North Face Hedgehog Fastpack GTX

8.0 score
[Editors rating (8.0)] = (TheGearHunt) score (8.0)/10

Editor rating: 8.0 / 10
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North Face Hedgehog Fastpack GTX Review Facts

It’s nice to get a new pair of shoes no matter what the occasion. You get to step in and feel the brand-new cushioning and test out how it feels to move in them. However, not all shoes are made equal for every activity. Some are made better for daily activities,others for running, some for climbing and others for hiking. There seems to be a pair made for every kind of activity, and while most will never know nor care what the pair they like is made to do, it’s actually pretty important information.

You wouldn’t want to go climbing or hiking in a pair of motorcycle boots, nor go beach walking in snow boots. There is a reason to know what your particular pair is made for. This is a pair specifically designed for hikers. So, what makes them good? Let’s go ahead and find out!

Editor's Pros & Cons

Waterproof outer protection

Great traction


Easy to clean


Lacking good support

Not true to size

Sole Composition

The sole has two parts for every shoe, no matter what the type. The outsole and the midsole make up what you feel when you put your feet into whatever apparel you have decided on purchasing. Why are these separated? Because they aren’t one solid piece.

With this pair, you have a quality build when it comes to the bottom of your shoe. This is the outsole, and it is what provides the traction and grip on the ground. This is truly what decides what the shoe was intended to be used for. In this case- hiking. This particular foot apparel was designed to keep your shoe from wearing out and tread that can grip even on wet or muddy terrain. It also allows for more natural flex to your movements.

The midsole is what is inside your shoe, and this is what you are directly stepping onto when you slide your foot inside. Unfortunately, it seems the material used in this case, the particular compression-molded inside does not work as well as others. Buyers have complained that it is simply too thin and does not provide enough support for the arch of their feet.


This apparel is designed to be used for hiking, and that shows in the design as well as the choice of materials. While these could be worn on flat, hard surfaces, they are built for outdoor terrains such as hiking trails and uneven ground. They are built for heavy traction purposes and even their tread is built to better handle mud and water, flushing it away from your shoes.

This is ideal if you are planning to jog or hike dirt paths or even make your way up hills. It is also designed to help your foot move more naturally to such terrain, which flat hard ground would not have the same areas for gripping shoes. It’s the difference between a smoother, flatter traction material where most of the bottom is touching and sticking to the floor, and deep tread with very little gripping the flat surface because there are grooves for gripping over natural ‘debris’ such as sticks, leaves, and grass.


So how good is the tractions, and were they worth it for the type of terrain they were designed for? According to most who bought these shoes, the traction was excellent. Slipping, tripping, or falling over natural items found on a hiking trail was less likely to happen if you had these shoes. This is definitely a place where this pair excelled.

With the treads designed to grip in multiple directions, they are set to be able to grip on some of the most difficult areas to hike through. They stood up to many of the tests that hikers put their sets through when it came to keeping steady. That gives a big plus to purchasing them before heading out, and for many is the most important one.

Upper Build

Yet another place where this brand and model excelled was in how they designed the upper shoe. Why? Because they came back from most everyone who tried them as being great against the natural elements that other shoes simply don’t. The biggest being water.

This is a hard area to get right because when you are hiking you need your feet to be in something breathable, but you also do not want your feet to get wet if it rains or you get splashed by a puddle or even mud. For this, they used a specially made material called Gore-Tex. The only thing this can’t do is keep your feet warm, it is completely un-insulated against temp, but it keeps you dry and keeps the air flowing.

Another good bit of news for this part of the shoe is that they have a special lacing system on top which ends in durable lace hooks. With these hooks being made of metal you might worry about rust- but you don’t have to! They actually thought about that already and this metal is rust-proof!

Size & Weight

We’ll go into the good part of this particular blend of information: the weight. Yet again, buyers of this model of shoe found that one of the best qualities about this shoe was how lightweight it was. They didn’t feel like they were lugging around training weights on their feet to get the protection they needed, less strain on the ankles at only 1 pound for men’s and around 12 ounces for the women’s version.

Unfortunately, they didn’t get the same praise for sizing their shoes. Many found that they were simply not wide enough for a comfortable fit. Most, however, felt it was disappointing because the sizes all seemed to be one off no matter whether you bought men’s or women’s variants. While you could simply by a size or two up as you need, it still is a bit of a disappointment when you have to find this out the hard way.

Airflow & Waterproofing

This is where we found that most people were very satisfied with their purchase. The shoes were incredibly good with airflow, which was surprising to learn when you consider they also had no issues with water. This apparel did as intended and kept their feet dry while they hiked, allowing for their feet to avoid the issues becoming wet can cause.

