Thursday, May 20, 2021

Craft CTM Ultra Multi Tester Review

Article by Alex Filitti, Jeremy Marie, Nils Scharff, Ivan Luca Corda, Renee Krusemark, Matt Kolat, Jeff Beck and Jeff Valliere

Craft CTM Ultra ($160/160€)


Alex: My past experiences with Craft gear were in cycling where their bib shorts are among the best (and most protective). I was therefore enthusiastic about the idea of testing their CTM lineup of shoes and some apparel too. I was hoping for the same quality oriented products with what I would call the Swedish attention to details that I had discovered in their cycling products. And I was not disappointed! More on the shoe below but even the shoe box is nicer and more sturdy than most shoeboxes on the market. The CTM branding details in a silver font are further incentives to open up the box and go directly outside for a run. Unfortunately though (and the caveat is valid for all my parts of the review), I was only able to run with this shoe on a treadmill due to an injury.


Just like Alex, for me Craft is more associated with clothes than shoes. My favorite winter base layer happens to be a Craft (Active Extreme) and I use it extensively during cold months for running, cycling and skiing, for maybe 5 or 6 years now. Without tons of technical terms in the product description, a simple, no fuss, effective simple design that works, at a fair price. I really appreciate this very...Scandinavian approach to product design. 

I happened to learn that Craft was designing a shoe while following Tommy Rivs on social media, and the support that the Swedish brand gave to this athlete and his family despite the disease they have to face says a lot for Craft’s consideration for their athletes. This raised my interest in these shoes, and I must admit that interest turned into excitement once the technical details of the shoes were out. Part of the CTM (Craft Tailored Motion) lineup, which represents the pinnacle of Craft products, and I must admit that the CTM Ultra shoe stands up to this moniker. The apparent quality and simple design are striking on box opening. No let’s see how this hybrid road-light trail shoe runs.

Nils: I’ve had one Craft shirt in my closet before last week’s surprise package. It is probably the lightest shirt I’ve ever owned. But unfortunately it has a major flaw: It is chafing. Nonetheless my impression of the Swedish brand has been that they are designing high quality gear for athletes. Lets see if they can translate that impression onto running shoes.


I know Swedish Craft mainly from their high quality sportswear, but this is the first time I’ve tried a pair of Craft running shoes. I was very much looking forward to finding out if the company, as a relatively new running shoe manufacturer, could deliver a first product that could compete with the more established brands in the market. As a long-distance runner planning to take part in a 100 km race soon, it was also exciting to find out if the shoe is as suitable for ultra distances as the shoe's name suggests. I immediately took it out for a 60km run and I can already reveal that it was a pleasant experience.

Jeff V:

While I have just recently reviewed a Craft Hypervent SS Tee and the PRO Hypervent LS Wind Top (RTR Review), the CTM Ultra is my first introduction to Craft running shoes.  I had not even been aware that Craft was making running shoes, until I began following Tommy Riv's medical issues and soon after the announcement of their Carbon model.

Matt: I have only heard of Craft with regards to cycling gear, so really did not know what to expect. After a quick online research I’ve realised that Craft has a very comprehensive running product line which as I am a running shoe geek made me feel a wee bit embarrassed. 


Alex/Jeremy/Matt/Renee: Light and very breathable upper offering a roomy toebox

Alex / Nils/Jeremy/Ivan/Matt/Renee: Nice and not too pronounced rocker motion with an overall surprisingly stable and protective ride

Jeremy: outsole lugs are effective on dry light trails.

Jeremy: soft and stretchy semi-gusseted tongue that stays in place

Ivan: A superb fitting and breathable upper

Ivan: Probably the best sockliner I’ve ever experienced

Nils: The CTM Ultra is quite stable for such a high stack height

Matt: Very stable forefoot

Matt: Excellent colour scheme and general look of the shoe

Jeff:  Light, responsive, comfortable, deep cushioning, versatile outsole in dry conditions


Alex/Ivan/Matt: Sizing inconsistencies between EU and US charts: go US size or half down in EU

Alex: Very supple and flexible heel, lockdown isn’t bad but could certainly be improved

Nils: Can’t get a proper lockdown in the mid- to forefoot

Nils/Jeremy/Matt: The outsole rubber is straight up hazardous on wet asphalt and rocks!

Matt: Unstable for even mild overpronators who land on heel

Ivan: Midsole lacking a bit of fun and bounce especially at faster paces

Jeff: Upper security (lack thereof), upper protection, limited range of use


Approx. Weight: men's 9.4 oz / 266g (US9)  /  women's / (US8)

Samples: men’s: 293g/10.3oz (US11), 286g/10.08oz (US10.5), 260g / 9.17 oz (US8.5), 282 g / 9.9 oz (US10)

Stack Height: 40mm (Heel) 30mm (forefoot), 10mm drop

Available now. $175 US

First Impressions and Fit

Alex: As often with new shoes, the first thing I did was to remove the sockliner,  a piece of art in itself. It is very thick, has a “bubbled” texture to it on the bottom. 

It feels super soft but also is heavy (weighing 43g!). I can imagine how this liner can impact the ride, adding an extra layer of soft cushion between the foot and the midsole. 

Craft sizing charts are not necessarily aligned to other brands and my sample was half a size bigger (based on receiving EU sizing as ordered)  than what I would normally wear. The first impressions were therefore pointing towards a very long shoe, with a super roomy toe box and poor midfoot and heel lockdown. After trying a few combinations I ended up going with my custom EVA orthotics and thicker socks which reduced the floating sensation within the shoe. Other than that the shoe is in line with my expectations of quality and attention to details.

Nils: Taking the Craft CTM Ultra out of the box the first thing I noticed was how light it felt in hand for the massive stack. 286g for my US 10.5 is actually quite good for a 40mm heel stack, especially considering that we are looking at a trail outsole. Most of the weight savings were probably achieved with the help of the very minimal upper (more on that later).

I was lucky regarding the sizing lottery. Usually I’m wearing US 10.5 which usually translates to EU 44.5. Craft indeed sent me US 10.5 but translated it to EU 44. For an US 10.5 the CTM Ultra fits true to size - lengthwise. But for an EU 44 it’s definitely too long. So stick with US sizing!

Besides the length, the fit of the shoe is very, very roomy in mid and forefoot. My feet are on the more narrow side and it’s almost impossible for me to get a proper lockdown. The heel is fine, especially while using the runners knot. But I can’t get the forefoot locked in at all and for the midfoot I have to crunch down the laces so tight that it almost hurts. Choosing the thickest socks I own made things a bit better. Therefore I’m going to try these ones on my local trails, but I’m afraid that's a rather bad idea.

Jeremy: When I first saw the shoes in their box, I thought « wow, those are some gigantic shoes! ». The stack, heel bevel, forefoot width, all lead me wondering what the shoe was designed for.

