4 best The North Face sneakers

Based on reviews from 30 users. Learn how our rankings work or see our guide to The North Face sneakers. Updated Dec 2018.

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The North Face Sneakers

When it comes to footwear, The North Face sneakers may not be as well-known as that coming from other brands. The San Francisco-based company is more known for producing outerwear for different outdoor and athletic pursuits, such as fleece, hiking footwear, and coats as well as equipment, including backpacks and tents. Popular among climbers, skiers, mountaineers, and other endurance enthusiasts, the brand has established a reputation for being reliable.

Popular footwear from the brand is geared towards trail running and hiking, in line with The North Face's image of adventure and exploration. Meanwhile, The North Face sneakers are for those who are still adventurous but like to keep a low-key and relaxed lifestyle. These shoes are also aimed for urban exploration, for men and women who are constantly on the move.

Below are the most popular The North Face sneakers to date, featuring the brand’s trademark earthy colorways and nature-inspired designs.

Most Notable The North Face Shoes by Category

best the north face sneakers

Best The North Face Sneakers - November 2018

To categorize the most significant The North Face shoes, they are here presented according to height or collar cut: low-top, mid-top, and high-top. These shoes offer varying degrees of protection and support for the ankle according to the wearer's preference. Generally, high-top shoes provide excellent ankle support.

Low-top

Low-top kicks are known for the relative freedom of movement that they bring to the ankle. They are also very easy to style, especially with jeans and shorts, because they are straightforward. Below are the most popular The North Face sneakers in the low-top category.

  • The North Face Litewave Flow Lace

A minimalist, athletic-inspired design is featured on this model, complete with a breathable and lightweight structure. The mesh is also quick-drying, which makes this sneaker an everyday essential. Aside from casual use, these kicks can also be used for camping and canoeing, making it versatile and functional, especially when it comes to walking around the city.

What sets the Litewave Flow Lace apart is its upper made up of open air-mesh, guaranteeing comfort. It also has a seamless construction that delivers additional support for the foot. Completing its athletic-inspired design is the Vibram sole, which is frequently featured on The North Face sneakers, something that fans and athletes talk about a lot.

  • The North Face Litewave Amphibious II

This model is, as indicated by the name, an amphibious sneaker that works well both in and out of the water, making it ideal for any weather. Like many The North Face shoes, it’s built with a lightweight structure while also featuring quick-drying mesh material in the insoles and the upper. It has the look of an athletic shoe, yet it’s updated with such innovative features as a collapsible heel that offers extra cushioning.

This sneaker geared for both land and water is perfect for exploring the city on any day, rain or shine. It can also be worn for trips to the lake or weekend kayaking or waterfall expeditions. It's been hailed by users as ultra-comfortable, so there's no need to worry about getting wet or getting painful feet at the end of the day.    

  • The North Face NSE Traction Knit Moc

An entry in the knit sneaker trend, this model has a large The North Face logo on its upper, while the rest of the flexible material is kept simple and unadorned. The brand labels this shoe as footwear for city-dwellers, a hybrid between a sock and a sneaker. This model can also be used after strenuous activity, such as post-workout or hiking, ensuring premium comfort for recovery.  

The North Face sneakers usually feature a sporty look or an outdoor boot-like structure, but the brand made an exception with this modern and minimalist footwear option. It's perfect for men and women looking for a no-fuss, ultra-comfortable shoe for casual exploring amidst urban structures instead of adventuring in the wild. It's also relaxed yet sophisticated enough for any informal activity, perfect for a transition sneaker.

  • The North Face Mountain Sneaker

Designed for everyday wear, the Mountain Sneaker is also appropriate for going along a trail or climbing over rocky terrain. It’s that lightweight and adaptable. It has an upper made up of suede and flexible mesh, which allows for a sock-like feel. There are oversized perforations along the top that add a stylish touch. These are also integrated with the laces to provide additional support.

On the sole is a unique design: multi-directional lugs that are 4 mm in size, equipped with biting or braking edges to improve traction on different types of surfaces. With this model, the company proves that The North Face sneakers can deftly combine casual style with technical features to create high-performing footwear.

  • The North Face Back-to-Berkeley Low AM

The North Face shoes continue its urban domination with the Back-to-Berkeley Low AM. This model's name was a tribute to the brand's roots when it was still starting out in the 1960s in the Berkeley area of San Francisco Bay. It was during this time that the company began producing its own line of equipment and clothing for mountaineering.

