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adidas Terrex Hiking Shoes

In this article, we’re going to break down how adidas’ hiking shoes can improve your running. Then we’ll help you identify the best hiking shoe for you based on your hiking plans, and your level of experience.

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adidas Terrex Hiking Shoes

adidas terrex hiking shoes on trail

In this article, we’re going to break down how adidas’ hiking shoes can improve your running. Then we’ll help you identify the best hiking shoe for you based on your hiking plans, and your level of experience.

How adidas hiking shoe technology improves your performance

adidas Terrex AX3 – versatile day hiking shoe

The AX3 is an all-around, go-to daily hiker.

It’s low cut to give you full range of motion, no matter what type of adventure you’re on. It’s durable to protect you from roots and rocks. And it’s design lets it transition from trail running shoe, to hiking shoe, to mild rock climbing shoe.

The AX3 doesn’t have a heel rocker like the other models. This means it’s not going to propel you forward to save energy on longer, walking hikes.

But if you want a shoe that can do a little bit of everything, the AX3 is probably what you’re looking for.

What you’ll notice:

  • Lightweight

For a hiking shoe, the AX3 is quite light. This makes it ideal for shorter day hikes, and a variety of different terrain.

  • Sparse cushioning

Adidas pulled back on the cushioning for the AX3. This makes the shoe lighter so you can go faster and not get bogged down.

adidas Terrex Bounce Hiker – springy, energy return hiking shoe

The Bounce Hiker was made for longer hikes where you’ll mostly be walking at a steady pace.

The midsole has a springier, bouncier foam designed to propel your steps forward. And its heel rocker design rolls you into your next step. This saves your calf muscles some energy by doing the work for them.

The Bounce Hiker isn’t equipped for super-technical terrain or serious rock climbing. But if you’re looking for energy return so you can trek further and longer without getting tired, this is your shoe.

What you’ll notice:

  • Smooth, gliding steps

The heel rocker design rolls your foot into the next step. This is great for longer, walking hikes so you don’t have to do as much work.

  • Bouncy

As the name suggests, the Bounce Hiker is packed with a springier foam instead of a plush one. Rather than sink into the cushioning, it absorbs your impact and rebounds you forward.

adidas Terrex Free Hiker – mid-cut longer-distance hiking shoe

The Free Hiker is adidas’ mid-cut shoe meant for longer hikes.

It has a heel rocker, similar to the Bounce, to propel your steps forward and save you energy. But unlike the Bounce, it’s got a higher collar to hold your ankles in place. This helps protect you from rolling an ankle when going over uneven terrain.

You won’t have quite the range of motion in this model, like you would in a lower-cut design. But if you’re going on longer hikes, and you’d appreciate the extra ankle support, you’ll love the Free Hiker.

What you’ll notice:

  • Sock-like feel

The mid-cut design gives you a little bit of ankle support. Though it’s not rigid like some heavy-duty backpacking boots. It almost feels like a thick protective sock wrapping around you, which is comforting.

  • Cleat-like traction

It has a Traxion outsole design which is like having little cleats on your shoe. This gives you better grip on uneven, or even somewhat slippery surfaces.

How do I choose the best adidas hiking shoe for me?

You’ll want to choose your hiking shoe based on a few of key factors:

  • The types of hikes you’ll be going on

For a shorter hike on easy terrain, a lighter flexible shoe would be good. Harder terrain or much longer hikes requires a shoe with more support and stability.

  • The typical weather conditions you plan to hike in

Some trails will have creeks or puddles that you may have to cross. Or maybe you’ll be hiking in the rain. You’ll want to choose a shoe that is waterproof or at least water-resistant.

  • The amount of equipment you’ll be carrying (if any)

A longer or difficult hike will require you to pack extra gear. You’ll need a shoe with more support and stability to carry that extra weight.

  • Your level of hiking experience

If you’re a beginner or you’re looking to trek on moderate to difficult terrain you’ll want a shoe with ankle support.

Now let’s factor all of these together, and break down the best hiking shoe for you, by category.

Casual day hikes

Bounce Hiker

For leisure hikes, where you won’t be rock climbing or trekking through mud, you’ll want a light, springy hiking shoe.

The adidas Bounce Hiker is great for this type of hikes thanks to its responsive cushioning. It absorbs the shock of your ground impact and thrusts you into your next step.

Adventurous hikes


If you plan on some hiking, a little trail running, and even a hint of rock climbing, you’ll need a dynamic hiking shoe. And this is exactly what the adidas AX3 GTX was built for.

It’s light and yet decently durable for a day hiker. And the tread pattern is designed to handle various types of hikes and terrain.

Free Hiker

If you’d prefer a shoe with more support for your ankles, then you’ll probably appreciate the adidas Free Hiker. And unlike the AX3 it’s got the rolling heel rocker that’ll take some of the workload off your calf muscles. This makes it especially nice for longer hikes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I wear trail running shoes for hiking?

In some cases, yes. But this will depend on the type of hiking you’ll be doing.

If you’re planning on light day hikes, then a trail running shoe should work just fine.

Just know that most trail running shoes don’t come with as much ankle support as a higher-cut hiking shoe. And for backpacking trips, most trail shoes lack the cushioning to support the extra gear.

So, whenever possible, it’s a good idea to use a specific shoe designed for the given task.

How often should I replace my adidas hiking shoes?

A good pair of hiking shoes should last between 350-500 miles before you’ll need to replace them.

Here are a couple of signs that’ll let you know it’s time for an upgrade:

  • When the tread no longer grips onto rocks as well as it once did
  • If the upper isn’t as rigid as it used to be, and you notice it’s not holding your foot as securely
  • If you start noticing pains or aching in your joints after a hike. This is a possible sign that the tech in your shoes isn’t doing its job anymore

I need help deciding: Which would be the best adidas hiking shoe for a beginner?

adidas Bounce Hiker: This a great starter shoe for day hikes where you’ll be walking the trails. The heel rocker does a lot of the work for you, making this a great beginner hiking shoe.

And its cushion is on the bouncier side, as opposed to the plush side, soo it's nice if you plan on going for longer hikes.

Adidas AX3: If you’re planning on going off the beaten path, or picking up your pace, the AX3 is might be a better match. It’s geared for various types of terrain, like rocks, roots, and even slipperier surfaces.

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