But  they actually turned out to be quite light for the amount of midsole and outsole packed in: 292g for a 11US/44.5EU is more than acceptable given the protection offered. Looking at the shoe makes it quite obvious than the weight savings comes from the airy mono mesh upper.

Just as Nils, I wear a 10.5 US which translates to a 44.5EU...Craft sent me a 44.5EU...but it translates to a 11US/29cm long. The shoe is indeed a hair long, but I managed to get away with it by wearing mid weight socks and using the last eyelet, something I usually don’t bother to do. I can only second Nils’s advice to stick with US sizing.

The sockliner is one of the most substantial I’ve seen in a shoe. Weighing a bit more than 40g, it definitely brings its own share of cushioning to the shoe and for sure makes for a comfortable step in: the layer just under it is far more firm. I bet this sockliner would improve the ride on some very firm shoes, something I’ll probably try.

Something that I strongly advise is to cut out the label stitched on the side...this is an unusual place for a shoe label, but at least it's easy to remove.

The shoe offers a generous volume from the midfoot to the forefoot. Even if my feet are on the wider side, I had to take some time and work my way through every eyelet in order to get an appropriate lockdown without too much lace pressure. Combined with the ½ size long sizing, this is something narrow-footed runners must be aware of. Using the last eyelet did the trick for me and I’m able to comfortably wear those shoes without sloppiness nor too much pressure from tight laces. For sure the fit leans more towards « relaxed » than « performance », which goes the opposite of the moniker printed on the shoe: « Engineered for speed » as far as the upper. 


I have always been a fan of simple designs with just a splash of sporty colors and in that regard the Craft CTM Ultra certainly delivers. The thick blue midsole in my pair stands out and gives a bold contrast to the rather plain gray upper. The first time I put on the shoe, I struggled a bit, as both the heel cap and the upper are very soft and flexible. But when I finally managed to get it on, it felt extremely pleasant and wrapped my foot perfectly. Please note that the European sizes are half a size down, so in my case my US8.5 is a EU41.5 instead of my usual EU42.

Jeff V:  Like the others, I was impressed with how light the CTM Ultra feels given the massive stack height.  They look very stylish in the grey/blue colorway and the heel is notably unique, with an interesting curve culminating in a pointed tail.  Fit for me in my size 10 feels true to size, though I am struck how airy, unstructured and sock like the upper feels.  Given the huge stack height, I question how stable this shoe will be on even mildly technical terrain and wonder how it will corner at speed.  While the unstructured and flexible heel counter gives me pause, I get surprisingly good heel hold.

Matt: First thing right out of the unboxing is that the shoe has a very potent rubber smell, literally like going to a garage (UK term for mechanic) to get your car fitted with new tyres. Luckily the smell goes away after a couple of short outings. 

The stack worried me a little as I normally tend not to venture into shoes with such a high stack and drop combination because they tend to be unstable - luckily that is not the case here. 

What is more, unlike most ‘super shoes’, like this Nike Next%, this shoe is not very narrow in the midfoot which is great news as in my opinion Craft CTM Ultra can accommodate a far greater array of runners than most ‘super shoes’.

I agree with everything that my co-reviewers said about the sockliner. One other bonus I would like to point out is that because the sockliner is so thick, once removed it leaves plenty of room for orthotics or replacement sockliner for added stability or personal comfort. Some shoes tend to be too shallow (vertical volume) in that aspect - not the case here.

Jeff B.: My pair came a few weeks later, but I had largely the same initial impression - wow. The stack height to weight ratio is something to aspire for, and the insole is second to none (though I’d say it’s tied with the Inov-8 TrailFly G300 insole if only because they seem to have the same bumps on the under side). Fit is spot on true-to-size my standard 10.5, and I’ll elaborate more in the upper section, but the toebox is really good. Partially because it has good height and width, but also because it has some stretch and give, but that’s a double edged sword.

Renee: I received my CTM Carbon Ultra before the CTM Ultra, so I had some expectations in mind. Overall, I like the CTM Ultra better than the Carbon Ultra . Read on for details! For sizing, I suggest true-to-size. 


Jeremy: The upper of the shoe is entirely made of mono mesh, which is only doubled with a suede-like piece around the heel. This mono mesh is indeed minimal and ensures top-notch breathability.

There are no overlays to add structure near the midfoot, hence reinforcing the sloppiness that runners with narrow feet may feel wearing the CTM.

The suede-like piece around the heel is stitched to the mono mesh on the medial side of the shoe, which is the only visible seam on the upper. 

This piece adds a bit of grip to the heel, which is also held in place with two little « pillows » I’ve already seen on the comparably minimal upper of the Slab Phantasm.


There’s no heel counter and as a consequence, heel hold is only ensured by those « pillows » and the shape that’s clearly on the narrower side.

The stretchy tongue is semi-gusseted and stays put, protecting my feet from lace pressure and ensuring a breathability on par with the upper thanks to the micro/macro perforations.

Despite the minimally structured upper and generous volume, I had no issue of foothold, be it in the midfoot or the heel, even on uphills/downhills. The toe-box may not be « foot-shaped » but it offers a nice amount of space so that I’ve never felt I would need more space even at the end of long runs.

I have a bias towards « free » uppers, and the CTM is one of those. I find the even thinner upper of the Slab Phantasm a joy to put a foot in, as it just does it’s job without much fuss and minimal, but sufficient overlays. The Puma Liberate is also one of those free and light uppers I like, just like the first Kinvara iterations were. Even if I can appreciate a more traditional, plush upper, which can be comfortable and probably more efficient for longer miles or daily usage, I just find them less enjoyable, less fun to run. As a consequence, I like how it just gently, hardly holds the foot, but your mileage may vary. And for sure I won’t use it on technical/rocky trails

Alex: The monomesh upper is extremely light, breathable but also supple and unstructured. It has some overlays added to it from a bit of structure around the toebox from the inside but without any rigidity. That adds up to the already wide and roomy toebox as it prevents the upper from collapsing at the front of the shoe. There are also similar overlays of plasticy material around the eyelet chains for a more secure and dialed in lacing. Around the heel from the inside there are extra pieces of felt that certainly help to keep the heel in place without slipping. 

Both the counter and collar parts of the heel are extremely soft and pliable despite the two lateral bolsters. With my little trick of liner swap and thick socks I managed to get a decent fit. The roomy toebox is pleasant but it would certainly remain so while being of a more appropriately length had I received a true to size sample. The upper wraps nicely around the foot, not perfectly but that’s likely due to the extra material on my ½ size up. The biggest surprise in terms of fit came from the heel which I feared would be terrible in terms of lockdown and while certainly not perfect it worked ok. A tad more structure and two bigger bolster would help having something better. The felt fabric on the inside of the heel helped avoiding any slippage.  

