Gear Review

5 5

Sweet Kicks!

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I purchased a pair of these after coming across them while reading Backpacker magazine. I was torn between these or the Salomon Synapse Mid. Well after looking at the Salomon's online (and reading a few less than stellar reviews on this site), I decided to purchase the North Face. Without breaking these in, I used them on a three day hike in Yosemite which included Half Dome. Verdict: Comfy. I used light wool socks and didn't get a single blister or sore spot. I found the "Heal Cradle" technology actually did encourage your foot to roll from your heel to your ball of your foot. I can't say whether or not the Gore-Tex works well as I didn't test it. The traction ascending Half Dome was adequate. I only experienced minor slipping a few instances while descending, but that's to be expected on such a slippery rock face. Also, I went with the Red/Black after checking out the Brown/Yellow at a North Face store. Glad I did. They are very unique, look awesome, and actually go well with khaki color hiking pants. Plus, the shipping from Backcountry.com was quick and well packaged.

Responded on

Brandon, nice review. I wanted to ask you about the durability. I saw these boots at a local gear store and the demo they had on the floor had its black rubber that wraps around the toe and then down the side of your foot already peeling off. And this boot hadn't seen any trails whatsoever. What do you think? Isolated incident?

Responded on

I think that's isolated.... mine are holding up really well after a few hikes and one actually caught fire briefly with no side effects. Just a black mark on the shoe. I recommend them.

Responded on

Gotta retract what i said. The rubber on mine came loose all around them both after several hikes in Bulgaria. Not anything intense, just on rocky terrain but I'm pretty disappointed. I'm returning them now. The wear for the amount of use they got is pretty ridiculous to me. They started breaking down practically as soon as I left the country. I suppose I spoke too soon.