In honor of this heritage, the brand has produced a lot of popular shoes under the Back-to-Berkeley name, with different silhouettes, heights, and designs. The Low AM is designed for urban environments, fitted with an OrthoLite X-40 footbed that delivers high performance along with a rubber outsole that offers superior grip. All of these features come together to create a sneaker that provides comfort, support, and stability. 

  • The North Face Back-to-Berkeley Mountain Sneaker

A retro-inspired shoe, the Back-to-Berkeley Mountain Sneaker is built for exploring mountain towns or walking on the city streets. It's also made to be waterproof to ensure that the wearer enjoys comfort and a dry feel in any weather. It's protective footwear at its finest, with an old-school sports shoe appearance along with a retro colorway in grey and purple. Rope laces complete this model’s 1990s vibe, a worthy addition to longtime fans of the The North Face sneakers.     

A grizzly bear in purple can be seen on the shoe’s tongue, a nod to the brand’s California roots, especially its history with the city of Berkeley. Black overlays intersect with the sneaker’s purple upper, while the unique colorway is seamlessly used throughout the model. This creates a vintage look that is sure to stand out when these kicks are worn.

  • The North Face Back-to-Berkeley Redux 88

Local trails and streets are made easier to traverse with the Back-to-Berkeley Redux 88, a shoe with a sleek black monochrome upper contrasted by a white midsole. It has perforations all over the upper, making it extremely well-ventilated. At the same time, its sole is made with a temperature-sensitive structure that offers superb traction.

Additionally, this model’s lightweight material helps regulate body temperature, a unique feature from The North Face shoes. It's in a black and white colorway that makes it versatile enough for the office or a day out. The design is subtle enough to pair with different daily outfits, making these kicks easy to style.   

Mid-top

The North Face sneakers that have a mid-top collar are for those who want a little more protection around the ankle without going for a full high-top. These are some of the mid-cut footwear options from the brand that have become fan favorites over some time.

  • The North Face Back-to-Berkeley Mid AM

This mid version of a popular model is meant for urban terrain, whether it's for walking around, hanging out, or performing daily activities. Its rubber outsole is built with a secure grip to provide a stable and comfortable ride that lasts all day long. It also has a mesh and leather upper and a cushioned EVA midsole.

These kicks are sure to be a favorite in one’s closet for the luxurious feel they provide, a testament to the quality of The North Face shoes. Its neutral black and grey colorway makes it ideal for completing different looks, whether dressed up or down.

  • The North Face Mountain Sneaker Mid Waterproof

This mid version of the Mountain Sneaker is waterproof and breathable, with an eye-catching patterned design on the upper. It comes in a colorway of black and grey, and its mid-cut collar is designed for day-long support. It's also among the versatile options in The North Face sneakers collection, as it’s built both for everyday use and for hiking.

The upper is made up of mesh vamps and suede overlays, offering breathability and all-around security. It looks like a heavy and sturdy shoe but without the bulk, as it’s made to be lightweight for different kinds of activities.  

  • The North Face Edgewood Chukkas

Inspired by the style of a classic chukka boot, the Edgewood Chukkas has a full-grain leather upper that is also waterproof. These kicks, just like other The North Face sneakers, are highly adaptable and can be used for both casual and hiking activities. It has an added protection and durability in the form of a rubber mudguard. Suede lines the collar of this model, giving the user a luxurious feeling of comfort.

It’s made to be extremely comfortable, at home both in the streets and atop the mountains for an adaptable look. It also has a lining of fleece, and a rubber sole made with a rugged design to better adapt to different surfaces.

  • The North Face Ballard EVO Chukka Boots

With a timeless brown suede upper, these chukka-style shoes are suitable for traveling or daily wear. It's also breathable and lightweight, two primary features in The North Face shoes. A rubber outsole ensures dependable traction on any terrain. These kicks also have stair-stepped lug designs on the outsole to improve the grip. Its mid collar gives added comfort to the ankle.  

Made up of suede, cotton, and canvas, these shoes let the user travel to more places, whether it’s in the urban areas or beyond. That’s how versatile The North Face sneakers are meant to be. With classic earthy sepia brown tones, this model can be easily worn for everyday styling.   

  • The North Face Thermoball Traction Booties

Made for the winter season, the Thermoball Traction Booties have a head-turning asymmetrical collar design along with a slip-on functionality for easy wearing. Snow and rain are blocked by the shoe’s water-resistant upper, keeping the foot dry and comfortable. Its insulated structure helps in reducing heat loss, ensuring that the feet are warm at all times.

