Adidas Terrex Trailmaker GTX – Gear Review

Hiking is done in boots. Or at least that’s what I thought. So I always used my Lowa Renegade GTX Mid boots, no matter the weather or the temperature. However, last year I came across several hikers on the PCT and the one thing I noticed was that most of them are doing this incredible thru-hike on trailrunners. Choosing comfort over sturdiness. So, about 6 months ago I decided to change up my footwear and get myself a pair of Adidas Terrex Trailmaker GTX.

Sustainability of Adidas

From a sustainability perspective I was not directly sold on Adidas. However, I found some initiatives and reports which gave me the indication that Adidas is at least concerned with sustainability. Here are some examples of these initiatives;

ZeroDye-line: skipping the mostly unnecessary step of dying shoes which saves on water, energy and chemical usage.  
Parley-line: made from recycled PET bottles intercepted from the oceans.
Futurecraft.Loop:  a running shoe with a circular design, made to be recyclable into a new pair of shoes at the end of its lifespan.

In addition, Adidas outperforms its competitors in the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark. The CHRB is an open and public benchmark of corporate human rights performance created by a collaboration between investors and civil society organisations.

Durability of the Terrex Trailmaker

What convinced me to get the Trailmaker was the promise of durability. The shoes utilize premium materials from Gore-tex and Continental, which gave me the idea that I could use these shoes for a long time.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Within six months the Continental soles have basically worn out. I was using the shoes both on and of the trail, which I apparently should not have done. The increased grip comes from softer rubber soles and softer soles wear out faster on a hard surface. Even so, these soles have worn-out very quickly which definitely surprised me. At the moment the pictures were taken I had used the shoes consistently off and on the trail for about 3-4 months.

Adidas Terrex Trailmaker – Continental soles heavily worn after a couple of months

One of the features that I liked about this shoe was that it was waterproof. However, the shoes no longer are due their design. While walking, holes were created in the Gore-tex. Because there is friction at the bend point. I’m not sure if it’s very visible in the picture, but there are basically holes on both sides of both shoes at the bending point.

Adidas Terrex Trailmaker – Holes in the Gore-tex at the bending point

Overall opinion of Adidas and the Terrex Trailmaker GTX

As you might expect from reading my experiences I’m disappointed in the Trailmaker. I’ve contacted Adidas to ask their opinion on my experiences and to find out how such an A-brand shoe (Adidas, Gore-tex, Continental) could perform so badly. They did respond to my first email, but after some further questions I didn’t get a reply anymore.

As I don’t want to throw away these shoes I’ll use them until they completely fall apart. Which at this rate should not take too long.. So in the meantime I’ll keep looking for sustainable options.

Which shoes do you think I should have a look at?

2 thoughts on “Adidas Terrex Trailmaker GTX – Gear Review”

  1. I like the fact that you critically analysed the durability of this product, HOWEVER.
    As a sales employee I do not know how to react to this review, for I don’t know where the fault is. In the product, in the use or in the sale?
    In first instance I’d say within the sale, for it should have been mentioned explicitly that this product is not made for the streets but rather soft grounds. Secondly the fault in the gore-tex could be a fault in the fact that the shape of the shoe does not fit the shape of your foot, however due to the fact that they changed the design (they stitched this seem now) makes it more likely that it is a fault in the design.
    All things considered it seems to me that it is a combination of all, which could be prevented whenever one researches a product properly in advance.

    • Thanks for your comment! You are definitely right regarding the soles, that could have been prevented if I had researched the type of shoe more or let a sales employee inform me a bit more on the shoe. Now I had to learn it the hard way, as it’s something I had never realized before. That’s also why I thought it would be important to share this, to inform people like myself not to make the ‘mistake’ of using shoes on the wrong surface. However, it did surprise me how quick they wore out (even given that they are not made for hard surfaces).

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