most people. The shoes come with only a six-month warranty and can be returned within 30 days of purchase. If you are curious about how it feels to walk on clouds, give these a try.