The North Face Ultra 105 GTX XCR
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.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $120
Great hiking and running shoe!
- can be laced for narrow and wide feet
- well-gripping outsole
- Gore-tex outer
- versatile; good for both hiking and running
- flex points on outer show tears pretty easily
- low-cut, hence poor ankle support
admittedly, bought this half a size smaller than my usual size. hence initially, fit was a bit tight. but after break-in, it fits my feet very well. hugs the sides and leaves enough room in the toebox.
there was no chafing before and after break-in.
being a low-cut shoe, ankle support during hiking may be missed. but for running, it's great. also allows for more foot ventilation for hiking in the tropics.
the gore-tex works well for light to moderate rains. there's a good amount of leather to lend durability to the shoe. scuff marks don't show much, nor do they cause significant damage.
the ultra-tac outsole, with its lug pattern, gives excellent traction on dry outdoor surfaces. i sometimes slip using it on wet surfaces, but overall this shoe had the best outsole i've had.
shoelace eyes for wide and narrow feet are available. the shoelace length is ideal for the wide configuration.
gusseted tongue helps very much in preventing stuff from entering the shoe.
there's a reflector on the heel. this can be obscured on muddy trips, but otherwise it's a nice touch.
bought it a year ago. have used it on 2 hiking trips and everyday commuting.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: php 4494.00 (after 40 % discount)
Good stiff soled running shoe. Decent traction.
- Stiffer sole
- Fits well
- Upper wears out quickly
- Sole wears quickly and separates from shoe
This is my third pair of these shoes. I have worn them trail running, hiking, trekking, and as everyday shoes. They are decent shoes, but the uppers have worn out on the forefoot wear they flex, and the rubber sole separates from the rest of the sole too soon.
I wore these on a three day 15,000' climb of Mt. Meru hoping that they would be enought support. They weren't quite enough support for such an aggressive trek.
They fit well, which is why I've gone through three pairs of them.
They are waterproof which has been good for running, especially off trail in grasses where shoes would normally soak through.
Traction is decent.
Since they are Gortex lined they tend to be warm in the summer.
They are good shoes, but I will probably look at something different the next time around. I might keep a pair on had for wet runs off trail.
Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Price Paid: Prodeal $65
I got into trail running years ago or cross-country as I knew it for the joy of it because running marathons got a little too crowded and the gear-heads took over. Anyway I got myself a pair of Montrail Highlanders. After two months of wearing I hated them; frequent heel and toe pain.
I began shopping around and went into an EMS nearby and they were having their Spring used sale and I found the North Face Ultra GTX XCR size 11, which was used but in really good shape.
Now keep in mind that I wear a size 12 and have hardwear in each feet from my time in the service (FMF Corpsman) but the NF trail-runners fit me like a gloves and give lots of toe-box room which I needed, added that I am flat footed and 6"1" and 170.
I did a 5 mile run two weeks later after purchase, no pain or swelling or fiction spots. And I just came back from the Bahamas where I did a three mile trail and beach run — lots of rocky/sharp limestone and water hole; my feet were dry and comfortable and I wore them all day without sox.
I would highly recommend this shoe to anyone. They do run big, but the Gore-tex, roomy toe-box and comfort are outstanding.
Use: trail running
Break-in Period: two weeks
Weight: 170 lbs
Price Paid: $50
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