My Outdoor Hiking Adventures With Adidas Terrex

I have a crazy amount of shoes cluttering up my house. It mostly comprises of multiple pairs of trail running shoes and adidas Terrex hiking shoes. In fact, it’s easy to work out my hobbies and the things I love doing simply by looking at what I wear on my feet.

With more hiking trips and adventures planned for this year I’m always keen to try out new footwear before I go. And as an adidas blogger I get to have my pick of the bunch. Yes, I probably could manage with the shoes I already have, but does a girl ever really have too many shoes!?!?

My Outdoor Adventures

Over the last couple of years I have really ramped up my hiking miles. To this day it still blows my mind when I think about how much I hated being dragged out on family walks as a kid. And I know it sounds a bit cliched, but I do think that as we get older our love for nature and being outside grows immeasurably. There’s nothing I love more than exploring the great outdoors, with a bag on my back, friends by my side, and views that stretch for miles.

My passion for outdoor pursuits started with running. I’d never considered myself a runner. I did the obligatory sports day sprint at school, but other than that very short foray, that was my entire history of running. Until 8 years ago. 8 years ago I was persuaded to join the end of a beginners run programme organised by my local running group. I was friends with the run leader and she’d been badgering me for ages to give it a go, telling me that I wouldn’t know if I liked it unless I tried and that if I did one session and hated it she’d never mention it again. I rocked up to that session, a complete novice, and yet somehow managed to smash out 5k. No one was more surprised than me!

After that, I joined the run club and am still a member today. I have run consistently for 8 years. 3 or 4 times a week, trail and road, sun and rain, for 8 years. Me… the non-runner. As I write this, I feel so incredibly proud of myself that I have stuck at something that I still find hard (does running ever get any easier?), happy to have made fantastic friends along the way, and to have discovered a passion for something that has helped me in so many different ways. For me, running isn’t about winning medals, smashing Strava segments, or trying to get faster. Running is about getting outside for guilt free exercise, head space, and the joyous feeling of complete freedom that it brings. I want forests, tricky terrain, beautiful views, and dare I say it, but I even like a few hills in there too.

I’m very fortunate that there are plenty of beautiful trails near where I live and this along with my running has now developed into a love of hiking too. I live in the South Downs and my garden backs onto the Serpent Trail, so I am literally spoiled for choice when it comes to outdoor adventures.

Last year I hiked three sections of the South Downs Way Walk. The walk starts in Winchester and ends in Eastbourne, totalling 100 miles of rolling chalky downland. I walked the first section, Winchester to Petersfield (25 miles), on two separate occasions and also hiked from Amberley to Eastbourne (57 miles) over 2 days. The scenery is stunning and whilst you can opt to walk it the other way round (Eastbourne to Winchester) I would always recommend ending in Eastbourne as the scenery is far more dramatic with the Sevens Sisters giving massive wow factor at a time when your feet and legs feel as if they could walk no further.

I also hiked for 3 days in the Grand Paradiso National Park in the Italian Dolomites, which covered the much more varied and trickier terrain of grassy alpine meadows, vertiginous mountain paths, boulder scrambling, and snow. It was tough. Probably the toughest thing I’ve ever done. But the sense of achievement, the feeling of empowerment, the boost in confidence it gave me was worth battling through when I felt like giving up. And oh my days, the views! I have never inhaled air so clean, seen grass so green, felt snow so pure, experienced landscape so vast as that which I experienced in the Dolomites. From the lushness of the Valsavarenche Valley, the starkness of the Col Rosset, the otherworldly Goletta Lake at the foot of the Goletta Glacier, to the looming grandeur of the Gran Paradiso peak, those 3 days of hiking ignited my passion even more so and has spurred me on to go on even more outdoor adventures this year (more on that in a bit).

Kitted Out With The Right Gear

You learn a lot when you go hiking. There’s way more to it than just putting one foot in front of the other and walking. For example, it helps if you can read maps. This is a skill that I am still trying to get my head around, and fortunately I have always been with friends who are way more skilled than me. There’s also what kit you need to take with you, for example the kit list you need for a day hike is very different to what you need for a multi day trip. And you discover very, very quickly which footwear works best for you. Because you see what footwear you wear on a hike, or a run for that matter, can literally become a make or break situation. I learned the hard way on my first hike on the South Downs Way, when halfway through day one I developed some pretty hardcore blisters from wearing boots that hadn’t been worn in enough and that weren’t right for my feet. I plodded on, feet in literal bits and covered in blister plasters, knowing that I couldn’t let this happen again. And so began my introduction to the adidas Terrex range.

I’ve spoken about this range before in my article, ‘Could These Be The Most Comfortable Walking Shoes Ever?‘, and in answer to that question, oh my days they really are. The adidas Terrex Free Hiker Gore-Tex 2 have seen me through multiple hikes since that blistered feet episode and not once have I had blisters since. They’ve walked miles and miles of all kinds of different terrains and weathers and they continue to serve me well. As far as women’s walking boots go, they are in my opinion the absolute GOAT.

When it came to choosing my next pair of shoes I knew I had to stick to the adidas Terrex collection. And so I opted for the Terrex AX4 Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Shoes, a versatile and waterproof mid height hiking shoe that whilst similar to the Free Hiker Gore-Tex 2, has a few other features that will help me out with my adventures this year.

