Montrail Wildwood TR Preview

MontrailMontrail is coming out with a new road/trail hybrid named the Wildwood TR in the coming months. iRunFar got a sneak peak of the Wildwood TR when we tested a prototype of the Wildwood last fall. This preview is based on our test run in the prototypes, as well as bits and pieces of information we’ve learned over the past year. Please note that we will update this post as we receive more details about the production model and final details surrounding the release. [Update 8/5/08] Indeed, we’ve just learned that since the version we tested Montrail made changes to only the laces and collar mesh. More or less, the shoe is staying the same. [End update] We hope to learn even more details at this week’s Outdoor Retailer show.

Montrail Wildowod TR mens redThe Wildwood TR appears to be scheduled for release as a Fall ’08 shoe (available summer ’08) with a likely suggested price of $110. This fit in with stories that the newest Montrail shoe will be available in Japan (*) in mid-September at a price of 15,540 yen (roughly $145 bucks). Here’s what a Montrail catalog had to say about the Wildwood in the fall of 2008:

“Montrail footwear designer and shoe guru Sangmin Lee is inspired by Portland’s Wildwood Trail, a popular foot path that winds 30 miles through 5200 acres of forest trails in one of the nation’s largest urban parks. Runners slog through thick, filthy mud – thanks to Oregon’s wet winters – and pound nearby pavement, stairs and bridges. Built to handle this diverse challenge, Montrail’s Wildwood TR combines the protection, durability and stability of a trail running shoe with the cushioning, support and flexibility of a road running shoe.”

Montrail Wildwood TR prototypeA preliminary version of Montrail’s forthcoming Wildwood TR
– the men’s Fall ’08 production version is red.

The most striking thing when you take a close look at the Wildwood is its sole. Montrail wasn’t kidding when it said these kicks were designed to rip up Portland’s mid-winter mud. The tread is unquestionable more aggressive than that of the Masai, Odyssey, or Nitrus, and, we dare say, on par with the tread of the Hardrocks. We need to do some mud testing (our favorite sort of testing) to confirm or deny that last bit, as we’re not sure which non-Highlander Montrail shoe will come out on tops in terms of mud traction – the Hardrock or the Wildwood. Most notable in the tread design are a series of four backwards-opening double vees down the midline of the forefoot, a comparable set of three forward-opening vees at the rear, and five substantial parallel wedges running at a 45 degree angle on the outer portion of each heel.

Montrail Wildwood TR soleThe business side of the Wildwood TR (preliminary version)

In the flexibility department, the Wildwoods are more flexible than the Hardrock and Nitrus, but unquestionably less so than the Masai and Odyssey.

In our very unscientific tests, we’d say the Wildwood weighs about what a shoe should weigh. Seriously, anyone have a spare electronic scale they can pass along? [Alas, iRF has since attained a electronical weighing thingamajig, but no longer has a pair of the Wildwood TRs to weigh.] We’ve heard the shoe weighs in at 10.5 oz.

Montrail Wildwood TR instepThe unadorned instep of the Montrail Wildwood TR prototype

Useless tidbits we noted re the preliminary version of the Montrail TR:

  • If you are following a Wildwood clad harrier too closely up Chinscaper you’ll notice Montrail was thoughtful enough to include its web address in small, uncontrasted type on the bottom of the sole. (huh?)
  • If you’re still riding someone’s heels you’ll also notice the Wildwood’s much ballyhooed “Trail Trastion” feature. We never figurde out what exactly the feature is. Our most promising Google hit for “Trastion” was a high level Orc character in World of Warcraft. Perhaps, this suggests that the feature kicks butt in the fantasy like world of the Wildwood trail, right? That said, the feature would be ideally located to provide some trail traction…
  • Apparently Sangmin the Shoe Designer really likes the blue, grey, silver, and black color combination found on the Wildwood. It’s rather reminiscent of the blue variant of the short-lived Nitrus wouldn’t you say? [Sept 08 – Note the final Wildwood TR mens production model is red.]
Montrail NitrusThe Montrail Nitrus shown in Sangmin’s favorite colors.

Tale of the Trail (Initial Impressions):

  • Traction: Nitrus/Odyssey/Masai > Wildwood=Hardrock
  • Flexibil
    ity: Masai > Odyssey > Wildwood > Nitrus/Hardrock
  • Weight: Masai/Odyssey/Wildwood/Nitrus/Hardrock

Does anyone have any more information on the Montrail Wildwood TR? Anyone else run in a pair?

Check out this video preview of the Montrail Wildwood TR: (Wildwood coverage begins at 2:15)

You can pick up the Montrail Wildwood TR (Men’s or Women’s ) from Backcountry.com. MSRP $110.

