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I'll be upfront: I got a pair of these shoes in March 2013 as a gift. I didn't pay them much attention at first, as this sort of shoe is not really my taste. I like lighter, more stripped-down shoes like the Montrail Rogue Fly and FluidFlex. The heaviest shoes I normally run in are Brooks Pure Grit. Instead, I started wearing these as casual shoes for walking around town.
However, one day I got to the trailhead and found that I'd left my running shoes behind, and went for a run using these. I guess I've been using minimal shoes for too long, because it was a revelation! I was able to charge down rocky trails without any real concern for how I placed my feet. These have a ton of cushioning, and I really enjoyed the contrast, the comfort, and the freedom to relax.
The shoe is similar in feel and protection to the Brooks Cascadia. Plenty of midfoot support, and a reasonably roomy toe box.
These are not shoes that I would wear in races, but they are still reasonably light -- very light for the cushioning they provide. However, they make an awesome training shoe, and I have taken to wearing mine a couple of runs per week. They are very pleasant to wear on extra rocky trails, or when my feet feel tired, and need a rest.
No issues at all with durability so far...
I have run almost exclusively in Montrail shoes over the last few years. I thought the Rogue Racer was a breakthrough in providing great feel and cushioning at an astonishingly light weight. The Rogue Fly, which I also loved, felt like an incremental improvement, shaving a little weight with no discernible loss of performance. I wore both shoes in 20+ trail races. My only criticism was that the forefoot protection felt just a little too minimal (not comfortable over sharp rocks!) and the heel stack felt just a little too high.
Maybe Montrail were listening to me. Or maybe they got the same feedback from a lot of athletes. Because the FluidFlex is an *awesome* shoe that remedies these issues. The forefoot sole is thicker and provides more protection, but still retains remarkably good trail feel. The heel is dropped slightly, giving a flatter, lower-profile, more stable platform. And the weight remains feather-light, not discernibly different to the Rogue Fly.
After using the shoes in only a couple of training runs, I felt comfortable enough to race a 50k in them, and a 50-miler two weeks later.
I still have absolutely no complaints. These are close to perfection.
I *love* Rock n' Roll lube.
It lubricates really well (although perhaps not absolutely as little friction as the best conventional lubes) but it lasts and lasts, and keeps your chain nice and clean. I ride mostly in dusty conditions, and find that the regular wet, oily lubes are like a magnet for dirt.
I've tried other waxy lubes (Pedro's Ice Wax and White Lightening) and think this is way better. Pedros seems just to turn into sticky gunk, and the White Lightening interacts horribly with other lubes.
The blue, "extreme" version of Rock n' Roll is intended for mountain biking in nasty, muddy conditions. But I've found it works well in all conditions. So unless you a a major bike geek, and keep a library of lubes for different days, this should be your go-to choice.
It comes in a giant 16oz bottle, along with a much smaller (empty) bottle with a drip nozzle, so you can decant some into the more convenient size.
What makes a good shoe is highly subjective. I like to run in lightweight shoes with minimal structure. I also race regularly, and as much as possible, like to to train in the shoes I'm going to use in a race.
My favorite race shoes for the last couple of seasons have been Montrail Rogue Racers. However, these are definitely not for everyone: they are ultralight with minimal structure and with very little protection from from rocks in the forefoot. And as races get longer and/or rockier, I find they're not even for me, either! At the end of a particularly rubbly 50k, I my feet were tired and aching. And my brain was tired from the effort of placing my feet carefully.
So for longer races, casual training, and just all-round use, I love the Mountain Masochists. They are only a little heavier (680g vs 505g), but provide much more support, more rock protection, better traction, and more durability.
The Mountain Masochist is a well-rounded thoroughbred of a trail shoe that I would recommend to almost anyone for any use. The only exception I can think of is if you have narrow feet. The MM runs a little wide.
I loved the Montrail Rogue Racer shoe. It provided a decent amount of cushioning in a very lightweight shoe. The Rogue Fly is the next step. As far as I can tell, the Fly keeps the exact same sole as the Racer, but provides an even lighter upper.
Does it work? Absolutely. My size 10 Flys weigh 460g (pair); my Rogue Racers 505g. That might not seem like much of a weight saving, but it's still 10%. And so far, I've not missed the lack of structure in the uppers. I could be imagining things, but it also seems like the Flys run a little narrower than the Racers.
What I still don't like is the amount of heel-to-toe drop. (10mm, I think.) I do like that the heel is well-cushioned, as it means I can run fast downhill. (Overtaking runners wearing really minimal shoes!) But I'm not sure I need this much heel height, nor if it is really appropriate for such a lightweight shoe. I think Montrail could decrease HTTD to, say, 6mm, and further lighten the shoe without damaging its performance. I have no problem running fast downhill in Brooks Pure Grit, with a 4mm HTTD.
Durability may be an issue. As Montrail shave more and more weight off the shoe, something has to give. I think the product description should emphasize more that this is really a stripped-down racing shoe. However, my Rogue Racers have lasted through many long races and lots of abuse on the trails, so hopefully the Flys will last similarly.
The overwhelmingly striking aspect of these shorts is their weight. They are amazingly lightweight, due to the very light fabric, and the welded construction. The fabric seems to be the same sort of light, stretchy, wicking fabric used in running shorts.
That's the greatest strength of these shorts: because they are so light and stretchy, they are fantastic for bouldering. (And presumably for hiking, too.) You can sweat like a pig, and the fabric breathes wonderfully, doesn't get heavy, doesn't feel hot, doesn't bind or restrict your motion in any way at all. The product description recommends them for trail running, but they seem a little long for that (knee length), and personally I need some uh... support when I'm running. So for that use, you'd probably want to use some euro-style underwear!
But the great strength of these shorts is also their greatest weakness. The shorts are so amazingly lightweight that you feel almost naked. I could certainly deal with them being just slightly heavier and less clingy for casual wear.
They do seem to run a little on the small side. I typically wear pants with a 31" waist, and ordered both a S and a M. The M was a little big, and the S just a little small. I went with the S, but the fit is certainly figure-hugging!
What I wish was different (apart from slightly heavier fabric, which would probably help with durability, too) is for the shape to be slightly more waisted: the shorts feel very straight-cut, like they were formed around a cylinder rather than a real person. I also wish there were belt loops, so that they could be worn with a belt if necessary. There are two small straps at the sides that cinch the waist, but I found them to be somewhat unsatisfactory, as they loosened spontaneously, and I have to keep tightening them every hour or so.
Overall highly recommended for climbing and hiking.
I bought this after wandering the Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City. I went by the booths of every hydration vendor, and looked at what they had in the way of minimal packs. I was looking for hydration packs for marathons and ultrarunning events. The CamelBak Classic was by far my favorite.
There are two key advantages to this pack. Firstly, the bladder is super easy to refill without removing from the pack. The mouth is just tucked under a flap. This makes it ideal for race aid stations: you can easily unscrew lid as you approach, and quickly refill from jug etc. Secondly, there's really nothing to the pack that you don't want. There's a small zippered pocket on the outside that is big enough to hold a few gels. And a minimal bungee that can be used to secure a rain shell or a long-sleeve. Larger items can also be slipped into the bladder pocket. All the straps are mesh and highly breathable.
I liked the design so much I bought two, so that I can leave one at bag-drops/checkpoints and just swoop in and grab a full pack.
Wrong photo on this. Item pictured is X-9 trigger shifter...