For the last month, I’ve been checking out Patagonia’s new Rover all-mountain shoe. Here’s the good news: it’s lived up to my expectations as a badass hiking, trail running, and light climbing all-star. Here’s the great news: Patagonia’s giving away two pairs to you guys, because you read the most awesome gear site on the interwebs.
So here’s the deal. Watch the video below, answer my question in the comment section below, then feel free to repost the video on your social networks and brag about the shoes you’re going to win. We’ll select a winner at random and announce the winner November 15th. If you want more insight on the shoe, read my review below.
Want more info on this bad boy? Here’s my take:
Patagonia Rover, $125 Patagonia.com Release Date: November 15
The Good: Wide forefoot, minimalist feel, EXTREMELY sticky outsole.
The Bad: Great on easier climbs, but don’t expect to climb 5.12 in these bad boys.
The Awesome: The first minimalist running shoe/approach shoe I’ve laid eyes on.
It’s a new world out there: Killian Jornet is running up mountains now. Literally running up mountains. Last month, he summited the Matterhorn in under two hours, sprinting up and climbing the 5.3-rated Lion Ridge with little more than a pair of running shoes. Designed with this new hybrid sport in mind, Patagonia’s Rover runner/climbing shoe hybrid sports climbing rubber in the forefoot and deep lugs in the heel to withstand the rigors of a rapid descent. The 8.8-ounce Rover sports a 4mm heel to toe drop, and the burly mesh and synthetic rubber upper is made to shrug off scree and brush, and the gusseted tongue keeps debris outside the shoe, where it belongs.
Patagonia was good enough to send us a pair to try out, so we took it up into the Whiskeytown Recreational Area for some off-trail mountain running to see how it held up. Here are some first impressions of this new breed of running shoe:
1. No break-in period. Thanks to the wide toebox and to-the-toe lacing (another not to climbing shoes), I ran ten miles of singletrack and watershed “trails” right out of the box, and I didn’t even get a hotspot.
2. The climbing rubber in the toe is legit. I ran up 65-degree limestone face without putting a hand down, and was crossing creeks with confidence.
The climbing rubber on the toes stuck to wet and steep rock…
3. It blends minimalism and protection like a champ. The 4mm drop and flexible outsole give you a responsive feel, but the ESS forefoot plate keeps a stray rock or root from bruising your metatarsals.
4. The burly heel tread provides great traction on the downhills. Too great, as a matter of fact. I stubbed my left toe on a downhill run(great toebox protection, btw), and stuck my right leg out to catch myself. Instead of sliding on the loose rock, the shoe stuck in the ground and I ended up with a delightfully hyperextended knee.
…while the deeper heel tread kept is grip on steep descents.
5. You can scramble, but don’t plan on climbing 5.12 in them. The rubber is great and the edges are well-defined, but the shoe’s not really stiff enough to let you properly edge on a bare face.
The Rovers look like the first entry in a wave of gear aimed at high-speed ascents. It’s a pair of shoes meant for the hyper-athlete who isn’t content to climb a mountain anymore: he has to run it.
10 miles off-trail and they’re ready for the next run.