Nils: As briefly discussed in the beginning, the upper of the Craft CTM Ultra is of a very minimal construction. You can directly look through the light mono mesh. 

The only overlays you can find are the laminated seam that connects the heel with the mono-mesh in mid- and forefoot as well as the reinforcement around the lacing holes. Around the instep and the heel Craft uses a suede-like material, which feels nice on foot. Two little “pillows” hold the heel in place which works surprisingly well given the sloppiness of the rest of the upper. The same suede material builds the toe bumper at the front of the shoe. A gusseted tongue stretches around the midfoot and is lightly padded. All in all there’s not much going on here in terms of structure of the upper. Together with the roomy fit that sadly results into a very bad lockdown for me. Cruising along on non technical stuff is possible. But even the slightest bit of technicality makes me slide around in the shoe.

Jeff V:  My cohorts describe the technical aspects of the upper well, so I will just give my impressions on fit and performance.  I'll start by saying that I am very impressed by the comfort and airy/well vented feel of the upper.  I have a thin, low volume foot and while roomy and accommodating, I did not find it to be excessively so.  The primary issue I had however is that the upper has no overlays over the midfoot beyond the stretch gusset or anywhere near the forefoot, nor any sort of appreciable structure or protection.  When somebody says "sock like" or "slipper like", this is literally the feeling I get, not so much a comfort comparison (though somewhat true), but more of a support comparison.

Of course, given my proclivity for technical trails, I had to put the CTM Ultra to the test on steep rocky, technical trails , as well as buffed out, smooth trails and roads.  As expected, the CTM Ultra struggled on just about any uneven terrain without having any overlays or structure to the upper.  Additionally, without any overlays, a substantial toe bumper or any other protective elements, the foot is very susceptible to any bumps or bangs with rocks or roots.  I found that on even moderately technical terrain, it was necessary to slow down and choose my steps carefully so as to avoid rolling an ankle and/or taking a fall.  On more smooth, buffed out trails, the CTM Ultra cruises well, but inject any steep downhills, sharp turns and speed, then I am again feeling a bit of trepidation.

Matt: I agree with everything said above by my co-reviewers. One thing I would recommend is choosing the right (comfortable) pair of socks if taking this shoe for a long run. The offset of the upper being so minimal is the fact that it is not plush at all. 

Jeff B: I think this is the first upper I’ve experienced that is simultaneously incredible and awful. The design is great looking, but more importantly it is very comfortable (and I typically like a padded and plush upper, even if it weighs much more) and very well executed. The entire structure of the upper is borderline flimsy, which is what also makes it a huge disappointment. I have a nearly wide foot, and I couldn’t get a solid fit for the life of me. And I don’t just mean “don’t take it on technical trails” level of poor fitting upper, I had some major foot insecurity from the midfoot forward even on roads. They used a textured material inside the heel that holds onto your sock, reminiscent of both models from Atreyu. That’s a slight bother for me, it doesn’t seem to increase the hold on the foot any, but instead every time I take the shoe off it tries to pull the sock off as well. Not the end of the world, but a minor gripe.

Renee: My fellow reviewers covered the details. The upper is light and breathable, but it does not have the comfort or lockdown I would prefer for a road or road-to-trail hybrid. I agree with Jeff: the upper is good and bad at the same time. I find it comfortable, but it feels unrefined. All of the weight is underfoot (high stack, high drop), and after 12 miles, I needed more effort to pick up my feet on each stride because of the upper. I like the lightweight feel, but it seems to need some refinement.


As mentioned earlier I received the CTM Ultra in my usual size US 8.5 (half size down in EUR) and I think that makes a world of difference. The upper fits me really nicely. The heel cap could be more structured for a bit more hold and stability on those longest runs, but I honestly didn’t notice it along the way. In general I actually didn’t notice any part of the upper that much at all and that’s a huge compliment. If anything the toebox is a bit shallow around my big toe, but the single-layer stretchy polyester mesh is so light that it didn’t really bother me. I certainly didn’t experience those lockdown issues as some of my fellow contributors and I even usually prefer a rather tight lockdown. Especially around the midfoot. I wouldn’t say it’s tight, but for me it’s just right and especially when going really far, it’s nice that the material it’s so light, stretchable and breathable without feeling restricting and possibly creating hotspots.


Alex: With a 10mm drop and that 40mm of stack height in the heel, the CTM Ultra is a  fairly rare animal in the market at the moment given that high heel stack outside of carbon plated super shoe racers.  The EVA material of the midsole feels firm and dense and would likely be similar in that sense to the DNA Flash midsole of the Hyperion lineup by Brooks, albeit just a little softer (of course the angled heel also helps make that connection). The dimensions of the midsole are not only interesting in terms of stack height but also in terms of width. The forefoot is very wide but the midfoot and heel are way more narrow (which by the way was not something I noticed in the fit nor in the ride). 

After completing this written review I was still a bit curious on how Craft achieved to include that soft touch to the ride with their EVA midsole. A quick glance at their US website made me realize that the EU one was the exact same text expect for one word and that one word was the material of the insert in the vault foam midsole: PEBA. Because yes there is an insert and the EU site says it’s also made of EVA vault foam. So yes I found that there is a PEBA insert in this shoe, below the TPU liner and above the Vault foam itself (in that same bedding where the CTM Carbon Ultra houses both a PEBA insert and the carbon plate). 

Image: CTM Carbon Ultra with black element its carbon plate which CTM Ultra does not have


And that explains everything: the soft ride, the protective yet energetic feel and an overall stable shoe. Well done Craft! 

See above and below heel widths compared to the Nike Invincible.

The midsole also comes with a relatively pronounced rocker and of course that very beveled heel. 

Nils: I was very afraid of possible instability when I first saw the massive midsole stack along with the high drop. The narrow heel shape together with the minimal upper would also point to a very low stability. Yet the Craft CTM Ultra surprised me in that regard. The beveled heel, with the foot sitting down in the sidewalls together with the relatively firm Vault Foam and the wide forefoot somehow keep things together in terms of stability. Other than that there’s not much to talk about. The foam reminds me of a firmer blend of Nike’s React with the rocker noticeable but quite subtle. 

Jeremy: 40/30mm stack height is by far the « highest » shoe I’ve run in. This is a massive midsole, and this impression is amplified by the « heel platform »that extends after the heel cup by almost 1cm. I really thought the shoe would be unstable, an impression amplified by the minimal upper and the narrow heel.

But the proof is in the pudding, and I must admit that I’ve never had any issue with the shoe’s stability. The wide forefoot and my midfoot strike certainly help, but even when heel striking on dowhills I felt secure in the CTM Ultra.

The Vault Foam which is more on the firm side is surely a factor contributing to the shoe’s stability.

