Gearing up for warmer weather, hiking, and riding with three versatile pieces of gear from Adidas Terrex and sport eyewear. With a few months of wear and tear under my belt, or in this case, above, I have become attached to a few gear items from Adidas latest outdoor line. Here are my recommendations:
Adidas Terrex Fast GTX Surround Shoes
Receiving the Adidas Terrex Fast GTX Surround shoes was nearly as exciting as hiking in them. Upon first glance, there’s no mistaking the technical features of these performance trail shoes. Adidas designed the GTX Surround to be sleek, lightweight, waterproof, and breathable with capabilities far beyond its appearance. Although this may not seem revolutionary in today’s world of plenty, it’s how Adidas pulled this design off that makes the shoe so impressive. After four months of testing, and many hard miles I have some conclusions to share with you.
As their name suggests, the Adidas Fast GTX Surround has a very short break in period. But it’s an important one that shouldn’t be overlooked. Having narrow feet, I initially felt a strong pressure point near the ankle-bone area and assumed that these boots would absolutely cause too much pain. Boy was I wrong. After A single hike, with some sock adjustment and proper lacing of the shoe, I found myself wearing one of the most comfortable trail shoes I’ve worn in years. The lesson learned here: provide yourself with a hike or two and allow the shoes time to mold to your feet. NOTE: I would label the GTX Surround as a narrower shoe than many other models from Adidas Outdoor, however they do stretch outward just a bit with wear.
The Adidas speed lace system somewhat resembles the likes of Salomon shoes, and functions in a similar way. The entire structure is pre-laced and requires very little adjustment; ever. The elastic band on the front of the outsole is very handy, and does a great job at keeping the laces from flopping around. My only complaint is geared for the running crowd. When running, especially on the trail, I don’t like to feel my laces swinging around, at all. This system wasn’t only fast, it also provided me an incredibly snug fit. I appreciated how I was still in control over the lace tension, and could customize it from side to side. This is as close to custom as I could have expected; I was able to tailor the fit to each trail I hiked.
Continental Rubber Outsole
Another hard to miss feature is the Continental rubber outsole. Known for superior bike tires, Continental produces some of the stickiest rubber in the industry, and it proved to be a great choice for the Fast GTX Surround. The lugged rubber was equally reliable in wet and dry conditions; not something I can say often. I didn’t encounter much mud on my adventures, but gravel, sand, and even steep rock faces were fair game for this shoe. In fact, while scaling boulders near a running gorge, I slipped and braced for what should have been an impact with the bottom of the creek. But the splash never came as my right shoe somehow found another rock to adhere to, while the rest of my body latched on — quick reflexes! It’s a great feeling, to find a special confidence in a pair of trail shoes that haven’t let me down, even in conditions that could arguably be suited for a specialized shoe.
GORE-TEX and GTX Surround Ventilation
What more do I need to say than “GORE-TEX!”
This shoe uses the GORE-TEX in a closed outsole design, leaving no room for water to seep inward. As expected, this material is very resilient to the elements, repelling water almost too well. I was continuously criticized for my clean shoes when in reality, the water was simply washing them free of dirt every time I passed through a creek. The GORE-TEX material also proved to be pliable; I was never restricted with the way the shoe flexed when running or hiking. And since it’s a forgiving material, it worked well for rock gardens and steep sections on the trail. Adidas did include a well placed toe guard that saved my foot multiple times. Striking a boulder head on, with or without warning is an unpleasant experience. By no means is the shoe designed for mountaineering nor would it be the best choice for many of the larger peaks on my to-do list, but it’s a damn good, all around, fast-paced trail shoe that accommodates running, with lively grip.
The Adidas Fast GTX Surround is best suited for the all around trail athlete. This is a person who can keep things under control just as often as they push the limits. They want a shoe that can accommodate technical trail conditions, but is also forgiving and comfortable for all day pursuits. The day may start with a hike but with a single mood turn, transition into a run. The slim fit, colors, and materials also make it a solid shoe to wear into town. It’s a true weekend warrior.
Adidas Voyager Jacket
Spring and summer, my two favorite seasons of the year.
A little bit of sun, a little bit of rain, and a whole bunch of outdoor adventure. Most often, this means spending the season on my local trails hiking, riding, and running.
Surprisingly, the most challenging part of “getting out there” is choosing the right gear (apparel) for the weather. Especially near the coast, the mornings are cool and damp, followed by the mid-day sun, and breezy evenings.
