Summary

We spent 7.9 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

5 reasons to buy

  • The majority of those who have tested The North Face Flight Trinity like the grip capacity of the outsole unit, stating that the rubber is reliable and efficient.
  • A handful of runners welcome the breathable upper unit of this running shoe, claiming that the ventilation is relaxing.
  • Some consumers have lauded the lightweight structure of this product, believing that they could handle many obstacles because of the unrestrictive weight.
  • The bright and welcoming façade has received positive remarks from trail enthusiasts.
  • The versatility of the construction is praised; people claim that they can effortlessly use the shoe for multiple activities.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Several people have lamented the quickly wearing gripping lugs of the outsole unit.
  • The upper unit has developed tears after only a few uses, according to a surprising amount of testers.

Bottom line

Enthusiasts of off-road treks and soirees are given a chance to rejoice because of The North Face Flight Trinity. While the positive feedback for this trail companion is truly commendable, the negative points have prevented it from becoming one of the go-to classics for adventures on the unpredictable outdoor paths. The lightweight construction, the traction-ready outsole, and the breathability became highlights, but the flimsiness of the gripping lugs and the quick-to-rip upper unit overshadowed them. Neutral pronators and trail voyagers are the intended market of The North Face Flight Trinity.

Facts

Expert Reviews

87 / 100 based on 7 expert reviews

  • 92 / 100 |

    The North Face Flight Trinity - Flies through trails

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    Before I sat down to write this review, I decided I needed to take the Flight Trinity for one more run. I waited for a nasty rainstorm to muddy up my local trails. I was looking to give these shoes one final test run on some technical, sloppy, and muddy trails. The Flight Trinity did not disappoint.

    True to their name the Flight Trinity from The North Face truly does take flight on the trails. This is a lightweight trails runner that allows you to push your pace to its limit over tough terrain. Although, capable, light and fast the Flight Trinity was not without its flaws.

     

    Why?

    Performance

    To keep it simple this shoe flies. It feels fast and runs fast. That is something that can't be said for all trail shoes.

    Over a multitude of terrain, I was able to keep a quick pace without worrying about a clunky heavy shoe or struggling for traction. These shoes natural under foot and are easy to turn over at a high cadence.

     

     

    The North Face markets their midsole as FastFoam and it does live up to its name. The midsole is cushioned and responsive. My first run in these shoes was a trail half marathon.

    The trail was wet, rooted, creek filled, and include a couple of miles of pavement near the finish. The Flight Trinity conquered all, they gripped in the wet and mud. They drained well after creek crossings. They felt just fine running at 10k pace on the road. 

    Lightweight

    The North Face lists this shoe at 9.5 oz for a size 9. This is quite good for a trail shoe with capabilities of the Flight Trinity. Many trail shoes weight in at 12 oz. or more but not the Flight Trinity. Not only does the scale says it's light, but the shoes also feel light and nimble.

    Fit

    The Flight Trinity fits true to size. My size 11.5 was spot on. The fit feels average throughout. They weren't any areas overly tight or loose.

    This shoe fits and is shaped pretty standard. That works just fine for me. I'm not a big fan of oversized toe boxes or some of the other latest trends. Just give me a standard fit.

     

    Outsole

    As stated earlier this shoe performs well on a variety of terrain.

    Rocks, roots, wet, dry, dirt, mud. This shoe did great. The lugs are spaced far enough apart to provide plenty of traction, but still not get clogged up with mud.

     

     

    Some shoes provide great traction until you reach a sticky muddy section.

    Then they are clogged with mud and heavy, that was no problem with the Flight Trinity. The shape of the lugs if a little odd. Don't let that fool you, they really grab the trail.

     

    Why not?

    Laces

    This may seem a little picky but the laces are just too short. I like to double knot my shoes and these laces don't leave much to spare. A couple of more inches would have been great. I also prefer flat laces to the rounded laces of the Flight Trinity.

     

     

    Lack of rock plateThis is not a deal breaker for me. Many of the trails I run are not rocky enough to require shoes with a rock plate. However, if you do run frequently on rocky trails these might not be the shoe for you. The Flight Trinity is a light and fast shoe if you're looking for protection, look elsewhere.

    Upper durability

    The upper is constructed of thin plastic like mesh outer layer with an inner bootie. The bootie provides plenty of comfort and support. The mesh outer layer is my biggest concern.

    My pair is still holding up fine at 60 miles but I can't see them lasting to 200 or 300 miles. If The North Face was looking to save weight they should have done it somewhere else and beefed up this mesh layer with some overlays or thicker material.

     

    Price

    At $140 these are not cheap shoes, but if your willing to spend the money you'll get the performance to match the price tag.

