Tuesday, March 30, 2021

The North Face Vectiv Enduris Review

Article by Jeff Valliere

The North Face Vectiv Enduris ($140)

Introduction

The Vectiv Enduris is the “budget” shoe in the Vectiv line at $139 and is the heaviest of the 3, but don’t be fooled, the Enduris could very well be the best of the bunch, at least the most practical for most runners and most runs.  With a rockered midsole, maximal cushioning, secure fit, a TPU plate, great traction, good road capability and a more reasonable price tag, the Enduris deserves priority consideration.


Pros:

Fit

Comfort

Cushion

Dry traction

Rockered Outsole

Response

Versatility


Cons:

Non gusseted tongue

Thin laces

Weight

Break in period


Tester Profile

Jeff runs mostly on very steep technical terrain above Boulder often challenging well known local FKT's. 


Stats

  Official Weight:  men’s 11.15 oz / 288g  women’s 316 grams 9.81 oz / 278 G

  Sample men’s US10: 11.6oz  / 328g

Stack Height: 31 mm heel/25mm forefoot (6mm stack)

Available now including from our partner Running Warehouse here. $140   


First Impressions and Fit

I received the Flight Vectiv and the Vectiv Enduris on the same day and was amazed when comparing the two.  The outsole looks identical and the overall look/design of the shoe is very similar, though the Flight features a distinctive carbon plate and Matryx upper.  The Enduris has a softer, more flexible and nearly as breathable mesh upper and the same pronounced rocker shape.  The difference in fit however is surprising and I had to double check the sizing, but sure enough, both are size 10.  As I mentioned in my Flight Vectiv review, fit runs really large, but the Enduris is surprisingly true to size, streamlined, secure, precise and with no extra material.  The toebox is in no way roomy, but has just enough space for splay/swelling and feels very secure/confidence inspiring.


Upper

The breathable air mesh upper is very comfortable, soft and light, while providing excellent durability and security, featuring no sew TPU overlays in the toe and heel for lightweight protection.  As I mentioned above, fit is true to size and very secure no matter how fast I run and no matter how technical the terrain.

While my review period was in the Winter months, I am confident that breathability is excellent given the amount of airflow through the mesh.

The internal heel counter is semi rigid, but with a little bit of flex and gives great heel hold, security and stability.  The collar is well padded, just the right height.

The tongue is well padded and comfortable, though is not gusseted.  It can tend to drift to either side, but only a little and it has not been an issue.


The laces are exceptionally thin and a bit ribbon-like and do not stay well tied, requiring triple or quadruple knotting.  While I had trouble securing the laces on the Flight Vectiv, the laces on the Enduris integrate with the eyelets better so when you pull tension on the laces here, tension is maintained, so much easier to achieve proper foothold.

The toe bumper is sturdy and protective, integrating well with the upper and continuous 360 degree rand.



Midsole

The Enduris Midsole features rockered geometry to enhance forward propulsion, the Vectiv sole unit for energy return and a Dual Density TPU plate underfoot for stability and forward propulsion.


With such a maximal stack, the Enduris provides excellent cushioning and protection for all day running adventures.  The cushioning is moderately firm, but not overly so and provides a smooth and predictable ride.  


The rockered outsole is dramatic, pitching one forward easily into a running stride and encouraging movement.  Response is good, subtle, but once you get the Enduris rolling, the propulsion of the TPU plate is evident and it has a bit more flexibility than the Flight Vectiv.


Outsole

Like the Flight Vectic, the Surface Control outsole with low profile, but well designed and well spaced lugs provide good grip and performance on just about any surface, from hard packed dirt, loose dirt, rocky slab, off trail scruff, snow, mud, pavement, and is even OK on non polished low grade ice (with extreme care of course).  

Wet traction is moderate.  Durability thus far seems to be average.


Ride

The ride of the Enduris is smooth and predictable, stable, responsive and well suited for a variety of terrain and paces.


Conclusions and Recommendations

I am impressed with the Vectiv Enduris and Vectiv series, which is a huge leap forward for The North Face.  It could be argued that the Enduris is the best of the bunch given the price, versatility, fit and overall performance.


The Enduris is a great road to trail option, but once on the trail it is competent on just about any terrain.  The Enduris can easily handle just about any distance, from all day runs, hikes, ultra distance races, shorter faster outings and day to day training.  Given the tall stack, I probably would not choose the Enduris for my faster, more technical or high mountain runs, but to this point have had no real issues with stability or traction, though wet traction as mentioned is just average.

