Montrail Tamarack

3 reviews
5-star:   0
4-star:   3
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0



This is kind of a follow up of my previous review.

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Materials: nubuck leather
Use: day hikes, overnight backpacking with small pack
Break-in Period: none
Weight: 2lbs

This is kind of a follow up of my previous review. This review is to focus on the durability and long term comfort of the shoes.

my Tamarack is still going strong. I like the shoes much more than during my first review. It has become my daily gear - whether I am going for a day hike, weekend backpacking trip, or walk around the park.

I have fine tuned the shoes to my preference by replacing the original insole (footbed) with a shock doctor ultra insole. And got a different set of laces for tighter lacing. I like my shoes a bit snug and want to feel the trail response along the foot torso.

The deep heel cup and strategic padding of the insole made a huge positive difference. So I would recommend it.

This is how the different parts are functioning or have been functioning....

Upper: the upper is soft and confirms to the feet very nicely. Even when I tighten the laces hard I don't feel any pressure point or hot spot in my feet. They have resisted abrasion very well. The toe and heel rands are very effective on rugged trails.

The only problem is that the nubuck leather soaks water in moderate to heavy rain. So, waterproofing treatment is a must and should be done pretty frequently (once a month) during rainy seasons.

Midsole: one of the best features of the shoe. They are a soft PU, so they provide exceptional comfort and support. Also, they are very durable. Midsole of my shoes looks exactly like when it was new. Not a sign of fatigue or wrinkles. I had my Asolo and Vasque shoe midsoles wrinked up in a month or so. I like the construction of Tamaracks' midsole.

Outsole: very grippy and protective. The lug pattern allowes me to move fast and maintain superb control and stability on variable terrains (except from the most challenging ones). With moderate loads up to 30lbs, I dont really feel anything underfoot. Thick midsole and substential outsole (along with the protective plate) soakes it all up and provides long term comfort.

Because the outsole is grippy it gets eaten up by pavements, roads, and any type of urban useage fairly quickly. Or on dry rock for that matter. Because I use it mostly on the trails, they are holding up pretty well.

Bottom line: Tamarack hits a sweet spot just in the middle of the spectrum between heavy-duty high cut hiking/backpacking boots and flimsy trail runners that can cause serious damage to your feet. On top of everything, it can also be used in a wide range of weather spring, summer, and fall...provided you apply waterproofing treatment...

You can tell I am happy with my tamarack...sorry for bragging...


Pros: -EXCELLENT grip, even on hardpack with sand.

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Use: short dayhikes, around town wear.
Price Paid: $40 on closeout


-EXCELLENT grip, even on hardpack with sand.
-Great cushioning.
-The best fit possible due to supple nubuck.
-Available in 12.5.
-Like all things from Montrail, superb build quality.
-The old gray color was very stylish.


-Too flexible for any substantial hiking.
-Not ventilated enough.
-Soles wear out fast, but this is to be expected with grippy soles.

I love these shoes.


Great trail and approach shoe. Comfortable and supportive.

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Materials: nubak upper
Use: short hike, day hike, approach
Break-in Period: NONE
Weight: 2lbs
Price Paid: USD 50

Great trail and approach shoe. Comfortable and supportive.

- fits great. the upper nubak leather is soft and confirms to the feet to give a great snug fit necessary for these kind of shoes.
- PU midsole provides great cushion and does not compress like EVA midsoles. I carried my 25lb son in a Kelty backpack (total weight 30lbs) for several 2-3 hour hikes in moderately rugged trails -- no discomfort, fatigue, or blister
- wicks moisture quickly
- breathes well
- great looks
- tow and heel rands handle the bumps and extend the life of the shoes
- light weight
- true multi purpose shoes

- no ankle support, but it's a low cut so I did not expect it
- little too flexy
- no shank in the sole

Overall a great shoe for doing it all. And it's really comfortable. I used a Vasque Catalyst and an Asolo Fuego before this shoe for the same purpose. But, the Tamarack provided me much better protection, support and comfort than any of those shoes.

