North Face Ultra Fastpack II GTX hiking shoes review
Looking for a hiking shoe that doesn’t really look like one? Which has a decent price, are comfortable and will keep your feet dry at the same time? Then I found the perfect shoes for you! Continue reading as I introduce you to the North Face Ultra Fastpack II GTX hiking shoes.
A while ago I wrote that many hiking shoes look fairly lump. Usually brown, big and heavy. These are the most heard remarks about hiking shoes. Luckily, more and more brands are starting to realize that the hiker nowadays, at least the female hiker, does not always want to wear a lump, brown and heavy hiking boot. A fancy color is definitely OK and when the shoe is waterproof and lightweight as well, it makes a great option. Over the past year I tested various hiking shoes and found out that a lot has been going on when it comes to the hiking shoe market. They are not necessarily lump, brown and big anymore and brands are trying to create a better look. Last year I tested a low hiking shoe for the first time when I was on a hiking vacation in La Palma. It was the Meindl X-SO 30 GTX Surround hiking shoe, which I really enjoyed a lot, until they broke after wearing them for just a a year. Nowadays, my favorite low hiking shoes are the North Face Ultra Fastpack II GTX shoes, I will tell you why in this product review.
They are lightweight
I once wrote in a Dutch blog that the Dutch are always easy to recognize on a plane because they are the only nation who wears their hiking shoes on the journey. Upon asking why, the most heard answer was that they are too heavy to carry in your luggage. In fact, I used to be one of them, until I got my first pair of low hiking shoes. I used to rely on my ankle high ones, but learned myself to hike on low shoes, as on most of my trips, I can just use those. On each trip I make, I first make sure to consider if I really need my heavy shoes. Generally, the answer is no. On recent trips to Iceland, Austria and Germany I wore them and next week I’m heading to Patagonia where I’m sure wearing them a lot. On the plane I usually just wear All Stars which is not a problem because the North Face Ultra Fastpack II GTX hiking shoes are super light and there for they can easily be carried.
They are waterproof
I don’t wear shoes that are not waterproof. Once before I was stupid enough to buy hiking shoes that were not waterproof and I have regretted that ever since. A mistake I once made but not again. I have tested the North Face Ultra Fastpack II GTX hiking shoes underneath several Icelandic waterfalls and can guarantee: they are waterproof. If they can bear with the Icelandic weather, they can bear any kind of weather.
They look awesome
A while ago I started a discussion in some Facebook groups about wanting to look kind of OK during hiking. These days, a lot of outdoor clothes look either too large, have boring colors or make you look like a fat cow. Even though comfort always comes first, I still try to look somewhat OK when being outdoors. The North Face Ultra Fastpack II GTX hiking shoes I got to test are black with neon shoe laces and soles, just perfect and not too eye catching. I even wear them to work occasionally, when I wear jeans and a t-shirt they are a great match. Even some of my colleagues told me ‘hey Anto, fancy shoes’…
They are comfortable
Even more than all the above, the most important about good hiking shoes is obviously that they are comfortable. I’m testing quite a few different hiking shoes and unfortunately, it’s impossible to all try them extendedly before taking them out on a long walk. I took The North Face Ultra Fastpack II GTX hiking shoes on a 10 km hike right out of the box, when I hiked across the Veluwe, the biggest natural area in The Netherlands. This went just fine and ever since I wore them, I have not yet had any pain and/or blisters, not even when wearing them in extremely warm conditions in Germany the other day. Oh and I also wore them on the longest swingbridge in Germany the other day, how cool is that?
They are fairly cheap
On average, you pay about 200 dollars for hiking shoes these days. Even though I totally believe you should always invest in decent hiking shoes (they will last for years) it’s always nice when you can save a bit on them. I’ve found them online for no more than 145 dollars, which is pretty cheap compared to other Goretex hiking shoes of the same kind.
