The Adidas Terrex Skychaser XT Gore-Tex hiking shoes are designed for fast and light hikes and adventurous walks. The XT Gore-tex version of the Skychaser line is the range-topper designed for more rugged terrain; there is also a 2.0 model that has similar features but a less chunky sole tread and traditional lace-up system, and also a mid-boot style if more ankle support is required.
For this model, the men's and ladies' versions aren't separate – there's one shoe that's available from UK 6.5 – 13.5, EU40 – 49 1/3. If you like shoes with great grip, that'll let you get away with scrambling across a stream or up a rocky slope (in some places, this style is referred to as an approach shoe) and offer superb fit and support when you do it, then these might be a great choice for you.
Terrex is Adidas' adventure and outdoor sports line, consisting of hiking and walking shoes, clothing and accessories that combine more than a mere dash of style with technical features. T3 has tested a few walking shoes from the Terrex collection, and consistently been impressed. This name crops up in both our best women's walking shoe and best men's walking shoe rankings.
Read on for our full Adidas Terrex Skychaser XT Gore-Tex walking shoe review, or head to our Adidas Terrex AX4 GTX hiking shoes review or Adidas Terrex Swift R3 hiking shoe review for a couple of other options.
Adidas Terrex Skychaser review: design and features
Adidas has packed in the features on this shoe while still keeping a neat, sleek and streamlined product – the Terrex Skychaser XT shoes are a lot less bulky or padded than other walking shoes we've tested recently. The synthetic upper is constructed from a breathable textile reinforced by a second layer that wraps around the mid foot providing support, plus waterproof and breathable Gore-tex lining.
A speed-lace system with a pull tab makes doing up the laces simple and quick, with a simple locking tab and a 'lace bungee' – an elastic strap that literally says 'lace bungee', which allows you to tuck the lace ends neatly out of the way.
The sole is constructed from Continental Rubber, of tyre fame, with directional chevron-shaped lugs that offer plenty of grip. Finally, an Adidas 'Boost' midsole – the kind you'll find on some of the best trail running shoes – offers support and responsiveness.
Adidas Terrex Skychaser XT review: performance and comfort
The fit of these shoes comes up true to size with a form-fitting and supportive mid section and comfortably roomy toe-box. However, the transition from mid section to toe box is a sharp transition and the shoes were noticeably tighter around the start of the ball of the foot. Walkers with narrower feet will find these shoes great, however, anyone with wider feet may not find these a good fit.
Getting the shoes on and off is pleasingly simple, as it's possible to pull the tongue open wide; this combined with a well-located pull-tab on the heel makes getting the shoes on easy-peasy. Lacing is quick too, with a speed lace system consisting of a pull tab and sliceable locking tab. A quick smooth pull and pressure is equally distributed across the top of the shoe which means no pressure hot spots or pulling bits of laces here and there. Once locked to your desired tension, the lace pull tab tucks under an elastic strap and out of the way.
While the lace stays securely done up and didn't slip despite some long walks and rock scrambles, there is some flapping about and knocking of the pull tab which can be distracting, but isn't a huge concern when it comes to performance. To get the shoes off, a quick tug on the locking tab to loosen the laces opens the top wide and they can be kicked off, especially handy if the shoes are covered in mud. We also liked the tongue design, which is attached with a gusset that prevents debris and water ingress, and prevents the tongue shifting while walking. A toe bumper provides additional protection, as does the reinforced heel.
Minimal padding and bulk make these an excellent choice if you get hot feet while walking or for walking in warmer conditions. They're very breathable too – good for spring, summer and autumn walks.
Chunky, aggressive and directional lugs offer plenty of grip and confidence when walking in mud or wet grass, both up and downhill, and the tackiness of the rubber also feels superbly traction-rich on rocks.
One big downside was the amount of heel lift we experienced; there was a lot of movement while walking and while we didn't experience any blistering, this was disappointing. It's a situation that could potentially be partially remedied by some silicone gripper dots on the inside of the heel cup.
Adidas Terrex Skychaser XT review: verdict
The Adidas Terrex Skychaser XT Gore-Tex women's hiking shoes are a feature-packed option that's ideal for fast and light hikes and walks in milder conditions. Gore-Tex lining means that soggy feet can be avoided while walking through morning due, rain or the occasional stream crossing, while remaining breathable enough to keep feet cool in hot weather. A continental Rubber sole with chunky, directional chevron lugs provides plenty of confidence-inspiring traction on a variety of surfaces from rocks to mud to wet grass, and user-friendly features like a wide opening tongue and quick-lace system make getting the shoes on and off nice and easy. Comfortable for long walks, we almost forgot we were wearing them (in a good way) leaving us to focus on the wonderful landscape we were walking through.