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Reviews > Footwear > Trail Shoes > Adidas Terrex Solo Mens Shoe > Test Report by joe schaffer

Adidas Terrex Solo

Test Report by Joe Schaffer

INITIAL REPORT - April 21, 2016
FIELD REPORT - June 25, 2016
LONG TERM REPORT - August 29, 2016

REVIEWER INFORMATION: Testing the water grip
NAME: Joe Schaffer
EMAIL: never2muchstuff(at)yahoo(dot)com
AGE: 68
HEIGHT: 5'9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 175 lb (79.4 kg)
HOME:  Bay Area, California USA

     I started backpacking when I was 11. I enjoy California's central Sierras, camping every month with a goal to match my age in nights out each year; about 30 solo. For comfort I lug tent, mattress, chair, etc. Typical summer trips run 5-8 days; 40 lb (18 kg), about half food and water related; about 5 miles (8 km) per hiking day. I crave granite ramps. I winter camp most often at 6,000 to 7,000 ft (1,800 to 2,000 m); 2 to 3 nights; 50 lb (23 kg); a mile or so (1.6 km) on snowshoes.


Product: Adidas Terrex Solo

Manufacturer:  Adidas AG
     specs: weight--12.3 oz (349 g) for M's 9
     description: Multi functional approach shoes to run, climb and hike
            Breathable mesh upper.
            Stealth rubber toe cap and climbing zone in forefoot maximizes rock contact,
            TRAXION outsole provides optimal grip.
            Abrasion-resistant weldings for extra durability
            ADIPRENE+ in the forefoot maintains propulsion and efficiency
            Protective rubber toe cap and climbing zone
            OrthoLite sock liner limits odor,
                based on dimethyloctadecyl[3-(trimethoxysilyl)propyl]ammonium chloride

My Specs:  Men's 9 US 
   Weight: L 11 3/4 oz (334 g)
                R 12 oz (340 g)
   Length: 11 3/4 in (30 cm)
   Width, forefoot: 3 15/16 in (10 cm)
   Width, heel: 3 in (7.6 cm)
    Lift at heel: about 1 in (2.5 cm)      

MSRP: $120 US

Received: April 13, 2016

Product Description:
   This multi-purpose hybrid shoe offers two forms of traction on the sole. The forefoot features a black compound that runs diagonally from about the little toe to about the beginning of the instep. The front 1 5/8 in (4 cm) is smooth, the remainder has shallow traction lugs and "stealth" logo. The entire portionTerrex front and sole of the "stealth" compound is surrounded by a rubber toe cap reaching up the sides of the shoe, and in the area of the big toe it covers about 1/2 in (1.25 cm) of the top as well. The rest of the sole is yellow with seven small black accents, traction developing from triangular lugs not quite 1/4 in deep (6 mm) deep at the heel to about 1/16 in (1.5 mm) where it joins the black part. The heel is a smooth crescent about 5/8 in (16 mm) wide, curving up at the end. Black rand surrounds the shoe from about 1/4 in (6 mm) high at the front to a maximum of about 15/16 in (2.4 cm) on the side of the heel.

    Two blue 3/8 in (10 mm) grosgrain ribeyes on each side of the toe box start the lacing; proceeded by three black 3/8 in (10 mm) webbing ribeyes up the foot which are also reinforced with a light stiffener. The top of the collar has an eye on each side.

    From the mid-to-front of the shoe runs a rand starting at the front edge of the final ribeye all around the forward part of the shoe, with an indent at the forebend. Most of the construction above the sole is broadweave nylon in a single color. A thin adhesive layer coats the heel and collar portion of the shoe, doubled around the lower part of the heel.

    The shoe's tongue is about 3 7/8 in (10 cm) wide at the top in a relaxed opening of about 1 1/2 in (4 cm). The tongue holds a grosgrain ribbon with a lace opening to stabilize the tongue. The tongue also sports an elastic loop just below that. The heel sports a large webbing loop with the webbing starting at the sole and running vertically over the seam to near the collar. Then about 2 12 in (6 cm) is left open to form a loop, with the webbing then sewn to the shoe at a diagonal down to the inside of the heel.

    From about the instep back on one side and the front of the heel on the other, the shoe is lined with a soft fabric. The rest of the shoe top has no lining. The shoe comes with an insole insert.

    I find this one of the lighter shoes in my trove. I'll find out if the sole will provide enough isolation from rubble to accommodate the requirements of my feet to remain relatively flat and free from lumpy intrusion under backpacking weight. I will be delighted to tote this footwear on all of my spring hikes for day use and camp wear. The open weave should make the shoe very comfortable heat-wise, though I know I will have an issue with feet and socks getting dirty. They should dry quickly after a cleansing wade, however.

    I find the width of the tongue should keep it in place, and also adds cushioning under the full width of the laces. The shoe opens wide with little effort, making it easy to slip on and off. The tongue could be a little shorter.

