While more widely-known for their ski boots, Tecnica also makes a wide assortment of footwear. In fact, I recall having a pair of Tecnica hiking boots as a kid that I used to hike through the Olympic National Park from North to South. Since that time, both myself and Tecnica have grown up (well, sorta) and expanded into more markets. I’m psyched for Tecnica’s new trail running shoe lineup and have had the opportunity to use the Tarantula trail running/light hiking shoes as a first foray back into the brand.

Tecnica Tarantula Features:

  • Technagrip outsoles
  • Ortholite footbed
  • Features Tecnica Rolling System design for efficient forward motion
  • Phython EVA midsole
  • Weight: 12.2 oz per pair
  • MSRP: $114.95

Tecnica Tarantula Trail Running Shoes Review

I slipped on the Tarantula’s for a Fall trail run in pleasant temperatures. The trails were tacky and the mixed terrain was a good measure for these shoes. Tecnica tells me that the Tarantula’s are more suited to light hiking, but they are capable enough for trail running. I found them to be suitable for trail running with excellent traction and comfortable uppers.

The bootie-style uppers fit comfortably around your feet with excellent ventilation to keep your feet breathing well. The outsole is a single-piece design with a slight Rollzone rocker. I’d like to see a little more rocker, but it’s noticeable and helps propel your step forward. The well-protected toebox is a bit pointed, so don’t expect a ton of wiggle-room, but I sized up 1/2 size and the fit was all good.

I appreciated the well-designed traction provided by the Technigrip outsole for both uphill and down. In my rocky but mostly dry terrain, I didn’t have any traction issues and  overall stability was good as well.

Now for some critiques of the Tarantula’s. Lets just keep in mind that each foot is unique, so fit issues are very relative. However, I had to cut my testing short on these shoes due to heel blistering. I’ve run hundreds of miles this year without a single blister from a variety of shoes. But, these shoes gave my right heel a blister within 15 minutes. I suspect the microfiber-like heelcup material to blame. It tends to grab your socks instead of allowing them to slide freely. I’ve been told that this is being improved with a rolling change. However, keep that in mind if you are trying these on… you just might have similar issues, but you may not.

Note: I feel I must mention that this was my 2nd pair of these shoes. The first pair ripped out the eyelets while lacing them tightly. The replacements didn’t suffer the same fate.

The Good

  • Uppers offer a comfortable fit
  • Good traction both up and down
  • Excellent stability
  • Bootie design keeps trail debris where it should be
  • Toebox is well-protected

The Bad

  • Heelcup material is too soft and promotes blisters
  • Laces don’t easily slide through eyelets
  • A bit expensive compared to others in this category

Bottom Line: Tecnica Tarantula Trail Running Shoes

As my first foray into Tecnica’s trail running shoes, the Tarantulas are signaling some good things to come. While the Tarantula’s weren’t perfect, I’m liking the direction they are heading, so in spite of some issues I had with them, refinements will be made and these will get better over time. I’m looking forward to their new trail runners coming this Spring and plan on a forthcoming review.

Buy Now: Search for Tecnica at REI

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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