Montrail CTC Mid 2008

Montrail has a wide range of specialist lightweight footwear ranging from running shoes to mid-cut boots. The CTC Mids are particularly interesting as they offer lightweight performance when scrambling or climbing. These 3-season boots benefit from Gryptonite Smearing rubber that emphasises friction over hardness. The soles also have an edging platform and large smearing lugs to provide optimum performance on climbing routes.

The CTC Mid looks like a technical climbing boot, with lacing that extends further towards the toes. The toe profile is also narrower than most, with a fairly straight inside edge profile to help when looking for a toehold. A wide rubber rand offers extra protection on rock, with plenty of protection at the heel as well. Underfoot there is a sticky rubber sole with dedicated climbing zones under the big toe. A Gore-Tex XCR waterproof lining guarantees dry feet while the light mesh upper does not detract from the climbing performance. Surprisingly, though, the CTC Mid is the heaviest boot here, so while it has lots of advantages over the other models when climbing, it is not the best if weight saving is your top priority.

On the hill
The precise fit of the CTC Mid is immediately evident, making these feel close and performance-orientated from the box. They are comfortable enough to use for walking on level ground, thanks to a good sole flex and plenty of cushioning. However the outsole lug pattern struggled to keep a grip walking up Grasmoor as the path was muddy and there just wasn’t enough lug depth to bite. Mud also clogged the lugs rapidly, which added further problems to the ascent. Once the ground became rocky, however, the boots excelled – and it was clear that they would be ideal for scrambling. The sole rubber is designed for grip rather than hardness, and as the lugs are relatively shallow, these would rapidly wear smooth if worn too much for pure walking.

The low-down
If you do lots of scrambling and want to travel light then these are the perfect boots, and certainly outdoor climbing or scrambling instructors would find them ideal partners for day after day of use on the crag. Walkers and backpackers would probably wear the sole out quickly, though, and this would be a waste of such a great piece of kit. 

Comfort 5   
Waterproofness 5    
Grip 2   
Durability 2   
Value for money 4

Upper synthetic, Gore-Tex XCR waterproof lining
Sole unit Dual compound Gryptonite
Sizes 6-14 (men’s);  2.5-8.5 (women’s)
Weight 1240g (pair, size 11)
Made in China
Contact – tel. (0114) 255 8882;
Pros grip, sole stiffness and profile make them ideal for scrambling  and climbing
Cons the sole unit isn’t ideal for muddy tracks or long-term durability. This is also the heaviest shoe here
Overall a stunning lightweight scrambling boot, but the grip and durability of the sole mean these are best restricted to dedicated use on rock rather than general hill and mountain walking.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine December 2008