Montrail Bajada Review

I’ve been fortunate enough to wear test two versions of the Montrail Bajada ($115) or, as I sometimes call them, the Cascadia Killer. I love this Spring 2012 shoe, which is actually due for a late-January or February 1, 2012 release, enough that I wore it for 80 miles at Western States in June. (I would have worn it for all 100 miles, but rightly chose extremely grippy shoes for the first 20 miles that included 10 miles of solid ice.) You can think of the Bajada as the Montrail Rogue Racer’s big brother. As with the Rogue Racer, it’s lightweight and highly breathable. However, a series of overlays on the upper and a slightly different midsole make these feel significantly more supportive without being the slightest bit rigid. I really like the Rogue Racer, but there’s no way it’s enough shoe for me to run 100 miles in. The Bajada, well, it goes that extra distance and some then. In fact, I wish I hadn’t sent my most recent pair back to Montrail wear testing as I’d love to wear these for the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc in a few weeks.

Montrail Bajada womens

The women's Montrail Bajada in poppy red and moray.

The Bajada’s upper is much akin to the Rogue Racer, as the same thin mesh predominates both uppers. However, the Bajada’s heavier synthetic material and TPU overlays provide a bit more foot lockdown as well as more medial support. The Bajada also features more robust overlays around the toes. This same protection wraps around both the medial and lateral sides of the forefoot offering protection for more technical runs. Despite the additional overlays, I’d still characterize the Bajada as a well-breathing shoe.

Montrail Bajada mens

The men's Montrail Bajada in stainless and valencia.

All around the Bajada’s upper is roomier and, therefore, more endurance oriented than the Rogue Racer. The Bajada is wider at the heel and forefoot and taller both at the ball of the foot and front of the toe box.

While I no longer have a pair of Bajada to compare side-by-side with the Rogue Racer, I can say that the heel and, especially, the midfoot are less dramatically pared down in the Bajada than the Rogue Racer. This means a bit more weight – 10.0 ounces (284) grams for the Bajada vs 9.0 ounces (255 grams) for US men’s 9 – but also likely explains the enhanced stability of Bajada. The shoe does have a Trail Shield rockplate.

Montrail Bajada outsole

A well-worn Montrail Bajada outsole.

The Bajada has Montrail’s standard 10 mm drop, while it sits 20 mm at the heel and 10 mm at the toe.

The lugs of the Bajada are deeper and more widely spaced than those of the Rogue Racer. This means better traction in loose dirt, mud, and snow as well as superior ability to shed clingy mud.

Note: The Bajada is now available in the iRunFar Store.

Other Montrail Spring/Summer 2012 Highlights
Montrail is making some big strides with its Spring/Summer 2012 line. The solid additions include:

  • Rogue Fly – A 7.6 ounce stripped-down version of the Rogue Racer with a mesh only upper. The midsole and outsole look identical to that of the Rogue Racer.
  • Mountain Masochist II – Montrail’s longest tenured shoe has been updated with the FluidPost previously found in the Fairhaven and Badrock.
  • Badwater – A new 9.7 ounce hybrid runner.
Montrail Rogue Fly

The Montrail Rogue Fly - men's (top) and women's (bottom)

Call for Comments
What do you think of the forthcoming Montrail Bajada? Please feel free to ask any questions you may have.

What other new Montrail shoes are you excited about?

Montrail Bajada Western States

As far as I know, you won't be able to buy the Bajada in Western States tawny.

There are 84 comments

  1. Anonymous

    I wore a size 9 in the MT101's and also wear a 9 in the bajadas. I wore the MT101's with and without socks. They would get a little sloppy without socks though. The bajadas seemed narrower so you might want to accommodate for this with a half size bigger or re-laceing to allow for more room in the forefoot. Depends on your fit preference. I would think the sizing would be the same unless you wanted to allow for foot swelling in longer runs.

  2. Dave Mount

    I'm thinking the Bajadas might be perfect for where I am right now–recovering from a heel injury, need some cushioning/protection, like to have good toe room, really don't want to go back to heavy shoes. But I'm concerned about the durability issues. Bryon, I don't see that you've weighed on on this yet. What kind of mileage have you been getting out of yours? And has anyone out there *not* had them fall apart after 150 miles? I step pretty lightly, am a solid mid-packer, and tend not to bomb down the hills, so I'm wondering if maybe I could get more miles out of them than some seem to.

    I'm wearing NB Amps now, which are a little too flexible and minimal. My injury seems better when I have a light shoe with a bit of heel rise and a bit of cushioning/protection in the sole. For roads, Saucony Mirages work great for me–they're the slightly more supportive version of the Kinvara. They're not known for a wide forefoot, but they seem to have more room than Kinvaras. I'm sort of a 13 1/2, so with the right shape, even a normal 14 can give my toes the room I'm looking for.

    I thought Pearl Izumi Peaks might be the solution, but they run so small I can't even begin to fit into their 14. Pure Grits and Peregrines crowd my toes too much–at least the early models I tried. Maybe the new ones are better. Rogue Racers are too thin and flexy in the forefoot, Masochists are too heavy… and, yes, I'm probably too picky! Anyone have ideas for shoes I'm overlooking? I haven't tried Inov-8s for awhile. They seem to be making some less narrow shoes than they used to. Thanks!

  3. Dave Mount

    Looks like no one's really following this thread any more, but I have to say that I have the Bajadas now and love them. The fit is everything I look for: locked-in in the heel and midfoot, tons of room in the toe. They're light but protective, just flexible enough, and I don't really notice the heel rise much. I'll be really sad if they fall apart in 150 miles!

  4. pat

    i am still "lurking" in this thread having said my bit over in the uk, still stick to my original post and will say they are a great ride, love the base and sorted out a my issues with regards to Posterior Tibial problem, its the durability and quality of the uppers that let this shoe down, i only managed to put out less than 180 miles? in them befor they disintegrated on me, the inner part on one shoe just "blown out" with holes appearing on the uppers , i hope the concept of the base stays with montrail, the rest needs to be binned…poor workmanship or just plain bad design without proper trials ….say no more!

  5. Mary T

    I have a pair of these, yes the mens, because they were discounted to $34 and couldn't pass them up. I really like this shoe, its lightweight the comfort/cusioning is good for transition between road/trail. My one compliant is that the tounge on these shoes always slips and never stays in place always falling to the outside. Not a little bit either… my laces are practically right up against the top of my foot. Any suggestions on how to fix this?

Post Your Thoughts