The North Face Ultra Cardiac

8.0
8.0 score
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Editor rating: 8.0 / 10
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The North Face Ultra Cardiac Review Facts

With comfort for any trail you face, The North Face Ultra Cardiac provides a smooth ride and great traction. There is a foam midsole that provides neutral cushioning and is flexible, allowing for better movement over uneven terrain. A plastic cradle around the back of the shoe cups your heel provide support. The mostly mesh shoe breathes well, and the combination of overlays and thick tongue secures the foot. Overall, this is a great shoe for most terrain.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Excellent breathability
  • A great amount of cushioning for any terrain
  • Seamless upper prevents blisters or chafing
  • Zonal protection in heel and toe
Cons
  • Some runners did not like the thin midsole.
  • Lack of rock plate which allows rocks and other materials to potentially puncture the midsole
  • Due to the extreme cushioning in the upper, reviewers have reported blisters on the big toe or ball of the foot after running
  • Stiff material
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The North Face Ultra Cardiac uses a Vibram outsole which was engineered for optimal traction. This technology allows for durability against any terrain for long distances. The Vibram outsole will not wear and tear easily and is long-lasting, which is especially important in the high impact areas of the shoe. However, even though the outsole provides a lot of protection and durability, it doesn’t feel clunky. The outsole coupled with the zonal protection in the heel and toe means your feet will be protected even on rough terrain. For runner’s who enjoy running in the snow, the outsole of the shoe is durable enough to accommodate microspikes.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The midsole has a single-density, compression-molded EVA for a smooth ride. The Pebax heel CRADLE provides extra support by keeping your heel in place, even on uneven terrain. The overlays on the side of the shoe give the shoe a snug fit and added stability.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The upper is constructed of The North Face’s Ultra Airmesh and FlashDry which works extremely well at wicking moisture away from feet. Whether your feet sweat a lot or you’re running through rain and slush, your feet will stay dry. The mesh works effectively in keeping sand out of the shoe. The padding around the ankle and Achilles is so plush that many customers reported ordering a size up. Due to the extreme cushioning in the upper, reviewers have reported blisters on the big toe or ball of the foot after running. Also, the laces run high into the foot which can cause the thick tongue to slide down.
Weight
Weight

Weight

Out of the box The North Face Ultra Cardiac looks “beefy,” but it has a very light feel when running. The women's version weighs 7.7 ounces and the men's version weighs 9.7 ounces.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The North Face Ultra Cardiac provides perfect ventilation in hot and cold conditions. This shoe comes with Ultra Airmesh and FlashDry technology which keeps you cool and dry. The Ultra Airmesh prevents feet from overheating in warm weather. The FlashDry outsole makes drying quick and easy when facing weather like rain or snow.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

The outstanding Ultra Airmesh and FlashDry upper keep you cool, dry and comfortable. The zonal protection in the heel and toe, as well as the Pebax heel CRADLE that provides proper heel positioning and support also provide excellent comfort. The materials and design used in the North Face Ultra Cardiac create the perfect fit your foot, but the plushness in the upper may not work for every runner. As previously stated, the plush upper, as well as the thick tongue may cause blisters or irritations for some runners.
Style
Style

Style

The North Face Ultra Cardiac comes in 5 color options for men including Cosmic Blue, Black/Dayglo Yellow, Black Ink Green/Power Orange, Blue Quartz/Freesia Yellow, Quill Blue/Acid Yellow. It comes in 3 color options for women including Rocket Red, Amparo Blue/Glo Pink, Closeout Bluebird/Budding Green. The design on the sides of the shoe as well as the upward pointing toe makes them look sleek and fast.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The high-quality materials used to create The North Face Ultra Cardiac make the shoes extremely durable yet light and flexible. They are light enough that they won’t slow you down as you run but durable enough to be protected against outdoor elements. The full-length, durable Vibram outsole is specifically engineered for optimal traction and balance.
Protection
Protection

Protection

With The North Face Ultra Cardiac, you will feel plenty of protection. Thanks to the Zonal protection, your heel and toes will be covered from getting injured on the trail. The shoe incorporates Ultra Series cushioning materials which will also make your feet feel as comfortable and protected as they deserve to be.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The technologies used in the North Face Ultra Cardiac will work with your natural foot movement while giving you the best control needed whether climbing steep terrain, smooth, flat surfaces or wet conditions. The shoe hugs your foot around the ankle with its Pebax heel CRADLE which gives your foot proper positioning and support. The full-length Vibram outsole gives the ultimate traction and balance.
Support
Support

Support

The shoe designed for neutral foot types, so if you need additional support, you might need to look elsewhere. You should always check your running mechanics before making a purchase to see which shoe would work well for your foot type. This shoe is designed for neutral pronators, so if you have over-pronate or underpronate, this may not be the shoe for you and may negatively affect your running performance overall.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The North Face Ultra Cardiac performs best on trails. The Vibram full-length outsole is engineered for optimal traction through trails. The Pebax heel CRADLE will keep your ankle supported as you move up and down any hills or rocks and the luxurious cushioning through the tongue and insole will keep your feet comfortable through the toughest of terrains.
Price
Price

Price

With an average price of $110 USD, the North Face Ultra Cardiac are an average price for trail running shoes. The pricing varies depending on whether they are men or women shoes, as well as color and size. The North Face Ultra Cardiac is definitely a good value for the price.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The North Face Ultra Cardiac's Vibram outsole was made to provide specific traction. It was designed for traction and balance as you run through trails. Whether you are running through wet or dry elements, the Vibram outsole will provide an excellent grip.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

The North Face Ultra Cardiac is extremely flexible. The flexibility allows you to feel the ground on rocky terrain. However, unfortunately, the thin midsole that adds flexibility may not provide enough comfort or protection on rocky terrain.
Stability
Stability

Stability

The North Face Ultra Cardiac is not a stability shoe and is best-suited for neutral runners who do not need additional support. However, the shoe does provide impact and element protection while being light in order to give you the best performance on any terrain. The traction of the Vibram outsole also gives you more stability and control when running.
Drop
Drop

Drop

There is an 8mm heel-to-drop. It is 20mm at the heel and 12mm at the forefoot. The North Face Ultra Cardiac are really good neutral performance running shoes.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

• Versatile neutral performance shoes
• Softly Cushioned midsole
• Breathability to avoid friction and overheating
• Zonal Protection in heel and toe
• Wide platform to accommodate wider foot types
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The North Face Ultra Cardiac are shoes that are comfortable and built to last. They are perfect for neutral pronators who don’t need a lot of ankle support. They are extremely lightweight but efficient and perfect for long distances. These shoes are for runners who prefer light, flexible and heavily cushioned shoes. The combination of technologies in the North Face Ultra Cardiac bring the best comfortability and breathability for trail runners.