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The Terrex Skychaser GTX is Adidas’ highly anticipated flagship trail runner set to release this month, part of an extremely technical and aggressive Terrex lineup meant to be used by the most hardcore trail runners out there. With the official U.S. launch still in the future at the time of writing this, Adidas sent a pair of Skychasers my way for a pre-launch review. The analysis below is after roughly 35 miles of winter trail running on hard pack and loose snow and plenty of slick, icy trail.
- The Skychaser features an rubber outsole made by Continental (bike and motorsport tire manufacturer) with an extremely aggressive tread full of deep nubs and two solid rubber bars on the back of the heel. Combined, these add up to produce formidable grip unlike any I have ever experienced before in a trail runner, and proving invaluable when running in any sort of winter conditions.
- Adidas packed the Skychaser with Boost, their new midsole replacement to the standard EVA foam molds that nearly every other shoe uses. Boost is said to provide more cushion yet return more energy on each stride….so cushiony elasticity…? The result is actually surprisingly noticeable, especially on steep uphill segments when any return energy is needed more. On downhill stretches, however, the returned energy is something that your legs must adapt to quickly or you will feel that excess energy later in a feeling that’s very similar to running in zero drop shoes for the first time.
- The Skychaser is wrapped in GORE-TEX to keep feet dry and it works phenomenally. In the 35 miles of running in snow, mixed in with the occasional puddle of icy water, my feet were no more wet than the typical perspiration that a foot will give off when running. GORE-TEX, of course, is also renowned for it’s breathability, which only assists in keep things as dry as possible.
- The shoe is undoubtedly the best built shoe I’ve ever worn. The manufacturing has clearly been done in a way that aims for longevity and the attention to detail everywhere puts the Skychaser GTX in a quality class of it’s own. The jury is still out on the durability of the sticky, grippy Continental tread, but all other components will assuredly be around for a long time.
- All these features add up to a weight of 355 grams, or about 12.5 ounces per shoe. Not a lightweight set up to be certain, but also not a heavy shoe by any measure especially considering what is included in the platform.
Summary: In my years and years of trail running, I have never had a shoe that I have liked so much as the Adidas Terrex Skychaser GTX. It redefines what a company like Adidas can do if they can forget mass market appeal and focus on a technical niche. The Skychaser is a masterpiece in footwear and sets the expectations for what trail runners should expect to put on their feet in nearly every way.