Monday, May 27, 2024

Deckers X-Lab Enduro Mid GTX vs. NNormal Tomir 2.0 Mid: Super (Critical Foam) Hiking/Trekking Boots Comparison Review:

Article by Sam Winebaum

Deckers X-Lab Enduro Mid GTX ($249)  NNormal Tomir 2.0 Mid ($175)

The super hiking/trekking boots are here. By “super” I mean that the two boots reviewed here have midsoles made of supercritical foam. Supercritical foaming is a process wherein gasses are infused into the foam during processing to make it lighter and more resilient than standard EVA leading to more dynamic rides and greater energy return.. Supercritical shoes emerged starting in 2017 with the original Nike Vaporfly and since has been seen in increasing numbers of shoes from regular daily road and trail running shoes to of course yet more road and trail racing shoes.

Here we take a look at among the first supercharged hiking and trekking boots: NNomal’s Tomir 2.0 and Deckers X-Lab’s Enduro Mid GTX.  The only other boot in its class I know of and have tested is the Saucony Ultra Ridge GTX (RTR Review) which proved as able hiking as running.   

I have tested both boots on initial hikes and also road and gravel terrain “marches”. Both will be further tested during a 9 day trek in the Queyras region of the French Alps but the picture is already clear. While both are quite different in upper materials and construction approach, geometry, and weight both clearly take hiking boots to new levels of performance.

So please read on for the match up of the super light Tomir 2.0 Mid vs. the super broad carbon plated Enduro Mid GTX.

Deckers X-Lab Enduro Mid GTX ($249)

Strengths: Long hikes on smooth terrain.  

Key Features: Very energetic, deep and friendly cushion on a super wide base with a carbon plate rolling/rocker ride. Wide, soft yet secure overall fit. Wet and colder weather due to GTX upper.


Weight US8.5 sample: 15.2 oz / 430g

Stack Height: 40mm heel / 34 mm forefoot

Platform Width:mm 110mm heel / 90mm midfoot / 120mm forefoot

The Enduro Mid, a low top version is also available, from Deckers X-Lab which is the “shunk works” for Deckers, the parent company of Hoka. X-Lab tends to deliver cutting edge “sneakers” and boots with a lifestyle edge and often radical designs.Before you write off the Enduro as a colorful lifestyle boot realize the head of the X-Lab is Jean Luc Diard the co founder of Hoka, a former president of Salomon and a true innovator and long time top mountain athlete.

Deckers X-Lab says:

The ENDURO MAX MID GTX is a super trekker. How did we get there? We mixed the characteristics of elite mountaineering shoes and elite marathon racing shoes.” 

And that is exactly what they did!

In the Enduro Jean Luc and his team have created a state of the art trekking boot loaded with the latest tech, including: supercritical foam midsole on a big 40mm heel platform, a hiking focused carbon plate to stabilize the energetic foam and provide propulsion and a Vibram outsole. 

The feel underfoot on firm terrain is energetic and bouncy/springy I am pretty sure I have never experienced such a pleasant and friendly ride in a boot.  The full length V shaped  carbon plate stabilizing the rear and midfoot and gives a noticeable rolling motion forward. 

The platform is very broad at 110mm heel / 90mm midfoot / 120mm forefoot so 20mm broader at the heel, 15mm broader at midfoot and 15mm broader at the forefoot than the Tomir 2.0. 

Top: Tomir 2.0 Bottom: Enduro Mid GTX

As a result, Tomir focuses on agility while Enduro focuses on deep broad cushion and a dynamic rebounding but stable ride. Its ride forte is straight ahead on moderate terrain  It will not dance over rocks as the Tomir doeswanting to plow straight ahead and over obstacles until they are too big! At that point the width can catch and while not unstable surprise a bit.

The upper is a soft suede type leather with extensive protective but also stabilizing overlays around the lower perimeter.  

The upper has a Gore-Tex breathable waterproof bootie style lining. I was surprised that I was at least as comfortable in this upper as in the non waterproof dense mesh Tomir 2.0 both worn the same day in moderate temperatures but for weight savings ( such linings can add 1-0 oz) and a cooler easier to drain and dry boot I prefer no membrane but during winter where they clearly add warmth and keep feet drier.

The lace up is “approach shoe” style so further forward than the usual boot or trail runner and with many more eyelets than usual . The lacing system works very well with the soft pliable suede gray upper.  

The toe box and just behind is very generous in volume and height, so ideal for long marches on smoother terrain.

It is a bit too relaxed (in combination with the broad platform) for my tastes for more technical getting near mountaineering terrain.

The rear collars when you are laced in nice and snug are effective in providing support, not always the case with mid height boots where they can often be more for show than support. 

The lower orange portion of the heel counter is close to rigid with the black areas a well padded mesh with leather like overlays.

We have an upper (and overall boot) that you will not be desperate to take off after a long day’s trek unless it is very very warm.

The outsole is a partial coverage Vibram with deep grooves into the midsole. The lugs are about 3mm a in pattern designed to grip but also to enable the characteristic smooth roll here. Clearly, if maximum grip is a priority the Tomir’s 4-5mm Megagrip outsole with Traction Lug will be higher performance but for long long days on smoother terrain the outsole of the Enduro is plenty fine and felt softer and smoother working really well with midsole.

