Adidas Terrex Swift R3 Gore-Tex Review

Our Award: Best for Winter

Adidas are a brand that it’s pretty much impossible not to have heard of and they’ve been making waves for a number of years now with their outdoor range named Terrex. It’s a versatile hiking shoe that punches well above its weight for the cost and offers something very tough, durable and capable of taking on tough terrain.  

adidas Terrex Swift R3 Gore-TEX Hiking Shoes Women's, Grey, Size 9.5

Great news: This shoe is also available in a men’s fit.

Pros / Reasons to Buy

  • Feels durable, tough and strong
  • Offers excellent traction on slippery surfaces

Cons / Reasons to Avoid

  • Can run a little large for those with narrow feet
  • You might find this hiking shoe stiff if you’re used to a lighter trail runner

See the Adidas Terrex Swift R3 Gore-Tex in more detail: 

Editor’s note: This article is part of our guide to the best hiking shoes, be sure to check out the rest of this guide for our top buying tips:

We’ve been very impressed with the hiking shoes offered by Terrex – their range may have started small as the sub brand offered by Adidas, but now their product portfolio has continued to grow to create a strong offering for even the toughest of adventures. The Swift R3 is no different, and we’ve found it holds up extremely well on harsh terrain and rocky surfaces, through rain and everything in-between thanks to its solid build and Gore-Tex waterproofing. If you decide to buy this hiking shoe from Adidas Terrex, we think you’ll be impressed!

Compare to Similar Products: 