I really enjoyed the ride of the shoe, which I would describe as « peppy ». It’s not bouncy, and certainly not soft or mushy. It’s clearly an energetic ride, which I found to work well with a variety of paces, helped by the light rocker geometry.


To me the so-called Vault midsole is neither on the soft or harsh side. I would describe it as having a dampening feel, very pleasant and balanced under foot. The foot sits nicely in a kind of cradle of EVA foam with a thick TPU sockliner and an even softer PEBA foam piece just underneath that. A lot of R&D has gotten into developing this shoe which is impressive for a fairly new running shoe manufacturer as Craft is. 

The way the foam wraps around the foot and especially at the heel enhances the stability features and this despite the platform being fairly narrow in the back part of the shoe. 

The midsole itself is certainly not very flexible which means that the feet do not have to work as much and are able to “rest” on that quite stable platform. This is something I certainly appreciate on the very longest runs (up to 60km right out of the box in the Ultra). Once again, I just want to highlight that sockliner. It’s rare to experience this much focus on the quality of materials all the way down to the sockliner, which in this case contributes more than usual to the overall ride by not only being thick, but also really responsive.

Jeff V:  The midsole is the star of the shoe in my opinion.  I find the midsole here to be wonderfully cushioned without feeling mushy, predictably firm without feeling harsh, light, energetic and responsive in feel.  I never really felt uneasy because of the high midsole stack, or narrow heel and coupled with a more secure and structured upper (see above), Craft would really have a masterpiece.  I found that the CTM Ultra performed best running uphill, providing a nice return at toe off and felt reasonably quick on flatter, smoother surfaces and I could easily see running any distance in this shoe (of course!  if 40mm under the heel could not cut it, what would?!?).  Again, the distance one could run in this shoe however would be dependent on the terrain and footing, less technical the better.

Matt: The midsole of Craft CTM ultra is very complex. In the forefoot the shoe is very stiff and thus stable, to the point that when I first got the shoe on I was under the impression that I may have missed out the fact that this shoe indeed has got a carbon plate inside it (it does not). The heel is very soft due to a different PEBA compound used in the central (but not outer) part of the back portion of the shoe’s midsole. I really appreciate the rocker used by Craft, if it wasn’t for the rocker, in my opinion the combination of high stack in the heel (40mm) and a large drop (10mm) could force runners to heel strike. There is nothing wrong with heel striking however the technique should be the runners choice and not the shoes’.  

Jeff B: Everyone broke it down very effectively above, and there are bits I can pick and choose from each of my colleagues to agree with. The extra wide forefoot and narrow heel made me think there could be stability issues, but with my midfoot strike, I had no problems. I think Nils nailed it - the midsole does feel like a little bit firmer Nike React, but with the stack height it is still a very comfortable ride. The insole is top notch, and appears to be identical to what was included in the Inov-8 TrailFly G300, which makes me wonder if they got them from the same third party.

Ultimately, it is a very comfortable midsole that might not be the most dynamic, but it is far from dull or disappointing. While it isn’t super flexible, it isn’t totally stiff by any means, the flex is less of a fold and more of a bend.

Renee: The insole is awesome, as everyone else wrote. The stack height is plenty for long runs, and I think best suited for runs no less than 10 miles, moving more into 15-20 miles (for me anyway). The stack height is too much for me to choose for shorter runs. The midsole does not have a “super feel” like many shoes on the market, but the shoe is fairly lightweight for its stack height and the high drop helps maintain a consistent stride at moderate to fast paces.


Alex: The outsole is remarkable in the sense that not many shoes in the category  have such deep lugs (likely 2/3mm, if not more). The amount of rubber is maybe excessive for a road shoe but I heard good things from co-reviewers who took them on some gravel and dirt. As mentioned in the introduction, my input is limited to treadmill use and I cannot therefore further develop on the outsole grip or durability (but I imagine both being good). 

Nils: The outsole of the Craft CTM Ultra is quite misleading. It looks like a mature trail outsole and therefore I hoped to have a nice road-to-trail hybrid here. But after my first impressions and the described lockdown problems I revisited the product page on Craft’s website. There they state “optimal traction on roads and even surfaces”. They talk about ultras and long distances but at no point they mention the CTM Ultra to be a trail shoe. And that’s exactly what I felt and concluded. 

Actually the outsole didn’t work at all in mud. Even worse: It also doesn’t work at all on wet surfaces like rocks or even asphalt. All my runs so far have been partly on wet roads and there the CTM Ultra feels slippery and unsafe. You can even feel that you lose traction on the uphills. I don’t even want to think about using this outsole on wet trails in the alps. The outsole worked fine for me on roads, dirt roads, fire roads etc. - but just under dry conditions. That’s less than the bare minimum I would expect from a road- or even ultra-shoe.

Jeremy: The outsole looks like a perfect road-to-trail hybrid shoe, with a very elaborated lug design. 

The 2/3mm lugs are present in three different shapes, which dots and multi-directed arrows on the heel, forward facing arrows and a « cup » shape on the forefoot. 

I only had the opportunity to try them once on a dry trail due to bad weather here, but the outsole did a good job in those conditions . It also works very well on dry pavement asphalt where the lugs do not interfere with the ride.

No luck- the weather is now a disaster here in France, and I ran almost all my kms in the CTM under the rain or on wet road/light trails. And what looks to be a versatile outsole turns out being slippery as hell. The lightest layer of mud on the road makes the shoes slip. Wet asphalt is even worse because you don’t even think the shoe would slip that much. On a flat tempo run, in a straight line on wet asphalt, I was able to feel the shoes slipping backward during the push-off. Quite annoying. The outsole really is a huge disappointment on the CTM Ultra, limiting it to perfectly dry surfaces. At least it seems to be durable as I cannot see any wear signs after a bit more than 100kms.


I’ve only had the pleasure of using the shoe in dry conditions so far. Mostly on either asphalt, light gravel and some softer surfaces in the woods. It has been outstanding under those conditions. Looking at the lugs underneath it reminds me of another “hybrid” shoethe Nike Pegasus Trail 36 and that one was a nightmare for me in wet conditions. Also, from the experiences from my fellow contributors this is certainly something to pay attention to. Another small aspect to take note of is the fact that this outsole collects so many small pebbles between the lugs. That being said, I enjoy that the outsole runs surprisingly quiet considering the thickness of the rubber.

Jeff V:  I found the outsole to work well in dry conditions, either on technical trails, rock slab, gravel, even OK ascending some loose off trail, there was enough lug and bite to get me up the hill without any slipping.  Ideally though, this outsole is most at home on more moderate terrain, buffed trails, fire roads, etc.....

Matt: I agree with everything my co-reviewers said and would like to avoid repetition. The only thing I would mention is that the outsole is quite noisy on pavements, but goes ninja-quiet on trails and grass.  

