These trainers have been rated by Runnersworld and coveted as best debut trail trainer 2014, so they were straight out of the box and onto my feet.
They have been billed as tackling long runs across rugged, uneven terrain with the protection of a durable, yet lightweight running shoe that's finished with trail-specific Vibram® soles,.. and my first impressions were lightweight, very comfortable and visually cool but I was slightly concerned with the traction of the Vibram soles in wet muddy conditions on the hills.
Over the last two weeks they’re done 110K over multi terrains and I’ve especially used them for speed work sessions. They’re light, fast, responsive and so comfortable that they’re my new training shoe especially for speed work sessions.
The first run was a 20K on multi surfaces (hard trail, road, canal path & cross country) and this included 2 x 20 minute lactate sessions at a 4mins/K pace and 10 x 1 minute at 3mins/K. They responded well and were great along the hard trails and canal paths and I was pleasantly surprised on the control and cushioning they gave me on the rough / stoney ground (especially considering how light they are) – Had no issues with “new trainers” and would state that I could have quite easily had gone on a long run without worrying about blisters.
Second run was a 16K cross country run with hills, ground underneath was hard and they again felt real comfortable and responded well to ascents and fast descents.
Right, the third run was after a night of rain and it was still raining when I went out for another speed session. This time I was concerned on whether they would be good in wet conditions as the Vibram sole just doesn’t look fitting for muddy conditions. So instead of hard trails, I stayed cross country and put them to the test on a 28K run with a mid run lactate session of 2 x 5K loops of hilly terrain. Again, I had no real issues, there was only a couple of times when going up through a muddy ascent that I slipped (was marginal though), other than that the soles gripped well. I must admit, I’m not sure they would be my first choice for real wet muddy conditions (I’ll save that for TNF Ultra Guides as the traction is great and have been tested well and truly by me over the last year – if I was happy to wear them on The Spine Race, enough said).
The Ultra Trails are not dissimilar in feel to the Hayasa’s but are more up dated and the soles have better traction. They are great for hard multi terrains and I love them for speed sessions as they are light, comfortable and most importantly responsive. Honestly give them a thought over the standard top five branded manufacturers as TNF are really coming out with some top trail trainer series at the moment.
The North Face® Men’s Ultra Trail is an award winning off-road running shoe that provides stability and protection in a lightweight package. Recently awarded the Editor’s Choice for Best Debut by Runner’s World Magazine, the shoe’s streamlined design incorporates a high-grip outsole for sure footing. A host of technical features deliver cushioning and correct foot positioning.
This Ultra Trail is designed to provide critical impact and element protection while eliminating excess weight for unrivalled performance on any terrain.
The FlashDry™ fibres in the lining and breathable Ultra Air mesh construction manage moisture to reduce chafing and hot spots.
The Pebax® CRADLE™ technology in the midsole offers exceptional energy return for a springy feel and impact protection for enhanced stability.
- Recipient of Outside Magazine’s 2014 Gear of the Year Award in the trail running category
- 2014 Runner's World Magazine Best Debut Award Winner
- Upper: FlashDry™ upper wicks away sweat to keep you dry and reduces risk of blisters
- Lightweight, no-sew upper for superior comfort
- Breathable and protective Ultra Air mesh
- TPU-welded support overlays
- 3M™ reflective tape for visibility
- CRADLE™ technology for proper foot positioning
- Track spike tongue
- 16 mm/8 mm heel/forefoot EVA under foot
- Dual-injection-moulded, EVA CRADLE™ GUIDE midsole platform
- Vibram® full-length, trail-specific outsole
- Designed for runners with a neutral stride
- Product Specifications
Approx Weight - 1/2 Pair: (246g) / Pair: (482g) *based on Men’s 9