Gear Reviews Hiking and Camping

The North Face ENDURUS TR – Shoe Review

The North Face ENDURUS TR – Shoe Review

Trail running, hiking or all round adventure, the TNF ENDURUS TR has it covered!

If you’re new to trail running then choosing the shoes that are right for you can be an adventure in itself. Are you a forefoot, mid-foot or heel striker? Do you prefer a raised foot bed or a minimalist feel to the trails? Too many questions already?

Well, if you’re unsure, then sometimes you just need a shoe to get you started and we think we may of found that shoe in the TNF ENDURUS TR. In terms of where it sits in the hierachy i.e entry or pro level, we are unsure because shoes are a personal choice and it comes down to what terrain you’ll be using them for.

First Impressions

We’ve never owned any TNF footwear, only clothing, so we were keen to try out these trail running shoes, the ENDURUS TR. The TR stands for Trail Running of course.

The ENDURUS TR is a handsome looking trail runner and mens and womens versions are equally matched in the looks department. We often see a shrink ‘n’ pink approach for women’s products, and this can get a little tiring, but not this time. Both shoes have a classy colour scheme which is enhanced by their angular and aggressive profile.

TNF Endurus TR
The Womens Endurus TR, a great looking shoe. Pic:©Tyres and Soles
TNF Endurus TR
The Mens Endurus TR, an equally handsome looking shoe. Pic:©Tyres and Soles

Fit

In terms of fit, we went for our usual shoe size, which was perfect. The toe box area is slightly wider than other runners in this style, which allows your toes to splay out in a much more natural position.

The quality is as you’d expect from TNF with very high quality stitching and seam welding, plus a ton of features that we will cover in this review.

The stealthy black and grey is right on the money.The stealthy black and grey is right on the money.
Reinforced lace holes. Tie once and forget.Reinforced lace holes. Tie once and forget.
A Vibram sole with an aggressive tread pattern.A Vibram sole with an aggressive tread pattern.

Features

TPU Panels

The shoe features TPU Panels (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) on the sides of the shoe that add extra support. You’d think by adding extra panel to the shoe would reduce breathability, but not in this case. The Panels are made from a highly breathable membrane, so you get support plus breathability.  They’re also resistant to a lot of nasty things out on the trail which helps keep them smelling fresher for longer.

TNF Endurus TR
The suede and TPU panels add extra support. Pic:©Tyres and Soles

XtraFoam™

The XtraFoam™ midsole is a soft cushioning layer that, for want of a better word, is very squashy. TNF have added an additional firmer piece to this section that sits on the perimeter of the shoe and adds stability to the squashy inner piece.

The result of this is a soft cushioning effect as you walk or run but with no rotational twisting due to the firmer outer section, which helps keep the shoe stable and planted. You could think of it as a sort of mattress effect, where the mattress is the inner soft section and the outer rigid area is the bed frame. Cosy eh!

ESS Snake Plate™

The ENDURUS TR also offer forefoot-to-midfoot ESS Snake Plate™ which is designed to provide torsional rigidity and protection from stone bruising. What doesn’t this shoe have?

TNF Endurus TR
TheXtraFoam™ adds a layer of cushioning that’s surprisingly noticeable. Pic:©Tyres and Soles
TPU film toe cap laid over a synthetic backer delivers toe protection.TPU film toe cap laid over a synthetic backer delivers toe protection.
FlashDry™ collar lining keeps your feet cool and dry.FlashDry™ collar lining keeps your feet cool and dry.
3.5mm sole lugs with biting edges.3.5mm sole lugs with biting edges.

CRADLE™ heel-stability

The ENDURUS TR has a lot of features that are designed to keep the foot supported and comfortable for long periods of activity. Another area in which this is seen, is the heel. TNF have developed what they call their CRADLE™ heel-stability technology. This essentially supports the heel whilst not being too rigid.

TNF Endurus TR
The CRADLE™ heel-stability technology. Pic:©Tyres and Soles
TNF Endurus TR
The CRADLE™ heel-stability technology. Pic:©Tyres and Soles.

The heel section is connected to those side panels we mentioned above, the seamless welded suede and TPU panels. So again, it has that combination of rigidity and flexibility and keeps the heel in place to avoid heel slippage, which can result in blisters.

TNF Endurus TR
Both the mens and the womens has a 20mm heel to 14mm forefoot rise. Pic:©Tyres and Soles

Incline/Rise

We come from zero drop shoes, which we love for many reasons. So we were a little apprehensive about testing a trail runner that went back to the more traditional footbed design. The ENDURUS TR has a slight heel/forefoot incline of 20 mm/14 mm. But, we weren’t going to let that put us off. The only way to find out how was to take them out for a spin.

