M ENDURUS XCR BOA BY THE NORTH FACE
BY MIKE DAURIO JR.
November 07, 2007
Mike Daurio Jr.
Wonder Lake, Illinois USA
6' 0" (1.83 m)
183 lb (83.00 kg)
I am quite new to backpacking. My experience lies mostly as a canoe guide. My inspiration to get more into this sport/hobby was a backpack trip to Thailand in 2005. Due to my experience I am fond of lightweight, waterproof quality gear. I backpack in mainly hilly forested areas and of course near rivers and streams. I also do a lot of backpack traveling to other countries. I am a 3-season backpacker. Every year I spend time in the Ozarks in Missouri and in Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota. I'd love to explore Canyonlands National Park in Utah.
Manufacturer: The North Face
Year of Manufacture: 2006
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.thenorthface.com
MSRP: US$ 130
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 2 lbs 0 oz ( 0.91 kg)
Other details: Size reviewed is a Men's 10.5 US size.
The Endurus XCR is a feature packed shoe that fits many of my outdoor needs.
|FROM TNF WEBSITE
It has a BOA lacing system that will be explained thoroughly below in the field use section. The shoe has an abrasion-resistant, "bomber synthetic nubuck" and breathable sandwich-mesh upper along with a breathable Gore-tex lining. The footbed is listed as a Northotic" ergonomically designed, multi-density footbed with AgION" antimicrobial footbed covering on the company's website.
The shoe reviewed is a size 10.5 (US) and fits perfectly. I normally wear a 10.5 so I believe it to be pretty true to size. The website also lists a Roll Control™ medial heel wedge and Heel X-2 O2™ air pod around the heel. I assume the roll control refers to the fact that the top of the sole, by the heel, where the sole meets the upper heel cup, gets wider towards the bottom of the sole. The shoe is treaded with a lightweight UltrATAC™ rubber outsole and Blown-rubber forefoot crash pad.
The shoes also have a few spots where TNF installed reflective properties. Light is reflected from the toe, tongue and on the loop on the heel (see pictures). The rear loop is worth mention, because it allows me to carabiner the shoes to my pack when heading out on an overnight to a friend's or family's house.
The shoe has solid toe protection. The treaded sole extends up onto a hard synthetic toe stabilizing rind.
|GLACIAL PARK MCCD
|KENOSHA COUNTY CONSERVATION AREAS
I have worn the shoes almost daily since their purchase early this year. The shoes have seen many trips, day hikes, and types of terrain. I have used the shoes on a canoe trip to the Current River in Missouri. While there, we did many exploring day hikes and also a 20 mi (32 km) section of the Ozark Trail. Terrain consists of limestone bluffs lined in forest and gravel bars with a spring fed river winding through it all. As the river winds through the mountains, its elevation recedes from 852 ft (260 m) above sea level down to 570 ft (174 m). When on the trail elevations reached 870 ft (265 m). The trail's terrain was dirt or gravel, through dense forests primed with hungry deer flies ready to bite and annoy us. Temperatures scorched to a recorded 113 degrees F (45 C) dropping to a comfortable 72 degrees F (22 C) at night.
The shoe has also been used in the back woods of Lake Kabetogama in Minnesota's Voyageurs National Park. This trip was spent with my fiancée's family. We canoed Lake Kabetogama, setting up three different base camps and heading out on numerous day hikes to do some exploring. The terrain is rocky shores covered in grass and moss, some sandy beaches, and dense north woods forests containing pines, poplars, and quaking aspen. Elevations stayed pretty constant between 1100 -1200 ft (335-366 m) above sea level. Temperatures were between 85-89 degrees F (29-32 C) during the sunny days, and got down to almost 60 degrees F (16 C) at night.
The shoes have taken me on an overnight trip to Kettle Moraine State Forest in Wisconsin where they have seen the dowsing from a morning rain and 22 miles (35.4 km) of meadow lands, marsh, and pine forests. The temperatures were approximately 65-70 degrees F (18-21 C). I also walk my dogs, jog, and day hike in the many County Conservation areas and State Parks in my area. I live less than ten miles (16 km) from three state parks. I have used the shoes to mountain bike, work in the yard with and even head out to the grocery store in them.
I purchased them right away after my first test of the BOA lacing system in the store. This is by far the best feature of the shoe. It is a simple design of a futuristic concept. I slide my foot in the shoe and simply turn the adjustment wheel on the back of the shoe clockwise until I get my desired tightness.
