Montrail Bajada – a review by someone who runs in them.


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 (,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!