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December 2017 Issue
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The North Face Endurus Mid GTX

The TNF Endurus

Price:

$330

Our Rating:

At a glance –

Pluses: Featherweight, comfortable, well ventilated and nimble.
Minuses: Minor discomfort on steep terrain. Small and shallow lugs don’t perform so well on muddy ground.

Features: With its thin synthetic upper, low cut and light sole, this boot is as small and light as they come (870g (m), 788g (w)).

Despite that, the XtraFoam midsole, which is softer in the centre than around the edges, provides good cushioning, and the toecap and reinforced ankle provide protectection. Easy-adjust laces, which can be threaded through eyelets or cinched over hooks, provide a snug fit. The low cut provides less ankle support than normal high-cut boots.

The upper is abrasion resistant and breathable – perhaps at the expense of good looks. A Gore-Tex lining provides waterproofing, though the low cut makes it easy for water to spill in on even shallow stream crossings. A Flashdry collar lining provides good evaporative cooling so long as you aren’t wearing gaiters.

Fit: The Endurus is sized slightly large and I could comfortably wear a half or full size down. In terms of width and volume, several friends tried them and they fitted us all comfortably, so they seem to accommodate most foot shapes. 

Comfort: Like many lightweight boots, no breaking in is required.  The boot immediately moulds to your foot and provides a seamless fit.

The Endurus has two minor drawbacks. When walking uphill on steep ground, the front of the boot can bend in a way that forces the upper down on the toes. And on sustained descent, the laces can be felt through the tongue and can cause rubbing on the lower shin. This was less of a problem with thicker socks.

In use: They are so lightweight and comfortable that it’s easy to forget you are wearing them at all. Despite their excellent breathability, I found they were prone to overheating and hot patches, as sometimes happens with lined and fully synthetic footwear. The 4mm lugs performed well except on tacky soil and clay, where they clogged up. 4/5

Value: The Endurus is both lighter in weight and less rugged than its competitors, but is at a good price point.

Verdict: This is an impressively comfortable and lightweight boot that will suit trail-walkers and day hikers but is on the light side for harder tracks or longer trips.

 

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