REVIEW: adidas TERREX Free Hiker 2 GTX
Written By: SportsShoes
The new adidas TERREX Free Hiker 2 GTX is built for pursuing goals in the outdoors. Its Continental™ rubber grip provides reliable traction on hikes while a BOOST midsole delivers high energy return and instant comfort with each step. With water protection and style, this shoe is suitable for both short and long-distance hikes.
|Price:||£179.99 and £199.99 (GTX version)|
|Weight:||445g (Men's) / 378g (Women's)|
|Drop:||10mm (a high drop, suitable for heel strikers)|
|Stack Height:||Heel - 30mm / Toe - 20mm|
|Fit (length):||True to size|
|Ratings:||(out of 5)|
- Waterproof performance: Breathable, waterproof GORE-TEX protection helps keep feet dry every step of the way.
- Snug, sock-like fit: A new sock-like fit hugs feet and adapts to every movement. Hiking just got more fun… and even more comfortable.
- Grip when it’s needed most: A Continental™ rubber outsole provides a reliable level of traction on any hike.
- Made for the wild: Abrasion-resistant reinforcements and a moulded toe cap for a confident stride.
- Endless energy: BOOST cushioning provides comfort and incredible energy return.
- From plastic to performance: This shoe’s upper is made with a high-performance yarn which contains at least 50% Parley Ocean Plastic – reimagined plastic waste, intercepted on remote islands, beaches, coastal communities and shorelines, preventing it from polluting our ocean.
Reaching personal summits in the outdoors calls for an adaptable, rugged pair of hiking shoes. The adidas TERREX Free Hiker 2 GTX offers comfort and confidence in most weather conditions thanks to its breathable GORE-TEX membrane and Continental™ rubber outsole. A shoe that is designed to help keep feet dry and supported when conditions get tough. Bringing trail running innovation into hiking, this new shoe provides a smooth transition from heel to toe landing with a nice roll and faster feeling.
The Free Hiker has become something of a modern-day classic since its first release in 2019 and it's hard to believe that this is only the second-generation of this super-popular hiking shoe. If I'm completely honest, there really wasn't much that adidas needed to improve on this outstanding model. The original shoe is already a category winner in my eyes and there isn't a hiking shoe on the market that can rival it in terms of cushioning and comfort. So, it's pleasing to see that much has remained the same, except for a few small improvements which have helped to make the Free Hiker even more successful than the original.
So, what has changed?
This new design adds more side stability to the Free Hiker 2, compared to its predecessor. The outsole has been re-engineered with a cavity design and without a torsion bar, making the Boost technology feel even softer, more comfortable and more durable than ever before. The lug depth remains that same at 4mm, but the lug pattern has changed and because of this I feel like the grip has improved. This hiking shoe can comfortably handle a wide range of challenging off-road terrain and it suitable to use throughout the year, especially as it's a waterproof shoe.
The sockliner has also been updated and for me this is probably the most noticeable improvement. It sits a little higher and it also feels more supportive, adding touches of extra stability and comfort. There is also an additional loop at the front (top) to compliment the large loop at the back, making the shoe even easier to put on and take off. The laces are a flatter shape and less rounded which I've found easier to tie and less likely to come loose.
A change to the upper material and its design has made the shoe even more breathable, which is great news for anyone wanting to wear them in warmer conditions. Striking the balance between creating a breathable and waterproof shoe is a difficult challenge indeed. The addition of a softer, stretchy and more ventilated upper material has made this possible and is a noticeable improvement. Another update is the addition of extra protection around the side panels and at front of the shoe, making it even more durable and offering extra support.
Less important from a performance perspective, but great in terms of design is the fact this new look Free Hiker is even better-looking than the original (something I didn't think was possible). The Free Hiker has always attracted attention from fashion-conscious hikers and it will continue to appeal to this demographic because of the range of funky colourways available and its unique and contemporary design. In my opinion, the Free Hiker was THE original gamechanger in attracting a new generation and younger audience to take up the sport of hiking. Not only does it look cool to wear, but it's super-versatile, seamlessly fulfilling the demands of both fashion and performance. The Free Hiker has earned its place as a bestselling hiking shoe and I'm pleased to say that this new release is even better than the first.
Bravo adidas, you really have created an iconic shoe in the Free Hiker and one that has officially earned its crown as the most popular hiking shoe in the world. So, if you're looking for a hiking shoe to do it all, then I would encourage you to check out the adidas TERREX Free Hiker 2 - it's a shoe that ticks ALL the boxes in terms of performance and design.
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