Hands-on Gear Review

Adidas Outdoor Terrex Conrax Boa Review

Adidas Outdoor Terrex Conrax BOA
Price:  $300 List | $224.96 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Roomy fit for larger feet, lightweight, very water resistant, BOA lacing system
Cons:  Expensive, uncomfortable, not super warm
Bottom line:  Low performance and high cost makes a less than optimal combination.
Editors' Rating:   
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Weight (Per Pair, size 11):  3 lbs. 1.2 oz.
Shaft Height (from bottom of sole to top of shaft):  7.5 in.
Maximum puddle depth before major leaking:  7 in.
Manufacturer:   Adidas

Our Verdict

Adidas Outdoor aims for an athletic winter boot with the Terrex Conrax, bringing together performance technology from their running shoes and the warmth and traction of a mountaineering boot. It's a hybrid. The low top reminds us of the Salomon X Ultra Winter CS, but unfortunately, it was not as comfortable or as warm as that boot. We struggled to find a time when we wanted to wear this boot, and due to pinching in the toe box and an incredibly stiff cuff that chaffed all the way around our lower leg, we thought this was the least comfortable boot in this entire review. We also couldn't help but notice that it is by far the most expensive. While this boot has some interesting features, namely the lacing system, we found it to be the lowest rated of all the insulated winter hiking boots that we tried.

Product Update
Adidas Outdoor replaces the Conrax CP with the Conrax BOA, pictured above. Price comparison links on this page take you to the new version, as the older one is no longer in production. Details on the update below.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Winter Boots for Men of 2017

Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Andy Wellman

Last Updated:
Friday
November 17, 2017

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The Conrax BOA vs. the Conrax CP


The design team at Adidas Outdoor revisited the Terrex Conrax CP, updating its lacing system, midsole, and rubber outsole. It also got a new name, the Terrex Conrax BOA, and a jump in price. Details on the key updates are below the side by side photos of the Conrax BOA on the left and the now discontinued Conrax CP on the right.
Adidas Outdoor Terrex Conrax BOA
Adidas Outdoor Terrex Conrax CH CP
  • BOA Closure System — The change in name comes with the change in lacing system. Adidas Outdoor implements the BOA closure system in the Conrax BOA, aiming to ensure an efficient and "more personalized" fit.
  • Stealth Rubber — Following the acquisition of Five Ten, Adidas Outdoor is implementing their near-legendary rubber technology into their outsole designs. The new Stealth rubber sole is expected to gain better purchase in winter conditions compared to the former Continental sole.
  • Adidas Boost Midsole — The midsole now features Adidas Boost technology, which implements reshaped capsules of TPU with the goal of increasing the energy return in each step.
  • Price Hike — The price increases to $300 for the Conrax BOA.

We expect some improvements with this updated model. Our past experiences with Five Ten Stealth rubber are very positive. Our biggest gripes concerning this boot's comfort and limited warmth, though, don't appear to be addressed in this update. Until we fully test and review the new iteration of this boot, the text below will continue to reflect the Terrex Conrax CP, which we tested for

Hands-On Review of the Terrex Conrax CP


With a height of 7.5 inches, the Outdoor Terrex Conrax CP is a rather short boot compared to the others in our review, and it did not perform well in deep snow or puddle situations without the use of a gaiter. Adidas uses ClimaProof as a waterproof barrier and 200 grams of Primaloft Sport to insulate the boot, but the combination of waterproof/breathable liner and synthetic insulation did not keep our foot as warm as the similarly constructed Salomon X Ultra Winter CS. This is a boot that you may love if it fits your foot right, and will dislike if you don't find it comfortable. Our head reviewer last year found it to be comfortable, while our head reviewer this year thought it was the least comfortable boot tested. One thing is for certain — at the highest price, you deserve nothing but the best. Unfortunately, we didn't think this boot delivered, and at the very least we recommend you have the chance to try this boot on before purchasing.
These boots are designed like really burly high top shoes. We found them a little too uncomfortable on our feet for long distance hiking in them.
These boots are designed like really burly high top shoes. We found them a little too uncomfortable on our feet for long distance hiking in them.

Warmth


Although not the warmest model in this review, Adidas packed 200 grams of Primaloft Sport insulation into this boot to keep your feet warm when the temperatures are falling and you still want to get your outdoor workout in. When standing around and being inactive in the snow or cold temperatures, our feet began to feel chilly, but the insulation was more than enough once we started moving. In our ice bath test we noticed that the cold started to penetrate from the outside of the foot first. We thought this boot was about as warm as the Columbia Bugaboot II Slip On, but not as warm as the Columbia Bugaboot Plus III Omni-Heat. We gave it 6 out of 10 points for warmth.

We admit that there are some unique features on this boot  but the tongue overlap on the calf  shown here  has got to be fixed. It was firm and chafed and rubbed us raw in very short distances of hiking  thus receiving our lowest comfort score.
We admit that there are some unique features on this boot, but the tongue overlap on the calf, shown here, has got to be fixed. It was firm and chafed and rubbed us raw in very short distances of hiking, thus receiving our lowest comfort score.

Water Resistance


The Adidas proprietary waterproof membrane called ClimaProof (CP) shed the majority of the snow and slush we encountered in this boot. There is a lace-covering flap that keeps snow and ice from building up on the top of the boot and getting stuck in the laces and tongue, but that doesn't really stop water infiltration. In our ice bucket test, we noticed that water had leaked under this flap without problem, but luckily the tongue itself is waterproof and gusseted, and we suffered no leaks. The cuff of the boot is slim enough to wear under most pants, which is good because the exposed cuff material acted like a sponge when exposed to water and tended to stay wet. With such a low shaft height compared to boots like our Best Buy winner, the Kamik NationPlus, it is a good idea to use a gaiter when hiking in this boot to increase its weather resistance. Adidas has included a gaiter loop that can be hidden under the lace cover when not in use. The limiting factor here is the height of the boot and the top of the tongue gusset, which is at seven inches above grade. This boot received 8 out of 10 for water resistance.

