Adidas has been making waves in the climbing world with their acquisition of Five Ten and sponsoring climbers that are doing some high profile climbs.
We tested the first version of the Terrex solo a couple of years ago and thought it was time to see how Adidas has refined the Terrex Solo approach shoes. We have learned over the years that the first version had a fairly stiff sole with a great climbing zone under the toe area on the sole of the shoe. These basic ideas still hold, mostly, true. The mid-sole is a little less stiff and the tread pattern is deeper. The upper is now made of a very breathable synthetic mesh. One of our favorite features is still present, a very robust toe cap and rand. However, the transition from the rand to the sole has been improved. The sticky rubber climbing sole now extends all the way forward so that you can stand on smaller rock features when climbing and approaching start to blur into each other. The heel area has been coated in a plastic material to give structure and durability.
This is where the rubber meets the rock. The Adidas Terrex Solo has some really great improvements that our testers loved. The Terrex Solo was tested on various approaches in Little Cottonwood Canyon, and Moab Utah. The terrain ranged mellow established trail, to boulder hopping and scrambling up steep and loose scree slopes to desert towers. Additionally we tested the Terrex Solo to see how it performed aid climbing. Maybe not what Adidas had in mind, but it seemed like a good shoe for it. So, after surviving the approach and descent of Castleton Tower on a 105F day we took them up the Colorado Northeast Ridge route on Kingfisher tower, a decidedly dirty approach and climb involving muddy chimneys, standing in aid ladders for hours and sketchy free moves on sandy sloping ledges. Through all of this our tester reported nothing but success. The sole was stiff enough to make the aid climbing quite comfortable and the patch of smooth sticky rubber worked great on 5.8 free climbing moves. The burly toe cap did an amazing job at handling the huge amount of toe scraping that comes into play on aid climbs. They got beat up, but there is still plenty of rubber left for future climbs. The mesh upper kept feet dry and happy and did all of this without weighing a ton, 12.3 ounces.
With as well as the Adidas Terrex Solo performed I feel like we should have more to say, but the fact is they just did what was needed and did it well. They are comfortable. They are solid climbing shoes for both moderate free climbing and aid climbing, and did a great job with hot dusty approaches to desert climbing towers and granite cliffs. I’d say the $120 MSRP is a safe price and you have two color options to choose from: Gray on Black (tested), or Blue/Black.
More info at adidas.com