Patagonia Bly 2011

The Patagonia Bly is named after Nellie Bly, a journalist who in 1889 travelled around the world in just 72 days, which at the time was a record. The shoe is stylish but also very practical. The suede leather upper is not waterproof but it is durable and it will keep the worst of the water out of the shoe. I liked the lacing, which extends to the toe so that a precise fit can be achieved for scrambling. There’s a rubber rand for increasing durability on rockier ground, while a little firmness around the toe box offers some protection to the toes from stray rocks. Underfoot the sole is precurved to allow a natural walking action. The pattern of lugs is quite deep for grip in mud. The use of 30 per cent recycled rubber is a nod towards environmental protection too. But I’d prefer the outsole lugs of the Patagonia Bly to be more widely spaced as these can clog up quite easily. Also there is no heel breast, so there is not much braking power on descents. Some will most likely want a waterproof lining, but at least the upper is not all mesh so for moderate conditions this may not be a major problem.

Upper suede leather
Sole Vibram Ecostep with 30 per cent recycled rubber
Sizes 36-42 (women’s)
Weight 612g (pair, size 38)
Made in China
Stores in the UK no info provided


The Patagonia Bly is a good all-round shoe for scrambling, walking, travel and biking; and while there’s no waterproof lining the suede upper should keep the worst of the wet out.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine May 2011