Adidas Terrex Scope High GTX Review
Cons: Ankle collar can feel uncomfortable until broken in, not meant for long distance hiking
Manufacturer: Adidas Outdoor
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Adidas Terrex Scope High GTX is the most performance-oriented boot for hiking on the trail to the base of a climb, and dispatching the route with confident footwork thanks to its adiPRENE insert for comfort underfoot and Stealth rubber for traction on the rock. We recommend it as a niche hiking boot that will give climbers and mountaineers an edge, though we favored the Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX for its better overall performance in a broader range of conditions.
Using a technology called adiPRENE, Adidas has made one of the more comfortable approach shoes our testers have tried on. Usually an approach shoe has very little support or padding to make the miles go smoother on an approach to a backcountry climbing route; however, the Terrex Scope High represents a good blend of comfort we expect from a heavier hiking boot but with much less bulk than a bigger boot like the La Sportiva Trango TRK GTX. With a narrow to mid-sized volume, the Terrex Scope can be snugged up to fit all but the widest feet for more challenging climbs, and loosened to allow more movement around the toe box on the hikes in and out.
Instead of dedicated locking lace hooks the Adidas model uses a laced bungee to keep the lower foot snug while the upper can be loosened for comfort. This only barely works, so we tied surgeon's knots to custom fit our laces.
One of our only real critiques of the overall comfort of the Terrex Scope High is the neoprene collar. It bit into the ankle much more than the Salomon X Ultra Mid 2 did, though it will break in over time, something we began to see and which online reviewers noted as well.
The Terrex Scope High GTX has the narrowest forefoot of all the boots in our review at 3.8 inches, compared with the Trango TRK GTX at 4.5 inches. This narrow sole makes the boot fit into cracks and crevices, nimbly climbing where clunky boots like the Asolo Power Matic 200 cannot, but while hiking into these climbs, care should be taken not to roll an ankle. We awarded it a 6 out of 10 in stability, not because it is necessarily bad at the job, but there are much more stable boots in our review if that is your focus. The torsional stability of this boot is average, providing more structure than the lightweight models.
The ankle-high collar provides protection against getting banged up by loose rock and can be cinched up enough to give excellent support for carrying moderate loads, though it is no comparison to the robust structure given by a dedicated hiking boot.
Ever since buying the Five Ten climbing shoe company in 2011, Adidas has been steadily improving its approach shoe offerings, bolstered by Five Ten's unbeatable Stealth rubber compounds. We awarded the Terrex Scope High a perfect score of 10, a score only matched by the Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX. The Stealth rubber is the stickiest we tested, providing secure footing on rock, wet or dry. Low profile lugs on the sole give more surface area to contact the rock with, while still giving good grip on muddy trails and firm snow.
We used this boot on the iconic Palisades Traverse in the Sierra Nevada and were able to traverse miles of 3rd and 4th class terrain comfortably and attach strap on crampons for snow travel, though the Zodiac Plus gives a better interface with the crampons.
Like many of the boots in our review, the Terrex uses a Gore-Tex Performance Comfort lining for waterproofing. We found this to be one of the better performers sloshing through creeks and slushy snow en route to our climbs and gave it an 8 for keeping water out and allowing our feet to breathe well. The Terrex Scope High has a measured flood level of 5 inches from the sole to the top of the sewn-in Gore-Tex liner, giving it a good amount of usable water resistance compared to the 3 inches offered by the La Sportiva Trango TRK.
With a weight of 2.6 lbs per pair in size 11 US, the Terrex Scope High GTX is the lightest of the three boots with the best climbing bonafides. This certainly makes hiking in and climbing in the same boot a more comfortable experience, but also keeps your pack weight down if you have to change into more technical footwear and carry your hiking boots along with you. The Scarpa Zodiac Plus weighs only an ounce more, but gives superior comfort and durability, though is a stiffer boot.
With an outer made predominantly of synthetic high abrasion fibers as well as a toe box made of leather, the Terrex Scope High GTX gives up durability for light weight, and we only awarded it a 6 out of 10. Though we did not experience excessive fraying of the outer material or seam failures of this model, we have worn enough other Adidas approach shoes to know what will happen after a long season of mountain scrambling. The laces are thin and will soon break after fraying against rough granite, and the soles, while sticky, wear down much faster than a more durable compound like the Vibram Mulaz used on the Trango TRK.
This all begs the question - is it even worth it? We think, yes. It is. If you are looking for a capable climbing machine that fits a niche like the Terrex is, then compromised durability is worth the performance.
This competitor is a hiking boot that climbs incredibly well or a climbing shoe that hikes pretty well depending on your perspective. For those who want the most technical rock climbing performance and also want to hike in comfort while approaching their objective, then the Terrex Scope High GTX may be the perfect boot for you.
At $225, the Terrex Scope High GTX is not inexpensive, especially when you consider that other models in our review are up to $100 less. However, for the premium you'll pay, you get a performance driven climbing machine, and you'll pay the same amount or more for any similar model on the market, making this a pretty decent value.
When you are staring up at another 5th class pitch of rock climbing on an endless ridge traverse in the high alpine, you want to be able to tighten up your laces, rack up your gear and climb confidently and precisely. The Adidas Terrex Scope High GTX lets you hike in, climb hard, and hike out without having to change your shoes or waste any time.
— Ryan Huetter