Montrail CTC trail shoes – a review

Ok, back to the reviews. At this rate it will take a long time to review all my kit….!

The Montrail CTC trail shoes have been my faithful companions for the past 3 years. Ok so I am on my second pair but to be fair I wore the 1st pair constantly during the first 2 years ie I wore them like they were trainers and never really wore anything else on or off the hills! So what do I like so much about them?

montrail ctc

montrail ctc

Firstly, the fit.

They do.

Fit that is.

I have never, ever, ever owned such a comfortable pair of trail (or any type of) shoes ever. Really. You sometimes dream of finding a shoe or boot that fits and is comfy right from the 1st wearing. This is how I found the CTCs. I wore them for the first time on the day of a trip and they were perfect from the off. This super fit didnt change with time either. I dont know if its because they are light and flexible or whether its because of the lacing arrangement or the materials used but they were and are superbly comfy to wear. Everyone’s feet are different so I am not for one moment suggesting they are comfy for all people. Just me. So are we clear on this point? Comfy. Moving on…….

The other thing I love about these shoes is the weight. At 785g for the pair (measured on home scales) they arent the lightest shoes around but combined with their durability make them a winner in my mind. They have a very decent mesh upper that allows moisture to pass out easily and air in so are really great in the summer. Another benefit is that if they do get wet they dont take forever to dry or at least partially dry out during the day. The lightness of the uppers is counterbalanced by the sole and sturdy rand on the bottom half of the shoes. Its almost like a tale of two different shoes welded together in the middle. The end product is something that is light, responsive and yet very durable.

So how do find them out on the hills? Very nice indeed. I have worn them on grass, rock, scree, snow and mud and they perform well wherever. The only slight criticism I would have for them here is that they could do with a bit more grip on wet rock. Having said that, a lot of boots and shoes can sometimes come a cropper on wet rock. Its a minor grumble but one in fairness I must point out. When wet, they are still comfy to wear and do actually dry out reasonably well. If wet shoes isnt a nice thought, there is always the waterproof sock avenue. Having said that I have also got a pair of waterproof Montrail CTCs as well as the regular ones. I have worn these in persistent snow very successfully although the fit is not quite as good possibly because of the waterproof Goretex liner making them slightly less flexible.

So, all in all a fantastic shoe for a wide variety of conditions (yes even five-a-side football…!) and one I know I will buy another pair of once my present set expires




good grip in a variety of conditions

dries relatively quickly

well ventilated

tough and well put together lasting a long time


Ok but not brilliant on wet rock

About Saddlebags and Backpacks - a brewer's outdoor adventures

I am a keen hiker, camper, cyclist and general all round gear addict..... I also manage to be a professional brewer in my non-spare time :->
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6 Responses to Montrail CTC trail shoes – a review

  1. backpackingbongos says:

    Are they designed for thin feet or fat feet? I fall into the thin feet category and struggle to find footware that fits properly, hence why I like inov8’s – they fit like a glove. These days it seems that most manufacturers make really wide footwear so would be nice to know if these are something I could try and seek out!

  2. backpackbrewer says:

    Um not sure really. I wouldnt say my feet are very wide but also they havent got a big arch either so are flattish. The other thing to note is that Montrail do 1/2 sizes and the 7.5 size shoe is spot on for me and normally I take a 7. I would definitely try before buying if possible.
    I have tried Innov8s and they kill my heels, all of them so not sure what that means re you trying Montrails…..

  3. tw says:

    More importantly, where can you buy them now? I too fell in love with the CTC, and they are no longer made. My pair is 3 years old now, and I really need a new pair. I tried some of the newer Montrails, but since they were bought out by Colombia, they seem to not be the same. They use to make great shoes for low volume foot folks like me, now they are kind of clumpy. Where did you pick up your second pair?

  4. backpackbrewer says:

    I cant remember other than it was one of the mainstream online stores. I’ll try to look it up and let you know

  5. I found a pair of these in my size nearly brand new used. Given that they were probably made around 2009 (??) do you think they will hold together now? They fit me perfect.

    • Saddlebags and Backpacks - a brewer's outdoor adventures says:

      Go for it! Not from Joe Brown’s by any chance? I had my eye on a pair a few years ago and tried (and failed) to haggle the price down lol

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