Montrail Streak Review

Montrail logoIt’s rare that I await a shoe with as much anticipation as I did for the Montrail Streak. I fell in love with the shoe when I tested a preliminary version of the Streak back in August and September of 2007. Having worn the production model for many months, I can now say that I’m a big fan of the Montrail Streak.

If I had to describe the Streaks in a word, it would be “fast.” They are relatively lightweight (11.7 oz/ women’s 9.8 oz) for a trail shoe of a traditional build (i.e., not a fell running inspired design a la most of Inov-8’s product line), which makes them fast, but they also just feel fast. Allow me a couple more words to summarize the Streak and I’d say they are a neutral, lightweight, breathable trail shoe that is good on a wide variety of surfaces and has a feel more akin to a road trainer than many trail shoes. The Montrail website describes the Streak as “Designed for use on a variety of surfaces from rock and mud to grass and dirt. This lightweight and responsive shoe is designed for the trail runner with a need for speed.” I’d agree with this description.

Montrail Streak womens
Women’s Streak in Moray/Grill


My initial run in the Streaks back in August 2007 was a road run. The easily passed the “these shoes don’t suck” test and handled the road well. I didn’t feel likely I was wearing clunky, stiff trail shoes nor did I feel like I was under protected from pounding on the roads.

After my initial road run in the Streaks, I took them out West for a 10-day trail running vacation in the Wasatch Mountains. Here’s what I had to say about my first two trail runs in the Streaks:

Yesterday was a five mile run, three miles on trail and two miles off. The shoes felt smooth on the trail and I’d feel comfortable wearing them for stretch on all but the most gnarly trail. As would be expected of a lighter-weight trail shoe, they aren’t as protective against rocks as I experienced on a pointy rock section of trail. The streaks transitioned well from the trail to the road on the latter section of my run. I could easily wear them in an ultra with both trails and roads like the Leadville 100.

This morning I ran in them in the Rick’s Basin section of the Grand Teton 100 course. I’m pretty sure, these are the fast, tasty trails for which the Streak were designed. I wanted to run up the hills and had plenty of confidence rolling down the winding trail through the aspens. Fun. Not like the Highlander, want to sprint until I drop fun, but want to run quickly all day sort of fun.

Montrail Streak soleAlthough I never wrote about it, I wore the Streak when I paced for 60 miles over the course of two days at the Grand Teton 100. Although I had barely logged 20 miles in the Streaks to that point, they did not give me any problems as one might expect in logging so many miles in shoes with which they are unfamiliar. I attributed this in part to the fact that Streaks moved much like my Asics 21X0 road shoes and, therefore, I could keep my normal gait. The Grand Teton course had a wide variety of footing conditions including standard dirt single track, rooty dirt trails, pavement, and gravelly downhills. The Streaks were comfortable and performed adequately on this wide array of surfaces.

A week later, I paced a friend for the final 39 miles of the Wasatch 100. The first 14 miles of pacing included nice single track with the occasional rooty or gravely patch, as well as a long downhill stretch on the roads. As I would have suspected from my experience at Grand Teton, the Streaks handled these situations very well. However, I was surprised at how well the Streaks handled the final 25 miles of Wasatch. Anyone who’s run that stretch knows that it’s one of the toughest stretches in ultrarunning. One reason why this stretch is so difficult is that it includes some terribly frustrating steep downhills on loose rock. You have to bomb these downhills (which I might add is either cruel or impossible after the first 75 miles of Wasatch) or descend very slowly and deliberately. The problem is that if you are moving quickly and try to brake you’re bound to fall. I felt comfortable enough in the Streaks to let go on these gnarly downhills, as I was confident that the soles would grip the rock well and that the shoe would offer sufficient support should I need it.

You can pick up the Montrail Steak (Men’s or Women’s) from Backcountry.com.

Montrail Streal womensWomen’s Streak in Light Grey

There are 19 comments

  1. Trail Goat

    Tony, I did post about the Streak a few times around the time of the Grand Teton 100, but I figured I should pull all the relevant information together now that the Streaks are finally coming out.

