Montrail Mountain Masochist

    Photo: Shana Novak

1. Fire roads. Technical trails. Even races and runs with short stretches of pavement. Regardless of what they were doing, testers reached for the Mountain Masochist more than any other shoe. And although it weighs less than 11 ounces and feels light and agile overall, it has just enough padding and midsole—namely three densities of supportive foam—for those of you who spend lots of time in the pain cave.

2. Some off-road shoes use a stiff plate underfoot to guard against sharp rocks and roots. The Masochist's plastic shield is light and flexible, giving this shoe a smooth feel more typical of a road runner and an ability to push the pace. Still, its outsole is all about the trail. Bi-directional, sticky rubber lugs offer great traction, and the decoupled heel eases gently into each step, especially on descents.

3. Trails are like velvet Elvis posters: You want to feel them, but definitely not too much. With its low-riding midsole and nimble feel, the Masochist kept us in touch with the terrain, but not to the point that we needed to watch our step. And with generous padding in the heel collar, a soft upper with minimal seams (no hot spots), and laces that snug down all the way to the toes, the fit is anything but masochistic.

(10.8 oz) montrail.com

Brand: Montrail $95

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