The North Face Ultra 109 GTX



This trail shoe is all about comfort and fit. A technically…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 120 USD


This trail shoe is all about comfort and fit. A technically sound shoe.


  • Cushioning, padding
  • Comfort
  • Slight stability


  • fFelt slightly heavier

After 15 plus years of amateur trail running this shoe is finally "the one." This is the first and only trail shoe I have used where my feet did not hurt after a run. I have been wearing Cascadia for a few years and I just thought everything was supposed to hurt as I "matured".  I am 6' and 210, 59 yrs old.

I happened across these in a web search so I decided to give them a spin. I wear 11.5D dress shoe and I sized up to 12.5. The most amazing part for me is the comfort, lots of cushioning and padding. They just wrap around my feet. Laces are round and thick. They are easily adjustable and they stay in place.

North Face sells these as trail runners with a little stability, but states they can also be used for light hiking.  My first thought was Gore-Tex, these are going to get hot! I run in South Texas, temps were above 100°f these past few weeks. The shoes are a little heavier than I was used to but I never noticed the heat, maybe because I’m used to it. 

The sole and lugs are much more substantial, which seems to contribute to the weight, but I found I was more surefooted and confident than before, especially downhill. Waterproof? This is South Texas, what water? If I find out I’ll let you know. If they ever make this shoe sans Gore-Tex I’ll give them a try.

The shoe fits a little higher on the ankle. With prior shoes rocks and sticks would find their way into them.  Not with these shoes, no stopping to remove pebbles and dirt.  I never felt any rubbing or chaffing but I never did with other shoes either.

Other reviewers have said the upper webbing wears through after a short while but I have not seen that yet after only a few weeks.  This shoe also makes a very good walking around “everyday” shoe. It pairs nicely with shorts or jeans.

There is nothing minimalist about these. They are big, thick, clunky battleships on your feet, but the comfort before and after a run far outweighs that.  

I highly recommend these shoes.




Thanks for sharing your helpful review of your trail runners, Darrell. It's true that TNF seems to put GTX in most of their Ultra models. For some non-GTX versions of their other trail runners, check out:

1 year ago