I’ve heard friends talk about ultra-padded trail shoes and how great they feel to run in. As a fan of minimalist shoes I didn’t buy it. “You’re going to drop your form and land heavy-footed, wreaking havoc on your body.” is what I’d think in response. Not wanting to maintain an uninformed opinion, when approached with the opportunity to review the The North Face Endurus TR Trail Running Shoe I jumped into a pair. Needless to say, my opinion has changed.
The North Face Endurus TR Details:
- Upper: Seamless welded-suede and TPU geo quarter panel for purposeful lock-down support and optimal breathability
- TPU film toe cap laid over a synthetic backer delivers toe protection
- FlashDry™ collar lining keeps your feet cool and dry
- Industry-leading OrthoLite® footbed for long-lasting comfort
- Approx Weight (½ pair): 11.2 oz (317 g)
- 20 mm/14 mm heel/forefoot EVA underfoot
- Vibram® XS Trek sole for durable multi-terrain traction with 3.5 mm sole lugs with biting edges
- 6mm drop
- Price: $130.00
Cushy and capable Endurus TR’s
The most notable feature of the The North Face Endurus TR Trail Running Shoe is the 20mm of EVA foam under the heel and the 14mm under the forefoot. The shoes look thick and a little unnecessary with my minimalist shoe perspective. Putting them on for the first time and stepping around, I noticed the padding immediately. On my first run I was a little annoyed by it. I still maintained my standard forefoot strike but didn’t appreciate the additional foam.
I put in 2-3 runs a week in them. Over time I adapted and I didn’t realize it. I enjoyed running in them and I didn’t realize it. About 6 weeks into my testing we got hammered with some snow and rain and I made a switch to my go-to Gore-Tex shoes. It took me about 30 seconds into that run to recognize the difference I was feeling with the Endurus TR’s.
And then came the ah-ha moment: I had completely changed from my original anti point of view to really liking the thick padding. I especially like them on longer runs, runs on hardpack, or in particularly rocky terrain. By maintaining the forefoot strike and maintaining a focus on treading lightly, I found I was coming out of longer runs with my legs not feeling jarred. I went from skepticism to being completely sold. The Endurus TR are now one of my favorite shoes.
The EVA is paired with a great Vibram sole with offset lugs. I found enough traction in dirt and on rocks but not quite enough when it gets really loose, sandy, or on steep descents. I kept them out of the mud, opting for my Gore-Tex shoes on those days. There’s enough protection to fend off even the biggest of rocks from jamming the soles of your feet. The Endurus carries 6mm of drop, which is a good amount for all around running.
The uppers are a nice, sturdy mesh which have kept my feet cool in temps into the 80’s. The mesh appears to be fairly sturdy, I have not inflicted any noticeable wear in it yet.
SIZING: They run fairly true to size. I typically run in a US 11, giving me a little bit of space in the toes to prevent toe bump. The Endurus TR in a US 11 fits the way I expected.
- Cushy EVA foam turned me from skeptic to big fan
- Breathable in warm temperatures
- Durable uppers
- Lugs could be more aggressive for loose and steep terrain
- Extended heel may cause heel-strikers some adjusting
The Bottom Line: The North Face Endurus TR
Looking for a great, all around trail run shoe with lots of padding? North Face Endurus TR should be at the top of your list. They changed me from skeptic to fan and that’s an impressive feat.
Buy Now: Available at MooseJaw.com