Montrail Bajada Review
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As the sport of trail running continues to grow, so do the trail running shoe options at Montrail. A while back, Montrail was one of the few real trail running shoes that you could depend on for making a quality trail running shoe. Fast forward a few years and there was an illness that spread through Montrail like wildfire and the company started changing and dropping some of its most popular and most trusted models. The outcome was not pretty, not so great fitting shoes and Montrail was almost a trail running shoe brand of the past. While this jaded past had temporarily hurt the company, it is evident that Montrail took these hardships to heart and used them as a way to learn from their past mistakes. Today, Montrail is back and kicking butt in the trail running scene as evidenced by the Montrail Bajada trail running shoe which I’ve had the pleasure of testing out over the past few months.
The Montrail Bajada weighs in at 10.3 oz. for a men’s 9 and has 10 mm heel to toe drop. Yup, it’s not a minimalist trail running shoe, but it’s also not a super heavy trail running shoe that feels like you’re carrying lead weights on your feet. The Montrail Bajada is best used as your everyday trail running shoe that can handle pretty much any trail surface and keeps on ticking.
Bajada Upper and Fit
To start, the upper of the Montrail Bajada is made from a blend of mesh for breathability and synthetic leather for shoe integrity and durability. The majority of the synthetic leather sits near the midsole which is often where you will come into the most contact with rocks and other debris. This material not only protects the shoe, but it also prevents smaller sand particles from getting inside the shoe.
The fit on the Montrail Bajada is best for the average sized foot, meaning not super narrow nor uber wide. Around the heel, there is a softer padded mesh that does a nice job of keeping the heel and ankle in place without digging into your foot. The toebox of the Montrail Bajada is average for a trail running shoe and I found it to be ample for my average width toes. The lacing system provides a nice snug and secure ride when tightened. While these shoes feel great when laced up correctly, the laces do run a little short which can make it hard to get a good solid double knot while still having a little slack. This is not a big problem or deal breaker, but it would be good to see a couple inches added to the laces.
Midsole and outsole of the Montrail Bajada
The midsole of the Montrail Bajada is made from a compression molded EVA which provides a soft cushiony ride, but is firm enough to protect your feet from sharp rocks and roots. The heel comes in at a height of 20mm and the toe is at 10mm providing a 10mm heel to toe offset.
The outsole of the Montrail Bajada uses smaller square lugs that are in groups of 2 and 3. Having tested out this lug pattern in the past, I am familiar with the great traction it provides and the Bajada traction did not disappoint. I tested these shoes out on dry technical rocky trails, muddy sloppy trails, and even a 1/2 marathon road race in Steamboat Springs, CO when I decided last minute to run the race and all I had were my Bajada’s.
My overall impression of the Montrail Bajada’s is very favorable for the everyday trail runner that’s looking for a good all around trail running shoe that they can depend on day in and day out.
For more information on the Bajada and other Montrail footwear, please visit www.columbia.com.