When the stars align, when you’re physically on form, when the gear fits and is working with you, mountain running is one of the most joyous sports. It’s demanding on the body of course, but also on the mind.
Not only do you have the extremes of fatigue to deal with mentally; that button that you have to keep pressing to get more power out of your legs, but also it’s all-consuming. Your mind is making millions of adjustments to your run every second. To remain balanced, to make that optimum foot placement, the arms out in just the right place to balance your frame.
The last thing you need then, is for your gear to work against you. It may be consuming energy you can’t afford to lose, and at worst it could be painfully distracting, and that’s when accidents happen. Your gear needs to be perfect for you.
“Time and again, The North Face have made excellent, but not always showy, gear that just works.”
The North Face, of course, know this, and time and again, they have made excellent, but not always showy, gear that just works. The Ultra Trail trail running shoes are a good example. They’ve nothing to show off particularly, and – always a good sign – our testers barely noticed them on our feet. There were no niggles and no problems; that’s the sign of a brilliant shoe. It’s lessons learned over decades that make gear like this so good, iterating, tweaking and ensuring everything works.