Are there no bad things about the North Face Ultra Fastpack II GTX hiking shoes
Sure there are, because no product is perfect, at least that is in my experience. I ordered this shoe one size bigger than I wear my normal shoes, which is what I always do with hiking shoes as my feet tend to swallow while hiking, especially on longer trails. However my left foot is almost a whole size smaller than my right so the left shoe was quite a bit too large. When wearing them the first couple of times, she front of the shoe made a bit of a weird sound, probably because it’s on the big side. After a while, it disappeared. Just keep in mind that these shoes do come fairly large already!
This was my review of the North Face Ultra Fastpack II GTX hiking shoes. These shoes can be used both for hiking and trail running. In the mean while I’ve used them for many years and they have traveled all across the globe with me, from Nepal to New Zealand to Alaska and Iceland. They are great value for money and can truly recommend getting a pair for your hiking and trail running adventures.
Interested in buying these shoes? We found the best deal for you at Amazon.com
Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links. In case you buy something through our website, we will earn a small commission without extra cost for you. Thanks for considering!
Want to more out door gear reviews? Here goes:
– The North Face Cesium Anorak
– Lowa Lady Light GTX hiking shoes
– Fjällräven Eco Trail jacket
For a daily dose of outdoor & adventure inspiration, follow us on Instagram and Facebook!
Thanks for sharing!
You’re right! They don’t look like hiking shoes at all. I could have sworn they were just tennis shoes! Great find–thanks for sharing…
That’s a good review.I was recently searching for hiking shoes. I love how light these are and their design. super cool
I’ve been looking for the perfect hiking shoes lately so I love this review!! My main issue is I always travel with just hand luggage, so I too had to wear the shoes on the plane. I’m so glad these are lightweight and waterproof! I”m going to look into getting myself a pair!
Yeah same here, so these are just perfect!
Northface makes some great gear. I have heaps of Northface jackets and shoes. These look pretty funky.
Yeah they do, I love their stuff
I’m American and I always wear my hiking boots on the plane/train because they are too heavy to carry haha.. I’ll have to go try these on, seems like a really nice alternative!
Yeah I totally know … used to go that until I started using low ankle boots …
I hate to wear heavy shoes on the plane, but they’re right about the weight in the backpack! They take up a lot of space too. These Northface ones look really comfortable and light. I’d give them a try.
Yeah me too, my feet always get swollen and it’s not very comfortable!
I am looking for cool hiking shoes. Will check if they are available in India. Thanks for this detailed post.
You’re welcome, I hope you can find them!
Lightweight, waterproof, comfortable, and fab looking – these hiking shoes sound amazing. I purchase a new pair every year and will check out the North Face Ultra Fastpack next hiking season.
Good luck on finding new shoes Nancy!
These are so cute! I love my hiking boots for the ankle support they give me, but it’s so irritating that they’re so heavy. Should definitely look into something like this.
Wow I need a pair of those, looks good for walking around the city too, talk about multifunctional
I have been looking for good hiking boots for a while and these seem like a great option!
Did Martijn review the shoes from a running perspective? Am planning to use these for a event.
Thanks so much for the tips! Although I’m now looking at the gen III version mid for mens, this is still enough to get me to switch gears from the Vasque breeze III gtx. Though I’m curious, ever owned some Vasques? They seem to be highly regarded as well.
Nope never have so far, but will keep it in mind. Thanks for the suggestion!
very good shoes…I agree that the shoes seem a bit big esp for one of my feet…but would casual use to office ruin the shoes for hiking later on.. Can it be use for trail running as well?
btw whats the difference bet the ultra fastpack II GtX and just fastpack II GTX?
I wouldn’t use them casual because they are better on soft grounds than asphalt. I used them for tralrunning and that went well, although they are not officially made for that.
Are they good anti skid as well. I want to use in Himalayan terrain and want a good grip anti skid shoes. Pl advise
Yes they are, I’ve hiked alpine terrain with them and all went well!
these shoes abused my feet. skin came out from my feet soles, injured and blue nails (one of them with blood) and the worse thing my calfs were too tightened during the first 15kms of a 25km race and then couldn’t run the uphill part. just abandoned and walked the rest of the route. now that I examine them I see that their soles show wear and their glue has failed in some points.
I’m truly sorry to hear this Nikos …