It’s the time of year where we are teased with summer 2013 trail shoe product!
Most recently we sat down with Montrail to preview their trail shoe lineup for next summer and as always, they definitely impressed. As an industry leader in the trail shoe world, it’s always exciting to see what they’ve got in the pipe for upcoming seasons. Read on for a quick hit of the highlights.
First up is the new FluidFeel for both men and women. Like most trail shoe companies, Montrail makes a push towards the road/trail hybrid for 2013 and the FluidFeel looks to fall perfectly into the category. While in an ideal world we would live right next to epic trails, for most runners reality dictates that a few miles on pavement are necessary before joining up with dirt. Enter the FluidFeel.
Their FluidFoam technology is lauded as a gimmick-free technology with tremendous responsiveness and resiliency yielding great-feeling, responsive running shoes. A derivative of EVA, the FluidFoam offers improved energy absorption, better flexibility and enhanced cushioning over it’s better-known relative. According to Montrail, FluidFoam offers 17% better heel impact energy absorption initially and 7% after three months of use, both of which rate higher than traditional EVA. Also, in blind tests 60% of testers preferred FluidFoam over EVA.
Shown below are the articulated midsole flex grooves, designed to support and move with the natural motion of the foot.
The microlug outsole looks to be a great blend between pavement and singletrack. With a 15mm-11mm drop and a 7.6oz (men)/6.1oz (women) weight, the FluidFlex definitely falls into the “minimalist” trail shoe category. Opposed to the majority of Montrail shoes, which possess a 10mm drop, the 4mm drop-FluidFlex is a welcome departure for lightweight fans and forefoot strikers. All in all, it looks to be a fantastic training or race day shoe at a bargain price of $90.
Next in the Fluid series is the FluidFeel, another treadmill to trail hybrid. Basically a more structured version of the lightweight FluidFlex, the FluidFeel comes in at 10.3oz for men, 8.7oz. for women, and possesses a 18mm-10mm drop. It’s a sleek shoe that should be popular with a multitude of trail running enthusiasts, regardless of ability level or weekly mileage.
The forefoot traction pods shown below appear to be a happy medium between the lugs needed for dirt and the smooth outsole desirable for pavement. A few additional features are 360-degree reflectivity, a high-abrasion carbon heel, and slight posting. $110.
Other exciting changes to the existing Montrail line-up are new colors for the Rogue Fly, Bajada, Badwater, and Mountain Masochist.