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Reviews > Footwear > Trail Shoes > Adidas Terrex Fast X GTX Shoes > Test Report by John Waters


INITIAL REPORT - June 28, 2013
FIELD REPORT - September 08, 2013
LONG TERM REPORT - November 09, 2013


NAME: John R. Waters
EMAIL: jrw at backpackgeartest dot org
AGE: 64
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 175 lb (79.40 kg)

My backpacking began in 1999. I have hiked rainforests in Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico, glaciers in New Zealand and Iceland, 14ers in Colorado and Death Valley's deserts. I hike or snowshoe 6-8 miles (10 km-13 km) 2-3 times weekly in the Cooper Mountain range, with other day-long hikes on various other southwest and central Colorado trails. I frequently hike the mountains and deserts of Utah and Arizona as well. My daypack is 18 lb (8 kg); overnights' weigh over 25 lb (11 kg). I'm aiming to reduce my weight load by 40% or more.



Manufacturer: adidas
Year of Manufacture: 2013
Manufacturer's Website:
MSRP: US $165.00
Listed Weight: 15.5 oz (per shoe, size 9) - 439 g
Measured Weight: 17 oz (per shoe, size 10.5 US) - 481 g
Sizes Available: 6-14 US
Size Tested: 10.5 US
Color Available/Tested: Solid Grey/Black/Vivid Red

Other Features: (from manufacturer's website)

* FORMOTION® for enhanced motion control and downhill comfort
* High-abrasion mesh and synthetic upper materials for breathability and durability
* ADIPRENE®+ in the forefoot maintains propulsion and efficiency
* Waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX® lining
* Speed lacing construction for fast and snug lacing
* TRAXION™ outsole for the best grip and agility during fast activities
* Continental™ Rubber outsole for optimal grip in wet conditions
* Imported

adidas Outdoors Terrex Fast X GTX shoes
Picture Courtesy of Manufacturer


I am happy to be field testing the Adidas Outdoors Terrex Fast X Low GTX shoes over the next 16 weeks. adidas is not a name I would have associated with hiking and backpacking much in the past, so I am interested to see how these shoes perform over rough terrain on the trails.

These are not the lightest weight trail shoes I have ever used (1.06 lb (482 g) for my size 10.5 US), however, the additional small amount of weight over lighter shoes makes the Terrex Fast X shoes feel substantial and secure on my feet.

adidas calls this model "low", but I have had lower shoes. The top of the shoe just about touches the bottom of my ankles, so there is a small amount of ankle movement, but with the boot laces cinched up tightly I can only turn my ankles about 30 degrees. The distance from the floor to the top of the lower curve by the ankle is 4 in (10 cm).

The nicely cushioned tongue ends up about an inch (2.5 cm) above my ankle height and wraps around to the front of each ankle, so there is plenty of cushioning there.

The lacing system is a "speed-lacing" system which apparently nobody has specifically named because there are a variety of such lacing systems. This one uses a slide grip that grabs both sides of the lace (which appears to be a black woven nylon over either wire or nylon line). I can push the lever on the slide and it allows the slide to move along both laces at the same time evenly and allows me to get the laces quite tight. I can then release the lever and the slide locks in position. I really like this! I can see 20 years from now the great-grandkids saying "Grandpa John, you are so old you used to tie your shoes! Hahaha" ... real funny kids.

There is a thoughtfully provided (and trademark labeled) Bungee holder at the front of the laces to stick the slide under and keep it in place. Nice job, adidas.

These shoes do feel narrow. I think anyone with wide feet should go to a dealer and try them on. The narrow footbed was one of the first things I noticed as soon as I put them on. The widest point from side to side is 4 in (10 cm).

The soles are Continental Rubber's TRAXION, which I have used before. I'll have to see how this implementation works on wet rocks and in slippery mud with the tread design adidas is using. I will say that I cannot sneak around on a hardwood or tile floor with these. They squeak. I will have to get an old piece of tile out and see if they imprint or mark.

The shoes are quite attractive. Black with touches of reflective stitching at the lace joints and 3 labels for GORE-TEX.

The toe rand protector is well done and the rear heel slopes towards the instep rather than ending abruptly. The rear heel also has a separate cushioned section at the back, which is red. I am hoping this will help performance on downhill traverses over hard rock. We will see.