Part of the winter collection of The North Face sneakers, these kicks are durable and lightweight, perfect for any day in the gloomy weather. A minimally styled upper with subtle branding accents gives these kicks an ultra-cool factor, perfect for an attention-grabbing casual street style during the cold and wet days.     

High-top

High-top options from The North Face shoes collection offer the best when it comes to ankle security and support. These kicks are made with the brand’s trademark durability, along with a high-cut collar that keeps the fit snug for any casual activity.

  • The North Face Back-to-Berkeley Redux Leather Boots

Designed with the style and functionality of a leather boot yet with the comforts of a sneaker, this winter-ready model fuses the past and future together. Its old school silhouette is combined with technological features, delivering multipurpose performance for the streets and local trails. Insulated and waterproof, these durable The North Face sneakers are for urban adventurers everywhere.

  • The North Face Back-to-Berkeley Redux Reflective

With reflective material all over its upper, this shoe is perfect for exploring nearby trails or the streets. It also has an impenetrable waterproof barrier that keeps the foot dry at all times. The high-traction soles can adapt to different types of terrain. This is another unique offering from The North Face sneakers line, delivering durability and the ultimate comfort for the winter season. 

  • The North Face Back-to-Berkeley Boot II

Another pair of winter kicks from The North Face shoes collection, this model has a retro-inspired design, combining the past and future yet again. Style and fit are given a lot of attention, with waterproof and durable construction that can withstand snow, rain, and mud. These shoes are also well-insulated to protect the feet against the cold, keeping the foot dry and warm.    

  • The North Face Edgewood 7” Boots

The Edgewood 7' Boots are another versatile option among The North Face sneakers. They can be worn when heading for a night out, while on the next day they can be used to explore trails. These kicks were also inspired by skate shoes. A plush lining keeps the feet warm and comfortable while the high-traction sole provides support like no other.   

  • The North Face Back-to-Berkeley Boots California Roots

As a testament to its roots, the brand created this model which has a unique vintage touch. Its retro silhouette is completed with the patch on the tongue, which reads “I Scaled the Mountain For Jerry," inspired by the button given to concert attendees during the 1991 performance of The Jerry Garcia Band. In order to see the live show, fans had to hike up the Squaw Valley. 

These kicks can also be used for hiking in tribute to the event. A distinctive entry among The North Face sneakers, this shoe was crafted in California and has an upper made up of canvas and suede. A throwback colorway of brown and olive along with orange laces creates a head-turning appeal for this model. 

  • The North Face Ballard 6” Boot

With the look of a classic work boot, these shoes have a modern aesthetic that looks appealing for daily wear. They are equally suitable for mountain treks and city activities, featuring waterproof leather for the upper along with a winter-ready structure. Walking on icy surfaces is made safe with this model's rubber outsole, which is made with a superior grip. It's also built to last, a defining characteristic among The North Face shoes.     

  • The North Face Cryos Hikers

An Italian-made shoe, the Cryos Hikers shoe was designed specifically for city wear. It was also crafted by hand to ensure quality amidst the country’s rich history of footwear design. Breathable, lightweight, and insulated, these The North Face sneakers offer premium comfort and a luxurious feel to protect against the cold weather. It’s made with plush calfskin, full-grain leather, and felted wool, resulting in a shoe that keeps the foot warm and snug.

Popular The North Face Sneakers Collaborations

Unlike other footwear brands, The North Face does not have much in the way of shoe collaborations. The brand has a highly popular seasonal partnership with Supreme involving apparel, but only has a couple of limited collections when it comes to collaborative kicks. Nevertheless, The North Face sneakers have been recreated by some other well-known names in the fashion industry.

The North Face x Publish Brand

California-based clothing label Publish Brand teamed up with The North Face to deliver footwear collections that consist of refined looks. In 2016, the partnership resulted in the “Midnight in Antarctica” series, involving three shoe designs in hues of deep navy, creating a moody flair.

Three unique styles involving a high-top, low-top, and a slip-on were introduced. The navy blue theme of the collection is meant to portray the midnight sky of Antarctica, with a black background and white accents to represent the snowy landscape.

A year later, the brands worked together on the “Earth’s Core” collection, a fiery answer to their previous collection’s cool approach. Such staples as the Litewave Ampere II HC and Thermoball Traction Mule II received bright orange renditions in the later release. The surprising collaboration between the two brands shows that The North Face is not afraid to experiment. 

The North Face x Pendleton

American clothing manufacturer Pendleton is well-known for its wool blankets and home décor pieces as well as practical apparel. Its capsule collection with The North Face featured limited edition designs focusing on essential pieces to protect oneself against the cold. Both companies share a rich heritage of a love for the outdoors, instilling it in each stylish and practical product.

