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Trail Running Shoes • May 13, 2024

Buite Hardloop Review: Flat Out Like a Lizard Drinkin’

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What You Need To Know

Weight

12.3 oz. (350 g) for a US M9

Stack Height / Drop

Stack height varies (6 mm drop)

Best For

Long, slow days with plenty of padding

Key Features

Supercritical EVA midsole, 5 mm lugged outsole, Ripstop upper, Gusseted tongue

On The Run
Solid outsole grip We dig the chonky look This croc is a heavy one
Price / Availability

Available now for $203

Introduction to the Buite Hardloop

JOHN: I love all things Australia. When I was a young sailor traveling in the Navy, it was my favorite place to go and I was lucky to get to explore many places there. Last year, as I was following the Dead Cow Gully Backyard Ultra, my love for Australia and its trail scene really reignited.

I was lucky enough to review the Tarkine Trail Devil trail after the Dead Cow Gully last year, so I really got to go all in on the trail running vibe from Australia. In my humble opinion, Australia is an already crazy cool place but now it legitimately may also have the best trail running scene.

I was so excited to be able to review the Buite Hardloop, another Australian trail running shoe. I got so fired up I ran the entire C&O Canal 100-mile race in them with no shoe change! Let’s see how they did.

ALLISON: While I may not possess John’s extensive background in all things Australia, I do bring some unique experiences to the table — like writing a paper on koalas in third grade, listening to the Coffee Club Podcast on the regular, and being a big fan of the Great Barrier Reef. But enough about me — let’s talk about what really matters: Buite’s first trail shoe. From the moment I cracked open the box and glimpsed the innovative design, I knew I was in for something special.

ALEX: Australia and the United States share a similar romanticism for untamed hinterlands, and no, I’m not just quoting from my film class in college about Peter Weir’s historical epics. This uniting passion for wilderness and adventure helps us to understand our siblings from another hemisphere. When asked for volunteers to test this shoe, I threw myself at the chance. As the resident BITR fashionista and forever recovering hipster, I’m always looking for the next thing (“you’ve probably never heard of it”). The Buite boys (and girls) have certainly put out an inaugural shoe that is big, bold, and standing apart from its trail brethren.

What we like about the Buite Hardloop

JOHN: The look of the shoe is by far my favorite aspect. I don’t like trail shoes that don’t have an identity or a personality. The black and pink looks great. Many people asked me about them on the race. They really project the energy and vibe of the Australian trail scene.

I normally wear a US M11.5, but I was mailed a US M12, and the sizing was spot-on. I would recommend going a half size up from what you would normally wear.

Where this shoe really excels is the combination of supercritical EVA midsole, rocker, and 5 mm lugs.

Underfoot, my feet felt great for the 100-mile duration. The Hardloop did very well in the wet and muddy conditions I encountered. The stability this shoe offers going up and downhill gives confidence, especially late in the race when you’re tired and you need it.

ALLISON: As I mentioned earlier, I was eager to put this shoe to the test just from its appearance alone — from the stylish tongue logo to the rugged outsole, it exuded a sleek and sharp aesthetic, especially in the all-black design. Slipping it on, my initial impression was met with delight — the metarocker design provided a smooth and cushioned ride, enhancing my trail experience from the get-go. Additionally, I found reassurance in the security offered by the lugs as I maneuvered around the roots and rocks along my local trails.

ALEX: If I’m keeping with my metaphor, on feet and on the trails, this baby presents more like Mad Max than it does Picnic At Hanging Rock. Differentiating itself from the standard trail pallet of earth tones, the Hardloop stands alone as the only pink and black monstrosity that would find itself in the backwoods just as much as a mid-2000s era Hot Topic. The look was absolutely what attracted me to this shoe, and if anyone knows my preferences in footwear the last couple years bold and ‘chonky’ are among the most accurate descriptors.

I thought it was a great call to bring the gum sole bottom as well, with some massive lugs on the outsole. On the trails themselves, I loved this shoe, especially on the downhill. I felt confident with where I planted, and the front bumper protected my toes from any loose debris. Since I didn’t run a 100 miler like John, I didn’t end up abusing the Hardloop too extensively in my testing period. Because of that, I’m really excited to rock these for running errands and adventuring with my toddler, and if you have kids, you know they love to offroad.

