Trend-spotting: Softshell…Shoes?

Staff Writer
New Models from Adidas, New Balance and Salomon

In journalism three occurrences constitute a trend, and the editors at TheGearCasterhave zeroed in on an interesting one emerging among shoemakers for next winter: softshell footwear.

Several companies at the winter edition of the biannual Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City early this year debuted new shoe models that utilize softshell fabrics borrowed from cold-weather activewear. Softshell jackets have become staples of many apparel brands’ lineups, and the material has gained widespread acceptance in recent years for its comfortable, breathable, weather-proof—if not waterproof—functionality.

Most softshell fabrics use a DWR (durable waterproof coating) that can withstand light rain or snow, but when you know it’s going to be dumping outside opt instead for a hard-shell jacket, or in the case of a boot choice, a GoreTex-equipped model. But for trail-running, hiking and even some snowshoeing applications, softshell shoes show promise.

The $150 AdidasTerrex Softshell Mid pictured here shares its name with the Adidas’s TERREX adventure race series, and comes with the brand’s so-called adiPRENE shock-absorbing insert for comfort, a rugged tread and an armored toe cap. For more new softshell models from New Balance and Salomon, go to