2012 Trail Running Shoe Review

Photo: Scott Draper/Competitor

NorthFace Singletrack Hayasa, $110

www.thenorthface.com

Weight — M: 8.9 oz.; W: 7.02 oz.

Fit: The Hayasa offers superior heel hold, but the fit gets roomier as it goes forward, with a somewhat loose feeling in the arch/midfoot and plenty of wiggle room in the forefoot. To ensure a reliably snug fit, the laces have to be cinched to the max.

Feel: The Hayasa offers pillow-y cushioning in its stabilizing heel unit, and plenty of wiggle room in the toebox. It has the semi-soft feel of a low-profile road shoe, so it should come as no surprise that it transitions well between smooth trails, gravel roads and asphalt. The ventilated, flexible mesh upper rests snugly yet softly over the foot without rubbing.

Ride: With a semi-soft midsole that absorbs impacts without inhibiting flexibility, the Hayasa rides steady like low-to-the-ground road shoe. The low-profile lugs make it adept at handling terrain that isn’t terribly technical, although a thin flexible protection plate in the forefoot and a reinforced toe cap help keep moderate obstacles at bay.

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