North Face has a new trail shoe, and to be honest, I’m a little underwhelmed. First, the shoe is quite narrow. In fact, it is one of the narrowest trail shoes that I’ve tried (I’ve also found that Montrail shoes run narrow). Second, the sole is pretty firm. This would be fine for sloppy conditions, but I think it would mix poorly with a harder trail.
Now, let’s talk about positives. The shoe has a nice Vibram sole with fantastic lugs. Like I said above, this would be more than adequate for sloppy conditions. In addition, the shoe has a hard, rubber toecap. This would suit you well with rocky/rooty terrain.
The shoe has a flat (yet cushioned) tongue with a “lace locker” – these are both nice features.
The colors are bold, but I didn’t mind them.
The size 10 weighed in at 10.4 ounces. The shoe ran a little long; however, I think the size 9.5 would not have been long enough.
The shoe has a 23mm heel and a 15mm forefoot – an 8mm drop. For a shoe with an 8mm drop, it feels very low to the ground. I race in the Inov-8 282 GTX, which is 25mm/16mm, and it has a similar feel in that regard.
The shoe sells for $130 at Running Warehouse.
– nice sole
– solid toe cap
– flat tongue
– decent weight
– too narrow
– too firm
Here is another review of these shoes courtesy of Ian Corless.