The following write-up isn’t just about running shoes, so if you’re looking for our multi-brand product guide on waterproof running shoes, you can find it here.
If we tried to put together a buyer’s guide just for waterproof adidas running shoes, it would be very short. At the time of publishing this article, adidas only sells the Solarglide 4 with a waterproof Gore-Tex upper. And since the Solarglide 5 is just around the corner, the Solarglide 4’s days are numbered anyway.
And if you’re wondering where the Ultraboost Cold.RDY fits in, the name should be a dead giveaway. The Cold.RDY footwear assortment prioritizes warmth and outsole grip over waterproofing, so the winterized Ultraboost has a grippy outsole and insulated upper. The mesh is water-repellant, but not waterproof.
Most of adidas’s waterproof shoes are found in the outdoor (Terrex) category. That makes sense, as you’re more likely to encounter shallow stream crossing and/or mud during hikes.
Within adidas’s Terrex line, there are two different kinds of waterproof shoes – Gore-Tex and Rain.RDY.
Well, you know what Gore-Tex is – the industry standard for waterproof membranes. Cold.RDY is adidas’s proprietary waterproof fabric, just like Keen Dry or Columbia Outdry.
Solereview recommends: adidas Solarglide 4 Gore-Tex
At the time of publishing this article, the Solarglide 4 is the only waterproof running shoe in adidas’s assortment. That being said, adidas chose wisely.
The Solarglide is adidas’s equivalent of the Asics Cumulus or Brooks Ghost. And by the way, both the Cumulus and Ghost are sold in a Gore-Tex version too.
Just like the Cumulus and Ghost, the Solarglide 4 is a versatile daily neutral trainer. The full-length Boost infuses ride comfort for runs of all distances; the firmer EVA rim adds stability and makes the transitions smooth.
A single-piece Continental rubber outsole is combined with a snappy Torsion (now renamed LEP) shank for durable traction. The GTX version uses a Wintergrip version of the Continental rubber for better grip on wet pavements.
Solereview recommends: adidas Terrex AX4 Primegreen Rain.RDY
Since the adidas Terrex Agravic TR Gore-Tex’s availability is scarce at the moment, we recommend the $110 Terrex AX4 Primegreen Rain.RDY instead.
This waterproof hiking shoe is excellent value for money. The upper shell is reinforced with stitched overlays for protection, and the closed mesh prevents the dust and trail debris from getting inside.
A padded tongue and heel collar grips the foot in secure comfort. adidas claims that the ‘Primegreen’ upper uses 50% recycled content.
A firm dual-density midsole (no Boost here, sorry) adds plenty of ride stability. Even though a rock plate is missing, its 25 mm rear and 15 mm front stack heights provide the necessary levels of cushioned protection.
The 4 mm lugs of the Continental rubber outsole grip well, and have a lot of negative space between them – thus minimizing clogging during hikes.
In addition to the Solarglide 4 and Terrex AX4, here’s a curation of other waterproof adidas shoes.
1) adidas Terrex Free Hiker
The Terrex Hiker’s $225 price is a sticker shock, but one could argue that the mesh Ultraboost 22’s $190 pricing has been widely accepted.
If we look past the price, the Terrex Free Hiker has many features that a standard hiking shoe does not. For example, it’s extremely rare to find high-tech cushioning technology like Boost on an outdoor shoe.
Most hiking shoes have a firm midsole, so here is where the Terrex Hiker adds a lot of value to the outdoor shoe ecosystem.
The soft and responsive Boost stack makes the ride extremely comfortable for long-distance hikes. It’s also supported by an EVA frame and upper heel counter.
Speaking of the upper, the mid-cut exterior is completely waterproof due to the Gore-Tex layer. The fused overlays and printed details on the tightly-woven ripstop mesh make the Free Hiker’s upper durable and protective.
It also helps that the bootie-style heel keeps the dust and moisture out.
The Continental outsole is standard adidas equipment – the uniformly-spaced lugs and the Torsion shank helps deliver effective traction. The small lugs are not very deep, so the Free Hiker can also be used in urban environments.
2) adidas Terrex Swift R3 Gore-Tex
If the styling wasn’t already obvious, this is a significantly higher spec version of the Terrex AX4.
The Terrex Swift R3 has an adidas feature that we assumed was lost to time. We’re talking about the ‘Promoderator’ – the adidas name for a midsole stability wedge. Back in 2004-2007, adidas running shoes with a ‘Promoderator’ meant that the midsole had a medial post.
However, this being 2022 and all, firmer medial posts are nearly extinct. The Promoderator on the Swift R2 is not a medial post, but a TPU midfoot clasp that cups the foot on either side.
Additional protection comes from the rock plate and Continental rubber outsole with deep 4.5 mm lugs.
The midsole is made of Lightstrike EVA (of the SL20 3 and adios 6 fame) and is molded in a 25 mm : 15 mm stack configuration. That setup provides sufficient ride comfort, yet is efficient and stable enough for speed hikes.
The waterproof Gore-Tex upper doesn’t seem like much from the outside, but it has a clever trick or two. The first row of lacing is set wide apart for a higher level of fit adjustment. The speed loops also make the lacing process smooth.
At the front, a welded toe-bumper protects the foot from the inevitable bumps and nicks.
Also see: adidas Terrex Swift R3 Mid Gore-Tex.
3) adidas Terrex Skychaser Gore-Tex 2.0
This is another waterproof adidas outdoor shoe with a Boost midsole, but the Skychaser GTX 2.0 is a lot more than that.
The waterproof Gore-Tex upper uses variable width lacing for an adjustable forefoot fit, and is reinforced with a durable toe-bumper for protection on the trail. A sleeved and padded tongue provides secure interior comfort and absorbs the top-down lacing pressure.
Under the GTX upper is a Boost core that’s supported with an EVA frame. The 27 mm (rear) and 17 mm (forefoot) stack heights ensure adequate ride comfort for the long trail miles, whereas the aggressive 4.5 mm lugs of the Continental rubber outsole dig deep into the hiking trail. There’s a protective plate between the rubber outsole and soft Boost core.