Montrail Mountain Masochist 2009

Montrail’s Mountain Masochists are popular, light (580g) trail running shoes with a very grippy, semi-aggressive sole, supportive arch and breathable upper, which make them ideal for running and walking along hard tarmac and uneven, boulder-strewn paths and rough tracks.

Design
The traditional lacing reaches far down the shoe, giving narrow-, low-volume-footed women the chance to do them up really tightly right from the forefoot, thus preventing in-shoe slippage. The heel is quite narrow, adhering to the generalised women’s fit, but the forefoot has plenty of space for wide toes. The heel is less cushioned than the Icebug Gripmistress (page 69) but more than the others, which, combined with a less cushioned, more responsive ball of the foot, makes this shoe a good choice for lessening the impact on steep downhills. The tamer look, mid-level cushioning and intense grip of these shoes also make them versatile enough to be used on off-road mountain trails and city tarmac, and at the gym. The breathable mesh upper makes fast, hot feet sweat less.

In action
With a name like Mountain Masochist you might think you’d find razor blades stuck to the inside, so I was very surprised to find that these shoes felt like slippers. They have very pronounced arch support, which guards against overpronation (where your foot rolls inwards too much). It feels like running with a stress ball under the inside-middle of your foot, which, although obtrusive at first, after half an hour starts to feel like it helps keep your foot stable and at the right angle to tackle almost any gradient and support tired feet over rocky tracks. Widely spaced lugs enable mud to escape from the sole more quickly as they mould and grip round mud, rocks and roots.

 

Upper light and breathable hydrophobic mesh with gusseted tongue
Sole midsole: triple density Vapor Response EVA; outsole; Gryptonite with underfoot Trail Shield
Sizes 2.5-8.5 (women’s); 6-14 (men’s)
Weight 580g (pair, size 5.5)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 15
Stockist details (0114) 255 8882; www.montrail.com

Verdict: Buy the Montrail Mountain Masochist if you want a shoe that won’t look out of place in the gym, as its soft feel and  cute look disguise tough-as-nails mountain hardness in a light, arch-supported, grippy shoe for any surface from tarmac to steep, muddy, rubble-filled trails. It won ‘Best Value’ in our test.

 

Review by Claire Maxted
First published in Trail magazine May 2009