Jeff B: The lugs on the outsole give the impression it is some level of a trail shoe, but really, I don’t think that it is this shoe’s best use. Not because of the outsole, which does have some lugs of note, or the midsole, which protects the foot well enough. I really had a hard time keeping my foot planted on the platform, which isn’t great on the road or sidewalk, but can be full-on catastrophic out on the trails - but that’s all upper related. The outsole lugs are paired to a pretty thin rubber sheet, and that doesn’t feel like it hinders the shoe’s flexibility at all. I’m with Ivan though, I collected a few small rocks, and I found the outsole to be fairly quiet, even on pavement.

Renee: Having already ran in the Carbon Ultra, my thoughts about this being a trail-friendly shoe were already ruined. I love a road shoe with a good outsole, but the high drop, high stack, and upper are not suited for terrain that is rough. The shoes are much more stable than they look, and the outsole helps with traction on gravel. Personally, I think the Ultra would benefit from having less aggressive lugs and competing in a road-only category. With the current outsole, I could use the shoes on trails, but the stack height and drop would need to be lower. As a hybrid road-to-trail, the shoe is misplaced. 


Alex: I clearly anticipated something firmer and less pleasant. The ride is actually enjoyable because the midsole feels softer, more protective and more accommodating than what one could imagine when pressing it due to the PEBA insert in the core. The rocker is present and while nice it does  modifies the natural footstrike at bit leading to a strile a bit more towards the midfoot for me instead of my forefoot “natural” footstrike (that is likely in order to take full advantage of the rocker, and maybe also because of - or thanks to - the 10mm drop). The heel does not feel narrow or unstable at all and I was surprised to see how narrow it actually is when I measured it. 

The ride is overall very stable (confirmed by measured low pronation angles, a few degrees below my average and among the lowest values I’ve tested) with the midsole designed in such a way that the pronation for me was contained in this shoe. Also the unstructured upper did not impact the ride too much for me, and while I would appreciate a better wrap around the heel, that would likely not make the shoe feel more secure. 

Nils: The Craft CTM Ultra is made to cruise along - and that for very far distances if you want to. The ride is very protective and thanks to the subtle rocker and light construction of the shoe easy to get going. It even handles climbs quite well because of those reasons. Once you roll in the CTM Ultra you can go forever. Additionally the shoe is more stable than you would expect and therefore gives all the support you need in the later miles of a (very) long run.

Jeremy: As my first maximally cushioned road shoe, I must admit that I enjoyed the CTM Ultra far more than I would have anticipated. 

The combination of the responsive Vault Foam, the slight rocker profile and the airy upper make for a tremendous shoe for cruising at many paces. I’ve used it from endurance pace to near 5k pace with almost equal pleasure. 

The sweet spot is clearly when cruising on tempo runs, or between HM and marathon pace where things seem to get in place together and keep you rollin’ and rollin’ for many kilometers. 

Responsiveness and protection makes for an enjoyable ride and you feel you can keep on cruising far more longer than with other shoes, helped by the stability of the shoe. The ride is never jarring, even when bombing downhills, thanks to the amount of foam, and I’ve ended some long runs with quite fresh legs.

Ivan: As I mentioned earlier, I took the shoe straight out of the box for a 60 km workout. On such a long run you really find out what works and even small issues can easily grow big. In that regard the shoe exceeded all my expectations. At no point did the upper create hotpots and the ride was very smooth, stable and effortless. There was an ample shock absorption despite the fact that the foam is not particularly soft. Personally I don’t like too soft cushion over such long distances, as my feet and especially toes tend to work more when they sink into something overly soft. A bit like running in sand. The shock absorption itself feels almost vibration-damping, likely also partly due to the thick TPU insole and the softer PEBA piece underneath.

The shoe feels light on foot but you do feel the height of the shoe and for those who prefer a lot of ground contact, this will not be the perfect shoe. Also, for the faster paces I felt the midsole lacked a bit of bounce and responsiveness. But otherwise it handles most paces great. If you want a bit more “snap” in the ride, then Craft also offers the CTM Ultra Carbon (RTR Review) including a carbon plate as the name suggests but we have not tested to directly compare.

Jeff V:  I am very impressed by the smooth, responsive, well cushioned ride of the CTM Ultra.  With such a huge stack, they really provide an amazing cushioned feel without feeling at all sluggish or mushy and the light weight, responsive midsole and rockered design help propel me along with ease.  The ride is ideal for racking up big miles on non technical terrain.

Matt: During the first few runs one cannot escape a slight runner-vertigo caused by the giant stack, however after a few outings the feeling is no more. Due to the fact that the shoe has such a lightweight upper, the majority of its weight being the midsole and outsole, the shoe does feel a bit bottom heavy. For this reason I believe it is best suited for medium paces, long runs or tempo runs. It is not made for super fast workouts, intervals etc. The gait cycle is very smooth due to the rocker.

When it comes to stability Craft CTM Ultra is very complex. For neutral runners and mild overpronators who land on mid or forefoot the shoe will feel very stable. However, heel striking mild overpronators and beyond will have instability issues. This is due to the combination of lack of heel counter, high stack, high drop and soft midsole in the back portion of the shoe. But this is very much a neutral shoe and that’s how it should be approached. 


Jeff B: This ride is interesting. And I’m not meaning that as a euphemism for lousy, it really is a unique experience. There’s a ton of stack, but I wouldn’t call it soft or firm. There’s some give at landing, but you won’t see or feel a big sink in sensation. It isn’t as bouncy as some of the newer super foams from other brands, but it’s rocker, while subtle, also keeps your feet turning over pretty quickly. I spent most of my miles in the CTM Ultra cruising along at an easy pace, but a few times I turned it up to see how the shoe responds. The result? Really solid for slow runs, but it runs better with a more pronounced bounce when things speed up. The lack of solid lockdown would keep it from being my pick for dedicated speedwork, but they run really well at 10K to HM pace.

Renee: I like the ride, but only when I feel like a high stack, high drop shoe. The drop feels more like 12mm than 10mm, which is not my preference. The ride is much smoother on buffed surfaces (pavement), although it’s fine on crushed rock paths and country roads  (just make sure your ankles can handle the height). I felt the shoes worked best on mid to long distances runs at marathon pace or within 30-45 seconds of marathon pace. At slower speeds, I felt the weight underfoot, which is not well balanced with the unrefined fit of the upper. That said, the shoes are lightweight for the stack height, which makes them a competitive choice as a road shoe for mid-distance runs at marathon pace.

