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Montrail Rogue Racer review

July 20, 2012

For the past few years, I have enjoyed the Mountain Masochists by Montrail. In the gorwing minimal shoe craze, I finally ventured to a transition shoe within the same company lines. With no intentions of ever going fully tilt to Vibrams, I would, and have, contemplated purchasing the Altra Lone Peak or a pair of INOV-8.
To ease the transition, and the pocket book, I found a pair of Montrail Rogue Racers deeply discounted at Backcountry. What appealed to me was the amazing light weight of the shoe, coming in at a mere 8.8 oz. This coupled with a heel drop of only 9 mm, helped make the decision of acquisition. Additionally, I personally find the shoes super sexy and sleek.

I have worn these shoes now for a full month and put about 50 miles or more a week on them. Rumor had it that these shoes performed well on mixed surfaces, so the first few runs were during the Wasatch Back Relay. Fortunately for me, I had mostly trail, but the shoes performed adequately on both surfaces. I immediately noticed the minimal weight and the extremely comfortable upper. After merely 25 miles on mixed surfaces, I did notice that the outsole of Gryponite was wearing more then expected, which continued through the remaining life of the shoe.

The following weeks, I used the shoe on runs including the Wahsatch Steeplechase,the Brighton Marathon and trail running around the Hardrock100 course in Silverton, CO. These slightly longer trail runs accentuated many of the positives, negatives and other crucial learning components of making this successful transition.

In ending on a more positive note, I will begin with some aspects that disappointed me greatly with my pair of Rogue Racers. Take all of this with a grain of salt, as I have acquired another pair of them in hops of the anomaly that this was an isolated problem and that the reputation of Montrail, yes I know they were bought by Columbia years back, as sufficed my habit of running for 4 years now. Meaning, Montrail has been more then willing and very pleasant to work with regarding warranty and return policies. And yes while we all would ideally like to obtain gear that is fundamentally as perfect as we are, I am willing to stand by a company that will at least honor its word and company reputation as much as their product. Sorry to digress. In other news, I found that the EVA, which has occurred on a couple of my Masochists, revealed an inherent problem with my heel striking and quickly compressed, those exaggerating this ‘problem’. I regrettably did not get a photo but the inside rear outsole compressed almost 5 mm due to the constant compression and force. It was also somewhat difficult, and I have now made this transition, on the lack of comparative support of the trail shield and TPU shank in comparison to the Masochist. This on two of my PR runs did unfortunately result in entire heel covering blisters after my first two longer trail runs.

Fortunately, the upper, with some wear and tear, held up relatively well and was extremely comfortable before, during and after runs. With the light weight materials and excellent breathability, I would recommend this shoe to anyone having sweaty feet problems or pressure difficulties with shoes due to lacing, or excessive overlaying.

I think what I am most excited about with these shoes, is what they have helped teach me in the past month. Firstly, that I really enjoy a lighter and more breathable shoe. Secondly, I am a horrid heel striker with a desire/intention of decreasing the stability and heel depth of my shoes. Additionally, blisters, including those which cover the entire foot, are not deal breakers. Lastly, I am kinda vain. I loved the sexy colors of the older and newer Montrail Rogue Racers. While this is certainly not ‘keeping’ me in the shoe, it doesn’t hurt.


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