Arc’teryx Norvan SL 2 Running Shoe review: It’s like feathers on your feet

As a runner and mother of four, I need the fit of my running gear to be quick and simple. Getting out the door to run before everyone has woken up, needs to be easy. For the winter months, I was using my Patagonia wind jacket paired with my Under Armour wind pants to fight away the Iowan temps. For this summer, I’ve been throwing on the Norvan Arc’teryx running shorts, along with the Arc’teryx Norvan SL 2 running shoes.


The Arc’teryx Norvan SL 2 running shoes are about as lightweight as they come. I’ve had several pairs of running shoes over the years and not one compares to the Norvan in its lightweight design coming in at 11 ounces. You can feel the difference on a summer run, or should I say you can’t feel these shoes at all since they are feathers on your feet.


The material was my next big selling point. They have a mesh material that makes much of the show see-through. No way that moisture is going to settle in these shoes because the airflow is amazing. Often with a mesh material like this, the upside of the airflow becomes the downside of the quality. But Norvan knows their clients need quality for the mountains they plan to climb (or run, I should say). These are solid TPU mesh that has a reputation for flexibility and durability.

A Norvan image.

Now these aren’t the type of shoes I’m going to wear around the kitchen. The sole of this shoe makes little pop sounds on my wood floors since the design is meant for more treacherous surfaces. Sure, all the Cheerios left crushed on my floor from my toddler twins could somewhat compare, but these shoes are meant for the outdoors. I found them to work great around my hilly paved neighborhood, as well as a run through the forest nearby. I glided over large gravel and uneven ground just fine.


The fit has been spacious. I have wide feet, therefore, the wide fit of the Norvan’s has been perfect as many shoes are just too tight for me. If you have narrow feet, I would suggest getting them from somewhere you can easily exchange them, if needed. I usually wear a size US W8.5 and for these, I was only able to get a size 9. I find I have a bit more space than I would prefer, but it didn’t make my feet slide around or affect my running at all. Ultimately, I would say they run true to size. There is very intentional padding for the heel on either side that hugs the extra space allowing a soft and comfortable fit. There is also a slit in the heel area that I assume is for your finger to better pop your heel in rather than the usual tabs in the back.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I have enjoyed this shoe for my neighborhood adventures. Basing out of Canada, the shoe is particularly designed for hikes and runs in harder-to-trek areas. But even my simple terrains have been a great fit for this shoe. With its lightweight and durable material, I believe the Arc’teryx Norvan SL 2 will take me over many miles.