User Review: The North Face Men's Ultra 104
Use: trail running, and extended backpacking on rough trail
Break-in Period: none
Price Paid: $110
I use this shoe for both trail running in lowland woods and lightweight backpacking on alpine trails. It's an otherwise superior shoe with one very serious flaw: its bad traction on smooth or wet rock.
The fit, support, absorptive but responsive cushioning, and variable lacing options all make for a shoe with absolutely excellent control. I like the version without Gore-tex for its breathability and drainage -- very quick to dry after stream crossings.
The sole has good density and pattern for traction on many terrains, but is far more slippery on smooth rock than other trail runners; and dangerously slippery on wet rock. I took many bad skids in these shoes (sprained a knee because of it). If you're on a dry trail, I rate this shoe a 5. When wet, the lack of traction makes all the other great features useless.