Just in for test, two new models from Montrail.
Above we have the Rockridge trail runners. The upper is layers of mesh overlaid by a stitched and welded synthetic web which gives the top of the shoe a nice flex. The heel and toe are both reinforced externally and stiffened internally.
The sole is typical Montrail, stiff from the heel to the forefoot flex point where it’s nicely compliant. The outsole has an open-spaced studded pattern, quite aggressive around the outside edge, and it looks like it should clear mud well. In the middle there’s a good bit of underfoot cushioning and protection.
Below are the Sabino Trail Mid GTX, which along with the regular Sabino Trail’s are the replacements for their well regarded Hardrock equivalents.
It’s a Gore-Tex lined hiking mid, the upper is mesh and synthetic leather, there’s good protection, but there is some stitching in what looks like vulnerable areas.
The stiff-ish sole has less midsole foam padding than the Rockridge and sits closer to the ground, the outsole is a familiar one, I’ve used it on a few shoes going back to the Namche of a few years ago, so I know it works on everything from sand to snow.
The feel is more classically Montrail than I was expecting from the new models, and it’s that feel which has made Montrail such a good choice for lightweight backpacking and walking. While many brands have gone minimal on their trail runners, Montrail have stayed chunky which is a good thing, it’s nice to have options.
One very important point is the sizing, they’ve changed they labelling so that the US sizes don’t correspond to the same UK/Eu sizes that they did last season. The UK sizes are now coming up half a size smaller than last year, so I’d definitely try before you buy.
Anyway, more after they get dirty.