Adidas Terrex Free Hiker Trail Shoe | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Adidas Terrex Free Hiker Trail Shoe | Review

Adidas bring their running shoe experience to the hiking boot market, and with great results

Why We Chose It: All-day comfort, extremely breathable upper, trail running shoe weight.

German sportswear brand Adidas have a strong heritage of making sports shoes that dates back all the way to 1924, and in recent years they’ve been applying some of this experience to their specialist hiking and trail running side of the brand called Adidas Terrex.

This, the Free Hiker, is one of the big releases from them this season, a hiking boot that features their trademark running tech that goes by the name of Boost.

Boost technology first hit the news after Kenyan long-distance runner Dennis Kimetto broke the marathon world record in Berlin back in 2014 – registering a time of 2 hours, 2 minutes and 57 seconds. On his feet were a pair of Adidas Adizero Adios Boost.

“On the short hikes I took the Free Hiker on it offered unparalleled comfort.”

Essentially, Boost is a foam-based midsole that offers large amounts of cushioning throughout to give a springy feeling, as though you’re walking on a bed of marshmallows – as though you’re being… boosted along. It makes for an impressive amount of comfort on the trails – you’ll definitely be thankful for the rebound of the Boost technology when you have miles of trail ahead of you.

We did a bit of testing here at Outdoors Magic and actually found the foam was very, very durable. In fact, we tried to slice through it with a knife and found it resisted it ably. Rocks and roots? This sole will deal with those, no problem.

Protecting the Boost midsole from the ground beneath is a Continental (as in the car tyre company) rubber outsole. It’s a tough tread with fairly aggressive 5mm lugs – nothing too dissimilar to what you’d expect to find on a trail running shoe.

The Freeshiker offers a sole unit similar to that of trail shoes. Photo: Chris Johnson
A Primeknit upper keeps the fit comfortable for a range of foot shapes. Photo: Chris Johnson
Boost technology gives the Freehiker comfort on the trails. Photo: Chris Johnson

The trail running shoe similarities continue with the use of an extremely lightweight and breathable upper made from Adidas Primeknit textile. This is a super stretchy fabric that feels closer to a sock than a hiking boot upper. Primeknit is weatherproof but not waterproof, so don’t expect it to protect you from anything more than a small puddle. It’ll keep out dirt and debris though, there’s a closely-fitting elasticated cuff to give you extra reassurance on that front as well.

Whilst the upper is an extremely soft material and could be prone to snagging, it’s protected somewhat by a PU rand that follows its way around the entire base with a nice bit of extra reinforcement at the toe as well. This not only increases the durability of the upper, but also adds a little stiffness – in a good way, mind.

The all new Free Hiker was released in February 2019 and it’s a fantastic competitor in the ever-growing market of lightweight, cushioned day hikers. We can see it being ideal for hikes along defined trails, such as the Appalachian Trail or the UK’s South Downs Way.

A close fitting cuff keeps any unwanted debris out. Photo: Chris Johnson

Tester’s Verdict

Jordan Tiernan, Outdoors Magic Staff Writer

“Just like with the new Hoka One One Kaha walking boot, I was a little sceptical of any performance gains I’d get from a highly cushioned midsole. I’d say I was won over though.

“On the short hikes I took the Free Hiker on it offered unparalleled comfort. There was absolutely no shock from the ground under my feet at all. It’s the Boost technology that sets the Free Hiker apart from the crowd, it’s like walking on a bed of marshmallows.

“The build really is extremely light. It’s something that I noticed as soon as I picked it up for the first time. The sock-like fit is another feature I noticed from the moment I put the ‘boot’ on. The stretchy fabric hugs your foot in a comfortable way, but don’t expect it to protect it that much from any scuffs or knocks.

“While it might be a very comfortable boot, I’d want to opt for something a bit more supportive if I was hiking with a very heavy pack over rough terrain. However, with a medium-weight load and in the right conditions I’d be very happy in the Free Hiker.

“As for the longevity of the foam in the midsole, it’s too soon for me to tell I’m afraid but we’ll try and update you on this a bit further down the line.”

Adidas have managed to keep the weight down with the Freehiker. 382g to be exact.

Adidas Terrex Free Hiker

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