New from Montrail comes the Fluid Line with the new outlook on footwear of “pure and simple.”
First up, the Fluid Flex. This is Montrail’s first attempt at the lower drop shoe. Sitting on 15mm heel and 11 mm forefoot brings the shoe to a 4mm offset. It is built on Montrail’s Fluid Foam platform and one-piece molded, souped-up EVA. The foam offers a plush ride and is very responsive. The shoe features an asymmetric lace pattern for a mid foot wrap that leaves you feeling secure and comfortable. It weighs in at 7.6 oz for men and 6.1 for women. Weight savings come from Montrail’s micro lugging and the fact that they only put on in the heel and forefoot.
Try-on factor of the shoe was a little bit of a wow reaction -- mainly because when I previewed the line, this was the last one I thought would fit my wide foot. Do I have a lot of extra room? No, but the mesh in the upper and the asymmetrical lacing make it feel very comfortable. Once I stood up, I was a little more sold on it, and then when I took a lap around the store, I was fully sold. I immediately purchased the shoe and got very excited for the next morning to come.
The first run in this shoe was short, fast and sweet. It was a test for sure, being that there was two inches of snow on the trail. The loop I did consisted of single track, fire road, and paved road, all covered in snow. Coming into winding curves on the single track, I felt safe keeping my speed up. Bombing the rocky downhills that were littered with snow-covered ankle turners and patches of ice, I still felt safe. Even crossing a stream on a snowy log, I was just enjoying myself the entire time.
So Montrail on the trail, DUUHH! The real test was the paved section. It was part ice/part asphalt and still felt great. The foam responds quickly to every foot strike and offers a springy cushion that leaves your feet as happy as your mental state.
To conclude, this shoe is my new favorite and I can’t wait to put some miles on them. In fact, next week I have a 50K that I have a time goal for, and since I could use the weight savings, I have decided to strap these on next week and go for it.
Will these shoes replace what I am wearing now (Mountain Masochist 2)? No, but it is a shoe that should be in your tool box for speed training, fun fast runs or race situations where saving weight could help you out.
The Fluid Flex comes in at $89.99 so like every Montrail shoe, it’s a bargain for what your getting.