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Reviews > Footwear > Boots > Adidas Terrex Fast GTX Surround boots > Test Report by Duane Lawrence

Adidas Terrex Fast GTX Surround Boots

Initial Report - October 2, 2017

Field Report - December 10, 2017
Long Term Report - February 10, 2018

Tester Information
Name:                Duane Lawrence
Email:                duanesgear (at) yahoo (dot) com
Location:           Sparwood, British Columbia Canada
Gender:             Male
Age:                   45 years
Height:               5’9” (1.75 m)
Weight:              160 lbs (73 kg)
Shoe Size:          9.5
I have been an avid outdoor enthusiast for over 25 years.  I enjoy a variety of outdoor activities including mountaineering, day hikes, multi-day backpacking trips, river and ocean kayaking, back-country skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking and rock climbing. I have climbed throughout British Columbia, the United States and when opportunity presents itself in Europe and India. I carry a wide variety of gear depending on the type and length of trip.  I am a search and rescue team member in the Southern Canadian Rockies and am part of the swift water, rope rescue and avalanche technical teams and ground search team.

Initial Report

Model Terrex Fast GTX Surround
Listed Weight13.6 oz (386 g) each 27.2 oz (772 g) pair
Measured Weight14.6 oz (415 g) each 29.3 oz (830 g) pair
SizesUS 6 - 13
ColorsBlue Night/Black/Grey Three
Suggested UseHiking
Returns30-Day Full Refund
Warranty2-year material and workmanship

Technical Details

The Fast GTX Surround hiker by Adidas is a mid-weight light hiker that uses a number of technologies to create a waterproof, breathable and supportive boot.  The boot is primarily constructed of what Adidas lists as a textile fabric, kind of reminds me of a neoprene rubber.  The sidewalls are made of a closed outsole and Gore-Tex inner which is supposed to create 360 degree climate comfort without compromising on waterproof protection.  A rubber rand encompasses the toe of the boot and up the heal which should reduce wear on the boot and aid in shedding water.  The rand varies in height around the boot and appears to be heat welded to the textile fabric.  Around the heal of the boot is a harder rubber that extends partway along the boot.  

For the inside of the boot Adidas has used Gore-Tex Surround to promote wicking of moisture and heat away from the foot and increases overall breathability.  A molded Ortholite sockliner has been integrated into the boot and is supposed to help keep the feet dryer and reduce the risk of blisters and chafing.  This is where the 360 degree breathability comes into play, the combination of the Ortholite and Gor-Tex is supposed to give the foot 360 degrees of breathability. The removable Ortholite insole is made of polyurethane and recycled rubber which, according to the website, is an open cell foam that is long-lasting, breathable and durable.  The foot is supported by Adidas's Torsion Bar technology, a lightweight arch support that is designed to allow the fore foot and rear foot to move independently, increasing stability.  A Torsion Bar, an Adidas designed arch support system, has been specifically designed for forward and lateral movement.  

The sole of the boot utilizes a Continental Rubber that is reported to increase traction in dry conditions by 30% and 32% in wet conditions.  The wedge shaped lugs range between 5 mm (.2 in) deep on the front of the boot to 10 mm (.4 in) deep at the heal with up to 20 mm (.8 in) of separation between the lugs at the toe and 15 mm (.6 in) at the heal.  

A fast lacing system has been designed for the boot that utilizes a thin, stiff cable style lace fed through the fabric lacing loops to a toggle.  Interestingly the lacing system only allows one loop on the side of the boot to be undone, one side of the boot has a closed metal eyelet with an open eyelet on the other.  A fabric lace holder is situated on the tongue of the boot presumably to ensure the excess lace does not flap around when tightened.  

Initial Observations

The Fast GTX is a very light weight boot, weighing in at 415 g (14.6 oz) for each boot, 830 g (29.3 oz) for the pair.  When I first received them they reminded me more of a runner than a hiking boot although looking closely at the design it is definitely a light weight hiker.  The Continental rubber has widely spaced lugs ranging from 15 to 20 mm (.6- .8 in) which should allow the boot to grab on to the trail providing some solid traction without picking up lots of rocks.  My only concern here is that the total surface area of the lugs looks to be less the 50% of the total sole which makes me wonder how fast these are going to wear down.

Moving up the boot there are thirteen openings along the edge of the boot. I read through the webpage and was unable to determine the exact design benefits but am assuming it has to do with breathability and possibly cooling of the foot.  I do wonder if water penetration is going to be an issue or when hiking through loose debris that these openings are going to collect debris.  The actual matiral is quite soft to the touch which will likely reduce foot fatigue as it appears to be a nice cushion for the foot.   The upper of the boot has a thin, welded rubber that covers the toe and heal of the boot, thinning out along the sides, which looks like it will increase waterproofing and reduce fabric wear from kicking rocks and other lumpy trail surfaces.  The remaining upper is fabric based and reminds me of a neoprene or closed cell foam more than a fabric.  It does lead me to think that it will be very resistant to wear though.  On the inside of the boot is a sewn in Ortholite sockliner and a 3 mm (.1 in) Ortholite insole.  Gore-Tex has be integrated throughout the boot to increase breathability.  Overall the lightweight boot looks to be solidly made.

