I’ve been using LaSportiva Mutants for a number of years now but as we’ve shifted from running to focusing on more longer hikes I wanted some new footwear to suit and bought an Adidas Terrex model called the Skychaser LT GX.
This is a lightweight hiking shoe that initially appears more like Adidas streetwear than serious outdoor equipment, with a stylish and understated look. On closer inspection they’re very well made, the contouring and fit is great and they are, as they claim, very lightweight.
A major factor for me in buying the Adidas Terrex was staying dry. LaSportiva Mutants aren’t waterproof in the slightest, so I’ve been entirely used to wet feet – easy to deal with running but uncomfortable and cold when hiking in the winter. The Skychasers come with full Goretex protection as well as an inner lining and sealed tongue so permanently wet feet should now be a thing of the past.
First Terrex Outing
I did a few miles from home on consecutive days to wear them in a bit and they responded well without aches or blisters, despite being a lot harder ride than my Mutants. Their first proper outing was to Mynydd Moel & Cadair Idris in lovely winter conditions, a perfect change in the weather to see how waterproof the Terrex are and how well these Continental treads perform.
On both counts they Skychasers were really impressive, particularly the grip in mud, snow and ice. The Continental rubber sole is a real beast, with big chunky treads like a mountain bike tyre that dig in deep, feeling secure on every step. We ran a few small sections along the trip and on softer terrain they felt really secure, although across rocks they felt rigid and lacked any feeling of the terrain – we’ll see if this mellows out as they are worn in.
Adidas Terrex – 3 Months Use
Averaging around 40-50 miles of mountain and forest trails per week through the 2019/20 winter, I’ve hammered these Adidas Terrex Skychasers over too many Snowdonia peaks to mention and there’s both good and bad to record.
The Good Points
Structurally they’ve been outstanding, in that the Continental soles are still in great shape with plenty of life and the outer fabrics are showing very little signs of wear. The only times I’ve had wet feet is when we’ve been in locations where the water was above my ankles, but from a normal trail walking perspective the Goretex works extremely well with the design of this shoe. In winter conditions they’ve continued to performed well, and are well suited to long treks on even tracks.
The Bad Points
Onto the down sides, of which there are only a few. Despite being structurally tough, this also means they are VERY unforgiving. Hardened enthusiasts of traditional hiking boots might well find this comment laughable, but when you’re used to mountain running trainers that feel like slippers these Skychasers are incredibly rigid. Walking on diagonal trails across steep inclines means sore ankles due to the minimal give in the side walls of the shoe.
The Skychasers are without doubt walking shoes; we’ve tried running a number of times and the rigidity makes it impossible to properly feel the trail. They seem to suck all the bounce out of my lower legs, ankles and feet muscles when moving at speed. It’s not noticeable at hiking pace but anymore than a jog feels like running on solid wooden boards.
I hate wearing socks, but I’ve found myself even doubling up on them with these Adidas shoes, something I’d never do with my LaSportivas. One for loving the feeling of the wind on my ankles on the mountain tops, I can’t put up with the foot ache from steep ascents and descents in these.
In conclusion they’ve served through one Welsh winter as a good quality waterproof hiking shoe. Their lack of flexibility rules them out for dedicated trail runners but for those who wander between hiking and trail running could find them a useful addition to the collection. On long drawn out walks such as our 4C Snowdonia Loop or the Hiraethog Trail the Adidas Skychasers keep my feet dry and give a stable platform for covering fairly level miles with ease. However, when we go out seeking more elevation I’m drawn back to my Mutants over these every time, even with the wet feet factor.