TNF Endurus TR
TNF ENDURUS TR shoe provides comfort and stability on uneven surfaces. Pic:©Tyres and Soles

Out On The Trails

Comfort and Stability

Well straight off the bat, the ENDURUS TR’s are bloody comfortable! This was certainly down to the XtraFoam™ midsole feature. Corny as it may sound, it really did feel like we were walking on air. We were concerned the extra cushioning was going to result in some side rotation and ankle twisting but fear not. Those TPU Panels we mentioned above were not designed for nothing.

What we found was that the XtraFoam™ allowed us to step onto sharp angular stones without really thinking too much about it, so we could just smash through sections of trails which previously we would normally be much more careful about. This combined with the support of the TPU Panels, provided us with an incredibly confidence inspiring shoe.

TNF Endurus TR
The tread is super aggressive, providing a ton of grip on the trails. Pic:©Tyres and Soles

Grip / Tread

The tread on the ENDURUS TR are super-aggressive with their 3.5 mm lugs and biting edges, combined with the Vibram® XS Trek sole for durable multi-terrain traction, so we had no problems slipping on the steeper terrain. On the same hand they weren’t overly grippy causing us to catch up on things. I think TNF have found a great balance of tread combination on these shoes.

Protection

After days of bashing on rocky trails, our feet were still ache free. The TPU film toe cap saved the day a few times with satisfyingly good toe stubbing protection.

The ESS Snake Plate™ gave the shoe a torsional rigidity that countered the spongy feeling of theXtraFoam™. So although at first it felt as if we were going to experience some potential foot twisting, it never happened. This was a constant juxtaposition for me, I couldn’t quite believe I was having this much comfort in a shoe that also provided a good level of rigidity.  Go figure.

Blisters? What are those? The CRADLE™ heelstability technology came into play and has kept us blister free to date. Due to the design, the heel section of the shoe felt stiff and supportive and reduced heel slippage, which can be the main cause of blisters.

TNF Endurus TR
The ENDURUS TR travelled halfway across the globe with us. Pic:©Tyres and Soles

Care/Washing

We started to test the ENDURUS TR in Australia but halfway through had to head on over to the UK. We decided to take them with us and continue testing in some hideous Welsh weather, so there was a lot of washing and drying going on.

Due to the breathability and mesh outer of the shoe, the drying process was pretty quick, meaning you could wash them down every night and pop them back on the following day.

 

TNF ENDURUS TR
  • 9/10
    Comfort - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Fit - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Features - 9/10
  • 7/10
    Design - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Weight - 8/10
8.4/10

Summary

The TNF ENDURUS TR is a great all-round trail running and hiking shoe that packs a ton of features to keep you comfortable yet fully supported for long hikes and runs. If you prefer comfort over a more rigid, zero drop shoe, then these are for you. However, if you prefer a zero drop or minimal style of runner, then these will feel a little over zealous with their cushioning. What you can’t ignore is the amount of features that TNF have put into these shoes, and they certainly tick a lot of boxes in terms of what a trail running/hiking shoe should be. There’s a list of TMs features as long as my arm that have been put into these, and every one of those features are used and felt out on the trail.

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Where To Buy

You can pick them up from your nearest Paddy Pallin store, where the very knowledgeable staff will look after you, or order them from the Paddy Pallin online store.

 

Full Technical Specs:

  • Premier lightweight trail running sneakers with XtraFoam™ technology for superior comfort over long distances.
  • Seamless welded-suede and TPU geo quarter panel delivers unrivalled support and optimal breathability
  • TPU film toe cap laid over a synthetic backer delivers toe protection
  • FlashDry™ collar lining keeps your feet cool and dry
  • Industry-leading OrthoLite® footbed ensures long-lasting comfort
  • 20 mm/14 mm heel/forefoot EVA underfoot
  • The XtraFoam™ midsole offers a softer-density foam underfoot for superior comfort, while a firmer-density EVA compound around the perimeter provides inherent stability
  • CRADLE™ heel-stability technology
  • Forefoot-to-midfoot ESS Snake Plate™ provides torsional rigidity and protection from stone bruising
  • Vibram® XS Trek sole for durable multi-terrain traction
  • 3.5 mm sole lugs with biting edges
  • 6 mm offset
  • Approx Weight: (½ PAIR):11.2 oz (317 g)
  • Price: See Paddy Pallin stores for latest prices.

 

 

Jason Lorch

Chief Editor at Tyres and Soles
Born and grew up in Wales but now a fully fledged Aussie. A passionate mountain biker, hiker and general nature addict. I'm also a bit of a muso and enjoy a good craft beer every now and again (probably too often).

I hope what we do here at Tyres and Soles will inspire people to get out there and experience first hand, the natural wonders that surround them. So, pump up those tyres, don your favourite boots. Grab a mate, a partner, a pet… and head out into nature. But tell us all about it when you get back.
Jason Lorch

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