The North Face Endurus TR
I don’t do a lot of running, but I do a lot of walking and playing outside on uneven ground. When I tried out the North Face Endurus TR the last month, the first thing that came to mind was “grippy pillows for the feet.” Once these shoes go on your feet, nothing can stop you.
The XtraFoam is super comfortable and does a great job of absorbing shock and various protruding objects on the trail. It is like a fat bike for your feet. You just roll over everything. I wore these for weeks on end, from casual use to hiking in the mountains. The Vibram XS Trek sole is very grippy (thanks to 3.5mm hole lugs) and had no issue on dirt, corn snow, and rocks.
When I first saw these shoes at the North Face preview in 2016, I was not sure about the super cushion look and build of the Endurus TRs. I’m used to more of a zero drop or even minimalist shoe. North Face did a good job of keeping the shoe from being a gooey mess by putting the XtraFoam midsole underfoot and firmer EVA around the perimeter of the shoe, therefore creating a much more stable shoe than it might look like. So you get a very comfortable feel with very little lateral play. Big score!
The shoe feels lighter than it looks as well. The fit was spot on and North Face’s CRADLE heel stabilizer keeps the shoe securely on your foot. As a trail runner should, the Endurus is built tough and has a plastic “Snake Plate” under the midfoot and forefoot to protect from various hard rocks and roots on the trail and add torsional stiffness. There is also a decent bit of a protected toe cap over the big toe and in front of the other toes.
The North Face made the liner out of their FlashDry to expedite drying. There is a 6mm drop (20mm at heel, 14mm at forefoot). Overall, these make for a very comfortable pair of trail runners that I kept finding a reason to wear, even when I had other shoes to test. MSRP $130
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