Adidas Outdoor Terrex AX3

Affordable, lightweight and durable, the Adidas Outdoor Terrex AX3 is a no-nonsense shoe that offers consistency and quality without making much fuss about it. This trail running shoe is made for fast paces across rugged, uneven terrain, and it provides the traction and protection needed for a comfortable and reliable run.

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Where to Buy
Where to Buy
Pros & Cons
  • Very lightweight and fast
  • Responsive
  • Versatile design
  • Continental tire rubber outsole offers good traction
  • Comfortable
  • Great protection
  • Durable, sturdy shoe
  • Very breathable
  • Flexible, with smooth heel-to-toe transition
  • Cons
    • Lacks cushioning for day-long runs
    • Only suitable for light trails

      Key Features
      The outsole of the Adidas Outdoor Terrex Agravic X3 trail shoe is made from the same Continental rubber from which car tires are built. This compound, which is a trusty ally of the Adidas Terrex line, offers excellent durability and traction on both wet and dry surfaces. The Traxion tread pattern of this slip-resistant sole features arrow-shaped, multidirectional lugs that are prominent in the forefoot and heel area, while the midfoot area, right under the arch, remains lug-free, in order to increase the flexibility of the sole and provide a better grip on varied surfaces. The heel features three deep flex grooves that not only increase traction but encourage swift heel-to-toe transition as well. Compared to the Agravic Speed Plus, the lugs are bigger and the tread pattern features more flex grooves, possibly making this shoe a slightly better option for muddy terrain.

      The midsole of the AX3 is comprised of the durable and lightweight EVA foam that is flexible and offers moderate cushioning without being too flashy or having elaborate technology on top of it. The midsole is shaped so as to cover the front lateral parts of the upper in order to increase the overall durability, given that these are well-known, high-wear areas that tend to break down and tear fast. The midfoot part of the outsole is slightly elevated, in order to provide some structural support to the arch. On top of the EVA midsole is a removable molded sockliner that provides additional cushioning and comfort.

      The material used in the composition of the Terrex AX3’s upper is a mixture of Ripstop mesh and synthetic overlays, with textile lining. The sturdy, abrasion-resistant mesh goes throughout the upper, providing airflow and comfort, and it’s reinforces by sturdy, double-stitched overlays around the lace loops and the vamp. The heel area features a supportive overlay aimed at stabilizing the foot. The front of the shoe features the molded TPU toe cap that is sturdy and protective without being robust and adding too much weight to the shoe. The lacing system is connected to the overlays and allows you to adjust the fit of the upper with ease. There are four pairs of lace loops and one pair of eyelets at the top, that allow you to really tighten the laces. The tongue and collar are padded, in order to provide comfort and make the upper fit to take on rough terrain without losing shape and structure.

      The Adidas Outdoor Terrex AX3, similarly to other shoes from that line, is a very lightweight trail shoe that weighs as much as an average road running one. At 12.5oz or 355g, this shoe won’t cause tiredness or drag your feet down even after hours spent on the trail. The weight of the AX3 allows you to move fast without giving your shoes a second thought – chances are, you’ll forget that they’re even there.

      Even though this shoe’s upper is padded, it still manages to be quick-drying thanks to the perforations featured on the synthetic overlays and thanks to the mesh material itself. The ventilation in the AX3 is good, and you’ll only experience possible hit spots in very hot summer days. Even when occasional over sweating happens, the upper will dry fast, and the chances of sweat causing blistering will be minor, due to the overall padding present in the upper’s construction. This is not the GTX version, meaning that the upper isn’t waterproof. Interestingly enough, some runners have been happy about this fact, because Gore-Tex decreases the overall breathability of the shoe, resulting in sweat not evaporating quickly enough for some runners. However, if you’d prefer to have the GTX version of the shoe, that one is available as well, with the same outsole and midsole configuration as the AX3.

      The overall impression of the people who ran in the Terrex AX3 is that it’s a very comfortable shoe for short-to-medium length runs. For really long runs, the cushioning offered by this lightweight trail runner most likely wouldn’t be sufficient to avoid feet pain. The padded tongue eliminates any potential pressure points that could be created by the lace tightening. The AX3 doesn’t require any break-in period and is comfortable right off the bat. The toe box is roomy, even though the shoe runs a bit narrow across the forefoot. Most runners agree that the overall fit runs half a size small, so keep that in mind, especially if you’re buying the shoe online.

      While there are different colorways of the Adidas Terrex AX3, the shoe maintains its simplistic and subdued vibe in every variation. The color choices for the upper are fashionable and range from black to taupe cream to olive green. These are the colors that go well with almost every sporty outfit imaginable, and a few casual ones as well. This design goes well with the lightweight nature of the AX3 because the combination of its weigh and design allows you to wear the shoe out and about without drawing too much attention to yourself. The three recognizable Adidas stripes are positioned in the midfoot, while the midfoot/ankle area of the shoe has ‘Terrex’ written over it – just so you can’t mistake this for a road running shoe. All in all, this is a nice looking shoe and a lot of runners stated that they got a lot of compliments when they wore it.

      Given that the Continental rubber is the same compound used to produce car tires, it comes as no surprise that the outsole of the Adidas Outdoor Terrex AX3 is very durable and won’t wear down easily. The EVA foam compound is known to flatten a bit over time, but given the fact that the AX3 has a molded foam insole as well, the gradual loss of the cushioning in the midsole won’t make that much of a difference. The upper is very durable, made with abrasion-resistant mesh and high-quality reinforcements at the heel and vamp, making this shoe more than suitable for tackling a variety of different trails.