The stretchy neoprene flap that covers the laces serves as a nice lace garage  but doesn't actually add anything in terms of warmth or water proofness to the top of this boot. After pulling the laces tight  stuff the ends under this flap and hook it over the single hook shown here to fasten.
The stretchy neoprene flap that covers the laces serves as a nice lace garage, but doesn't actually add anything in terms of warmth or water proofness to the top of this boot. After pulling the laces tight, stuff the ends under this flap and hook it over the single hook shown here to fasten.

Fit and Comfort


With this boot, sizing true to street shoe size worked well for us and left enough room for a heavyweight winter sock. Our foot felt simultaneously snug, while also feeling like it had enough room to breathe freely. Our main complaints with this boot had to do with comfort. For our head tester's feet (wider in the forefoot, skinny heel, skinny ankle), we felt that there were all sorts of rubbing and pinching pressure points that made this boot unpleasant to wear for even short walks. Some piece of material that was rough and pokey protruded into our baby toes on each boot. Also, we found the cuff around the top of the boot shaft to be very solid, rigid, and super uncomfortable around our shins and calves, like our foot was being strangled. There is a lot of insulative material in this area that is simply not soft, pliable, or comfortable. The very large and fat tongue that must be tucked on the inside of the boot doesn't help this situation, and we couldn't seem to alleviate the problem with tall padded socks or by keeping the top of the boot loose, which then presents other problems. They don't feel anywhere near as cozy as the top scorers for this category, The North Face Chilkat 400 or the Vasque Snowburban II UltraDry. Bottom line is: try this boot on before you purchase. 5 out of 10 points.

This boot was the only one in the test to implement quicklaces  which we really liked. Although they are not as easy with gloves on as with bare hands  we still thought they were easier than tying the laces  and don't come undone. Seen here is the thick tongue on the inside of the ankle cuff  an overlap which we found to be rigid  bulky  and fairly uncomfortable.
This boot was the only one in the test to implement quicklaces, which we really liked. Although they are not as easy with gloves on as with bare hands, we still thought they were easier than tying the laces, and don't come undone. Seen here is the thick tongue on the inside of the ankle cuff, an overlap which we found to be rigid, bulky, and fairly uncomfortable.

Ease of Use


These boots are easy to slip your foot into and feel almost like a Romeo-style slip-on shoe, but once you need to lace the boots up things get complicated. There is a quick lacing system that requires going around an outside lacing post, as well as a lacing post to close the lace covering. Even when well-versed in the lacing process, we still found ways to screw it up! This boot was at the far end of the ease of use spectrum, whereas the Bogs Classic Ultra Mid was the easiest to slip on. The lace locks are difficult, though not impossible, to use with gloves. These laces could easily be the first thing to break, and although we did not try it, we have heard successful reports of users replacing the speed lacing system with a thin aftermarket lace to create a more traditional lacing system. 6 out of 10 points.

Traction


Using Continental Temperature Sensitive rubber, these boots have an aggressive sole pattern that gave us a lot of confidence when walking from the car to the ski lodge on an icy day, or out on hard packed snow at the local cross country center. The rubber is a semi-sticky compound, which makes it useful on rocky terrain as a lightweight non-technical mountaineering boot, but is soft enough that you'll want to remember to take it off at the door to avoid marring your hardwood floors with black streaks. A heel counter on the heel allows for strap-on crampons and microspikes to be used more effectively should conditions necessitate better traction. We found the sole of this boot to work about as effectively as the Sorel Caribou: plenty good enough, but not by any means the best. 6 out of 10 points.

The Continental manufactured Traxion rubber sole on the Terrex Conrax CP was a bit disappointing when it came to gripping firm snow and ice compared to the other boots tested.
The Continental manufactured Traxion rubber sole on the Terrex Conrax CP was a bit disappointing when it came to gripping firm snow and ice compared to the other boots tested.

Best Applications


For the active person who wants one pair of boots to take on cold weather hikes in the snow, don snowshoes for a day trip, or keep your feet warm while coaching winter athletics, this is a good choice. Since they are low topped be sure to pair them with a gaiter if you are venturing into deep snow.

Value


At $300, this is the most expensive pair of boots in this review; however, they are also the most performance oriented boot and have more technical features than the other models in this review. The handy shopper can find the Conrax CP at lower prices online, just be aware that previous versions featuring a zipper have been shown to be much less durable than the current Velcro model. Due to comfort issues, we strongly recommend you try the boot on before purchasing, and to be honest, we have to say that this review is full of more comfortable and even practical options for considerably less money.

We liked the color shift in this year's model of the Terrex Conrax CP as it is now all black
We liked the color shift in this year's model of the Terrex Conrax CP as it is now all black,

Conclusion


For people who prefer a low top boot, the Adidas Outdoor Terrex Conrax CP is a viable option to meet their needs. It's designed like a shoe, but still comes with a firm sole, burly traction for snowy surfaces, and a healthy amount of synthetic insulation. Despite its relatively low profile, we want to emphasize that this is still a boot, and activities like running are going to feel limited. At the high cost and relatively low performance, we would recommend potential buyers to first consider one of our award-winning winter boots instead.
Andy Wellman

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Most recent review: November 17, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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