Columbia Rogue F.K.T. Trail Running Shoe
In early 2016, Columbia Sportswear Company announced a realignment of the Montrail trail running footwear brand as a sub-brand of its flagship Columbia brand. This move signaled an huge increased commitment to their trail running category.
Columbia’s trail running apparel, footwear and accessories will now be branded Columbia Montrail, similar to the familiar Columbia PFG sub-brand utilized in the brand’s Performance Fishing Gear line. This new sub-brand under Columbia has expanded its offerings to include full head-to-toe assortments of performance footwear, apparel and accessories designed specifically for running on the trail.
“Our mission at Columbia Sportswear Company is to connect active people with their passions,” said Tim Boyle, Chief Executive Officer. “Combining the Columbia brand’s product innovation and creation expertise, and sales and marketing resources with Montrail’s heritage and reputation for trail running will deliver on our mission by meeting the demands of the trail running consumer.”
The brand’s increased focus on the trail running category follows a multi-year partnership with the UTMB (Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc) one the most prestigious trail running events in the world.
“We see trail running as a natural fit for Columbia and a significant growth category,” said Joe Boyle, Senior Vice President of Columbia Brand Merchandising and Design. “Trail runners put their gear through some of the most challenging environments imaginable. We look forward to delivering a line of innovative trail running gear that helps runners perform to the best of their abilities.”
With all of this taking shape, we were giving the opportunity to test out two of Columbia Montrail’s new shoes, the Rogue F.K.T. and the Bajada III.
First up the Columbia Montrail Rogue F.K.T. (Fastest Known Time)Trail Running Shoe.
The Rogue F.K.T. is described as a low-profile speedster with an aggressive side. Hence the F.K.T. (Fastest Known Time), the Rogue is a lightweight aggressively lugged shoe that is designed for speed and offers a narrow and snug fit right out of the box. Definitely a bit more narrow than I prefer in my trail running shoes. I am hoping that as with most shoes, time and distance will allow them to stretch and form to my foot. The shoe offers up excellent flexibility with just the right amount of lightweight cushioning, thanks to the full-length FluidFoam mid-sole. What is hard to miss is the bright yellow color, appropriately named electron yellow. Yes, that is the only color that it is currently available in.
The upper consists of a 3D printed cage overlayed on a breathable mesh layer that has eliminated all seams and glues. Which has done the fine job of eliminating any hotspots or irritation. While the upper does offer an extremely light weight design, the gray cage on the shoe has only allowed a very minimal give as far as the snug fit, that was felt out of the box. After over fifty miles in the Rogue, this unique design still held my foot to tight. I never acquired any hotspots or blisters from the shoe. From that standpoint the design works and it just remains a personal preference not to run in a narrow shoe. Although I can think of quite a few times when I would want a shoe as snug as this one; running through shoe sucking mud or even an OCR race.
The Rogue has rubberized reinforced toe caps and heels for added protection and durability. The tongue is also gusseted within the breathable mesh that helps keep out all of the nasty trail debris.
- 3D printed overlays offer a lightweight, supportive fit.
- Seamless Construction provides a smooth, irritant free environment.
- Rubberized Print on toe and heel offers increased durability and protection.
The mid-sole is built from a full-length FluidFoam mid-sole, which is a compression molded foam that after over fifty miles of running still holds the light weight cushioning, flexibility, and support as it did on day one. In the picture below on the left you can notice some compression lines in the FluidFoam, it however has not effected the performance or cushioning of the shoe. The mid-sole FluidFoam is further strengthened by the Montrail’s TrailShield layer, which is a proprietary lightweight and flexible material that provides protection from rocks and other trail debris and also adds torsional rigidity through the mid-foot. Ride heights of the Rogue are 18mm heel / 8mm forefoot.
- FluidFoam is a full length compression molded foam that offers high energy impact absorption and increased durability.
- Midfoot TrailShield provides protection and torsional rigidity.
The traction on the Rogue was outstanding. Snowy, wet, muddy trails were no match for the substantial lugs on this shoe. I never once felt that I needed to slow my pace due to lack of traction. The out-sole has perforations that improve the flexibility of the shoe and allow for a smooth stride transition on any surface. Theses perforations also help the weight of the shoe allowing for faster turn over throughout the run.
- Perforated Out-sole helps reduce weight to the shoe
- Flex Grooves run horizontally and vertically through the out-sole for increased flexibility.
- Weight: size 9, 1/2 pair = 9.8 oz / 280 g
- Stack Height: Heel (22mm), Forefoot (18mm)
- Mesh Material: Delivers ventilation to the wearer during intense sessions.
- Seamless Construction: Provides a smooth, irritant free environment
- UPPER: 3D printed cage eliminates seams and glues. This unique design holds your foot snugly in place without unnecessary and weighty overlays. Reinforced toe cap and heel for added protection and durability.
- MID-SOLE: Full-length FluidFoam MID-SOLE for exceptional cushioning, flexibility, and support. Minimal, co-molded mid-foot TrailShield for torsional rigidity and protection. Ride heights: 18mm heel / 8mm forefoot.
- OUT-SOLE: Substantial lugs provide traction and underfoot protection. Perforations for enhanced flexibility and a smoother transition throughout the gait cycle. 4.5mm OUT-SOLE lug height.
While the Columbia Montrail Rogue F.K.T. didn’t make my list of personal favorites, it will be a great match for those of you that like a narrow, snug and streamlined fit. It ensures dependable support and sure footed traction from it’s aggressive out-sole lugs. With the Rogue, Columbia has managed to deliver a premium trail running shoe at a reasonable price.
For more information or to purchase, visit www.columbia.com MSRP $110