ECCO Mens Biom Ultra Quest II ReviewApril 14, 2015
- More breathable and lighter than the Yak leather version
- Biom Natural Motion technology really does work
- Also available in Gore-Tex
- Versatile for hiking and running
- Low volume fit requires precise sizing
- Not the cheapest
- Break in period may be required
- So light you feel a little naked
The Ecco Biom Ultra Quest II light hikers excel in the category, particularly for people looking for a lightweight, high performance shoe. The only limitation seemed to be that some people find it tough to get the perfect fit in Ecco shoes, due to their stiffness and precision crafting of the upper.
The Ecco Ultra Quest II light hikers excel in the category, particularly for people looking for a lightweight, high performance shoe. From high-tech materials and construction to bomber outsole grip to fit similar to that of a running shoe, the Ultra Quest II is an ideal choice for those who prefer to go light and fast, without needing a lot of ankle support.
The only limitation of this product is its fit. Some people find it tough to get the perfect fit in Ecco shoes, due to their stiffness and precision crafting of the upper, but the synthetic upper found in the Biom Ultra Quest II and Trail FL are more forgiving than the ultra durable and exclusive Yak leather found in many Ecco models. To achieve it’s Biom technology, Ecco scanned the feet of 2,500 athletes and worked with German biometrics engineers to develop an anatomically sculpted foot last, designed to fit snugly in the midfoot and heel, locking the foot in place, with room in the foot box for splay, part of a natural athletic motion.
The Biom Ultra Quest II proved stable. But the shoe is so light compared to others in the class, it may just be too fast for the way many North Americans hike, leaving them feel unstable. However, the Ultra Quest always held my foot stable and its multi-faceted and durable outsole were bomber-grippy. I also found the Ultra Quest somewhat stiff, which I find adds to a feeling of stability.
I would trust the Ultra Quests in any trail environment worldwide to protect my feet. These light hikers won’t protect you from a rock fall or from cracking an ankle on an outcrop, but nothing is going to poke or rip through this shoe.
Despite the stiffness and exacting fit of the Ecco Ultra Quest II, the shoe can be extremely comfortable—provided the fit is perfect to start with, and time is taken break it in before setting out on the PCT. The fit technology is designed to increase stability as well as comfort; and the Quest did not wear down as fast as other shoes (see Construction) I tested. The included Ortholite insole helped the comfort score considerably.
In addition to a lightweight full shank underfoot, a PU midsole provides a much firmer ride than the EVA used by most other brands in almost every shoe. PU also rebounds back more consistently and, in other words, won’t deaden with use over time like an EVA midsole. The PU is direct-injected, which also differs from typical shoe construction. The combination of high quality fine stitching in the upper and high-tech welding creates a trail shoe that is not going to fall apart, period.
This is a performance shoe in every facet, from materials to construction to design. The low construction is highly maneuverable and gives a more natural contact to the earth, while still being extremely trustworthy underfoot. Ecco’s design locks the foot in, while allowing the forefoot to expand upon contact, at the same time providing toe-off with each step. You get an exacting fit with a thoughtful lacing plate and tube-like performance laces. The whole shoe is breathable yet completely durable.