Verdict from 5 user reviews

5 reasons to buy

  • Comfort: Many trail runners said that the Ultra Swift Futurelight is very comfortable right out of the box.
  • Waterproof: Some testers mentioned that the Futurelight membrane held up well in rainy and wet conditions.
  • Breathability: A few noticed that the waterproof membrane continues to deliver a well-ventilated coverage.
  • Support: Several comments mentioned that it is "as supportive as The North Face hiking shoes."
  • Traction: According to a few user reviews, the sole grips well on dry and wet surfaces.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Durability: There have been reports that the upper mesh wore off quicker than expected. Others said the quality control has gone down the drain.
  • Narrow for wide feet: A few wide-footed runners find the shoe too narrow.

Bottom line

Equipped with the brand's Futurelight membrane, the shoe delivers what it owes to give  - an airy, waterproof coverage. It has the needed protective elements for the harshest environments and offers a comfortable underfoot feel. Built for technical trails, the Ultra Swift Futurelight is meant for runners who want a quick and waterproof shoe for rainy-day runs.

Tip: see the best trail running shoes.

Good to know

The North Face Ultra Swift Futurelight is a trail running shoe that features a waterproof technology. The design is similar to the original Ultra Swift model, save for an upper unit that has a seemingly close-weave construction. But the cover system is touted to remain breathable while having the capacity to completely stave off wetness with the FUTURELIGHT™ membrane.

The standard sizing schemes have become the basis of the creation of The North Face Ultra Swift Futurelight. Runners are welcome to use the sizes with which they are most comfortable to enjoy an in-shoe feel that is accommodating. The sideways wrap is an aspect that is affected by the semi-curved shape of the platform and the form-welcoming hug of the elements of the upper.

EXTS™ or Exploration Trax System is the technology that is used for the outsole unit of The North Face Ultra Swift Futurelight. This layer of durable rubber is meant to shield the bottom part of the midsole from the abrasive nature of the ground. It also offers a high-tier grip, whether on rocky or wet surfaces.

The primary cushioning unit of this running shoe from The North Face is made of a full-length foam that is meant to carry the foot responsibly throughout the activities. Impact attenuation and smooth heel-to-toe transitions are the bread-and-butter of this technology. Comfortable midsole units are featured in most trail shoes, including the Salomon Sense Ride line.

The rear part of the midsole features XtraFoam™, a dense piece that acts as a stabilizing wall for the heel of the foot. Positional discomfort can be averted by this visible element.

FastFoam™ is a layer in the forefoot that offers a bit more oomph to the perception of comfort. It also helps in energizing the toe-off phase, giving speed and urgency to the liftoff.

An OrthoLite® Hybrid footbed is placed right on top of the main midsole technologies. The job of this add-on is to provide a soft surface on which the foot can rest. It is made of 20% recycled materials, an eco-friendly approach that can woo many runners.

The upper unit of The North Face Ultra Swift Futurelight features the FUTURELIGHT™, a material that is meant to completely stave off water infiltration. Though acting as a barrier against wetness, it has been constructed to have small pores that permit environmental air into the foot-chamber, thus maintaining a breathable coverage.

Printed overlays grace the toe box, the sides, and the heel part of this running shoe. These add-ons help to bolster the durability of the upper unit’s materials. They also assist the lacing system when it comes to locking the foot in place.

Fabric strips serve as the lace-loops of the lacing system. These strands jut out from the lateral and medial sides, linking the fabrics to the semi-round shoelaces that rest on the bridge of the silhouette. Adjusting the tightness or looseness of the fit can deliver a truly custom wrap that adheres to personal preferences.

How Ultra Swift Futurelight compares

This shoe: 81
All shoes average: 82
55 94
This shoe: £140
All shoes average: £130
£60 £230
This shoe: 351g
All shoes average: 296g
170g 680g
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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.