    Final thought

    The Flight Trinity is a darn good shoe. I was hesitant to like them (other shoes from The North Face have been a mixed bag) but they really won me over. The overall performance was just too good and outweighs the negatives. They are fast and comfortable over varied terrain.

    They are a shoe which I can truly count on and almost forget they are on my feet. The Flight Trinity handled every condition they encounter. Any shoe that inspires confidence in a runner is a winner. The North Face Flight Trinity is a winner.

  • 90 / 100 |

    The North Face Flight Trinity: Speed, protection and durability in one

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    The North Face Flight Trinity is a combination of a beast trail shoe able to tackle anything, and a fast-paced trail racer. The Flight Trinity is packed with protective features to keep your feet happy on rugged trails, yet it has the responsive ride and lightweight build of a trail racer.

    Exceeding in the areas of speed, protection, and durability, the shoe is a trinity to keep your feet in flight.

     

    Comfort

    The Flight Trinity is a decently comfortable shoe but is in no way plush. The upper is sufficiently padded in the heel cup area and tongue, but the rest of the upper is made of a stiff, harsh mesh. I always run with socks in this shoe because the mesh is slightly abrasive otherwise.

     

     

    The tongue area is made of a very thin socklike mesh which feels comfortable against the foot and dampens the pressure from the laces. The stiffness of the mesh makes this shoe only comfortable for running. When standing around, my toes feel constricted.

    The midsole is made of two firm midsole components: one a standard firm Eva in the heel, and the other a softer foam which the North Face calls Fast Foam. The midsole is not so comfortable for daily training because it doesn’t absorb enough impact from the trail, but feels very good running at speed.

    Fit

    The Trinity Flight has a standard fit in the midsole and the heel but has a narrow fit in the toe box. Lengthwise, I should be running in a half size smaller, but because of the narrow toe box, I am more comfortable in the half size up.

    If running true to size, the narrow toe box will not allow for a powerful toe splay and will bend your big toe inwards, into a less powerful position. In my half size up, my toes are comfortable and powerful.

    If you need a wider toe box, this is not the shoe for you, but if your feet are used to standard width shoes, size up, and these will work well.

    Breathability

    The Flight Trinity is exceptionally breathable. My feet never heated up too much in these shoes, which is incredible because the holes in the mesh are so fine that they do not let any debris in. Breathability is essential in a speed shoe because feet heat up a lot during a speed session or race.

    Ride

    The Flight Trinity has a very fast, snappy ride. The midsole has a low drop, firm, stiff ride. The firm midsole foam gives the shoe great energy return at speed. Similarly, when the stiff midsole flexes at toe-off, the midsole pops back into its original position providing a little boost.

     

     

    At slower speeds, the shoe feels slow and hard. This shoe also can double as a trail hiking shoe. The firm midsole and sturdy construction are very suitable for a lightweight hiking shoe.

    Traction

    The Flight Trinity excels with regards to its traction. The North Face uses a thick slab of a durable sticky rubber compound with multidirectional lugs as the outsole.

     

     

    The Flight Trinity sticks to almost anything. It even worked well in snowy and icy conditions. The outsole lugs are not too deep, so the shoe struggled in very sloppy mud conditions, but apart from that condition, the traction is excellent.

    Durability

    For a Speed shoe, the Trinity Flight is extremely durable. I foresee this shoe lasting 400-500 miles. The upper, midsole and outsole are all very heavy duty. If you run on roads with the Flight Trinity, the outsole will wear out more rapidly.

    Protection

    The Flight Trinity is a very protective shoe, which is amazing considering it weighs in at 9.5oz. There does not seem to be a rock plate, but the firm outsole and midsole can absorb any sharp rocks adequately.

    The Flight Trinity uses an extension of the outsole as a toe bumper. You can kick rocks very hard with this rock guard and keep running, as long as you size half a size up; otherwise, rocks will hurt your toes.

    The one downfall this shoe has is that it has no real mudguard or water guard. Your feet will easily become wet, but they also dry quickly afterward.

    Best uses

    The Flight Trinity works best as an uptempo trail running shoe, especially on more rugged terrain. It can work well for anything above the daily training pace. This shoe handles repeats, steady states, tempo runs or any race distance well.

    The Flight Trinity can be used for daily training, but there are better options. The Flight Trinity also works decently well as a lightweight hiking shoe.

     

    Conclusion

    In Conclusion, the North Face Flight Trinity is a very strong trail running shoe. No other single shoe is a better choice in every situation, which means this shoe is worth having around, and I can give this shoe a high score for its durability, protection, and snappy ride.

    The Trinity could improve in terms of comfort, but it is still a strong choice for anyone looking for a lightweight trail shoe.

  • 88 / 100 | Runner's World | | Level 2 expert

    Don’t dismiss the Flight Trinity—it may not have all the bells and whistles of other trail shoes, but we liked its resilience on any terrain.

