Today in the RO Test Lab, we’re lacing up some cool looking trail shoes from Dynafit. Never heard of them? That’s OK, they were mostly foreign to us too, but they’re definitely not new.
Dynafit is most well known in the ski and mountaineering worlds, where their brand is among the very best out there. A couple of years ago, they decided to push into the trail running scene as their mountaineering customers began demanding product to keep up with their sport. The Dynafit Alpine shoe is one such creation, with the hard core trail runner in mind.
The Alpine is a lightweight and responsive companion made for technical terrain (from their site). As for weight, the Alpine is just under 10oz (280g), which puts it squarely on the light side of trail shoes in the industry. As for how they handle, let’s get to it!
First, I’ll talk fit, especially the initial first few steps, along with some features. Out of the box, the Alpine is a good looking shoe (I know, terribly subjective). The laces are flat, the tongue doesn’t stick up, and has a built in pad for the top of the foot. The outsole is moderate, and is designed for comfort over the long haul. There is a 6mm drop and the Vibram sole boasts being super grippy, but from the look of things it should also shed mud, water, and loose dirt well.
The shoes are comfortable upon first slipping them on, and the lacing, along with the padded tongue, are an immediate bonus. I have a wider than average toe box and these fit just right. I will share more after a run or two.
The first run in these was good, although the shoes were very stiff, especially on downhills. I pushed them for 9 miles and 1,400’ of vert for their first day. Aside from the stiffness, I’d give them an 8 out of 10. Also, no rubbing due to width. Yay!
My second run was probably not your typical shoe test, but I hammered them for 31 miles and over 7,600’ of climbing, which also included the same descent. The first few miles revealed the same stiffness as the first run, but soon the shoes relaxed and really got comfortable. I would say to expect 10-15 miles for a break-in period. The grip of the tread is exactly as advertised, regardless of terrain. These shoes really shine in rocky places! Also, still no rubbing due to width.
My third run was 16 miles, with 3,300’ of elevation. Now that the shoes had loosened up, I picked a rockier set of trails and was very impressed with the grip of the sole, but also how the shoe holds the ankle in place to prevent slippage.
Additionally, the Alpine handles tight corners well (kind of like a sports car). Some shoes tend to get soft in the corners, and you can experience foot roll, meaning that the foot pushes on the outside edge of the shoe. When this happens, one can lose grip, while also having to slow down because it’s not comfortable. The Alpine keeps the foot on top of the footbed at all times, with no roll. Definite plus!
All in all, the Dynafit Alpine is winner. About the only negative is the stiffness during the break-in period, but other than that, the Alpine is a solid trail shoe for both racing and training, regardless of terrain.
Cost/Where to Buy: $139.95 at Dynafit
Thank you to Dynafit for providing us with a sample pair. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.