Matt: During the first few runs one cannot escape a slight runner-vertigo caused by the giant stack, however after a few outings the feeling is no more. Due to the fact that the shoe has such a lightweight upper, the majority of its weight being the midsole and outsole, the shoe does feel a bit bottom heavy. For this reason I believe it is best suited for medium paces, long runs or tempo runs. It is not made for super fast workouts, intervals etc. The gait cycle is very smooth due to the rocker.

When it comes to stability Craft CTM Ultra is very complex. For neutral runners and mild overpronators who land on mid or forefoot the shoe will feel very stable. However, heel striking mild overpronators and beyond will have instability issues. This is due to the combination of lack of heel counter, high stack, high drop and soft midsole in the back portion of the shoe. But this is very much a neutral shoe and that’s how it should be approached. 


Conclusions and Recommendations

Alex: Craft did not disappoint for my first experience in their running shoes! They had set the bar high for me with their cycling gear and the CTM Ultra running shoe isn’t too far from those high standards either. 

The quality, attention to details, and user-oriented design are all here and the CTM Ultra is a one of a kind product in the category of tempo/distance shoes. The stable and secure ride is the highlight for me and I look forward to seeing how Craft develops CTM products over time as here they take off  here with a nice first step.  

Score: 8.4/10 

(ride: 9, fit: 7.5, value: 8, style: 9)

Nils: I have very mixed feelings about the Craft CTM Ultra. On the one hand I really like the protective and stable ride. But on the other hand the fit just isn’t for me and therefore I’m probably going to retire the shoe right after this review. Don’t get me wrong - I love roomy / natural toe boxes such as those from Altra or Topo. But I also love proper lockdowns and that is where the CTM Ultra falls short for me. For those with wider feet,  I can see it to be a great option for long runs and even non-technical ultra races. Just check the weather forecast before you run in it, because running in wet conditions is straight up hazardous in this shoe. 

Score: 7.10/10 

(ride: 7, fit: 6.5, value: 8, style: 9 - major point deductions on ride (-2) for the outsole and fit (-2) for the lockdown)

Jeremy: The CTM ultra is a really nice surprise for me. I didn‘t know what to expect from such a high stack shoe but it turns out that I really enjoyed it.

The airy and minimal upper is clearly something I like and Craft delivers on that here, but I will say it is on the fence of being too wide for me. I think that tuning the upper and giving it a bit less volume might make the shoe work for more runners.

The midsole foam and geometry has given me some enjoyable miles with some paces faster than expected considering the controlled effort.  In other words, it rolls easily. For someone with wide feet, and with a bias for unstructured uppers, I think it’s a tremendous long-distance shoe...under dry conditions.

Score: 8.1 /10

Ride: 8.5/10 (enjoyable ride but grip on wet surface compromises everything…)

Fit: 7.5 (works for me but very minimal and voluminous)

Value: 7.5 (160€is quite high, but durability seems good)

Style: 9 (nice color combination)

Ivan: I was pleasantly surprised by the Craft CTM Ultra. As I do lots of really long runs I often can get picky about small issues that can possibly grow substantial. Especially those regarding fit. Unlike the others, I found the fit to be superb, but I also got the right size. I almost don’t even notice the upper is there with its pleasant and secure wrap all around and some stretch to accommodate some swelling during long runs or summer heat. The ride is dampening, stable and fairly effortless especially at slower and medium paces . It handles most surfaces really well in dry conditions and overall it’s very clear to me that it’s a shoe that’s meant to go the distance, as the name also clearly suggests. 

Score: 9.1 /10

Ride: 9.1 (50%), Fit 9.4 (30%), Value 8.5 (15%), Style 9.0 (5%)

Jeff V:  I am really mixed on the CTM Ultra.  On one hand, I love the feel of the shoe, it is light, streamlined, responsive and extremely well cushioned, with a very easygoing stride that encourages faster running and long distances.  They are exceptionally comfortable and well ventilated and I just want to run further in the shoe and don't even really think to take them off after a run.  Traction is good (at least in dry conditions) and the combination of the outsole and deep cushioning/protection underfoot makes me want to run endless trail miles .  But, then there is the upper, which really limits the use, versatility and range of this shoe.  There is just simply not enough structure, security or protection for most trail use (especially not the technical mountain trails I run, but I expected that going in).  So how would I recommend this shoe?  Obviously long distances, but I would certainly limit my use to smooth, non technical trails (and be cautious if there are steep downhills, sharp turns and speed in the mix), fire roads, gravel paths, roads, etc....
I would love to see Craft bolster the upper here to add some appreciable support and protection.  I think it would really improve this shoe and would truly work well running fast over moderately technical terrain, adding greatly to it's value and versatility.

Jeff V's Score as a road shoe:  8.65/10
Ride: 9.5 - Smooth, well cushioned and responsive, I see no limit to the amount of comfortable, low impact mileage
Fit: 7.5 - The upper is extremely comfortable and vented, but could still use more structure
Value: 7.5
Syle: 9 - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I think they are really stylish looking.\

Jeff V's Score as a trail shoe:  7.9/10
Ride: 9 -  Smooth, well cushioned and responsive, I see no limit to the amount of comfortable, low impact mileage
Fit: 6 - for trail use, there is not nearly enough upper security or support
Value: 7 
Style: 9
Traction: 7.5 - Good in dry conditions, best for moderate to smooth trails.

Matt: The Craft CTM Ultra is a complicated beast. On one hand the design and the quality of materials used are of the highest order. On the other hand, the outsole is disappointing in wet conditions no matter the surface. I believe that the best application of the shoe are runs from 10km to a marathon for truly neutral runners. 

Score: 7.5/10

Ride: 8/10, Style: 9/10:, Fit: 6/10, Value: 7/10)

Jeff B: We’ve seen a lot of shoe innovation over the last few years. I feel like we keep seeing new shoes, and not just a new model, a completely unique design and intention. 

This is one of those shoes that I don’t think I’ve run in something like it before. It’s lightweight, it’s super cushioned, it’s great for easy miles and even better for fast ones, and it has a durable and aggressive enough outsole for some light trail use. 

The upper fit is the big knock against it, and unfortunately, that’s a big knock. It still isn’t supportive even for dedicated road use, and I almost hesitate to wear it casually because the upper is so flimsy. Usually uppers go in the other direction, adding much more structure than needed, but this one could use just a little bit more. Because the midsole and outsole work really well together, it's very evident that the upper is a big miss. 

But as one of Craft’s first running shoes, I’m impressed with what they’ve created, and will definitely keep them in mind for the future. Plus, check out that heel geometry - have you ever seen a shoe that you can possibly run faster in backward? There’s some incredible reverse toe off going on there. 

