Saturday, May 11, 2024

Büite Hardloop Review: 3 Comparisons

Article by Bryan Lim

Büite Hardloop ($300 AUD / $199 (exchange rate as at 11 May 2024)


It is kind of apt that I am reviewing the Büite Hardloop a couple of months before I fly out to South Africa for Comrades Marathon in Durban as the brand Büite, pronounced bœi̯.tə or booytuh means ‘outdoors’ in Afrikaans. ‘Hardloop’ also means run in Afrikaans and incidentally is such a fitting name for the shoe which is intended for hard all day trail running. 

It is also not a common thing for running shoe brands to pop up in Australia and especially in my city Melbourne! I was very fortunate to meet one of the founders, who incidentally lives a short 15 minutes away from me. Büite was founded by two mates, one Aussie and another from South Africa, hence the name.

Important to note is the shoe’s relatively sustainable footprint. The  insoles of the shoes use recycled EVA, the print dyes are water-based, and the shoe box did not contain any unnecessary wrapping or shoe fillers. Kudos to Büite on this.

I’m also thankful that I was provided a pair of Büite’s in-house NuYarn merino wool blend socks which upon a web search tells me that the spinning method drafts a superfine merino wool yarn with a high-performance nylon filament carrier yarn, resulting in an ultrafine, two-ply yarn with good ventilation. I can attest to this, but will stick to reviewing the shoe.

Bonus photo of the Büite Performance Merino socks and my dog Jed 


  • Amazing traction 
  • Subtle rocker
  • 6mm drop strikes a good balance
  • Stable
  • Smooth ride


  • Heavy
  • Odd sizing

My most comparable shoes

Asics Trabuco Max 3

361 Futura

Mizuno Wave Mujin 9

Hoka Stinson (not tested personally)


Spec Weight: men's 12.35oz / 350g US9

  Sample Weight: men’s  13.16 oz / 373g US10 

Stack Height: midsole 29-31mm forefoot /  35-37mm heel ( 6mmdrop spec) 

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Hardloop… hard core ripstop nylon upper procvides ample protection. Note also the squiggly line on the medial side of the toe cap depict the side profile of Table Mountain in South Africa.

The upper reflects the design philosophy that is required for allday running. A solid reinforced toe cap, ripstop nylon throughout and well thought out TPU overlays throughout the shoe above the midsole as well as on both medial and lateral sides down the mid-rear foot that create structure in the upper for a good lock down fit (despite that the size 10s were a little large!). As to breathability I cannot comment for warmer conditions but most of my runs have been at around 15 C / 59 F and I found there to be no issues.

Out of the box, the Hardloop is well built and sturdy, and chunky or thicc in today’s speak. Sizing is interesting as the US9 (my true size in about 98% of shoes I’ve worn - current count at around 130 pairs) was extremely tight and I had to size up to a US10. Unfortunately the Hardloop only comes in full sizes. The US10 was a smidge large for me but acceptable with thicker crew socks. 

Sizing aside, the Hardloops sport a wider fit- we aren’t here for a race-day fit like that in the Brook Catamount Agil but what we have is an all-day fit which was clearly well thought out. I would definitely recommend sizing up, especially since your feet will swell if you are planning on spending a whole day on the trail. Feet in shoe, it definitely feels like the Hardloop can take a real beating.

I am unsure if it is the sizing or the tapered toe box but I developed a small blister on my right big toe. I otherwise commend the very good lockdown fit, stable and protective ride it offers. 


Important to note is the varying stack heights based on sizing. The drop is standard across all sizes at 6mm but the stack height ranges from 35 to 37mm at the heel.  My US10 comes in at 36mm (see sizing chart above).

Midsole & Platform

There may be a misconception that supercritical EVA is meant to be much softer than standard EVA, but it is basically EVA that has been injected with gas that makes it lighter. Both are incorrect here as the Hardloops ride relatively firmly, and in a good way as the firm (but very responsive) ride is needed for stability in such a higher stacked shoe, and it certainly is hefty at 373g/13.16oz but I certainly did not notice its weight to impede the ride and performance of it as it is well-balanced in its build. 

Performance wise, the Hardloop is hardcore and rides like the equivalent of a Toyota Landcruiser Sahara. It handles steep ascents and descents well. On rocky terrain my feet certainly did not feel beat up. I also tested the Hardloops on moderately flat compact gravel trails and even on bitumen and it held relatively quick paces with ease. 

