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The North Face Ultra Smooth


Track shoes inspired the flyweight uppers in North Face’s redesigned trail collection. Note the thin tongue, breezy moisture-wicking mesh, and snug lacing. Underfoot, a Pebax plate and dense EVA foam absorb impact. Solid arch support and a reliable heel cup garnered more praise. A Vibram sole backed with extra rubber in high-wear areas ensures long-lasting use on asphalt. Tester’s take: “A realist’s trail shoe for bike paths, parks, and town runs.” Swami gripe: No rock plate here. Swami like: Favored by heel strikers, thanks to 8mm heel-to-toe drop, and for light pronation control. 9.3 oz; $110

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From the Early Summer 2014 issue. Back to Trail Test 2014

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