I asked a friend, Jen, to test The North Face Women’s Vectiv Exploris II Mid Futurelight Boots. The boots, which include VECTIV 2.0 “propulsive plate” technology, are a size UK8.5 but they are too small for me, so I asked a friend with smaller feet to take them for a test walk.
- UPPER: Breathable-waterproof FUTURELIGHT membrane
Made on an updated D-width last that accommodates a broad set of consumer foot shapes
SOLE UNIT: VECTIV 2.0 rockered midsole offers a forked heel and forefoot and a TPU plate for increased lateral displacement and stability
Rocker midsole geometry engineered to create long-lasting forward propulsion
- Midsole made with premium EVA foam and has a 2mm greater stack height than the S21/F21 version
Broader platform below foot for stability
Surface CTRL rubber outsole with 4mm lugs, designed for durability in high-wear areas
- RRP: £155
- See: The North Face or shop around, such as on SportsShoes
What are they like: The North Face Vectiv Exploris II Futurelight Boots?
Firstly, the sizing is a bit on the small side. Jen would normally wear a UK7.5 boot, while I would normally fit a UK8.5 boot. The North Face boots are sized as UK8.5 but they were too short for me and fitted Jen really well. I suggest you go up at least a half size if not a full size.
Jen described the boots as very comfortable, right from the outset. She appreciated the width of the fit, as well as the forefoot volume. The boots did not slip on her heel.
After a summer of wearing trail running shoes for off-road walking, Jen was happy to have a pair of boots that felt as comfortable as trainers but gave extra ankle support for rougher and muddier winter trails. The ankle support is mid-height so this is suitable for paths and trails, rather than steep mountain hikes on rugged terrain. The wider sole helps wiht stability as well.
The waterproof membrane worked well, too. It was a wet walk with rain and wet trails and vegetation yet Jen reported her feet stayed perfectly dry.
The grip worked a treat. The trails were a combination of wet dirt, mud, rocks and tree roots. Jen said she felt she had good traction underfoot.
I would recommend the boots for countryside trails and hillside paths and all-year-round in the UK. It’s often wet, even in summer, so many country walkers need waterproof boots. The grip is ideal for well defined trails. The design with a rocker midsole and and a cushioned mid-sole makes them ideal for a mix of trail types, from tarmac to paths with looser dirt and small rocks.
The boots are not ideal for off-path hiking, especially on steeper terrain and where there is loose scree or thick vegetation. You need a flatter, grippier sole for these occasions. It’s a trainer-style boot and not one that would cope in very rugged terrain.
Jen also really likes the camo pattern with pink details. The boots come in a range of colours.