So, let me tell you more about the adidas Terrex AX4 Mid Gore-Tex. First of all, they’re super lightweight, which is great because I cannot stand heavy hiking shoes. You see, when you’ve been hiking mega miles, any amount of extra weight (particularly on your feet, which are the things doing the most work and holding the most load) feels even heavier as those miles stack up. Your legs get tired and the last thing you need is feeling as though you’re lugging heavy weights with every footstep you take. Of course you want sturdy footwear that is up the job, but lightweight is a key feature and the adidas Terrex AX4 gives you both. The sole of the shoes is made from Continental™ Rubber, which gives incredible grip (I mean these are the people that make car tyres, this is like some proper serious grip going on), making it ideal for scrambling over rocky, uneven, wet ground. I would say that the sole feels and looks sturdier than that of the Free Hiker 2’s. The AX4 means business and if you’re up for a challenge, it will help you conquer it.

Where I’ve been running for a few years now, I’ve noticed that my feet have splayed and got wider, which means I like to size up in both running trainers and hiking shoes. This prevents any rubbing, potential blisters and also stops the tips of my toes from hitting the end of the shoe, which in the past has resulted in me losing the odd toenail here or there. This has never been a problem with adidas Terrex shoes. The mesh upper is soft enough that it doesn’t cause chafing, but still has a certain degree of rigidity that allows the thick laces to be drawn in super snug, giving lots of ankle support. The gusseted tongue and padded cuff also acts as a barrier to stop debris and water from creeping into the shoe – there’s nothing more annoying than having to keep stopping to get a stone out, right?

The Gore-Tex membrane means your feet will stay dry when you walk, and with the weather we’ve been having of late, that is beyond important. The problem is that if your feet get wet from water seeping through unprotected material not only do they get cold and uncomfortable, but it means blisters are much more likely to occur and we want to avoid those at all costs. Gore-Tex keeps the wet out while still allowing your feet to breathe, because that’s important to – you’re equally as likely to get blisters from the moisture of your trapped sweat.

So, lets looks at these key features of the adidas Terrex AX4s:

  • Gore-Tex membrane to keep feet dry
  • Abrasion resistant materials for durability
  • Continental™ Rubber for good all round grip and stability
  • EVA midsole for cushion, shock absorption and comfort
  • Partly made from recycled materials to help the environment
  • Stylish look that we come to expect from the adidas brand.

And then there’s colour. I’ve gone for the Core Black/Carbon/Grey Four colourway, which for all intents and purposes is ‘black’. An arguably boring colour, but I much prefer a shoe that will go with everything and that won’t show up the mud as much as a lighter colour. However, they are also available in Silver Green/Core Black/Crystal Jade if a pop of colour is more your thing.

My Adventures This Year

My plans for this year are pretty immense. So far I’ve walked the first 17 miles of the Serpent Trail and the Brecon Beacons Horseshoe Ridge walk which takes in the three peaks of Corn Du (873m), Pen y Fan (886m) and Cribyn (795m) and happened to be raining the whole way round, with zero visibility and 50mph winds!

The rest of my year looks as follows:

  • March – Complete another section of the Serpent Trail
  • April – Hike around the coastline of the Isle of Wight over 2 days
  • May – I would like to complete the section of the South Downs Way that I haven’t done yet, from Petersfield to Amberley
  • June – Aim to complete the final section of the Serpent Trail
  • July – Hiking and climbing in Slovak Paradise National Park in Slovakia for 3 days, where I’ll be scrambling over rocky terrain and across water filled gorges.
  • October – Run/walk the Atlantic Coast Challenge Ultra from Padstowe to Lands End over 3 days – who knows what the weather will be like, but the terrain will be tough!

In addition, I will be continuing to run regularly, especially as I need to get plenty of training in for taking on my first ever Ultra in October, which felt like a long way off when I booked it in January but is getting ever closer. It’s going to be a very active year, but I am massively excited about the challenges and I feel confident that I can complete all of them and enjoy the journey along the way.

I will be writing about my experiences and will of course update you on how the shoes hold out, but honestly I have no doubt they will be amazing as I have had no problems with them so far. My aim is to hike in the Terrex AX4s for most of my hikes this year and switch between wearing them and my trail running shoes when it comes to doing the Ultra. Ideally, I would like to run as much of the Ultra as I can, but realistically I know that there will be a lot of walking too, so they will definitely be coming with me.

If, like me, you love the comfort of a trail running shoe but also want something sturdier and that feels more capable of allowing you to hike without injury over a long period of time and across multi-terrain then I cannot recommend the adidas Terrex range highly enough.

If you’ve got any recommendations of great hikes you’ve done, please let me know. I’m always up for exploring new places and seeing new sights, after all you only live once and there’s a whole lot of the world to see!

*All products gifted by adidas for review.

I’d love to hear about your hiking adventures so please get in touch!

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Author Bio

Becky Stafferton is a full-time content creator and web publisher. She continually strives to promote a realistic, sustainable and positive image of how to lead a healthy life. When she’s not writing she can be found running through muddy puddles, making lists of lists, having a good old moan, talking in funny voices to her dog, renovating her house in the country, and pottering about in her garden.

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