Back in the summer I bought a pair of Montrail Streaks (half price I might add!) and said I would give them a really good test and report back. For one reason or another I havent done that until now, prefering instead instead to wear my CTCs whenever I have had the chance to get out and about. Yesterday I had chance to go out for a long walk in the Brecon Beacons. I purposefully chose a route that would take in mud, grass, rock and streams as well as up and downhill bits with no paths. This wasnt just to test the shoes but also because I wanted to get away from any half-term crowds that might be around. I also managed to do a few miles of running on a variety of terrain just to see how they responded to that.
Well, I tested them out in wonderful weather conditions. The temperture was in the high teens, there was a light breeze and no rain. The off-path terrain was wet underfoot and boggy in places but the paths themselves were reasonably well drained and compact. I did around 15miles and really put the shoes through a vigorous testing including immersion in a foot of mud! All day long they felt comfortable, very light (being lighter than even my CTCs) and responsive. The extra flexibility in the sole and uppers meant that even in heavy mud, my feet and ankles felt free of restriction and able to respond quickly. I knew that they (and my feet) would get wet rapidly but since it was mild and I was wearing wool blend mid socks this wasnt going to be a problem. They best aspect was definitely that fact they didnt feel restrictive in anyway and I never turned or even threatened to turn my ankle all day even when running in heavy “wet” mud. At the end of the day’s walk/run they still felt comfy even though muddy and wet and had dealt well with the terrain I chucked at them.
If I have a slight reservation about them it would be about walking on wet rock and really gloopy mud however I have yet to find a pair of shoes that do this well! All in all a successful outing although in wintery conditions I will probably revert back to my CTCs as they have a higher rand/less mesh which helps keep out a little bit of water. For summer, spring and autumn I will be wearing the Streaks though!
Flexible sole and uppers
Comfy (even when wet)
Cheap (especially when bought at half price!)
Good over a variety of terrain whilst walking, climbing or running
Ok for traction on wet rock and really wet mud, but not great (I am being picky here!)