Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Annette's "2 cents" about Montrails new Hardrock '09's and new Mountain Masochist

Shoes with the orange are the Mountain Masochists and yellow are the Hardrock '09s.

For the past 6 weeks I have been rollicking in my Montrail samples: Hardrock ’09 and Mountain Masochist. Each pair has at least 150 miles on them with a “long run” of at least 32 miles. Both pair have run on pavement, in/on snow, ice, dirt, lots of mud and a bit on the treadmill. I also tried out the Wildwood Trail that emerged in fall ’08. (My first instinct was they were too wide and I thought to send them back…yet changed my mind due to “opportunity”). My Wildwood TR are quite inexperienced compared to HR and MM.

HardRock ‘09

As stated in a previous post, I can not compare the “new’ HRs to the “old” as I have never used the “old” finding my needs met with the Leona Divide and then Continental Divides.

With the CD not to be continued (why-I don’t know?) These are sure to be my trail shoe of choice…from 5k to 100M+. They have a great platform without feeling like I was lifted off the ground. Excellent traction in the wet and on rocks. Generous volume in the toe box without being huge. Less rigid than the CD and more so than the MM. I need stability so I use green Superfeet in them. Shoes are really good in wet leaves and on rocks. Shoes stay tied when double knotted. I even did a fairly intense 2 hour pavement workout in them back in December (cause my road shoes were across town) and felt fine. (At least related to my shoes!)

Mountain Masochists

I was wary to try the MM as they are constructed on the same last as the Streak...and the Streaks haven’t worked out for me. Fit isn’t right and my body didn’t feel good in the ones I wore in ’08. Yet I have discovered MMs are different. To me, they feel lower to the ground. I like the way I feel the trail under my feet! My first instinct is that I’d get blisters due to the less generous toe box-yet the flexibility of the outside construction has proved me wrong. There is some posting in the MM and they are quite flexible in the forefoot... to add some rigidity, I use Superfeet, yet the lower volume blue, due to the decreased volume of the MM as compared to other shoes. I like these shoes for mud (moderate mud). They were challenged on some new south facing ridge trails during warm afternoons after much “freeze thaw” action-yet I think short of some kinda crampon, serious mud slippage is unavoidable! I will wear these often, yet likely not for runs/races over 5-6 hours. My feet are accustomed to a bit more support.

Wildwood Trail

Most rigid shoe of the bunch-at least in my opinion! When I first received them in early December from Montrail and tried them on, I immediately made arrangements to send them back, thinking they were just too big. (I wear M’s 9 in HR, MM, CD and 8.5 in Streak…and Men’s 9 in every road shoe I’ve tried during the last 4 years). So I order a 9 in these. Upon later inspection, I felt the heel and arch fit pretty well. Then I read a December 22nd post Eric Grossman put on the Montrail blog and he referenced the shoe being quite voluminous. So I figured I would give them a go-‘cause I liked the idea of having a shoe built both for roads and trails. So today, finally, I put them on and went for a romp around the cold wet neighborhood. They did feel a big-tons of room on top of my foot and in the toe box. Yet I am still curious how they’d do with a little thicker sock? They may not turn out to be my personal racing shoe of choice-yet I want to wear it on more terrains and find out what they are really like. It could be I need to go down a size? Ah-the challenges of mail order! My opinion on these is in “discovery mode”.

As I understand, Mountain Masochists and Hardrock '09 will be ready for retail either late this month or in March.

And to think I did my first “long” (16.8 mile) trail race: The Shut In Trail Ridge Run, Asheville, NC in 1994 in Reebock Aerobic shoes off the JC Penny super clearance rack. (I think I paid 8.99 for them). Yet I was 14 years younger and completely broke. Sometimes I wonder if I have “learned” to need really awesome trail shoes-or if I have been sweeping myself into what has become “popular culture” of our sport? See this link to Matt Kirk’s blog that made me think!


Thomas Bussiere said...

I miss my CD. Need to swap to HR.
Matt can keep his sandals - I like them at the beach and walking around, but not running.

Rick Gray said...

Annette, Thank you for shoe review. I can't wait to try out the Masochist. My Streaks are shot and I need a new pair, so I am trying to hold out until the Masochist hit the market. Thanks again for your insight. Rick

Jason said...

Thanks for the Hardrock '09 review. I love my Hardrocks and have run in them for years. When I heard they were changing I got really worried. Your review eased my concerns a bit.