Verdict from 89 user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • According to most of The North Face Activist Futurelight reviews, this shoe is comfortable and breaks in right away.
  • It's a solid, sturdy hiking shoe that can be worn every day, note several reviewers.
  • It's stylish yet not overly flashy like a classic mountain shoe, say a couple of satisfied users.
  • The North Face Activist Futurelight hiking shoe is very supportive despite its low-top profile, note a few customers.
  • Some hikers and casual wearers agree that it's a breathable shoe even though it's waterproof.
  • Many buyers give it excellent ratings for being an incredibly lightweight hiking shoe

1 reason not to buy

  • A couple of users note that this shoe from the North Face doesn't have much grip on wet surfaces. 

Bottom line

Touted for its top-notch comfort, quality build, and incredible lightness - The North Face Activist Futurelight perfectly fits the bill for anyone looking for a durable hiking shoe that can be used for light trekking, day hiking, fast hiking, and even everyday wear. Despite its rugged features, this shoe remains stylish and suitable for urban walks, as some reviews suggest.

While it may not be the best for wet and slippery trails, the Activist Futurelight does a wonderful job in dry conditions.

Tip: see the best hiking shoes.

Good to know

-This hiking shoe from The North Face is built using cutting-edge construction techniques to create a durable and waterproof trail-ready shoe with a sneaker-like comfort.

-It's equipped with the Futurelight waterproof membrane - the brand's most advanced breathable waterproof technology which is comprised of lightweight nano-fabric material with added air permeability for protection and comfort.

-It also has the propriety EXTS outsole traction system that performs well on a variety of terrain.

This hiking shoe has a low-top profile for complete freedom of movement. Its mesh upper is soft and stretchy, promoting a glove-like fit. The nose of the shoe points slightly upwards to allow the foot's natural motion. Furthermore, this shoe uses a traditional lacing system for a secure and personalized fit. There's also a pull loop at the back for easy on and off.

The Activist Futurelight uses the Exploration Traction System (EXTS) outsole - an exclusive sole technology by The North Face. It is composed of two types of rubber compounds for enhanced grip and traction. The entire area features horizontal grooves that work well on rocky and uneven terrain.

This shoe uses an EVA midsole made of a single density which means the texture and softness all throughout the midsole are the same. EVA has many admirable qualities that make it ideal for performance footwear. They include durability, flexibility, rebound, and lightness. 

For a sneaker-like comfort, the Activist Futurelight comes with an OrthoLite Hybrid footbed.

The North Face Activist Futurelight has an upper made performance mesh with no-sew TPU overlays for lightweight support. Besides being highly breathable, mesh fabric is also very resistant to abrasion. Lining the shoe interior is a lightweight waterproof membrane made of an ultra-thin, nimble garment that is breathable at the same time. This shoe also has a rubber toe cap that protects the foot from kicks against the stones.

Completing the upper is a lace-up closure system for a locked-in feel and a gusseted tongue that keeps the debris out.

-This hiking shoe also comes in a mid-top version. It fits the bill for those who need extra support and protection.


How The North Face Activist Futurelight ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 8% hiking shoes
All hiking shoes
Bottom 8% The North Face hiking shoes
All The North Face hiking shoes
Bottom 7% day hiking hiking shoes
All day hiking hiking shoes


The current trend of The North Face Activist Futurelight.
Compare to another shoe:
Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He has summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races as well as 6 marathons. On average, he runs 30-50 miles a week in the foothills of Northern Colorado. His research is regularly cited in The New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, etc. On top of this, Paul is leading the running shoe lab where he cuts shoes apart and analyses every detail of the shoes that you might buy.