We spent 7.6 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

7 reasons to buy

  • Some runners commented that the shoe was very comfortable.
  • A lot of testers mentioned that the shoe was great-looking and durable.
  • According to some reviewers, the lightweight structure was agreeable.
  • A few buyers agreed that the North Face Ultra Cardiac was able to offer excellent cushioning.
  • A lot of consumers loved the shoe's removable insole; they were able to customize the underfoot feel with a replacement insert or by removing the insole itself.
  • Some runners noted that the shoe's upper area was breathable and protective.
  • The shoe was best for walking, hiking and running, according to some testers.

2 reasons not to buy

  • A good number of consumers agreed that the shoe had a narrow toe box. As a result, they were not able to spread out their toes comfortably.
  • According to some buyers, they were disappointed with the thin midsole construction.

Bottom line

Many users mentioned that the North Face Ultra Cardiac was able to deliver a smoother ride on any type of surface. They were impressed with the good amount of cushioning of the shoe. They were also pleased with the shoe’s durability and appealing look. Although some testers were disappointed with the shoe’s narrow toe box and thin midsole construction, a lot of runners still recommended the North Face Ultra Cardiac because of its breathable upper and lightweight structure.


Expert Reviews

83 / 100 based on 11 expert reviews

  • 70 / 100 | The Ginger Runner | | Level 5 expert

    Definitely think there's room for improvement on the shoe.

  • 100 / 100 | SydneyTrailRunner | Level 1 expert

    This shoe is really good value for money.

  • 90 / 100 | Ian Corless | Level 4 expert

    The cushioning is plush and I would say that if you need some added comfort on longer runs or races, this shoe would be well worth considering.

  • 90 / 100 | Trail Run Mag | | Level 3 expert

    It’s not flashy; rather, it is a workhorse that applies to pretty much most trail scenarios. And what it works hardest at is keeping your foot comfortable.

  • 85 / 100 | iRunFar | | Level 3 expert

    I’m impressed with The North Face Ultra Cardiac trail shoe.

  • 76 / 100 | Gear Institute | | Level 3 expert

    It is an average performer when compared to other shoes in its class—it doesn’t necessarily have any stand-out features, good or bad.

Become an expert
  • The North Face Ultra Cardiac is a neutral trail running shoe that can handle short and long-distance activities. It features a full-length Vibram outsole that holds the ground well, even when tackling uphill and downhill movements.
  • It has a built-up medial sidewall to accommodate a variety of foot-types, and a Pebax Heel Cradle to keep the rear part of the foot in place.
  • It features the FlashDry and the Ultra AirMesh in the upper unit. These technologies are important in moving moisture away from the runner's foot.
  • It has an EVA midsole that offers standard cushioning on the trails.

The North Face Ultra Cardiac has a standard shoe length when it comes to sizing. This is best for runners who are neutral pronators. The available widths are D – Medium for the men’s version and B – Medium for the women’s version. It has a semi-curved shape, which follows the natural curvature of the human foot.

The North Face Ultra Cardiac is made up of Vibram rubber. It is designed to provide enough traction on a wide range of surfaces. It has protective elements that help runners to conquer the trails with confidence and speed. The Vibram rubber technology is the gold standard in the outdoor industry and it has been used in some best-selling running shoes from The North Face including the Ultra Cardiac 2. It offers unparalleled support and responsiveness. It is specifically engineered to accommodate different running activities.

The outsole of The North Face Ultra Cardiac is coupled with the Zonal Protection, a design that essentially extends the rubber compound to the toe and heel area. This is significant in protecting the runner's foot from getting injured on rough terrains.

The midsole of the North Face Ultra Cardiac has a Pebax Heel Cradle. It provides proper support and heel positioning. It helps in keeping the runner's heel in place, especially on uneven terrains. The Cradle technology is strategically engineered to absorb impact naturally and to promote an anatomically correct stride.

It has a single-density and plush Compression-Molded EVA. This feature is important to help runners achieve a nicer, smoother and more consistent ride.

It has a built-up medial sidewall and wide platform that accommodates a wide variety of foot types. This is significant in enhancing the comfort and snug fit of the shoe.

The shoe has a removable insole for added support and shock absorption. It helps in distributing the stress of the runner's weight along the foot.

The North Face Ultra Cardiac utilizes an Ultra Airmesh and FlashDry upper. It enables the runner's foot to stay comfortable and dry in different types of weather conditions. It is developed to improve temperature regulation and moisture management.

It has a good amount of cushioning in the tongue unit and collar lining. This aids for a more comfortable upper fit.

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.