Dynafit Feline Vertical Pro Review Facts
The Dynafit Feline Vertical Pro is a unisex neutral trail running shoe. It is lightweight and has great traction and ground feel, making it ideal for short- or medium-distance off-trail runs. It has bi-directional lugs made from MegaGrip Compound that has excellent grip on wet or dry rocks, trails, and even snow. The Vibram Vertical Outsole is ideal for climbing because of its great grip and high energy return. A Carbon Shield layer in the midsole adds stability and protection against rocks. The midsole has a 4mm reduced drop for stability and precision when climbing or going over technical trails. The comfortable Ortholite Footbed creates a custom fit over time. The Minimal Fit System hugs the foot for a lightly supportive fit that allows natural movement. The quick lacing system provides a secure fit and has a pocket for storing any excess lacing. Tightly woven mesh keeps debris out of the shoe and a PU heel toe box and heel counter and toe box add protection and stability. If you are looking for a shoe to climb rocks or compete in over rough terrain, read on to see if the Feline Vertical Pro is a good fit for you.
The outsole is made of a rubber MegaGrip compound. It has durable, moderately aggressive bi-directional lugs that have great grip on wet or dry rocks, snow, and can even be worn on aggressive trails. The outsole was designed by Vibram to be vertical
so that it can be used for climbing and also return energy so that longer climbs are possible.
Like the outsole, the midsole was also designed to be vertical for climbing. At the bottom of the midsole is a thin layer called a carbon shield that protects even sensitive feet against feeling rocks underfoot, and adds light stability to the midsole. On top is an Ortholite Footbed that provides soft, shock absorbing cushioning that forms to the shape of the foot over time and returns some energy back to the runner. The drop has been reduced to 4mm for precision and stability when running over technical terrain
The upper is made of tightly woven mesh with synthetic overlays. The mesh allows for some breathability while also keeping debris and dirt out of the shoe for comfort and durability. The overlays around the toes, heel, and midfoot add some structure. There are some stripes cut out of the midfoot overlays and filled with open mesh for improved midfoot ventilation to prevent overheating. The materials are welded together to prevent blisters and irritation caused by stitching. The upper uses a Minimal Fit System that hugs the foot with a little bit of support and still allows the foot to move naturally. The PU heel counter helps stabilize the heel to prevent rolling
and the PU toe box inlay protects the pinky toe against stubbing. The tongue is stretchy and does not slide, making a more comfortable fit. The quick lacing system gives a precise fit and has a pocket for storing the long laces.
This unisex shoe weighs 8.8 oz (250 g). It is not a minimalist shoe
, but it feels very light when running in it. The stack height is low compared to stability or cushioning shoes. The outsole rubber has lugs but they are not too deep and the rest of the unit is thin. The midsole has an Ortholite Footbed that does its job well but does not add much to the weight of the shoe. The upper uses tightly woven mesh, which is lighter than other materials, and the overlays of synthetic material do not take up much space, and the stripes are filled with lightweight open mesh. The PU material adds some weight to the shoe but not enough to make it heavy to trail race or climb rocks in.
The Feline Vertical Pro has good ventilation. The upper is composed mostly of woven mesh that was designed to keep dirt out but still allows air to travel in and out of the shoe. The overlays on the sides have stripes cut out and are covered in an even more breathable open mesh. The open mesh stripes can also provide drainage in case the shoe goes through water
. The upper uses welding instead of stitching so that the wearer does not have to worry about blisters or irritation.
Testers found that this shoe is really comfortable, especially in the tongue and toe box areas. The length is true to size and the width is medium. The midsole has a comfortable Ortholite Footbed that cushions landings and conforms to the shape of the wearer's foot over time, creating a customized fit. The upper uses an elastic tongue instead of a regular tongue, which creates a custom fit that is more comfortable than a regular tongue, which can sometimes slide into the shoe. The toe box has plenty of room for the toes to splay. The Minimal Fit System hugs the foot for a lightly supportive fit around the midfoot. The responsiveness, breathability, and light weight help make the shoe comfortable to wear for longer periods of time. The only possible issues with comfort are that the stack height is low, meaning it does not have a high amount of cushioning or support for people who are prone to injury
or just need extra padding, and that the laces may cause pressure if they are even slightly too tight because of how thin they are.
The Dynafit Feline Vertical Pro comes in one unisex color option. The left shoe is green with magenta stripes, laces, outside midsole, and logo. The right shoe is magenta with green stripes, laces, midsole, and logo. Both shoes have a black outsole, heel counter, tongue, and inside of the shoe. There are five vertical stripes on either side of the midfoot. The colors are bright, which some people described as “fun” while others would have preferred more neutral colors, or shoes that were the same color for both feet. The lacing system with thin laces is also both a pro and a con, because it provides a snug fit but can be too snug and some people prefer regular laces.
