Wednesday, May 08, 2024

NNormal Tomir 2.0 Review: 4 Comparisons

Article by Sam Winebaum

Update: NNormal Tomir 2.0 now Multi Tester Review 4 Comparisons French Review


NNormal Tomir 2.0 ($170)

Introduction

The Tomir is the “other shoe” from Kiilan Jornet’s NNormal with the modular midsole  Kboix (RTR preview) coming in 2024, It is intended to be a longer distance more cushioned complement to the ultralight  Kjerag (RTR Review) one of my favorite shoes of 2023 for its agility and versatility. Key to its wonderful ride and light weight was a supercritical foam midsole. And great news the Tomir 2 gets the same foam and while it doesn’t lose weight of the prior version as it now sits on a wider platform. The ride is vastly improved.


The Tomir 1 (RTR Review), in contrast to the Kjerag, was at best an awkward shoe on many levels despite a very decent weight. It was rigid and quite firm with a stiff upper with poor heel hold even with my thickest socks, noting that my test pair was the waterproof version at true to size. My fellow tester Mike Potasaki agreed. 


With its new more friendly and secure upper and far more energetic, flexible, wider and more stable platform Tomir 2 is clearly a major and I think successful update, and is really a new shoe despite similar appearances and the same stack height.


Pros:

  • Wide range of uses: daily trail and door to trail runs, ultras, treks/hike
  • New energetic and forgiving supercritical midsole foam-same as Kjerag but more of it
  • Wider, more stable platform with increased flexibility and more rocker.
  • Protective and stable underfoot yet with enough terrain conforming feel- v1 was rigid and unstable
  • Significantly improved upper- secure, roomy, less stiff and now well matched to platform
  • Excellent traction
  • Expected long durability.


Cons:

  • Well and softly padded rear collars and semi rigid heel counter required a runner’s knot (unusual for me) or a thicker sockliner to get a tech trails worthy lock down for my true to size pair.
  • Slight gain in weight to just under 10 oz due to wider platform.
  • Heel platform width +7mm could be dialed back to increase rear agility and the slight sense of back weighting.

 

Most Comparable Shoes

Salomon Genesis

Norda 001

Saucony Xodus Ultra

Scarpa Spin Infinity 


Stats

Approx. Weight: men's 9.9 oz / 281g (US9)

Prior Version Weight:  men’s 9.65 oz  / 274 g (US9) 

  Sample Weight: men’s 9.66 oz / 274g (US8.5) 

Stack Height: men’s 31 mm heel /  23 mm forefoot ( 8mm drop spec) 

Platform Width: 90mm heel / 70mm midfoot / 105mm forefoot 


First Impressions, Fit and Upper

The upper is a dense thin closed engineered mesh with moderate pliability and with more pliablity than v1’s. The bottom edge of the upper is protected all around by an overlay. 

The upper is not only glued but stitched to the midsole with nylon thread to improve durability.


The toe box is moderately broad and well held.

The fit is true to size with notable over the toes volume that is well held.

The toe bumper is in two layers: a quite firm vertical layer with further back a pliable rubbery overlay which helps secure the foot in the toe box. There is no down pressure on the toes from the toe bumper or overlays with the new mesh considerably more pliable than the prior stiff TPE mesh..

The midfoot has an array of thin width overlays which along with tongue gusset and lightly padded leatherette tongue provide good support. 

I note that the laces have the serrated edges seen in many carbon road super shoes but here not quite as pronounced. The laces slide easily to tighten and with tiny sides of lace ridges they  stay locked to each eyelet when tied so no need to readjust so far.


The final lace up area and rear of the shoe is quite pliable and softly padded.

I think it is a bit too softly padded and unstructured from lace up to the semi rigid quite low heel counter. I had to use a runners knot lace up to really lock the heel down.  

I also found that using a thicker 5mm TPU beds sockliner, replacing the surprisingly flimsy, thin and mushy Ortholite sockliner improved the fit and gave the Tomir yet more pop,

Once I did that, I was totally secure, indicating to me somewhat firmer padding, a higher achilles collar and/or a rear facing overlay from the laces towards the heel might be in order. On the other hand, as the solution was easily found with the lace lock, those with higher volume rear of foot should be easily accommodated.


Midsole & Platform



The full stack height remains at 31 mm heel /  23 mm forefoot so we are in the moderate stack height category similar to the Salomon Genesis (RTR Review) at 30 mm heel / 22 mm forefoot and at almost the same weight (+0.25 oz /7g for Tomir). 

The midsole platform increases in width 7mm at the heel and 4mm at the midfoot to 90mm heel, 70mm midfoot, 105mm forefoot. Given the new supercritical EExpure foam in place of an EVA, the weight only increases about 0.25 oz / 7g in a US9. 


The increase in width was immediately noticed as a more stable and cushioned rear of the shoe with the new foam far more forgiving and much more energetic and springy without being unstable or mushy. Part of my testing was 2 full days (10 hours plus) walking and standing on hard concrete and I had none of my usual (for such activities) left heel pain demonstrating the stability and cushion of the platform for long hours on your feet.


A near ideal foam and midsole for a wide variety of trail runs including ultras and also hike. 


The foam reminds me of very slightly denser Puma Nitro foam and a less bouncy more stable Saucony PWRRUN Pb. The feel is somewhat similar to Salomon’s EVA / Olefin blend but not quite as soft but with quicker return. It is clearly not as firm as Brooks DNA Flash foam as found in the Catamount .


