Dynafit Ultra Pro 2: Maximum cushioning for ultra distance trail running

The long awaited sequel to the Dynafit Ultra Pro gets put to the test by distance runner Rachel Collins

from Dynafit
RRP  £148.46
4 star rating on dynafit ultra pro 2 trail running shoes

by Rachel Collins |
Updated on

Y'know, there's a reason we dedicate dozens upon hundreds of testing miles to every shoe we review. We see brands produce a lot of trail running shoes that are perhaps better suited to the catwalk – so you can imagine how delighted we were when the hardy, durable, grippy new Ultra Pro 2 from Dynafit came through our door.

Based in the rocky mountains of the USA, Dynafit describe themselves as a “brand by athletes, for athletes” and the Ultra Pro 2 has us convinced. This is a shoe clearly designed for the trails. It takes a maximalist approach, designed for ultra long distances (marathin distance and beyond). If you’re looking for a sturdy companion, an ultra-comfortable ride, and a sensible level of maximalism, this is the shoe for you.

Pros

  • Very comfortable cushioning
  • Built to last
  • A gentle introduction to a maximalist shoe

Cons

  • Shallow lugs limit performance in wet and muddy conditions
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Comfort
    5.0
  • Value
    4.0
  • Performance
    4.5
  • Sustainability
    4.0
Men’s sizes (UK) 6-13 
Women’s sizes (UK)3-9
Waterproof version?No
Weight310g men's, 270g women's<br>
Drop8mm
Lugs3.5mm

This shoe is the second generation of the Ultra Pro; the original was released all the way back in 2018. The 2024 version shares little with its predecessor – The Ultra Pro 2 is new and very much improved. We sent Rachel Collins, our tester specialising in long distance running, out into the Scottish wilderness to put this shoe through its paces. Here's her report:

Upper

The quality of the Ultra Pro 2 is visible in its every detail. Let’s start with the strong and tightly woven mesh of its upper. This mesh does a remarkable job at keeping out any annoying debris in addition to being breathable, waterproof, and quick drying. The mesh is overlaid with TPU across the sides, heel, and toe box – reinforcing the already strong materials of the upper’s structure. This reinforcement is particularly pronounced at the toe box – providing additional protection where its needed most.

The upper of the Dynafit Ultra 2 trail running shoes
©LFTO

The shoe is generous at the toe box which allows your feet to swell comfortably over longer distances. At the far end of foot world, the heel is having an equally good time. Generous heel padding and a structure supporting stirrup can claim responsibility for the firm and secure hold my heels experienced.

Midsole

I usually wear quite minimalist shoes for trail, so I was quite apprehensive about a maximalist shoe with a high stack. However, the extreme comfort granted from first try on persuaded me to open my mind. I found when running on more compacted and longer trails, the high absorbency of the midsole was a game changer – look forward to feet more than happy to bounce along for a lot longer.

The midsole of the Dynafit Ultra 2 trail running shoes
©LFTO

The Ultra Pro 2’s midsole is known as ‘Speed Light’ and is lighter than traditional EVA footbeds – contributing to a shoe weight of 280g. This lightness helped avoid them feeling like moonboots despite their maximalist cushioning.

Outsole

I found the Ultra Pro 2 best suited to dry and gently undulating terrain: compact forest trails are this shoes heaven. This is due to the widely spaced and relatively shallow (3.5mm) lugs. Therefore, if you’re looking for a shoe suitable for wet and muddy terrain: avoid. I also had a less enjoyable time wearing the Ultra Pro 2 on steep and techy terrain. However, I still feel amidst maximalist trail shoes, the Ultra Pro 2 provides significantly more control than its competitors due to its secure and streamlined fit.

The lug pattern and outsole of the Dynafit Ultra 2 trail running shoes
©LFTO

All too often, trail shoes seem to lose their tread, well, instantly. However, the Vibram sole exuberates durability. In fact, the Vibram sole is perhaps one of its best features – a quality material rarely featured amongst even the most popular trail options.

Features

This was my first experience of a shoe featuring a quick lacing system. Admittedly, I was sceptical - concerned about achieving a precise fit and the system’s sturdiness. These worries were quickly ratified. In terms of ease and effectiveness, the toggle system is best framed as a cool adult Velcro – a one touch, perfect fit experience. The plastic toggle also felt robust. The system’s one drawback is perhaps the elimination of the ‘Stop, I need to tie my laces’ breather excuse.

The laces and upper of the Dynafit Ultra 2 trail running shoes
©LFTO

The built in tongue also contributes to breakneck shoe putting on/taking off speeds in addition to, more importantly, preventing any rubbing. The tongue is a relatively thin, yet tough material as opposed to a traditional thick and spongy annoyance. This assists both ventilation and comfort.

Sustainability

Dynafit does claim that the shoe is made with recycled content. However, this is suitably vague that it's worth no attention. Digging a little deeper, Dynafit is a ‘bluesign’ system Partner. ‘bluesign’ is a seal of approval for the protection of people and environment within the textiles industry and in 2017, 89% of Dynafit’s products were made using either bluesign or other externally certified materials.

The mesh toebox of the Dynafit Ultra 2 trail running shoes
©LFTO

However, perhaps the most convincing sustainability claim Dynafit can make is the environmental win of manufacturing products designed to last.

How we tested

Rachel Collins author photo
©LFTO

Your tester for the Dynafit Ultra Pro 2 was Rachel Collins, who has brought her distance running experience to LFTO as part of our Scotland-based testing team. She tested the shoe on a range of terrains and distances around the Torridon hills. From long undulating easy runs to steep, fast, and technical routes.

Verdict

If you’re looking for a shoe for long distances over friendly trail, then this is the shoe for you. I would especially recommend the Ultra Pro 2 for someone who is new to a more maximalist shoe and wishes to retain a bit of extra control and precision.

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