When Adidas joined in the approach shoe game, we were skeptical. But after spending weeks roaming around Yosemite and the High Sierra in the Terrex Solo, our editors were pretty impressed. With average climbing ability, great comfort, and a lightweight design, we're happy to recommend these as an excellent choice for multi-pitch climbs or cragging. They were one of our favorite shoes for wearing around town, too, and their reasonable price and stylish design earned them extra points.
Adidas Outdoor Terrex Solo - Women's ReviewPrice: $120 List | $95.96 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Comfortable, lightweight
Cons: Less durable, midsole too flexible
Bottom line: The Terrex Solo is lightweight, stylish, and comfortable, making for an excellent multi-pitch or cragging companion.
Sole Rubber: Stealth rubber
Upper: Abrasion-resistant mesh
Manufacturer: Adidas Outdoor
RELATED REVIEW: The 9 Best Climbing Approach Shoes for Women
Our Analysis and Test Results
While the Terrex failed to earn an award this go-around, we believe these shoes have a lot of great uses and could easily be a great buy for you. When comfort and weight are more important than climbing ability, we don't hesitate to grab these shoes. We found them to be an excellent companion in Yosemite where we wanted a light shoe to accompany us on short hikes and long routes.
We hopped on boulders, ran up slabs, climbed big walls in the Terrex and ultimately found a decent climbing ability limited by their flexible sole.
While the Terrex sports a nice edge, the sole was too flexible us to really trust climbing fifth class terrain in them. We really appreciated their smearing ability, however, and think this could be a decent choice for easy scrambles. They were significantly outperformed in this category by the Arc'teryx Acrux SL and La Sportiva TX2, however, whose firm soles made for superior climbing. Crack climbing wasn't bad in these shoes, but the Acrux once again outperformed due to its slimmer profile.
Without considering support, which we gave its own category, this metric looked to materials, lacing, and sole shape. The Terrex was one of our favorite shoes to hike, bike, walk, and hang out in.
The soft mesh material of the Terrex made for comfortable all-day wear. With laces that reach far down the foot, the Terrex is adjustable and suited to a range of needs. Tighten them up for scrambling security or loosen them for casual hikes. We should also mention one of our favorite features: the lace bungee! This seemingly small feature was a joy and kept our shoelaces from untying and tripping us up. After years of stuffing her shoelaces under each other, our lead tester was thrilled with this tiny detail. It's not life-changing, but it did warm our hearts.
For this rating metric, our testers looked to arch support and protection from the elements. The Terrex Solo earned a decent 6/10, putting it near the middle of all the models we tested.
While we enjoyed hanging out in the flexible Terrex midsole, this shoe failed to provide support for long hikes. While comfy for short approaches, we would be hesitant to grab this model for long approaches or alpine missions. The midsole also makes for poor kicking in snow, and its soft mesh provides less protection from sharp rocks.
We here at OutdoorGearLab generally prefer our gear to be as light as possible, though we know this often comes at a cost of other great traits, like support and durability. The Terrex scored high marks in this category for its 11.1-ounce build, making it one of the lighter shoes that we tested.
Because of its lightweight nature, the Terrex would make for a solid multi-pitch shoe. Small and compact, we'd happily clip these shoes to our harness for any long route. Lighter models include the Top Pick Award-winning Arc'teryx Acrux SL at a staggering 9.6 ounces, and more durable, supportive models include the La Sportiva Boulder X at 14.3 ounces. We've come to the conclusion that the Terrex strikes a great middle ground, making for a solid all-around shoe.
Weight and durability are both worth 15% of a shoe's overall score in this review, and we've found that one often comes at the expense of the other. The Terrex earned a 6/10 in this category, putting it behind many of its contenders.
The mesh upper of the Terrex is prone to ripping, especially when abused on California's rough granite. After a one-day ascent of El Capitan's "Triple Direct," we noticed small tears along the periphery of this shoe, probably due to the endless hours spent standing in aid ladders.
While the Terrex doesn't necessarily excel in any one category, it is a solid contender. We would recommend it for multi-pitch missions with relatively simple approaches due to its lightweight, comfy design. The lack of support and durability limits its usage in the alpine, but for use in areas like Squamish and Yosemite Valley where routes are long and approaches are short, the Terrex could be a great choice.
Ringing in at $120, the Terrex falls near the middle of all the shoes we tested. With an average score to match, we feel the price is spot on.
This stylish shoe is one of our favorites for casual wear and light missions. And while the Terrex failed to earn an award from our editors, we would happily recommend it to friends looking for a cragging or lightweight multi-pitch shoe.
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: November 17, 2017
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