Patagonia’s trail running shoes have been a model of consistent improvement over the years. There have been lots of refinements over time that have gotten them to this new shoe, the EVERlong. Built as an endurance runner’s do-it-all shoe, the EVERlong has quickly earned its place as my favorite Patagonia trail running shoe to date.
Patagonia EVERlong Features:
- Welded mesh uppers
- Dri-Lex® moisture wicking ventilated air mesh collar and tongue lining treated with Aegis Microbe Shield®
- Minimal sticky rubber outsole reinforces wear zones while minimizing weight
- 24.5mm/20.5mm stack height
- 4mm drop
- Weight: 17.7 oz pair (size 11, as tested)
- MSRP: $110
Patagonia EVERlong Offers Lightweight Comfort
From the Tsali to the Nine Trails and Fore Runner, we’ve had our way with Patagonia’s trail running shoes. While every one has been solid, the new EVERlong is something different. Inspired by some of the best road shoes on the market, the EVERlong is light, comfortable and offers tons of breathability.
This time of year is well-known for its hero dirt along the Wasatch Front. With that hero dirt comes amazing mountain biking and trail running. Soft, tacky trails are so inviting and the EVERlong has now enjoyed being a hero.
The size 11 feels true-to-Patagonia running shoe sizing. I’ve gotten used to sizing up in most brands and my 10.5 foot is much more comfortable in a Patagonia size 11. The tapered toebox is wide enough to enable wiggling — even with Injinji toe socks. Laces are straightforward with no tricky eyelets or gimmicks. The lightweight laces remain tied and eyelet tension allows pinpoint pressure where needed.
Of note is the semi-structured heel cup. It can be folded and compressed for travel without damage, yet it still provides an excellent heel cradle. What’s unique are the dual pads that tuck into the pocket below the ankle to provide excellent support and stability without the need of a plastic heel cup. The result is a comfortable fit that reduces bulk and unnecessary bits and pieces in the shoe’s construction process.
During my break-in period, I was enamored by the sheer comfort of the EVERlong’s. The natural-feeling stride and quality cushioning just begged for use. Once the time came to put these to the test, the cushioned ride made rough trails feel marshmallow soft. That softness won’t have you winning any races in these as they are more suited to cushioned training efforts (though I did nab a new Strava PR in these). Additionally, the slightly-rockered sole is a nice touch and certainly adds to the smooth stride.
As expected, the low-profile tread proved to be excellent in hardpack trails, hero dirt and even paved roads. What makes the treads excel in those conditions makes them suffer in loose, rocky terrain. A more aggressive tread has trade-offs too, so it just depends on the terrain you tackle most, but there’s no way getting around the low profile-ness of these treads. Since the outsole is not a single piece of rubber, the EVA midsole is exposed to rocks and other sharp, pointy things. It has held up well so far, but does pick up small, sharp rocks en route and may be concern for long-term use.
While these shoes are touted as excellent for ultra distances, my typical testing runs have been in the 4-6 mile range on a mixture of rocky, technical and soft, hero dirt. I found the uppers to provide excellent support and breathability, but don’t feature any DWR treatment so rain or puddles will soak right in. The mesh has been durable and cradles my feet well.
As mentioned, the minimalist outsole does expose the EVA to sharp rocks and debris. The balancing act between trail feel and protection errs on the side of trail feel with the EVERlong. It’s not bad, but I personally prefer something with a little more protection against the sharp rocks I navigate.
- Lightweight design
- Nice stride with a slight sole rocker
- Love the mesh/welded upppers
- Very comfortable on/off road
- Minimalist heel cup is a nifty design that works well
- Nice cushioning for training
- A little DWR would shed light moisture
- Trail protection is minimal — you’ll feel the trails, but also rocks
- Traction is lacking in technical, loose terrain
The Bottom Line
Patagonia’s new EVERlong trail running shoe is certainly my favorite trail runner from them to date. It’s “just right” design balances lightweight with comfort and support without feeling too minimalist. The rockered outsole and mesh uppers are excellent choices for winning design on less-technical terrain and training runs.
Buy Now: Available at Patagonia.com
Enter to Win a Pair of EVERlong’s
Patagonia has generously agreed to award one lucky reader a pair of EVERlong trail runners. This offer is valid to residents of US and Canada only.
How to enter:
- Watch the YouTube video above
- Submit a comment below with a) the slogan on the heel of the EVERlong and b) a sentence or two on why you trail run.
- Entries must be received by 12:00 am Mountain Time, November 4, 2013 with a winner selected at random. Shoes will be shipped after Nov 15.