Product
Danner Womens Trail 2650
Columbia Women's Trailstorm
Hoka Speedgoat 5
Adidas Terrex Swift R3 Gore-Tex
Keen Zionic Speed
Altra Lone Peak 7
Adidas Terrex AX4 Gore-Tex Hiking Shoes
Keen NXIS EVO Low Height Waterproof Hiking Shoe
La Sportiva Spire GTX
Merrell Moab Speed
Oboz Sawtooth X Low Waterproof
On Cloudwander Waterproof
Merrell Siren Edge 3
Danner 612836M Women's Trail 2650 3' Gray/Blue/Spectra Yellow 6M
Columbia Women's Trailstorm Waterproof Hiking Boot
HOKA ONE ONE Womens Speedgoat 5 Textile Synthetic Scuba Blue Black Trainers 8 US
adidas Terrex Swift R3 Gore-TEX Hiking Shoes Women's, Grey, Size 9.5
KEEN Women's Zionic Low Height Waterproof All Terrain Hiking Shoes, Desert Sage/Ember Glow, 5
ALTRA Women's AL0A7R7G Lone Peak 7 Trail Running Shoe, Light Gray - 5.5 M US
adidas Women's Terrex AX4 Primegreen Hiking Shoe, Magic Grey/Dash Grey/Acid Red - 5
KEEN Women's NXIS Evo Low Height Waterproof Fast Packing Hiking Shoes, Sea Moss/Ipanema, 11
La Sportiva Womens Spire GTX Low Hiking Shoes, Clay/Celery, 8.5
Merrell Moab Speed Hiking Shoes for Women – Textile Construction – PU Foam Insole – FloatPro Foam™ Midsole Black 6.5 M
Oboz Sawtooth X Low B-Dry Hiking Shoe - Women's Slate - 5 Medium
ON Womens Cloudwander Waterproof Textile Synthetic Black Eclipse Trainers 8.5 US
Merrell womens Siren Edge 3 Hiking Shoe, Rock/Bluestone, 5 US
Buying Options
Our Ratings
Best Overall Women's
Best Budget
Best Lightweight
Best for Winter
Best for Long Distances
Best for Trail Running
Pros
Durable build. Extremely comfortable
Exceptionally good hiking shoe for the price point. Clever traction design in the lugs
Extremely well cushioned and comfortable fit. Deep lugs offer good traction on slippery surfaces
Well protected and durable. Great traction and feels very grippy
A great fast and light shoe. Roomy toe box, and comfortable for wider feet
Roomy toe box. Excellent traction.
Striking design. Makes use of recycled material
Light weight. Good environmental credentials
Light Weight. Ultra breathable
Lightweight. Iconic Moab fit and comfort
Durable build. Good water resistance
Excellent balance of weight and waterproofing. Stiffer design gives a more technical feel
Very light. Often very reasonably priced
Cons
Not the cheapest. We found they didn't keep our feet warm in wet conditions
Breathability concerns in warmer temperatures
Colorways are divisive. lacking in stiffness between outsole and midsole
Pretty rigid - not the most fast and light shoe on the market, can feel a little big
Not waterproof. Durability concerns on the sole
Less durable. Pricey
Looks may be too much for some. Slightly narrow fit may be unsuitalbe for wider feet.
May not be best fit for narrower feet. A bit pricey
Pricey. Some may prefer a more rigid shoe
Not most supportive. More expensive than the regular Moab
Heavy. Longer break-in period
Some may find them too stiff. Can be pricey.
Not Waterproof. Some durability concerns
Traction
Vibram outsole with medium/deep thread pattern
Extremely good
Very good
Extremely good
Average
Full rubber outsole with medium/deep thread pattern
Continental outsole with medium deep thread depth
Full rubber outsole with medium thread depth
Vibram outsole with deep thread pattern
Vibram outsole with medium/deep thread pattern.
Very good
Very good
Good
Breathability
Perforated suede outer with breathable mesh inner
Not so great
Good
Good, but Gore-Tex membrane does play in here
Excellent
Full mesh upper
Breathable mesh upper with Core-Tex membrane
Breathable mesh upper and lining with anti-odor treatment
Breathable mesh upper with Gore-Tex
Full mesh upper
Average
Good
Very good
Ankle Support
Minimal - Low top shoe with minimal ankle support
Minimal
Minimal
Minimal
Minimal
Minimal - Low top shoe with minimal ankle support
Minimal - Low top shoe with minimal ankle support
Minimal - Low top shoe with minimal ankle support
Minimal - Low top shoe with minimal ankle support
Minimal - Low top shoe with minimal ankle support
Minimal
Minimal
Minimal
Arch support
Gentle arch support
Regular
Regular
Regular
Minimal
Gentle
Subtle arch support
Gentle arch support
Gentle arch support
Gentle
Good
Regular
Regular
Fit
Available in medium width and in sizes from US 5/ UK 3.5/ EU 36 up to US 11/ UK 9.5/ EU 44
Regular
Standard/slightly wide
Regular/wide
Standard/slightly wide
Roomy and good for wider feet with natural movement. Available in sizes from US 5.5/UK 3.5/EU 36 to US 12/UK 10/EU 44.5
Available in sizes from US 5/ UK 3.5 /EU 36 up to US 12/ UK 10.5/ EU 45.3
Iconic Keen fit' - Wider fit with extra space at forefoot. Available in sizes from US 5/ UK 3.5/ EU 36 up to US 12/ UK 9/ EU 43
Fits true. Typically suitable for normal to narrow feet. Available in sizes from US 5/ UK 3/EU 36 up to US 11/ UK 9/ EU 42
Similar to the Moab 3 - but a little more narrow but still suitable for most hikers. Available in sizes from US 5/UK 2.5/EU 35 to US 11.5/UK 9/EU 43
Normal and wide verisons available
Standard/slightly narrow
Normal and wide versions available
Materials
Suede and synthetic
Synthetic
Synthetic
Synthetic with 50% recycled upper
Synthetic
Fully synthetic
Fully synthetic with Gore-Tex membrane. Adidas claims upper contains a minimum of 50% recycled material
Fully synthetic with waterproof 'KEEN.DRY' membrane
Fully synthetic with Gore-Tex membrane
Fully synthetic. Merrell claim these sheos are vegan.
Synthetic and leather
Synthetic
Synthetic
Appearance
Modern design with classic elements and materials. Available in a wide range of colour ways.
Modern cross between hiking shoe and trail runner
Trail running shoe
Modern hiking shoe
Trail running shoe
A really nice looking shoe that could work well for multiple purposes such as hiking and trail running - with a variety of striking color designs
Striking angluar design available in a wide rang eof colour ways
Distinctive good looks available in multiple colour ways
Available in multiple colour ways with striking styling, typical of La Sportiva.
Does something inbetween a hiking shoe and trail runner and comes in a variety of striking colourways
Modern hiking shoe
Modern hiking shoe
Modern hiking shoe
Durability
Very high
Considering the price point, seems durable
Average
Rip resistant synethetic finish with durable Continental sole
Longer term durability concerns
Medium to high
Medium to high
Medium to high
Medium to high
Medium to high
Excellent
Good
Some durability concerns
Weight (pair)
680g/1lb 08oz
500g/1lb 3oz
460g/1lb
700g/1lb 7oz
544g/1lb 2oz
635g/1lb 4.5oz
758g/1lb 11oz
644g/1lb 6oz
740g/1lb 10oz
640g/1lb5oz
800g/1lb 12oz
640g/1lb 7oz
560g/1lb 4oz
Insoles
Removable three-layer cushioned insoles
Standard insole
Standard insole
Standard insole
Standard insole
Removable padded insole
Removable insoles
Removable padded insole
Removable padded insole
Removable padded insole
Paded, shaped 'O FIT' insole
Standard insole
Standard insole
Break-in Period
Minimal
Minimal break in
Minimal
Minimal break in
Minimal break in
Very minimal
Minimal
Minimal
Minimal
Very minimal
Short break in period
Short break in period
Very minimal
Lacing system
Standard laces
Ghillie lacing
Standard lacing system
Traditional laces
Traditional laces
Standard laces
Standard laces
Standard laces
Standard laces
Standard laces
Standard laces
Standard laces
Standard laces
Toe Protection
Rubeerized, semi-rigid toe cap with rubber rand around front section of shoe
Rubber toe rand
Rubber toe rand
Rubber toe rand
Minimal rubber toe rand
Hard but not solid
Rubberized, reinforced, but non-rigid toe and front section
Hard, but not solid, rubber toe cap.
Non-rigid PU 'TechLite' toe cap
Hardened rubber toe cap
Reinforced toe
Rubber toe rand and small toe cap
Reinforced toe

