The North Face Flight Vectiv
First trail model to boast a carbon-fiber plate, the North Face Flight Vectiv is a fast and versatile road-to-trail running shoe.
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The North Face Flight Vectiv
A good lively running shoe that transitions seamlessly from road to semi-technical trailsWith a sleek and rockered design, the Flight VECTIV is the first shoe in a new line of North Face runners. First trail shoe to feature carbon-fiber plate, its unique cushioning will surprise many runners, especially from a brand not well-known for footwear. Moreover, the VECTIV is unique because it performs as a hybrid, working equally well on roads as on trails.
Perhaps most notable about the Flight VECTIV is its dual-density foam midsole that gives this model its name. This cushioning, combined with a full-length 3D carbon-fiber plate, provides a smooth toe-off and works effortlessly on more technical terrain. Runners describe the overall feel of the ride as "flowy" and "synergistic." Part of the experience comes from the upper, which has a nice elastic tension that gives a gusseted-tongue-like sensation. Its mesh fabric ensures breathability while cradling and supporting the foot. Of course, combined with the strong midsole and upper of VECTIV is an equally impressive outsole that rivals many top trail shoes. The SurfaceCTRL outsole delivers a solid performance on most trail terrains, despite its lugs' modest profile (3.5 mm).
While most runners were impressed with the shoe's overall feel and performance, it does lose points for accessibility. Designed mostly for narrower feet, the VECTIV is probably an unsuitable choice for those with average to wide feet. Surprisingly, runners also remarked that the upper isn't remarkably durable, lasting only 50 miles before noticeable wear and tear. It's incredibly disappointing considering all the fuss with the Matryx material of the upper that uses Kevlar. Lastly—though more of an aesthetic gripe than anything else—the sharp white of the shoe is quickly and easily tarnished. As a trail shoe, don't expect the sleek look of the VECTIV to hold up for long before getting dirty.
In summation, the North Face's latest contribution to the running world passes with flying colors. VECTIV is a solid choice for runners with narrow feet and performs well on roads and trails alike. It's a pricey shoe for those who don't spend much time on technical terrain; nevertheless, it's worth the splurge for anyone with a need for speed on the trails.
Value for money
- Great use of a carbon-fiber plate for a trail running shoe
- Very responsive cushioning for fast and furious runs
- Effective grip
- Relatively lightweight
- Versatile—road-to-trail model
- Not so protective due to its competition build
- Durability issues with the upper
- Not suitable for wide feet
Model: The North Face Flight Vectiv
- SurfaceCTRL: a resilient rubber that delivers a good grip on uneven trail terrains.
- The 3.5 mm lugs improve traction to easily tackle the most difficult conditions. Those rubber elements are multidirectional with an aggressive design.
- VECTIV: a dual density EVA foam that’s softer in the rear and firmer under the toes for a comfortable shock absorption and a peppy toe off.
- The 3D carbon-fiber plate aims to bend upon touching the ground and then tighten at toe off to propel the body forward.
- The rocker geometry promotes a natural rocking movement to enhance the ride
- The North Face Flight Vectiv’s upper is an engineered mesh that provides a comfortable and secure foot lockdown while letting the foot breathe, especially when the running gets tough.
- Matryx is a unique fabric that blends Kevlar and polyamide to prevent abrasion on challenging trail terrains.
- The 3D heel counter molds comfortably to the foot to provide a secure foothold.
- The toe cap protects the toes from potentially painful shocks on terrains
- The reflective elements provide a 360 degree visibility so that you can stay safe at all time while running.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Is the North Face Flight Vectiv true to size?
Yes, athletes who tried this model confirmed that it fits true to size. Therefore, you can order your regular size for trail running shoes. However, the shoe fit is a bit narrow, which may not be suitable for runners with wider feet.
I weigh more than 198 lbs/90 kg. Can I run in these shoes?
Yes, these shoes are suitable even if you’re a heavyweight runner. Indeed, The North Face Flight Vectiv has a heel stack height of 25 mm, which is enough to support most athletes, so you can run with it regardless of your weight.
Is the North Face Flight Vectiv a good choice to run an ultramarathon?
While its explosive cushioning makes it a great choice for competition, the NF Flight Vectiv is not so protective and has small/medium lugs (3.5 mm), which may not be suitable for very technical terrains like some ultramarathon courses are famous for offering.
Is the North Face Flight Vectiv waterproof?
Like most trail shoes, the Vectiv is water-repellent. However, it’s not fully waterproof in the absence of a GTX-like membrane to isolate the feet from the elements.
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