With a running shoe aesthetic and a burly attitude, the Adidas Terrex Swift R3 Gore-Tex is a very supportive and lightweight shoe. It works well for light and fast adventures and those that require a heavier pack. We found them to be waterproof but also quite warm, so it isn’t the best for hiking on hot days. The soft rubber sole grips well in most conditions, though softer rubber tends to have a shorter lifespan than harder, more dense rubber soles. For those that hike in mixed conditions and prefer a roomy toe box, these are a great hiking shoe choice.Editor's Note: This hiking shoe review was updated on March 6, 2022, with more information on the shoes we recommend.
Adidas Terrex Swift R3 Gore-Tex - Women's Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Waterproof, lightweight, very supportive
Cons: Not super breathable, durability concerns with the soft rubber soles
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Adidas Terrex Swift R3 Gore-Tex - Women's
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|Pros||Waterproof, lightweight, very supportive||Superb traction, supportive, waterproof, comfortable||Feels fast, lightweight, waterproof, great traction||Comfortable, lightweight, decent traction, inexpensive, vegan-friendly||Waterproof, great traction, breathable|
|Cons||Not super breathable, durability concerns with the soft rubber soles||Expensive, laces not durable, sizing runs long||Average durability, not as protective underfoot||Not waterproof, below average durability||Needs breaking in, runs short, awkward tongue, laces difficult to adjust|
|Bottom Line||Looking like a trail runner and performing like a hiking beast, this shoe is waterproof, lightweight, and supportive enough for multi-day adventures||A high-tech hiking shoe that delivers in every category, outperforming the best shoes we've ever tested||This high-performing shoe is impressively lightweight and suited for hard-charging missions across versatile terrain||A budget-minded, lightweight, and comfy shoe for fair-weather day hikes when you know your feet won't get wet||Good at most things and great at some, this solid hiker meets most needs at a surprisingly low price|
|Rating Categories||Adidas Terrex Swift...||La Sportiva Spire GTX||Salomon X Ultra 4 G...||Merrell Siren Edge 3||Merrell Moab 2 WP -...|
|Water Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||Adidas Terrex Swift...||La Sportiva Spire GTX||Salomon X Ultra 4 G...||Merrell Siren Edge 3||Merrell Moab 2 WP -...|
|Weight (per pair)||1.54 lbs (size 7)||1.61 lbs (size 7)
1.81 lbs (size 9.5)
|1.37 lbs (size 7)||1.41 lbs (size 9.5)||1.69 lbs (size 7)
1.71 lbs (size 10)
|Width Options||Regular||Regular||Regular||Regular, Wide||Regular, Wide|
|Upper||High-abrasion resistant synthetic mesh||Abrasion-resistant mesh||Synthetic/textile||Waterproof mesh, 3D-printed TPU||Suede leather, mesh|
|Lining||Gore-Tex||Gore-Tex Surround||Gore-Tex||Mesh||M-Select Dry & Mesh|
|Outsole||Continental||Vibram XS Trek||Contagrip||Vibram TC5+||Vibram TC5+|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Adidas Terrex Swift R3 impressed us with a high level of support, built on a Continental rubber outsole, an EVA midsole, and an abrasion-resistant mesh upper. It is a great option for fast and light hiking missions, as well as multi-day hikes where you may encounter rough terrain.
Your feet are your mode of transportation out on the trails. If your feet aren’t happy, hiking quickly loses its appeal. Comfort in a shoe is a combination of cushion underfoot and the materials that make the upper that covers your foot. The midsole here is plush EVA rubber that feels both cushioned and responsive. The upper itself is relatively stiff synthetic material with stiff overlays. Because the shoe has a very roomy design and is pretty stiff in the upper, we felt it was a little tricky to get a good fit. Those with narrow feet may not be able to get these tight enough to be comfortable. Also of note, this model seems to run at least a half size bigger than expected.
Our one complaint in the comfort category, especially on hot days, is that we found the shoes quite warm. This is most likely attributable to the Gore-Tex waterproof membrane combined with the upper's synthetic material. Still, the Swift R3 seems to be warmer than other shoes with similar waterproofness. While previous versions of this shoe came with Adidas's proprietary "Speed Laces," this model has traditional laces that require tying.
Though the Terrex Swift R3 looks like a trail running shoe, the support is where you can tell it is made for hiking. We found this model very supportive with a stiff sole and Adidas’ proprietary “ProModerator” under the midfoot. A thick rubber rand surrounds the shoe where the sole meets the upper and adds structure under the arch, especially. The insole is relatively thin and doesn’t provide much additional support, but we didn’t feel it was needed given the high level of structure in the midsole. Even with a heavy pack, we felt confident and supported underfoot.
The rubber on the bottom of your shoe is critical for safety and confidence as you adventure outdoors. Softer rubber tends to grip better on loose surfaces and slabby rocks. The soles on this model are made of Continental rubber, a company well known for tires, and are pretty supple and grippy. Additionally, the lugs are deep and multi-directional. We hiked on very sharp lava rock, as well as sandy and dry trails. These shoes performed incredibly well, though we did see some tearing of the lugs begin to develop. The heel is angled sharply, providing additional traction to steep descents when your weight is typically more back than forward — a feature that gives more confidence on sketchy downhills.
At 1.54 pounds per pair for a size 7, the Terrex Swift R3 is about mid-pack for the hiking shoes in terms of weight. While they are not the lightest, they offer significant support for their weight. We found the shoes to be strangely bulky, however. There is a lot of volume in the upper, and the toe box is wide, making it feel like an extra beefy shoe. If you have worn previous versions of the Terrex Swift R3, it is worth noting that this model is the beefiest yet.
The Swift R3 is as waterproof as a shoe can be. We submerged this model in cold streams and hiked across wet trails without a trace of moisture getting through. Weighing them after our bucket test — a ten-minute soak in three inches of water — showed almost no change, meaning that the shoes not only protect your feet from moisture, they also shed water expertly, keeping the shoe light. The tradeoff for such waterproofness is often a lack of breathability. We did experience hot feet while hiking, especially in the summer. This pair is optimal for wetter climates or hiking in the cooler months.
Shoes that use softer rubber in the name of comfort or traction often sacrifice some durability. Over several months of testing in fairly rugged environments, the Terrex Swift R3 showed no separation or delaminating on the upper. However, there are scratches and snags in the exposed midsole and torn and dinged lugs on the sole. If you hike primarily on very rugged trails with sharper rocks, you may see wear on these shoes sooner than you like. The traction and comfort are a worthy tradeoff for us, and we anticipate putting many more miles on this pair.
Should You Buy the Terrex Swift R3?
The Terrex Swift R3 is a stand-out model in our test with solid comfort, excellent support, traction, and reliable waterproofing. If you hike primarily on dry trails, especially on warm days, you might want to consider a more breathable option. However, for trail adventures with mixed conditions, this shoe provides ample support even when you are carrying a heavier load. While the Swift R3’s retail price is right in the middle range of all the shoes we tested, it is packed with features and few flaws, making it a great value in our book.
What Other Hiking Shoes Should You Consider?
If you're looking for the absolute best we tested, the La Sportiva Spire GTX - Women's is the one to consider. This shoe provides better comfort and traction, but it is slightly heavier. The Spire will cost more for better traction, so if your budget is tight, you might also look into the Merrell Moab 2 WP - Women's that is less expensive with similar performance to the Adidas. The Moab is more comfortable but offers slightly less overall support.
— Laurel Hunter
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