Great fitting trail running shoe that inspires confidence…
Source: bought it new
Great fitting trail running shoe that inspires confidence on the trail. No rock plate in sole limiting factor on rocky trails.
- Great fit for narrow feet
- Great feel of the trail inspires confidence
- Non-GTX good breathability and dries quick
- No rock plate in sole limiting factor on rocky trails
- Lot of stitching (potential weak points)
This is the best fitting shoe I have ever had on, period. I realise this is different for everybody, but here is how it fit me. I have narrow feet and with the Bajadas the heel is really nice and secure, with a quite roomy toe box that gives me enough space to never feel cramped in the front. I lace down pretty tight in the front, normal in the mid section and a bit more loose on top. This way the Bajada's stay securely on my foot, no friction anywhere, without feeling constricted.
The Bajadas have a 10 mm heel to toe drop. There are a lot more minimal and zero drop trail runners coming out that for me and my back just don't work well. The Bajadas do. They are great on the approach or the road and on the trail itself as well.
I live next to some nice mountain trails and usually go out once or twice a week. I go mostly for 20~50Km treks and I never get any blisters or rough spots in these. I often get black toe nails even with large enough shoes on, but the Bajadas give me no problem in that sense. The mesh that the upper is made of gets your feet wet, but also dries quickly again. I find this works better for the conditions here — often long tropical rains or storms where any GTX lined shoe I had eventually wets through.
There is no supination or pronation control or assistance. The ride is neutral and smooth, which is just the way I like it.
Grip is excellent. The lugs are good and the rubber is sticky. I really get a sense of a good feel of the trail which makes me feel comfortable and confident in my footing. You just get really good feedback to your feet with these. In this sense they are a treat to hike, clamber and run in.
Points for improvement:
What I would really like to see though is a rock plate in the sole. After negotiating bigger and smaller rock trails for 3-4 hours I start to feel it in the ball of my foot, and at the end of the day I feel more bruised there than with other trekking shoes or more burly trail runners.
I might try to make a small rock plate myself. It goes so far that I would say this is the biggest factor right now for me to be able to push myself further. After 50Km although my legs are tired I just have to stop due to my feet feeling too bruised to continue. In this sense the Bajadas are really limiting. If you run or hike on less rocky trails and spend more time on forest paths or well maintained trails this might be a non-issue.
The other thing is some better stitching of the upper, I haven't had any problems yet myself, but there is a lot of stitching in the design and it looks a bit fragile. I personally always put a thin layer of shoegoo on the rand with all my shoes just to reinforce them, I might do that to any potential problems with the upper.
Overall the Bajada is a good, neutral shoe, with a caveat for continuous hard rocky treks. If you are looking for another shoe with a narrow cut, I have tried Asics, which were alright, and Salomons, which were great fitting.