Dynafit Ultra Pro Review Facts
A long-distinguished manufacturer of ski gear and trailing equipment, Austrian-based Dynafit has recently carved out its own place among the top makers of trail running shoes. Though a number of mistakes were made in the beginning, the brand has since listened to its critics and come out with several releases that are now staples for trail runners of all levels. Its Ultra Pro model is described as a shoe for those in need of greater cushioning and stability during these intense, long distance runs. This shoe’s level of protection and strong traction are on a much higher level than what can be found through more mainstream athletic wear brands. Yet, as with many of Dynafit’s running shoes, reviewers have pointed out that it lacks the breathable and flexible wear that runners have come to expect from their footwear.
The Ultra Pro’s protective and durable nature lies primarily in its outsole. Constructed of Vibram Ultra, a staple in trail-running shoes, it features a sticky Megagrip compound that provides an incredibly strong grasp on most wet and dry terrains. Reviewers marveled over not only how secure they felt running through mud, gravel, and various rocky terrains, but also at how well it continued to maintain its shape and resist wear even after being used for such rugged areas. They do note, however, that this outsole is too robust and difficult to use on racing tracks
and paved roads.
The Duo Motion technology built into the Ultra Pro’s midsole is what truly keeps the runner comfortable and more stable even while traveling long distances
. It’s comprised of two different layers, each with a different density, to more efficiently transfer energy throughout the foot and ensure a more natural range of motion. This also provides better responsiveness when it comes to running across different terrains. For added cushioning, as well as some much-needed moisture wicking, an Ortholite footbed is included.
The Ultra Pro’s Quick Lacing system, as featured on several of Dynafit’s shoes, allows for a more customized fit that the runner can easily adjust without being interrupted. Aside from providing significant toe room, this shoe also features a Ballistic Bumper at the tip to lessen impact and protect the toes from injury. A Heel Preloader is fixed in at the back and wraps around to ensure that the foot stays in place. To provide further safety and convenience, it makes use of the brand’s Invisible Lacing. This consists only of a stretch mesh panel that covers the tongue and most of the lacing to keep them from impeding the runner’s movements. It should be noted that this feature does have some significant disadvantages. For one, its materials are not very flexible, which can lead to eventual wear and tear. It also lacks the breathability that runners now look for in their footwear, which could make this shoe quite uncomfortable in warmer weather. In addition, this material is not water repellant
and will take quite a long time to dry once wet.
When measured, the Ultra Pro seems to weigh no more than any other running shoe on the market. Both men’s and women’s models average out to 9.9 oz, which doesn’t appear to be too substantial to some. This is actually the perfect weight for a trail running shoe, indicating that it provides the runner with stability and protection without weighing them down. Yet some of its features, such as its heel arch, can make the shoe feel heavier than it actually is. This could have more to do with how it’s fixed in than its actual weight.
One of the Ultra Pro’s greatest downsides is its lack of breathability. Many trail-running shoes released in recent years are focusing more on proper airflow and better comfort. Yet, as with several of their previous models, Dynafit chose to focus more on durability and protection when designing this shoe. While this does mean that debris and other elements cannot enter the shoe, it also means a greater possibility of odor
, and other inconveniences. Dynafit has made up for this slightly with the inclusion of an Ortholite footbed, which works to draw sweat and moisture away from the foot and keep the runner as comfortable as possible.
As a whole, the Ultra Pro keeps the runner very comfortable throughout their long distance runs. The Duo Motion within its midsole guides the foot’s movements and evenly transfers energy, while the Ortholite footbed provides additional cushioning and keeps moisture at bay. Its Quick Lacing system allows the runner to better customize their fit, and the Ballistic Bumper placed at the tip protects the toes from possible injuries. The shoe’s only disadvantage, however, is its lack of breathability, which can make running through warm weather
At first glance, the Ultra Pro does look quite similar to the Speed MTN GTX
model. There are, however, some very obvious differences. For one, a midsole was built into this model for better cushioning and protection. Furthermore, instead of a waffle-iron pattern, its outsole features a Megagrip compound for superior traction against most outdoor surfaces. It does feature the same Quick Lacing system and Heel Preloader, with the brand’s name prominently displayed on either side. The Ultra Pro is sold in three eye-catching colorways
. Black/neon green and lime green/bright blue are sold in men’s sizes, while a dark turquoise/neon coral option is available for women.
The Ultra Pro seems to be evenly split when it comes to the durability of its features. Numerous tests have shown its outsole and midsole to be incredibly durable, even after months of usage on both mountain and forest
trails. When it comes to its upper, however, things are quite different. Though the materials themselves are incredibly sturdy, they don’t prove to be very flexible. And because they lack significant give, any excessive movement will cause the upper to gradually wear down and come apart over time.
