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9.4 ounces / 8mm drop / $120
The Dirt: The North Face Hyper-Track Guide is designed as a versatile hybrid shoe, offering enough cushioning to handle the roads and enough tread to eat up trails.
The seamless upper minimizes hotspots and breathes exceptionally well, with supportive TPU-welded overlays for lateral support on uneven terrain.
With no rock plate, the low-riding Hyper-Track allows plenty of “ground feel”—perhaps too much so on extremely rocky trails—but most testers praised its agility.
Best For: Fast training runs on mild terrain—or for when you have to pound a little pavement on the way to the trails.
Traction: Low-profile lugs are particularly suitable for smooth trails.
Fit: The neutral-cushioned Hyper-Track is built on a curved last that suits narrow to medium-width feet well. While the toebox is spacious, the shoe runs snug through the arch and mid-foot.
The Downsides: As a hybrid, it compromises a little performance in both arenas—testers found it a bit stiff on the road, a little lacking in traction on more technical trails.
Tester-Monial: “On smooth trails and wet pavement, the shoe provided adequate traction without being bulky.”
—Aimee Brown, Crested Butte, CO
Check out the other 10 shoes in our Spring 2013 Shoe Review.