Over the years I have accumulated numerous shell jackets to ride and run with, yet I couldn’t land on “the one.” That is, until I wore the Adidas Voyager jacket.
This jacket is lightweight, packable, fitted, breathable, water-resistant, and flexible. Simply put, it’s versatile. And versatility is exactly what I need for multi-season adventures.
All of these capabilities are designed into a minimal looking jacket that can be worn both on and off the trail. Additional features — two zippered hand pockets, adjustable hood, and waist — are handy for runners, riders, and climbers who need to keep hands warm and dry. Not to mention that they are perfect for carrying belongings. Never forget the keys!
The Voyager jacket fit fairly snug to my body but not tight, in any areas. In fact, the sleeves cuff at the wrist but offer too much material in the bicep region. I guess I need more time with the dumbbells to fill this jacket out. I could definitely do with more fitted arms for runs and hikes. The hood is cut very well and stayed secure during my activities. It’s a similar story for the waist. It’s fitted higher than most outdoor jackets, sitting at the waistline. This feature is incredibly important for running and riding where too much length can be a distraction. It even offers a slight taper on the back, providing wind coverage for the lower back region. Well done, Adidas.
I purposely wore the Voayger in as many weather conditions as I could encounter over a couple months of testing. As it’s UPF 50+ rating would suggest, I found this jacket to be most comfortable in moderate temperatures (64-72 degrees) with some sun exposure. Its doesn’t have much insulation to generate warmth so I paired it with a base layer for cold and damp mornings. The same can be said for evening rides in the canyon; a little more warmth was needed to be comfortable. However, the wind protection was adequate to replace a shell, especially when the sun was out. Unlike most shells, the Voyager is light and flows without friction or rubbing.
The Voyager really shined under the mid-day sun. I expected to overheat from my first experience on the trail. Simply wasn’t the case. The breathability (climacool) is exceptional from Adidas, and is so consistent in performance. I often need a bit of time to warm up for trail exercise and this jacket kept me so comfortable, well through that warm-up period. It’s become a habit to leave the Voyager on at all times, even when others seem to be sweating. If my wife doesn’t mind, I might just wear it out more often: dinner, errands, work… you name it, Ill sport it. And I must not forget! The Adidas Voyager is made from 90% recycled material. 90%!
Adidas 3Matic Sport Eyewear
While I’m sharing some of my favorites from the Adidas Outdoor Terrex line of performance gear, I want to introduce the Adidas 3matic from the sport eyewear line. Similar to the Voyager jacket and Fast GTX Surround shoes, the 3Matic shades are easily my most versatile pair. With oversized square frames that fit wide, they look more like common lifestyle glasses. However, their looks are deceiving. Although they are best suited for wider faces, I have been using them for gravel rides and trail runs without issue. And I would consider my face as being fairly narrow, or in my opinion, more aero dynamic.
Designed with polycarbonate and mirrored lenses, the 3matic (olive with active silver lens) excels under direct sun, whether in the mountains, on the trail, or on the water. This version of the lens also helps with making shadows more visible — a standout feature for any athlete on the trail.
Most recently, I used the 3matic for a road trip up the California Coast. From all day hikes to extended gravel rides, these sunglasses were fun to wear. I have been trying to ride with my “everyday” shades for years; they never did the job in the manner that these shades did. Much of this can be attributed to the wide frames and extended lens coverage. The range of vision, especially on the wide open Northern California roads, was refreshing. The gusty winds and gravel that was subsequently kicked up gave these shades a run for their money, near Point Reyes Station. To my surprise, I finished the day with just a single scratch on the mirrored lens. I didn’t expect them to remain completely intact the way they did, without a need for adjustment or sweat cleaning. NOTE: The 3matic fits very clean with most hats but should be tested with your helmet style for clearance near the ear. Or, you can simply shoot Adidas Sport Eyewear an email.
With double-snap nose pads and traction grip on the frame arms, the 3matic is undoubtedly more than what meets the eye. Unlike nearly all performance shades, these assimilate into daily life thanks to their looks and technical materials. A real trail-to-table pair of shades.
There is a ton of gear available in the outdoor industry, making it very difficult to choose between one or the other. I have found that Adidas is emphasizing an importance on versatile equipment that spans a large spectrum of intended use. A characteristic that wins me over 9 times out of 10. When I stumble across gear that is just as useful on the trail as it is in daily life, now that is icing on the cake. See you out there.