The latest incarnation of the Adidas Terrex Trail Cross have crept up on us, blissfully taking us by unawares. Coming in a black-white-blue colour scheme, they now boastfully take the acronym SL at the end and feature a few sly updates. Here’s the lowdown when it comes to walking, riding and style.

Weighing in at 900 g, can the new Adidas Terrex Trail Cross SL outmaneuver their ancestors’ shortcomings? Retailing at 129.95 €, the price remains the same.
Weighing in at 900 g, can the new Adidas Terrex Trail Cross SL outmaneuver their ancestors’ shortcomings? Retailing at 129.95 €, the price remains the same.

The entire surface has been re-done and replaced by a more abrasive- and water-resistant material that’s stiffer than the former model due to the weldings. This is definitely a good thing in our eyes, as the older model offered too little lateral support. Now much more breathable and less likely to overheat, the Trail Cross SL isn’t exclusively limited to chillier temperatures. Given the improved breathability, the new design has discarded the air vents on the foot arch, which should reduce the likelihood of water entering.

Das Obermaterial des Adidas Terrex Trail Cross SL ist komplett neu, deutlich atmungsaktiver und weniger warm als das seines Vorgängers (links im Bild).
The former model (left) side by side with the latest model featuring a new breathable upper.
So konnte auch auf die Luftlöcher an der Innenseite und auf der Fußspitze verzichtet werden, durch die gerne mal Wasser eindrang. Das neue Material ist allgemein gut wasserabweisend.
The new breathable material allows the design to discard the air holes on the arch of the foot.

The moulded heel cap has been strengthened and is now more supportive. Even though we never had any issues putting on the former Trail Cross, we still wouldn’t turn down the new design’s pull-up tag – it looks pretty cool. The shoe’s toe box has also been enlarged, allowing more freedom, which gives them another plus for comfort. But narrow, dainty feeted-riders shouldn’t feel left out; the laces now start closer to your toes so you can still pull them tightly.

Der Lace Bungee ist super praktisch, war schon am Vorgänger zu finden und wurde zum Glück beibehalten.
Satisfied to see the design has kept the popular and practical Lace Bungee.
Neu gestaltet hingegen ist der Fersenbereich. Er bietet nun mehr Halt und verfügt über eine Lasche als Anziehhilfe.
The heel cap has been re-designed to offer more support and feature a tag for pulling them on.
Der Grip der Stealth-Rubber-Sohle ist hervorragend, sowohl auf den Pedalen als auch zum Laufen. Das Profil mit seinen Querrillen vorn und hinten findet auch in schwierigem oder feuchtem Gelände Halt.
The Stealth rubber sole offers outstanding grip both on pedals and on foot. The lugs across the entire base of the foot have great grip to keep you upright on filthy, muddy ground and wet rocks.

Adidas decided to retain the comfy Ortholite inner soles as well as the tried-and-tested grippy Stealth rubber soles, which are suitably stiff to ensure efficient power transfer onto the pedals and get through long descents. The grip is excellent in pretty much any condition, with the small-scale lugs and cross grooves at the front and back keeping you upright on mountains too. It’s also great to see that the Terrex Trail Cross SL have also retained the so-called rubber Lace Bungee to house the laces while you’re riding.

Appearances can be deceptive and the sole of the Adidas Terrex Trail Cross SL makes the heel look pretty substantial, but that’s just a design feature. If you compare them to similar models from FiveTen, Shimano or Giro, the difference is minimal to non-existent. The fit is precise, with sizing as standard.

Alles richtig gemacht – der Adidas Terrex Trail Cross SL kann sich aller Kritikpunkte seines Vorgängers entledigen. So geht Produktpflege.
Rightly done: the Adidas Terrex Trail Cross SL is a lesson in erasing the weaknesses of its predecessor.


Super versatile for both riding and hiking, the Terrex Trail Cross SL are definitely worthy of consideration. They’re also a lesson in product TLC – Adidas dealt head-on with the issues highlighted in the current model and set them right for the future. Nice work!

Weight: 900 g / Pair (Previous model: 880 g) Price: € 129,95

All information can be found on the Adidas Website.

Words: Andreas Maschke Photos: Noah Haxel

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