When I am looking out for a shoe to buy, I tend to take the manufacturer at their word. What I mean by that is that I look at what they say they have designed the shoe for. With so many excellent shoes on the market, you really have to go for what suits you and what you want to use them for.
Dynafit says, ‘The ULTRA 100 is made for really long mountain runs. The soft mid sole has superior damping characteristics, which means greater comfort even after many kilometres on the trail.’
So, trying these out, comfort over long distances is what I was looking for. Luckily, I am locked down at the edge of the Pentlands so I can run up to miles of trails with plenty of ascent and descent, muddy and slippery tracks and, at the moment, snow and ice. I am a slow runner and over long distances and up the hills, there is walking involved too.
Features and technical details
- Mesh Upper
- Heel Preloader: more support around the heel and a lower and softer profile
- Invisible Lace System
- Ballastic Bumper: protects the forefoot from rougher terrain
- Ortholite Footbed: adds cushioning and can be replaced to accommodate a medical orthotic
- EVA Midsole: lightweight, responsive cushioning
- Shock Absorption
- POMOCA Outsole: grip and traction
- Flex Grooves
- Drop: 6mm
- Weight: 330g
- RRP £130.00
Pros: What’s good about the Dynafit Ultra 100
The shoe is very supportive. Everything about it is designed to keep your foot in place. The manufacturer tells you to go a UK half size up and I actually got the man’s shoe a half size up and it was a good call. The shoe footed very snugly round my heel, gripping but not causing any blistering.
The toe box is wide enough and there wasn’t any squishing but there wasn’t room for lots of movement. My foot really did feel like it was being held firmly in position. It is the cushioning that provides this. I’ve never worn orthotics but I wonder if they are a bit like this as this shoe supports your arch.
Grip on the ground was good. I had thought when I had looked at the lugs straight out of the box that it wouldn’t be, but I was proved satisfyingly wrong. In mud, over rocks and even on snow with ice, they held up well. I had to put on chains for the sheet ice and they worked fine with the shoe.
Over longer distances, the cushioning did provide extra comfort, and because it is firm rather than soft, I think it would wear reasonably well, although I haven’t been able to test durability over the very long term.
Cons: What’s not so good about the Dynafit Ultra 100
The payoff for comfort and cushioning is, as always, that you lose a proportion of your connection with the ground.
The shoe is supportive which entails a certain amount of rigidity so there is less flexibility and your foot cannot move as much as it would with a less structured shoe.
The tops are mesh which will be good in the summer, but in the winter there was no protection against moisture and I was soaked early on.
You definitely need to go at least half a size up as the manufacturer recommends.
This shoe does what it says. It does provide more comfort over the hills and on longer runs. It is foot fitting and cushioned and your foot is well protected.
If you like a maximal shoe that supports you, you’ll like this one, but if you prioritise connection and lots of flexibility, then you may want something more stripped down.
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About the writer: Alice is a slow but steady runner. She prefers ultras because that plays to endurance. She lives in Morocco in the High Atlas mountains characterised by very challenging ascents and sometimes scary descents. She is also a big fan of the desert and has walked the length of the Sahara. Her latest book, Adventures in Morocco, tells her Marathon des Sables story and more adventures from Morocco.