- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: 9.5
I had the opportunity to test the Arcteryx Norvan LD 2 shoe, many thanks to Backcountry. These opinions are my own.
Where I’m coming from as a reference point:
I have been using primarily Altra for years. Occasionally, I get into Salomon Speedcrosses. I run trail/ultra, primarily mountain, in Colorado. I’m 5’7’’ 130lbs and wear a 9.5 in pretty much any footwear. I used these for a week, putting down about 40 miles in them.
When opening the box, the first thing I noticed was undeniably the color. The yellow/lime color is a true safety yellow look. They are loud!! I don’t mind a bit of a mix-up from the typical black/grey color swatch of the trail shoe world.
Picking these up, I was surprised with the weight. The outsole stack made me believe they’d weigh more than they do. Arcteryx’s website claims these are some of the lightest trail shoes on the market, and, I’d say it’s probably an accurate claim. Light, and not lacking in quality of construction.
The tongue of the Arcteryx Norvan LD 2 is comfortable and integrated into the outers, making for a sock-y fit. The tongue is also stretch and has a big thumb loop on it for ease of slipping onto the foot. I wish the heel also had a thumb loop - it does not - but, not a huge deal. Insoles are removable.
I used this shoes in dusty trail conditions with many sharp rocks underfoot. Overall, I was impressed with the way the shoes handled. They are not a plush, pillowy shoe! It is a firmer foam, and you’ll feel the rock under you. This isn’t a negative in my book. If you are looking for a shoe to go fast in and feel the details, this is a good shoe for that. The rubber was grippy for the trails I used it on. No problems at all on rocks or dust.
I have wider than normal feet (but don’t wear proper wide fit shoes) and I found this shoe to be of an appropriate width. Snug, hugging my toes and metatarsals, but, not pushing out over the seams. There was just enough wiggle room in the toes to fuss around, but don’t expect an Altra fit in the toes. My heel stayed in place while running, and in general I found these to be a true-to-size fit. A word of caution: my feet swell after 7-8 hours of running. These would likely get a bit uncomfortable with any swelling, and I’d definitely size up if that was your planned use.
Overall, I can’t say anything bad about the Norvan LD 2 shoe. In fact, this is one of the rare times I’d give a 5 start review. I wish the drop (9mm drop) were a bit less. In fact, I’d say the drop is the main factor that keeps me from wanting to add this shoe to my list of daily drivers. 9mm is quite above my preference. Perhaps I’ll keep these around as a backup pair and ease my way into them. Construction is high quality and on par with other trail shoes, they look good, they feel like a responsive shoe would… II think Arcteryx is on to something with this shoe, and folks preferring fits like Salomon or NB would find these a good alternate.