The North Face Summit Vectiv Sky Evaluation – iRunFar

For the previous yr, previous to testing The North Face Summit Vectiv Sky ($199), I’ve been on a quest to search out the proper non-maximal, cushioned ultra-trail shoe.

I ran the Desert Rats Path Marathon within the Brooks Catamount — see our Brooks Catamount assessment — a shoe I cherished, however seen that round mile 18, my ft have been feeling the miles and have been extremely sore for days after the race.

Realizing that I had some longer races on the schedule in 2023, I wanted to discover a new path shoe. The Brooks Caldera 5 turned my long-distance different, however with the discharge of the Brooks Caldera 6, Brooks added much more cushion to the shoe, which is a little bit of a turnoff for me. I discover that the cushioning in maximal footwear degrades somewhat rapidly, which tends to have a unfavourable impact on my working type. Moreover, I can’t stand how these footwear simply really feel like canoes on my ft. I don’t know the way else to explain it, however they only are a bit cumbersome.

So, whereas I purchased up each final Brooks Caldera 5 available on the market, I knew it was only a stop-gap measure. I started my quest for a shoe that will be snug at hour 10 of a run, that wasn’t a maximal-cushion shoe, and that was light-weight, comfortable, however not too tight round my foot.

Enter The North Face Summit Vectiv Sky. On paper, these footwear appeared to satisfy all the necessities, with their precise weight of 9.1 ounces (258 grams) in a males’s dimension 9, 4 millimeters of drop, and a purported stack peak of 21 millimeters on the heel and 17 millimeters on the forefoot.

Moreover, if this mannequin wasn’t plush sufficient, the extra cushioned model, The North Face Summit Vectiv Professional, is likely to be a very good different.

I needed to give them a attempt.

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The North Face Summit Vectiv Sky

The North Face Summit Vectiv Sky. All photographs: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

The North Face Summit Vectiv Sky Higher

The North Face Summit Vectiv Sky higher is fabricated from a breathable, sturdy engineered-mesh materials that enables air to flow into freely round your foot. The fabric is much less versatile mesh and extra powerful plastic netting. This materials is strengthened with thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) overlays in high-wear areas for added sturdiness and safety. Even after 100 miles of path working over technical terrain, I’ve but to tear or rip up the mesh.

Towards to again of the shoe close to the collar, the TNF Vectiv Sky transitions from the extremely breathable mesh to a strong ripstop materials. This ripstop materials transitions right into a sock-like entry and a gusseted tongue that helps hold particles out of the shoe and offers a comfortable match round your foot. The laces are barely offset. I discovered this positioning solely safe and because the laces tightened, I didn’t encounter sizzling spots or ache factors. To stop untied laces or loosening, the laces are braided.

The heel space of the higher incorporates a three-dimensional, molded heel counter that gives further help and stability. Lastly, a padded collar and tongue supply further consolation across the ankle space.

Initially, I discovered the shoe a bit powerful to get out and in of, however after a couple of wears, I don’t discover that to be the case anymore. The shoe feels extremely safe in all the proper locations, whereas giving extra room within the toebox.

The North Face Summit Vectiv Sky lateral view

A lateral view of the The North Face Summit Vectiv Sky.

The North Face Summit Vectiv Sky Midsole

The midsole on The North Face Summit Vectiv Sky is designed to offer most consolation, help, and cushioning to your ft. The midsole is made with a mixture of The North Face’s proprietary 3D Vectiv know-how and responsive dual-density EVA foam.

The 3D Vectiv know-how is a rocker-shaped midsole building that guides your foot ahead and reduces the affect in your joints. This high-rebound midsole incorporates a 4-millimeter Pebax insert on the forefoot, which helps to extend vitality return with every step, offering a extra environment friendly and comfy working expertise.

The twin-density EVA foam offers a responsive and cushioned really feel, absorbing shock and offering help to your ft. Whereas this shoe doesn’t have maximal cushioning, the light-weight foam affords a surprisingly snug experience. I’ve solely run somewhat over two hours at a time within the TNF Vectiv Sky, however my ft weren’t feeling any fatigue or soreness.

