Patagonia EVERlong, a minimalist running trail shoe built for going the distance. Being one who doesn’t like to brag, yeah I did 100 miler at 10 thousand feet of elevation, I wished I had this shoe. Patagonia seems to have nailed it with the EVERlast, which when it comes to trail running is no small feat. Under the guidance of Jeff Browning, an ultra runner, Patagonia has taken on the minimalist shoe mindset, added features found in racing flats and trail shoes to come up with a unique design that is fast and nimble on all types of surfaces.
Everyone knows Patagonia is known for their exceptional outdoor gear, but running shoes, it just didn’t compute. Luckily for Kathleen and I, we had an opportunity to chat it up with some of the fine folks from Patagonia during The Running Event. The beauty of this event is it allows us, “The Media”, to check out all sorts of great running apparel and gear from a wide range of manufactures. One of the booths we stopped at, actually we made it our mission to stop at, was Patagonia. We were rather intrigued as to why they were there. After a few moments it was instantly clear, they were there because they do have a running line. Who knew?
Obviously we didn’t.
While browsing Patagonia’s gear, they had a great video showcasing their NEW EVERlong trail running shoe. As an added bonus the man in the video and who was a driving force in development, Jeff Browning was also there. Can you say jackpot? Yes! Worlds were colliding, the universe was aligning itself and everything that could go right was.
When you have the ability to chat it up with someone who had major input into a product, you always learn stuff. Jeff, isn’t your average Joe or is that Jeff. He excels in the sport of ultra running, something I said I would never do, BUT DID and would never do again. Ultras are a wacky sort of animal that require a lot of respect. In training and racing for these you learn a lot about yourself and the equipment needed for such an endeavor . You learn what works and what doesn’t, so when Patagonia was looking for input, they made a great choice in Jeff. He is the real deal and his input obviously paid dividends.
After The Running Event, Kathleen contacted Patagonia and said we simply must review these shoes. A few weeks later, right before Christmas, a package arrived with 2 pairs of Patagonia Everlongs neatly wrapped in their boxes. What a Christmas present! We were both super pumped and I just had to put the shoes on for a run. No time to take pictures, that would come later. Time to test these suckers out and see if the hype matched their performance. About 8 miles later I was back with a big grin on my face. The shoes performed flawlessly and I became an instant fan of Patagonia trail shoes. The next day Kathleen and I would venture out on some sick rocky trails. Again the shoes lived up to their expectations.
Down And Dirty With The EVERlong
The Patagonia EVERlong is designed as a light weight neutral trail shoe that is ready for a 5K, but can withstand the pounding of a 100 mile ultra. That’s a pretty tough statement for any shoe, but obviously the EVERlong is proof. It has a low center of gravity giving it that low-to-the-ground satisfying feel. With a stack height of just 24mm/20mm, the shoe hugs the ground and provides a really stable platform for pushing off.
Unlike a traditional trail shoe containing a rock plate, Patagonia opted for something more plush. The advantage of course is the runner is more connected to the ground giving them more feedback as they run. Some may not like this choice, but after running in these on some nasty trails here in Austin, we’re talking lots of ankle twisters and jagged rocks, the shoes performed brilliantly. While you certainly could feel the trail underneath, it wasn’t anything too harsh or annoying. When the trails flattened out a bit, the shoes begged for speed and sent you rocketing down the trail.
How About That Midsole?
The shoes have what I consider a wide midsole section that narrows towards the toes. A little different than say Altra’s line of shoes with their wider toebox and midsole. While running in these, the mid-foot section provided a great platform for pushing off and felt really stable.
Here in Austin, trails are normally pretty dry, so it’s tough putting a shoe through all it’s paces during certain times of year. We did get a chance to run on some wet pavement with these and the traction was much better than the Newtons and ONs we have tested. On the trails, Patagonia’s EVERlong performed really well and seemed to grip rocks when needed. I have a feeling if the trails were really muddy these might not be our optimal shoes. The lack of deep treads might increase slippage during muddy situations, but hey just like a race car driver depending on conditions you may opt for a different set of shoes. I think for optimal conditions or conditions where there isn’t a lot of mud these are an amazing choice.
