Bye bye blisters: Montrail Hiking Boot Review

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Montrail Hiking Boot Review

Searching for the right pair of hiking boots can be an expensive process of trial and error, not to mention painful. And we’ve all been through it. You get a pair of boots that you are all excited about, and then you come home from your first hike with a zillion blisters. It’s the worst.

About 7 years ago, I had been cycling through boots left and right when someone recommended I try a pair of Montrails. I was skeptical because Montrail’s hiking boot looked more like a high top trail runner, not the sturdy boot that I was used to. But maybe a change was good. I clearly wasn’t having luck with traditional hiking boots.

Well 7 years after purchasing my first pair of Montrails, I was still rocking them hard. Not only are they the most comfortable hiking boot I’ve ever worn, they lasted me through hundreds and hundreds of miles, including my 220-mile thru-hike on the John Muir Trail without a single blister. Amazing right!

Montrail hiking boots

This summer, with all the hiking I’ll be doing around Salt lake, I decided it was time for a new pair. Montrail has two new versions of my original hiking boot. The Fluid Fusion MID OUTDRY is just like my old pair – a hybrid between a trail runner and a high ankle boot. They are super lightweight, waterproof, and highly breathable.

The other pair – the Fluid Enduro MID Leather OUTDRY – looks more like a heavy duty leather hiking boot. With most leather boots being on the heavier side, I was a bit resistant to this style since I didn’t want to be lugging around a pair of bricks on my feet.

But then, I tried the leather pair on, and my opinion quickly changed.

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Weight

The Montrail leather hiking boot is deceptively light thanks to the mesh paneling that seamlessly integrates with the leather. This feature also makes the boot breathable preventing your feet from getting hot while hiking. Each boot weighs just over 12 ounces for a total of 1.5 pounds for the pair. That is lighter than the most popular hiking boots on the market including leading pairs by Lowa, Vasque, and La Sportiva, which all weigh in at 2 pounds or more. The Montrail’s weight is also on par with many of the popular trail runners and low ankle hiking shoes, like the Merrell Moab Ventilator Hiking Shoe. The Montrail Fluid Enduro MID Leather OUTDRY also comes in a low ankle version, which is even lighter.

A detailed review of Montrail's Fluid Enduro MID Leather OUTDRY Hiking boots - the most comfortable pair of lightweight leather hiking boots I've ever owned

Traction

The advantages of this hiking boots go way beyond their scanty weight. One of the things that is super important when choosing a new hiking boot is how much traction the sole offers. Sliding down the trail isn’t fun, and it breaks down my confidence when I think I’m going to slip and fall. These new Montrails seem to handle wet rocks and loose scree better than any other hiking shoe I’ve tried, including competitors with Vibram rubber soles. Last week, I was on a hike to Lake Blanche and on the way down it started to rain. Even when the rocks got slippery, I never experienced loose footing thanks to the grippy grooves in the soles, which are identical on both new versions of Montrails. They are also waterproof which is a plus if you often hike in wet environments like the Pacific Northwest.

Montrail hiking boots have a very grippy sole to prevent slipping on loose scree and wet rocks

Comfort

All of these features don’t really matter if the boot isn’t comfortable. And that’s what really sets Montrail apart. Their boots molded to my feet right out of the box. As with any shoe, it’s a good idea to take them on a day hike to make sure they fit properly before going on any extended backpacking trips, but with these Montrails there is really no break-in period required. I also found them to be pretty true to size. Just remember to keep in mind sock thickness when you are shopping for new boots.

Montrail

Style

While style should be the last thing you are worried about when choosing a hiking boot, it’s always nice when you like the look. And the Fluid Enduro MID Leather OUTDRY hiking boots are about as slick as they come. They are simple and not too clunky, and I didn’t feel nerdy wearing them even when many other people on the trail were sporting simple trail runners.

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Where to Buy

You can buy the Montrail Fluid Enduro MID Leather OUTDRY hiking boots directly from Montrail’s website or you can use their store locator to find a place to buy them in person. These boots also come in a men’s version, as well as a lower ankle version, and they retail for $145.

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Disclosure: I received the hiking boots at no cost for this review, and some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase, I receive a tiny bit of compensation at no added cost to you. I only recommend products that I truly love, and any purchases you make help keep this blog going. Thanks for all of your support, and if you ever have any questions about any of the products featured on my site, please email me. Thanks! Kristen

 

There are 16 comments on this post.

About the author

Hi! I'm Kristen....blogger, hiker, sunset-watcher, and dance floor shredder. I feel most alive in the outdoors and created this website to help you enjoy the best that the West has to offer.

16 Comments on “Bye bye blisters: Montrail Hiking Boot Review

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  1. Hi Kristin! Thanks for the recommendation, I’m getting a pair! I’m going on an overnight trip to Conundrum Hot Springs in Aspen in a couple of weeks with a girlfriend and need some good boots for my first longish hike in a while. Plus Bodie ate my last pair of hiking boots 🙂
    Hope we get to see you this summer! xoxoox Dana

      Awesome Dana! Glad it was helpful. Let me know what you think of them, and I’m definitely going to look up those hot springs. Sounds like fun! Hope to see you guys this summer too. -Kristen

    Hi Kristin:

    I believe Montrail was once known as One Sport. I owned two pairs of the One Sport Moraines and they lasted a long time. I am interested and the review was really helpful. I will now research where I can try a pair on. Good chance I will purchase a pair. Thanks again.