Pendleton put its own spin on The North Face shoes and outerwear, creating items that are as winter-ready as they are timeless. Eye-catching patterns adorn two mule sneaker options from the release, bringing to mind country living and one’s connection to nature. The slip-on kicks make for a classic and laidback unisex style.

Vans x The North Face

Vans casual shoes and The North Face sneakers may be very different from each other, but that did not stop the brands from coming together to create a stylish collection of winter-ready shoes and apparel. The brands have already released their collaborative work twice.

Although both releases focused solely on classic Vans models, such as the Old Skool and the SK8-Hi (Vans x The North Face SK8-Hi 46 MTE DX), these shoes were updated with the best of The North Face technology. As a result, the skate brand’s casual styles became suitable for the wet and cold days. It just goes to prove how innovative and trendy The North Face can be.

A Brief History of The North Face

The North Face began in San Francisco in 1966 as a retailer of climbing equipment by the then-husband-and-wife duo of Doug and Susie Tompkins, who met while hitchhiking. It's named after the coldest and most challenging part of a mountain to navigate. The company initially offered exclusive items for backpackers and climbers.

Soon enough, their premium bags and gear became popular among outdoor enthusiasts, leading to the company going into wholesaling two years later. Further expansion led to the company producing outerwear pieces in the 1970s. Showing a knack for innovation early on, The North Face introduced a geodesic dome tent design as well as insulated sleeping bags, which became staples in the outdoor community.

They then began to offer a diverse range of products in the 1980s, starting with skiing and camping gear. By the end of that decade, the brand was the only one to offer a comprehensive line of outdoor necessities, including tents, outerwear, sleeping bags, and backpacks. World-famous climbers and adventurers continued to endorse the brand’s products, helping to facilitate their rise to mainstream popularity. 

These days, the company is known for a wide range of products, most notably sports clothing and casual apparel, along with footwear. Although the brand is most famous for its insulated jackets, its other products, such as The North Face sneakers, have quickly gained a loyal following due to their functionality and style.

The North Face is now a subsidiary of the VF Corporation and has its headquarters in Alameda, California. Their premises are shared by a fellow subsidiary, backpack manufacturer JanSport. Along with its products being sold in retailers of outdoor gear and department stores, the brand maintains many retail stores and outlets around the world, selling its sought-after apparel, accessories, and footwear to a global market.    

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the logo of the The North Face signify?

The logo seen on The North Face sneakers depicts a quarter circle. It’s meant to signify the Half Dome, a massive granite natural structure located on the eastern area of Yosemite Valley within the famous Yosemite National Park in California. It’s a famous rock formation that has three smooth sides and a sheer face, making it appear like half a dome.

The logo was created by California designer David Alcorn in 1971. The North Face's adoption of the image is a testament to the brand's passion and commitment to the great outdoors. It's also meant to symbolize the company's roots in California, where it all began.

What is the style of The North Face sneakers and what makes them unique?

While The North Face sneakers are inspired by different sports, just like footwear from other brands, they are distinct for their often lightweight, breathable, and waterproof construction. Every shoe released by the company reflect an image of adventure and exploration, whether in the streets or on the trail.

As a result, the brand’s shoes and clothes have been worn by different individuals, from 90s hip-hop artists and college kids to athletes and hikers. The North Face sneakers are also known for being durable and dependable in addition to its on-point looks, which is why many choose to buy a pair from the brand, which most often lasts a long time.

How much do The North Face shoes cost?

Prices of the The North Face shoes vary. From budget-friendly and affordable up to expensive or premium price points, there’s a shoe for every budget range. Low-top everyday kicks such as the Litewave Flow Lace and the Litewave Amphibious II are offered at a budget-friendly price tag, from $85-$90.

Meanwhile, more technical options such the Mountain Sneaker and the Back-to-Berkeley Low AM come at a slightly higher tag, starting at $100 up to $130. Expensive or premium priced The North Face sneakers start at $160 up to $175 and includes boot sneakers such as the Bridgeton model.  

What are the technologies featured in these sneakers?                         

As a brand, The North Face has always been innovative when it comes to delivering comfort and protection. Throughout the years, the company has been able to come up with various technologies that offer a glimpse into the future of waterproof and comfortable footwear. Because they are from a primarily outdoor brand, The North Face sneakers are equipped with features that protect, support and provide comfort.

