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Reviews > Footwear > Trail Shoes > Montrail Mountain Masochist > Owner Review by Leanne Nagy

September 19, 2010


NAME: Leanne Nagy
AGE: 22
LOCATION: Yakima, Washington, USA
HEIGHT: 5' 4" (1.63 m)
WEIGHT: 128 lb (58.10 kg)

I am new to backpacking, though I've been hiking and camping my entire life. My experience is limited to dayhikes so far, but I plan on taking some longer backpacking trips in the near future. I hike in mountainous terrain, as well as the deserts around my home, all four seasons of the year.


Manufacturer: Montrail
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website:
MSRP: US$ 95.00
Listed Weight: 9.2 oz (261 g)
Measured Weight: 1 lb (454 g) for pair
Other details: US Women's size 8 (UK 6.5, EUR 40, CM 25)
Color: "Azure" (light blue mesh with gray and dark blue details)
Materials: Breathable mesh and synthetic leather upper
Sole: "Gryptonite" rubber sole
Toe: Synthetic overlay

Image courtesy of Montrail website

The Montrail Mountain Masochist (hereafter referred to as the Masochist or shoes) is a low-cut trail running shoe. It is described by Montrail as a lightweight, breathable trail-runner with killer traction.

The upper is made of breathable mesh and synthetic leather. The mesh is advertised as being hydrophobic (though not waterproof) and able to keep feet cool.

The sole uses Montrail's Gryptonite technology, which is supposed to offer great traction on both wet and dry surfaces. In between the outsole and midsole is a flexible material called Trail Shield. It runs the length of the shoe and offers protection for the bottom of the foot. The midsole is made of Vapor Response, a triple-density material that provides shock absorption.

The Masochist has a gusseted tongue, keeping debris out and the tongue in place. There is also a lace loop on the tongue near the top, to keep it from sliding side to side. The laces are run through five sets of nylon loops and three of five grommets. One grommet is located at the toe, where the laces are started when lacing. This grommet is connected to the synthetic leather material that protects the front of the shoe. The rest of the grommets are located at the ankle. There is two on either side, one located slightly in front of the other, to customize the lacing for a better fit.

The entire shoe is well padded, especially around the ankle. The insole feels pillowy, but still supportive, with great arch support.


I first wore these shoes on a short 1 mi (1.6 km) dayhike during a trip to Snoqualmie Falls in mid-April. The elevation gain was 300 ft (90 m), over easy to rocky terrain, with temperatures around 65 F (18 C) and a steady rain.

The second trip was a three-day trip to Mount St Helens at the end of May. During this trip, I hiked 12 mi (19 km) over terrain ranging from dirt and ash to large boulders. Total elevation gain was about 1000 ft (300 m). Temperatures hovered around 45 to 65 F (7-18 C), and conditions were quite wet due to heavy rainfall.

The third trip was a 6 mi (10 km) dayhike in the Goat Rocks Wilderness, in Southern Washington at the beginning of June. There was hardly any elevation gain, only about 100 ft (30 m), and the trail was relatively bare with a few rocky areas and muddy patches. The temperature was 60 F (15.5 C), and the weather was calm and sunny.

Trip four was a 3.5 mile (5.5 km) hike along the Skyline Trail at Mount Rainier National Park. It was a sunny day, and trail conditions were excellent until I reached about 6000 ft (1800m). That's when I reached the snowfields and melt-water. The temperature was around 75 F (24 C).

The last big hike these shoes have been on was an attempt to climb Mount St Helens on August 31st. The hike was about 9 mi (14 km) total, with an elevation gain of around 4000 ft (1200 m). The terrain included dirt, ash, mud, scree and large boulders. It was about 45 F (7 C), and raining steadily.

In addition to these trips, I've worn the Masochists on many short hikes of 1 to 2 mi (1.6 to 3 km) or so. These trips were in the Wenatchee National Forest in Washington and the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon, with an average elevation gain of about 1000 ft (300 m). All were well-maintained trails with little to no mud or rocks, and temperatures were around 70 F (21 C).


I bought the Montrail Mountain Masochist to use as a hiking shoe. I'm not a fan of hot, heavy boots, so I decided to get a lightweight trail runner instead of a traditional hiking boot. My first reaction to trying on the shoes was that they were very lightweight and extremely comfortable. The insoles felt like I was walking around in a pair of slippers. The shoes also provided plenty of support in the arch and the heel.

While hiking in the Masochists I have noticed quite a few things:

First, these shoes are not waterproof, and as soon as the water-level reaches the mesh upper, water rushes into these shoes, resulting in temporarily chilled feet. Rain doesn't appear to be seeping in through the mesh, as my feet only get wet when I step in a puddle. (I believe the mesh's hydrophobic properties are the reason why I only feel larger amounts of water leaking into the shoes.)

Second, the traction is good for the most part. I did have one instance where the traction failed, which was pretty scary, and could've been quite dangerous if I didn't have a hand to grab onto. The area of rock that the traction failed on was quite wet (it looked more like a stream than a trail) and there was about a 20 degree slope. I was about halfway down the section of rock when my feet began to slip out from under me. It was the only time I have had problems with the traction, so I don't know for sure what caused the shoes to slip. All I know is that the traction performs quite well under most conditions and most terrain. I have had no problems in mud, scree, or talus.

Third, these shoes are very comfortable. They felt like pillows when I first bought them, and they still quite comfy now. I have never gotten blisters while wearing these shoes, and have only gotten one hotspot on my ankle (which I believe was due to tying the shoe too loose). I've worn the Masochist with many different types of socks, ranging from thin athletic socks to bulky hiking socks, and they adjust very easily to the different thicknesses. The only bit of discomfort I feel is in the toe box after wearing the shoes all day (8 plus hours). The toe box begins to feel a little cramped side to side for my feet after a long day.

Fourth, these shoes have great support. I've hiked over many rocks and boulders in these shoes, and have never felt any discomfort on the bottoms of my feet. Nor have I had any problems with rolling my ankles while wearing them. I was a little worried that as a trail runner, they wouldn't over much support, but they have surprised me.

Finally, these shoes are holding up very well. I have hiked in them close to 50 miles (81 km) over the spring and summer, and they still look nearly brand new. The soles still look good, showing only minor wear along the edges of the treads, even after trekking over lots of rough surfaces. The uppers are nearly perfect. The only bit of wear I've found is a teeny bit of fraying along the seam near the laces. Below is a picture what my shoes look like now.
After, showing little wear, and some dirt


The Montrail Mountain Masochist trail running shoes offer great traction over many different types of terrain. They have a mesh upper, which helps keep feet cool in hot weather. They are not waterproof, but they seem to be somewhat water-resistant. So far they have held up quite well to the abuse of hiking, and are still a comfortable shoe for a dayhike with a loaded pack.


Great traction.
My heels don't slip, and have never had blisters with these on.
Mud doesn't get stuck in the treads.
Mesh keeps my feet cool in hot weather.
Well-constructed, show hardly any wear after over six-months of use.
Appear to be somewhat water-resistant.


Shoes are not waterproof (though they are not advertised as such).
Mesh upper lets cool air in, which isn't such a good thing on cool days.
Traction begins to fail on a wet, sloped surface, which can be could be dangerous.
Toe-box is not super roomy, begins to feel cramped after a long hike.


Leanne Nagy

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