Patagonia Everlong ReviewMarch 8, 2014
- Excellent natural handling and stability
- Glove-like fit in the forefoot
- Mushy midsole material
- Limited protection
The EVERLong will likely appeal to runners who want a soft, flexible, minimalist-inspired shoe with a bit more protection, but aren't necessarily concerned with speed or performance. It is extremely nimble, with a low-profile ride, but the energy-absorbing midsole creates a feeling of flatness that makes the shoe feel comfortable but sluggish. Think of it as a beefed up, spongy minimalist.
The EVERLong is one of those shoes that just seems dialed in from the moment you lace it up. This is undoubtedly due to the superb forefoot fit and the highly comfortable materials.
The performance however is a bit of a mixed bag. The light weight, low-profile ride, and overall stability make for an extremely nimble shoe: navigating obstacle-rich trail in the EVERLong is about as effortless as it gets. On the other hand, the mushy, energy-absorbing midsole creates a feeling of flatness that inhibits control and response. And while the protection is certainly increased over a typical minimalist-style shoe, it is by no means enough to allow for a faster, more reckless running style on anything beyond groomed surfaces. The overall result is a platform that feels more like a beefed up minimalist trainer than a long-course racing shoe.
The EVERLong will likely appeal to runners who want a soft, flexible, minimalist-inspired shoe with a bit more protection, but aren’t necessarily concerned with speed or performance. Because of the flexibility, the EVERLong also is attractive as a foot strengthening shoe for runners used to more traditional footwear. In this case however an adjustment period may be necessary due to the added strain on the feet and lower legs.
Comfort and Protection
The EVERLong is a very comfortable shoe from top to bottom and front to back—not in the sense of a highly cushioned shoe, but rather one that wraps the foot in a supportive but not constricting manner. The materials are highly pliable and soft to the touch. The laces and overlays wrap the foot nicely without causing any hot spots or discomfort. On the other hand, the legs and feet feel everything in this shoe. The soft midsole allows for quite a but of push through from rocks and other trail debris, which makes careful foot placement a must on rocky trails. However it’s easy to forget that the EVERLong is only an 8(ish) oz shoe. At this weight there is going to be some loss of protection, the only question is where.
Security of Fit
The fit of the EVERLong in the midfoot and forefoot was generally excellent. Testers with narrower feet did report some movement, but otherwise it was rock solid without a need for excess lace pressure. The heel however was somewhat loose and sloppy. Perhaps not enough to affect performance, but enough to notice.
Speed & Energy Effiency
Turnover was fairly effortless in the EVERLong because of the low profile and light weight. The heel-to-toe drop is a bit too low to give a racy feel, but the flexibility does enhance transition. On the other hand, because the midsole foam has such limited energy return, responsiveness was definitely lacking. This is not a shoe built for running fast. The soft midsole also reduces torsional stiffness, which in turn inhibits control at speed on off-camber, technical trail
Agility & Traction
The low overall stack height of the EVERLong and the low weight really help facilitate precise foot placement. It is just a naturally very nimble shoe. The outsole also is fairly wide up front which aids with roll stability of the foot. However this is not a shoe that facilitates running at speed on technical terrain, due to both the limited protection and the lack of torsional stiffness. The control simply just isn’t there. The low-profile lugs effectively offer road-shoe like traction, meaning they’re adequate on groomed single track and dirt roads, but struggle on loose and slick surfaces.
The MSRP of $110 is fairly typical. However some testers reported durability issues.