The North Face Endurus TR Review
Looks solidly built. I like all the mesh I’m seeing. Plenty of cushioning it appears. Yellow? Hmm…Then I picked the shoe up and examined it closer…
…nice, it’s pretty flexible it seems. And yup, that’s a lot of cushioning. Feels like it’s not exactly a lightweight shoe (men’s size 9 = 11.2oz, women’s size 8 = 9.8oz). OK, so how does it perform?
Presenting The North Face Endurus TR. The North Face calls the midsole XtraFoam, I call it comfy.
Now for more details. In this review we’ll break things down in to five areas:
- What’s good: the new, differentiating, or simply well designed or built features or aspects of the shoe
- What’s decent: the features or aspects that are OK but not particularly new or differentiating
- What could be improved: tweaks or improvements that could be made to make the shoe better
- When to use it: the situations or scenarios where the shoe excels
- How it compares: my current go-to shoes and how this compares
I’ll try to be as succinct as possible. After all, you’ve probably got more running you can do today!
[ed: This is the shoe you heard Ben talking about in the “gear talk” portion of this interview with Morgan Elliot.]
- The cush (i.e., the midsole). 31mm in the heel, 25mm in the forefoot. The North Face Endurus TR utilizes a bathtub style cushioning system where the perimeter of the shoe features a firmer density compound with the interior being a softer-density EVA compound. The claim is this adds inherent stability. Cool.
- The grip. The outsole is a Vibram rubber that works really well. It’s soft enough to really grab rocks, even slick ones, yet the lugs don’t get in the way on smoother trails. Lug depth is 3.5mm. I’ve put these shoes through a lot of sloppy trails and the grip is great.
Great outsole on The North Face Endurus TR. Should work well in a variety of conditions.
- The fit. This is one of those shoes that you step in to and it just fits. The eyelets come up nice and high. The heel locks in. The sausage-style laces stay tied. The shoe is accommodating without being sloppy.
Step in. Tie it once. Enjoy for miles on end.
Very solid heel collar that holds the heel well. I did not notice any heel slippage whatsoever.
- The protection. The North Face Endurus TR has a “forefoot-to-midfoot ESS Snake Plate™”. I think that means it has a rock plate. And you can feel it. No issues, at least so far, with potential stone-bruising. With 31mm of cushioning in the heel you are well-protected back there too. The toe bumper is great also, plenty protective.
Plenty of toe protection with the added bonus of some directional lugs to aid steep ascending
- The key features. Perfectly padded, gusseted tongue – yes. Rock plate that doesn’t interfere with the cushion or ride – yup. Sticky, durable rubber outsole – uh huh. Sausage laces – nice!
- The ride. These shoes don’t beg to go fast. However, the ride is nice and flexible. Toe-off is acceptable I think.
The North Face Endurus TR is meant for long days on the trails.
- The style. Does this matter? Not really, but I do think it’s an added bonus when shoes are functional yet also look pretty cool. Personally I’m not a big fan of the yellow colorway but The North Face just released two new colors that are both better-looking in my opinioin. Particularly the new black/orange colorway.
- The breathability. Somewhat surprisingly, the shoe breathes OK. The North Face uses a FlashDry™ collar lining to “keep your feet cool and dry”. It works.
- The price. These retail for $130. This price point kind of seems like the new normal nowadays. OK.
What could be improved?
- The weight. This is my biggest complaint about the shoe. They need to go on a diet. Competing maxi-cushioned shoes from Hoka and Salomon weigh 1oz less (or more). I suspect most of the extra weight can be attributed to the upper. The overlays are welded suede and there is plenty of fabric everywhere. This should make for a nice and durable upper, but at a weight cost.
There is a lot going on with the upper. I’d love to see the next version streamline things here.
When to use it?
- Big days on the trail. The North Face Endurus TR is probably most at home in 50-100 mile races or 6-8 hour long runs. With direct input from Dylan Bowman (aka ‘D-Bo’) this shoe is made for all-day comfort.
- When you will face a variety of terrain. These should be able to handle just about anything you can throw at it except for rocky, technical terrain where you may want a more nimble shoe.
- Everyday use when you want more cushioning or protection. The fit and ride is good enough where you will want to reach for these some days despite the weight.
- Door to trail. It rides on the roads well and transitions perfectly to less demanding terrain nicely.
The North Face Endurus TR is a great option in these scenarios.
- Nike Zoom Wildhorse 3: Similar fit for me. Both shoes are the tie it once and forget about it type of shoe. The Wildhorse 3 was my benchmark shoe in 2016. Once the Wildhorse 3 is no longer available this is a worthy alternative.
- Brooks Caldera. The Caldera is lighter, has nearly the same amount of cushion yet is more responsive. The makes the Caldera a slightly better all-around better shoe in my opinion and I’d choose it more often.
- Under Armour RTT. This was the last shoe I reviewed. The North Face Endurus TR is a better shoe all around, period.
So the $130 dollar question – should you purchase The North Face Endurus TR?
In a word, probably (give it a shot). If you are OK with the little bit of extra weight, want a well-cushioned shoe, and run on everything except rocky, technical terrain, this shoe should work great.
Questions, comments, or feedback on this shoe? Please share! And thanks for reading!
Purchasing Information for The North Face Endurus TR
Visit The North Face site for more information. If you’re looking to purchase these shoes, please support your local independent running store. Thanks so much.
Meet Your Reviewer: Ben Zuehlsdorf
I am an avid running shoe junkie. When I’m not smelling new shoes I’m usually running or racing around the local trails in Marin County, California or talking shop with the San Francisco Running Company community of friends. I was once a road marathoner but now have transitioned almost exclusively to the trails and racing ultras the last few years.