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Trail and Scramble Shoes

Dynafit Feline Up Pro Running Shoe | Review

Lightweight, aggressive trail running shoes that’ll are designed with the vertical climbs of the Alps in mind

Why We Chose The Dynafit Feline Up Pro: Lightweight, great sole unit, a brand with strong alpine heritage.

If you don’t come from a ski touring background, you would be forgiven for thinking that the Austrian-born, German-based outdoor clothing and equipment manufacturer Dynafit are new kids on the block. This couldn’t be further from the truth however. This is a brand with a very strong heritage, one going all the way back to the 1950s.

Innovation has always been at the forefront of Dynafit’s ethos, with the company gaining the original patent for the Tourlite ski binding design – the world’s first pintech ski binding – and the core design of this remains relatively unchanged yet imitated by many other binding manufacturers to this day.

“Dynafit have created a running shoe that’ll get you to the summit as fast as your body allows, via the most direct line up the mountain side.”

With all their experience in getting skiers uphill on the lightest, most efficient gear possible, it makes sense that Dynafit have also looked to aid runners by developing some of the lightest trail running shoes on the market – you can’t ski all year round in Germany, after all.

This is where the Feline Up Pro comes in. Dynafit have created a trail running shoe that will take you to the summit as fast as your body allows, via the most direct line up the mountain side.

The crucial feature is the aggressive outsole. First you have the sticky rubber compound; a Vibram Megagrip optimised to give as much wet and dry off-road traction as possible.

Then you have the deep, arrow-shaped lugs to help claw you up the mountainside, whilst planting you securely on the ground for the downhill. These have also been cleverly designed so that mud will shed rather than clinging on and clogging things up.

Vibram Megagrip: one aggressive sole unit. Photo: Chris Johnson
A gaiter prevents stones and dirt from entering the shoe and is the perfect area to tuck excess laces. Photo: Chris Johnson
Vibram LiteBase shaves 40 - 50% off a traditional sole. Photo: Chris Johnson

What’s more, these also have another one of Vibram’s sole technologies – this one being brand new. It’s called Vibram LiteBase, and it’s a method of producing a outsole sole that essentially gets rid of unnecessary weight. It sees a 40 – 50% reduction in the thickness of the rubber along the length of outsole, which in turn gives a 25 – 30% reduction in tread weight. You can see this when taking a look at the sole unit – these things are thin. However, with lug patterns identical to those of a traditional Vibram sole, no loss of traction and durability is evident.

The shoe weight overall is 230g (per half pair). That’s light.

As expected with a shoe of this weight, you’re getting a minimal drop (4mm) to give you that feet-to-ground feeling that’s become popular in the running community in recent years, but there’s plenty of protection from roots and rocks still thanks to a Carbon Shield in the midsole.

Of course, it’s not all about just shedding as much weight as possible with this shoe – features have been added in where they’re needed. For instance, Dynafit’s rubber Heel Preloader has been utilised in order to cup your heel and provide support, and you can really see and feel how anatomically-shaped this makes it. This will keep you locked in for all day comfort and make for minimal heel lift.

Finally, the upper features a lightweight synthetic mesh which is all pulled together by a quick lacing system which has a sort-of mini gaiter covering it to keep any unwanted dirt and rocks out. To stop the excess lacing from flapping about, all you need to do is tuck it into a little stretchy pocket at the top of the tongue.

All-in-all, this is an excellent women’s specific shoe that displays some very nifty design techniques, and that’s made for tackling steep and technical trails.

Tester’s Verdict

Hannah Morris, Peak District climber

“I’ve been really impressed by the grip that these have and I’ve certainly felt like I can trust them. They feel extremely light but still comfortable and protective and I’ve found the mechanised lacing satisfyingly efficient.

“They might be designed for trail running, but I can see these being a useful approach shoe as well; something that you can hike distances in to reach a crag and then slip on and off easily as and when required.”

Dynafit have brought all this in at the low weight of 230g. Photo: Chris Johnson

Trade Secrets

Dynafit Marketing Staff

“What you’re getting is a shoe designed by athletes for competition, but tuned for the real world. So yes, you get great traction and feedback on steep, rough, muddy and rocky terrain, but while athletes might prioritise performance, most of us want comfort too. So the Carbon Shield under the midsole provides underfoot rock protection and stability.”

Dynafit Feline Up Pro

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