Jeff’s Score:  8.9/10

Ride: 9 Fit: 9 Value: 9 Style: 8.5 Traction: 8.5 Rock Protection: 9


Comparisons


TNF Flight Vectiv (RTR Review)  

The Flight Vectiv is only a half ounce lighter and features the stiffer, and yet more propulsive carbon plate.  The Enduris costs $60 less, has a much better fit, security and predictable stability.  The Flight is for sure faster on smooth, straight and predictable terrain, but the Enduris is overall more versatile and competent in varied and more technical terrain.


Hoka Speedgoat 4  (RTR Review)  

The Speedgoat is one of the more obvious comparisons with maximal stack and rockered outsole, close in price and weight.  The Speedgoat is about a half ounce lighter though, has softer cushion, a wider platform and better traction in my opinion, especially in the wet.


Hoka Mafate Speed 3 (RTR Review  

Another close comparison, both with rockered outsole, maximal stack and similar profile.  The Mafate is ¼ of an ounce lighter with softer cushion and more pronounced tread and overall performance is similar, though the Mafate Speed 3 feels a bit more performance oriented.  The Enduris is $30 less.


Brooks Caldera 5 (RTR Review 

The Caldera 5 is the same price, maximally cushioned and versatile. It is 0.75 oz lighter, is a little wider and its cushioning is more plush and a bit more responsive.  While both are an excellent pick, the Caldera 5 feels a bit more polished and refined.


Asics Trabuco Max (RTR Review  

Both shoes are maximal with a rockered outsole and very stiff with a nice propulsive feel at toe off, though the Enduris has more cushioning.  The Enduris is a bit lighter and has a better fitting, or at least more refined upper with better hold and security, some of which has to do with the awkward tongue of the Trabuco Max.  Traction is comparable, as is versatility (both run well on road) and price is equal.


Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. No other compensation was received by RTR or the authors for this review from Running Warehouse and The North Face . The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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10 comments:

Jeff Valliere said...

Following.

Christopher Colangelo said...

Saucony Xodus comparison?

Jeff Valliere said...

Hey Chris, sure!

Saucony Xodus 10: The Xodus 10 has a bit less cushioning, cost's $10 less and is actually a half ounce heavier in my size 10, but the cushioning is more plush without giving up any performance. The Xodus 10 has better traction overall, is a bit more stable and adept on technical terrain and has a more dialed in and perhaps more refined upper. The Xodus 10 also performs exceptionally well on the roads, about as good as many good long distance road trainers.

Jeff Valliere said...

**Edit**, I checked my numbers before posting, the Xodus 10 actually costs $10 MORE, but for some reason I typed "less" (however with the Xodus 11 coming out, the $10 might be going on sale soon, if not already).

Xavier said...

Good review of a solid shoe, thank you! Is it somehow comparable to the Salomon pulsar and sense pro 4?

Matthew and Jennifer said...

I’m really enjoying this shoe and would love to a comparison of the Enduris and the Wildhorse 7. The Enduris will likely be my 100 mile race shoe.

Jeff Valliere said...

Xavier, I would not compare the Enduris to either of those given the chasm between weight, cushion/stack, performance, etc...

Matthew and Jennifer, I have not run in a Wildhorse since version 1, but Jeff Beck is current with Wildhorse and has also reviewed the Vectiv Infinite, so may be better equipped to speculate.

Jeff said...

Matthew and Jennifer,

I don't have any Enduris experience, but here are my thoughts comparing the WH7 (review coming very soon) to the Infinite.

Traction seems very similar between the two, and in both cases it is adequate, not great. The Wildhorse toebox might be just slightly wider, but it is much shallower - and the Infinite toebox isn't necessarily narrow. Worn left/right at the same time, the added midsole protection of the Infinite is surprising it's so much more cushioned, and the slight rocker geometry definitely makes it feel more at home at a running pace. While I wasn't wowed by the plate in the Infinite for running dynamics, it provides solid rock protection, while the WH7 claims to have a segmented rock plate, but I can't confirm that (the WH6 said the same thing, but you could see it through some of the holes in the outsole, not the case in the 7). As far as little complaints, the WH7 upper boasts a gator top around the ankle, but I've found it does not do much to keep rocks out of the shoe, while the Infinite shoelaces have an incredibly hard time staying tied, even when double/triple knotted - it's like they are coated with teflon.

From what I've read, Jeff enjoyed the Enduris far more than I did the Infinite, and I've found the Infinite far more capable than the Wildhorse, so between those two, I definitely think you are on the right track on the Enduris for a 100 mile shoe.

Anonymous said...

Jeff,

Would you say the Enduris and the Mafate Speed 3 are the same over high mountain technical terrain, or is one a little better in that department?

Jeff Valliere said...

Anon, I have not run either over high mountain technical terrain, but I think both would do just fine (though neither ideal).