Updated upper both cosmetically and in some of the materials used instantly give the shoe a striking apperance. It looks good and fits well. Midsole and outsole remain unchanged and that's fine by us; it does a good job so there's really no need to change it.
EVA and rubberised EVA combination midsole material provides a nice feel of soft cushioning on step in, combined with long-term comfort on the run. It's a durable combination and works suprisingly well for what these days is a rather primative approach to cushioning. That said, no compaints from testers even after their longest runs in a wide variety of conditions.
A cosmetically updated upper that uses some new materials, but really isn't too different to the previous model. Vivid colours and design make the shoe stand out, but as you step in it fits very well and the premium price tag is justified by the good quality finish. Feels snug and secure while having a nicely balanced amount of padding for comfort. Now uses more recycled materal in the upper too!
The 5mm deep Vibram outsole provides excellent traction on most surfaces. It's at its best on woodland paths and gravel trails, ok in the mud as long as it's not too deep and even does an ok job on the roads.
For mile after mile of comfort away from the roads, the Mafate is a great option. The cushioing is comfortable and durable and the Vibram outsole does a great job on any surface. Fit is excellent and the upper now uses a recycled material. For fans of the brand it's probably their best off-roader and for those wanting a shoe for off-road ultras then it's a good option.
For alternatives, check out the New Balance Heirro Trail or the Saucony Peregrine.
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