Dynafit Speed MTN GTX
Trail running is a pastime that has gained considerable popularity in recent years. Although it is incredibly dangerous and can be potentially life-threatening, this form of exercise has been adopted by more and more people who find low-intensity forms of running to become boring or no longer challenging.
With the increase in attention around this strenuous off-road exercise, more companies have devoted time and resources toward developing footwear and other accessories to accommodate this growing market. Dynafit is one of these brands and they excel at designing and distributing effective articles of fitness apparel geared toward these brave outdoorsy runners. The Dynafit Speed MTN GTX is just one of their many products, although it offers enough quality and functionality to stand out on its own.
- Lightweight design
- Decent underfoot support
- Highly resilient upper
- Excellent for speed work
- Disappointing comfort
- Questionable underfoot durability
Additionally, these lugs are evenly spread across the entirety of the mostly flat outsole, meaning that energy dispersal is much more even across the wearer’s entire underfoot. While this has more to do with traction than speed, it does allow for greater speed as a consequence since it will allow the wearer to retain momentum over different surfaces and inclines.
Speaking of traction, this admittedly underpowered tread pattern is reinforced through a Vibram coating, ensuring a solid grip that will last for a long time and in the face of multiple road hazards.
With the Dynafit MTN GTX, on the other hand, no semblance of a traditional midsole can be found in its design. In lieu of the traditional EVA foam padding, these trail runners opt for the use of an internal Ortholite footbed.
While this feature will provide extra support for the undersides of runners’ feet and drastically reduces the product’s weight, the loss of comfort and durability may be too much for some runners to bear. For that reason, these shoes shouldn’t be considered ideal for entry-level trail runners.
For starters, a Gore-Tex membrane ensures that moisture from any liquid substance won’t be able to penetrate the external layer of this shoe and contact the wearer’s feet.
Furthermore, a combination of Ballistic Fabric and a Ballistic Bumper near the forefoot ensures that one area commonly exposed to environmental hazards will be able to deflect them and prevent harm to the wearer’s toes.
This has a lot to do with streamlined design elements located on the bottom half of these shoes, such as a thinner outsole and the use of an Ortholite footbed in lieu of a traditional midsole. This reduced weight is a core component to the Speed aspect of the Speed MTN GTX since it will allow runners to generate more momentum and increase their responsiveness.
However, there are inevitable drawbacks to this design style since it causes the underfoot of these shoes to have questionable longevity in the fact of repeated abrasions and road damage.
However, this shoe’s upper places much more emphasis on protection and durability, hence the addition of Ballistic Fabric, a Gore-Tex waterproof coating, and tech leather for its construction. These materials don’t do these shoes any favors in terms of promoting constant airflow, but there are some internal elements that allow for any moisture to drain out.
Additionally, the lighter than average weight helps to prevent these shoes from becoming too warm.
As a result, these shoes simply aren’t as comfortable when compared to the average trail running shoe. This isn’t to say that the wearer’s feet are going to be extremely uncomfortable; after all, the Vibram outsole is still quite sturdy and capable of absorbing shock from repeated impacts.
Additionally, the Ortholite footbed that functions as an ersatz midsole provides supportive benefits and can always be replaced with a thicker insole. However, many runners who are used to a traditional midsole will likely experience discomfort until they adjust to this form of off-road footwear.
For that reason, many fashion-focused trail runners will want to strongly consider picking up a pair of these for the novelty factor alone. However, one unfortunate downside to this shoe’s style is that it only offers two different colorways.
One is a combination of bright teal and highlighter green/yellow, while the other is entirely black. These may be sufficient for some customers, but the lack of additional color schemes is disappointing nonetheless.
To be fair, the upper portion of these shoes features many design elements that do ensure a long-lasting lifespan. In particular, the Ballistic Fabric, Ballistic Bumper, and Gore-Tex membrane provide these shoes with an impressive amount of longevity. On the other hand, the lack of significant treading or any form of midsole cushioning whatsoever makes the bottom half of these trail running shoes much less resistant to damage over time.
A Vibram coating on the outsole mitigates these concerns to a degree, but the end result of this design decision is still questionable in terms of durability.
The upper portion offers the most significant durability and also offers the greatest protection; this can be primarily attributed to the Ballistic Bumper located near the forefoot, but the tech leather around the midfoot and rear also provide decent protective properties.
In the case of the bottom half, these shoes can offer a decent but somewhat mediocre degree of protection due to its Vibram outsole. The only reason why this would be considered mediocre is that the lack of a midsole or thicker lugs detracts from its effectiveness.
Because of this fact, many people would be led to believe that these shoes aren’t very responsive. However, they still manage to provide wearers with a comfortable and competitive level of feedback thanks to their lightweight and streamlined design. In this respect, these shoes bear much more resemblance to minimalist road running shoes like those made by Vivobarefoot.
Even with this in mind, the intimidatingly high price tag associated with the Dynafit Speed MTN GTX is concerning. It’s true that these trail running shoes were released just a few months ago as of the time this article was written.
However, it may be difficult for many trail runners or casual running enthusiasts looking to dip their toes into the world of trail running to justify paying the price for this product since the offer an arguably inferior experience to cheaper offerings for the sake of improving speed. Still, a niche product will naturally have a niche price, and these shoes will provide an experience more or less on par with their asking cost.
There’s still enough traction present in the design of this shoe’s outsole treading to allow for wearers to handle themselves on the trail, and the Vibram coating added to them ensures respectable longevity. However, they won’t offer the same grip as something with more weight and a more aggressive tread pattern since they are primarily designed to accommodate speed work and sprinting rather than hiking or jogging.
Some runners are likely going to find this increased amount of give to be uncomfortable and may need to take some time to adjust to it. However, it isn’t so much of an issue that it causes stability to suffer since the upper portion does an admirable job compensating for this design factor.
As compensation, the upper portion of this shoe is much more stable, thanks in no small part to the combination of tech leather and Ballistic fabric that makes up most of its construction. As a result, wearers will still experience that balance between a flexible and stable ride, although it will be slightly different from the norm.
- Vibram outsole with even tread pattern
- No EVA midsole
- Replaceable Ortholite internal footbed
- Ballistic Fabric and Ballistic Bumper for upper protection and durability
- Gore-Tex upper membrane provides moisture protection
However, there are also some drawbacks that are worth considering before making a purchasing decision, such as their high price and limited comfort due to the lack of a midsole. Ultimately, however, these are reputable trail running shoes that will serve the needs of those interested in trying this fascinating hobby, even if they aren’t ideal for beginners.