I still have my feet on the ground, I just wear better shoes.
From their Black Friday ad that asked you not to buy this jacket, to their repair program, to their corporate responsibility and commitment to sustainability, to their policy of recycling clothing at the end of its life cycle, Patagonia is an epically eco company that’s getting it done.
Awesomesauce, right? But what are the shoes like?
I got to try out a pair to tell you about, and went with the Patagonia Fore Runner in Deep Plum/Flash Pink for running the trails at the state park that borders our property. The road that I take from my house to pick up the trails is pretty steep, and has lots of loose gravel and whatnot. I really wanted something with a bit of grip.
Bear with me here, I’m a novice runner and I don’t really know what an experienced runner looks for. These are just the details that jumped out at me.
I agonized for hours about what size to order; I can wear anything from a 10 to an 11 depending on the brand. Figuring I could always stretch a slightly-too-small shoe (as opposed to blistering in a too-big shoe), I went with 10s and they fit nice and snugly without caging my toes in. Yippee!
The Patagonia Fore Runner claims to be a minimalist trail runner and ideal for long distances. I’m still maxing out at about 3 miles, so I can’t vouch for that bit, but I did take these shoes out for a treadmill run and a trail jog.
My other pair of athletic sneaks are Asics, which I always thought were pretty light (compared to the Pumas and Converse I wore before them); the Fore Runners are notably lighter. The insole really cradles my high arch, which is pretty unusual for a sneaker (usually I have to buy some gel inserts).
I ran just under 3 miles on the treadmill (without stopping! OK, no I slowed to a walk once, but only for a minute and I made it up at the end! super slow, but I did not die! Thx Couch to 5K!) the first time I wore these out, in retrospect not the brightest idea in the world, but with no ill effects. No “breaking in” period: the Fore Runner is very flexible right out of the box, which made me wonder if they weren’t going to be the best trail shoes ever.
A cautious jog downhill to the park (and then a slow jog back up the hill), a distance of a little over a mile, made me pretty confident that I can run faster in these on our crumbling backroad and the trails without breaking my dang leg. They were plenty grippy and I didn’t go sliding at all. Which may or may not have happened before. Which may or may not have resulted in me almost falling in White Clay Creek.
So all in all, I like ’em a lot. They’re nice and light and comfy and sturdy, and they don’t look too much like “hiker” shoes— super cute for every day, even if they do nothing to minimize my giantess feet (Pumas have the market cornered on that quality).
Also, they match my hair, as a lovely older gentlemen pointed out to me at the Y.
Patagonia Fore Runner specs:
- breathable airmesh and synthetic leather with perforated nylon overlay reinforcements
- moisture-wicking, 100% polyester airmesh collar and tongue lining keep feet cool and dry
- 15% recycled anatomical EVA footbed
- gender-specific footframe provides a smooth forefoot stride, while a shock-absorption distribution plate protects against rocks
- multi-density sticky rubber outsole provides 360-degree wet/dry traction
- shoebox has pretty swirly design on the inside and invites you to turn it inside out and reuse for storage. SO BRILLIANT. How is it that I’ve never seen that before?
Online Shoes and Patagonia are offering up a pair of shoes to one lucky reader! Whoop whoop!
Doesn’t have to be sneaks or trail shoes, they have lovely comfy-casual and decently-dressy kicks too. Not just for the ladies, either! Menfolk, feel free to get in on this action 🙂
Just follow the directions on the Rafflecopter widget. This sweeps will end next Friday, April 20th, at midnight.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I received a pair of shoes for review purposes. All opinions are my own.