Monday, October 27, 2014
Gear Closet: adidas Terrex Swift R Mid Women's Hiking Boot
Recently, my better-half has had the chance to test out the Terrex Swift R Mid women's hiking boot from adidas, a company that is more well known for its basketball, soccer, and running shoes. But over the past few years, adidas has quietly built a great collection of outdoor gear, some of which is incredibly innovative, and delivers a high level of performance.
The designers at adidas have taken their extensive knowledge of sports and athletics, and brought some of that sensibility to the outdoor gear market as well. As a result, their hiking boots and apparel tend to be lightweight, performance focused, and incredibly well built. I have met with reps from adidas several times over the past few years while attending the summer Outdoor Retailer show, and each time I've come away very impressed with what they have in the pipeline. In fact, I've wanted to get my hands on a pair of their Terrex hiking boots for some time, but jumped at the chance for them to outfit my fiancé instead. She has been in need of a good pair of hiking boots for some time, and was struggling to find something that fit her needs. Fortunately, adidas had something that provided the fit she was looking for, as well as comfort that rivaled the sneakers that they are so well known for.
Just one look at the Swift R Mid, and you can tell that you're not going to encounter anything else like them out on the trail. They definitely have a unique design, and the color combinations are unique and attractive, without becoming overly obnoxious. With a background that is deeply rooted in the athletic shoe market, adidas could have easily gone overboard with their color combinations, but I feel they managed to strike a good middle-ground with giving these shoes a distinct look that shouldn't immediately turn off most hikers.
Out of the box, the Terrex boots are a bit stiff, and it has taken some time to break them in. In fact, my SO had a difficult time even getting her foot in the shoe at first, as the portion of the boot that provides high-ankle support didn't provide a lot of give. But after wearing them for a bit, they've loosened up some, providing better access over time. That same portion of the show does help to keep the ankle from rolling on uneven ground however, and it seems these boots are a good fit for anyone who requires that extra support.
Built with a number of adidas' own proprietary fabrics and materials, the Terrex Swift is built to be very breathable, while also remaining extremely durable as well. The company did use a lightweight Gore-Tex liner however, which makes the interior of the shoe waterproof, while still managing to wick moisture away from the foot. The same liner should provide a level of warmth on cool-weather, or early winter hikes, too.
Built like a lightweight hiking boot, but with the soul of an athletic shoe, the Swift performs well on the trail. Its outsole is built to provide a solid grip on a variety of surfaces, even in wet conditions. It is also made designed to be agile and fast on the trail as well, which makes this shoe a great choice for everything from light hiking to fast packing to adventure travel. Its level of comfort is unmatched, and because it is lightweight, it is also very packable.
Not everything was rosy with these boots however. After our initial hike, my fiancé came home with a few blisters, even though she was wearing excellent hiking socks. Of course, everyone's foot is different, and blisters can occur for a variety of reasons, but it is important to point out that they did occur. I've found that over time, hiking boots tend to loosen up some, and blistering tends to go away, but as with any athletic shoe, it is important to get the right fit, and wear appropriate socks too.
Overall, the adidas Terrex Swift R Mid gets a thumbs up with my favorite female gear tester. Lightweight and comfortable, they bring a unique styling to the trail, while also offering solid performance that belies their athletic shoe heritage. With a price tag of $160, they fall squarely into the mid-range level of hiking shoes, but provide plenty of high-end amenities. If you're in the market for a good pair of hiking boots (adidas makes a men's version of the shoe as well), and you're looking for something that is built for speed, then take a look at the Terrex Swift. Chances are, you won't be disappointed.