I am very curious about the lacing system and how it is going to function, especially if I need to balance the lacing, changing the tension either around the ankle or the toe of the boot.  The fast lacing looks like it will distribute the tension of the lacing across the boot evenly as there is no locking mechanisms to allow for different tensions.  The boots came with instructions on how to adjust the length on the speed lace which looks fairly simple.  Just pop off a plastic cap, pull the excess cord through, tie small knots in each lace and snip off the excess lace before putting the cap back on.  When I put them on it appears that the length is already correct for me but I would imagine that I would need to be careful not to cut too much off the lace if needed, as it cannot be lengthened once cut and the lace is unique, replacing it might be problematic.

For fit they seem to be pretty good although a little roomy in the toe box. I walked around in them for the better part of the day and found that my heal was not slipping so I should be good there.  The only item that I am going to have to play around with is the lacing.  Lacing them up was relatively quick, might even be fast once I get used to them, and distributes the tightness of the lace fairly evenly across the boot.  I suspect that I will need to play around with the lacing a bit to make sure there are no pressure points on the top of my foot as my first pull on the lacing system created a very distinct pressure point while leaving the ankle fairly loose.  I am hoping this is just something I need to figure out while wearing the boots.  


Overall the Adidas Terrex Fast GTX Surround boot appears to be a solidly built light weight hiker.  The materials used look to be of high quality and put together with care.  The lacing system is unique and easy to use although I do have some concerns about how versatile the lacing is going to be for micro adjustments.  I am hoping to be able to get some good use out of these boots before the snow flies but until then I will be putting these boots through their paces. On a side note, I looked all over the webpage and everywhere else I could think of to try and figure out what the 390 on the tongue of the boot is in reference to and came up with nothing.  I thought it would have something to do with the name of the boot or the degree of breathability but was unable to come up with anything.  Check back in a couple of months for my Field Report.

Field Report - December 10, 2017

Testing Conditions

It's been just over 2-months since I started wearing the Terrex Fast GTX and overall I am very happy with the product.  Aside from wearing them daily to work and round town I have been able to put about 80 km (50 mi) of distance on these boots with packs ranging in weight of between 18 - 22 kg (40 to 50 lb).  Temperatures ranged from a nice 7 C (44 F) down to a low of -8 C (17 F) with most daytime temperatures hovering just below 0 C (32 F) with weather being variable with some sun, lots of cloud and a bunch of snow.  Elevation gains and descents were fairly modest at about 170 m to 375 m (558 - 1230 ft).  I also had the chance to wear them while traveling in the Caribbean with temperatures hovering around 26 C (79 F).  


 I must admit when I first received these boots I was a little skeptical as they were incredibly light weight with an insole that seemed paper thin and I am used to a beefier boot.  After 2-months of use I have found that they are performing better than I had anticipated with some definite drawbacks. Starting with the positives: these boots are incredibly light weight, have excellent grip and are very waterproof.  During my initial excursions I looked for opportunities to see how the tread would handle a variety of conditions.  I was lucky to find ample testing environments including deep mud, muddy slopes, both wet and dry rocks, thin snow on the flat and slopes, gravel and sand.  What I found was that the tread was able to handle pretty much anything I could throw at it.  Even on slushy slopes and slick snow covered rocks the tread was able to grab whatever it needed which provided me with a sense of great stability.  On the muddy slopes and flat trails the tread pattern picked up a bit of mud and debris but shed it almost as fast as it picked it up again resulting in excellent traction.  In all, I do not recall finding any conditions that I felt a lack of stability.  

Moving on from the tread, these boots have an excellent water barrier.  Water resistancy is incredibly important as wet feet can lead to all sorts of untold misery, especially on a long multi-day hike.  To test their water resistance level I literally stood in a creek for a few minutes to see how they would fair and was very surprised to find that my feet were perfectly dry, cold but definitely dry.  I continued on my hike through for the rest of the weekend, hiking through mud and then snow with no sense of water penetration.  The outer shell of the boots did darken which resulted in me second guessing myself as to whether or not my feet were damp or not but in the end I am comfortable stating that they are definitely water-proof.  

I was a little concerned when I first received these boots that they would not be comfortable while hiking with a pack especially when walking on rocks and roots.  This concern was elevated when I took out the insole and saw how thin it was.  When hiking over rocks, roots and uneven ground my feet were quite happy.  I could definitely feel more of what was underfoot than with a heavier boot but overall when I was on the move they felt pretty nice on my feet.  Unfortunately when I stopped I was not so happy.  I am not sure what was going on but I have a feeling that the problem was with the lacing, which I will go into momentarily.  When I put my pack down and was able to get off my feet and took off my boots, well it left me in quite a bit of pain for a good 30-minutes.  I am not exactly sure what was going on but am assuming it was due to a combination of my pack weight and lacing as I have never felt this level of discomfort even after wearing them all day walking on asphalt and concrete.  I am only able to conclude thus far that being a light weight boot a 40 - 50 lb 
(18 - 22 kg) pack overwhelms the support the boot provides.  While hiking with lighter packs, 15 - 20 lb (6 - 10 kg), I had no issues at all.