    Tom

      Hey Tom – Thanks for stopping by and for the comment. If you end up picking up a new pair of Montrails, please come back and let me know what you think. Always good to hear feedback from others. Thanks! Kristen

    Hi, Kristen. I just got a new pair of the Fluid Fusion Mid Outdry based on your review and some others I’ve read. These boots are awesome! They are super comfortable right out of the box! I plan on wearing them for a longish day hike tomorrow. It’s supposed to rain, so I can test the waterproofness.(The little manufacturer tag attached to the shoe states that they are ‘ABSOLUTELY WATERPROOF”.) If these boots are as wonderful as I think they are, I am going to wear them on my JMT hike this upcoming summer, and will probably recommend them to my daughter, who is going to be my hiking partner, as well.

    Thanks so much for sharing your information and experiences from your JMT adventure! It has been so helpful for planning my own trip, and I (like so many others) absolutely appreciate it.

    Chandra

      Hey Chandra – That is awesome to hear, so thanks for letting me know. I have jumped through puddles, walked in rain, etc and have been so pleased by their waterproofing ability. And they will definitely hold up to the terrain on the JMT. Just a quick tip, if water spills over the brim of the shoe, they will be wet inside, so just make to not walk in puddles deeper than your ankles.

      Glad to hear my site has been helpful! Make sure to come back and share your experience on the JMT with me. Cheers! Kristen

    AWESOME! thanks for the review. even though it was for the women\’s version… i ended up buying the men\’s version of the fluid fusion mid in black with neon green trim… i am traveling to new york for a convention in 2 weeks and being a californian my whole life, while i did have some awesome winter wear and coats.. shoes were the only thing i lacked.
    after the recent blizzard in NYC i freaked and impulsively bought some Sorel caribou xt heavy snow boots. they came and even though the rep swore they\’d fit me perfectly, they were massive 🙁 sadly i was told i had to ship them back on my own dime which really bummed me out (more on that later). but the biggest thing was while the sorel boots were AMAZING and i could imagine how anti cold, anti wet and anti snow they would be, i realized very quickly that there would be no way in hell (even if it did freeze over) that i\’d be able to walk to my shuttle bus to the convention center and then couple that with 4-7 miles of convention walking in snow boots that weighed almost 4 lbs EACH!!! 🙁

    after researching the columbia footwear i decided to check montrail…and finally decided on the fluid fusion…which i later realized had so many different technology components that were beneficial to me and my feet… see i suffer from old age plantar fasciitis so i hear that these are a dream on the feet!!!

    thank you for your review!!!

    P.S. i decided to give sorel a call and plead my case 1 last time and after explaining to the new rep about how i trusted their rep initially to buy a size that was too big, she ended up realizing that i wasn\’t at fault and granted me a pre-paid return label… woo hoo!!!
    thanks Sorel, montrail and the whole retail family (columbia, mountain hardware and prana)…

      Hi! So glad you went for the Montrails. They are great and I’m sure you will love them. Make sure to come back and let me know what you think.

    Hey Kristen! I bought my new Montrails thanks to your review. I was looking for something super durable and lightweight after my favorite pair of Keens gave out. I am so pleased with my decision. Thanks for the honest review!

    Hi Kristen, After reading your review (I love your entire blog by the way) I ordered a pair of both the Montrail boots and hiking shoe. Could not wait to get them as I live in Scottsdale, AZ and go on annual “All girls” hiking trips. Fortunately, they were both on sale…. Unfortunately, both were not good fits for me. The right boot dug into my ankle and was quite painful, causing my foot to turn in. The hiking shoe seemed wide and no matter how I tied the shoe my heels would lift out from the inside. I also had to pay for return shipping $22 so unfortunately, it cost me $12 to try on each shoe :-(. Any other suggestion for hiking boots?

      Aw that’s such a bummer! I love mine but everyone has different shaped feet. Check out Road Runner Sports. They have a VIP program that allows you to try a shoe for 90 days: http://bit.ly/1TF6jGh

      Or go to REI and try them on in person. They have a 1-year return policy, so if they don’t end up fitting you can take them back.

    I\’ve always found that some brands fit certain foot shapes better, and it\’s hard to recommend shoes for someone else\’s foot. I love my nearly 10-year-old leather womens\’ Montrails – I have a wide forefoot and narrow heel, and my feet stay put with the laces just laced normally. A friend prefers her Vasques, but that brand doesn\’t seem to fit me at all. And my husband swears by his Asolos for his long, narrow feet. I\’d suggest checking out the boots at a hiking store for your first pair, even if you don\’t end up buying them there. Some stores even have inclines where you can test your boot to see whether your foot slips forward on a slope.

    I have had my Montrails for almost 18 years, they are still my go trail shoe, even though they are getting low on traction, I still come home dry. My feet never hurt or feel wiped. They have stood the test of time and seen others come and go. They are the best. I have been looking for a new pair of Montrails and this article has really helped, thanks! LJ

    Side note – My husband has had two pairs of high end hiking boots with Vibram soles. Vibram soles have changed in the last few yeas and are not safe in wet or icy conditions, he has put these boots aside and gone back to his older Montrails.

      Hey! So sadly, Montrails have been discontinued. They merged with Columbia and Columbia decided to only sell the running shoes. 🙁 I’m keeping my eyes out in case this changes. I’ve since changed to Oboz which I really like and will probably be writing a review of soon. Here they are in case you are interested: http://bit.ly/2tkoN4X

        I read this post and went looking for the Montrails because they sound so good and was so sad I couldn’t find them anywhere! Glad I read the comments to see what your next recommendation is – look forward to your review!

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