I have been testing the new 2023 version of the Dynafit Ultra 100 shoe over several months. It’s a long-distance trail running, but works equally well for anyone who wants a well-cushioned and comfortable shoe for training.
The new model has been upgraded and redesigned with input from UTMB TDS winner Sebastian Krogvig.
Dynafit state: “Designed for long-distance trail running, the Ultra 100 hits the sweet spot between cushioning, traction and energy return.”
The midsole cushioning is “responsive and light” with materials weighing 20% less than a traditional EVA midsole, but “with an energy return of more than 10%”.
Other features include:
- Vibram Megagrip outsole
- Vibram Traction Lug (for improved grip)
- More pronounced “rocker” shape with the heel and toe curved upward, ensuring a “dynamic toe-off”.
- Anatomical heel construction with Dynafit’s “Heel Pre-loader” for comfort and stability and to remove stress on the Achilles tendon.
- Laces can be stowed under stretch lace cover.
- Drop: 6mm
- Male and female models
- Weight: 325g (UK8.5)
- Price: From £135 (RRP £150)
- To buy, see retailers, such as Alpinetrek and Mad About Mountains (Dynafit no longer offers UK sales via its website)
On test: Dynafit Ultra 100 running shoe
I was a big fan of the Dynafit 100 when it was launched in 2020. See my review. There are a few things to note that are different in the new model.
The ousole has changed from Pomoca to Vibram Megagrip. I note that the grip has changed, to, with larger but fewer studs. They look to be about the same depth.
The width of the shoe seems different, too. The new model is wider.
Cushioning is also different. The new version seems softer and almost spongey, which is not going to please some runners. The sponginess is very comfortable underfoot but it can also be more energy sapping.
I can also notice the change in rocker. I am not sure if it makes much difference to my running gait, but possibly it does have a bit more “oomph”.
It seems like the in-sole is thinner although it feels softer.
Some features, such as a loop at the rear of the previous model for easier on-off, have disappeared.
Also, a large mesh cover on the laces to keep out grit and dirt has been changed for a smaller “stretch lace cover”.
As I said I loved the Dynafit Ultra 100 shoe when I received the first pair in 2020. I wore them for many miles until one day, just like that, they start to niggle my Achilles tendon so I backed off wearing them.
I moved on to Saucony Endorpin Edge, which I have mainly worn for trail running ever since. But then I was sent the new Dynafit Ultra 100s and I do find them very comfortable.
The ankle cushioning is generous and somehow softer than the former model. It doesn’t niggle my heel or Achilles tendon.
The fit is a bit wider and not ideal for me but it hasn’t been a major issue for running.
The laces are long and soft and stayed tied, which is a bonus.
The uppers on the newer model also seems softer and has greater breathability. However, after a few months of wear, the uppers have started to collapse a bit where my feet are not wide enough.
I find the cushioning a wee bit too cushioned. The shoes are great on tarmac and hard-packed tracks but they feel too spongey on other terrains. I prefer a bit more ground feel and a sturdier push off.
The softer cushioning feels a bit of an energy sapper.
The outsole grip is good, even on wet paths, rocks and tree roots.
I have reserved these shoes for shorter runs on routes where it’s a mix of tarmac and trails. I also really like these shoes for walking. They are my go to footwear for local walks and shorter runs.
I think I would like a cross-between the first versions and the latest versions, which might then prove to be the perfect trail running shoe for longer distances.