These features are geared for different situations, especially when one is exposed to the outside elements. Throughout its history, the company has always made sure to find solutions to the most pressing concerns of athletes, casual wearers, and adventurers alike. Below are some of the most well-known technologies that The North Face shoes usually have. 

  • XtraFoam midsole system. This innovation helps in providing superior comfort underfoot. The wearer is then able to navigate many more miles, confident in the system’s cushioned support and stability for both urban and mountain environments. By wearing The North Face sneakers that feature this technology, one will not have easily fatigued feet that will cut the adventure off.
  • Cradle Technology. The North Face sneakers are built for all-around comfort, which is why the brand always makes sure that the fit is right from toe to heel. Cradle Technology allows for the proper positioning of the heel, making sure that the heel feels just as supported as the rest of the foot.
  • As adventure-ready footwear, The North Face sneakers have the right amount of grip for all types of terrain. This is achieved through the UltraTAC outsole, which is made of rubber and offers excellent traction for different surfaces on both wet and dry surroundings.  
  • TNF Winter Grip. This rubber outsole is designed to deliver superior traction on the slipperiest of surfaces. Among others, this is one feature that makes The North Face sneakers perfect for the winter season.
  • This system uses a series of unique lugs on the outsole of The North Face sneakers to provide extra grip. These lugs are also temperature-sensitive so that they are able to bite into slick terrain to offer more stability.
  • This appropriately named waterproof membrane keeps the snow and rain out of The North Face sneakers when walking through wet or cold weather conditions. The user is then able to perform daily activities during the rainy or winter season while keeping warm and dry.
  • Insulation is an integral part of The North Face sneakers' construction, especially for the brand's winter collection. PrimaLoft insulation is the best alternative to goose down when it comes to performance. It delivers a warm feel without a bulky construction, while at the same time keeping the shoe water resistant.
  • Unlike the usual synthetic insulation that uses continuous filaments, the round and small synthetic fibers of ThermoBall are just like down. The system is able to trap heat to keep the foot warm while wearing The North Face sneakers. At the same time, the technology is lightweight enough so that the shoe is not too unwieldy.

What are the materials used in The North Face shoes?

Leather, suede, canvas, and mesh are the conventional materials used on the upper portions of The North Face sneakers. All of these have different types of fit, sitting on a well-constructed midsole and outsole. The soles are commonly made of EVA or rubber, the former of which provides flexibility and a soft feel while the latter offers a sturdy structure and superb traction.

The brand offers many weatherized footwear options and as such uses various technologies such as the Gore-Tex waterproof fabric that provides protection and breathability for wet weather conditions. Alternative options for many materials are also sought by the company to make sure that their manufacturing process is sustainable.

Are The North Face casual sneakers eco-friendly?

As a top footwear and apparel manufacturer, The North Face has committed to maintaining a sustainable production to lessen its impact on the environment. Among its many eco-friendly activities are using recycled materials and alternatives to synthetic fabrics, along with the responsible use of many other materials in the production process.

For those who like to choose eco-friendly products, it's good to note that The North Face sneakers are made with sustainability in mind. The company has been on a devoted drive to lessen the negative impact against the natural environment, curtailing harmful practices and materials that do more harm than good in the long run. Some of the brand's methods are outlined briefly below.

  • Utilization of recycled materials. The North Face shoes are sometimes made up of recycled materials, especially polyester. With a commitment to quality, the company balances out its products with reused materials such as the TNF sole that is made up of 30% durable and recycled rubber.
  • Responsible use of cotton. Cotton is not as commonly used by the company compared to other materials, but The North Face sneakers still use it responsibly where needed. The company has partnered with the Better Cotton Initiative for this.
  • Responsible use of chemicals. Chemical substances that are harmful to the environment are banned in the production of The North Face sneakers. The company maintains a Restricted Substances List, sharing it with suppliers to ensure that these do not make their way in the manufacturing process for safety and environmental purposes.
  • Bluesign Technologies Partnership. Bluesign Technologies is an expert when it comes to reducing environmental impact through the responsible use of energy and water. This is why the footwear company has partnered with them to efficiently use its resources for the production of The North Face sneakers, gear, and clothing.
  • Complying with Environmental Laws. VF Corporation, of which The North Face is a subsidiary, has established a structure to comply with environmental laws and concerns. Each step in creating The North Face sneakers follows this chain of rules and regulations.
  • Responsible Down Standard Certification. Down is often used in the insulation of The North Face sneakers, which is why the company thought it was only appropriate that they participate in its conservation. They installed the Responsible Down Standard drive, which promotes good animal welfare conditions and efficient utilization of the material.
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