Those who’ve heard of Virginia’s Mountain Masochist 50 miler know that it is a challenging mix of pavement, dirt road, and gnarly single track. Well, Montrail’s forthcoming Mountain Masochist trail shoe would be well suited for use at its namesake race, as it’s comfortable on roads, responsive on dirt, and stable on rock encrusted single track. All this in a low-riding, breathable trail shoe that weighs in at only 11.3 ounces for a men’s size 9.
For those already familiar with Montrail’s trail shoes, the Mountain Masochist looks like a cross between the Montrail Streak (iRF Streak review) and the now retired Montrail Highlander. From the ground up, the Masochist borrows the Streak’s more-than-capable outsole and flexible midsole. Montrail did, however, make one key change to the Streak’s midsole by adding higher density foam to the Masochist’s arches, which makes the shoe more supportive. While this results in a slight decrease in the flexibility that speedy trail racers love in the Streak, it also means the Masochist is a better shoe for less speedy, less efficient runners (i.e., most of us!).
Meanwhile, the Masochist borrows the best features of the Highlander’s upper – 10 straps on each shoe (5 on each side) that firmly wrap your feet from the midsole to the laces, as well as more toe and forefoot protection that the Streak. By incorporating the Highlander’s strengths into the Mountain Masochist, Montrail takes the nimble Streak and transforms it into a shoe better adapted for more technical trails.
Having tested the Mountain Masochist last July, I longed to have a pair of Montrail’s flexible, light weight, yet stable trail runner when I attempted the rooty Iroquois Trail 100 last September. I’m now psyched to have a pair to wear at the 2009 Marathon des Sables.
It’s worth noting that many folks are finding the Mountain Masochist runs large and are buying the shoe a half size smaller than they normally wear. For the record, I’ve been happy wearing my standard size 9.
If anyone else has used Montrail’s Mountain Masochist, please share your thoughts.