Analysis and Test Results

We overall found that the Terrex Swift R3 performed very well and is a great hiking shoe for winter due to its waterproofing and rigid build. If you’re used to more flexible hiking shoes, you may find this shoe a little stiff at the start, but once you get used to it, you’ll love it. We’d particularly recommend it for alpine, mountainous, rocky, and craggy terrain as it has excellent grip.

Performance Comparison

Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX

Traction

Adidas make use of Continental rubber on their soles who you’ve likely heard of as a tire manufacturer. As you’d expect, the lugs and sole offer deep grip and are extremely durable on a whole range of surfaces. You’ll find them to grip just as well to rock as they do more slippery trails and in mud, the well-spaced lugs help to prevent clogging and extra weight being picked up on your shoe.

We’ve packed in a lot of miles in the Swift R3’s and the sole is holding up extremely well without any durability concerns – we feel like they’re in it for the long haul and should last a very long time if treated and looked after well.

Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX Traction

Breathability

We had seen some reviews state that the breathability on this Gore-Tex version of the Terrex Swift R3’s made for sweaty feet due to the full waterproofing. However, we haven’t really experienced this problem. Yes, waterproof hiking shoes don’t give the same level of breathability as a fully mesh hiking shoe will do, but we are always happy to take that hit in order to have the waterproofing. If you’re hiking in desert conditions or somewhere with little rain, you may want to go for the non-waterproof version (which is actually a little cheaper too), but otherwise, we think it is a worthy trade.

That said, even through our tests in hotter temperatures, we didn’t really find the breathability to be anymore compromised than any other waterproof hiking shoes in our reviews. We find a thinner, breathable sock helps a long way here, and we think that any breathability differences you get from this shoe won’t be a problem for you.

Ankle Support

The Terrex Swift R3 GTX hiking shoes don’t offer a huge amount when it comes to ankle support – it’s important to keep in mind that a hiking shoe is never going to offer the kind of support you’ll get from a proper hiking boot. However, the ankle feels well positioned. That is only if you get the exact right size – because these hiking shoes can run a little big, you may experience some wobbling in the back. Admittedly, the shoes we tested felt like we could have used a half size smaller and, on some descents, they felt a little on the loose side. So, this is something to bear in mind if you want to feel an even better support around your ankle.

Arch Support

The Adidas Terrex Swift R3 Gore-Tex offers what we’d call a standard level of arch support – this does differ ever so slightly between the men’s and women’s version of the shoe, with the men’s offering slightly more than the women’s. Though this is barely noticeable. The sole of the shoe is extremely rigid, so this allows for very little in arch and foot movement on the trail, allowing the foot to stay well positioned at all times and avoiding fatigue.

Fit

It’s been said that the Adidas Terrex Swift R3 Gore-Tex runs a little large. Our reviewer has slightly wider feet and actually found the fit a little snug around the toe box, but it is roomier in the heel. It’s a little hard to keep the heel in place at times, especially as there is no fine control on the heel, so if you have narrower feet, you may want to go down half a size.