You cannot go wrong with it if you use it for the right purpose.


Retailers' Descriptions

Here's what other sites are saying:

CLOSEOUTS . Tamarack trail shoes from Montrail are suitable for nearly any adventure involving you and the outdoors, with a flexible midsole, low-profile design and mountain-bike-inspired carbon rubber outsole. Toe and heel rand resist wear Breathable interior Removable insole Nubuck and synthetic uppers Weight: 2 lb. pr. Medium width CLOSEOUTS . China. See our Running Shoe Fit Guide

- Sierra Trading Post refers to the women's version

On Sale. Free Shipping. Montrail Women's Tamarack Shoe (Fall 2006) The Tamarack by Montrail has the durability, traction, and protection of a boot with the suppleness and comfort of a trail runner. This shoe is intended for a variety of outdoor activities from day hiking and climbing approaches to travel. Weight: 13 oz./0.35 kg Grip Mountain bike-inspired tread pattern Carbon rubber for superior wet traction TerraFlex plate for power edging Fit Like only leather fits Running shoe softness Hiking boot protection Low cut for flexibility Design All-leather upper IntegraFit shape Low-profile heel and toe rand Breathable Nylex lining Animal Peak bagging Day hiking All-terrain rambling Scree skiing Adventure travel Reality TV

- Moosejaw refers to the women's version

Excellent for cool weather day hikes and camping trips, Montrail's Tamarack Light Hiking Shoe features a rugged all-leather upper on top of a carbon rubber outsole with a mountain-bike-inspired tread. It's practical and stylish combination of fun and functional with a breathable Nylex lining and IntegraFit design that breaks in faster than some running shoes. If you want the low-slung profile of a sneaker with the big rand protection of a hiking boot, the Tamarack is an excellent choice. Montrail reinforced the design with a TerraFlex protection plate that enhances the support through the midsole. Like other outdoor shoes, Montrail uses an exclusive IntegraFit last based on information from over 800,000 pairs of digitally scanned feet, giving you more contoured support along the medial side of your feet to minimize elongation and pronation. These fit refinements with a neutral shoe design result in more comfort and stability over extended distances on uneven terrain, and when sized properly, the Tamarack Lightweight Hiking Shoe can even increase energy transfer in your hiking stride, so you can go further in better comfort. This is a durable outdoor shoe you can count on for big adventure travel trips and impromptu weekend getaways.

- Altrec Outdoors refers to the men's version

The upper leathers of the Women's Montrail Tamarack are so soft and well patterned that there are no pressure points, only support. And because leather allows some stretch and molding to your feet, the Tamarack accommodates a great range of foot types. The leather is also easily modified to address bunions and other issues you may have with your feet. Montrail's TerraFlex sole construction creates an ideal platform for off-road travel. The molded nylon plate provides the underfoot protection and torsional rigidity, and the polyurethane midsole is cushioned, but won't breakdown and compact over time. With an aggressive, sticky, non-marking tread, the Montrail Tamarack makes for an ideal approach shoe.

- RockCreek refers to the women's version

For those with a long list of places to go, these shoes will keep you company on your day hikes, climbing approaches or travel adventures. These shoes offer the durability, traction and protection of a boot with the suppleness and comfort of a trail runner. All-leather nubuck uppers are durable and breathable. Polyurethane midsoles absorb shock, while the TerraFlex™ plates ensure protection and support. Nylon plate is lightweight, like those in a trail running shoe but stiffer for a more stability under a load. Carbon rubber outsoles deliver superior traction in wet conditions. Closeout.

- REI refers to the men's version

Montrail Tamarack


The Tamarack has been discontinued.

previously retailed for:
$44.93 - $95.00

The Montrail Tamarack is not available from the stores we monitor. It was last seen June 8, 2008 at Sierra Trading Post.

If you're looking for a new approach shoe, check out the best reviewed current models.