Dynafit Alpine Pro Review Facts
In Spring 2017, Dynafit added a new shoe into its growing trail shoe catalog with the Alpine Pro. With its roots in a top-notch ski boot and alpine gear, Dynafit crafted this shoe as an extremely lightweight trail kick loaded with features that work in concert to offer a comfortable and protective ride for those middle to longer distances in rugged terrain. With its specially formulated Vibram Megagrip outsole providing superior traction along with its Alpine Rolling double density EVA foam midsole construction, the Alpine Pro affords a comfortable, confident ride with a smooth heel to toe transition. Some say its lack of flexibility they would expect from a running shoe claiming it wears like a hiking boot while others feel the slight sacrifice in agility is an adequate tradeoff for the protection provided and find the Alpine Pro to be near perfect adventuring footwear.
The outsole of the Dynafit
Alpine Pro benefits from its proprietarily developed Vibram® Megagrip compound. The strategically laid out design, with a V-shape at midfoot, assists with traction and responsiveness on all surfaces in varying conditions and the lugs help runners navigate tricky harder surfaces. Slightly impeding flexibility, according to some, is the carbon rock plate nestled between the midsole and outsole but most felt it was a negligible amount considering the benefit of a tough shoe. When tested, it's been reported that the Alpine Pro could confidently traverse mountains in slippery conditions,
be they wet or dry.
A rockered midsole, monikered "Alpine Rolling" by Dynafit, comprised of double compression EVA foam offers notable shock absorption and a fluid transition from heel-to-toe. This creates a more efficient and less injury
prone ride through the mountains or wherever you may roam. Some wearers felt the Alpine Pro delivered comfort, responsiveness, and precision on even the most technical terrain. While it could tackle the obstacles some felt that they could benefit from more cushioning but agree it is a far cry from a minimalist shoe.
In the upper, Dynafit incorporates into the Alpine Pro its unique Invisible Lacing that is a stretch mesh panel that covers the tongue and laces. It acts to store the laces, keeping them from getting caught in the underbrush and preventing wear on them. Testers seemed to appreciate this feature. Its Adaptive Grid is an overlay running the length of the shoe that features ventilation slits and aims to create comfortable support for the foot but still allow for freedom of movement. However, some testers felt that while the foot felt protected from debris and sharper edges, these side vents and all the coverings on the upper do not lend themselves to a breathable flexible ride. The rear of the upper benefits from the addition of a Heel Preloader. The heel opening is lower in the back but with the addition of the rubber tension preloader that runs diagonally down the heel, it is designed to be better fitting and offer more comfort and precision. Some felt this raised the actual bottom of the heel a bit more than preferred but most were pleased with the comfort. The breathable Ortholite footbed in the interior of the upper adds comfort and shock absorption for an adventuring trail runner
Weighing in at only 300 grams or just north of 10 ounces, the Dynafit Alpine Pro proves to be exceptionally lightweight. Especially given its feature laden status, most are surprised at this. This lighter weight allows it to more nimbly traverse mountainous terrain with ease and confidence.
The upper is comprised of mesh and a large stitched and vented synthetic overlay that lends itself to less breathable conditions. Even the laces are wrapped in a mesh cover that creates another over-the-foot layer. Most felt this shoe did not prove to be very breathable and it is not marketed as waterproof. A short time of snow running yielded non-drying wet socks for one tester which led to the conclusion that this shoe is not best suited for this condition despite its underfoot ability to handle the slippery surface. It also held onto water in wet conditions which sets up runners for blisters
and chafing. With average insulation, most felt it was great for running atop snow but not ideal for running through the snow.
While the shoe is reported to run small by a half to full size and it was not offered in wide width, most found it easy on the feet after an initial break in period and think it best suited for middle to longer distances. Its ortholite footbed is the main component in what users tend to find most comfortable. Lightweight and soft, this insole molds to the foot and allows for a more natural fit. But even with well-rated shock absorption, because the Alpine Pro is not overly cushioned, wearers tended to think that distances longer than an ultra
would tax the feet beyond a reasonable comfort level. And while most felt supported and stable, some reviewers felt that because of its higher lift in the heel with the diagonal "rubber tension" heel reinforcement, that the Alpine Pro feels a little bit more like a hiking shoe rather than a trail running shoe
A serious looking shoe that gives the impression of grit with its bold color statements, the Dynafit Alpine is available in three color blend options; black/fluo green, fluo orange/fluo yellow, and sparta blue/cactus. With the Dynafit logo proudly emblazoned along the exterior heel and a solid synthetic wrap covering the upper, the Alpine appears confidently aggressive but nimble. Reviewers are pleased with its hearty look.
