Good supportive footwear is imperative when you’re off on a long hike or rocky scramble. Not only will the right hiking boots, or hiking shoes help you tackle uneven and sometimes slippery terrains, but they’ll provide plenty of added comfort too.
Though, It’s fair to say not all hiking shoes are equal, and its important to check whether the pair in your shopping basket are equipped with all the technicalities you require.
I recently upgraded my tatty, worn-out hiking boots to a swish pair of high spec Adidas Mid Terrex AX4 Gore-Tex hiking shoes (which actually look more like a walking boot, thanks to its mid height), and the difference in dexterity and grip is stellar.
Let’s take a look at all the nitty-gritty details of these Adidas AX4 Terrex Gore-Tex walking shoes.
In this article...
Style and Appearance on the Adidas AX4 hiking shoes
The Adidas Terrex outdoor apparel range blurs the line between high performance technologies and fashion. Aesthetically, there is no denying the Adidas AX4 Terrex hiking shoes look significantly more stylish compared to most walking shoes on the market. The simplistic Adidas logo, fun angular designs and slimline styling gives the shoes a luxe and high end appearance.
They come in a couple colourways, with a black/grey/mint pair or a light grey/red option to suit different design tastes. Having said that, if you prefer more traditional earthy toned walking boots, then you may not be keen on the fashion-forward colourful offerings from Adidas.
The Adidas Terrex AX4’s come in two height options. Mine are the mid-height variety which offer a little more ankle support than their lower trainer-style sibling.
There’s potential that having your ankle all concealed could cause these to become a little too toasty during the warmer summer months. Although it’s Gore-Tex layer helps with breathability.
Insoles & comfort
The lightly padded insoles inside these hiking shoes are fairly flat and offer minimal arch support. These are comfortable enough for my feet, but if you require improved arch support and superior cushioning, then you would need to switch them out with your preferred shoe inserts.
The Adidas AX4 Terrex walking shoes have a nicely contoured and padded collar to provide comfort and support around your ankle. Along with a cushioned tongue, which protects your foot from any uncomfortable digging in that’s caused by the laces.
Thanks to their minimal weight, they’re really comfortable on long hikes and prevent your feet from getting heavy or prematurely tired.
Grip on the women’s AX4 hiking shoes
The Adidas AX4 Terrex walking shoes are equipped with a Continental rubber outersole. Yes that’s right – the German tyre specialist brand that you’re probably familiar with! The grippy tread on these bad boys is second to none and will leave you feeling super secure on your adventurous hike.
It’s sticky sole provides heaps of traction that will have you scrambling over wet rocks, slippery roots and loose scree with no fear of slipping.
Adidas shoe sizing runs a little small
The hiking AX4’s are classed as having a normal fit, but I feel they lean slightly more towards a slim fit (which is perfect for me). If you have broad feet though, you may find these walking shoes to be a little too snug on the sides.
The general Adidas sizing also runs a tad small, once you’ve factored in a thicker walking sock you might feel you need to go up half a size. You’ll thank having this extra bit of wiggle room inside the toe box when it prevents your toes from slamming on steep descents.
Was there a Break-in period?
My first walk in these Adidas hiking shoes was a 3 hour hike to the summit of Pen y Fan. I was a little worried they would need a break in period so I packed some Compeed blister plasters just in case! Luckily, for me, these walking shoes were comfortable straight out the box.
I also wore them every day on our 7 day road trip adventure around Iceland. Which involved both a lot of walking and driving, and I never experienced any discomfort, rubbing or blisters.
Everyone’s feet are different though. To play it safe, you may wish to test these out on a slightly shorter walk first.
Adidas AX4 Terrex Practicality & Weight
The Adidas AX4 Terrex Gore-tex hiking shoes seamlessly blend the comfort and feel of a lightweight trail-running shoe, with the stability of a mid-height hiking shoe. This unique hybrid combination makes them a great option to tackle long hikes, fun scrambles or an adrenalin fuelled via ferrata.
The mid height provides added ankle support to reduce the chance of painful ankle rolls, whilst also stopping debris and dust from getting down inside your shoe as easily. We all know there is nothing more annoying than a miniscule sharp stone sneaking in under the sole of your foot when you’re walking!
Although these walking shoes aren’t the lightest on the market, they’re still a fairly light walking boot that offers a good amount of nimbleness. An old study said “1lb on your foot is the same as carrying 5lb on your back” – that’s going to have a huge affect on your hike! Having rigid, heavy footwear will slow you down and tire you out far quicker, than wearing something lighter with plenty of flexibility.
There is a little bit of added protection on the toecap which helps prevent scuffs and toe stubs. Plus a Gore-tex layer keeps your feet perfectly dry and cool.
Waterproof Gore-Tex protection
These Adidas walking shoes come with a breathable and waterproof Gore-Tex membrane. This seals out mud and water, allowing you to cross streams and head out on wet dewy trails without worrying about your feet getting wet.
Gore-tex is the crème de la crème fabric when it comes to waterproofing and breathability, offering both comfort and protection. The gold-star Gore-tex fabric has pores which are 20,000 times smaller than a single drop of water, meaning water simply can’t make its way through. Body heat and sweat vapour is still 700 times smaller than the pores of the fabric, so it can easily escape out of the fabric to help keep you cool.
If you want your feet to remain dry whilst not getting too hot and sweaty – then make sure your hiking shoes have a Gore-Tex layer!
Webbing vs D-rings on hiking shoes
Adidas have opted for lightweight fabric webbing on the AX4 Terrex walking shoes, which helps to keep tension when tightening and tying up your shoe laces. Fabric webbing also keeps the shoes lighter and causes less pressure across your foot compared to D-rings.
The downside is; webbing is potentially a little more susceptible to wear and tear apposed to hiking shoes with metal eyelets or D-rings.
Adidas hiking shoe durability
The Adidas AX4 walking shoes feel robust and well made, with a durable ripstop upper to improve their resilience to abrasions.
Colour options will play a part in how long they look smart for. Theres no doubt that wet and muddy hikes in lighter coloured boots will cause the fabric to discolour over time. This obviously wont effect their usability, but it will change their appearance and perhaps make them look a little worse off than their darker colour-way option.
Materials & price
The AX4 Terrex hiking shoes have a mesh and synthetic upper, complete with a Gore-tex waterproof membrane. Perhaps not as durable as leather walking boots, but these lightweight shoes still offer great durability.
The flat fabric laces work well with the fabric webbing and I’ve never had them slack or come undone whilst walking. The upper is made using at least 50% recycled materials too which is fantastic for sustainability
AX4 Hiking shoe vs mid-height hiking shoe
These waterproof Gore-tex walking shoes are available in two height options. A low profile trainer style, or a mid height shoe that has the added ankle support of a walking boot. Both options share the same spec, so the style you opt for will mostly boil down to personal preference.
I prefer the look of the mid height shoe, and enjoy the added ankle support. It gives me a really lightweight and practical walking boot, yet feels more like a hiking shoe. But you may prefer the aesthetic of a walking shoe, or simply prefer having less fabric and restriction around your feet during the summer months.
Which ever you pick, I hope you have many fun hiking adventures in your new comfortable and practical Adidas walking shoes.