    The most fun I have hiking is up and down granite ramps. I don't like getting scared, but Yosemite has all that rock for hiking and let it not go for naught. I whined to one shoemaker that the grip was so effective I got myself into trouble too easily. I'm looking forward to seeing if these shoes make me stay disciplined to declivity, or if they invite adrenaline dump. If I fail to follow up with reports, that answer will be evident.

    I almost always wear a 9, and the fit on these seems pretty good--perfect in width, but a bit long. I'm torn whether to get my 9's dirty, or send 'em back for a size down. Adidas has a splendid chat feature on their website to which I availed myself twice.  I got two different people, and of course, two different answers. One thought try the smaller size, the other thought stick with what I have. I was impressed with getting information so quickly.

May 1, 20; Jun 30: Garin Regional Park, California (CA). 3 1/4 mi (5 km) dirt, dry, 75 F (24 C)
    May 14-18: Tahoe National Forest, CA. Bit of granite walking and stream crossings, night camp wear. 45 F (7 C); wet 1 night, dry 3 nights
    May 26-Jun 2: Emigrant/Yosemite Wildernesses, CA. Some granite walking, base camp wear. 80-50 F (27-10 C); dry
    Jun 20-22: Yosemite National Park, CA 12 mi (19 km) backpacking w/33-27 lb (15-12 k); 7 mi (11 km) hiking; 60-90 F (15-30 C), dry
Impressions:Granite grip
    The vendor sent me a pair of 8.5's to compare with the 9's I first requested. The smaller size was perfect for length, but slightly narrower. I finally made a choice to dirty up the 9's, preferring a bit long vs. a bit narrow as my priority is casual comfort vs. aggressive ascents.

     My maiden voyage in the shoes was a short, easy hike on dried, rumply cow path with patches of gravel; perhaps a half-mile (0.8 k) of steep uphill and then downhill in a 3 1/4 (5 km) walk. The tongue length was a non-issue--I never felt it; though the right shoe seems to have some stubborn tongue migration. The splendid ventilation of the shoe made for cool piggies on a warm day wearing a light wool anklet. I felt tolerable intrusion of pebble lumps through the sole; less than a street running shoe, but more than a trail runner. I had no traction issues going downhill, but I did have a few toe slips on the way up. I turned ankles a couple times in the lumpy, dried clay, but I didn't strain anything and I didn't feel the shoes were providing an insecure platform. The large heel loop makes pulling the shoe on very easy. Laces held without double knots.

     The Tahoe trip afforded opportunity for an ample test of wet traction. The top picture shows the third trip across Granite Creek on Beyers Lake Trail at 6,160 ft (1,880 m), after an exploratory trip to ferry across my partner and then her pack. The water wasn't more than a foot (0.3 m) deep, icy cold from snow melt and flowing fast enough over clean boulders and rip rap to make white water. On the way back we felt confident in making the crossing in one trip. Four trips, then, and no dunking. I didn't try my hiking boots for comparison as I felt I'd obtained sufficient evidence that the Terrex Solo wet grip was quite satisfactory. Rain started shortly after the three crossings and the shoes didn't dry that day on my pack or overnight. The next day after crossing the creek on the return trip they were hanging from my pack for about 3 hours in warm, dry conditions; and after an hour or so in the sun at camp they were dry. The heel padding and tongue seem last to let go of moisture. I had removed socks and insoles for the water crossings, probably making the shoes less comfortable though my piggies were so engaged with the stinging chill of the water as to make any other matters inconsequential.

    For dry grip I scampered about the granite in the vicinity of our campsite on Fordyce Creek near Eagle Lakes at 5,480 ft (1,670 m). The picture shows the shoes at the maximum degree of declivity I was willing to risk. I think I don't get the full benefit of the 9's ability to toe in as my toe pressure falls short of the full length of gripping surface; and were I cursed with a penchant for declivity thrills I would regret returning the 8.5's. Nonetheless, as I wandered about the granite I felt the traction remarkably secure, testing it a bit more on declivities that did not present imprudent consequence. Traction on granite outlasts my resolve to find the point at which gravity prevails. I don't seem to bounce well on rock and I've no concerns about slipping in these shoes.

