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Video-test: The North Face Ultra Endurance

Product review of The North Face Ultra Endurance, a model designed for long distances, with great benefits.

The North Face Ultra Endurance trail running shoes are specifically designed for long distances and ultras. However, TNF was able to keep their weight well contained for this type of shoe while still having great cushioning capabilities, without penalizing the runner.

They are somewhat rigid shoes and felt a bit strange on their first outing for our two “lighter” testers (one of them being Timothée, who appears in the video and tests our gear in the Alps). However, after using them for several runs, they got used to them and they concluded that the shoes wouldn’t be a bad option for heavier runners either. Actually, this rigidness is normal for ultra-distance shoes, and the base allows for the shoe to be stable enough for this type of racde, as the runner won’t have to worry about balance and tread with each stride.

Of all the details that comprise these shoes, there is a consensus among all the gear testers that their most outstanding feature is the sole. It has a “devilish” grip yet is very durable. In fact, one of the testers ran over 300km with them, and they were still in great condition. This is due to the shoe’s design, with strong lugs, but also due to the use of a Vibram Megagrip compound that is manufactured exclusively for TNF. Durability is emphasized by the single construction of the sole, where the lugs are part of the sole and not attached later on.

One of our gear testers used them to run the “Seven Peaks” (an important cluster of mountains in Spain) and in the Ultra Endurance, he had to pass two channels of local granite because the water level was so low. Based on this experience, and running on this type of terrain he said: “The grip is impressive. It’s literally like you are wearing climbing shoes. Actually, I was the only one in the group to whom the sole reacted smoothly in these conditions. One other thing that I would like to mention regarding the testing day is that they worked well running through water. In addition to having a lot of cushioning, they also dry quickly.”

This tester later said that he struggled to adapt to the Snake Plate forefoot protection. Someone else had issues the first few days with their toes, specifically running downhill, but no one else had any problems with that.

Based on the low weight of the shoe, and taking into account what it is designed for, larger runners or runners with a particular running style, can adopt them as an all-round shoe, for training workouts and shorter runs. Of course this depends on each person and many people prefer to specialize their footwear according to the type of race.

Overall, The North Face Ultra Endurance trail running shoes are an excellent choice for anyone looking for an Ultra shoe that can take them the distance, and then some.

The North Face Ultra Endurance

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