Monday, May 12, 2014

Patagonia EVERlong (Review)

I’m a minimalist through and through, and have been so since long before Born to Run (thankfully) made the public aware of the less is more logic, but I was looking for a shoe that straddled the line between minimalist and standard shoes to get me through the last hours of those very long, gnarly trail runs when even the heartiest feet can become tender and sore. It was this train of though that brought me to the Patagonia EVERlong.

 Where most of my favorite minimalist trail shoes feature a thin sole with a rock plate for protection, the EVERlong forgoes the rock plate and like a more traditional shoe looks to a thick pad of foam to turn back rocks and roots. But at just over 8 ounces, the EVERlong is still rather light, and feels even lighter than its weight suggests, so its heft is not among its numerous flaws.

The shoe’s thick foam successfully protects the soles of your feet from the trails, but at the expense of response. On soft trails the EVERlong lacks energy. Any “pop“ in your step is quickly absorbed into the plush cushioning . This would likely feel great late in a long run, but feels burdensome early on.

The shoe's upper feels plush and puffy with an excess of material which simultaneously lacks structure while serving no function resulting in what I would call a "sloppy" ride. I like a shoe that really locks the foot into place. The shoes interior is otherwise comfortable, save for an abrasive overlay across the top of the foot beneath the lowest lace which prevents me from running sockless as I would prefer. The shoe also has a removable insole which serves no real purpose and will slide around mid run if not removed when sockless.

The outsole is made of a sticky rubber, but lacks lugs which may be an issue on muddy / wet ground. The thickness of the shoe's foam also means being higher off the ground that I am used to as a minimalist, although the shoe's drop is an acceptable 4mm.

I wanted to like this shoe, but after a few muddy runs it seems likely that it will be relegated to everyday non-running use or as a work shoe.

Rubber sole
Breathable air-mesh upper
Dri-Lex moisture wicking lining
Removable EVA footbed with Aegis Microbe Shield
EVA midsole
4mm heel-to-toe drop
A lightweight, yet sticky outsole serves as the foundation for this endurance trail shoe from Patagonia.
Strobel construction
Weight: 8.4 oz (238g)

- New Balance MT110 NBX Trail
- Inov-8 Trailroc 245
Columbia Ravenous
- Merrell Trail Glove
Merrell Bare Access 2
-Vivobarefoot Breatho

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