Jeff’s Score 8.25/10

Ride: 9 (50%) Fit: 6 (30%) Value: 8 (15%) Style: 10 (5%)

Renee: The positive of the Ultra is that it is a relatively lightweight shoe for its stack height. The ride is great for mid-distance runs (10-13 miles) at marathon pace (or close to marathon pace). The ride is good for longer runs too, staying within 30-45 seconds of marathon pace. At slower speeds, the shoes felt heavy underfoot because of the unrefined upper fit. The stack height and drop can feel polarizing, and I would only reach for these shoes when I feel like I handle the drop and stack height. For that reason, they work best on smooth and buff surfaces. The stability is surprisingly good on hilly, uneven country roads, although they are not even close to being my first choice shoe for that terrain. 

Renee’s score: 8.8/10 (-.25 cost, -.25 unrefined upper fit, .-60 high stack/drop combo good for certain terrain only, -.10 needs a stronger identity as a road, or trail, or hybrid shoe)

11 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Craft CTM Carbon Ultra (RTR Review)

Renee: The Carbon Ultra is the big brother to the Ultra. The Carbon Ultra includes a carbon plate but is otherwise very similar. Yet, I prefer the Ultra. The upper of the Ultra (although still a bit unrefined) is better fitting than the upper of the Carbon Ultra, which helps offset the weight underfoot. Likewise, the Carbon Ultra is heavier at .75oz more in my women’s size 8. That weight is not offset by the carbon plate ride. The upper, the weight, and the ride of Ultra are better for me and I run just as well in the Ultra even though it has no carbon plate. I think faster, stronger runners might benefit from the carbon plate of the Carbon Ultra more so then I do. The stack height and drop are the same in both shoes. 

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run (RTR Review)

Ivan: The rides are very different  despite both being high stacked shoes with a high drop and almost identical weight. I’m not a big fan of the upper and overall instability of the Invincible despite the wider heel. That being said I think it’s lots of fun taking the super bouncy Invincible on some shorter runs on an even surface.

Alex: Very different shoes as described by Ivan above. The upper of the Invincible is way more structured and paded and the overall shoe feels more clunky. Now the ride of the Invincible is indeed more fun but it’s also more risky and I would choose the CTM for anything above 6mi/10km independently of the pace. 

Jeff B.: I’ve been loving the Invincible, but I also see its flaws. And as much as that upper is overbuilt, in this case overbuilt is substantially better than completely flimsy. The midsoles ride very differently, with crazy levels of bounce in the Nike, while the Craft is a little more subdued. If the uppers were comparable I’d probably give the slight edge to the Nike, but as it stands, it’s the Nike by a country mile.

Nike React Infinity Run (RTR Review)

Ivan: Both shoes are meant for long distance running and both are very stable. While the Infinity uses a denser and wider midsole and side rails, the Craft CTM Ultra takes advantage of the Vault technology to ensure a stable platform. The Craft is lighter on foot and works better at various paces. Also, I definitely prefer the lockdown in the Craft compared to the sock-like upper of the Infinity.

Hoka One One Mach 4 (RTR Review)

Ivan: The Hoka Mach 4 is one of my favorite trainers of 2021. However, it doesn’t suit my running style quite as well as the Craft CTM Ultra. I find both shoes equally stable. For shorter runs it’s a toss-up but if going further the Craft is superior to me. The ride just feels a bit more natural at easier paces and the midsole has more cushion . I prefer the upper of the Craft as it is more stretchy and airy when the feet swell. 

Alex: As opposed to Ivan I’m leaning more towards the Mach 4 here. Probably because the rocker works better for my gait cycle and also as it is a bit firmer, the Mach 4 gives me a bit more spring. The uppers are almost on par and the two tongues are among the best of 2021: light yet padded and offering a nice wrap. Stability wise the two shoes are solid choices for neutral runners in search of stable heels. 

Mizuno Wave Rider (RTR Review)

Ivan: Both shoes pack a lot of technology to create some of the best long distance shoes in a fairly light package. It’s build-up ‘Vault’ midsole and sockliner creates the stable and dampening platform in the Craft, while the Mizuno takes advantage of the Wave Plate technology combined with dual density foam. The Craft is higher stacked and a bit more cushioned compared to the Mizuno. I really enjoy both shoes for the longest runs. They are great reliable and durable workhorses  with the Craft at a higher price point. 

Jeff:B Mizuno’s Enerzy foam s sneaky good, but it can’t match the overall cushioning of the much higher stacked Craft. I enjoy the ride of the CTM Ultra more than the WR25, but the Wave Rider is so much easier to run in with a solid upper, so that’s the shoe I’d lean toward.

Brooks Hyperion Elite 2 (RTR Review)

Alex: This comparison is the elephant in the room, mostly because of that bevelled heel and overall shape of the midsole that is really similar on the two shoes. The upper is a little (but just a little) more structured on the HE2 (especially in the heel) but the difference is minor. Of course the HE2 has a carbon plate and therefore a more peppy ride. The Craft is a little softer but maybe also more natural and for the price difference it’s a phenomenal contender against the HE2 (or a superb training companion for people racing in the HE2). I would go TTS for both (US sizes that is!). 

Ivan: Overall I agree with Alex here. I really like the uppers in both, but they are also very similar. Just like the style in general. I also think the HE2 feels a bit more springy, but with less cushion. Without having tried the Carbon version of the CTM Ultra, I can imagine that those two are even closer. The HE2 also works fairly well at slower paces despite the carbon plate, but would definitely prefer the CTM Ultra for a really long slow or medium paced run and the HE2 for a shorter and faster one.

TNF Flight Vectiv (RTR Review
The Flight Vectiv has a carbon plate and feels very stiff on trails, with the carbon plate not really providing much benefit unless reaching very fast paces on flats and moderate downhills.  The CTM Ultra has a much better cushioned feel, is quite a bit lighter and overall more energetic for the majority of runs.  The Flight Vectiv has a more trail friendly protected and secure upper and even with sizing issues (they run long), still has superior foothold.  The Flight Vectiv also has a more lugged and trail ready outsole.

Hoka One One (EVO) Speedgoat (RTR Review)

Nils: The SG is what I expected the CTM Ultra to be. A massively cushioned shoe that can handle any surface over any distance. Sure the SG leans more towards the trail side, but it can handle paved sections as well as most road shoes. The CTM Ultra on the other hand is a little more speedy on the roads and cruises just a little better. But beware taking it out on the trails. The SG has one of the best outsoles on any running shoe - the CTM Ultra one of the worst. SG fit is narrow, CTM Ultra very roomy. Both 10.5 US.

Jeff: While I also found the upper of the EVO Speedgoat to be a bit loose for fast, technical trail running, it is far superior in foothold to the CTM Ultra and the outsole of the EVO SG is superior as well.  The CTM Ultra is lighter, more nimble, responsive, agile and with a more secure upper, would most likely be my pick.