The insole is RED. It's got a big Ortolite trademark on it. It's a simple sculpted insole with 3 layers in the front half of the insole. These are not shown on the Ortholite website and are probably custom made for adidas Outdoors for these shoes. However, these are better than some of the other insoles that come standard with other shoes. Thanks, adidas.

The tread design is pretty aggressive with a bunch of 1/2 in (1.27 cm) wide and 1/16 in (16 cm) high nubs and plenty of clear space all around them. I am hoping that, with this design, these shoes will perform very well in muddy conditions.

Of course, with 3 labels for GORE-TEX and being called the Terrex Fast X Low GTX, the shoes are GORE-TEX-lined. I'll need to try this out on some streams and waterfalls and hopefully in the rain if we actually get some during the next 16 weeks. We are in one of the worst droughts Colorado has seen since the Dustbowl of 1929.

I am excited about being able to field test these. I put them on as soon as I got them and I can say that no break-in period was needed. I'll be wearing these on all my hikes during this period.


My sincere thanks to and adidas for giving me the chance to try out the Terrex Fast X GTX shoes. Please check back here in early September 2013 to see where my Terrex and I have been and how we've gotten along.

John R. Waters



Music Pass, Colorado
Music Pass trail in the Wet Mountains
In the two months I've had the adidas Terrex shoes, I've been backpacking and hiking in Colorado and Utah. Most of my outings were in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) properties behind our ranch (over 400 square miles (1000 square km) of mountain terrain) and in the Wet Mountains near Westcliffe, Colorado. Altitude in these areas reach to over 11,000 ft. (3353 m).

The terrain was almost always high desert rocky semi-groomed trails, pebble scree, or boulders. The uneven ground consisted of everything from small shale shards to slabs of granite with very little packed dirt. When the trails weren't hard rock, they were the powdery, dusty, slippery consistency of our expansive soil (soil that expands when wet).

It's been an extremely hot summer with most days over 90 F (32 C) and many over 100 F (38 C), but I still wore mid-calf medium-weight synthetic or wool socks with the adidas shoes at all times.

My backpack weight for day hikes averaged 15 lb (7 kg) and for overnights, about 25 lb (11 kg).


I have been very much enjoying my field test of the adidas Terrex Fast X GTX trail shoes. I was concerned that they would be too heavy to be comfortable when the temperatures here in the high desert of Colorado reached into the 100 F ( 38 C ) range. But, that was not the case. In fact, surprisingly, my feet do not sweat or smell as bad after hours of use at these temps as in other, lighter trail shoes I have.

I've hiked over 50 miles (80 km) in these boots. I've worn them in mud, in dusty slippery soil, over loose pebbles on inclines, over boulders and through cactus fields, and through a few wash-outs.

The quick lacing system worked without fail and never "hung up" on any low lying brush. It certainly makes getting the shoes on and off really fast and easy.

There are a few things I look for in trail shoes.

1. Can I go down a 40 degree or steeper incline with rocks covered in dry dust without breaking my neck by sliding on a rock? The dry dusty soil creates a real slippery surface on rocks. Real easy to break a leg or sprain an ankle.

These shoes performed well. I didn't slip at all anywhere.

2. Do I ever feel like I am in danger of twisting an ankle? Low trail shoes do not have as much ankle supports as mid-height boots, but certain designs stop the foot from lateral movement and break-aways.

These shoes performed well. In fact, during some hikes I forgot I had only trail shoes on because my footing felt so confident. I have some shoes that can be dangerous over certain terrain, but these adidas shoes made me feel secure at all times.

3. Do the shoes make my feet feel sore, like I can't wait to take them off?

I have worn these shoes for well over 15 hours per day and my feet do not feel tired or sore at all. I even wore them to do tower maintenance work several days because they were so comfortable and secure. Climbing a radio tower and standing with my feet against a 3/4 inch metal bar for 3 hours can be very rough on my feet. The fact that my feet didn't feel sore after being in that position over several climbs attests to the support offered by the adidas sole composition and design. These are pretty tough shoes that can take almost anything tossed their way. I started long hikes right away without a break-in period and had no problems at all with sore spots or blisters .

