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. The heavy-duty Continental rubber outsole is one of its finest attributes, 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.Editor's Note: This hiking shoe review was updated on March 6, 2022, with more details on our favorite shoes and those we'd recommend to friends.
Adidas Terrex Swift R3 Gore-Tex Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Great traction, durable sole
Cons: Feel stiff, uncomfortable, hard to lace tight
Compare to Similar Products
Adidas Terrex Swift R3 Gore-Tex
|Price||Check Price at REI|
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|$149.95 at Backcountry|
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|$96.93 at REI|
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|$97.49 at Backcountry|
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|Check Price at REI|
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|Pros||Great traction, durable sole||Excellent performance, lightweight, great traction, water resistance, support||Secure fit, strong traction, stability||Supportive, versatile, well-cushioned||Lightweight, breathable, great dry traction, inexpensive|
|Cons||Feel stiff, uncomfortable, hard to lace tight||Cuff can be uncomfortable on ankle for some, Quicklace lacing not everyone's favorite||Narrow, tongue absorbs water||Average traction, regular width is relatively wide, hard to lace tightly||Durability concerns, not good for wet weather|
|Bottom Line||Offering stellar traction and a supportive sole, this shoe is good for off-trail travel||This is a rugged hiking shoe that can do everything from day hikes to tackling long multiday backpacking trips||This comfortable and waterproof shoe has solid traction and a narrow fit||A comfortable and versatile pair of hiking shoes with a casual look great for taking from trail to town||A 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...||Salomon OUTline Low...||Columbia Facet 60 O...||Vasque Juxt|
|Water Resistance (5%)|
|Specs||Adidas Terrex Swift...||Salomon X Ultra 4 G...||Salomon OUTline Low...||Columbia Facet 60 O...||Vasque Juxt|
|Weight (per pair)||1.94 lbs (size 11)||1.76 lbs (size 11)||1.62 lbs (size 10.5)||1.78 lbs (size 10.5)||1.90 lbs (size 11)|
|Upper||Synthetic, textile||Synthetic, textile||Waterproof textile||Seamless mesh||Suede leather|
|Width Options||Regular||Regular||Regular||Regular||Regular, wide|
|Waterproof Lining||Gore-Tex membrane||Gore-Tex membrane||Gore-Tex||OutDry||None, just a gusseted tongue|
|Flood Level||3 in||3.25 in||4.25 in||4.25 in||2.5 in|
|Last Board/Shank||Pro-Moderator||ADV-C chassis||TPU arch shank||Not specified||Torsion stability TSS|
|Outsole||Continental||Contagrip MA rubber||Nonmarking Contagrip rubber||Omni-Grip rubber||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 offer ridiculous traction, making them better for off-trail than many others.
Right out of the box, the Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX felt incredibly stiff compared to the hiking shoes we tested. 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 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.
Coming in with a weight of 1.94 pounds, these are reasonably lightweight shoes compared with the entire review lineup or hiking boots. This weight sets them apart for the burly upper and above-average traction. There are lighter shoes that score better in key metrics like comfort and heavier shoes that are more versatile.
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.
Using a Continental rubber blend to construct the outsole, we found the Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX to offer superb traction on all surfaces in which we tested it. 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.
As we have mentioned, this is a stiff shoe. That stiffness will help support and comes in part from such a stable EVA midsole. Still, 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 broken in, a benchmark that 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.
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.
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 will resist wearing 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.
Should You Buy the Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX?
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. We feel that these are not too expensive, but they are kind of a niche shoe for the price. 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.
What Other Hiking Shoes Should You Consider?
Unless you're just married to the Adidas brand, the Salomon X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex is the better option with an equal price. This shoe scored better overall in testing and offered better performance for comfort, weight, support, and versatility. If you need a more budget-friendly option, the The North Face Ultra 111 WP is an impressive shoe with better comfort and versatility.
— Ryan Huetter
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