Patagonia Fore Runner Trail Running Shoes Review

Posted in Footwear, Gear Reviews, Hiking, Outdoor Gear, Running, Trail Running by Eric Miller - 07.09.2012

The Patagonia Fore Runner Trail Running Shoes are the most lightweight shoe in Patagonia’s running line this year. While they aren’t a “true” minimalist shoe, they are a great lightweight runner that doesn’t compromise on performance or comfort. Patagonia sent me a pair to test this spring and here are my thoughts.

Patagonia Fore Runner Trail Running Shoes Features

  • Upper Material: [outer shell] air mesh, synthetic leather
  • Lining: polyester
  • Sole: multi-density sticky rubber
  • Midsole: Air Cushion
  • Footbed: anatomical EVA
  • Heel / Forefoot Height: 9 mm / 5 mm
  • Lacing: standard
  • Weight: (size 9) [each] 9.2 oz
  • Price: $110.00

Patagonia Fore Runner Trail Running Shoes Review

Let’s quickly get the minimalist thing out of the way. The Patagonia Fore Runner Trail Running Shoes are lightweight (9.2 oz is pretty good) but for you purists out there you likely won’t be happy. They do feature 4 mm in drop and do have a cushioned midsole. What does make them minimalist is their weight but also the amount of cushion provided. It does begin to force one to be even more selective on their running path. The Fore Runner would make a good transition shoe for someone looking to start the path to minimalist running. Performance in the Fore Runner was strong. The lugged sole provided sufficient traction for dry, compact, wet, and light sandy trails. I didn’t notice much slippage on the ups or the downs. Between the sole and midsole my feet were protected from all but the biggest and sharpest of rocks. The air mesh upper is very airy (no pun intended). This is great for fair weather runs, hot runs, and even mild, dry days. If you want to run in inclement weather or on extremely wet trails, your feet are going to get soaked. My feet sweat a ton and the mesh kept me comfortable on warmer runs. One downside to the mesh is it does stretch and flex. I had to cinch the lacing down extra tight to reduce the stretching factor for the downs. I do need to play around with the lacing configuration to see if I can reduce the stretch even more. Overall, Patagonia is making strong strides in the trail running market and the Fore Runner is an excellent shoe. I’ve run in them for couple of months now and so far the quality has remained strong. I haven’t noticed any fraying in the mesh, stitching, or anything else coming apart. The Good

  • Fairly lightweight
  • Airy and comfortable
  • Long-lasting quality
  • Good mix between traditional shoes and minimalist shoes

The Bad

  • Mesh stretches require extra tight lacing to keep your feet from toe-jamming on the downs

Bottom Line:

For a lightweight, non-minimalist (zero drop) shoe the Patagonia Fore Runner is an excellent choice. Buy Now: Pick up the Patagonia Fore Runner Trail Running Shoes

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