Verdict from 6 experts and 29 user reviews

8 reasons to buy

  • Rockered ride: All runners agree that The North Face “nailed the physics,” making the Vectiv Infinite feel smooth and efficient, especially on hilly terrain. Some even compare its propelling roll to that of Saucony Endorphin Speed.
  • Instantly comfortable: The shoe feels good straight out of the box. From a well-put-together upper to the right amount of cushioning underfoot. No blisters, hot spots, or pinching reported.
  • Safeguarding: You can expect a good level of protection from sharp rocks and other trail elements.
  • Sticky grip: The rubber on the Infinite has been compared to that of Inov-8 Graphene for its traction capacity.
  • Stable: With its raised sidewalls, the underfoot plate helps you “feel stable and connected.” Runners with neutral pronation and mild overpronation will appreciate this touch of stability.
  • Rugged upper: Using Kevlar in its yarns, the fabric is described as “solid” and “incredibly durable.” It takes some effort to make a dent in it.
  • Road-to-trail option: A few reviewers recommend it as a hybrid shoe, claiming that they have run up to 10 miles on the roads with comfort. Mind, however, that the hard asphalt will chew through the lugs faster.
  • Water-resistant: Although not waterproof, the shoe is effective in shedding moderate rain and puddles.

4 reasons not to buy

  • Not for mud: Those who ran in wet dirt state that the treading is too short for soft terrain.
  • Limited toe box: The toe bumper design makes the forefoot a bit pointed, constricting the fit for wider feet.
  • No water drainage: Once water gets inside the shoe, it’s trapped because there are no perforations to let it out. In addition, the OrthoLite insole works as a sponge.
  • Debris get inside: The collar doesn’t sit close to the ankle, creating a little pocket which is a magnet for smow and debris.

Bottom line

The North Face managed to gain a new reputation with the Infinite and other Vectiv models. These are not only the first plated trail shoes but great ones too. The Infinite, in particular, is a versatile workhorse that has enough protection for ultras and a fun-feeling push for faster paces.

It will work for experienced runners who want to try something new on the trails.

Tip: see the best trail running shoes.

The North Face Vectiv Infinite: the first plated speedster for trails

As the middle-child in the Vectiv family, the Infinite is also the most versatile one.

It can be used on both shorter and faster runs but can also help you maintain consistent paces over long distances, including ultra marathons.

What’s to like in the Vectiv Infinite

  • Speed: A rocker profile combined with a 3D Pebax plate. The latter is a little more flexible than in the Flight Vectiv to accommodate a wider range of paces).
  • Dual-density cushioning: Firmer on the top, softer on the bottom, it feels responsive yet protective.
  • Upper durability: Reinforced with Kevlar (the same material used in bulletproof vests).
  • Traction: Surface Control rubber is tackier than regular rubber.
  • Heel hold: 3D-molded heel counter has two pads that hug around the Achilles for fine-tuned comfort.

The Vectiv lineup

Similarly to Nike, Saucony, Brooks, and other brands that released premium road shoes, The North Face follows the “trinity” pattern in its trail lineup:

The North Face Flight Vectiv - carbon-plated racer (the fastest, most aggressive)

The North Face Vectiv Infinite - speed trainer with a Pebax plate (versatile)

The North Face Vectiv Enduris - max-cushioned cruiser with a TPU plate (more of a daily trainer)

Rankings

How The North Face Vectiv Infinite ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 42% trail running shoes
All trail running shoes
Top 30% The North Face running shoes
All The North Face running shoes
Bottom 44% water repellent running shoes
All water repellent running shoes

Popularity

The current trend of The North Face Vectiv Infinite.
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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.