Home / Articles / The world outdoors

The North Face’s high tech new footwear

The North Face’s new VECTIV footwear uses a shock-absorbing sole

A wrap of the biggest stories and best writing about the outdoors from New Zealand and around the world. 

In gear news, The North Face has launched an innovative new footwear system designed to minimise fatigue.

The Vectiv shoes were initially designed for trail runners but during research, designers discovered participants in ultramarathon running races spent more than half of their time hiking in order to move as efficiently as possible over undulating terrain while their legs were fatigued. This prompted designers to study how they could optimise the shoe specifically for hikers.

The result is a new range of hiking shoes and mid-boots which are said to reduce the impact on feet and legs by up to 10 per cent and offer a 'boost of energy' with a midsole 'rocker' that helps propel the user forward. 

Since the inception of the shoes, 10 The North Face athletes have set 13 records around the world wearing the shoes, including Lithuanian trail running star Andrius Ramonas who set the new fastest known time around Mt Taranaki, at 5hr 58min.

The Vectiv range is expected to be in store in New Zealand in April.

More takahē for Kahurangi National Park

The chances of running into a wild takahē in Kahurangi National Park just got higher. 

DOC, with Ngāi Tahu and Takahē Recovery Programme partner Fulton Hogan, released 15 takahē into the park on March 17.

The species was first introduced to the park in 2018, but the population had a rough year in 2020, with 11 birds dying. 

“The takahē that died from natural causes had low body weights, suggesting they weren’t getting enough food during winter. They were older birds that may have struggled to adapt to a new environment. The 15 birds we’ve continued to monitor are younger and were a healthy weight when checked in September,” DOC Takahē Recovery Programme operations manager Deidre Vercoe said.

“Today’s takahē release increases the Gouland Downs takahē population to around 34 birds, enabling us to better evaluate the suitability of the area for sustaining a takahē population.”

The takahē can be seen by trampers walking the Heaphy Track.

Read the full story here.

Adventurer completes Fiordland traverse

Adventurer Mark Jones has completed his solo traverse of Fiordland National Park.

The massive feat saw the 57-year-old tramp 328km over 39 days in incredibly difficult terrain, Stuff reports.

“It’s a long time to be pushing your body hard. I was astonished at how gnarly some of the days were and how well I was able to do them,” he said.

“I feel really privileged to have had the opportunity to do that journey, which is really restorative and gives you a massive sense of self-satisfaction, but also being able to share it with people through blogs.”

Jones’ journey raised more than $10,000 for mental health.

A love letter to walking poles

A tramper has defended himself against ‘anti-pole sentiment’ in an Outside magazine opinion piece.

“Pole-rage is real,” argues author Sam Morse.

“Condescension, judgment, and a hierarchical us-versus-them mentality threatens to grip our trails, boot-packs, and parks. Using them is disdained, like all the unwanted raisins in a well-picked-over bag of gorp (scroggin),” he said.

Walking with poles can reduce joint pain, and conserve leg energy.

“I want to use them on every hike, not just the hard ones. And yet there are those who smirk at my casual usage, deeming me a gaper or a tourist for poling around on green terrain,” Morse said.