• The North Face Vectiv Exploris hiking shoe
    The North Face Vectiv Exploris hiking shoe

Great Walks reviews The North Face men’s Vectiv Exploris Futurelight hiking shoe.

That’s quite a mouthful of a title for a pair of hiking shoes but then when you look at the features of this state-of-the-art footwear you can see why.

Usually found in trailrunning footwear Vectiv technology is a carbon fibre plate and rocker in the midsole designed to stabilise the foot but at the same time help propel it forward. And I can attest there was a comfy bounce to the shoes especially on the hard metal raised platforms on parts of the new Snowies Alpine Walk (see GRW Feb-Mar 2022).

Futurelight is a waterproof and breathable membrane that wraps around the foot to protect it –another good feature that worked. There were plenty of river crossings and some rain in Kosciuszko National Park and my feet stayed dry throughout the walk.

So how does it feel? In a nutshell, great. I loved the out-of-the-box comfort and my heel sat perfectly into the inner sole. After several days walking in Kosciuszko I can safely say these are my favourite pair of hiking shoes.

They would be perfect for a long distance walk like Camino where only a small pack is required, although to be honest I reckon you could walk the Overland Track or something similar if heavy boots are not your preference.

The Surface Control rubber outsole with 4mm lugs provided plenty of traction, although when I first put them on in the house there was a ‘sticky’ sound as the sole hit wooden floorboards. That’s probably just the rubber doing its thing.

Also, some people may not be a fan of the shoe’s military olive camo colour but I didn’t mind it. All-in-all this is a well-made shoe that’s had plenty of research and development to turn it into a piece of all-purpose outdoor footwear. Nice work.

RRP: $270
Website: thenorthface.com.au
Review_Brent McKean

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