Adidas describe this design as the ‘multitool of trail shoes’, and that’s not a bad description at all. This may look like a casual trainer, but the Adidas Terrex Swift R3 has a few secret weapons up its sleeve. With a Gore-Tex membrane keeping moisture at bay and sticky sole rubber from Continental (a.k.a. the manufacturer better known for its car and bicycle tyres), these shoes are ready to run, walk or scramble over almost anything.
Adidas Terrex Swift R3 Gore-Tex review: What does it do well?
The new R3 design has emerged looking much more casual than its R2 predecessor, which were unmistakably hiking shoes, but the casual looks belie the Terrex Swift’s outdoorsy ambitions.
The tough rubber outsole feels light and bouncy underfoot but the deep, widely-spaced lugs on the sole of the shoe and grippy rubber compound combine to grip wet ground tenaciously. During our tests, we found the Terrex Swift gripped well even in mud or on slippery rock, which is a welcome reassurance when the trail turns treacherous.
The other hidden talent comes courtesy of the Terrex Swift’s Gore-Tex membrane, which keeps feet reliably dry even in pounding rain. You’ll still need to take care not to dunk your foot in a stream or deep puddle – not least as the Gore-Tex layer is almost at good as keeping water in as it is keeping it out – but your feet will remain comfortable and dry if you avoid any of those obvious pitfalls.
While looks are far from the most important factor in an outdoor shoe, we love the smart urban feel of the Terrex Swift. You could easily wear it for more casual outings when you aren’t off on any outdoors adventures. There’s a quirky but fun extra, too – you can personalise the R3s by adding up to nine characters on each of the shoes.
Adidas Terrex Swift R3 Gore-Tex review: What could be improved?
There isn’t a lot we would change here – the only issue we noted is that the Adidas Terrex Swift isn’t the most breathable hiking shoe in the world, due to its sturdy build and waterproof membrane. Personally, we’d save it for use from autumn through to spring, and switch to a more lightweight and breathable hiking shoe such as the Salomon Vaya for hiking mountain trails in hot dry weather.
Some testers have also reported that the Terrex Swift fits on the large size, so you may want to consider ordering a half-size down. These shoes are also cut wide, and may not suit hikers with narrow feet or high arches.
Adidas Terrex Swift R3 Gore-Tex review: Should I buy it?
There’s a lot to like about the Adidas Terrex Swift R3 Gore-Tex – it’s definitely mountain-ready thanks to those tough rubber soles, which provide great grip even in awful conditions, and the Gore-Tex membrane provides robust waterproofing. Although you’ll find cheaper hiking shoes on the market, the Terrex Swift R3 Gore-Tex is well-priced for such a high-performing shoe.
If you need more ankle support than a low shoe can offer, you may want to consider the higher ‘mid’ boot version of the Terrex Swift R3 Gore-Tex (£150). A non-waterproofed version is also available (£110), but frankly you’ll regret not spending the extra £20 for Gore-Tex waterproofing once the heavens open.
Whether you’re a keen mountain hiker, need a new pair of via ferrata or climbing approach shoes or just want some tough, do-it all trainers for tackling local walks and the occasional hike, the Terrex Swift R3 Gore-Tex will do you proud. Their good looks make them work for more casual use, too, so you’re more likely to get your money’s worth when it comes to cost-per-wear.