The North Face Ultra Guide, $110
Category: Versatile Cruiser
Weight: 9.6 oz (men’s); 8.3 oz (women’s)
Height off the ground: 23mm (heel); 15mm (forefoot)
FIT: A narrow heel holds the foot securely and opens up into a medium forefoot and toe box.
FEEL: All of our testers appreciated the interior plushness of this shoe and neutral runners appreciated the ample cushioning and adequate support from the firm heel counter. However, a lack of structure left stability-seeking runners wanting a bit more.
RIDE: Soft, multi-directional treads give a consistent ride on mixed surfaces, offering what one tester suggested was a “springy feel.” It feels a lot like a well-cushioned road shoe, which is why our test team found its sweet spot on smooth to moderate hard-packed routes. A forefoot snake plate keeps rock pops and stingers to a minimum without adding torsional stiffness.
FILED UNDER: Shoes and Gear / Trail Running TAGS: Brooks / Dynafit / Inov-8 / Karhu / La Sportiva / Mammut / Montrail / New Balance / Patagonia / Pearl Izumi / Running Shoes / Salomon / Saucony / Skechers / The North Face / Trail Running / Trail Running Shoes