Trail running technology is taking a leap forward with the VECTIV footwear range from The North Face.
Something in the air, can you smell it? You can’t, because it’s change, change that’s coming to trail runners near you.
The North Face has done a heap of research and overhauled their footwear range. Now, after nearly 10,000km of athlete testing and a bunch of Fastest Known Times (FKTs) and records, they’re hitting the shelves.
So what’s new?
The headliner is the Flight VECTIV, which features a 3D carbon fibre plate and midsole rocker. Sound familiar? Carbon fibre plates have blasted onto the scene recently, not without controversy, as a potentially game-changing way to improve the efficiency of running shoes.
But this is the first time the technology’s been slotted into a trail runner.
To match the fancy space-age tech the shoes have a rockered midsole that keeps you moving forward onto your toes and a new grip tech on the outsole called SurfaceCTRL. No word on how the grip performs just yet (I’ll be reviewing them shortly), but someone’s gotta take the shift key away from The North Face marketing team.
There’ll be other releases following the Flight VECTIV catering to runners and hikers who prefer more cushioning, waterproofing (featuring FUTURELIGHT in hiking styles) and spending less money. Sign up here to be the first to know when new shoes drop.
Aussie and NZ Fastest Known Times
The North Face athletes went on a rampage with the Flight VECTIV to push the limits of the shoe, and nabbed some pretty impressive FKTs in the process.
Adrius Ramonas ran 42km around Mt Taranaki on NZ’s North Island while climbing 2800m in just under 5 hours and 59 minutes.
Over in Kosciuszko David Byrne climbed nearly 2km in 16km on Hannels Spur, Australia’s largest vertical gain, in the measly time of 2 hours, 38 minutes and 42 seconds. Meanwhile Victoria Beck went from Thredbo Village to the top of Kosciuszko in 1 hour, 13 minutes and 8 seconds climbing 837m over just 8.47km, while Blake Hose ran Charlotte Pass to the Sentinel return in a smidge over 90 minutes.
So yeah, the shoes work!
The Flight VECTIV isn’t going to be a cheap trail runner; it’s made with carbon fibre, kevlar, and delightful knitted mesh that the pros are saying combines stability, grip, and responsiveness in a light-as-heck package.
But you can get a discount by just going for (quite a few) runs! Join the Power Further Together challenge on Strava and run 100km in March to qualify for 10% off.
When will the Flight VECTIV be available?
The Flight VECTIV and Flight Infinite will be available from the 16th March 2021, with more styles and a hiking range out in April.
Photos by @inciteimages