    For two nights of the Tahoe trip I wore the shoes as camp shoes, finding them very comfortable and practical. For the Emigrant/Yosemite trip I wore them as camp wear every night and base camp shoes 5 days, wandering around in granite and even over snowdrifts. I opened the shoes to the length of the laces to make them easy to slip off and on for my many times in and out of the tent, and still had no trouble with them slipping around under foot. They make good loafers.

     dome shoeThe Yosemite trip included backpacking from Happy Isles 5 mi (8 km) to Little Yosemite Valley; and then 6 1/2 mi (10 km) to Glacier Point. At 33 lb (15 kg) leave weight I felt stable in the shoes, though more rubble intrusion than I'd prefer. I didn't notice much difference on the return weight at 27 lb (12 kg); and even for the day hike with 10 lb (4.5 kg) I would have preferred a more solid feel in the sole over the rockier parts of the trail. The 7 mi (11 km) day hike was from Little Yosemite Valley to Half Dome and back. Traction felt great even on the steepest parts of Sub Dome granite, but inadequate on Half Dome where concentrated traffic between the cables has polished off the grittier part of the granite surface. I've done the route in other footwear and don't recall slipping as much as I did on this trip. Perhaps my expectations were unreasonable thinking the rock climbing part of this hybrid shoe should perform better. I would guess the declivity reaches 60 degrees along the 200-yard (180 m) cable stretch. I couldn't hope to negotiate it without cable assistance, but I'm thinking a climbing shoe should stick even on worn granite. I couldn't really tell if I was slipping more in front or back, but I got the impression that the yellow part of the tread clung a little better than the black part.

    I did thrash around in the creek at hike's end to freshen the shoes (and me!) and by morning they were still a bit damp in the heel and tongue but plenty dry enough to start off. I'd also got a quick dunk above Vernal Falls on the way up and the shoes dried out in an hour or so of hiking. I wore a mid-weight wool anklet sock with no liner sock. When the shoes are really wet my feet slip around in them a bit, but not to any degree of difficulty. Most of the hiking hours were hot and I enjoyed the ventilation of these shoes. As I grew weary it was noticeably nice to have such light shoes. I didn't get any blisters or sprains. The laces are perfect length for tightening the shoe without floppy leftovers; and to knot the ends for loosening the shoe for camp wear.

    I don't run anymore, so no impressions there.

    For me the Terrex Solo is not an adequate foot bed for backpacking as I feel too much rubble through the sole. If some varmint were to overcome my security measures and make off with a hiking boot, however, it could be nice to know I have backup.

    I find a traction trade-off with the amount of smooth sole at the front of the shoe. It's great for granite, but I seem to spin out now and then on uphill dirt.

    Whether peculiar to this shoe or to my feet, the sizing would leave me wishing I'd kept the 8 1/2 for any uphill efforts; but I feel I made the right choice in the 9's wider toe-box for all other hiking.

    With 46 mi (74 km) on the shoes they show no sign of fatigue.

     I might say I've had better hikers, but nothing that's made me feel more secure scampering about granite in my style of non-technical gambits. The shoes are great water crossers and will always get the nod for hikes that include stream crossings (which would imply late-Spring early-Summer), granite play anytime, and in the Fall when evening temps drop too low for comfortable fireside lounging in flip flops.

Field Conditions:
    Jun 24, 30; Jul 14; Aug 1: Bay Area, California. Street and dirt walking, 12 mi (19 km), 75 F (24 C)
    Jul 23, 25, 26: Waldo Lake, Oregon.  Backpacking, 4 1/2 mi (7 km) XC, 35 lb (16 kg), 70-85 F (21-29 C).
    Jul 24: Waldo Lake, Oregon. Walking, 18 mi (29 km) dirt trail, 2 mi (3 km) XC, 10 lb (4.5 kg), 40-85 F (4-29 C)
    Jul 26-28: Mt. Jefferson Wilderness, Oregon. Backpacking, 4 mi (6 km) trail, 35 lb (16 kg), 80 F (27 C)

The soles seemed to have softened somewhat as I'm noticing more rubble through them. On the day I walked around Waldo Lake (20 mi, 32 km) I sprained once early in the hike, though not hard enough to cause damage. Overall I think the shoes are satisfactorily stable. I did get a blister that hike on each heel and each little toe, wearing a single light wool anklet. I'm not particularly concerned, as I maybe should have known better than to wear one sock. I have done the walk before in other footwear without blisters, but with two pair of socks.

    At 87 mi (140 km) the shoes show no outward sign of deterioration or wear.

    The odor wafting up from the OrthoLite sock liner does seem to be different, but no less noxious.

    I muddied the upper toe on one shoe (bog-crossing misstep) during my long hike and was surprised to see the mesh let go of the goop as soon as it dried. I made no effort to clean the shoes on this report period and they still look remarkably tidy.

    The width is right for me across the metatarsal arch, but fatigued I found myself tripping more frequently over the length. The ventilation keeps my feet cooler and drier on hot hikes. The wet shoes dry very quickly when worn, making them ideal water-crossing day hikers. I can day hike a few hours in them, yet loosen them up and use them as pretty comfortable base camp shoes. I like how light they are, though would prefer a stiffer (presumably heavier) sole. Now that they've softened I find them not stout enough for backpacking, with my arthritic feet complaining immediately of rubble intrusion and tiring after an hour or so.

Quick shots:

    a) light
    b) comfortable
    c) grippy
    d) soft sole
Thank you Adidas and BGT for the opportunity to test these shoes. This completes my reporting of this test.

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