Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review: Montrail Bajada Trail Runner

The Montrail Bajada ($110)  is a 10.2 oz, 10 mm heel/toe drop neutral trail runner. I have about 150 miles of UT trails on my pair.

The strengths of this shoe are in the outsole and midsole construction. The minor weaknesses in the upper.

Outsole and Midsole
The hard carbon rubber Gryptonitetm outsole not only grips extremely well on hard or loose terrain but the close spacing of the lugs gives a very smooth ride on pavement. I have not run any mud to see if it would accumulate. The shoe is very flexible. The  Trail Shieldtm  rock protection in the forefoot when combined with the midsole is effective in protecting from smaller rocks.
Bajada feels protective, nimble and quick on even rocky trails. I might not want to go a marathon trail distance in them but up to 18 or so miles a perfect balance of weight, agility, and protection.
Bajada is also a very capable performer on the road. Quite frankly hard to tell this is a trail shoe on the road I think due to the small lugged continuous outsole. Wear has been great. As illustrated above almost no wear is visible after 150 miles. There is always a trade off when including a durable full length carbon rubber outsole, a bit of additional weight.


While the upper itself is plenty supportive the overlays are a bit stiff making cinching down around the mid foot difficult without over tightening. The provided laces were not only to short but "slippery" and  tend to stretch during runs requiring fairly frequent re tightening. I replaced them with laces from an old pair of shoes and vastly improved the situation. The thick tongue has a tendency to rotate sideways. Not really a problem but an annoyance. It seems shorter than it should be and might benefit from being either a bit wider or be attached further down towards to the toe. Finally, the upper while breathable lets quite a bit of trail dust in, particularly around the tongue and toes. Kind of puzzling that such a good design would have these relatively simple to see and correct defects.

Pros: Light weight, nimble. Great outsole. Hybrid: also fantastic on the road.
Cons: Laces to short and also ineffective. Tongue rotates. 

No comments: