The North Face Vectiv Fastpack Futurelight Hiking Shoes | Review - Outdoors Magic

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The North Face Vectiv Fastpack Futurelight Hiking Shoes | Review

A high performing hiking shoe that provides comfort, propulsion and protection on the toughest trails

Why We Chose The North Face Vectiv Fastpack Futurelight Hiking Shoes: comfortable, waterproof, cushioned

The North Face’s Fastpack hiking shoes strike a fine balance between the performance and protection of a hiking boot with the comfort and lightweight qualities of a trainer. This is no mean feat. Too much emphasis on protection and the shoe becomes heavy and unwieldy; strip things back too far and durability will suffer, meaning it won’t be long before your back in the market for another pair. In the Fastpack, The North Face have crafted a hiking shoe that is more than capable on technical terrain. At 512g per pair, it’s slightly heavier than some of the competition, though few are as fully featured.

Who are The North Face Vectiv Fastpack Futurelight Hiking Shoes for?

The Fastpacks are designed for fast and light hiking escapades across spring, summer and autumn. Featuring TNF’s proprietary waterproof membrane and 4 mm lugs for traction, these hiking shoes, from what we’ve seen, are just as at home on wet mountain trails as they are on dry rock.

Photos: Mike Drummond

Their low height saves weight for those day hikes but it means the Fastpack doesn’t provide the same ankle support as a full-on boot for longer expeditions with heavy packs. For similar shoes with more ankle support, you might want to check out the North Face Vectiv Exploris. That’s a similar shoe with a slightly higher ankle.

The rubber outsole is optimised for hiking and provides a decent amount of grip on wet, muddy ground and rocky trails. With all that in mind, for those that value the lightweight qualities of hiking shoes without foregoing waterproof capabilities, the Fastpack is a solid choice.


The goal here is that liberating feeling of going fast and light on the trails; it’s the main reason adventurers opt for hiking shoes over hiking boots and the Fastpack is full of features that help to achieve this. The impressive carbon plate in the midsole (which was first featured in The North Face’s trail running shoes, is designed to give you long-lasting forward propulsion, converting each downward step into forward momentum, as well as providing that all important protection underfoot.

Stability is achieved by a single-density plate under the forefoot, while toes are protected from scrapes with rock by a moulded toe cap, enabling the wearer to be confident on rocky terrain. The rubber outsoles are designed to cope with everything from loose scree, angled slabs and boulder field traversing.

When approaching technical ground, a tight shoe that allows for precision footwork is important. The Fastpacks feature a double-punched lacing system, which allows for fining tuning of the fit.


Moisture management is a key facet of any hiking shoe and in this regard there’s a conflict. The finest hiking footwear keeps rainwater at bay while allowing moisture to escape from sweaty feet. The Fastpacks are both waterproof and breathable thanks to TNF’s proprietary Futurelight membrane, which is both durable and permeable. We’ve tested this in a number of the brand’s products now and it’s always left us feeling impressed. You can read a bit more about the high-spec tech behind it in our guide to Futurelight.

The mesh upper allows feet to breathe and is abrasion resistant, while the antimicrobial OrthoLite footbed is designed to keep moisture – and pongy feet – in check.

Tester’s Verdict

Ash Routen, Arctic explorer and outdoor writer

“North Face pitch these low cut and lightweight shoes firmly in the hiking and trekking shoe category. I took them out for a spin in the Lake District with the Outdoors Magic team.

“Like with any modern hiking shoe, the Vectiv’s are lightweight and use a mesh fabric construction for the main body of the shoe which gives flexibility and a very comfortable fit. I haven’t used them in bad weather yet, but my feet survived a good dunking in the typical boggy ground found in the Central Fells. North Face would say that is their breathable and waterproof Futurelight fabric in action. I wouldn’t fancy using them in prolonged wet weather, but I would have no problems using them when there is some wet ground underfoot.

“I typically run hot in my extremities so I’m always fighting off overheating feet and the potential for blisters. I had no problems with the Vectiv Fastpack and was pleasantly surprised at the moderate temperature my feet maintained, despite my exertions.

“Given their lightweight construction and low profile rubber soled grip I wasn’t sure if the Fastpack Vectivs would provide enough purchase on rocky terrain but thdy coped just fine, although despite the reasonably stiff sole I would prefer a more substantial edge for scrambling and more rocky terrain.

“I’ll be using these shoes for summer walking in the Peak District, which is the sort of ground I feel they’re best suited for.”

Ash testing the Vectivs during our Test Team weekend. Photo: Neil Irwin

The North Face Vectiv Faspack

Selected for the Outdoor 100 2022/23


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