Patagonia has won Outside Magazine’s Gear of the Year award in the trail running shoe category for the second time in four years for its go-anywhere trail shoe, the Rover. “It was simply the most versatile shoe we tested this year,” says Buyer’s Guide Editor Sam Moulton. By combining the best attributes of a minimalist trail running shoe with a variable lacing system and dual zone sticky rubber sole, the Rover blurs the lines between running, climbing and hiking.
A self-centering, stretch-gusseted tongue sheds debris, while a forefoot plate protects against rocks, and an abrasian-resistant air mesh and synthetic leather upper with a toe rand balances protection and lightweight breathability. The shoe also features Patagonia’s proprietory Nanotrak rubber: extra sticky rubber in the shallow tread of the forefoot grips smooth rock; more durable rubber in the deeper lugged heel offers durability and traction on loose surfaces. “A lot of shoes claim to be multi-sport shoes. The Rover really is,” Moulton says.