The North Face Ultra Smooth is definitely my favorite North Face running shoe. First, these shoes have a wider toe box. Second, their overall fit is excellent – they are extremely comfortable right out of the box. The upper is nice and soft and it’s almost like putting on a slipper.
The shoe has flat laces – which I really enjoy. It also has a flat tongue – by this I mean the tongue has very little padding. This is a little curious to me and I think it would take some getting used to.
The shoe is listed by North Face at 9.3 oz (size 9) and Running Warehouse has it listed at 9.5 oz (size 9). Interestingly, my scale had it at 10.4 oz (size 10). Regardless, this shoe is not a lightweight racer or a heavy trainer – it definitely falls somewhere in between.
The heel measures 24mm and the forefoot measures 15mm – a drop of 9mm.
The shoe has a Vibram sole that is perfectly suitable for roads and smooth trails. However, I think you would have an issue with anything technical.
– great fit (true to size)
– wider than average toe box
– Vibram sole
– in-between weight (probably too heavy to race in)
– not durable enough for technical trails
– limited padding on the tongue
– the cost – I think $110 is too much for a pretty basic shoe
– I got a tiny bit of irritation on the top of my foot (this could be because the tongue has limited padding; it could also be my imagination)