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Adidas Terrex Swift R3 Gore-Tex Review

Offering stellar traction and a supportive sole, this shoe is good for off-trail travel
Adidas Terrex Swift R3 Gore-Tex
Photo: Adidas
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Price:  $150 List | Check Price at REI
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Pros:  Great traction, durable sole
Cons:  Feel stiff, uncomfortable, hard to lace tight
Manufacturer:   Adidas
By Ryan Huetter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 30, 2021
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67
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 17
  • Comfort - 25% 5
  • Weight - 25% 8
  • Support - 15% 6
  • Traction - 15% 9
  • Versatility - 10% 4
  • Water Resistance - 5% 8
  • Durability - 5% 8

Our Verdict

The Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX is a robust hiking shoe that will chew up the miles spent in cross-country and off-trail terrain. One of its finest attributes is the heavy-duty Continental rubber outsole, which sports a very aggressive tread for multi-surface traction. It is not the most comfortable, especially out of the box, but its stiff upper may prove to be more durable than competitors in the long run.

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Star Rating
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Pros Great traction, durable soleExcellent performance, lightweight, great traction, water resistance, supportExtremely comfortable, lightweight, supportiveGreat value, waterproof, versatileLightweight, breathable, great dry traction, inexpensive
Cons Feel stiff, uncomfortable, hard to lace tightCuff can be uncomfortable on ankle for some, Quicklace lacing not everyone's favoriteNot as cushioned as previous Hoka models, some traction issuesAverage support, lacks long-term durabilityDurability concerns, not good for wet weather
Bottom Line Offering stellar traction and a supportive sole, this shoe is good for off-trail travelThis is a rugged hiking shoe that can do everything from day hikes to tackling long multiday backpacking tripsA blend of top-notch comfort with support in a lightweight package that makes them an excellent choice for long-distance hikers looking to shave weight and increase mobilityThis shoe is a great value for the all-around performance as well as waterproofness that it providesA budget-friendly hiking shoe that is a perfect choice for those hiking in dry climates
Rating Categories Adidas Terrex Swift... Salomon X Ultra 4 G... Hoka One One Toa Go... The North Face Ultr... Vasque Juxt
Comfort (25%)
5.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
Weight (25%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Support (15%)
6.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
5.0
Traction (15%)
9.0
9.0
6.0
8.0
7.0
Versatility (10%)
4.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
6.0
Water Resistance (5%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
1
Durability (5%)
8.0
6.0
5.0
6.0
6.0
Specs Adidas Terrex Swift... Salomon X Ultra 4 G... Hoka One One Toa Go... The North Face Ultr... Vasque Juxt
Weight of Size 11 Pair 1.94 lbs 1.76 lbs 2.03 lbs 2.04 lbs 1.90 lbs
Upper Synthetic, textile Synthetic, textile Synthetic Performance mesh Suede leather
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular, wide
Waterproof Lining Gore-Tex membrane Gore-Tex membrane Gore-Tex membrane DryVent membrane None, just gusted tongue
Flood Level (inches) 3 in 3.25 in 5 in 3.25 in 2.5 in
Last Board/Shank Pro-Moderator ADV-C chassis EVA ESS Torsion stability TSS
Midsole EVA EnergyCell Rubberized EVA EVA
Outsole Continental Contagrip MA rubber Vibram MegaGrip UtrATAC Vasque OTG

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GT is a modest overall performer when compared to other models in our review, but there are some attributes that we want to highlight which might make it a good choice for you. While comfort was sacrificed, we found these shoes to be highly supportive and offering ridiculous traction, making them better for off-trail than many others.

Performance Comparison


While these shoes resemble running shoes, they are burly and ready...
While these shoes resemble running shoes, they are burly and ready for XC adventures.

Comfort


Right out of the box, the Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX felt incredibly stiff. The synthetic and textile upper on its own is quite unflinching, and immediately upon donning the Swifts, we found the ankle collar to bite sharply. The upper construction is made even stiffer by the Pro-Moderator, a cradle-like addition that holds the foot in place and anchors the uppers so that when laced, they can effectively prevent lateral movement.

