Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Trail Runners

Arc’teryx Norvan SL 2

The lightest footwear of 2021

Lock Icon

Unlock this article and more benefits with 25% off.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

25% Off Outside+.
$4.99/month $3.75/month*

Get the one subscription to fuel all your adventures.


  • Map your next adventure with our premium GPS apps: Gaia GPS Premium and Trailforks Pro.
  • Read unlimited digital content from 15+ brands, including Outside Magazine, Triathlete, Ski, Trail Runner, and VeloNews.
  • Watch 600+ hours of endurance challenges, cycling and skiing action, and travel documentaries.
  • Learn from the pros with expert-led online courses.
Join Outside+


*Outside memberships are billed annually. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

We’ve found minimalist bliss: Wearing the 12-ounce Norvan SL 2 is almost like going barefoot, if your foot had a sticky, tough outsole. With a mesh upper that one tester says felt like he was wearing sandals, an integrated mesh insole, and a 12-millimeter stack height (with a 7-millimeter drop), this shoe is as pared down as anything else we tested this year. The fit does take some getting used to: One tester said he could feel the trail under his feet more than in other trail runners (there’s no rock plate), and the low arch support may not work for everyone. (We weren’t keen on carrying more than a daypack while wearing the Norvan SL 2.) But we found the Vibram Megagrip outsole secure in everything from sand and mud to wet leaves while running around Christmas Rocks State Nature Preserve in Ohio, and the light weight kept our feet nimble. A TPU film around the exterior makes the shoe surprisingly durable considering its weight, and the EVA midsole held up to pounding without compressing after a full summer of use.

m’s 7-13, w’s 4-9

When you buy something using the retail links in our stories, we may earn a small commission. We do not accept money for editorial gear reviews. Read more about our policy.