February kit new release shoes

21 min read

Putting your next trainers through their paces

Arc’teryx Norvan Nivalis GTX


The fit

I have a small and narrow foot and these were a great fit, with no tight areas or hot spots, and plenty of space in the forefoot for my toes to splay. The heel fits very securely, giving you confidence, and the bootie/gaiter upper is spot on. The lacing system enables you to pull the shoe over your foot for a tailored feel.

The comfort

These feel both solid and plush; there’s a strong toebox and heel counter, and a padded heel collar and tongue to embed your foot comfortably in the shoe. Also, a tab on the tongue makes these so easy to get on and off in mud or cold weather. The midsole was thick enough to absorb gravel and stones, so they offer solid protection too. Once you’ve adjusted your laces, you have a zip-up gaiter to restrict debris and offer another layer of protection; this was easy to use even with gloves on.

On the run

Tested on mainly trail, bog and muddy hills, these have performed well. I know they’re gripping the ground well as I can feel the mud flicking up my calves as I toe off. They offered good protection from water, until I went into a really deep puddle that came over the top of the Gore-Tex bootie. I’m running on very squelchy mud at the moment and have noticed that it tends to stick to the lugs at the end of a run.

What are they for?

These are designed for Alpine winter trails, so my muddy trails haven’t really pushed them to their limits. They will suit those who prefer longer distances on difficult or icy terrain. They keep your feet warm and dry when you’re out in challenging conditions and they also have a very secure fit around the ankles.

Should you buy them?

If you run on hilly or mountainous trail and want the ultimate protection in the cold and wet, then yes – buy them!

Altra FWD Experience


The fit

Altra is known for providing plenty of room in the toebox and a wide, stable base. My pair were half a size up to my usual size (which I often need in trainers), but these felt so spacious I’d say they probably would fit true to size.

The comfort

The collar and tongue have plump cushioning which makes them feel soft around the ankle with no rubbing. I love having the extra space in the toebox to let my toes spread out.

What and who they’re for

These are a good fit for all training run

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