The "stiff and sturdy" upper material is strong and will last longer...
The "stiff and sturdy" upper material is strong and will last longer than other synthetic shoes, but it is hard to get them to feel comfortable on the trail.
Photo: Ryan Huetter

The fit is fairly wide, making them a better choice for those who like to wear liner socks or are looking for a less narrow model. We found the lacing system to be a bit lacking - the laces are slim and can't secure the entire foot with a single movement, and the stiff upper makes it hard to get a tight fit, especially for those with narrower feet.

Weight


Coming in with a weight of 1.94 pounds, these are reasonably lightweight shoes compared with the entire review lineup. This weight sets them apart for the burly upper and above-average traction they offer. There are lighter shoes that score better in key metrics like comfort, and heavier shoes that are more versatile.

Weighing under two pounds for US Men's size 11, this model is...
Weighing under two pounds for US Men's size 11, this model is lightweight for a pair of hiking shoes.
Photo: Ryan Huetter

Support


The Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX uses a molded cradle that wraps around the midfoot and increases the lateral support in the shoe. This Pro-Moderator cradle is effective, and we found that these shoes embody the "stiff and sturdy" mantra of hiking boots in a package that looks much more like a trail runner.

The fit will ultimately have a lot to do with how supportive these shoes end up feeling. Those with wider feet will be able to fill them out and benefit from their supportiveness, while those with narrower feet will find the laces hard to tighten and attain a secure fit.

The support offered by these shoes is actually pretty good if you...
The support offered by these shoes is actually pretty good if you can get them snug. We like them for off-trail hiking routes.
Photo: Tim Johnson

Traction


Using a Continental rubber blend to construct the outsole, we found the Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX to offer superb traction on all of the surfaces that we tested it in. The rubber effectively grips in both wet and dry conditions, and in trail types from muck to loose sand, the sharp and aggressive lug pattern bites in and gives excellent purchase.

The outsole of the Terrex Swift R3 is made from sticky and grippy...
The outsole of the Terrex Swift R3 is made from sticky and grippy Continental rubber. Expect excellent purchase on all types of terrain in these shoes.
Photo: Ryan Huetter

Versatility


As we have mentioned, this is a stiff shoe. That stiffness will help in support and comes in part from such a stable EVA midsole, but it will make them less comfortable or effective as a trail running shoe, gym shoe, or other versatile use beyond being useful on hiking trails. Once they are very broken in, a benchmark which we were unable to reach during our testing period, they may offer better versatility. Still, it will take much longer to break in these stiff uppers than most models that are ready to go pretty much right out of the box.

Water Resistance


These hiking shoes utilize a tried and true Gore-Tex textile liner to create a waterproof shoe, and although they only sport a flood height of 3 inches, they do a great job at keeping water out of shallow stream crossings and muddy trails.

The relatively low flood height of these shoes made us search for...
The relatively low flood height of these shoes made us search for the shallowest crossing, but the Gore-Tex liner does a great job at keeping the water out up to three inches.
Photo: Tim Johnson

Durability


Durability is one more metric where we feel that the Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX has both pros and cons. We found that the upper materials are going to resist wear much better than the exposed mesh materials that we see on a lot of hiking shoes. On the other hand, the laces are pretty darn thin, and for how much effort we have to put into getting these things tightened down, we would imagine breaking them sooner than later and replacing them with something tougher.

Scrambling up the final block to reach the summit of Vogelsang Peak...
Scrambling up the final block to reach the summit of Vogelsang Peak, we were glad to have the sticky traction of the Continental rubber soles, and they will likely hold up to this kind of abuse for quite a while.
Photo: Tim Johnson

Value


We feel that these are not too expensive, but for the price, they are kind of a niche shoe. Other models may do as good a job or better, for less money. If you're looking for an all-around hiking shoe, we think you can find better value elsewhere.

Conclusion


While we enjoyed previous iterations of this shoe, the Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX fell a bit short of the mark for us overall. In traction and support, it does quite well, so it is best suited for those who desire a stiff and stable shoe. In comfort and versatility, we felt it to be of only average performance.

Ryan Huetter