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1 more day left to win a free pair of Patagonia EVERlongs

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New for Fall 2013, the Patagonia EVERlong (MSRP $110) is a minimalistic, 4mm drop running shoe that is lightweight, stable, and nimble with an excellent forefoot fit and wide platform for long distances in most conditions. Want to win a free pair? You have one more day to try, as the winner will be selected November 1st. Read the review and look for the instructions to enter.

I’ve been running in these shoes since August on distances of seven to fifteen miles, on off-road trails for training and on pavement for racing. Here’s how they worked:

Fit

The slippage in the EVERlongs is non-existent. A lot of times, slippage can be corrected with a good running sock (I like Darn Tough Vermont running socks).

Width of the toe box in comparison to the last is significant. This all translates into a superb all-around fit. The uppers are comfortably snug with a nice, close fitting last that doesn't feel narrow.

Note: Prior to testing the EVERlongs, I tried the Gamuts. The Gamuts slipped just enough to earn a full retirement to Mud Run shoes. I also run in a pair of Vasque Pendulums, which I use intermittently as a comparison point.

Protection and stability

Approximately six ounces (based on my size 7.5’s) is super light for a trail running shoe. A super light shoe means something was left out. In the case of the EVERlongs, it’s the rock plate.

This shouldn’t send you shrieking down the hall. If you don’t habitually run on sharp, pointed, jagged rocks and boulders, you won’t notice that the rock plate is missing. Still, protection is right up there with the best of them, with a toe bumper strategically-placed in front of your big and second toes (where you actually kick things).

Stability is right up there with the best trail running shoes. No complaints, twisted/tweaked/torque ankles or knees.

Comfort

The softer midsoles make them incredibly comfortable. But when running on trails with sharp rocks, I felt it. This is not to say that it was excruciating painful, only that I noticed the rocks in the EVERlongs more than I do in my Vasque Pendulums (which have a rock plate).

On asphalt or hard-packed dirt with scattered pebbles, the comfort factor is off-the-charts excellent.

I can’t comment on the footbed because I always replace them with custom Footbalance footbeds.

Trail performance

A low overall stack height and a wide soft outsole makes for stable landings on uneven trail. But the softer midsole means an ever-so-slight diminished response.

I think the low-profile 2mm outsole lugs could be more prominent and spaced closer. I suspect this is another intentional weight-saver. The upside is that the larger separation between the lugs allows each to act independently when running over uneven terrain. The downside is that traction is compromised on loose, gravely, or wet terrain. Throw in a carpet of wet leaves on a steep descent with a sharp turn at the bottom and you better have brought you’re a-game.

This is where I notice the biggest difference between the EVERlongs and Vasque Pendulums. The Pendulums prominent lugs eat loose, gravely, wet terrain for breakfast. But at 8.8 ounces, they’re heavier.

Final thoughts

These fit me so much better than the Gamuts. The EVERlongs seem to work best on dry, flat trail with rolling hills. This sums up 98 percent of my running trails. They’re great for racing because they’re so light.

Comparing the EVERlongs to my Pendulums is like comparing my hardtail Ventana El Comandante 29er single speed to my full-suspension carbon fiber Ibis Mojo. The trail and the mission determine which bike to use.

When I want a long, lazy run on dry, hardpacked dirt with moderate ascents and descents, or for racing, the EVERlongs are the better shoe. For shorter distances over rocky, rooty, muddy, wet, treacherous terrain with sick ascents and descents, the Pendulums are the better choice.

Win a free pair*!

The other noticeable difference between the EVERlongs and the Pendulums is a “signature”. The EVERlongs have one; the Pendulums do not.

What is the signature and where is it?

Watch the video for clues. Then shoot me an email with the answer, your shoe size, and why you want a free pair of EVERlongs (other than that they’re free). The best and most compelling sob story (true, half-true, completely fabricated, whatever) wins.

Winner will be selected on November 1st. Patagonia will ship the shoes direct to the winner after November 15 (when the shoes hit retail).

*Patagonia will ship to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.

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