adidas TERREX Free Hiker and AX4 Review


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The adidas TERREX collection is designed to weather the forces of nature with everything from durable trekking boots to lightweight windproof jackets. All you have to do, is decide where you want to beat the elements next.

The team at Gore recently contacted us to work on a campaign in partnership with Ellis Brigham and adidas, to test out the adidas TERREX GTX range over 4 weeks and write an honest review of the shoes. We were given a pair of shoes each from the range and asked to put them through their paces in the hills and share our thoughts on Instagram and through here.

We were super excited to take on the challenge, as keen outdoor adventurers we’d already heard of Ellis Brigham, they are a well known and respected retailer among the outdoor community, with decades of experience advising customers and helping them to connect with the outdoors. Their customer service, and the quality of their products, ensure a great experience for both veteran and novice mountaineers, climbers, walkers, runners, and ski and snowboarders.

adidas terrex free hiker review

Gore revolutionised the outerwear industry with durably waterproof, windproof, breathable GORE-TEX technology more than 40 years ago and remains a leading innovator of performance apparel, it is something we always look for in an outdoor shoe, so naturally we were super excited to be a part of a campaign were we get to test out the technology. GORE-TEX products provide optimised comfort and protection in challenging environments and in everyday life, enabling wearers to safely and confidently achieve and experience more.

Ellis Brigham instore fitting service and advice

Before deciding on which shoes to review, we headed into our nearest store to chat with Ellis Brigham’s customer service staff and get their advice on the best shoes for us personally. We met up with Rob at Ellis Brigham in Liverpool, he talked us through the range and we were really impressed by his level of knowledge and experience.

Ellis Brigham Liverpool

Before choosing the shoes he advised us to use the fitting service to check what size we needed. We were both surprised to find that we were actually half a shoe size up from what we thought.

Ellis Brigham Liverpool

Once we’d been fitted and sized, we browsed the range and chose a shoe each for the review. I decided on the adidas TERREX Free Hiker GORE-TEX Women’s Boots as I have been after something suitable for long distance hikes, Phil chose the adidas TERREX AX4 GORE-TEX Men’s shoes. Both featuring continental grip and GORE-TEX, and both of the shoes cross over from urban to outdoor environments, which gives greater range of use, meaning more sustainable, and better for the planet. Both shoes are also vegan and sustainable, which was a huge bonus point from us!

Testing the adidas TERREX GTX shoes

For the 4 week campaign we wanted to test them out in a few different locations and across mixed terrain, to see how they stood up against the elements, testing the waterproof, windproof, breathable benefits of the GORE-TEX technology.

adidas terrex free hiker review

The first test was a 3 mile walk / run around Dinorwic Quarry in Snowdonia, this is one of our favourite places to explore in all weather conditions. We wanted to really put these shoes to the test on a wet and rainy day to see how the GORE-TEX performed for the first time (without being up a hill or mountain).

adidas terrex free hiker review

There are lots of uphill walks with lose slate and scree, the continental rubber sole was great for grip and stability. It had been raining overnight so the ground was quite wet and there were lots of puddles to splash in to test the waterproofness. I had more fun than I’d like to admit splashing round in the puddles while Phil took pictures. After fully submerging the shoe, my feet remained perfectly dry!

adidas terrex free hiker review

The next test was a 5 mile walk up Pendle Hill in the east of Lancashire (this was Sam only with the Free Hikers), a fairly easy walk with steep steps and boggy wetland to test the shoes further.

This was the longest walk so far in the shoes, the adidas Boost midsole offered superb comfort on this walk, I still felt like I could walk a few more miles and still have comfortable feet.

For the 3rd test we wanted to up the miles and see how they faired on a long distance hike in the mountains, so we decided to head to our favourite place, Ogwen Valley. Here we tested the shoes on mixed terrain on a 900 metre incline, and loose scree downhill walk.

adidas terrex AX4 review

The Women’s Free Hikers performed best for comfort, but the Men’s adidas Terrex AX4 performed best for grip. Both were well suited to uphill walking and the mixed terrain that mountain routes throw at you.

The final test was a 3 mile urban run along the prom in Liverpool, to test them out as a road running shoe, although the shoes aren’t advertised as a running shoe, we still wanted to test the versatility and see how they performed on a road run. We were both surprised at how comfortable they were, again the adidas Boost midsole helped with powering through on the Women’s Free Hikers! We probably wouldn’t wear them regularly for runs as we prefer a technical running shoe, but they are definitely a good all-rounder!

adidas TERREX Free Hiker GORE-TEX Women’s Boots:

The adidas TERREX Free Hiker GORE-TEX Women’s Boots feature the knit ankle cuff, adidas Boost midsole, continental rubber sole for ultimate comfort on the trail. The perfect shoe for long distance outdoor adventures.

adidas terrex free hiker review

Initial thoughts: I love the design of the Free Hikers, they are very aesthetically pleasing and a great versatile shoe for both urban and outdoor adventures.

GORE-TEX: 5/5

For any outdoor shoe, whether it be trail running or hiking, I always check if they have GORE-TEX technology for that extra peace of mind. Being up in the mountains you need to be prepared for the weather to change, even during the warmer months. I would confidently say the adidas TERREX Free Hiker shoes are fully waterproof.

Comfort rating: 5/5

Overall, the Free Hikers performed well and were super comfortable on the 4 tests carried out. These rated high on the comfort scale.

Stability and grip: 4/5

Although the Free Hiker shoes were grippy and stable, I rated this 4 out of 5 due me not feeling 100% confident on wet ground while hiking downhill on a mountain.

Durability: 5/5

I have put them through their paces and they are still in very good condition, although they are super lightweight, they also seem very durable.

Recommended activity: Long distance hikes, hill walks and trail running

Pros: Super comfortable, no ‘break-in’ needed, fully waterproof,

Cons: I struggled to find a con for the Free hiker, if I had to mention one thing I would say they’re not grippy enough for me on muddy surfaces. Oh and they might be slightly too warm on hot Summer days as they’re high rise.

Men’s AX4 GTX shoes overview

The Men’s TERREX AX4 GORE-TEX hiking shoe is perfect for outdoor adventures, lightweight, comfortable, stable, making them a great versatile she for all seasons. The GORE-TEX technology protects against wet ground and the continental sole gives you confidence with optimal grip.

adidas terrex AX4 review

Initial thoughts: the Men’s AX4 GTX are perfect for urban and outdoor adventures, a stylish shoe that blends in well for everyday wear, they pretty much go with any outfit weather it be athleisure, outdoor or urban, and they seem perfect for all season use.

adidas terrex AX4 review

GORE-TEX: 4/5:

They performed well in wet conditions, however, based on the shoe being low cut for freedom of movement, they wouldn’t be suitable for deep boggy ground.

Comfort rating: 5/5:

Stability and grip: 5/5

The lugs on the continental soles had good grip on loose and uneven surfaces.

Durability: 5/5

The shoes feel well constructed, durable and built to last.

Recommended activity: Trail running and short distance hikes

Pros: Comfortable, stylish and good grip

Cons: not suitable for long distance hikes due to hard sole

Visits www.ellis-brigham.com to check out the full adidas TERREX range.