I have been testing the The North Face Single Track Hayasa on a varied terrain for a couple of weeks now. My initial review of the shoe can be read HERE
First thing you will notice is that my initial shoes were blue! No, no miracle. I made a comment in my review that I had gone a half size larger. My normal size is UK9.5 and I had taken a UK10. I did express a concern that I thought the additional half size may very well be too much. I was correct.
My first test in the shoes, a hilly 6 miler had my foot moving just a little too much within the shoe. Nothing terrible, nothing uncomfortable but it just didn’t feel quite right.
So, I am now in a UK9.5 and they feel ‘sweet’. Actually like the black and yellow too!
The Hayasa has a 10mm drop but is low to the ground and as such it still promotes a very mid to forefoot run technique. The lacing I love. It would appear the laces have an element of ‘elastic’ within them so not only can you pull the shoe tight on your foot but once tied the laces don’t come loose. A real bonus. However, the laces are way too long… not a problem, I cut mine down and then just melted the ends with a match so they wouldn’t fray. The shoe is ‘very’ breathable and actually on some of the recent really icy days, on occasion they felt a little cold (perfect for hot weather then). The toe box is roomy and the upper is light and holds the foot secure.
Still early days but I have now done seven runs in them, two on the road (one 6 mile and one 10 mile) two trail runs (both 8 miles) and two snow/ice runs with YakTrax attached (7 miles and 10 miles).
I am really enjoying the Hayasa. You are close to the ground so you can really feel a connection with the surface and this promotes good technique. On the road they feel light, responsive and although the grip is more than a conventional road shoe I haven’t felt any negative effects. On trail, again the connection with the ground and the feel is superb, however, when the ground gets muddy the grip fails. It certainly is a shoe for a more compact, harder or dry trail. The surprise has been on the snow and ice. Admittedly I have YakTrax attached so that negates the sole but what I have loved is the connection with the ground from such a light shoe. You really notice the benefits when running through soft snow or hard icy trail… the Hayasa provides immediate feedback allowing you to adapt to the terrain accordingly. The Snake Plate I am sure is really adding to this.
Cushioning is good for such a lightweight shoe. Considerably more testing and runs to be done but at this early stage it’s a big thumbs up.
Snake Plate™The patent-pending Snake Plate™ consists of a forefoot plate that winds back and forth between the medial and lateral sides of the foot. Because it is not one solid element, it is not as uncompromisingly rigid from side to side and front to back. The result is a forefoot plate that allows the foot to do what it is physiologically designed to do: flex, bend, and contort to changing terrain. At the same time, the Snake Plate™ delivers rigidity where and when it is still needed. The thickness, composition and size of the Snake Plate™ vary from style to style as appropriate. For example, a thicker, more rigid Snake Plate™ addresses the technical, ever-changing demands of a mountain run. A thinner, more flexible Snake Plate™ reconciles flexibility with a decreased demand for protection while on smoother dirt paths.
Check out the The North Face HERE