Functionality and Safety – Into Nature with adidas TERREX
Words: Ernie Beckmann
»Wanderlust« – most Germans have certainly heard or read this term before. However, this composite, as compound words made up of two nouns are called in technical jargon, is not just a term for us here in Germany. In English-speaking countries, too, the word »Wanderlust« delights people, because it is one of those words that have been borrowed directly from the German language into English. The loan word was first documented in English in 1902, when it first expressed the German preference for wandering in the English-speaking world, a preference that dates back to the Romantic period, and which in turn can be traced back to artworks by painters such as Casper David Friedrich or writers such as Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff with his »Taugenichts«.
But there is more to the word Wanderlust. It reflects the desire to go out again, to discover impassable places in nature, to give in to one’s wanderlust and to experience and enjoy the beauty of nature. In the past this was done within the bounds of one’s possibilities and this is still done today within the bounds of what is possible. Nowadays, however, the possibilities are completely different than in the Romantic era or at the beginning of the 20th century. On the one hand, this is of course due to accessibility of places, because through globalisation we can theoretically get to any place in the world if we really want to – Reinhold Messner proved this when he climbed the summit of Mount Everest in 1978. On the other hand, however, this is also due to advancing technology, which in many ways makes it possible to relatively safely enter and master almost all the extreme outdoor situations we can imagine.
One area where progress in recent decades has opened up new possibilities is certainly the field of functional clothing. In particular, new technologies in materials make it easier for adventurers to achieve their goals. At the forefront of this area is adidas with its outdoor segment, which has been in existence since the 1970s and today operates under the name adidas TERREX. It was back then when adidas introduced their first trekking shoe to the market. A few years later, the aforementioned Reinhold Messner helped adidas to develop the first super lightweight and therefore very fast hiking shoe, which he wore on his first ascent of Mount Everest. Since then, adidas has dedicated itself to the outdoor sector, which includes shoes for hiking, climbing and trail running, as well as clothing with the function of defying the adversities of nature.
In 2008, adidas re-launched its outdoor segment by renaming it adidas TERREX, a term previously used only by an armaments company from Singapore which named a wheeled armored vehicle by the same term. adidas, however, derives the term TERREX from the Latin word »terra«, for earth, and the English abbreviation »X« for »crossing«. The Herzogenaurach-based company also makes use of a second semantic level for the »X«: crossing the earth in an Xtreme way! Basically, it is this lifestyle that adidas transports through its TERREX outdoor segment: enjoy life in nature the extreme way and in cool and functional clothing. In doing so, adidas wanted to demonstrate to its customers that it had understood the young »Wanderlust« with collecting stamps in wandering booklets and would support them in their efforts to conquer nature in the best possible way.
Since then, the TERREX collections have offered everything that an avid outdoor athlete needs. In addition to the above-mentioned disciplines of hiking, climbing and trail running, the TERREX range now even includes shoes for mountain biking. Whether it’s midlayer clothing, windbreakers, rain jackets, pants, down jackets, caps, shoes, sweaters, t-shirts, backpacks, shorts or neck warmers, everything serves as protection against cold and wetness or is especially light and loose to get the most out of your outdoor experiences. And many of the garments have incredibly small packing sizes so they are very easy to store or carry. In addition, the very grippy outsole made of abrasion-resistant rubber from Continental™ offers extremely good grip in many TERREX shoes in the terrain.
With this functionality, adidas TERREX products also meet today’s requirements, especially those of the young generation of outdoor enthusiasts for so-called techwear. The clothes not only offer all-around protection, they are also often so stylish that they have found their way into streetwear. Shoes with a BOOST midsole or jackets with a Gore-Tex membrane are no rarity. For some time now, this has even gone so far that established streetwear brands such as White Mountaineering or sneaker boutiques like KITH and Kasina have placed TERREX products at the center of their collaborations with adidas, giving the shoes and clothes that special something which makes them desirable lifestyle products. The current TERREX collection, which is also available in parts at HHV, includes classic-looking hiking shoes such as the adidas TERREX Trailmaker Mid, as well as low-top trekking shoes such as the Hikster, which in its muted sesame yellow and black would not stand out on the streets of the key cities. In terms of color, adidas is moving away from the apparent bourgeoisie of hiking on the latest TERREX shoes by focusing on colors such as turquoise and purple here and there.
Matching the lifestyle of generations X, Y and Z, who are primarily addressed by the products, adidas is also doing something for the individual ecological awareness with its TERREX products by placing greater emphasis on sustainability. In the current collection, for example, we find the adidas TERREX Free Hiker Parley, a hiking shoe whose primeknit upper is made of Parley Ocean Plastic, i.e. recycled plastic waste from the ocean.
The company from Herzogenaurach has recognized the zeitgeist (another German loan word) and delivers this described new wanderlust. adidas is aware that nature is a playground that offers creative, adventure-seeking people a wide range of opportunities to »play« and thus have fun. For that kind of activities, we all need products that meet the requirements of safety and style, but do not restrict us. With the TERREX products, all this is offered by adidas.
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