Available January 2018 – MSRP $150.00
If you’re lucky enough, sometime in your life you might find a running shoe that is perfect for you — the perfect fit, the perfect ride, the perfect hold, the perfect everything. If you’re a professional, you might be even luckier and achieve an honor that very few runners can claim: having the perfect shoe designed specifically for you. For ultrarunner Rob Krar, The North Face Flight RKT is that shoe. Designers worked closely with Rob to create an ultralight trail running shoe with enough cushioning and grip to handle long trail races over widely varied terrain, and the result looks promising.
The Flight RKT’s FastFoam midsole is made of two separate types of lightweight EVA foam to create a comfortable and responsive ride for faster paces on the trail. Directly under the foot sits a soft yet springy layer of EVA that lies within a “bathtub” shaped external layer of more resilient EVA. This design should give the shoe a soft underfoot feel with plenty of spring, while the external EVA should limit compression and the extent of the foam packing outwards.
A key design challenge with the Flight RKT is incorporating enough grip for varied trails while keeping weight at an absolute minimum. The solution for this shoe is the podular outsole design that includes multidirectional lugs only on targeted areas. The podular design also increases the underfoot flexibility of the shoe, which should allow it to better adapt to variations in trail surfaces.
In an effort to create a wrap that will be comfortable for ultras, The North Face’s designers incorporated a thin engineered mesh upper that should hold the foot snugly while delivering plenty of ventilation. The suede coating on the tongue is designed to give it that extra bit of comfort for longer runs. For added durability and support, TPU strips are welded around the midfoot in geometric patterns.
Preliminary Tech Specs
Stack height*: 18 mm heel, 10 mm forefoot, 8 mm heel-toe drop
Weight*: 8.0 oz (men’s size 9), 6.5 oz (women’s size 8)
*Production stack heights and weights may differ from the preliminary data listed here.
Will has been running competitively since high school, and is currently running with the HOKA Aggies, a post-collegiate club here on the central coast of California. With a preference for the humorous and the verbose, he enjoys playing the wordsmith almost as much as his daily runs.