The North Face Ultra Fastpack III GTX Shoe – Goretex Hiking Shoe for the Trail
The Ultra Fastpack III GTX shoes feature Goretex to keep your feet dry on the hiking trail. They also feature some of the grippiest treads we have ever seen. Couple that with a stable chassis and FastFoam midsole and you have an ideal hiking shoe.
Built to handle the trail
The North Face Ultra Fastpack III GTX shoes are built for hiking in variable weather and over various terrain. The MegaGrip Vibram tread easily gripped rock, dirt and loose debris. In fact, the MegaGrip was the grippiest tread pattern I have felt. From the moment I walked outside, I could feel it gripping the sidewalk, the grass, and the rocks. Once I got on the hiking trail I really noticed the Vibram technology come to life. Some days the Ultra Fastpack shoes were used on dry trails. Other times they were used on wet trails, with random snow patches and running water. No problem for these shoes. Although, there were plenty of times I wished I had the boot version (when I post holed in the snow!)
FastFoam for comfort
FastFoam is responsive cushioning midsole that provides comfort and stability. It is soft, but not as soft as the XtraFoam in other shoes like the Endurus GTX. I really like the Enduras (read our review here) but those are more trail running shoes than these hiking shoes. So it makes sense to go with the somewhat stiffer FastFoam.
MegaGrip is no joke! From the moment I put these shoes on, I could feel the grip working. It was quite a surprise for me. I am not sure what it is made of, but my guess is some kind of Spiderman science fair project rubber. Regardless if they are made of that or just some good engineering from Vibram, it will keep you glued to the hiking trail.
If you are looking for a low top hiking shoe that is waterproof and capable of protecting your feet from rocks and random trail hazards while offering stability and good cushioning, then the Ultra Fastpack III GTX is for you. If you are more of a boot person, check out the high top versions Ultra Fastpack II Mid GTX. I would not recommend running in these shoes though. They are not trail runners, nor do they claim to be. They are legitimate hiking shoes. MSRP $149