What About The Uppers?
The uppers provide a ton of breathability with Patagonia’s welded air mesh vents and their patent Dri-Lex features in the tongue and collar. The tongue seems to stay put and I had zero issues with it. During the hot summer, people will really appreciate the breathable uppers. During the winter months you may feel a bit of a bit and want something a bit warmer. My feet get pretty hot, so keeping them warm while running isn’t an issue.
The lacing system securely holds your feet in place with a nice midfoot wrap. I did find that if you have a narrow foot and you tighten the laces too much near the base, the top part of the shoe creases a bit. I am not exactly sure what changes would have to be made to prevent this. It could be that people with narrow feet have to look elsewhere or just live with the crease.
Getting back to the laces, as with most shoes, the laces seem a bit long for my liking and would prefer something shorter. I have had a few tumbles due to long laces in the past, thus my disliking to them. The laces are very thin, in fact much thinner than I have seen before. There must be a reason for this, but it escapes me. The only thing I can think of is weight reduction and the capacity to dry faster.
Above you can get a good idea of tread depth, which from the bottom to the top is about 3/16ths of an inch.
These shoes obviously don’t have rock plates, so they bend pretty easily. This gives the shoe a nice road feel.
Here you can see the EVERlong next to a New Balance. Notice how much wider the midfoot section is on the EVERlong. It’s about 1/2 inch wider that a traditional running shoe.
Patagonia EVERLong Recap ($110)
- Durable welded air mesh upper is breathable and minimizes any seam discomfort. Reflective heel logo for high visibility
- Dri-Lex® moisture wicking ventilated air mesh collar and tongue lining treated with Aegis Microbe Shield®; 20% recycled EVA anatomical perforated footbed with Aegis Microbe Shield® supports, cushions and molds to the contour of your foot
- Lightly cushioned heel pod provides excellent hold without any sharp/stiff counters; 25% lighter EVA midsole for cushioning; 4mm drop allows for a midfoot strike while still providing excellent cushioning
- Non-woven insole is lightweight and provides protection. Minimal sticky rubber outsole reinforces wear zones while minimizing weight
- Men’s Stack Height (heel/toe): 24mm/20mm; footbed: 6mm/4mm; insole: 1mm; midsole 19mm/15mm; sole: 1.5mm web, 2mm lugs
- Construction: Strobel
- 238 g (8.4 oz)
- Made in China.
The EVERlong comes in 2 color options for both men and women. Women’s a re a slight variation on the mens. I love the Electric Orange. It’s bold and makes a statement when running.
Men: Eclectic Orange (Orange, Black and Yellow combo) and Forged Grey (Grey, Black and Yellow combo)
Women: Tailored Grey (Dark Grey, Light Grey and Turquoise combo) and Catalan Coral (Hot Pink, Light Pink and Grey combo)
While the Patagonia EVERlongs aren’t cheap ($110), the price tag is in line with high end running shoes these days and is certainly less expensive than many other running shoes in this category.
Why We Were Pumped To Review Patagonia’s EVERlongs?
Come on it’s Patagonia. We’re psyched to build up a relationship with Patagonia and were fortunate that they sent us out 2 pairs of EVERlongs to test and let the world know what we thought. It’s one of those win/win situations that the late Steven R Covey so eloquently conveyed and often talked about. The excitement to test out something Patagonia is excited about and convey that to our readers. It’s what we ultimately love about EndTheTrendNow. Getting people to move and showing them some of the best products and gear out there.
We are certainly going to contact Patagonia about some of their other great products and we will showcase those when they arrive. I have my eyes on their trail running apparel including the Flyer Jacket, All Weather Top and Thermal Flyer Top.
For those folks wanting to check out a minimalist trail shoe, but are a little nervous about going Full Monti, you may find the EVERlong is the perfect balance of minimalist shoe with a touch of cushioning. For those looking for a super fast trail shoe, the EVERlong is certainly one of the best out there.
We will continue to evaluate the Everlong and post any new observations and thoughts here. Let us know what you think as well.
Check out the Patagonia Everlong, you will not be disappointed.