Durability, grip and comfort
Like the taller Protect version, the Adidas Terrex Trail Cross SL uses a high-friction Stealth rubber sole and ticks boxes of durability, grip and comfort.
Since testing a few years back, Adidas has significantly tweaked the design and construction, introducing different materials into the upper to add cut and abrasion resistance and also improve drying times.
The SL is marginally lighter than the boot version, but still on the heavier side, thanks in part to the same triple-zone, chunky Stealth sole with its reinforced toebox and extra ‘bumper’ wrapping at both ends. This thicker sole is supple, but with a supportive midsole offers good cushioning and defence smashing through rocks. Extra base material inevitably adds more weight to turn over while pedalling, and the SL isn’t quite as conforming or planted on platforms over the roughest trail segments as the Five Ten Freerider Pro’s benchmark dimpled sole.
Even with the upper perforated for cooling and air-flow, the Terrex isn’t too chilly and brushes off splashes and muck well, but being quite thin and flexible it’s not as rigid and supportive as some tighter-fitting, stiffer bodied shoes.
Overall, Adidas has nailed it with the Terrex. Fifteen pounds more than previously means the price is less competitive now, but the quality, comfort levels (on and off the bike) and pedal feel are still top drawer. It’s proven durable too, so just about the only criticism is the thinner upper allows the foot to twist marginally from side-to-side independently of the sole more easily than some stiffer shoes if you like a locked-down feel.
Adidas Terrex Trail Cross Protect review
- Weight: 480g (960g pair)
- Sizes: 6 to 13.5
Adidas now owns Five Ten and offers a growing range of Stealth rubber-soled riding shoes, with this Terrex model being one of the most technical and unique. The ankle-height boot has thick sticky Stealth rubber underneath for sorted pedal grip, and increased levels of armour and support higher up.
The extra protection comes via a comfortably padded ankle wrap with an impact-hardening D30 cuff. This fends off crank knocks, keeps dirt and crud outside, and also adds extra stability to support against rolling ankles. The Terrex upper uses a light, flexible rip-stop fabric that breathes well so feet never badly overheat (even inside the thicker protective toe box), and the vented shell resists splashes and rain well and dries quickly after cleaning.
The chunky Stealth rubber base is divided into segments, with deep ridged ends for hiking traction and a triangle-patterned mid zone for maximum pedal grip and pin meshing. The outer edges use tough rubber bumpers to fend of rocks and knocks, without making the boot so bulky issues arise with rubbing stays or crank arms. We’ve hammered this boot in all conditions for a full year now and durability and build quality has been excellent.
Adidas really has everything totally dialled here. There’s great grip, enough comfort for every day use and more protection and stability than most rivals. Pedal stability is excellent, although very slightly less locked on than the Five Ten Freerider’s ultimate stickiness, damping and bite. There’s less pedal feel as a consequence of the moderately thick sole too.
Still, considering the technical protection features, plentiful grip and build quality, the £130 asking price is very competitive for such a feature rich shoe.