The North Face Ultra 105 GTX XCR
Waterproof and not very breathable, my foot often…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $120
Waterproof and not very breathable, my foot often gets pretty sweaty. This is great for light trail day hiking and for running in general. I think the fit is great, even given my narrow foot. I wear these everywhere. Great for people doing adventure runs when it may be a little soggy/damp but not sloshing through deep water.
- Great traction
- Good stability
- Nice fit even for narrow foot
- Warm, feet can get sweaty
- If you fill them with water they will soak it all in and they will not drain/dry for a day
I have a narrow low profile foot. My dress shoes can be 7 while this running shoe is an 8.5 and it fits perfect for light hiking and running. I think the ankle bone cutouts are good and don't rub, the heel cup is very comfortable and cradles the heel nicely. The forward part of the shoe is roomy.
There was no break-in period and there are no hot spots. They are very waterproof, but also very warm. If you do get them soaking wet, you will be slogging around until you can dry them. Once water breeches the top, they soak up water like a sponge.
If you are doing lots of side-to-side movement, like bouldering, your foot may slip side to side because it is a bit wide. My suggestion is, in the store, actually do some side-to-side sprints (take a few steps to the left touch the ground, few steps to the right touch the ground). Or take a wide stance and kind of push off from left to right, again paying attention to how much side-to-side movement you get. Make sure to touch the ground, see my video. This will also help you make sure the "cutouts" for the ankle bone don't bother you. If you feel a lot of slippage or like it's rubbing your ankle bone, add an aftermarket insole or go with a narrower or different shoe.
If you are mostly hiking/running straight ahead you should be fine. This shoe has a lot of flex to it. If you are looking for a stiffer day hiker go with the North Face Hedgehog.
I have had these shoes for 3 years, so in the pictures that's the wear and tear of running in them 2-3 times a week and wearing them often as a daily shoe. They have held together very nicely, there's barely any frays! and there is still a bit of tread left on them. Yes, I used an aftermarket insole after the first 6 months.