This shoe has great durability because of its high quality materials. Testers did not experience any problems in this area. The outsole's rubber lugs do a great job gripping a variety of surface types and do not seem to show signs of wearing after 100+ miles of use, even after going over rougher surfaces. The midsole has a carbon shield for better durability when going over rocks. The Ortholite Footbed is both durable and comfortable, creating a custom fit over time without wearing down. The tightly woven mesh was designed to keep dirt and debris out, so it is very durable. The synthetic midfoot overlays and PU materials in the heel and toe areas also have great durability, maintaining the shoe's structure for many miles.
The Dynafit Feline Vertical Pro is very protective and was specifically designed to protect the foot from rocks and debris. The outsole protects the foot from sliding. The midsole's carbon shield protects the foot well when going over rocks, despite being so thin. The Ortholite Footbed absorbs shock and cushions landings to protect joints and muscles from injury. The upper has tightly woven mesh to protect against dirt and debris, open mesh to protect against heat and moisture, a heel counter to protect against slipping, and a toe cap and PU toe box inlay to protect against stubbing and bruising on rocks.
Responsiveness is provided by the sole unit. The outsole was designed to be vertical by Vibram, using a MegaGrip compound for traction and ground contact, and the rest of the outsole to help return energy while climbing. The midsole's Ortholite Footbed provides some energy return and the low drop helps with precision when going over technical terrain. The light weight helps return more energy and the upper's snug fit and roomy toe box allow the shoe and foot to move freely.
The Feline Vertical Pro offers only a small amount of support
, suitable for neutral runners who do not normally require extra support in their shoes. The Ortholite Footbed provides a small layer of support under the foot and forms to the shape of the wearer's foot over time. The upper lightly supports the midfoot with its Minimal Fit System. Only a small amount of arch support is provided, so some runners might need to wear an arch support or insole.
The Dynafit Feline Vertical Pro is designed to go over many types of terrain, from rocks to snow to technical trails. Both the outsole and midsole are advertised as “vertical”, for rock climbing to going up and over technical trails. The outsole has lugs for gripping different surface types, the midsole has a carbon shield for protecting against rocks and debris, and the upper has a toe cap and a PU toe box inlay for extra protection when climbing rocks or going on technical terrain, as well as tightly woven mesh so that debris from the trails does not get into the shoe.
This shoe is slightly expensive, costing about 1.5 times as much as an average running shoe. Runners who are looking for cushioning, support or stability will probably not want to invest in this shoe. Runners who are looking for something lightweight
with great grip on rocks and heavy trails, especially short or medium-distance competitions, are often willing to pay the extra cost. Current pricing is about the same as initial pricing, although not all sizes are available anymore.
The Feline Vertical Pro has great grip due to its bi-directional lugs and MegaGrip compound. True to its vertical title, its grip is excellent on wet or dry rocks, with one reviewer stating that this was the best rock climbing shoe they have ever owned. The grip on mud is mediocre because the lugs are not as deep or aggressive
as shoes that were designed specifically for mud. The grip on snow is also good, as well as technical trails and ascending and descending hills.
The Dynafit Feline Vertical Pro has good flexibility
. The outsole does not have grooves, but the sole unit has a low enough stack height that it bends easily with the foot as it climbs or goes over technical terrain. The midsole's Ortholite Footbed both bends with the foot and eventually conforms to its shape. The upper's mesh and overlays allow the toes to splay and the foot to move naturally.
As a neutral shoe, the Feline Vertical Pro has light stability. The outsole's lugs help stabilize landings. The midsole's reduced drop helps improve stability. The upper has a PU heel counter to stabilize the heel and a Minimal Fit System and overlays for a small amount of midfoot stability.
The midsole has a reduced drop of 4mm, which is one-third of the standard 12mm drop. This helps stabilize landings compared to the forward momentum caused by the higher drop, which also helps with precision when going over technical terrain or climbing rocks. The low drop is good for people who are used to it, but it may cause injury or take time to break in for people who are new to low drops.
- Bi-directional lugs made of MegaGrip Compound grip wet and dry rocks, trails, and even snow
- Vibram Vertical Outsole ideal for climbing because of its grip and energy return
- Carbon Shield protects against rocks and adds stability to the midsole
- 4mm reduced drop midsole for precision and stability
- Quick lacing system with pocket for storage
- Minimal Fit System hugs the foot
- Ortholite Footbed creates a comfortable, customized fit
- Tightly woven mesh helps keep debris out of the shoe
- PU heel counter and toe box inlay for stability and protection
- Ideal for short- or medium-distance off-trail runs
The Dynafit Feline Vertical Pro is a great shoe for going over different kinds of terrain. It is comfortable to wear, has excellent grip, and protects well against stubbing or bruising on objects on trails or underfoot. It is flexible, durable, lightweight, has good ventilation, and works well on short or medium-distance runs. The design was liked by some people and disliked by others. The price is reasonable for people who are looking for the features that the shoe offers. Areas for improvement are more support, cushioning, and stability, and better traction on mud. Overall, it is a good shoe for speed on technical ascents and descents.