A wish for the perfect shoe
Ask any trail runner which features they would expect from a trail running shoe and most would say comfort, grip and breathability, for example.
Ask any trail runner to name the features they long to be included, however impossible it may seem, and we are sure many would request a shoe that is able to reduce fatigue and improve performance.
The North Face found that these features really were the aspiration of trail runners and decided to take on the challange.
A question of numbers
The numbers are compelling:
- Over the past forty years, the number of runners suffering from some kind of pain or injury remained at a steady 40% per year.
- Four out of ten runners participating in an emblematic race, such as the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc were unable to finish the race.
- A similar percentage of race finishers experienced severe leg fatigue.
How does this technology maximise energy in trail running competition?
The energy that goes into every stride is lost when contact is made with the terrain and energy is absorbed by unnecessary cushioning. Finding a technology that converts this energy into forward momentum is something sports brands have been aspiring to for many years.
Until now, the solutions to runnersâ€™ requirements have consisted of special elastomers and plate designs which are mostly flat and two dimensional.
The North Face Vectiv 3D technology
The North Face has created a technology to provide an effective solution to the problems detected, with three main advantages:
- It has much greater lateral stability than other technologies.
- It manages to use the energy received after foot strike to optimise forward momentum.
- It reduces impact by 10% without compromising efficiency, according to independent laboratory tests.
How is it achieved? 3D system
The main diference with other systems is that the inner plate is 3D. The benefits mentioned above are achieved by providing greater lateral stability, a huge improvment of reception and return of energy in each stride and a notable reduction of impact with each step.
Another benefit derived from this innovative system is that, by placing the plate immediately under the insole and above the midsole, it achieves greater cushioning throughout the race.
Features of Vectiv technology
- 3D Plate, improves response and adds the lateral stability other systems lack.
- Dual density midsole manages to balance cushioning and response. The high density part of the midsole provides support and protection, while the low density area provides a high level of comfort and cushions the step even further.
- Rocker profile propels you forwards and provides excellent support on the descent, achieving fast and natural absorption-propulsion.
- 6mm drop between the heel and toe is a suitable drop for favoring a natural stride, without excessive heel height and indicated for getting the right feel on irregular mountain terrain.
- SurfaceCTRL sole or Surface Control, gives exceptional grip on mountain terrain, both on rock or mud, as well as on wet terrain thanks to the compound with 40% biological material.
- 3,5mm lugs provide grip on soft terrain and a good contact surface for grip on rock.
For all distances?
In theory, all the shoes with Vectiv technology are designed for ultra-distances, although we observed slight distintions between the models. Some offer more pop while others, with the same technology, offer greater cushioning. This is determined by the material used to make the plate and by the composition of the midsole.
The common feature in all Vectiv models is the 3D plate. But depending on the terrain each model is designed for, the plate is made either of carbon fiber, PebaxÂ® or TPU, which means certain models will perform well on shorter, more explosive distances or on longer distances where greater help is required.
Menâ€™s and womenâ€™s models
The womenâ€™s modelâ€™s are not only different in design; the lace system has also been moved upwards by 5mm to allow a tighter top adjust. The thickness of the foam in the tongue and cuff has also been increased by 5mm and the plate is more flexible than in the menâ€™s models.
The North Face trail running models with Vectiv technology
Vectiv Enduris, maximum comfort.
The Vectiv Enduris is the perfect shoe for long distance trail running, thanks to its two main features: exceptional cushioning throughout the shoe and forward propulsion. The 3D plate is made of TPU and is the most flexible of the three plates used in Vectiv trail running competition shoes. It provides multi-directional stability and maximises the transformation of energy to forward momentum.
A shoe designed for long distances. The mesh is highly breathable and details such as the ultra-soft and cushioned tongue manage to provide comfort even after running for hours, when everything hurts.
Featuring the Ortholite X55 insole, which complements the benefits of Vectiv technology, providing extra energy return and stability. This insole is extremely lightweight and partly made of recycled materials.
The weight of the menâ€™s shoe is 316 grams and the womenâ€™s is 278 grams.
Vectiv Infinite, the best protection.
La Vectiv Infinite has technical features for ultra competition, providing high comfort and durability. The Pebax plate offers exceptional stability and impulse without adding overall weight.
The entire upper of the Infinite is made with MatryxÂ®, to offer the highest level of durability and abrasion resistance in the Vectiv range. Matryx fabric is a combination of high tenacity polyamide and Kevlar, which provides exceptional durability and breathability with a minimum amount of fabric. It also wicks body moisture away from your skin.
The combination of Pebax with Matryx provides ultra-protection, regarding both the wear resistance and the stability and cushioning provided. Like the Enduris, this shoe comes with the Ortholite X55 insole.
The menâ€™s shoes weighs 307 grams and the womenâ€™s weighs 273 grams.
Flight Vectiv, the most reactive.
The Flight Vectiv is the fastest and most reactive shoe in the Vectiv range, designed to favour the forward momentum of each stride. Thanks to the carbon fiber plate, this shoe achieves a reactivity unheard of before. This is the first mountain running shoe with a carbon plate on the market. In the womenâ€™s version, the plate is designed with a 45Âº altered angle to allow greater flex.
The MatryxÂ® lateral panels provide durability without compromising on weight, just like the Vectiv Infinite, thanks to the combination of KevlarÂ® and polyamide. The rest of the upper is made with reinforced mesh fabric to maintain a high level of breathability and durability.
The menâ€™s model weighs 288 grams and the womenâ€™s weighs 247 grams.