On to the lacing, great idea but with significant issues.  The fast lacing system at first seemed like a neat idea and it is slightly faster than traditional shoe laces, unfortunately the system has some problems. First, the fast lace does not stay tight.  Over a period of 2 to 3-hours of hiking I had to pause 3 to 5 times to tighten them. On the flat I only had to tighten them periodically but as soon as there was some slope involved the pressure from my ankle on the tongue of the boot would loosen the lacing.  The only positive here is that they were easy to tighten back up although I would have preferred not to have to in the first place.  The second problem with the lacing is that there is no way to make any type of macro adjustment in the lacing of the boot.  When I pulled the lacing tight to get a nice secure fit around my ankle it would also pull any slack out of the front of the boot, automatically balancing out the tension in the laces.  This sounds great, unfortunately it created a pressure point on the top of my foot which was incredibly uncomfortable.  I tried a number of times to loose the lacing over the pressure point but there was no way to make one point slightly loser while not having the whole system being looser.  Similarly when I was going down a steep slope, I like to tighten the lacing on the toe of the boot
so that there is a lessening of my toes impacting the front of the boot.  The only way to do this was to tighten the entire lace which increased the presure in spots I did not want it.  I am not sure but this could be rectified by adding in a locking mechanism that allowed for the separation of the lacing of the top of the boot and the ankle support.  As it is right now there is no way for me to adjust or manage the lacing of the boots in a manner that provides both comfort and stability.

This next part I have never really experienced in a boot.  It has to do with temperature control.  What I found was that these boots are very temperature sensitive. In moderately cool conditions, between 0 C and 7 C (32 F and 44 F), the temperature regulation was good.  My feet were perfectly happy with a nice pair of wool socks and kept warm throughout the day.  As soon as it got to below 0 C (32 F) or I had to walk through water or snow my feet got incredibly cold, fast.  It almost feels like the heat is being sucked out of my feet and into the surrounding environment.  After a weekend of hiking in the snow I can report that these boots are not designed for winter conditions solely due to the lack of insulation within the boot and the immediate cooling of my feet which never warmed up over the course of the day.  I did try and add a second pair of socks to add some additional insulation and although it helped significantly, my feet were warmed but the added layer made the boot uncomfortable as I had to squish my foot with two pairs of socks into the boot, just not enough room.   On the flip side, when I was in the Caribbean and temperatures were in the 26 C (79 F) range with lots of humidity my feet were quite happy.  After a day of hiking my feet were relatively dry, a bit sweaty but dry.  This further leads me to believe that these boots are better suited to spring, summer and early fall activities only.  


There are definite pros and cons for the Terrex Fast GTX.  On the plus side is the waterproof fabric, great breathability, excellent tread and light weight. On the downside is the lacing, weight restriction and how fast they react to cold environments.  If I could change out the lacing system and limit their use to lighter backpacking trips I would say that these boots are top notch.  With the lacing issues and it being winter out I have a harder time recommending them, at least for winter use.  

Long Term Report - February 10, 2018

After four months of using the Terrex Fast GTX I can report that the boots are well made and have stood up incredibly well.  It was unfortunate that I did not have an opportunity to use them for scrambling up scree and on other more abrasive materials due to winter setting in and snow covering the earth, at least the portion I reside on.  As I reported earlier these boots are not really designed for the cold so, with temperatures dipping down to the -30 C (-22 F) I was unable to use them for hiking or snowshoeing,  I was able to use them on an almost daily basis going to and from work though, just not for hiking for any distance.   Considering the limitation due to cold temperatures I can report that the boots look almost new with no discernible wear on either the fabric or the sole, this might have changed if I had the opportunity to use them on scree.  They continue to be very comfortable to wear and had no break-in period and no hotspots throughout the entire test period.  The one problem area that continued throughout the test was the lacing system.  Although the quick lacing system is indeed quick it does not hold.  Provided I did not flex the boot at the ankle the lacing remained tight, once I flexed the boot the lacing system loosed off.  It seemed like the toggle was less and less effective over the test period to a point where I gave up and wore them loose.  


Overall these are a very nice pair of boots.  As designed, they are great for keeping the foot cool but this means they are not suitable for winter, not a big deal at least to me as I use different boots in winter than in summer anyway.  For wear and tear they have shown no signs of wearing to a point where they almost look new.  With respect to waterproofness they did very well with no water penetration, even when I deliberately stood in a creek.  The transference of heat and cold from my foot to the environment and vice versa was quite striking resulting in cold feet when the temperatures dipped.  Even with layers of socks I was not able to keep my feet warm in sub-zero (32 F) temperatures.  This capability is great when the temperatures are warm but not so much when it’s cold out.  The only thing that did not live up to expectations was the lacing.  For me, it just did not work.  There is no ability to balance out the lacing for tightness and the toggle did not keep the laces tight.  


Light weight 
Wear very well
Excellent tread


Lacing system
Cold to wear

Thank you to and Adidas for the opportunity to test the Terrex Fast GTX Surround Boots.  


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