Saucony Endorphin Trail (RTR Review)  
Jeff: Both shoes offer maximal cushioning and protection, but perform quite differently.  The Endorphin Trail weighs nearly 3+ ounces more than the CTM Ultra and is not nearly as quick, responsive or agile, but has a secure upper, aggressive trail worthy outsole and cushion/protection for endless use on the most technical mountain terrain.  For faster, less technical running on smoother, flatter terrain, the CTM Ultra is a logical pick.  For anything more technical/vertical, the Endorphin Trail, despite the weight, is a better choice.

Saucony Endorphin Shift (RTR Review)

Nils: When looking the CTM Ultra as a a pure road shoe I think the Shift is close comparison. It’s foam is a little firmer, the rocker more pronounced and still one of the best in the game. The upper is great as well but by far more padded and heavier than the mono mesh of the CTM Ultra. The Shift has a wider base and a firm heel counter which makes it more stable and is a considerably heavier shoe. The fit of the Shift works flawlessly with my more narrow feet while I can’t get a proper lockdown in the CTM Ultra. What speaks for the Craft is it’s lighter construction. But I can’t see much else. Both 10.5 US.

Jeff: Again, I completely agree with Nils. But my foot is slightly on the wider side, and I have just as many issues getting lockdown in the CTM Ultra. I think I enjoy the ride of the CTM Ultra just slightly more (though the high/firm stack with a super aggressive rocker geometry in the ES/ES2 is a complete blast to run in), but the Saucony’s upper is so much more competent, it’s worth the extra weight over the Craft.

Renee: I have no issues with the upper fit of the Shift 2, whereas the fit of the Ultra is a bit unrefined for me, especially given the amount of shoe underfoot. I like the lower drop ride of the Shift 2 and find it better suited tolong, easy runs. The Shift 2 promotes a consistent, healthy stride and footlanding (albeit at a slow pace). The Shift 2 is almost a full ounce heavier than the Ultra in my women’s size 8. For faster long runs, choose the Ultra (if you can handle the high drop). For slow long runs, choose the Shift 2 (or the Shift 1). The outsole of the Ultra is much better on gravel than the Shift's. 

Hoka One One Carbon X2 (RTR Review)

Matt: Carbon X2 is the shoe closest to Craft CTM Ultra currently present in my rotation. Similar parameters of the two shoes could lead to expectation that the two shoes should have a similar application. In my opinion however Carbon X2 is far better suited for faster outings, interval training or fartlek whereas CTM Ultra is a better shoe for longer steady runs due to the plushnes of the midsole. Carbon X2 is also far more stable due to the rigidity provided by the carbon plate and a very sturdy heel counter.


Watch RTR Editor Sam's Comparison Review CTM Ultra vs. CTM Carbon Ultra (12:00)

The Craft CTM Ultra is available from Craft Sportswear HERE

Tester Profiles

Ivan Luca Corda: Copenhagen, Denmark.

Current age group: 45+. Height: 5’11 Weight: 140 lbs

Began running in 2012 (age 36). Weekly mileage: 50-80 miles (mostly roads and light paths/trails) Favorite distance: Marathon. Memorable running experiences: Tromsø Midnight Sun Marathon ‘17 (above Arctic Circle starting at midnight in full daylight), Valencia Marathon PB in 2019 in 2:39:28, First Ultramarathon in 2020 (100 km) and 3rd at Danish National Championship and repeating to the podium in 3d in 2021.

Nils Scharff is 30 years old, located in Heilbronn – Germany. "I've done all sorts of sports for all my life, often 5-7 times a week. But my young running career just started 3 years ago with a company run which I joined together with some colleagues in 2017. From there I never let go. I ran roughly 1000km in my first year, doubled and then tripled that number in 2018 and 2019. I've run 4 marathons to date with a PR of 2:57 marathon.  My other PRs are 18:14 for the 5k, 37:33 for 10k and 1:23 for the half."

Jeremy MARIE, French, 40y/o. Running since 2013 and quickly transitioned to trails, focused on ultras since 2015 : TDS, Maxi-Race, “100 miles du Sud”, 90kms du Mt Blanc, GRP 120kms, Some shorter mellow races (Saintelyon 45kms, Ecotrail Paris 45kms…) with always in the mix road and flat running, but not many road races. Recovery/easy runs ~4’45/km - 4’30/km 

Alex Filitti i is a French duathlete (AG 25-29), training mainly on road and track surfaces. He occasionally hits the trails, mostly during his off-seasons. His running PRs are 16:25 (5K), 34:00 (10K) and 2h50 (42K, Berlin 2019), and his weekly average mileage goes from 30 miles in the off-season to 60 miles in buildup phases before peak duathlon events (50 to 80 kilometers).

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

Jeff B. is the token slow runner of the RTR lineup, and as such his viewpoints on shoe and gear can differ from those who routinely finish marathons in three hours or less. Jeff runs 30 miles per week on roads and trails around Denver, CO (and sometimes on the treadmill when the weather gets too much for a Phoenix native). Jeff only got into running in his 30s, as a result his career PR's are 4:07 for the marathon and 5K at 23:39. Jeff has finished several ultra marathons, from 50K up to 50 miles, and is still debating if he wants to go down that road again.

Renee is a former U. S. Marine journalist, which is when her enjoyment of running and writing started. She isn’t that awesome of a runner, but she tries really hard. Most of her weekly 50-60 miles take place on rural country roads in Nebraska, meaning mud, gravel, dirt, hills, and the occasional field. She has PR’s of 1:30:59 for the half marathon and 3:26:45 for the marathon

Maciej 'Matt' Kolat- 35 years old, hailing from Poland but pounding Scottish pavements and trails since 2007. Mainly runs shorter distances on pavement 5-10km and reserves longer runs for beautiful Scottish Glens. Matt’s opinion sometimes may differ from other RTR testers as he is the slowest of the bunch (5k at 25:38). Matt also uses running as a way to stay healthy having shedded 100 lbs so far (and counting).

Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. No other compensation was received by RTR or the authors for this review beyond potential commissions from the shopping links in the article. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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Gijs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gijs said...

I have the carbon version and I loved it until I took it out in the rain last week. This is the worst shoe I ever ran in on wet surfaces ( roads and some muddy paths), I had to walk some downhill roads and corners because I was genuinly afraid of falling. Great shoe but don't use it if there is even a small chance of rain. It is downright dangerous and should come with a warning.

Nils said...

Thanks for the comment, Gijs! That's exactly what I experienced!

Jeremy said...

Hello Gils,
This is by far the biggest disappointment I have with this shoe. I can't really understand how is this even possible for a brand with such attention to details, and a shoe that has been developed with elite runners, to be so insecure under the rain.

harris said...

I have the carbon version and went down a half size and the fit was perfect. I got my usual size and it was way too long. I should get the ultra tomorrow so I hope it is a bit softer than the carbon version. No rain test as no rain in Arizona.