Sock Boot Built for Hiking
Adidas Terrex Free Hiker
The Adidas Terrex Free Hiker is a unique boot made of Primeknit material that feels like a sock. This sucks the ankle and foot into the boot for a secure fit. Add Boost midsole and it is one comfortable hiking shoe!
Adidas uses a stretchy knit material for the main part of the boot. Called Primeknit, this water repellent material is actually quite soft to the touch. Making this a very comfortable shoe. The stretch knit material does a good job of creating a seal around the ankle. This helps keep debris from entering the shoe. Much like a gaiter would do, only this is built into the boot.
I was hesitant as to whether the knit material would be enough support for hiking and mixed use. To my surprise, the material did a good job keeping my foot adhered to the boot. Not sure if I even need to use the shoelaces!
Notice the “400” on the red shoe pull? That is to signify that the boot weighs in at 400 grams on average. The size 11.5 I tested came in at 448 grams. The knit material certainly help Adidas lowe the weight of this boot, and it is noticeable. Despite the lightweight, the Free Hikers are quite capable hiking boots.
Continental is no slouch when it comes to traction. They make some great tires. So Adidas tapped them to make a grippy outsole. I took these grippy hikers on trails and even into the snow.
The Boost midsole is something you need to experience. Adidas claims it is the most responsive cushioning they have ever made. The “Endless Energy” system gives back the energy you give it. Meaning, the harder you hit the Boost, the more it gives back. Hard to quantify this, but it does feel good when you get after it on the trail.
Being that it is still winter here in Colorado, I took the Free Hikers to the mountains to play in the snow. With the claim that the Primeknit material is water resistant, I wanted to see how far we could push them.
While the Continental rubber sole was good on gripping in the hard snow, the knit material was not as good at keeping our feet dry. Now, keep in mind we were post-holing in deep snow at some points. Something I doubt you will be doing in these boots. They did not claim to be waterproof, so let’s give them some breathing room (puny!)
Good news – the knit material did a great job of keeping snow out of the boot. That is a major victory! I can see this design being great for hikers and runners who are in mud and other gnarly situations. This could even take place of trail gaiters!
Final Review of Free Hiker
The Adidas Terrex Free Hiker is a very comfortable boot. Or shoe. Not sure what to call it. I found the fit is 1/4 a size larger than normal. The toe box is wide and allows for good natural splaying. This might be too wide for some, especially with the slightly larger build. I would recommend sizing down for a good fit. Comfort is unreal. Not sure if the Boost is really giving back all the energy as Adidas claims, but whatever it is doing feels good.
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