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Adidas Terrex Swift R3 Gore-Tex - Women's Review

Looking like a trail runner and performing like a hiking beast, this shoe is waterproof, lightweight, and supportive enough for multi-day adventures
Adidas Terrex Swift R3 Gore-Tex - Women's
Photo: Adidas
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Price:  $150 List | Check Price at REI
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Pros:  Waterproof, lightweight, very supportive
Cons:  Not super breathable, durability concerns with the soft rubber soles
Manufacturer:   Adidas
By Laurel Hunter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 15, 2021
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77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 14
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Support - 20% 9
  • Traction - 15% 8
  • Weight - 15% 7
  • Water Resistance - 15% 9
  • Durability - 10% 5

Our Verdict

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, as well as 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 choice.

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Pros Waterproof, lightweight, very supportiveSuperb traction, supportive, waterproof, comfortFeels fast, lightweight, waterproof, great tractionComfortable, stable, great traction, durableComfortable, waterproof, excellent traction
Cons Not super breathable, durability concerns with the soft rubber solesMay be less durable, expensiveAverage durability, not as protective underfootUpper absorbs water (but doesn't leak), a little heavyNeeds breaking in, runs short
Bottom Line Looking like a trail runner and performing like a hiking beast, this shoe is waterproof, lightweight, and supportive enough for multi-day adventuresA high-tech hiking shoe that delivers in every category, outperforming the best shoes we've ever testedThis high-performing shoe is impressively lightweight and suited for hard-charging missions across versatile terrainThis beefy shoe features rugged durability and excels at day hikes, longer adventures, and tricky terrainGood 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... Oboz Sawtooth II Lo... Merrell Moab 2 WP -...
Comfort (25%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Support (20%)
9.0
9.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
Traction (15%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Weight (15%)
7.0
6.0
8.0
4.0
5.0
Water Resistance (15%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
Durability (10%)
5.0
6.0
5.0
9.0
6.0
Specs Adidas Terrex Swift... La Sportiva Spire GTX Salomon X Ultra 4 G... Oboz Sawtooth II Lo... Merrell Moab 2 WP -...
Weight per Pair (Size 7) 1.54 lbs 1.61 lbs 1.37 lbs 1.83 lbs 1.69 lbs
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular, Wide Regular, Wide
Upper High-abrasion resistant synthetic mesh Abrasion-resistant mesh Synthetic/textile Leather/textile Suede leather, mesh
Midsole EVA EVA EVA Dual density EVA EVA
Lining Gore-Tex Gore-Tex Surround Gore-Tex B-Dry Mesh
Outsole Continental Vibram XS Trek Contagrip Sawtooth Vibram TC5+

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Adidas Terrex Swift R3 really impressed us with a high level of support, build 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.

Performance Comparison


The Adidas Terrex Swift R3 looks like a trail running shoe but...
The Adidas Terrex Swift R3 looks like a trail running shoe but supports like a hiking shoe.
Photo: Laurel Hunter

Comfort


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 fairly stiff synthetic material with stiff overlays. Because the shoe has a very roomy design and 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 in combination with the synthetic material in the upper, but 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.

With plenty of cushion underfoot and a very supportive midsole, we...
With plenty of cushion underfoot and a very supportive midsole, we felt confident on rugged and uneven surfaces.
Photo: Laurel Hunter

Support


Though the Terrex Swift R3 looks like a trail running shoe, the support is where you can really tell it is made for hiking. With a stiff sole and Adidas’ proprietary “ProModerator” under the midfoot, we found this model very supportive. 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.

Traction


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 as well as slabby rocks. The soles on this model are made of Continental rubber, a company well known for tires, and are quite 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.

Soft rubber and deep, multi-directional lugs provide for excellent...
Soft rubber and deep, multi-directional lugs provide for excellent traction on the Terrext Swift R3.
Photo: Laurel Hunter

Weight


At 1.54 pounds per pair for a size 7, the Terrex Swift R3 is about mid-pack 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.

Water Resistance


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.

The Gore-Tex membrane in the Terrex Swift R3 provided excellent...
The Gore-Tex membrane in the Terrex Swift R3 provided excellent protection from water. Water not only doesn't make it into the footbed, but the upper also repels water effectively so your shoes don't get heavy.
Photo: Laurel Hunter

Durability


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, as well as 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.

The soles are grippy soft rubber but tear and wear quickly...
The soles are grippy soft rubber but tear and wear quickly, especially in rugged terrain.
Photo: Laurel Hunter

Value


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.

Packed with features and with a sporty attitude, we were impressed...
Packed with features and with a sporty attitude, we were impressed by the support and waterproofness of the Swift R3.
Photo: Laurel Hunter

Conclusion


With solid comfort, excellent support, traction, and reliable waterproofing, the Terrex Swift R3 is a stand-out model in our test. If you hike primarily on dry trails, especially on warm days, you might want to consider a more breathable option. For trail adventures with mixed conditions, however, this shoe provides ample support even when you are carrying a heavier load.

Laurel Hunter