Montrail 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.
The 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.”
– 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.
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.
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.]
Tale of the Trail (Initial Impressions):
- Traction: Nitrus/Odyssey/Masai > Wildwood=Hardrock
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)
(*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.)