Make sure to read our Montrail Preview from last summer! https://alpenglowsports.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/montrail-summer-2013-trail-shoe-preview/
While some people like to take a break from running in the winter, others don’t even consider the possibilities of running on snow, or know what that might be like. Winter running, like many other winter sports, takes a lot of consideration to clothing, conditions, and gear. I had a boyfriend once who liked to repeat the line: “there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.”
In the beginning of December, while I was trail running in a torrential downpour, I considered this proverb, as I usually do while participating in bad weather. That little line has motivated me to go out in some of the worst conditions, on many occasions. On this particular day I was making my way up JPs Trail out of Cold Stream Canyon in Truckee. The cold rain soaked my clothing and by mile four, I was drenched from head to…well, ankle. My feet were dry and warm despite the pond like puddles I had been running straight through. As my clothes bared the weight of the accumulating water and I became saturated, I thought; at least my shoes worked. I was testing out my new waterproof running shoes, the Mt. Masochist from Montrail, made with their own waterproof material they call “Outdry”. It was the perfect weekend to put them to the ultimate test, and they passed with flying colors. Since then, I have walked or run through all varieties of rain and snow and have been pleasantly surprised that not only were my feet dry, my toes weren’t cold either.
I bought my Montrails for snow running and it was just the rainstorms of early December that allowed me to test them out as a truly waterproof runner. Snow running is just what it sounds like, running on snow. Working at Alpenglow Sports I encountered many runners who never even considered running on snow, or even knew how to go about it. Well, it isn’t rocket science but like I said before, it takes a lot of consideration to clothing, conditions, and gear. I’ll leave the clothing up to you while I tell you a bit about my experiences with conditions and gear.
First off, I must say, if there is fresh snow, go skiing. Snow running is something to do in between storms when it gets firm and icy, or something to do when trails get packed down and tracked out. You can’t really run in deeper, fresh snow unless you’ve got some snowshoes and that’s not what I’m talking about here, although I’m sure there are some that do that too. I’m talking about putting a pair of spikes on your running shoes and hitting a trail or fire road that is snowy. The best spikes I have found are called Kahtoola. They have a rubber frame that comes in small to large sizing and easily fits over your running shoes. Micro Spikes by Katoolah; ask for them by name. Once you start running, you can’t even tell they are on and they keep you from slipping on even the worst ice.
As far as waterproof running shoes, I love my Mt. Masochists but that is because I run in the non-waterproof version during the summer and the sizing and performance are the same. So even if you can’t find the “Outdry” (waterproof) version to try on, just try on the regular version and special order the Outdry in the same size.
If you are a Salomon person, this is true of the Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultras, which come in a regular version and a Gore-tex (GTX) version as well. My husband wears these and is always going on about how much he loves them but lately he has switched over to a pair of Salomon Snow Crosses; designed with spikes and a gaiter built right in, these are for true snow runners.
Get your waterproof running shoes and a pair of Katoolahs, and you are ready to find a trail. This may be harder than it seems. You need a trail that is 1) groomed or cat tracked 2) snowmobile tracked, or 3) people tracked, and also has snow on it (in other words, not pavement or dirt). If you are motivated, and it is winter, you will find it. I recommend adding a dog to the mix because it will surely keep your heart warm while you are out in the cold and nothing is more motivating than Fido…except, maybe, that one liner; there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.
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.
Don’t miss the Lake Tahoe premier of JB Benna’s “Unbreakable,” a documentary of the 2010 Western States Endurance Run! We have teamed up with Montrail and Squaw Valley Institute to bring this awesome event to Tahoe and we’re really excited for the evening. This will sell out so make sure to get your tickets in advance! $15 for the general public and $10 for Squaw Valley Institute members, children, and WS100 racers. The first 50 tickets sold at Alpenglow Sports in Tahoe City, California will receive a free Montrail vistor.
From Squaw Valley Institute: “Join some of the top ultra runners in the sport, Tim Twietmeyer and Andy Jones-Wilkins in a short lecture preceding the premiere of the film Unbreakable, a movie about the Western States race. Also on hand for Q&A will be Montrail’s CEO and ultra runner, Topher Gaylord, along with Ellie Greenwood, last year’s top female finisher in the race. This year marks the 35th year of the Western States 100 mile race, considered one of the most grueling due to altitude and terrain, running from the base of Squaw to Auburn, California.”