User Review: Montrail Men's Continental Divide
Materials: Mesh, synthetic suede
Use: Long distance trail/ultra
Break-in Period: A few runs
Weight: 500g/shoe (US size 12)
Price Paid: $65
I'm a UK-based runner who is new to ultra distance events, and I've got a bunch of off-road ultras lined up for this year. I went for the CD because they are one of the big names in ultra running. I got them from Sierra Trading Post: even with shipping to the UK and import tax this was my cheapest option.
Having taken them out for a couple of short runs to see how they feel, I wore them for a 33 mile, hilly, trail run in the southern UK; the Marlborough Downs Challenge. This was easily my toughest run so far: I've done shorter and hillier, and longer and flatter, but this combo was a killer! During such an event is not the time to find your shoes aren't up to the mark: I'm happy to report that the CDs were superb.
They have the cushioned feel of a road shoe, but with excellent off-road grip. The sole also allows enough 'trail feel', whilst adequately protecting the foot from the battering a prolonged run on hard-packed, lumpy terrain will dish out. The heel cup grips really well and is well cushioned, and the toe box has plenty of room.
After the race my feet were unscathed except for a big blister on the end of the second toe on my left foot, which I think would have happened with any shoe because this toe sticks out further than my big toe (unlike on my right foot) and so is pretty vulnerable. Previous shoes I've had would have rolled around on my feet on the uneven trails, making them pretty tired after an hour or so, but these really stayed put.
I'm not giving them the 5 stars because there's a too much friction in lace holes, making them hard to adjust.
So, bar the lacing niggle, a tough, grippy, comfortable shoe for those monster trail runs.