Adidas Terrex AX4 GTX hiking shoes review

Slimline and understated, there's more to the Adidas Terrex AX4 GTX Hiking Shoes than meets the eye. Here's our review

Adidas Terrex AX4 GTX Hiking Shoes
(Image credit: Mark Mayne)
T3 Verdict

The colour scheme might be monochrome, but the Adidas Terrex AX4 GTX are more than one-note wonder. Slimline and understated, these hiking shoes bring together dexterity, good grip and comfort in a surprisingly potent package.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Sticky soles deliver good grip

  • +

    Supportive sole unit

  • +

    Excellent dexterity

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Less breathable than some

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The Adidas Terrex AX4 GTX Hiking Shoes are part of the Summer 2022 range from Adidas’ outdoor brand. Designed to meet a wide range of hiking and walking demands, the trainer-style shoes are available now in four colourways (Black, Blue, Beige and Grey) with a UK RRP of £120. If you're after more ankle support, they're also available in a boot-height 'Mid' variant. 

This isn't the first walking shoe we've tested from the Terrex collection, and we've been consistently been impressed with what Adidas' adventure and outdoor sports line has to offer (check out out Adidas Terrex Skychaser XT review, or Adidas Terrex Swift R3 review for a couple of other options). So how do the AX4s hold up? Are they worthy of inclusion in our best walking shoes for men or walking shoes for women rankings? I tried out a pair to see. Read on for my full Adidas Terrex AX4 GTX Hiking Shoe review.

Adidas Terrex AX4 GTX hiking shoes review: design and build 

The Adidas Terrex AX4 GTX Hiking Shoes might look understated, but there’s plenty going on here to whet the appetite. From a titular Gore-Tex liner to the 4mm lugs on the sole, there’s business afoot. A dual-density EVA midsole glues a Continental Rubber outsole to a mesh and synthetic upper, itself made from Primegreen. The latter is a series of high-performance recycled materials, which results in no virgin polyester being used in the upper at all, and at least 50% of the upper is recycled content. The tongue is gusseted, very much in the style of a trail running shoe, which Adidas specifically mentions in the marketing blurb.  

Adidas Terrex AX4 GTX Hiking Shoes

(Image credit: Mark Mayne)

Retro-style reinforcements around the toes pair with the classic Adidas three stripe logo to offer some protection, while the retro theme is continued into the laces, which are as standard as you could wish for. A top hole is reinforced with a metal insert, while the lower lacing points are fabric, adding friction so that the ideal tightness is easily achieved. Overall it’s a lightweight but robust build, with some quality elements adding to a sense of overall competence. Adidas describes the Terrex AX4 GTX Hiking Shoes as 'quiver-of-one waterproof trail shoes' – a snowsports analogy that is easy to believe on looks alone.

Adidas Terrex AX4 GTX Hiking Shoes

(Image credit: Mark Mayne)

Adidas Terrex AX4 GTX hiking Shoes review: comfort and performance 

The low-profile design of the Adidas Terrex AX4 GTX Hiking Shoes means they’re easy to slip on and off, as befitting their trail heritage, and generous lace length means that adjustment is an easy matter, unlike some shoes that come up short in this department. The fit is relatively slim, and although not tight, our test pair was certainly snug – size up if you want to sport thick walking socks, for example. 

Adidas Terrex AX4 GTX Hiking Shoes

(Image credit: Mark Mayne)

Although the upper is billed as mesh, it’s very tightly woven, so less breathable than you might expect from a mesh upper, and the Gore-Tex liner also helps to trap the heat. Fortunately the low-cut ankle exposes the maximum of foot to the elements, so overheating isn’t on the cards, but equally in cooler conditions there’s plenty of potential for wind chill. That said, the combination is great for wet grass moments, shrugging off dew with ease, and the sole unit inspires confidence.  

Adidas Terrex AX4 GTX Hiking Shoes

(Image credit: Mark Mayne)

Surprisingly stiff for a shoe, the sole gives plenty of protection from unwanted lateral twists and turns (a main issue with low-cut options in the hiking shoe vs walking boot battle), providing good heel placements and stability on a range of surfaces. The 4mm lugs are well up to low-level walking tasks, and Continental Rubber is as sticky as you’d hope, again combining to good effect. That slim fit does really allow good foot placement too, there’s very little bulk to the shoe or sole, giving a sense of precision that’s well out of many a hiker-shoe’s league.   

Adidas Terrex AX4 GTX Hiking Shoes

(Image credit: Mark Mayne)

Adidas Terrex AX4 GTX hiking shoes review: verdict 

The Adidas Terrex AX4 GTX Hiking Shoes are exceedingly lo-fi in looks – think Batman meets orthopedics – especially in the all-black version I tested. However, they’re comfortable (if slim fitting), and actually do work very well as general walking/hiking shoes. The square-cut styling will appeal to many, and there’s no chunkiness or overbuilding here; these are slimline tools for the job. Overall, a good shout, and by packing sticky rubber and a membrane, there's little you won't be able to take on wearing these – especially if dexterity and precision is the order of the day.  

Mark Mayne has been covering tech, gadgets and outdoor innovation for longer than he can remember. A keen climber, mountaineer and scuba diver, he is also a dedicated weather enthusiast and flapjack consumption expert.