I’m picky about my hiking shoes. As an avid hiker and past Search and Rescue volunteer, I’ve gone through quite a few pairs. I’ve rarely been completely happy with any of them: cheap shoes are too stiff, or too heavy, or just too flimsy, and top-of-the-line models may fit like a glove, but tend to come with too steep a price tag. Then I tried Adidas’ Terrex Fast X Formotion hiking shoe, and immediately felt like Goldilocks: they were just right.
What sets the Terrex Fast X Formotion Mid Gore-Tex hiking shoe (what a mouthful!) apart is the fact that it’s extremely lightweight for a mid-height shoe, yet completely protects your foot. Hiking over uneven, muddy terrain this spring, I’ve never felt likely to turn my ankle, and my feet never get wet, yet I don’t feel as if I’m wearing a clunky boot.
When Adidas says these shoes are waterproof, they’re not joking. Aside from my winter snow boots, the Terrex is the only pair I can wear all day through rain, puddles, and wet trail and still keep my feet dry. Since they’re not bulky, I’ve been reaching for them not only for trekking, but for my kids’ soccer tournaments (during which I’m guaranteed to stand on wet sidelines for hours) and weekend trips to (soggy) Portland.
The Gore-Tex membrane is breathable, too. During my first test hike on a trail heavy with snowmelt, I paired the shoes with wool hiking socks, and my feet didn’t get sweaty. I also really like the ‘speed lacing’ elastic lace construction, which makes getting them on and off a breeze (they stay tight, too). The grip on the tread is comprised of Traxion, which made for more controlled descending on slopes. My only complaint is that the sole is pretty flat; if you need a very supportive arch, this may be a problem, but it didn’t deter from my comfort.
The Terrex Formotion is available on Amazon for $159.95 and comes in blue or magenta. In addition to the mid-height shown (and reviewed) here, Adidas also makes a low-height (ankle cut) hiking shoe with or without Gore-tex. See that version at Backcountry or at Altrec.