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.