  • 88 / 100 | Trail Run Mag | Level 2 expert

    Up top, the ripstop textile is featherweight, super-breathable yet still with some insulative properties for cold run days. On the inside, your foot feels like it’s in a sock (because it is, but you get my drift). Here’s the literal rub on this one – surprisingly – on the downhills of any distance, I started to get a top of big toe abrasion. What!? Never have I had hot spots in The North Face previously. It seemed to contradict the claim that the “fully knitted internal bootie is engineered for natural movement; provides a seamless, sock-like fit; and adapts to the unique features of your foot for customized support.” At least for my toe, there was no adaptation.

Become an expert

- The Flight Trinity from The North Face is an addition to the global roster of running shoes that are meant for the trails. It features a sporty and almost road-optimized design, employing an eye-catching and seamless upper configuration mostly prevalent in options that are for the asphalt. But the exterior textile is resistant to tears while the gusseted tongue unit is meant to avert the infiltration of off-road debris.

- FastFoam™ is a full-length cushioning system that is created to mitigate the landing impacts and transition the foot towards a pleasant takeoff. The Exploration Trax System (EXTS) is a proprietary outsole configuration that’s made of grippy rubber and several nodes that are meant to heighten the grip over the unpredictable outdoor topography.

The standard approaches for sizing are used for The North Face Flight Trinity. Runners are welcome to get a pair using their common choice of shoe-size. It would be a boon to try on the shoe first to attain a pleasant in-shoe hug.

When it comes to width, the available variants are D – Medium and B – Medium for men and women, respectively. Those who have low to medium foot volumes are the ones who are most likely to enjoy a snug yet compliant wrap.

The lasting board of this North Face running shoe has a semi-curved shape which follows the natural outline of the human foot.

EXTS or Exploration Trax System is a trail-optimized outsole configuration. A rubber compound covers the entire sole unit, acting as a shield against the harsh nature of the off-road. A sturdy construction permits this layer to last long while a grippy characteristic makes it naturally adherent to the various surface qualities.

A bevy of gripping lugs pockmarks the external pad. These nodes have different shapes that offer unique traction capacities: Triangles are for upward and downward traversals while three-pointed stars handle uneven paths and sideward movements.

Shallow trenches line the forefoot and heel, and they allow the underfoot platform to bend in conjunction with the foot as it goes through the heel-to-toe transitions.

FastFoam™ is used for the midsole unit of The North Face Flight Trinity. This technology is composed of a flexible and springy forefoot, as well as a heel part that is firm and ready to absorb impact shock. Both these qualities help the runner in achieving smooth and energized steps.

A foodbed from the company OrthoLite® is placed right above the main cushioning system. The purpose of this add-on is to provide a feeling of consistent underfoot softness. The insoles of the OrthoLite® brand are treated with antimicrobial and anti-moisture capacities to protect against odor-causing bacteria and retention of sweat.

The upper unit of The North Face Flight Trinity features a ripstop textile, a lightweight and flexible material that resembles regular mesh. But this item differentiates itself from its contemporaries by being resistant to abrasion. Furthermore, it has plenty of breathing holes which permit the flow of air into and through the interior chamber.

The inner sleeve of this neutral running shoe is made up of a knitted fabric. The softness of this wall has the goal of evoking a perception of being wrapped by a sock. Flexibility and natural movement can be appreciated as it doesn’t have a restrictive weave. Moreover, the breathable purpose of the upper unit isn’t hindered because the knitted interior is also friendly to airflow.

The padded collar has the job of cushioning the Achilles tendon and the ankles. It is also meant to lock the foot in place and prevent it from getting out of the interior chamber unexpectedly.

A 3D-printed overlay is fused to the heel part of the upper unit. This grid-like layer is tasked with assisting the silhouette when it comes to clutching the heel and keeping it in place.

Thin, synthetic prints adorn the sides and the toe box. These thin films bolster the silhouette, allowing it to stay upright, even after many uses. They also reinforce the tear-resistance of the upper unit.

A fabric tongue unit covers the bridge of the foot like a blanket, protecting the skin from any hot spots that may arise from adjusting the crisscrossing shoelaces. This accoutrement has a gusseted design to prevent it from deviating from its original position and to stave off any trail debris from attempting to enter from the shoe’s opening.

A traditional lacing system is placed on the Flight Trinity. Semi-flat shoelaces snake through discreet eyelets on the instep, encompassing the middle part of the foot’s bridge. Adjusting the cords causes the cover system to tighten or loosen, depending on the fit preferences of the wearer.

A tongue anchor is a tab on the shoe-tongue which is made to link the shoelaces to the instep. Such a mechanism prevents the crinkling of the fabric, an event that is usually associated with chafing.

Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com