I’ve been wearing Asics, Saucony, and Mizuno running shoes to exercise walk for nearly a decade now. So I have become familiar with the comfort, support, cushioning and durability a quality shoe can add to my exercise routine. The last thing I want to think about when I’m exercising is my shoes. During hot summer hiking I would definitely tire of my hiking boots. They are great boots for cooler weather, or for rough rocky terrain, but for summer hiking I was looking for something lightweight, low top, trail durable, and water resistant. I ended up choosing the Montrail Mountain Masochist GTX 2, and I’m glad I did. Although this is really a trail running shoe, I also find it works great for hiking.
The first time I tried them on in the store, I noticed a feature that would be ideal for me. The Mountain Masochist contains a medial post providing very much needed arch support. I have flat feet and overpronate significantly in my walking and running gait. For those who may not know what that means, Runner’s World Magazine offers a brief overview called Pronation, Explained that puts in words why that post is so beneficial to me. My arches depress, my ankles roll inward significantly more than the recommended 15%, causing a wobble and very tired feet and legs. Getting the proper support from the shoe helps keep me injury free and able to exercise day in and day out. The post in the Mountain Masochist is perfect.
The Mountain Masochist is extremely lightweight, only 11.4 ounces, perhaps the lightest trail shoe I have ever felt. That weight is very comparable to the aforementioned Asics, Saucony, and Mizuno street shoes; a remarkable technological achievement considering they must also be trail durable. Trail shoes usually pick up most of their weight from the additional polyurethane or PVC that is needed to thicken the sole so all the rocks and roots don’t gouge the feet. The Montrail folks angle the grooves or blades of the outsole to help get a better grip in dirt or gravel trail surfaces. These blades enable a reduction in overall shoe weight.
The construction of those blades is a proprietary technology Montrail calls Gryptonite™. They advertise it as being slip resistant, providing good traction on both wet and dry surfaces. I can definitely vouch for that. On a recent hike in the Shining Rock Wilderness, I was scrambling around on a very smooth and slick quartz surface. Considering my buddies and I were on a pinnacle with steep drops on three sides, it was a pretty dangerous environment. My partners were having real slippage problems with their shoes, but I was gripping like a bighorn sheep in my Montrails. They wondered why I wasn’t having the same trouble they were. I just shrugged and said, “It’s the shoes man.”
When I was searching, I also wanted a shoe with a GORE-TEX® liner to help keep my feet dry when crossing creeks or hiking in the mud. In the nine months I have been wearing the Mountain Masochists I have stepped in goop and squish up to the rims of my shoes several times and on all occasions my socks and feet have stayed completely dry. The GORE-TEX® simply doesn’t leak. Now, I don’t purposefully walk straight through creeks. I’m not silly. But I know when I’m skipping across rocks that if I get my shoes in the water for a short time I don’t have to worry about wet socks. The Mountain Masochists also come in a version that does not have the liner if you want a little bit more breathability. I have not found that to be a problem. The mesh upper in the GTX version is very cool and breathable even with the GORE-TEX®.
My only complaint with the Mountain Masochist is the last lace eyelet. I usually like to use this eyelet to help pull shoes tight around my heel. However, when I use this upper eyelet it pushes unmercifully against the bone near my ankles causing discomfort. So I simply don’t use that last eyelet and all is well. I still get a good snug fit from heel to toe that is totally comfortable.
At this time the GTX 2 is only available in one color: navy/sunshine. It would be nice to have more of an earth tone available for us hikers and trail runners. The version without the GORE-TEX® liner does come in three alternative colors, primarily grey with different piping and accents.
As I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, I am very happy with my Montrail Mountain Masochist GTX 2 low cut hiking shoes. I have been using them since September 2010 and have probably logged at least a couple hundred miles of hard hiking in them. They really aren’t showing any wear yet at all, speaking volumes to their durability. They are just as comfortable as when they were new
— they slip on like butter. Both the uppers and soles are easy to clean with any shoe store cleaner or even just water and a brush. I definitely like these shoes and will probably buy another pair whenever these wear out.
I have not received compensation for the endorsement of this product. The product was not given to me by the manufacturer or any of their representatives. I paid for the product myself.