When packing for a 21 day expedition to a six thousand meter peak (Mera Peak) one of the most important gear choices is footwear. I had three options strewn about the gear room; La Sportiva Hyper mid GTX, 5.10 Guide Tennie, and the Adidas Terrex Scope GTX. Based on previous experience I’ve had with the Guide Tennies I ruled them out because of the expected terrain. The choice between the Hyper mid and the Terrex was slightly more difficult, ultimately I decided on the Terrex. I wore the shoes for all but four days of the trip, in which I ended up switching over to double boots.
The two major factors about the Terrex that I focused this review on are performance and durability. I defined performance as the ability of the shoe to maintain traction in a variety of terrain, as well as provide support for both the foot and the ankle. Durability was also a primary focus, I looked at the quality of the tread, the bond of the sole, and the stitching.
The Terrex saw a wide variety of terrain; dry dirt covered trails to a verglas scree slope, ample stream crossings and steep loose climbs and descents. In all of the conditions I put them through the Terrex exceeded my expectations. The tread pattern along with the stealth rubber provides incredible grip on both the ascent and descent. On sections of trail with smaller loose rocks that slid with every step the Terrex were able to grab within an inch of the initial slide.
Most impressive was the angle at which the Terrex would hold on rock ( I will be doing a part 2 focused on how well they climb.) The Terrex provided ample support both underfoot and in the ankle. At no time wearing them did my feet feel fatigued. Adidas found a nice balance between flexibility and support; the Terrex offered enough underfoot responsiveness to feel comfortable on slab yet enough support to cushion the pounding of steep down hill. The Terrex have a “european” fit in the toe box (more narrow) which works well with my foot. The heel was snug where it should, Additionally, shoe was ½ size smaller than my normal street shoe and even with slight foot swelling, at altitude, the fit was exactly what I was looking for.
After the trip, I examined the Terrex thoroughly—the tread held together than expected given the softness of the rubber. A common weakness in approach shoes is the bond between the sole and the upper shoe. The Terrex are showing minimal delamination after the trip with less than an ⅛ inch of movement in a small section. All of the stitching was in great shape there were no signs of a blow out starting. All the different materials in the upper shoe—there are a few—are still in good shape.
My overall impression with the Adidas Terrex Scope GTX are that they are a great approach shoe, one of the best ones I’ve owned. I’m personally not a fan of the style—I picture a basketball shoe when i look at them—but the performance, fit and comfort, and durability far outweigh my style issue. I am excited to put these shoes through the wringer with late season ice climbing this coming spring and on some rock climbs and report back on how they perform.
Posted by: AJ Hunter