Arc’teryx S22 Norvan LD 3 trail running shoe review

Trail & ultra runner Chris Buckley takes to the trails to test the latest Arc’teryx long-distance running shoe, the S22 Nordan LD3

Review Date 7 July 2022
Pros
  • Lightweight shoe that felt comfortable from the first time of wearing.
  • Well cushioned midsole took the shock out of hard-packed trails
  • The grip was good – although not tested in heavy mud, they performed well on loose stone trails and wet, greasy surfaces.
  • Plenty of room in toe-box
Cons
  • A narrow fit – had to go half-a-size up from normal preferred size.
Review Conditions
Reviewer
Experienced trail and ultra runner
Distance
100km
Surface
Hills
Hills
Roads
Roads
Woods
Woods
Trails
Trails
Weather
Dry
Dry
Damp
Damp
Summary
A no-nonsense shoe that delivers comfort cushioning and protection along with excellent grip.
RRP - £150
Rating
7.2

Arc'teryx S22 Norvan LD 3 Review

First impression out of the box of the S22 Norvan LD 3 is that of a no-nonsense shoe. Arc’teryx have gone with a single colour upper, which ironically makes it stand out against it’s multi coloured competitors.

It looks like a really solid shoe and it’s pleasant surprise to find out just how light it feels in your hand. At 265gsm (UK Men 8.5) it’s towards the lighter end of the trail running spectrum and I could certainly feel the difference once running.

I normally go with a UK10.5 sizing for my trail shoes but the S22 Norvan LD 3 was too narrow in the mid foot for me at that size so I went up to UK11. That did the trick. The toe box was fine in both sizes with plenty of room to allow for toe spread on those longer runs.

I liked the smooth interior of the shoe, designed to minimise friction and reduce the risk of blisters. Although I rarely have a problem with blisters it is always something to be aware of – particularly when trying a shoe for the first time and I had no issue with the S22 Norvan LD 3.

The tongue is well padded – something that I find really important on longer runs as I can suffer from lace pressure issues. The lace pocket at the top of the tongue is a nice idea and something I find useful – particularly when running through long grass where laces can get snagged. This one is a little on the small side but it works well enough.

The construction of the Cordura upper provided the breathability the manufacturer had claimed which is a real positive  – particularly on the warmer days. The toe bumper provides plenty of protection and comes around the sides of the foot which is a bonus.

The Vibram® Megagrip outsole with its 4mm lugs is billed as being able to ‘hold fast on soft trails’. I can’t confirm that as for much of the time I have been trialling this shoe we have had really good weather, leading to hard packed trails. I can attest to the grip the shoe provides on bone-dry trails with a loose surface and to greasy grass after a sharp shower. It’s excellent.

But where S22 Norvan LD 3 really scores is the comfort and protection the additional shock absorption provides on hard an rough surfaces. There’s real bounce in this shoe and that makes a difference on the longer runs.

Arc'teryx S22 Norvan LD 3 Description

The S22 Norvan LD 3 is the third iteration of the Arc’teryx long-distance running shoe, and one that the manufacturers say has been re-designed from the ground up.

It’s a shoe that has been designed to combine the comfort, lightweight, support, and grip needed for high-mileage trail runs. The Norvan LD 3’s redesign goes all-in on delivering maximum comfort for minimal weight without sacrificing the support and protection needed for long-distance runs.

It incorporates a new Infuse midsole material that provides shock absorption for minimal weight. There is more stack in heel and forefoot to absorb shock and maintain comfort. And a roomier toe box has been added to accommodate more toe splay on impact.
Roomier forefoot offers more room for splay on impact

The Vibram® Megagrip outsole’s with its 4mm lugs is promised to hold fast on soft trails.

Arc'teryx S22 Norvan LD 3 Specification

Brand
Arc'teryx
Model
S22 Norvan LD 3
Previous Model
Norvan LD2
Weight
265g
Heel-Toe Drop
6mm
Lug Depth
4mm
Stack Height (outsole & footbed)
Stack Height (midsole only)
29mm rear / 23mm forefoot
RRP
£150
Release
19 January 2022

Arc'teryx S22 Norvan LD 3 Rating

Durability
Well constructed and feels like it is built to last
7.0
Comfort
Well cushioned underfoot and smooth interior is comfortable from first wear
8.0
Grip
Vibram outsole with 4mm lug gives confidence in grip
7.0
Breathability
Cordura upper lets your feet breath on long runs
7.0
Protection
Toe bumper provides good protection, additional stack height helps underfoot
7.0
Overall Verdict

A well-constructed shoe that was comfortable wear from the first outing onwards. Well cushioned, the S22 Norvan LD 3 provides plenty of bounce on tarmac and protection from sharp stones on hard-packed trails.

It’s a lightweight shoe but still manages to feel solid and offer the protection you are looking for off-road. This is shoe that I would have complete confidence in on longer runs and ultra-distance races.

Rating
7.2