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What we don’t like about the Buite Hardloop

JOHN: The main two areas of concern I have with this shoe are the weight and the upper toe box area.

The Hardloop is heavy, but I can get past that. The upper definitely gets uncomfortable around your toes and the medial upper edge of your foot. It’s unfortunate because this shoe does a lot of things right but it’s hard for me to recommend this shoe to use on longer ultras because of the discomfort the toe box area causes.

ALLISON: Bless John’s heart (as they say in the South) for putting this shoe through a grueling 100-mile journey, especially in the rain. On my shorter runs, I couldn’t help but notice the weight, even without it getting wet or my feet sweating much. I can only imagine how the Hardloop might feel in the summer, with the potential lack of breathability adding to the challenge.

ALEX: I anticipated from the beginning that this shoe would be heavy just by how intense the mid and outsole looked in images, which was confirmed once I had it in hand and on foot. While on the trails themselves I was much more occupied with how well they handled and gripped roots, rocks and mud, most of my trail runs consist of a mile or so or roads to get there. Especially on the return trip, I felt like I was exerting a lot of effort to keep these babies moving, fully admitting the Hardloop seems born and bred exclusively for trails. Similar to the team, my front foot and toes got a bit beat up towards the end of the run.

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Final thoughts on the Buite Hardloop

JOHN: I think for a new company this is a great shoe. The Hardloop looks unique, and there are many great aspects, but the upper area around the toebox really needs to be updated with a wider fit for better comfort. I would recommend this shoe for a 50k and under, preferably in the mountains, for slow-moving adventures and training runs. I really can’t wait to see this shoe evolve in future versions.

ALLISON: With some adjustments to address the weight and breathability and perhaps widen the toe box, I truly believe this shoe has the potential to become something remarkable. Buite has certainly nailed the aesthetics and cushioning, so I’m eagerly anticipating future iterations and models from them.

ALEX: Like Crocodile Dundee fishing with dynamite in the Hudson River, this handsome Australian specimen has certainly made a splash for Buite’s first go. This shoe certainly delivers in grip and a good amount of cushion for managing trails. I felt solid on my feet and was able to navigate technical terrain, even if it felt a bit heavy and tight toward the front. The vibe of this shoe fits well in the current era of high adventure footwear being co-opted for the lifestyle set, and I could easily join the ranks of the Norda 001 and Solomon XTC-6 for some urban exploring chic this summer. Overall, it’s a great first effort, Buite team, and I’m excited for what’s in store in future releases.

You can pick up the Buite Hardloop for $203 using the buttons below.

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Authors

photo of man in yellow shirt
John Calabrese
Habitual Ultrarunner
  • Instagram
  • Strava

An obsessed runner, John has run in most ultra races in the Mid-Atlantic area. Since he’s an ultra runner, it’s no surprise he’s also a lover of food. He’s also a dedicated father, caregiver, and veteran.

More from John
Shoe Size

11.5

Fav. Distance

50K

PRs
  • 23:25:23

    100 Mile
  • 9:13:41

    50 Mile
  • 4:23:38

    50K
Allison Mercer
Allison Mercer
Southeast Reviewer

Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Allison is a die-hard sports enthusiast and long distance runner. As co-leader of Trail Sisters and FKT manager, she’s dedicated to fostering community and empowerment in the outdoors.  Fun fact: she met her husband on Strava, proving that it does go down in the DMs.

More from Allison
Shoe Size

9

Fav. Distance

Long

PRs
  • 5:57

    50 Mile
  • 3:39

    50K
  • 2:49

    26.2
  • 1:22

    13.1
man running and smiling
Alexander Walker
Culture Vulture
  • Instagram

Alex is a former spy and current cyber threat intelligence analyst who runs with the Faster Bastards. Originally from Detroit, Mich., he has embraced the lovely grittiness that may be his forever home of Baltimore, as well as its unique accent. Alex is a devotee of counter-culture studies, ’80s horror films and innovative sportswear fashion. Alex is committed to promoting advancement in running lifestyle and culture within Baltimore and beyond.

More from Alexander
Shoe Size

9.5

Fav. Distance

10K

PRs
  • 1:40

    Half Marathon
  • 41:42

    10K
  • 19:31

    5K
  • 5:51

    Mile
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