Yosemite legend and original Stone Master, John Bachar, once said to me, “You can use your feet better, when there’s no tears in your eyes.”
As climbers have known from the dawn of the Golden Age in Yosemite, better footwear can also lead to better climbing. The Adidas Terrex Solo approach shoes are built for performance and comfort over long days in the mountains, whether scrambling across talus fields or hiking to the crag.
I’ve worn older versions of the Terrex Series in the past, and wanted to try the new design this season in Yosemite. As a member of Yosemite Search and Rescue, I wore the Terrex Solos in some pretty unique situations. There is never a time when I want to be questioning the performance of my footwear, especially when carrying a patient in a litter down the notoriously wet and slippery granite steps of the Mist Trail.
The Stealth Rubber of the Adidas Terrex Solos gave me the same confidence underfoot that I felt in the old Five.Tennies. The Terrex Solos felt light on my feet, and have just enough support for extended carry outs down the dusty trails around Yosemite National Park.
This spring in Yosemite, the Merced River was raging from this winter’s snowpack in the Sierra. I spent much of my time with YOSAR performing swiftwater rescues, stomping in and out of muddy puddles, wading across creeks and running all over polished granite slabs. I found these shoes held up well under a variety of conditions. The textured soles provide plenty of grip for jumping from rock to rock up a talus field or pounding out the last mile of trail at the end of the day. In addition, the OrthoLite liners offer foot support and fight odor too: this is huge for all the monkeys out there who prefer to roll sans socks! As a lightweight comfortable approach shoe, they kind of do everything.
But not quite. Unfortunately, I found that the open mesh uppers, though they add breathability to the shoe, do not provide the stiff foot support necessary to climb any terrain above fourth-class. The Terrex Solos felt loose and offered little torsional support, even with the laces pulled tight. Sometimes wearing a tight pair of shoes can reduce a person to tears, but sometimes having a loose pair can be worse. Finding the right fit for the Terrex Solos is critical to the overall performance.
Super sticky Stealth Rubber Climbing Zone
Lite Weight (350 grams)
Odor fighting OrthoLite liners
Fits a little baggy
Not stiff enough for climbing
Narrow foot profile
Josh Huckaby is a climber, photographer, writer and member of the Valley Search and Rescue team. During the winter months, he can be found climbing the granite towers of Southern Patagonia, making empanadas with his friends and on Instagram @oceangoingmonkey.