      The Adidas Outdoor Terrex AX3 offers moderate cushioning and underfoot protection, that are fit to protect the feet from impact shock on short and medium-length runs on uneven, rugged terrain. Depending on your needs and preferences, you might find the underfoot protection of the AX3 more than enough for long runs as well, especially given the very lightweight nature of this shoe, as well as the molded sockliner that increases the level of cushioning. Aside from the sole, the upper is made of abrasion-resistant mesh and is padded enough so as to protect your feet from impact. The TPU toe cap that encases the vamp of the shoe is very sturdy and resilient and will protect your toes from impact, but it will also prevent dirt and debris from entering the shoe box.

      The AX3 features an EVA foam midsole that is relatively firm – one runner described it as being way softer than an approach shoe’s midsole, but definitely firmer than a road running shoe. This firmness gives the midsole both the ability to absorb impact shock efficiently and convert it to kinetic energy and return it back in order to propel the foot forward. The responsiveness of the shoe is further accentuated by its light weight so that it feels more bouncy and springy than it actually is.

      The Adidas Outdoor Terrex AX3 is a neutral trail shoe made for runners who do not require additional arch support, primarily runners with high, medium-high and normal arches. However, the midsole is shaped in a way to make the upper sturdier in the arch area, so that even people with mild overpronation could potentially enjoy the arch support by this shoe. Another thing you can try is opting for a customized insole, instead of the removable one that comes with the shoe, in order to increase the overall arch support. The synthetic overlays that are featured in the upper increase its sturdiness and rigidity, offering a lot of lateral support, while the padded collar provides mild support to the Achilles.

      The Adidas Outdoor Terrex AX3 is a running shoe with trail DNA that is made for tackling uneven, rugged terrain at a fast pace. You can take the AX3 on rocky, muddy and loose terrain without a problem. However, the low-top nature of the AX3 doesn’t make it as suitable for very technical trails that demand a more fully-equipped trail shoe. If you’re looking for a reliable shoe to take on a light trail for a fast run, the AX3 will do the job well.

      The price of the Adidas Terrex AX3 is already on the cheaper side, but given the high-quality materials used in its construction, along with its lightweight nature and sturdiness of the upper, the price becomes truly a bargain. A lot of customers have recommended this shoe to others, praising its looks, breathability, and durability. All in all, if you need a fast trail running shoe, the AX3 will provide great value for money.

      The Continental rubber compound, featured on the outsole of this trail running shoe, is famous for providing equally as efficient traction on both wet and dry surfaces. This rubber will ensure a secure grip on various rugged terrains that is bound to provide a confident stride. The Traxion pattern provides good performance on the rock, as well as looser, wetter terrain, and the aggressive lugs made of tire rubber will adhere to the surface and provide excellent grip.

      While the EVA foam used in the midsole’s construction is on the firmer side, the sole of the Adidas Outdoor Terrex AX3 is still only a little bit firmer than a road running shoe’s outsole. The flex grooves in the heel, along with the spaced-out lugs in the forefoot, allowing for a swift heel-to-toe transition, as well as a flexible toe-off. Similarly to the sole of the shoe, the upper isn’t as flexible as what you’d expect from road running shoes that often only have stretchy mesh and a sock-like construction, without any overlays, but it’s flexible enough not to create pressure spots and restrict the natural movements of your foot.

      Like most trail shoes, the Adidas AX3 features an external TPU heel clip that stabilizes the heel and prevents any unwanted slippage. The sole platform of the shoe protrudes behind the heel, providing additional stability that helps you not to lose your balance while running on the trail, although midfoot strikers might look at it as a nuisance that’s getting in their way, rather than a helpful element. The grippy Continental rubber sole is slip-resistant and ensures stability on uneven terrain, while the lacing system fixates the foot inside the shoe box, preventing any in-shoe wobbling and forward slippage of the foot.

      With the heel that measures 26mm and a forefoot stack height that is 16mm, the heel-to-toe differential of the Adidas Terrex AX3 measures a standard 10mm. This drop will be most enjoyable for heel strikers, although midfoot strikers could also benefit from some more cushion under the heel. The only runners that will find the thickness of the heel really in the way of their natural stride are the forefoot strikers, which tend to go for low-drop or even zero-drop shoes.

      Key Features
      ● Continental rubber outsole
      ● Traxion tread pattern
      ● EVA midsole with removable molded sockliner
      ● Ripstop mesh with synthetic overlays
      ● Very breathable
      ● Comfortable, especially if you prefer a slightly firmer ride
      ● Very affordable
      ● Good design
      ● Durable
      ● Trail running shoe made for fast runs
      ● Flexible
      ● Great traction
      ● Satisfactory responsiveness
      ● 12.5oz / 355g per half-pair
      ● 10mm drop

      Bottom Line
      The Adidas Outdoor Terrex Agravic X3 shoe is made for people who are looking for a fast trail runner that is affordable, lightweight, durable and efficient, without over-complicating both the looks and the feel of the shoe. The trusty EVA foam midsole sits on top of the resilient Continental rubber outsole, and the upper is sturdy and abrasion-resistant. This is the sort of shoe a beginner would buy to dip his toes in the trail running waters and exactly the sort of shoe that would allow a beginner to experience the beauty of trail running, without having to worry about the shoes’ performance.

      Where to Buy
      By Lizzy Pavlovic
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 26. 2021

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