Verdict from 1 expert and 11 user reviews

4 reasons to buy

  • Breathability: Based on some user reviews, The North Face Ultra Traction Futurelight is breathable.
  • Traction: Those who tried the shoe admire the thick, deep lugs that deliver reliable grip on wet and technical trail surfaces.
  • Toebox: Expert reviewers appreciate the shoe's roomy toebox.
  • Looks: Based on some reviews, the trail runner has a nice-looking design.

4 reasons not to buy

  • Flexibility: A few expert runners notice that the shoe feels stiff.
  • Durability: Some users are disappointed because the shoe wears out easily.
  • Price: According to expert reviews, the shoe is expensive.
  • Waterproofing: A few mention that Ultra Traction Futurelight is not 100% waterproof.

Bottom line

The North Face Ultra Traction Futurelight delivers impressive traction on both dry and wet trails but it fails to function effectively in waterproofing. It may look nice and have breathable coverage but it does not have the sturdiness needed to survive the rough trail. Runners who are willing to invest in expensive shoes and are looking for durable and protective shoes should consider other options.

Tip: see the best trail running shoes.

Good to know

The North Face Ultra Traction Futurelight is a trail running shoe that is intentionally made for runners who have neutral foot mechanisms. It utilizes the waterproof membrane with air permeability added on this running shoe. This is essential in allowing the nano structures of the Futurelight layer to provide better ventilation. For added breathability, the North Face made sure that the durability and waterproofness of the shoe are not compromised. 

This new nano-fiber structure is described as a nimble and ultra-thin garment that delivers a high level of comfort. It is also focused on protecting the foot against hazardous elements that can be found on the trails. As a result, one of the most breathable and lightweight membranes to date by the North Face is created.

Users are guaranteed that the materials of the Ultra Traction Futurelight provide a snug and comfortable fit. This neutral running shoe utilizes the traditional lacing system that encourages a more individualized fit. The user can quickly tighten or loosen the laces depending on his specific needs and preferences.

The dual-density outsole is integrated into the North Face Ultra Traction Futurelight. Together with the Proprietary EXTS™ traction system and pronounced lugs, durability is offered. With the utilization of these features, superior stability is provided as well.

Used in making the shoe is the alternating lug heights ranging from 3.5 mm to 4 mm. This outsole feature is essential in providing the perfect balance of traction and durability. As a result, the runner has an outstanding amount of grip when tackling challenging and tough trails. When compared to the Nike Air Zoom Structure 22, this shoe's outsole is made of Duralon, a blown rubber that also offers the right amount of grip in different walking and running activities.

Featured in the running shoe is the Ortholite® Hybrid ™ footbed. The primary focus of this material is to deliver long-lasting underfoot cushioning and support.

Ultimate adaptive underfoot cushioning is encouraged by the dual-density midsole with FastFoam™ technology. This is significant ion providing added comfort during the running session. Its benefit can also be compared to the EVERUN technology. This is used in the midsole unit of the Saucony Ride 10.

Used in crafting the North Face Ultra Traction Futurelight is the supportive mesh upper. The primary purpose of this is to provide breathability.

Along with the mesh upper is the breathable FUTURELIGHT® waterproof membrane. This feature of the North Face Ultra Traction Futurelight includes air permeability. This is vital in allowing air to pass through for enhanced breathability and ventilation. With proper ventilation being offered, making sure to keep water and other wet elements out of the shoe is encouraged as well.

The no-sew and vacuum-formed TPU heel and toe cap are employed in the running shoe. This component of the Ultra Traction  Futurelight aims to provide additional protection. As a result, the foot is prevented from having an injury. These materials add durability to the platform, as well.

Used in crafting the running footwear is the traditional lace-up system. This style comes with sturdy webbing eyelets and fabric laces that offers an adjustable and snug fit.

The internal arch sleeve is integrated into the North Face Ultra Traction Futurelight. The primary goal of this material is to deliver customized support during the running activity.


How The North Face Ultra Traction Futurelight ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 23% trail running shoes
All trail running shoes
Bottom 33% The North Face running shoes
All The North Face running shoes
Bottom 28% waterproof running shoes
All waterproof running shoes


The current trend of The North Face Ultra Traction Futurelight.
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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.