For a shoe of the weight, I would not expect to hold 4:30/km or 7:15/mile this easily. I suspect the rocker is responsible for this. However even though it is marketed as aggressive, I found this to be aptly subtle on the trails as it did not impede performance on steep terrain.

The tuning fork

The Hardloop’s unique offering is Büite’s in-house tuning fork technology which is intended to make the shoe adaptable in differing terrain. By creating independent segments of mid/out-sole in the mid to rearfoot, the tuning fork encourages these individual parts to compress independently of the other parts on technical / harder terrain. What this adds essentially is stability and I see it as riding a tricycle in the rearfoot with two tyres as opposed to one in a bicycle. I mean this from a stability ( and not speed) perspective where when one tyre is taking the brunt of the force when turning, you’ve got another wheel to keep you grounded. This was noticed and appreciated on steep and rocky descents. The only downside are the pebbles it may attract (as pictured above).

Overall, the ride is stable, smooth and responsive. I can’t really fault it in any way.


Full coverage rubber and 5mm multidirectional lugs throughout, and strategic cutouts including the decoupling provided by the ‘tuning fork’ provide for superb traction that retains some flexibility in the very thick midsole. In saying this, testing so far has been limited to generally dry conditions and not overly technical terrain. Over a few runs, I found there to be very little wear so no concerns with durability. Oh, and I love a good gum coloured outsole!

Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations

The Hardloop is a brilliant first shoe to drop for Büite.The design I dig - I really don’t mind a triple black trail shoe with pink accents in the age of bright shoes that scream for attention. What we have is a stoic statement that naturally draws attention through its uniqueness. Looks aside, I am a big fan of the ride and overall product proposition. As mentioned, it rides smooth and stable, and feels a lot lighter than it is. If I were to have some recommendations, I would nevertheless wish for it to be lighter, perhaps with a rounder toe box and for half sizes. I am however very impressed that the Hardloop stacks up well with trail shoes offered by the major international labels.

Bryan’s Score: 8.6/10

Ride: 9 (30%) Fit: 7 (30%) Value: 8 (10%) Style: 10 (5%) Traction: 10 (15%) Rock Protection: 10 (10%)


3 Comparisons

361 Futura Trail (RTR Review)

Coming in at about 60g / 2.1oz lighter, the Futura appears to be a similar shoe with a relatively high 33mm stack. Whilst lighter, it feels heavier than it is and feels on par weight wise with the Hardloop. It is a faster riding shoe utilizing a TPU midsole foam but is certainly less stable and appropriate for all day trails. The outsole is superb but the upper is less structured and more ‘road-like’. Horses for courses here.

Asics Trabuco Max 3

The Max really maxes out on stack height coming in at 43mm (cf 36mm in the Hardloop US9/10). It also weighs significantly lighter as it utilizes the FFBlast+ foam found in road speed day shoes such as the Magic Speed 3. What this means is the Trabuco Max is a high-stacked, stable, light and fast trail shoe which is in a class of its own. The Hardloop feels sturdier, more durable and offers better rock protection but unless the extreme stack height is a put-off, the Trabuco Max 3 is impossible to fault, bar also its sizing issue as I had to size up to a US9.5 and a few peers have commented the same issue.

Mizuno Wave Mujin 9 (RTR Review)

Spec-wise, the Muji 9 is close to identical to the Hardloop stack height and weight wise, but for an 8mm drop. The Mujin 9 has the best lugs I have ever tested and its multidimensional and over engineered design manufactured by Michelin provides for best in the market traction.The ride is similarly firm but the Hardloop rides better in my opinion, with more flex and capability of running at a higher cadence, and is definitely capable of far longer runs as a result. The Hardloop is also more forgiving on the feet.

The Hardloop is available now from Buite 

Büite Hardloop 

Tester Profile

Bryan is a road and trail runner living in Melbourne, Australia. He picked up running as a stressed out law student back in 2016 and has never looked back. He runs and coaches a social track club, Glasshouse Run Club. His most recent race times include a 1:22 half marathon and a 2:59 marathon. Parkrun is his thing, and Bryan tries to run a sub-20 minute tempo effort every Saturday, and maintains a 70 km base mileage when not training specifically for a race. He is presently chasing that elusive Boston Qualifier. He is 176cm tall and weighs about 68kg / 150lbs

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