Montrail Mountain Masochist II Review

An in-depth review of the Montrail Mountain Masochist II trail running shoe.

By on March 29, 2012 | Comments

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Montrail Mountain Masochist II Review

Montrail has had a unique classic in its Montrail Mountain Masochist. The shoe’s had enough of a following that Montrail left it largely unchanged for three years. Montrail has recently updated the line with the Mountain Masochist II ($100) featuring Montrail’s FluidPost technology that the company touts as providing variable pronation controlled based on your biomechanical needs as well as the terrain’s demands.

Montrail Mountain Masochist II Review Transcript

Welcome to Trail Trials, the video review section of My name is Travis Liles and in today’s review we’re going to be taking a look at the Mountain Masochist II by Montrail. In Montrail’s current line of shoes, the Masochist is the longest standing member. Since 2009, it’s seen very few changes other than updates to the colors. In 2012, Montrail brought the Mountain Masochist II into the fold. Being someone that’s worn the Mountain Masochist from training to 50ks to 50 milers to stage races and 100s, this is a shoe that’s near and dear to my heart. So let’s take a look at just how much has changed in the Mountain Masochist II.

Montrail Mountain Masochist II

The Montrail Mountain Masochist II

Let’s start out by looking at the bottom of the Masochist. So what we can see on the bottom are lots of different types of lug shapes and directions but we’ll start off here at the toe. The toe has these blades, both going opposing directions. These do a really great job of climbing, they do a great job in mud, on rocks, and on slick surfaces. I’ve really found the Masochists to be a good all-around bottom package. Some of the things I think add to that are: 1) This blade design that you see that do a nice job of traction, and 2) you have these cut-outs in there which believe are there for weight-savings purposes. Also, debris and things like that can sort of bunch up in there and give a much better hold. They do clear out relatively well, though, so you’re not carrying a bunch of gunk in there if you do happen to be in a muddy area. When we move to the middle here, we can see an exposed rock plate.

This is a semi-flexible rock plate here so it’s not completely rigid. The shoe does have flex to it even though it does provide a good amount of stability. When we move to the back of the heel, you start to see those reverse lugs so we can brake going downhill. Those go from larger all the way to smaller. So overall, low profile, flexible, and semi-sticky using the Montrail Gryptonite compound. It’s a very good bottom package on this. It’s going to have a good amount of grip without going overboard. You’re going to have a good amount of protection while still remaining flexible.

Montrail Mountain Masochist II - outsole

The Mountain Masochist II’s outsole

We move up to the midsole. We have this orange foam that runs all the way around here and as you can see, it’s not overly tall. You do get a good amount of protection without being overly high off the ground. You can see that especially here where we have the cut-outs for the rock plate. You can see that’s not that high off the ground and your foot will sit down inside of that a bit, too. As we move to the heel, this line right here is roughly where your heel will sit, so you sit down inside of it like it’s a perimeter around your foot. When we move here to the inside of the shoe, or the medial part, what we’re going to notice is the FluidPost. This is what’s new on the Masochist II. This FluidPost, as we covered in our Montrail Badrock review, is a varying density post. This post is poured in a way that it’s not an abrupt post, soft foam and then hard foam. It works its way in and eases into it. You can see this with this sort of gray and black poured looking areas. To give you a bit of comparison, we’ll throw that in with the original Masochist, which you can see here. Here’s the post that was a part of that, so it already existed. And here, we’re moving into the Masochist II, and it looks to be extending out and a little bigger, but I assume that has to do with that formula of just how the midsole is used. So overall, a nice midsole, a good amount of cushioning without going too much and being too squishy, nice and responsive while remaining flexible, and giving you some protection.

Montrail Mountain Masochist II - lateral upper

The Montrail Mountain Masochist II’s lateral upper showing the midsole.

We have a good toe bumper here as we start moving our way into the upper. It’s relatively hard, so that’s good as it’s going to keep you from kicking things. Then toe protection in general is done by adding this extra layer of fabric here that’s kind of a leather-like feel. So you’ve got a good amount of protection here on the toe. As we move around, we can start to see these bands that come up around the shoe. These do a really excellent job of hugging your foot and keeping it stable. You can tie these things down tight, you can keep them loose, but you have a nice wrap all the way around and that’s done by these straps on here. We move to the collar. We have a nice padded heel collar here. There is structure in this so there’s some plastic or something in here that adds to a nice heel cup. Overall what you get here is a narrow heel and a wide forefoot. So if you’re someone like myself that has a shape of a foot like this, this is a good shoe. It’s going to hug your heel really well, and I’ve even found it to do well when I keep it loose. This shoe seems to fit my foot really well, so even if my feet are swollen or have an injury or something along those lines, these shoes give my foot enough room to breathe while remaining stable.

Montrail Mountain Masochist II - medial upper

The Montrail Mountain Masochist II’s medial upper showing the FluidPost.

Then, as we move up to the tongue, this has a very padded tongue. Probably one of the pluses and minuses here. This thing gets full of water and it does hold it a little bit more than I’d like it to, but you also have a good amount of padding so you don’t have to worry about bruising the top of your foot if you’re cinching down your laces. Lastly, that tongue is gusseted roughly from just above this Montrail sign all the way down. The upper in general is made with this mesh with fabric underneath that and then this suede-like feel here in the front for reinforcement.

So overall, you’re looking at about 10.8 ounces and a 10mm heel-to-toe drop (10mm/20mm). That’s pretty average on your trail shoe side of things. I’ve noticed this Masochist to be a hair lighter than the original Masochist. Other things you gain are the FluidPost and a little lighter package overall.

In closing, the Mountain Masochist II is just the right amount of everything without being too much or too little of anything. You’ve got good protection, cushioning, stability, without going overboard on any of those items. Those that are used to wearing the Mountain Masochists, the FluidPost is not a big enough difference to sway you from continuing to wear this shoe. For those who have never worn it before, it’s not enough of a stability post that’s really going to affect your feet and push your foot to the outside when you’re out on the rocky terrain.

So, as always, questions or comments, place them below the video. Thanks for watching and we’ll catch you next time.

Travis Liles

Travis Liles is a gear reviewer at iRunFar. He’s been reviewing trail running and ultrarunning gear (and occasionally penning an article) for over 15 years. He is married to his Junior High sweetheart, has two amazing daughters, and works as a solution architect for a large software company. Originally from the Midwest but now based in Portland, Oregon, Travis is an avid trail runner and ultrarunner. Over the past 18 years, he has competed in many ultra-distance races and has completed 15 100-mile races, including Ozark Trail, Leadville, Big Horn, and HURT 100. He is a recovering RD and enjoys pacing friends, trail work, and volunteering at local events.