Verdict from 17 experts and +100 user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • The lightweight structure of the Arc'teryx Norvan SL is lauded by those who have tested it.
  • Some purchasers are happy because the upper unit of this running shoe is breathable enough to maintain a cool in-shoe hug.
  • The rubber compound of the outsole unit is welcomed because it is suitably grippy and confident in its purpose.
  • Several runners have shown their appreciation for the midsole’s cushioning capacity, saying that it’s suitable and not too cumbersome.
  • The seamless construction of the facade is accommodated by runners who don’t like bulky-looking footwear.
  • The various colorways that are available are said to be eye-catching.

2 reasons not to buy

  • A handful of consumers have claimed that the outsole unit has a tendency to wear off quickly.
  • The snap-ring loop that’s situated at the back of the collar irritates the skin, according to some testers.

Bottom line

The overall reaction of people towards the Arc'teryx Norvan SL has been mostly positive. This trail running shoe is apparently a solid choice for daily runs and adventures on the trails. The uncluttered upper construction, the outsole traction, and the lightweight materials are the highlighted elements. On the other hand, the quick-to-wear-off rubber of the outsole and the irritating loop on the rear are the negative points.

Fans of neutral running shoes that are meant for the off-road paths are the target market of the Arc'teryx Norvan SL.

Tip: see the best trail running shoes.

Good to know

- The Arc'teryx Norvan SL is a lightweight running shoe that is designed for those who like to accommodate activities on the trails. This product utilizes a Vibram® Megagrip™ external pad with not-so-prominent gripping lugs and ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) midsole that has been configured to be lightweight and super responsive.

- A thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) mesh is used for the upper unit. This thin yet form-fitting material can flex and fold itself for natural movement and quick-and-easy storage, respectively. Thin synthetic prints help with the security of the foot.

The Arc'teryx Norvan SL has been designed to be true-to-size. Runners are encouraged to grab a pair with their usual choices of size in mind. Nevertheless, the attainment of full comfort and in-shoe security can be influenced by personally testing the shoe or studying user reviews from various sources.

When it comes to the fit, the elements that contribute to a snug and secure coverage are the thin yet flexible upper unit, as well as the foot-shaped outline of the platform’s lasting board.

The external pad of the Arc'teryx Norvan SL is made of the Megagrip™ compound from Vibram®. This full-length layer is tasked with protecting the midsole foam from the abrasive nature of the trails. It is also naturally grippy to enable surface adhesion and movement control. This technology is used by many running shoe series, including the well-known Altra Olympus line.

Non-prominent yet angled gripping lugs pockmark the forefoot and heel of the outsole. These nodes are tasked with heightening the traction given by the shoe, ensuring surface control, even when tackling upward or downward traversals.

Arc'teryx uses an EVA foam that has been particularly crafted to be light and flexible. Natural movement, speed, and the feeling of not being encumbered by the shoe are what this full-length foam highlights.

A TPU plate is placed in the forefoot section, and it rests between the outsole and the midsole. This element has the goal of acting as a shield against impact shock and debris on the trails. It can also potentially help with the push-off power the foot.

The upper unit of the Arc'teryx Norvan SL uses TPU mesh, a material that is highly breathable. Open pores and ventilation holes permit air into, and through, the foot-chamber, thus ensuring a cool and dry wrap.

Printed overlays grace the sides, the front, and the rear. These seemingly incognito layers help to maintain the upright structure of the facade. They also assist the traditional lacing system when it comes to locking the foot in place and staving off in-shoe wobbling.

A discreet lacing system graces the bridge of this shoe. Flat shoelaces snake through isolated fabric lace-holes, adjusting the fit to suit the preferences of wearers.

The thin collar of this product features a sipe at the medial side of the collar to serve as a clip-on point for outdoor clips and other attachable hooks for trail adventures.


How Arc'teryx Norvan SL ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 27% trail running shoes
All trail running shoes
Top 17% Arc'teryx running shoes
All Arc'teryx running shoes
Top 27% neutral running shoes
All neutral running shoes


The current trend of Arc'teryx Norvan SL.
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Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.