Friday, November 22, 2013

Happy Feet!

Montrail Mountain Masochist
I bought a new pair of hiking shoes, the Montrail Mountain Masochistmy first change in “trail running” shoes in over 3 decades.  I had been wearing New Balance shoes all those years, usually a 600-800 model, but New Balance kept changing styles every few years and I learned I could not just stay with one model number anymore.  This year I was exasperated trying to get NB shoes that fit.  When searching locally at Travel Country Outdoors, I tried on a pair of the Montrail’s and they just fit, right then and there without any special inserts or in wide widths or anything extra at all.  I was surprised.  I walked around the store with them and my feet felt right.  I remember when New Balance used to fit me that well right out of the box, though they do not now.  Maybe it is time for a change.  
Travel Country is one of those local merchants who never gave up to the big box retailers and has built quite a business serving the locals around the Orlando area and online customers with fine outdoor equipment.  In the early 1980's I purchased most of my tents, cook gear and other outdoor equipment from them and still drop by today to browse from time to time.  They also have great seasonal sales and support the boy scouts locally.
When I got home I ordered the Montrail’s online from Travel Country and used a 20% off coupon I had in an email from them.  They arrived a couple days later.  I’d swear they were the same shoes I tried on in the store, but I’ll never really know.
So far they have felt great for wearing to work and for walking all over Savannah last weekend (another story), and I’m quite pleased with them.  In addition to providing excellent support and stability, they grip the surface very well.  I noticed how my feet did not tire from the heavy pavement pounding I just gave them, so hiking in the great outdoors should be even better.  I’ll order a second pair from another online dealer in the next few weeks so I will have a pair in the box, ready to go when these wear out.  
For off pavement, these shoes rock!  They really grip the ground well (roots, especially) and provide plenty of arch and heel support.   The fit is a little loose around the toes, but my heels fit perfectly. 
According to my wife, I really don't have a heel anyway, just a pointy bone back there that rubs raw on just about everything I wear.  In these shoes, my heel is held in place without moving.  Again, with my sub-5 pound daypack the support and stability are excellent and that works for me.
I have also been using the Montrail  Enduro-soles inserts, for about a year and appreciate the increase in stability they give.  Once I put them into the Montrail shoes, it was like they were meant to be there.  They are the softer of the two brands of  insoles available at Travel Country to try.  The first brand didn’t work out for me, but this one sure does.  
I'll update you on how the Montrail shoes worked after backpacking in them.  I expect they will work great.  Again, I was quite pleased with my purchase and can now say for hiking that I have "happy feet". 

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