As an avid hiker and trail guide on five continents for my travel company Go Get Lost…Worldwide Adventures, I’m often asked what type of boots I wear while out on the trail, leading clients or by myself. Over the years I’ve worn, (and worn out), literally dozens of pairs of boots and hiking shoes from nearly every major manufacturer, including Vasque, Merrell, Salomon, Asolo, Columbia, and all the rest. There have been many that I’ve liked, and I’ve never really found any that I hated, but there have been a few that stand out as my personal favorites.
As I’ve mentioned in other articles, at any given time I have at least four different styles of hiking shoes and boots in my closet. I match the model to the type of hiking I’m doing that day. This article is going to highlight my Adidas Terrex Swift R3 Hiking Shoe, which I picked up at a wonderful little hiking store in Chamonix, France, while hiking in Mont Blanc.
Let’s get into the features of this amazing waterproof hiking shoe.
It’s slightly narrower than some of my other hiking boots and shoes, but still very comfortable. It tends to grip my foot snugly which is great if I’m on rocky trails where my foot will be at odd angles. This is one of the few hiking shoes I’ve found that uses Continental™ Rubber for the sole, which seems harder than typical hiking soles, but still has amazing gripping power on rocky trails, even when wet. The Swift R3 construction utilizes GORE-TEX to give it that blessed combination of “waterproof yet breathable”. A gusseted tongue seals out debris, and a rock protection plate and added heel support lets me scramble over rocky ground without missing a step. In fact I would rate them as the most nimble hiking shoe I own.
So far my Terrex R3s have accompanied me to the Italian Alps, the Patagonian Andes and Mont Blanc…not to mention a few local midwest trails. They are definitely one of my go-to hiking shoes, especially when the going gets rocky.
Adidas also makes an over-the-ankle Terrex R3 hiking boot for those of you that prefer the extra ankle protection and support. I’ve not tried them out, but they are on the short list of “My Next Pair of Hiking Boots”. For more information on this, see my article Hiking Boots..Over Ankle vs Low Cut.
The last bit of advice I’ll leave you with is this…the first thing I do after I buy a pair of boots is to pull out the insole and replace it with a high-performance brand, like Superfeet. Some brands even allow you to heat the insole in a microwave thereby more closely contouring your sole. I’ve found these after-market insoles can dramatically increase the performance and comfort of my footwear…I’m a believer. Although you can get crazy and spend big money on custom insoles, I’ve found you can get a nice insole for $35-$65.
You can find the Terrex R3 at Amazon.com, click to view: Adidas Terrex R3 Hiking Shoe.