April 22, 2013 Leave a comment
see that box right there? yeah, i know you do. and see those sweet puppies laying on top of it? yep, you do. those pieces of awesomeness are the Montrail Bajada (http://www.montrail.com/Men%27s-Bajada%E2%84%A2/GM2138,default,pd.html) trail running shoe. that is the shoe that i have worn for the past year-plus of running and racing and a top-notch shoe in my book. while this is the fourth Montrail model that i have worn since i started running on the trails, the Bajada is the only one that i have bought a second (soon to be third) pair of since i like the shoe that much.
let me tell you why:
first off, Montrail is a shoe company that has not only been around quite a few years, but they make a quality product that most anyone can afford. since they do not mess around with clothing or packs, they can concentrate on shoes. just shoes. and they do not have a line with dozens of different models; they make a handful of shoes worthy of the Montrail logo.
while they do have a few ‘minimal’ models, Montrail is not really trying to jump on the less-is-more bandwagon. while i personally like less shoe, they are not for everybody. it took me a few years of racing on all types of terrain to learn what i like and do not like. there are of course lighter and faster shoes out there, but the Bajada combines all of the details that i like in a trail-running shoe:
- a relatively even shoe with a 10 mm offset
- good for all distances from an easy trail 5k to a hard 100M
- great on the roads as a door-to-trail shoe or as a road shoe in a pinch
- a super-grippy rubber (Gryptonite) compound with mid-height lugs that are evenly spaced over the surface of the sole
- a bit wider than normal outsole for stability
- a fairly light weight at 10.3 ounces
- pretty colours!
- a flexible midsole with more than decent articulation and enough cushion to handle the rockiest of trails (having put in a few hundred miles in the Texas Hill Country, i know about rock running)
- fast for how ‘clunky’ they look compared to some of the super-minimal models
- a comfortable fit especially with regards to a narrow foot; no heel-slippage issues nor toe-scrunching
- an upper with just enough padding to keep your foot happy but not so much that your foot gets hot and sweaty
- plenty of mesh to keep your foot cool and (relatively) dry
- a lacing system (plain ol’ shoelaces – which i like) that keeps your foot in place
if i have any complaints at all about the Bajada, it is that the welds keeping all of the mesh together on the sides do split after about 5-7 months of serious running. while this is normal wear-and-tear as far as i am concerned, the issue has been addressed by Montrail. i am ok with the tears as i have 6-800 miles on each pair and they are still wearable.
would i buy another pair? HECK YES, I WOULD. am i excited about the new Montrail FluidFlex? yes, i am. and i will likely get a pair of those, too.
but hey. i am just one guy who likes his shoes. a lot.
proof that they are a pretty fast shoe!