Materials

These hiking shoes make use of at least 50% recycled materials in the upper, which is great to see. All the materials used on the Swift R3 GTX are synthetic and are classed as abrasion resistant. We put this to the test in deep, root prone forest and we had no problems at all with rips and pulls. Over longer-term wear, we feel confident that these shoes should stand the test of time.

Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX Materials

Appearance

The look will be a little bit divisive for some people on these hiking shoes. They certainly look more at the fashion end of hiking shoes – and take a lot of their cues from Adidas’ other shoes. That said, we quite liked the way they look and would have no problem wearing them around town in the evening after a day out on the trail. They’re also offered in a few colorways, with some more understated and others a little bolder. It’s worth noting that if the waterproofing isn’t important to you, that you can actually get more color options in the non-waterproof version.

Unlike some of Terrex’s other shoes, these offer a smoother design from start to finish rather than being boxy, which we think is a nice addition to their portfolio and makes for a streamline shoe that has all of the benefits of a boot (minus the ankle support).

Durability

Given that Terrex make use of both Continental soles and Gore-Tex within their design for the Swift R3, we have no concerns about their durability for longer term wear. So far, these hiking shoes so no real signs of giving up, and they’re going as strong as ever – we think they will likely last you a long time if looked after well. The ripstop and rip resistant finish will also help with longer term wear and there are plenty of areas that when you look at these shoes, you’ll see they’re reinforced well in key areas.

Sustainability

We were happy to see Adidas making use of 50% recycled materials on the upper of the Terrex Swift R3 GTX hiking shoes. Hopefully over time, this will be more until it reaches a point where their shoes are fully recycled. We also truly believe that sustainability comes from not buying as much, or buying less over time, and with that in mind we have no concerns about the durability and useability of these hiking shoes. They should stand the test of time if you look after them well.

Water Resistance

These hiking shoes are marketed as fully waterproof – they make use of a Gore-Tex membrane and from our tests live up to their waterproof claims. Waterproofing is relative though – you can’t expect to go through a deep puddle or deep snow with shorts on and expect for your feet to come out unscathed. You could, however, make use of waterproof trousers and a gaiter to create a really good, waterproof layer with these. That said, these offer excellent protection from the rain. 

Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX Water Resistance

Weight

The Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX hiking shoes weigh in at 700g/1lb 7oz (this varies depending on which size you buy). Compared to the other shoes in our guide to the best hiking shoes on the market, this falls pretty much within the average. They feel very lightweight on the trail and their shape, as well as their design feel very swift and fast moving.

Insoles

On close inspection, these hiking shoes come with a very standard looking insole, and there is no further information from Adidas about this. This will suit most hikers easily, but if your insole is of specific concern, you will have no problem replacing the insole with something more suited to your needs.

Break-in Period

Whilst these hiking shoes were pretty much comfortable straight out of the box, we did find they needed a little bit of a break-in. This is obviously personal preference, and you might find them trail ready pretty much straight away. Our tester found them to be rigid and a little tight around the toe box, so they took a few wears to feel really comfy and get the tension right in the lacing. We’d never recommend heading straight out on a long hike with a new pair of hiking shoes, you should always feel they’re ready before you take them for longer adventures!

Lacing System

The R3’s use a standard lacing system. The laces do feel a little bit thin, and these could fray over time, so you may want to look at replacing them for something a little more durable.

Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX Lacing

Toe Protection

The rubber toe rand on these shoes feels really robust and durable – we tried a lot of kicking into rocks and general clumsiness to see how they fared, and they stood up exceptionally well. The only thing of concern is that if they are a little large on the heel for you, you may find your foot moves forward and is more prone to kicking the front of the shoe – proper lacing and working out the best pattern for you should stop this – read our article on correct lacing here.

Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX Toe Protection

Conclusion

Like most of the Terrex shoes we’ve tested, we liked the Swift R3 Gore-Tex – they felt like a really great contender amongst some of the biggest names in the outdoors world and gave some of those a real run for their money.

If you’re looking for a hiking shoe that feels as close to a hiking boot as you can get without actually being a hiking boot, then you may well have found it with these hiking shoes. They might not be for you if you want something more flexible, but if you want a well versed sole that is ready to take on all weathers and a waterproof model, you will be glad you bought the Swift R3’s.

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