  2. Meredith

    hmmmm. i may have to give them a try. i am looking for a new shoe. If you wore them for 60 miles and thought they were substantial, that is good news. My shoes feel good until about 70-80 miles. But is that going to be the case with any shoe? ;-)

  3. Mike Mason

    Try the La Sportiva Raceblade. Phenom shoe. Flat, fast, just enough protection, elastic tongue keeps the rocks out, and a nice wide toebox. This is by far the best trail shoe I've run in.

  4. Bedrock

    Love these shoes and am planning on using them at MMT 100 in a few weeks. Great combination between a lightweight trail shoe (think Raceblade) and a rugges stability trail shoes (think Continental Divide). Will revise my comment post-MMT.

  5. Anonymous

    Without a doubt, these are the best trail shoes I've ever worn. They work great on the road to boot. I recently ran a 50 miler in them and had *zero* foot issues. I have a very wide forefoot and even with the inevitable foot swelling in a longer run, I had no problems at all. The shoes grip the terrain really well, too. The funny thing about this shoe is that it's quite lightweight, yet seems protective and supportive like a much heavier shoe. However, it is light and meshy and I love that.

  6. Trail Goat

    Here's what Bedford "Bedrock" Boyce had to say after wearing the Montrail Streak in wet conditions at the notoriously rocky Massanutten 100 last weekend:"By the way, the Streaks were perfect for the course this year. They drained so well that I never had to change my socks and only got one small blister on the inside of my heel. "

  7. steph

    Did anyone feel it was true to size?I have both the Hardrock and the Hurricane Ridge and, although they are both size 9 (my running shoe size) the Hardrock is way too small (had to size up one half size).

  8. Trail Goat

    Steph,I found the Streak to have a rather standard fit. That said, I tend to be ok in size 9 for everything. I haven't heard of anyone mentioning the size of the Streak being off.Anyone else?

  9. Anonymous

    Byron, I've been using the NB 800s as a light trail shoe, but they let you feel the trail a little too much… What is the underfoot protection in the Streaks like? How about toe box width for my 6th toe?William

  10. Trail Goat

    William,I tested out the Streak on an occasionally rocky 21 mile trail run this weekend while wearing a 14 pound pack and had no issues even though I was seeking out the rocks. I don't remember significant problems or rockier terrain either. That said, they are not super protective. I'd say they are a fine compromise for most uses. The toe box is not especially wide.

  11. Patrick

    I have some Hardrocks that I like for training but I fell are to heavy to race in, they fit me great and don't blister my feet. I bought some streaks that were the same size, and my feet wont stop blistering.

  12. Tamyka

    Hi Byron, I'm desperately hoping you can still see comments and follow up on them.

    I've been running in Montrail Streaks since they got released in Australia back in 2008 or so. I wore them when I went to the US for Western States in 2009. I loved them so much that when they were discontinued and went on clearance, I bought every pair that was available in my region, which has kept me going until recently – now I only use them for races.

    I've had trouble finding a replacement shoe. I tried the Mountain Masochists a few years back and didn't like them so much. I've shopped around different brands and there's several shoes I like for up to about 100 km, but nothing I like as much as my Streaks. I was wondering if you could give me your opinion of which shoe in the current Montrail line is most similar to the Streak?

    1. Bryon Powell

      Hey Tamyka,

      Unfortunately, it's been so long since I've worn the Streak that I can think of a comparable model in Montrail's current lineup. That said, I'll check with some of my buddies who are longtime members of the Montrail squad.

    2. Sean

      Hi Tamyka,

      Great inquiry! I, too, was a huge Streak fan for a few years and was a bit disappointed when they went away.

      As for the current Montrail that's most similar to the Streak, it's the one you've already tested but didn't like them – Masochist. Like you, it's not my favorite Montrail, either. I would steer you in the direction of the Rogue Racer. It's a bit lighter, more flexible, and a bit more breathable than the Streak, but with a roomy toebox, like the Streak had. http://www.montrail.com/Women%27s-Rogue-Racer%E2%

      For a little bit beefier shoe, there's the Bajada. Similar to the Rogue Racer, but with a bit more cushion (like the Streak), and the lugs are deeper than the Rogue. iRunFar currently carries and sells the Bajada. http://www.irunfar.com/store/montrail-bajada

      I hope this helps you.

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