Montrail Bajada Review

A review of the Montrail Bajada trail running shoe.

By on August 2, 2011 | 84 comments

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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.

Upper
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.

Midsole/Outsole
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.

Bryon Powell

Bryon Powell is the Editor-in-Chief of iRunFar. He’s been writing about trail running, ultrarunning, and running gear for 15 years. Aside from iRunFar, he’s authored the books Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons and Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running, been a contributing editor at Trail Runner magazine, written for publications including Outside, Sierra, and Running Times, and coached ultrarunners of all abilities. Based in Silverton, Colorado, Bryon is an avid trail runner and ultrarunner who competes in events from the Hardrock 100 Mile just out his front door to races long and short around the world, that is, when he’s not fly fishing or tending to his garden.