4. Do my feet stink or sweat a lot?

During high aerobic activity, even in cold temperatures, my feet can sweat and stink. As I mentioned earlier, my feet did not sweat or stink even after wearing these shoes for several hours straight at the high temperatures here over the past several weeks.

5. Do the shoes hold up well after miles/kilometers of rough use?

These adidas shoes did quite nicely. The soles show no pitting or tears and very little reduced tread depth. The toe bumpers are in great shape. So either I am getting really good at not stubbing my toes on rocks and tree stubs or the shoes are tough. The sides show no signs of wear other than dirt. I think I will try to clean these before the next report to see how they clean up. They still look quite nice.

6. If they are advertised as waterproof or water resistant, do they meet the claim?

Although I didn't keep my feet in water for an hour or so, I can attest that after having water half-way up the side of the shoes for stream crossing and after trekking though wet mud puddles, my feet did not feel any dampness at all. I've managed to keep water from going over the top and entering the inside. What did get wet outside dried quickly and mud cleaned off quite easily.


I'm pleased with the performance of the adidas Terrex Fast X shoes over the course of our very hot summer months. They performed well in the heat and on all the treks I made. The shoes are comfortable, grip well, offer good support and have maintained their quality construction. I'm looking forward to even more time out in the field now that the weather is finally cooling off.



On the trail in Breckenridge
Enjoying the Aspens' Color
It's been 16 weeks now and the adidas trail shoes have been my primary back country trail shoe. The last 2 months we've seen temps from 40 F (4 C) to 85 F (29 C) and we've had mostly dry back country conditions with humidity from 2% to 40%. During day hikes, I carried a pack weighing no more than 15 lb (7 kg) but on backpacking overnights, the weight went up to about 25 lb (11 kg).

I have continued to hike the Pikes Peak range here in Colorado at altitudes between 5400 and 10,500 feet (1646 to 2590 m) and through the higher mountain trails around Breckenridge, Colorado, not having time to do any 14ers (peaks over 14,000 feet/4267 m) during this period because we are building a house on our ranch and need to baby sit the constructions crews. I did manage to get a trip in to Florida last week where, for a change of pace, I had to endure low altitudes, high temperatures and extreme humidity. Seriously, the altitude in Palm City is 23 feet (7 m) above sea level. I hiked over a 5 foot high (1.5 m) hill while I was there. That was a 20% height variation!

These shoes have been my "go to" pair for weeks now. I have several others from other manufacturers, but in the back mountain country, scrambling down loose scree, the adidas shoes are much more secure than my other trail shoes. They don't slip over dry dusty soil like the others and maintain side to side stability better; almost as securely as mids.

While we were in Florida this past week, temps hit 93 F (34 C) with relative humidity above 95% almost the entire time we were there. Quite a change from the normally 3% humidity where we are in Colorado. But, even under these conditions, as I reported in the two previous reports, my feet did not sweat or smell after extended periods of wear. In fact, these are, after testing shoes for over 10 years, the most odor-free trail shoes I have ever worn.

Alter probably over 100 trail miles (160 km), under plenty of rough conditions; these shoes continue to look good enough to wear with casual clothes. In fact, as I write this, I am flying home from Florida and wearing them on the plane. We're headed into Colorado Springs, Colorado, where the temp is 20 F (-7 C) and into Canon City, CO where I was told there is wet snow. This will be the first time I will get a chance to use these in any kind of snow. I know they are not designed as winter shoes, but it will be interesting to test them.

Okay, I returned home and there was no snow. However, just for kicks I did try walking up a wooden walkway to our new construction, which was covered with a frosty layer of ice. This thing is at a 20 degree slope, is 3 feet (91 cm) off the ground and only 8 inches (20 cm) wide and it was pitch black with just my LED flashlight. I was amazed when I was walking up the ramp and tried to slide back on my foot. I could not without really trying hard. These shoes were actually gripping exceptionally well. I just didn't expect this. Kudos to the adidas Outdoors TRAXION soles.


With the beating these shoes have been taking, they are holding up very well. The soles and front bumper have hardly any noticeable wear. The only place I see noticeable wear is the webbing around the tongue on each shoe with some white fabric starting to show from what looks like fraying. The quick lace system is in perfect condition.

I like these shoes a lot. I will probably wear them until they fall apart.

Thank you to adidas Outdoors and for letting me try these shoes.

John R. Waters

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.

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