walkhighlands


Review: Mammut MTR 201-II Max Low Trail Shoe

Whilst these lightweight low-cut shoes are firmly aimed at trail runners – and ultra long distance ones at that – I’m always looking for comfortable and robust footwear that enables me to discard my heavier shoes and boots for summer Scottish routes.

As with all footwear, fit is key. These were instantly very comfortable on my wide feet with no pinch points, the toe box is reasonably wide with plenty of give in the mesh uppers, they may be slightly on the short side as I fit a UK size 6 when a 5.5 is usually my choice (men’s version is also available). The heel is held very securely with a huge amount of cushioning.

The first thing you notice when walking on flat ground is the rolling motion caused by the over 12mm heel to toe drop, quite a sizeable distance even for trail running shoes. Once you get used to this, and the thick cusioning which makes the soles feel quite high, the walking motion is extremely comfortable and I’m sure contributes to the feeling less tired at the end of long hill days. Mammut claim to have designed a blister-free shoe and after a week’s worth of long Scottish Munro and Corbett days there have been no issues whatsoever.

The unlined uppers are made from a honeycomb mesh material with a stiffened plastic heel cup support. A good protective bumper at the toe has done well to protect the material from abrasion on rocky ground so far, but this and the extent of the same rubbery material supporting the lacing points does mean water doesn’t drain out as quickly as you might expect from non-waterproof shoes. Whilst still relatively quick drying, these are not the fastest to dry on walks with boggier ground, and are better suited to drier terrain or combined with waterproof socks on chillier wet days.

At the summit of Bidean a’ Chabair

The grip of the sole is good for this type of shoe and the secure fit combined with the fairly stiff sole adds to confidence on rock. However the bumper material is already coming away from the mesh on one of the uppers at the bend point after 4 or 5 very long mountain days and a few shorter walks. These shoes are not robust enough to last long on wet and varied Scottish terrain – durability would be better on dry days with a lot of paths, tracks and rocky ground. However, there is always a trade-off between comfort / lightweight and durability with footwear.

I’m not generally a fan of speed lacing system and did manage to snap one of the laces on its second outing (swifty repaired with tape which has lasted fine), however the the system does work well providing even tightness and no slippage during long days. The excess lace is held down by two elastic retainers.

A supremely comfortable summer shoe best suited for long summer days on dry terrain.




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