The materials are improved over the first generation shoes. At the same time, the design of the upper is much closer to modern requirements. But the Ortega 2 is a true design for the dedicated trail runner. With the increased attention to the way shocks are dealt with, frequent runners can find plenty of reliability in the shoes. Furthermore, the shoes are capable of dealing with the most demanding terrains from a durability perspective as well.
Made with better materials, an improved design and better durability, the Ortega 2 can represent the go-to option for trail runners who deal with very demanding surfaces. The carbon-infused outsole is perfect for running in these conditions.
With carbon rubber insertions on the outsole, the shoes are recommended for extra durability. They can be among the shoes to be considered on trails which have plenty of rocks as the rubber handles these obstacles very well. At the same time, the groove design on the outsole also allows some flexibility when it comes to dealing with these obstacles.
In terms of traction, the shoes offer a good performance for the average runner. At the same time, they are made for wet and dry running conditions. However, those running in the rain also need to expect a drawback with moist management, as the upper might not rise to the level of the outsole.
Made with the QU!KFOAM technology, the shoes offer a soft feel. The midsole is specifically useful for average and long runs, where the softer profile enhances the running capacity. But apart from the foam materials, they also offer a QDP system. Simply put, this is a shock dispersion technology which works well with the ESS Rock Plate to manage shock which is normal when stepping on rocks out on trails. At the same time, it's also worth noticing the attention the manufacturer has given to shock absorption and it is why the Ortega 2 is highly recommended for the most demanding trails and for the most experienced runners.
The upper has also improved on the second generation Ortegas from the previous version. If the first design in the series is now a bit outdated with heavy materials and a clunky feel, the second generation Ortegas are highly recommended for a more up to date experience for fans of the manufacturer.
There is some room for breathability in the upper but due to the considerable overlays, this is not as good as runners at this level would expect. The good news is that the upper is at least water-resistant and it offers some protection from rain or water on the trails. At the same time, the upper is also made with a reinforced heel and plenty of padding in the ankle collar. This works for the comfort needed with various types of movements when out on the trials. However, it also places plenty of weight on the upper as well.
Size And Fit
With a 9.5mm drop and plenty of cushioning, the shoes are indeed comfortable. But they also fit well, even for those with wide feet. It is one of the main strengths of the design. So if the upper is somewhat limiting in how inside moisture is dealt with, the shoes make up with the improved fit, which is considerably better than with the first generation Ortega designs.
With traditional lacing, they are also easy to fit for all runners. Similarly to other trail running shoes, they do not come with revolutionary lacing. But even so, the shoes are made with two additional eyelets on top of the collar for runners with thinner ankles.