Thursday, June 06, 2024

NNormal Tomir 2.0 Multi Tester Review: 4 Comparisons

Article by Sam Winebaum and Jeff Valliere

NNormal Tomir 2.0 ($170)



Introduction

Sam: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 although 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: Sam/Jeff

New energetic and forgiving supercritical midsole foam-same as Kjerag but more of it: Sam/Jeff

Wider, more stable platform with increased flexibility and more rocker: Sam

Protective and stable underfoot yet with enough terrain conforming feel- v1 was rigid and unstable: Sam/Jeff

Significantly improved upper- secure, roomy and protective now well matched to platform: Sam/Jeff

Excellent traction: Sam/Jeff

Expected long durability: Sam/Jeff


Cons:

Well and softly padded rear collars and semi rigid heel counter required a runner’s knot (unusual for me) to get a tech trails worthy lock down for my true to size pair: Sam

Slight gain in weight to just under 10 oz due to wider platform: Sam

Heel platform width +7mm could be dialed back to increase rear agility and a small sense of back weighting: Sam/Jeff

 

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), men’s 10.25 oz / 293g (US10) 

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

Sam: The upper is a dense thin closed engineered mesh with moderate pliability and with more pliability 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 if a bit tapered when new on the pinky toe side.

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. 

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.


Jeff V:  I have tested the Kjerag and while I really like the shoe for shorter, less technical runs, I found it to be a touch on the minimal side for daily use, long days or any real loose, steep terrain due to the low profile lugs.  While Killian can do amazing things in the Kjerag (or any shoe), the Tomir 2 is more geared towards everyone else not named Killian.  Sam gives a great rundown, so I will focus on the performance I experienced.


Fit for my thin, low volume foot in my usual size 10 is true to size.  Unlike Sam however, I find the heel to be just fine, secure, comfortable and stable, without having to perform any lacing trickery.  I find the serrated laces and offset lace throat to be very secure and comfortable, providing excellent lockdown on the first try (though the laces are a touch long).  I find the toe box to be roomy enough for long days (my longest run in them was nearly 7 hours and I never thought of my feet or toe box room), while security is adequate for steep, technical trails.


While running on steep, technical terrain, I find that the Tomir 2 holds my foot well and I feel confident, no matter how steep, rough or off camber the terrain is.  The mesh is high density and does a great job keeping out debris and while at first glance would seem like it would be warm (especially in the black colorway as tested), I have not noted them to be excessively warm on days even in the low to mid 80’s, though we have not yet had any truly hot days yet this year.


Midsole & Platform


Sam:  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 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 flexibility is clearly improved over v1) or rock plate feel with a surprisingly natural over terrain.


Jeff V:  I find the midsole to strike an excellent balance of cushion/comfort/stability/response for a wide range of running/hiking.  I honestly do not find the Tomir 2 to be particularly inspiring of speed, but they are reasonably light for all that they offer and are not a slow shoe by any stretch.  The midsole feels in the medium range of softness and softens a bit over time, but is not spongy or squishy in the least.  I find them to be very stable, protective and supportive, rolling along well no matter the terrain, uphill, downhill, flats, they perform reliably.  I find the sweet spot for the Tomir 2 to be moderate to easier running paces and hiking and the longer the distance, the better!


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. 


Jeff V:  The traction lugs, combined with Vibram Megagrip Litebase compound provides a very durable and confidence inspiring combination to provide the utmost traction on a wide variety of surfaces and conditions.  I have run the Tomir on most surfaces, wet, dry, even snow (spring slush) and I always feel confident in my footing.  Durability thus far is proving to be above average.



Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations

Sam: The product 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: rear platform width and rear hold

😊😊😊😊


Jeff V:  Sam sums up the Tomir well.I have run the Tomir on my routine daily runs in the foothills above Boulder and find them to be a great daily trainer.  They are quite versatile on a wide variety of terrain, equally at home cruising mellow terrain with a smooth transition, as they are negotiating steep mountain trails, above treeline or rocky ridgelines.  


I also took them along on a 25 mile run in the mountains (with 6,100 feet of gain/loss) and they performed amazingly well, with plenty of cushion and comfort, drained well after creek crossings, had ample toe room for swelling and were not overly warm (though it was barely above 70 degrees).  I honestly hardly thought about the shoe at all, which is a testament to how well a shoe performs.  


While the Tomir is not overbuilt or ponderous by any stretch, I do not find them to be speedy or the most agile, but for all of the protection and overall well rounded performance they provide, that is really just a minor note. The Tomir is a great pick for just about any run of any distance, hike or even as a 100 mile race shoe for a course like Hardrock.

Jeff V’s Score: 9.6 /10

Ride: 9.5

Fit: 9.5

Value: 9.5 - Versatile and durable

Style: 9 - kind of meh in the all black, but there are some slightly better looking colorways available

Traction: 10

Rock Protection: 9.5

😊😊😊😊😊


4 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE 


Tomir 2.0

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

Sam: 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) 

Sam: 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. 

Jeff V:  While I really liked the Spin Infinity at the time, I much prefer the Tomir in all regards, from fit, comfort, cushioning, response and perhaps an edge even in grip.


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)

Sam:  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.

Jeff V:  While I only reviewed the studded version of the 001, I agree with Sam on most points, though I find the 001 to be a bit more responsive and flows better, likely due to its more pronounced rocker.


Saucony Xodus Ultra (RTR Review)

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

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

Sam: 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 agile shoe upfront than the Tomir with not quite the consistent feel underfoot and sense of the trail of the Tomir. The fit is more tapered upfront.

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 67 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


Jeff Valliere loves to run and explore the mountains of Colorado, the steeper and more technical the better. He has summited all of the 14ers in the state, many 13ers and other peaks in Colorado and beyond, plus, he has summited his local Green Mountain over 2,100 times in the past 20 years.   He can be found on mountain trails daily, no matter the weather, season, conditions or whether there is daylight or not.  On the side he loves to ski (all forms) bike and hike, often with his family, as he introduces his twin daughters to the outdoors. Jeff was born and raised in New Hampshire, but has called Colorado home for over 25 years. He is 5’9” and 145 lbs.

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