North Face Hedgehog Fastpack GTX Shoes Review

posted in: Hiking & Walking | 2

On Friday I tested out North Face Hedgehog Fastpack shoes.

I have never tried shoes for walking before always having worn boots, so this was a new experience for me. I admit I was a little apprehensive as I didn’t feel confident that shoes were sturdy enough. I chose the North Face Hedgehogs because of their good reviews. It maybe just a mind thing, but I did not expect them to perform.

(Since writing this review I have also worn the Hedgehogs for The Ridgeway Trail – a stunning three day finish)

TNF Hedgehog in mud


Hedgehog fastpack shoe

One of the advantages of shoes is their light weight. These weigh about 800g. They have a Gore-Tex membrane giving a measure of wet weather protection and an abrasive resistant textile mesh upper to provide breathability.

The sole is Vibram rubber to give the shoe a good grip with deep lugs, the unique heel and midsole construction are designed to provide greater stability to the walker. This was what I wanted to test.

The test walk

I decided to give the shoes a good workout so I walked 21 miles along The National Forest Way starting at Beacon Hill and finishing at Sence Valley Forest Park. This gave a variety of  terrain, it was mostly firm under foot, quite a bit of trackway, and the ground was  mainly hard and dry when walking across fields and through woodland,  just a bit of scrambling across rocks in Bradgate Park.

It was a fine dry day mostly sunny and quite hot with a few clouds and a light wind.

The shoes were a comfortable fit and definitely light on the feet, even though the sole is quite thick it is flexible which gave easy walking. I think it must be the stability construction that makes the outside back of the heel deeper, this had the effect of pushing me onto the ball of my foot as I was walking. At the end of my walk the balls of my feet were a bit sore but perhaps this was because I had only had the shoes 3 days and I found it a slightly different walking experience from my well worn boots,  but not a bad one.

Choice of socks

I wore a pair of Smartwool Socks with  the shoes. Even though it was a sunny day my feet did not feel hot or sweaty, the shoes worked well. Because the weather was dry I did not have chance to find out exactly how water resistant the Hedgehog GTX’s were. I only managed to find a few puddles, and I didn’t get wet feet.

The shoes are not cushioned and my feet were a bit sore at the end of the walk but I had no blisters! Which I thought was pretty good for a first wear over that distance in new shoes? Neither were my feet over sweaty.

Conclusion about the North Face Hedgehog Fastpack GTX shoes?

My personal conclusion is that for a walk on a day that is not too wet, over ground that is not very demanding, with nothing more than a day pack I will definitely wear these shoes in the future.

Somewhen I will see how I get on in wet weather, but not if it’s pouring down.

You can buy from e-outdoor

The North Face Men’s Hedgehog Fastpack GTX 

Smartwool socks





Follow Clive:

Content Writer

I have loved walking in the in the great outdoors as long as I can remember, weather is not an issue and any landscape is a new adventure. Personal details:- Height 5'10"(1.78m), Wt 12st10oz(81kg) Chest 41"(104cm) Trouser size 32"W,32"L, Baselayer/midlayer size medium. Hardshell layer size large.

2 Responses

  1. Baba

    I have the same ones (but for men) and I suffered a lot from heel pains. Didn’t you feel it lacked support for the heel?

  2. Clive

    Hi Baba, the Hedgehog Fastpack GTX Shoes have what TNF call Cradle Heel Technology. This is a TPU cradle that surrounds the heel to help support the ankle. There is a cushioning bubble under the heel to absorb impact, the shoe is also designed so that your heel sits lower in the shoe to help give a better sense of the ground.
    However we all have different feet, and what works for one person does not necessarily work for another. Personally I have found the Hedgehogs incredibly comfortable.
    I suggest you look at firstly the depth of the heel, you might be better of with a deeper or shallower heel. Secondly squeeze the heel between your fingers, see how flexible it is. A stiffer or more flexible heel might suit you better.
    I would think that the relationship between your heel and the ground is more the source of your pain. You might find a solution as simple as thicker socks will help, or different insoles such as Superfeet.
    Hope this helps, and that you have more comfortable walks in the future.