I do think the heel platform width at a big 90mm is a bit blocky (if very stable) and could be trimmed back to not only make the heel transitions a bit quicker but to save some weight. That said, the rear upper support would need to be beefier at the same time.


The Tomir 2 is flexible, and got increasingly so with use and with its softer foam contours well to terrain while remaining well protected from rocks and other obstacles. No rigid rocker here (although the rocker and flexiblity is clearly improved over v1) or rock plate feel with a surprisingly natural over terrain


Outsole

The outsole remains Vibram Megagrip Litebase with the same pattern as v1. 

It now has Traction Lug mini lugs on the front, back and side edges of each lug. 



Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations

The goal for the Tomir was versatility and durability. While I do not have enough miles to fully comment on durability, for sure it is an incredibly versatile shoe, as intended. Prototypes were on Kilian feet for much of his epic 445 km with 45,000 meters 8 day crossing of the Pyrennes last year.


I have hiked them, stood and walked on concrete 2 x for 10 hours with none of my customary left heel pain from such “activities”, and trail and road run them. As I am  recovering from a broken knee cap I have not as of yet taken them on more technical trails. More testers will join the review and take them on more technical trails .


Everywhere I went they performed with the new midsole and its energetic consistent ride the big highlight.  They were even fine for a trail shoe on pavement with the midsole and outsole feel blending well.


Due to the now slightly broader platform, rocker and flexibility new foam and new upper, v1’s stability issues, rigid firm feel and all around awkwardness are no more. I do think the heel area could be tightened up, less softly padded or more structured and maybe the heel platform width reduced a touch to save weight and increase agility .


Very decently light weight, energetic, protective, comfortable for many hours on foot, the Tomir is a true “all arounder” from trail runs, to ultras, to hikes and travel, I think fulfilling its mission of versatility. With a 9 day trek in the Queyras region of the French Alps this summer with light packs  they are for sure one of my finalists.

Sam’s Score: 9.3 /10

Deductions for heel construction: platform width and hold


Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE 


Tomir 2.0 Stats

Approx. Weight: men's 9.9 oz / 281g (US9)

Stack Height: men’s 31 mm heel /  23 mm forefoot ( 8mm  drop spec) 

Platform Width: 90mm heel / 70mm midfoot / 105mm forefoot 


Salomon Genesis (RTR Review)

Weight: men's  9.63 oz / 273g (US9) 

Stack Height: men’s 30 mm heel / 22 mm forefoot ( drop spec) 

Genesis Platform Width 85mm heel / 70 mm midfoot / 115 mm forefoot

Very, very close in all respects from weight to stack to platform width the Salomon fit is somewhat more precise and secure, particularly at the rear of the shoe, while the NNormal has a more quick returning if not quite as soft midsole. Both are true to size.


Scarpa Spin Infinity (RTR Review)

Weight: 10.9 oz / 309g US9

35mm heel , 31mm forefoot (spec 4mm drop) 

Higher stacked, more protective and a full ounce / 28 g heavier with a 4mm drop the Infinity is for sure more shoe and closer to the Brooks Cascadia than the Tomir. It did take 2nd place on the feet of Aurélien Dunand-Pallaz for 2nd at the 2021 UTMB but times have moved on especially in the foam department as while deeply cushioned and highly protective, the Infinity is not particularly energetic compared to Tomir’s midsole It’s upper is more supportive if not as comfortable or as roomy. I sized up half a size which was the right call. 


Norda 001 (RTR Review)

Approx. Weight: men's 9.9 oz  / 255g (US9)

Stack Height: 34 mm heel (measured)  / mm 29 forefoot (spec 5mm drop)

The super pricey Norda weighs the same as Tomir and has a 3mm more heel and 6mm more forefoot stack of a custom Vibram EVA foam and a similar if a bit less aggressively lugged Megagrip rubber. The 001 gets to its identical weight with a Dyneema upper that is super durable and light. Its fit is more precise and somewhat less comfortable with a more secure if lower volume toe box.  With its additional stack,  it is less flexible than the Tomir relying more on its front rocker. The Tomir flows better for me at a variety of paces. Both true to size but I might consider sizing up a half size in a next 001.


Saucony Xodus Ultra (RTR Review)

Approx. Weight: men's 9.25 oz  / g (US9) 

Stack Height: 32.5 heel /26.5mm forefoot, 6mm drop

A more complex construction shoe, the Xodus has a central core of supercritical foam in an outer EVA carrier and also includes a woven rock plate. It is a less flexible and agile shoe upfront than the Tomir with not quite the consistent feel underfoot and sense of the trail of the Tomir. The Xodus fit is more tapered upfront.


A multi tester review of the Tomir 2.0 is coming soon.


The Tomir 2.0 is available now

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Tester Profiles

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 66  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


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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I got a Xodus Ultra 3 recently and while it not quite has the fabulous ride of the Genesis, the rock plate tells me I should have got the Genesis S/Lab in hindsight.

I unfortunately only have a Xodus 2 and 3 and not the first one, 2 and 3 are already quite different shoes. I appreciated the Xodus 2 more than all RTR testers, I am really curious how they will feel about the Xodus 3. Which seems already available in Europe, interestingly.

MarkS said...

Would love to see a comparison to Mafate Speed 4 as part of the multi-review please.

Sam Winebaum said...

@marks
We hope to do the comparison to Mafate Speed 4 if we receive more pairs. I personally have not run MS since version 2. Others have.
Sam, Editor