Of course, you have to keep in mind, that you can’t expect any shoe to head off the extremes. Meaning if you are going to be in a heavy downpour or standing in flood style waters, your feet will get wet. With its thin upper shoe though, they can dry out really quickly especially on a dry and warm day.

Comfort & Cushioning

This is where these shoes seemed to lack the most. It can also easily be one of, if not the most important aspect of a hiking shoe. Most found that the cushioning did not support their arches and had such little cushion to them that it absorbed next to no impact when their foot hit the ground. This meant they had sore feet only after a short while on rough terrain.

There are of course good ways to resolve this if you feel the rest of what this pair offers in traction, airflow, waterproofing and so on. Most people prefer to buy inserts anyway, even when the cushioning of a shoe is given high praise. In this case, they would likely be needed. You would definitely have your choices available, but the downside to any insert is you would have to go with the proper sizing to fit it and your foot- and with the sizing already off, this could be a little more difficult.


We found the appearance of these shoes to be highly appealing. They don’t have that rough and tumble look you often find in most hiking apparel, instead, the shoe has a stylish design that looks good for any environment. So, if you are concerned about whether you could wear these out and about, don’t be! They are actually good for any activity in this particular aspect.

Another cool thing is you aren’t stuck with a single-color pallet to work with. They have a decent variety of color options, so if you don’t like blue or pink or grey, they still have the usual brown and tan many of this type of shoe offer as well. That means you can pick the blending of colors that would best suit you.

Longevity & Quality

Overall, this particular model of hiking shoe has proven to be quite durable by those who have purchased and worn them. These have a quality build in which the rubber outsoles practically encase the toes and heels of your feet to give it a longer-lasting hold. The rubber itself is also high quality and the tread set up means it can take more impact for longer without falling apart.
The choices for material and build have created a good shoe when it comes to hiking and keeping up with high level, high impact activity. This means if you choose this pair for your journeys you are likely to have them for a good long time before needing another pair. You just may want to get high impact and support inserts to go with them.

Safety features

If you are looking for something you know won’t fail you on rough terrain, especially when it is wet out, this is a good pair to look at. The design quality is highly impressive, and the tread is built to grip onto the ground as well as to allow the rain and mud to move away from your grip so that you don’t end up sliding as easily. The bottom of the shoe is also built with the ability to take high impact and flex easily so that it is much more durable.
The shoe is also designed to improve your walking so that you don’t end up overstaining yourself while moving through the trails. Along with the high impact rubber that covers both toe and heel, you are more easily shielded from hiking debris so that you can move comfortably without having to put as much effort in.
Finally, the waterproofing means not worrying about light amounts of water soaking through your shoe and leaving you vulnerable to blisters. Combined with the airflow of this shoe, you are likely to find your feet not ending up with the dampness of sweat which can cause the same problems.


Designed to be flexible due to both the rubber quality and tread, you will find that this shoe easily moves to the natural bend and movement of your feet as you hike. Both on packed dirt, branches and even up hills. This prevents over straining on the muscles in feet, ankles and lower leg. Flexibility is very important for anything high-impact like sports or hiking.

Support & Balance

When it comes to balance, this pair has you covered. Between traction, grip, and flexibility, you don’t have to worry about how well you will be able to balance. These shoes will keep you going easily on the trail without the worry of debris or whether or not you have muddy or rocky terrain.
The downside comes from the support inside of your shoe. The type of inner sole they used is a great concept, but it doesn’t play out very well. The material is simply too thin and can’t support the arch. It also lacks proper cushioning against impact. So, while you won’t slip, you’ll still feel the impact on your feet over time without an insert.

lacing system

This has a top based lacing system. That means this is not made as a slide-on shoe, the laces actually have to be tied. Instead of just lacing through holes to get to where you tie them, though, this one has metal hooks at the very top of the shoe to give it better support without becoming uncomfortable. The hooks are rustproof, so no worries about them coming apart and they are tough enough to handle your hiking needs.

Cost & Value

These shoes are a little on the costly side for most. Given where they don’t quite fit the needs, many may pass them up. If you want long-lasting shoes, however, you may want to consider the many areas they excel rather than the one, easily changed, issue they actually have. These will run you at around $120 for most sizes and colors. The price does vary, however, so you may want to check which ones are best for your wallet as well as your taste.
They are definitely worth it in a lot of ways. If you are not against getting some decent and supportive gel inserts, you may want to save up to assure you have a durable and long-lasting hiking shoe that has you covered in every other way.

Key Features

-Very breathable
-Highly durable
-Style options
-Great grip

Bottom Line

If you want a pair of hiking shoes that last, these are definitely going to have you covered. They are also perfect for traction, flexibility and keeping your feet dry. The only things that could truly have you backing of a brand as notable as these are price and arch support. As we noted though, there are always good inserts to fix that issue!