The Arc’teryx Norvan LD3 is a quietly competent generalist within our guide to The best trail shoes for hiking and hillwalking 2023. The fit is true to size, with a wide forefoot that allows for swelling in the toes, and a high, narrow heel cup that keeps the foot secure and supported when contouring and ascending. The drop isn’t too aggressive and there’s a goldilocks balance between cushioning and lateral stiffness in the midsole. On more technical terrain, the Arc’teryx Norvan feels both connected to the ground and protected from it.

RRP: $163 | £150 | Available from: Alpine Trek | Weight: 612g | Heel-to-toe: 6mm | Lug depth: 4mm | Materials and features: EVA/polyolefin blend midsole, single-layer mesh upper, toe cap, Ariaprene foam tongue, InFuse midsole (42 Shore C), anti-fatigue insert – 85%, internal foot wrap, Vibram MegaGrip outsole | Sizes: 6.5-12.5 | Women’s Version: Yes

The upper is mostly mesh, which breathes well and dries fast. The low-profile rand has been upgraded from previous iterations to completely wrap around the shoe, which protects the foot and the mesh from bumps and scrapes without making things overly sweaty. There’s less stiffness at the ankle in the Arc’teryx Norvan LD3, too, which is easier on bony ankles in a deeply cupped shoe. The lacing is simple and traditional. The outsole is sticky Vibram, with evenly distributed diamond-shaped lugs that provide lots of traction on most surfaces. 

The Arc’teryx Norvan LD3 get my Best Buy – why? They are a brilliant all round trail shoe, in my view – I’m equally comfortable walking, backpacking, biking (both MTB and gravel) and running in these. They are lightweight, breathe well and dry fast, and the grip is great. 

black and white portrait of David Lintern smiling

Written by David Lintern

David is a size UK10.5 and has a wide forefoot and a narrow heel. He’s an occasional trail and hill runner, and an advocate for trail shoes for walking and backpacking during the summer months. These trail shoes were tested last spring, summer and autumn on- and off-trail in the mountains throughout Scotland, from the north-west to the Borders – walking, backpacking and on the odd hill run.