The North Face Summit VECTIV™ Pro is a performance trail shoe primed for race day. The shoe features the all-new VECTIV™ 2.0 carbon plate with added stability wings, to both propel and stabilise you when flying along those mountain and forest trails.
The soft midsole foam is designed with high propulsion, while an extra injection of cushioning aims to strike the perfect balance between being lightweight and cushioned. The summit VECTIV™ Pro is best suited to hard-packed trails where the propulsion of the carbon plate can really come into its own.
The North Face have used testing results and input from their team of professional athletes to create the ultimate trail-running shoe with highly innovative technological features. Here’s what Sportsshoes ambassador and elite fell and trail runner Ben Mounsey has to say about the shoes after putting them to the test across some tough trails in the Costa Blanca area of Spain…
First try: Summit VECTIV™ Pro
“The North Face was the first brand to introduce carbon to the trail, launching the original VECTIV™ shoe back in 2021. Since then, carbon-plated trail shoes have fast become the norm, with many other brands following suit. Fast-forward two years and The North Face are at it again, pushing new boundaries with the release of the exciting new VECTIV™ 2.0 trail shoe range.”
“Starting at the top, the first thing that caught my attention is the super-breathable upper mesh. You can literally tell how breathable this shoe is without even wearing it. Pick it up, put your hand inside and you can see it through the mesh. It's perfect for all those long, hot days on the trail when your feet get too warm and ventilation is the highest priority.”
“Make no mistake, the Summit VECTIV™ Pro is a completely different beast to the original Flight VECTIV™. The big difference and what really sets this shoe apart from the rest, is the introduction of super-soft foam in the midsole.
“There’s a performance rocker-shaped midsole made with durable EVA foam and super critical foam, balancing durability with high rebound and enhanced cushioning. This is the first shoe to introduce this type of lightweight superfoam with a carbon-plate to the trails."
“The main purpose of the carbon-plate in trail shoes is to provide stability on uneven terrain. And this new VECTIV™ 2.0 footplate does exactly that. Redesigned to deliver greater stability on rough terrain, it now features a forked construction, not just at the front but also at the rear to reduce lateral movement and rolling."
“The Summit VECTIV™ Pro also features forefoot wings to secure the foot in place. These wings are visible on the exterior, at the front sides and rear, overlapping the soft foam midsole in these key areas of the shoe. This forefoot area of the shoe is a much wider platform then most other trail shoes, which is both a blessing and a curse. While it really does provide more stability, you have to be very aware of the extra few millimetres of midsole either side of the shoe.”
“Made with a hard-wearing rubber compound, the SurfaceCTRL™ outsole has angled 3.5mm lugs for traction. This outsole provides ample grip for hard-packed trails and performs exceptionally well in dry conditions during spring and summer months.
“However, it's important to point out that this is not a shoe designed to tackle extreme and muddy terrain. For traction on particularly wet and soft ground, the VECTIV™ Infinite II features 5mm lugs which are more suitable for running in the UK during the winter months when grip is a key priority.”
“At an RRP of £224.99, this is one of the more expensive trail shoes on the market - a luxury, not a necessity. It’s not a four-season trail shoe, either. Specifically designed for ultra-distance trail races like UTMB™ during the summer months, this clearly isn't a shoe for everyone, but The North Face has produced something really special with the Summit VECTIV™ Pro and indeed the entire VECTIV™ 2.0 trail range. It's super-lightweight, incredibly breathable, ultra-responsive, highly-cushioned and supremely comfortable to wear.“
Summit VECTIV™ Pro at a glance
For: A race-day shoe, ideal for travelling fast and light, with supreme levels of comfort, cushioning and forward propulsion.
Stack: 32mm / 26mm
Key features: Lightweight and breathable race shoe, with a forked carbon-fibre plate for stability, a super-soft foam midsole with high rebound ,and extra cushioning and Surface CTRL™ rubber outsole for traction.