Monday, March 12, 2012

After years of running trails mostly in Nike and Reebok shoes I wanted to try a different brand. I've read quite a few positive reviews advertising The North Face Single-Track Trail Running Shoe. e.g.:
  • The North Face Single-Track Awarded “Best Debut” by Runner’s World
  • 2010 Gear of the Year award recipient from Outside Magazine
While on a trip to Bangkok I purchased a pair, which pretty much looks like this:

Now, this is how my heel looks after every 5k trail run in The North Face Single-Track Trail Running Shoe:

The ugly blister in the above photo is courtesy of The North Face as I always get those when I run in their Single-Track Trail Running Shoes. Just in case you wonder, I purchased correct size and have not immediately run long distances in it (it was impossible to run more than 2km in these shoes anyway). The problem with these shoes in my opinion is simply very poor design and I can prove it.

This is how heel looks in my Nike shoes:

Just soft foam with no edges, which is why I've never had a single blister while running in Nike (or Reebok) shoes. Now compare the above heel to The North Face Single-Track:
As you can notice there's hard foam collar in the heel surrounding the ankle and creating sharp edge that rubs the top of my heel. To make matters worse, the material covering this hard collar has texture, which I can compare to sand paper. Perfect recipe for terrible blisters.

These shoes received awards from Runner’s World and Outside Magazine and they happen to be the worst shoes I've ever purchased. Clearly, this was my last purchase of any The North Face product.


Jaco Roux said...

That looks painful... and like bad design! I have put hundreds of single track kilometers on my Adidas (which has a similar design to your Nikes) without any blisters... ever!

Marek Bialoglowy said...

Good to know no problem with Adidas. Haven't tried Adidas shoes as unfortunately they don't sell any trail shoes locally, but I'll try to get one pair.

web statistics