Thursday, February 28, 2008

Gear Review - Montrail Continental Divide

Product Features and Impressions:
This the best trail shoe I have ever used. Period. Many people consider the Montrail Hardrocks the best trail shoe and I used to agree; but in comparision, the Continental Divides are just a step above. The level of comfort and fit of these shoes (for me) is unreal. Almost any other shoe I have ever used had to be laced up tight in order to prevent heel movement; not with these babies. I lace these nice and light and have no heel play whatsoever. They molded to my feet from day one and have got better ever since.

In comparison to the hardrocks, these shoes are lighter and are a bit more flexible which makes running in them more enjoyable. Don't let the lighter weight fool you though. You still have a solid shoe with a full protection plate. The uppers are lighter duty (than the Hardrocks) but the Hardrocks were overkill anyway with the uppers looking great even after the sole was completely destroyed. The mesh in the uppers allows for cooler feet and better water drainage if you get them soaked. They also don't absorb as much water when dunked.

I was a little concerned with the grip on these shoes at first as the Hardrocks gripped wet rock and roots like nothing else. So, as the Continental Divides had a different sole, it took me a bit of time before I trusted them like the Hardrocks. My conclusion? These things grip like no other. They call their soles 'gryponite' for a reason. For those of you using shoes like the Saloman XA Pro 3Ds (as reviewed below), you have no idea what you're missing. No idea! Ziltch!

Functionally, I can not say anything bad about these shoes. Go for the gold/grey colour over the blue/red. That's all I can say.

Overall Impression:
This is an awesome shoe for anything from off-road ultras, to good hikes through rough terrain. If you want unparalled grip over a variety of terrain, look no further. If you're big and like to trail run, these shoes are for you. If you're looking for a light race shoe for sprint trail races, you may want to look at some of Montrail's lighter race shoes.

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