Trail Shoe Review- Adidas Adizero XT4 Trail Shoe – Fast, Light, Neutral, Positive, Grippy and Firm

300 miles plus and still going strong. The Adidas Adizero XT4 is seriously impressive for a load of reasons

trusty Adidas Adizero Trail XT4- doing great after 300 plus miles - low odour, good fit, plenty of grip and cushioning, and still bright blue and orange. I love 'em

Adidas Adizero XT4 Trail Shoes

General

These shoes are great. Generally thats what I would say. I was skeptical at first as they look very minimalist but subseqiuent use finds them really quite well cushioned and protected against rocks underfoot whilst still feeling fast, fun, light and super grippy, fitting like a glove and wearing really well.

They make me feel like running quicker and seem to lighten my foot strike…

They are definitely a minimalist inspired shoe, and are neutral with  very little support but they are so snug and hold the foot so well that you feel really well connected with the terrain, whilst still being protected.

The 6mm heel to toe drop feels good and keep your foot strike natural when you get tired, being the same as the Salomon Sense range and 2mm less than the North Face competition. I really like 6mm and its a bit of a sweet spot for me, I find 6mm just keeps my feet rolling quickly and naturally.

The furthest I have run in these is 36km in one outing but I have done plenty of 30km outings in them as well as hill sessions and flat sprint stuff, in a wide range of settings from North Walian chill to Cambodian and Uganda Tropical sweat zone stuff… They are great all rounders and with a ton of grip.

For most of my mountain and trail runs these shoes are brilliant . The onlt time I feel I need more cushioning is if I w2ere engaged in a really long day out as even though I am a fan of minimal style shoes, I appreciate a bit of extra padding for a big run / all day job. That said, if it was up in the mountains these would be great as the changing terrain angles that give your feet a break, more than compensate for the thinner cushioning / firm ride of the shoe above 40 to 50km distance.

Build Quality

Build quality is faultless in my opinion. The hard wearing XT 4 has fit like a glove since the day I got my hands on them, and has worn very well indeed.

The sole has lasted and has brilliant grip , on a wide range of surfaces, and despite the dust . sweat, mud and microspikes that have been ground onto them they continue to maintain shape and fit and the integrity of the upper and midsole is still great.

For such a light shoe it seems remarkable that they wear so well. The microfibre upper is really well designed and maintains odor free status after all this time somehow.

Hammered but not beaten yet - plenty more miles - I hope to get another couple of months out of them

Still plenty of tread, the lugs are still well functional on wet terrain, although recently its mostly dry dusty dirt roads and trails, with lots of loose gravel and stones

Tech Specs:

These shoes are definitely lightweight, coming in at around 600gms for size 10 shoes.

The heel drop of 6mm from back to front makes them feel natural, without putting stress on your achilles for anyone who is not used to a minimal style shoe, and I personally like this feature , as I feel I need a bit more heel drop as I run a lot at work on flat or rolling dirt roads, and this seems to help for whatever reason. The 6mm drop and low profile feel of the shoe seems to make you want to run quickly and seems to enhance running form, which for me can only be a good thing.

The lightness of the shoes however does not compromise their build quality and there ruggedness. As you can see from the photgraphs these are still looking in great condition, the uppers and the sole after a lot of beating , dust,rocks, mud and sweat…

The Adiprene cushioning on the hell and the Adiprene + cushioning on the forefoot are light and not thick but offer enough shock absobtion without compromising ground feel, and on anything but flat tarmac, your feet feel great all day in them. The odd time I have run any distance on tarmac they do feel a little lacking in padding but then they aren’t made for it , and I am not the most light footed runner, having once been a heavy pronator, I am now definitely more neutral but not too light on my feet..

If you are a heavy heel striker thenm these may not suit, unless you are in the mountains rather than on groomed trails, but for anyone else I think the minimalist  feel of these shoes makes them a delight to run in – loads of fun and agressiveness without beating yr feet or losing the feel for the trails and rocks.

The Continental Sole on the XT4 is great, with aggressive and hard wearing lugs, thaat I have used in everything from steep grassy fells, frozen Snowdonia mountains with lots of snow and Kahtoola spikes on, tropical dirt tracks and trails and boggy rainy season runs in East Africa. A great all round sole, and the only shoes comparable for grip I have come across so far are the Inov8. I also find the XT4’s more forgiving than INov8’s too, and on the smell test the XT 4 still score around 3/10 on the smell scale, and are bearabkle indoors, whereas all my other running shoies (except the Adizero Bostons – to be reviewed later) are consigned to the outhouse generally and score 8/10 on aroma value!!

I guess the light and synthetic materials udsed for contrsuction just dont hold sweat and foot grime , which is amazing..

These sythetic microfibres also mean that the XT4 fits really well, and needs no adjustment during a run even in the wet – Just recently I was running in Cambodia and was splitting my run with a swim in a waterfall, in my shoes and kit before returning to where we were staying, and there was no stretch in them at all. Super comfy and fast drying too..

In conclusion then these shoes have definitely found a way into shoe collection and I will be investing in another pair when they wear out.  Very imprerssed all round with fit, wear, weight, cushioning and grip. I wouldn’t recommend them if you have to run a lot of tarmac km to find trail and dirt as the sole may wear quickly – the tread is really designed for agressive grip, but otherwise wicked shoes and reccomended for sure… And the bright orange and blue combination of colour is actually good too.

Detail showing lightweight yet strong build materials and firm adiprene cushioning

Adidas Adizero XT4 Trail shoe - showing the Adiprene cuchioning. A neutrl and firm ride with a 6mm heel to toe drop, giving it a minimal feel but with enough cushioning for the rocky sections on the hills

Adizero XT4 Trail running shoe sole detail - Continental / Adidas Combo

Great grip with hard wearing lugs, closest thing to Inov8s for grip I have come across yet with enough heel drop and cushioning for long days out on the hills.

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