Designed to be the go to shoe for everything from loose mountain scrambles to slabby approaches this shoe features the Adidas’ Stealth rubber for that goto sure-footedness regardless of temperatures or terrain. While testing these shoes in the Colorado Rockies one of the first things I noticed was the stiffness of the shoe. Usually for approach shoes I am use to a bit more flexibility to aid in knowing when your foot placement is and how the terrain is reacting to your foot step. Often I felt as if I had bricks on my feet and was just plodding my way through the hills almost like ski boots. And to be honest the support this shoe gives makes me feel confident that I could carry a moderate pack with out appreciable fatigue. In fact I had to look down at my feet several times to realize that I was not in full boots and just low cut hikers.
The stickiness of the Stealth rubber combined with the specifically designed lug patterns and slab climbing toe design definitely kept me in good contact with the surface and as the boot (<– see I did it again, I mean’t shoe) warmed up so did the flexibility.
After some time I could start to roll the sole a little bit to get a greater contact patch with the ground for a little more sure footed feeling. However I never could feel the rocks like I am use to with other low hikers/approach shoes.
For a 14oz shoe (per shoe) it is remarkably solid and again felt more like a boot than a shoe, but it does what it needs to in the hills. I don’t think I am completely sold on this shoe, but if Adidas were to add some SPD compatibility I think this would be an amazing shoe for adventures ranging from hiking and scrambling to mountain biking (the sole is that stiff!).