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.
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.