Lastly, The North Face Summit Vectiv Sky’s midsole incorporates a carbon fiber plate that provides further stability and help to the shoe. The carbon-fiber plate forks within the heel and the forefoot for elevated stability on technical terrain. The North Face claims this plate helps to distribute strain evenly throughout the foot, lowering the chance of harm and enhancing total efficiency. I used to be skeptical of how a lot stability I’d really feel on undulating terrain, however the plate truly does what it’s supposed to do.

The North Face Summit Vectiv Sky medial view

A medial view of the The North Face Summit Vectiv Sky.

The North Face Summit Vectiv Sky Outsole

The North Face Summit Vectiv Sky options an outsole that’s designed for wonderful traction and stability on quite a lot of terrain.

The Floor CTRL rubber outsole options multi-directional, 3.5-millimeter lugs, that are strategically positioned to offer most grip on each moist and dry surfaces. The lugs are additionally designed to shed mud and particles, serving to to stop slippage and sustaining traction even in difficult situations. Having run by means of muddy situations, I discovered that they’ll deal with somewhat little bit of mud effectively, however the peanut-butter mud that’s so frequent in Colorado appeared to be an excessive amount of for these footwear. About 99% of the time, the three.5-millimeter lugs have been strong sufficient for the paths I used to be on, however after I’d encounter a steeper, slickrock-type part, I needed somewhat extra grip towards the entrance of the shoe. In any other case, the outsole was nice on quite a lot of terrain — from filth roads to technical trails.

As well as, the outsole of the TNF Summit Vectiv Sky incorporates a rocker design that helps to advertise a clean, environment friendly stride. This design encourages a pure rolling movement of the foot, which may also help scale back fatigue and enhance total consolation throughout lengthy hikes or runs. The slight propulsion from the rocker is noticeable, in a very good and welcomed manner. You’re feeling a bit snappier and sooner in your runs, even in the event you really aren’t going sooner. (We are able to dream, although.)

The North Face Summit Vectiv Sky outsole

The outsole of The North Face Summit Vectiv Sky.

The North Face Summit Vectiv Sky General Impressions

I’ve been in a position to run in The North Face Summit Vectiv Sky on filth roads, technical trails, buttery singletrack, and roads. I used to be involved that the light-weight cushioning wouldn’t be strong sufficient to offer a cushty base, however to this point, the cushioning has protected my foot towards stray sharp rocks and common fatigue from lengthy runs. I’ll be curious to see how they really feel after four-hour-and-longer runs.

The sock-like padded heel, offset laces, and gusseted tongue actually held my foot in place. I used to be assured that my foot wasn’t going to slide to the perimeters on off-camber trails.

The underside line is, these footwear are designed and constructed for pace. The North Face reduce weight the place they might, whereas nonetheless making the footwear snug, grippy, and secure. I like that it’s not a maxiumal-cushioned shoe. They used simply sufficient cushioning to offer a clean experience with out all of the added weight and peak.

Whereas I like a very good criticism, particularly on the web, I can’t discover a lot to complain about. The colour isn’t my first selection, however performance over vainness typically wins the day for path footwear. They positively have a daring and noticeable colour in each the ladies’s and males’s colorways. It does match the model for The North Face’s retro path working product line.

The excessive value is a little bit of a troublesome tablet to swallow, particularly in the event you’re like me and also you’re shopping for a brand new pair of footwear each two to a few months. When you don’t want the flowery carbon plate, sock-like match, and mesh higher, The North Face does supply a barely extra approachable shoe, The North Face Vectiv Infinte 2, which is barely inexpensive at $169 — it even has 5-millimeter lugs, in comparison with 3.5 millimeters on the TNF Vectiv Sky.

The North Face Summit Vectiv Sky is my go-to shoe proper now, which contemplating the $199 price ticket, is likely to be a expensive transfer. However I’m prepared to put money into an incredible shoe that performs effectively in all sorts of situations.

Lastly, I’d prefer to see if The North Face has plans for utilizing recycled supplies. I wasn’t capable of finding out any info on this.

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Name for Feedback

  • Have you ever run in The North Face Summit Vectiv Sky?
  • What have been your ideas?

[Editor’s Note: If you’re affiliated (i.e., an employee, ambassador, etc.) with a shoe brand, please share your relation in each of your comments on this article. Thanks!]

The North Face Summit Vectiv Sky upper

A prime view of the The North Face Summit Vectiv Sky.

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