Performance and Conclusions

I have hiked the Enduro twice here in New England on forest paths with the typical array of rocks and roots as well as smoother dirt. I have also walked them on paved roads. The midsole/plate combination was very energetic, smooth and pleasing and indeed, as described by Deckers X-Lab, as building road super shoe technologies into a full on trekking/hiking boot. While the look may signal mountaineering boot, the broad platform and comfort focused upper are for me more about hiking and trekking with a moderate load on moderate terrain than high mountains or the most rugged technical terrain. This said they will be one of choices for the Tour du Queyars 9 day trek in France in late June.

NNormal Tomir 2.0 Mid ($175)

Strengths: Lightest weight hiking boot. Moving fast on any terrain, even on the run

Key Features:  Ankle support and an energetic stable midsole. Vibram Megagrip with Traction Lug outsole. 


Weight US8.5 sample : 11.75 oz / 333g

Stack Height: 36 mm heel / 28 mm forefoot

Platform Width: 90 mm heel / 75 mm midfoot / 105mm forefoot

The Tomir 2.0 Mid also comes from a legendary athlete's company, none other than Kilian Jornet’s NNormal. It is a higher top version of the Tomir 2.0 (RTR Review) with slightly firmer EXXpure supercritical foam than the low top, the same upper material and upper stitched (and glued) to midsole construction but with a stout mid height rear, and the same state of the art Megagrip outsole with 4-5 mm lugs with Traction Lug. 

The Tomir is considerably lighter than the Enduro, more than 3.5 oz / 99g lighter, sitting on a 4mm lower platform and also a clearly narrower one. Its supercritical foam is firmer and denser and its outsole full coverage vs the Enduro’s partial coverage. There is no plate on board with the Tomir quickly developing so flex.

The upper is a dense, thin, pliable in a stiffer way, non stretch not particularly soft mono filament polyester and TPE mesh. I expect it will be very durable. I did not find it particularly (but adequately) breathable but very debris resistant. 

The entire lower portion of the upper where it meets the midsole has a protective overlay which broadens over the front of shoe with a thicker denser vertical overlay to really protect the toes. 

The laces as in Tomir 2.0 are flat, thin and have tiny sides ridges which grip the lace holes ensuring a one laced and done lace up and variable tightness for each eyelet 

The gusset tongue is a thin leather like material with central substantial padding. 

The rear collars are substantial and despite the considerably lighter weight and are more substantial than the Enduro with a narrower foot opening also in the mix.The panel extending from the lace up to the rear is stiffer and higher than the Enduro’s and we also have a more rigid, almost fully rigid heel counter.

The toe box is decently broad and while not as high and propped up by its toe bumper almost as comfortable Enduro’s and overall more foot conforming. 

The Tomir 2.0 is true to size, as is Enduro, but is lower volume throughout 

The outsole is Vibram Megagrip with Traction Lug with lug height at 4-5mm. Unlike the Enduro, its outsole is full coverage yet at the same time the boot is flexible even with its 28mm forefoot stack height. 

Traction Lug is an array of mini lugs molded into the sides of each lug and which are said to increase traction 25%, and my testing indicates as such.The pattern is aggressive but also includes flat very big contact surfaces at the edges on both sides.


While the Enduro loves to plow ahead over obstacles, the Tomir prefers to dance over and around them. It is a shoe that, comparatively to the Enduro likes to move faster. In addition to a hike I also road walked them. I can ever recall walking as fast. The unplated supercritical foam midsole is more about response and quick action than the springy bounce of the Enduro. I have not run them yet but am sure keeping the top laces loose, maybe even skipping them and tying off 3 or 4 eyelets down they will be fine on the run as well.

How to describe Tomir 2.0? I will call it the lightest “full” boot yet created, lighter than many dedicated low top trail runners. It's a boot made for moving fast over all trails and mountain terrain. It will also be along for the Queyras trek and I will use them for the more technical rockier days. It is also for sure a great choice for our rocky bouldery roots local White Mountains. And if I want to walk, fast really fast on smooth roads or rail trails, they have proven ideal for that as well.

The Bottom Line

Deckers X-Lab Enduro Mid GTX for long, long days on feet on smoother terrain and also in wet cooler weather. Around town in winter, snowshoeing and winter hiking

NNormal Tomir 2.0 Mid for moving fast and light on foot over mountainous terrain at speed hike and even at the run paces.

Deckers X-Lab Enduro Mid GTX is available at X-Lab HERE

 NNormal Tomir 2.0 Mid is available  at our partners 

Shopping at our partners is much appreciated and helps support RoadTrailRun


Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is in his 60’s  with 2024 Sam’s 52th year of running roads and trails. He has a decades old 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range if he gets very, very lucky. Sam trains 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah be it on the run, hiking or on nordic skis. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs, if he is not enjoying too many fine New England IPA’s.

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. 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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Anonymous said...

I have a Hoka Kaha 2. Supercritical foam is even softer than the EVA of the Kaha and that already looks worn. Only for hikes on well groomed trails, don't even think of going cross terrain or near a branch with such shoes.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review. Looking forward to trying the NN T2! Wish the drop was a bit lower for multi-purpose mixed-terrain alpine ascents but am grateful there’s no plate, the accommodating toebox, and for the sc midsole!

Anonymous said...

I think there are more of these category shoes to consideration, like the inov-8 rocfly G390, speedgoat 5 mid, arcterryx Norvan Nivalis etc..