The North Face Double-Track Shoe Review
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The new Double-Track trail shoe from The North Face could be the answer for those who liked the TNF Single-Track for neutral runners, but need a bit of pronation control. The Double-Track is intended to be a well-cushioned, versatile trainer that can smoothly transition from the road to the trail, and handle any aggressive terrain you can throw at it. For the most part, it succeeds brilliantly.
The heart of the Double-Track is the X-Dome™ Cradle Support system in the midsole which wraps the heel in a cuplike cradle and prevents pronation with a subtle, yet effective medial post. Our netural stride testers commented that the post in the Double-Track was not terribly noticeable and didn’t bother them. A ‘Snake Plate’ made of TPU lies just beneath the outsole rubber in the forefoot to help soak up sharp rocks and roots, and it is segmented so it doesn’t end up creating a super stiff forefoot. The outsole of the TNF is made up of a great blend of sticky softer zones for grip on solid surfaces with some firmer lugged zones that provided great traction in looser sand and gravel. Outsole wear did not seem excessive for the mileage our testers put on the Double Track. Overall, the midsole and outsole technologies in the Double-Track work very well in concert to produce a nice soft ride that makes long stretches on the road or steeper downhills on the trail feel comfortable.
All eyelets in the upper are reinforced, as you know we are partial to, and which allow for the very secure ‘lockdown’ that trail runners frequenting aggressive terrain need. Upper mesh is right in the sweet spot- open enough to be breathable on hot days, but not so open that you end up with loads of road dust in your socks or with frozen toes due to over-ventilation on cooler runs. The toe of the Double Track lacks significant protection, and some testers did report toe stubs, so this is something we’d like to see tweaked in a future revision, along with making the heel pull loop a bit wider and stiffer for better ease of use. Some testers did report feeling a bit cramped in the lower-volume upper of the Double-Track, so this might not be the best trail shoe for runner with super high insteps or excessively wide feet.
We tested the TNF Double-Track on all types of runs including stretches on pavement and concrete path, as well as smooth fire roads and technical single track, and came away praising the shoe for its ability to gracefully provide comfort and responsiveness on the road just as well as it does on the trail, and we highly recommend the Double-Track to runners who want one do-it-all workhorse training shoe.
From The North Face:
Want a cushioned, stable trail running shoe that doesn’t feel like a brick? The nimble Double-Track with X-Dome™ Cradle Support corrects your overpronation without you even realizing it, freeing up your attention to focus to enjoy your run. Cushioned footbed intended to absorb shock on the trail, with raised lugs underfoot to provide tread for hundreds of miles.
- 2011 Gear of the Year award recipient from Outside Magazine
- [UPPER] Breathable sandwich mesh
- 24 mm/12 mm heel/forefoot heights
- X-Dome™ Cradle Support heel cushioning and stability system with integrated medial post
- High-rebound second density forefoot EVA
- TPU Snake Plate™ forefoot protection
- [BOTTOM] Terrain Harness™ (Stability) engineered platform
- Tenacious™ Grip sticky rubber outsole
- External molded heel counter
- TPU-welded midfoot support
- Dual-density Ortholite® Northotic™ footbed