(*Is it just us or is the only thing funnier than a bad human translation from an Asian language a bad computer translation from an Asian language. I mean “trail running is now the most hot sport,” “GURIPUTONAITO GT,” and “refreshingly mountains.” You can’t just make that stuff up.)

There are 13 comments

  1. KC

    Looks like conditions are perfect for testing those babies out this weekend if this rain doesn't stop. Thanks for the laugh out loud "useless tidbits." Can't wait to hear how they ride.

  2. Trail Goat

    KC,You're right about the perfect testing conditions, but you could hardly know how right! Tomorrow, I'm running a fat ass 50k through DC and Arlington that is mostly trail, but has a couple miles of road running as well. Considering the fact that NoVa has gotten more rain in the last three days (3" or so) than the previous three months combined, there should be plenty of mud. There are also some rocky sections on the trail, so I should be able to test the crucial ability of the shoes to grip on wet rock.

  3. kelly

    I am excited to see how the shoes work for you. I am in need of some new Montrails. I hope your running is going well. I hope you had a good run at the fat ass 50k!

  4. Trail Goat

    Kelly, I'm liking the Wildwoods so far. Had a nice rainy road run in them on Friday night and they performed well. They were just as good while joining M-N teammate Greg Loomis for the final 13 miles of Marine Corps Marathon yesterday. As trail shoes, I was impressed that they felt so smooth at <7 min/mile pace on the road.Never made it to Saturday's run as I was under the weather and slept until 11:15! Hope to make up for it next weekend as a late entrant into Horton's Mountain Masochist 50 miler. :-)

  5. Trail Goat

    Ah, the magic of really old comments. Truth be told, I jumped the gun and published an earlier version of this post back in October of this year. It's been on the shelf ever since. As soon as I saw the Wildwood TR in this month's issue of National Geographic Adventure, I knew it was time to repost this bad boy.

  6. Bedrock

    The blue-grey-silver-black color combo also shows up on the Streaks. Seriously, I hope the designers put as much effort into this shoe as they did with the Streaks.

  7. Trail Goat

    Bedrock,Hopefully, I'll see how the final version of the Wildwood TR feel this weekend. Personally, I didn't like the preliminary version of the Wildwood as much as I liked the preliminary version of the Streak. If you like the Streak, there might be a sweet new shoe for you in the Spring 09 line. I'll see if I can be less cryptic after this weekend.Good catch on the Steak coloration… I'd written up the color similarity section of this post well before I saw the final Steak colors. (My test pair was the yellow/grey combo.)

  8. Anonymous

    Any more update on these shoes? I have been loving the Streak (on my 3rd pair) but am anxious to learn more about these and just can not find any information.Ben

  9. Jan Myburgh

    HiI loved this sneek preview… I have been running with Montrail's Highlines up to now, and I loved them. I got a pair of Wildwoods last week, and ran a trail race with them… Without breaking them in… Big mistake, ha ha… I am from South Africa, and I used them in a race called 4 Peaks. It is a short race, but it has a lot of climbing, and the trail is very rough. There are lots of loose rocks, and a lot of grass tufts that hammer your feet. My feet took a really bad beating, but that was my own stupidity for racing the shoes out the box. Overall the shoes were very stable for a neutral shoe. They offered excellent underfoot protection. I am sure now that they are broken in, things would go a lot better…

  10. Trail Goat

    Ben,Sadly, I haven't been able to learn much more about the shoe. I wore a test pair last year and had to return them. I've not yet found any more complete reviews of the Wildwood TR on the web.Jan,Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the Wildwoods. I love it when readers add there impressions and insight to iRunFar's gear reviews! Be sure to let us know how you like them after some more runs. Also, I'd love to know how the Wildwoods hold up over time.

  11. Jan Myburgh

    Hello Trail GoatI have put on lots of mileage on the Wildwoods after my last post. I thought I should just do a folow up comment.I am quite happy with the Wildwoods. They are tough as nails, like most Montrail shoes. Last weekend I ran the 3 Peaks Challenge in Cape Town. Half the race is on the road, and half is on steep mountain trails. During the race, I forgot about my shoes completely. When that happens, I know that they suit me well. The only issue I have is that my feet tend to slip around sideways inside the shoes a bit. They have a very wide toe box, so for narrow feet, that might be an issue.I think they are comfortabe and bomb proof shoes. I would use them for rougher and longer races. For less demanding terrain, I am going to get a pair of Streaks in search of speed!I would love to hear comments from people that have used both…

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