The sole's wear is one of the only drawbacks a few testers mentioned. While it handled the elements and terrain, the outsole's wear did show. Though there were testers that felt the Alpine Pro held up very well even after 50 miles, most reviews claimed to have concerns with its durability. The Vibram Megagrip outsole's compound made exclusively for Dynafit, with its strategically placed lugs, could expertly navigate the trickiest terrain
but it paid the price in the form of worn down tread pretty quickly according to quite a few reviewers.
The Alpine Pro incorporates features aimed to provide protection for feet in Alpine conditions. What Dynafit terms as ballistic bumpers are the rubber toe and heel bumpers on the upper that help to prevent against potentially harmful impacts. And the carbon shield carbon rock plate that is nestled between the outsole and midsole not only provides the basis for a better ground feel and precision than many thick foam rock inserts, but also more superior protection. This protection goes a long way toward giving runners the confidence to travel over protruding sharp rock edges and mountainous terrain without fear of injury.
With Vibram's Megagrip rubber compound tackling the roughest terrain, the Alpine Pro still benefits from a more responsive feel despite the embedded rockplate. While foam rock barriers tend to be softer and offer marginally more flexibility, the carbon one used in the Alpine Pro creates a better groundfeel for better responsiveness and more nimble and confident navigation even in wet or slippery conditions
The Alpine Pro offers a few features that provide the extra support mountain adventures require for a confident journey. The Adapative Grid overlay on the upper serves to securely hold the foot in place and the heel and toe bumpers (Ballistic Bumpers) protect and support the most vulnerable parts of a foot on more obstacle laden runs. And the heel preloader rubber tension reinforcement aims to keep the heel in place offering a better precision of fit.
The Dynafit Alpine Pro was designed with the Alpine in mind. With a company like Vibram
known for responsive feeling footwear pairing with Dynafit and incorporating their Megagrip compound in the outsole, this shoe was bound to get stellar reviews for its ability to tackle nearly anything one can throw at it. Intended for mountainous terrain in wet and dry conditions, most are beyond pleased with its performance. Rocks, roots, mountains, descents are no match for the Alpine Pro.
The Dynafit Alpine Pro seems to fetch a slightly heftier asking price than other trail shoes but it seems most are willing to open their wallets a little wider for it. For a lightweight nimble protective trail shoe that can do almost everything with ease, cost does not seem to be an issue.
The Megagrip rubber outsole and its strategically placed lugs comprise the main component of this shoe responsible for its superior traction. Providing great grip on rocky descents
and on rough terrain, most say they find this shoe's grip to feel secure and strong. Despite its now waterproof status, it can still handle the underfoot aspect of wet and slippery and snowy conditions with ease.
The carbon fiber rock plate alleviates some of the lack of flexibility usually introduced when rock plates are part of the underfoot protection but still many said it felt a little stiff. But the tradeoff of being able to expertly navigate whatever terrain or condition
is thrown in its path seemed to make the stiffness less of a concern. Many felt this shoe was still adequately nimble and responsive.
As a neutral trail shoe, the Dynafit Alpine Pro does not offer stability features. Though most laud its comfort and security of fit, there are some that were less than impressed by the impression of a higher heel feeling. Having a moderate 8mm drop, the feel of added height at the rear of the foot due to the rubber tension reinforcement made some feel that the heel was too high, but not high enough so as to hamper mobility or create a stability concern, just enough to be aware of it.
This shoe features a moderate drop height of 8mm. Some feel the diagonal reinforcement rubber tension strap gives an extra lift to the rear of the shoe making the drop feel even higher. Some were less pleased with this while others found its middle of the road shock absorbent cushioning to feel secure and comfortable.
- Designed by a company specializing in engineering gear
- Vibram Megagrip outsole
- Good shock absorption
- Best for middle to long, but not past ultra, distances
- Diagonal heel rubber tension strap
- Carbon rock plate for protection
- Extra protection from the Adaptive Grid
- Mesh panel invisible lacing system for convenience
- Rockered Alpine rolling midsole for smooth foot transitioning
Though the earlier wear and slightly reduced durability of the outsole's material seems to be a concern for quite a few runners, the overarching consensus is that this shoe is a top-notch contender in the trail running world. Tackling varied and changing terrain and many conditions, most are pleased with its ability to navigate confidently and smoothly. Aimed at taking on the mid to long miles, this shoe is comfortable for most though some feel there is less than adequate cushioning for anything longer than an ultra distance. The shoe feels secure and is loaded with features but surprising to many, it is exceptionally lightweight which is not something many trail shoes can claim - let alone those that are built for Alpine conditions. It does come with a marginally higher price tag than some of its competitors but many seem this can be justified by its superior traction and grip and overall comfort. Concerns with proper sizing may be an issue so trying them on would be beneficial. If you're looking for a tough confident shoe that can take you the distance over the roughest terrain, this might just be one to spring for.