When you hear the brand Adidas you may think of cleats worn by injury-faking soccer players or perhaps the shoes on the feet of tennis stars, but the Adidas Outdoor division puts out plenty of great gear for travel and the outdoors. Over the years when I ran the Practical Travel Gear site I tried out a range of things from flip-flops to heavy winter ski coats and was usually impressed with the performance.
Adidas Outdoor leans toward performance gear, with lots of trail running shoes, wicking shirts, and apparel for biking and hiking. A while back they acquired the Five Ten brand, making them an instant leader in the rock climbing world as well.
The latest shoes of theirs I’ve been wearing are the Terrex CC Voyager Parley ones meant for hiking conditions where water is liable to be a factor. They’re built like sneakers, with plenty of support and structure, but they’ve got drain holes in the bottom for water and will dry really quickly. I hiked around the hills of the Bohemian Switzerland National Park in the Czech Republic with these and they performed really well. No blisters, no sore feet, and good for wading through streams.
They’re good “just in case” shoes for hikes that might get wet or when you’re going kayaking or canoeing and will have to walk on iffy surfaces near the shore.
I had similarly good experiences with other Terrex line shoes of theirs I’ve worn in the past. Their trail shoes are especially good all-around shoes for backpacking around the world. They’re good for walking miles on sidewalks or hiking through the mountains. If you want to get more specialized they make quality hiking shoes/boots, mountain biking shoes, approach shoes, and ones for rock climbing.
For more than six years now I’ve been wearing their Climacool boat shoes, not just on the water, but when I go for a bike ride too and want my feet to stay cool. I love the lacing system (nothing to tie), the water draining, and obviously the durability. I’ve also got a pair of Climacool flip-flops with drain holes that I’ve got to toss soon because they’re so compressed from heavy use and unfortunately they don’t make them anymore. They do make some massaging slides water shoes that look nice though.
The other new item I’ve been checking out is their Voyager Parley Hoodie. This and the Terrex Voyager shoes mentioned earlier are made through a partnership with Parley for the Oceans, a company that gathers up plastic bottles before they make it to the ocean and recycles them for fabric.
So when you buy a shirt or pair of shoes with this material in it, the recycled polyester is keeping the ocean pollution down. (Combine that with a SteriPen and you’re actually making a difference.)
This is a Climalite hoody that wicks sweat and keeps you dry, plus it has a pocket where you can keep some cash, keys, or credit card. I’m not as buff as this model, so I’ll let you look at it on his bod instead of mine. This retails for $64, but it looks to be already hitting the clearance racks, so watch for a sale. (Update – in 2023, I’m still packing this hoodie sometimes.)
The last couple times I went skiing I wore one of their heavy-duty jackets that was waterproof on the outside, then had a puffy removable jacket on the inside. I stayed toasty warm all the time. They make a lot of good-looking, less bulky jackets though that are more form-fitting if you want your shape to show on the slopes or the winter sidewalks—for men and women. See the jacket selection here: men or women.
Nobody will ever call the Adidas return policy generous: it’s only for 30 days, the item has to be unused, and it has to be purchased direct from their own website. This is no Tilley Hats when it comes to standing behind the products. Thankfully their pricing makes up for this a bit: you won’t see $650 jackets or $200 pants like you do with Arc’teryx or Helly Hansen. Most jackets come in under $200 and a lot of their shoes list for less than $100.
Adidas Outdoor apparel is available in the brick-and-mortar world at their stores and many athletic stores. You can find a good selection of their offerings at Backcountry.com.
Alas, it looks like this brand is disappearing as a stand-alone division of the company. Now it’s being lumped in with sneakers, soccer cleats, and tank tops on the Adidas.com site. So I’m expecting fewer products for travelers and less innovation in the future.
See more posts on my favorite travel gear here.