To release the lacing system, and remove my foot, I pull on the dial and the lacing system releases its grip. The lacing system makes it easy to put on the shoe, and makes removal extremely easy. This even benefits my home life as it's not such a pain to take off my shoes in the house, after a long day on the trail, and therefore saving me a scolding from the fiancée. The system eliminates the need for laces that can become untied easily , or catch burrs or stickers. The actual laces are made of metal wire that has not shown any wear yet, which allows me to assume a greater longevity than laces, as I tend to fray or break laces within the first year of owning a shoe. The BOA system's name is a perfect description of how my foot feels inside the shoe. The system doesn't allow for pressure points on the top of the foot but a controlled and even closure that literally hugs my foot more with every click of the dial. The lacing system also locks the wire laces in place until I pull the dial out to release mode. This cuts down on the need to stop on the trail to retie my shoe and eliminates a potential tripping hazard. The dial has come unlocked a few times but definitely less than my laces becoming untied. Each time the dial has become unlocked it has been due to me hitting or getting it caught on something.
The Gore-Tex liners of these shoes are a huge benefit to me. The shoes have seen the wet plains grasses of a morning rain. My feet have stayed bone dry. While filling up a water filter, in the shallow Nippersink Creek in Glacial Park part of the McHenry County Conservation District, the shoes have been submerged and have not allowed water to penetrate. The design of the tongue (see loose laces pic) allows my foot to become submerged up to a pretty high point on the shoe without any dampness in my sock. The outer does tend to soak up a little water and the shoe does feel heavier due to this. My foot does also feel cool while submerged but again no moisture on the inside. The fabric does allow my foot to breathe nicely but not as much as a more permeable vented shoe. I have reviewed another TNF shoe and it had better venting but a heck of a lot more wet pairs of socks. After long hours of hiking I do get a bit of sweat between the toes that tends to stick around. I mostly use 100% synthetic socks on my adventures.
On a mountain biking adventure, on the McHenry County Prairie Trail, I had to cross a flooded section of the trail. The puddle was approximately 18 in (46 cm) deep and 8 ft wide (244 cm). The puddle's depth was too deep for the water not to exceed the top of my shoe. It was filled with water and needed to be drained. After I completed the wet (and extremely fun) crossing I pulled over removed the shoes with the handy BOA system and dumped out a good bit of water. I then wrung out my socks and put them back on. The lacing system performed as well wet as it does dry and the rest of the ride was a little sloshy. When I got home I put the shoes outside to dry, and again detoured a scolding. The shoes were dry by the end of the next day and I wore them the following day. I was definitely impressed by the materials' drying ability, which is something I weigh heavily when developing an opinion of a piece of gear.
The design of the shoe, structurally, is solid and intelligent. The heel cup and ankle support is solid and comfortable when hiking running or biking. The footbed provides tremendous comfort and arch support and when combined with the sole has great shock absorbing properties. The comfort of this shoe is a wonderful luxury after my foot has been in a watershoe all day. The shoe's tread has seen rocky gravel bars in the Ozarks, slick rocky shores in Voyageurs, a heavily graveled trail on a descending trail in Glacial Park (MCCD), jogging on asphalt paved streets and normal dirt, grass, pine needle covered trails. I have not lost footing with the shoe yet and it has been a reliable hiking companion.
The shoe has been worn countless hours on and off the trail. I have hiked up to 15 miles (24 km) and biked up to 19 miles (31 km) in a day. The shoe has been soaked with standing flood water, subject to up to 8 hours daily of sweaty feet, and it is still tolerable to place my nose inside and breathe. The antimicrobial properties of the shoe are trustworthy even after over 8 months of almost daily use.
This is by far my favorite pair of shoes in my closet. In fact, they barely make it there. I love the BOA lacing system and wish it could be on all my shoes! The shoe is sturdy, comfortable, and is packed full of features.
THINGS I LIKE
1. The BOA lacing system is tremendous. In my opinion, we should stop teaching kids to tie shoes and put this on all shoes made.
2. The North Face's use of Gore-Tex waterproofing and breathability has kept my feet comfortable on many hikes.
3. The design of the shoe makes it perfect for trail running, pavement running, hiking and all my other outdoor activities.
4. The antimicrobial properties are impressive.
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
1. Sometimes the extra sweat trapped between my toes causes a squishy feeling. Although annoying I sacrifice for the extra water protection.
Mike J. Daurio Jr.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
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