Kilimanjaro Review: Adidas Terrex AX4 Hiking Shoe

You just made your deposit for your Kilimanjaro climb and are super excited. However as you get up from your chair, you look down at your feet. They are sporting a pair of tired old hiking shoes. At that moment you are painfully aware that there isn’t much left of them. The shoelace is knotted where it previously broke and the tread is worn down to the point where your toes may poke through any time now.

No worries, you sit back down to check the manufacturer’s website to buy another pair. Oh no! You find that your beloved hiking shoe has been discontinued. Never fear, you can check Google and find a pair on clearance… but alas, after hours of scouring, your search has turned up empty except for a pair almost as bad as yours on eBay… Well stop your searching, we have tried the Adidas Terrex AX4 Hiking Shoe and have found it to be a great shoe for the rugged trails of Kilimanjaro.

Adidas Terrex AX4 Hiking Shoe Kilimanjaro Review
Adidas Terrex AX4 Hiking Shoe On The Barranco Wall

Review of Adidas Terrex AX4 Hiking Shoe for Kilimanjaro

First of all, I am not getting paid or a discount from Adidas. This is just my personal experience with their shoe. I have actually worn both the Adidas AX2 and AX4 on Kilimanjaro. Both are great, but like the scenario above the AX2 is discontinued. If you go browsing for them, don’t make the mistake of purchasing the AX3 they are not as good as the AX2 or AX4 and your feet may suffer.

So what is so great about the AX4. First of all, I do a lot of hiking and have tried many shoes over the years. Merrells, La Sportiva, Salomons, Vasquez, etc and have found many of them to be good too. But I’m reviewing the AX4 so let’s get back to it.

The AX4 is definitely for someone who has a wider foot. If you wear two pairs of socks then even better. I wore a pair of Injinji liners and Thorlo Light Hiker socks and there were no issues with hot spots or blisters over the eight days of trekking via the Lemosho route.

As far as fit goes, as I said, they do run wide. Also, they run a bit shorter than both the AX2 and 3. In those, I wore a size 11 US. My street shoes are usually a size 10.5 US. In the AX4s I sized up to an 11.5. They are a bit big now, but I’d rather keep my toenails. I have lost several on long downhill hikes into places like Grand Canyon or the Sierra Nevadas.

The AX4s come in both the Gore-Tex waterproof and non-waterproof versions. The Gore-Tex version costs about $20 US more. I wore the non-Gore-Tex version on both of my Kilimanjaro climbs. However, it did not rain at all on my treks and even if it did, I am okay with rain. Of course, Kilimanjaro has the potential to rain any day, especially in the rainforest, so depending on when you climb Kilimanjaro, the Gore-Tex version may be the way to go.

One of the things I noticed is when the wind blows you can feel it through the mesh upper so your feet stay cooler and dry. Also, I tend to keep my laces loose so it’s easier to get them on and off. If you like your laces tight, there may be bunching in the material.

As far as the tread goes. They used Continental Rubber. It was pretty grippy on the rocky sections of the trail and had minimal slipping on the scree areas. I didn’t wear them on summit night since it was much colder. About 0 degrees Fahrenheit, so I wore a pair of Mammut Ducan High boots. I’ll give a review of them later.

Karanga Camp
At Karanga Camp

ADIDAS’s AX4 Product Description

This product is made with Primegreen, a series of high-performance recycled materials. 50% of the upper is recycled content. No virgin polyester.


Minimalist design keeps them light for an unrestricted feel.


Continental™ Rubber outsole for extraordinary traction in wet and dry conditions.


Lightweight, Do-it-All Hiking Shoes for Exploring the Mountains

From forest hikes to alpine adventures, these Adidas Terrex hiking shoes let you explore high and low, near or far. Their dual-density design merges the comfort of a cushioned trail runner with the stability of a hiking shoe to take on hikes, scrambles, and via ferratas (I’ve worn them on Ouray’s via ferrata and I can tell you they do work great there too). The all-conditions grip of Continental™ Rubber means you can trust the AX4 to get you anywhere you want to go without worrying about your feet.


  • Regular fit
  • Lace closure
  • Mesh and synthetic upper
  • Dual-density EVA midsole
  • Continental™ Rubber outsole
  • Primegreen
  • Product colour: Grey Six / Solar Red / Carbon
Ouray Via Ferrata
The Ouray Via Ferrata

Final Thoughts on the Adidas Terrex AX4 Hiking Shoe

All in all, I’d rate the Adidas Terrex AX4 Hiking Shoe a 4.75 out of 5 stars for use on Kilimanjaro. My only complaint is the tread wore out fairly quickly. Before heading to Tanzania I trained with them so they were broken in. However, I was starting to slip after about 200 miles. Keep in mind the Lemosho route is about 44 miles, so that is fairly quick for the rubber to wear down. I definitely recommend them for every dry day on the mountain.

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