Without a doubt, the Ultra Pro’s greatest selling point is its protective features. Along with the strong and stable grip of its outsole, its Duo Motion midsole works to cushion the foot and provide balanced levels of energy transfer to reduce the likelihood of injuries
. The material of its upper keeps all traces of dirt and outside debris away from the foot. Even the toes are guarded against impact and harsh terrains, thanks to the Ballistic Bumper placed at the tip. And to further eliminate any hazards, Invisible Lacing is utilized to keep the runner from tripping. Despite its strong traction on wet terrains, the Ultra Pro is still not waterproof. In fact, the upper will take a considerable amount of time to dry once its wet.
As a trail running shoe, it’s extremely important that the Ultra Pro is able to respond to any sudden changes in pace and environment. With a Vibram and Megagrip compound outsole, it can do just that by keeping the runner stabilized even through wet terrains. Its Duo Motion midsole area takes on the bulk of this responsibility by absorbing shock and evenly transferring the resulting energy throughout the foot. This also better enables the runner to safely change their speed at any time. The protective and stabilizing features of its upper, including the Ballistic Bumper and Heel Preloader, ensure that the foot stays snug and secure as it moves through rough terrains.
Another key selling point of the Ultra Pro is its ability to support the runner as they travel long distances through rocky terrains. While its Vibram and Megagrip compound outsole provide the perfect base for trail running, it’s the shoe’s Duo Motion midsole technology that proves to be the most supportive. Providing a high level of shock absorption, it redistributes the resulting energy in such a way that it promotes more natural foot movement. Furthermore, even after excessive use, it is still able to retain its shape and provide the same level of support and stability.
As a trail running shoe, the Ultra Pro is built entirely to keep its wearer protected and in motion through a number of rugged terrains. According to Dynafit’s website, one of this shoe’s best uses is for Alpine running. Rather than a typical forest hiking trail, this model is designed more for those who enjoy intense 40k runs through steep uphills and mountainous trails. And thanks to its Megagrip compound, even wet surfaces can’t impede on the runner’s journey. Despite its proficiency on trails and other rugged terrains, however, this shoe is too robust to be used on racing tracks or paved roads.
Across most online retailers, the Ultra Pro runs for $140. This price
can be found on Dynafit’s website, as well as other online camping retailers. While it may seem like a lot to spend on running shoes, especially to those who are new to trail running, proper care will ensure that it lasts and, in time, becomes worth every penny. Not to mention that $140 is quite reasonable when compared to several of Dynafit’s other models.
It’s entirely expected of all trail running shoes to have the strongest traction possible, and the Ultra Pro definitely does not disappoint. With a Vibram outsole, a reliable feature on many trail shoes, it is further enhanced by a Megagrip compound. This sticky rubber is carved into a tread pattern that easily grips onto hard, mountainous terrains and gravel roads, keeping the runner going whether conditions are wet or dry. According to one reviewer, even the occasional rock getting caught in its tread pattern didn’t impact its grip in any major way.
Along with its lack of proper air circulation, several reviews suggest that the Ultra Pro does not offer a very flexible wear. Because Dynafit has focused so strongly on their shoes protective features, they sacrifice the flexible wear that most runners look for. Though the upper and midsole fair reasonably well within this category, the mesh materials of its upper prove to be too stiff to some reviewers. Unfortunately, this does mean that this feature is prone to premature damage.
While it does not include any corrective features for those with pronation
, the Ultra Pro still works to ensure stable
and more natural movement on a number of different outdoor surfaces. The Duo Motion technology built into its midsole takes on most of this work, better dispensing shock absorption and allowing the runner to adapt their motions to various terrains. Its Quick Lacing system further aids the runner by allowing them to better customize their fit and ensure that it stays secure. In addition, the Heel Preloader wraps around the entire heel to keep the foot further locked in place.
The Ultra Pro features an 8mm heel-to-toe drop
, which is slightly less than what’s found in the average running shoe. While some may not see much of a difference between 8mm and 10mm, trail runners notice that this provides slightly more natural movement across rugged surfaces while still giving them much needed heel support.
- Vibram Ultra outsole
- Megagrip compound
- Duo Motion Technology
- Ortholite Footbed
- Quick Lacing System
- Ballistic Bumper
- Heel Preloader
- Invisible Lacing
- Available in three color options
- Average price tag of $140
Though many were skeptical at first when Dynafit began to release their own line of trail running shoes, they have quickly proven themselves worthy of a spot amongst the best manufacturers out there. As a brand that’s familiar with rough terrains, and what athletes will need to safely travel across them, it’s no surprise that many of their shoes are becoming staples for 40k runners of all levels. Their Ultra Pro model could soon reach this level as well, thanks to its protective features and highly advanced cushioning. There is still a lot of room left for improvement, especially when it comes to a more breathable wear. Still, if Dynafit’s track record is any indication, they are already taking note of incoming critiques and putting them to use for designing their next model.