Gear Reviews: Adidas Terrex Fast R Mid GTX – UPDATE!

I originally posted about this shoe back in May without reviewing it thoroughly. The Adidas Terrex Fast R Mid GTX has been my main hiker, adventure approach shoe, and by default, because it is my only GoreTex shoe, my winter/snow boot. I have worn it for a lot of short days, as an approach shoe in Colorado, where approaches to climbs generally take less than 30 minutes. I use it when running around in the snowy streets of Boulder and when going to ski in the mountains. But I hadn’t really used it for it’s main purpose, hiking, until recently.

Side note: I generally don’t like hiking just to hike. I want to be going somewhere. I want to hike to climb, hike to ski, hike to swim in some freezing cold alpine lake. Going hiking for…exercise? I can think of plenty of exercises I would rather do.

One thing that I appreciate about my family is that they’re all active. When we get together for a holiday we never just sit in someone’s house and watch TV. We go hiking or on bike rides. For New Years this year my family went to Reno to my oldest sister’s new place. There is quite a bit of hiking around Reno & Lake Tahoe. There was too little snow for good skiing, and even for snowshoeing. We hiked, everyday, a lot, in many different conditions.

In the week spanning the New Year I put a lot of miles on my Fast R’s. And I’ve never appreciated them more. When I first got them they were too narrow for my oddly shaped wide feet, but now they fit me like a glove, a testament to breaking in your boots. The traction grips on every type of terrain; the Continental Rubber sticky but strong, shows no signs of wear. Walking on uneven ground, aka every trail, your steps feel controlled. I didn’t know about the separated heel that helps to stabilize you on descents until I was looking up reviews of the women’s version for my sister. I didn’t know about it, but it works!

The lacing system took some getting used to, but now that I have it figured out I love it. When I’m just slipping the boot on to go around town in the snow I leave it loose and it’s super comfortable. When I’m ready to get into the thicket I can quickly dial in the perfect fit. You pull the loop, cinch down the plastic tab, and tuck the string into an elastic catch. No boots coming untied, ever.

Whether I’m playing in snow, hiking through the mud, jumping across a creek, I’m never worried about my feet getting wet, and because of the build, the boot breathes incredibly well. Oh, and this boot is LIGHTWEIGHT! I even did some trail running and the mid-high boot didn’t bother me at all.

I’ve been very impressed and even helped get a pair for my sister.

Adidas Terrex Solo Approach Shoe

Adidas has been breaking into the outdoor adventure world with their Terrex brand, bringing on world class athletes like Jon Cardwell and Sasha DiGiulian to represent the brand. I have a pair of their
GoreTex hiking boot, which are great (and sticky). The Solo comes with the Traxion rubber, feels like a runner with a bit of a stiffer sole. You can trust Adidas to make a good, quality shoe. These are no exception. 

Lighting a Cave & Problem Solving

A few weeks ago Jon Cardwell asked me to come out and shoot with him and Chelsea Rude for a project.

Chelsea Rude climbing Rubble (5.13b)
We went back to Sex Cave in Clear Creek Canyon to get some shots of them sport climbing. It was an ideal location because of the easy access from the road and the ability to shoot from the ground. I hadbroken my back a few weeks before and could not hang from a rope. 
With the help of my girlfriend I set up my lights how I wanted them and prepared to shoot, but I realized I was missing something. I had forgotten to pack the connector wires for the radio slaves. My studio strobes could not be fired remotely, well directly from the slaves. So I quickly figured out a solution. 
I would have just used my Canon Flashes, but they are not powerful enough to get the results I wanted. I connected my Pixel King radio slave to my flash and used the built in optical slave on my White-Lightning strobe to fire into an umbrella that broadly lit the underside of the cave. The spill light from the umbrella hit the optical sensor on my Yongnua YN-560 flash, firing it into the back of my other White-Lightning strobe, giving me the rim light I wanted. It was super complicated and tricky to enact, but the diagram below might help you visual types. 
The diagram is, of course, inexact, but it give you the idea. Using optical slaves to pop your lights remotely is a great, fast and easy approach to lighting. A lot of times in my studio I will just use a speedlite set to 1/128th power to pop all the lights in my set up. But in a less controlled environment using wireless slaves gives you much more control. 

Jon Cardwell on Rubble

After the climbing we used the great afternoon light over the Flatirons to shoot a few portraits using just one Speedlite in an umbrella and the sun as rim light. 

I don’t recommend leaving behind pieces of equipment you need. I definitely need to be better at double checking my gear. 
Till next time,