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A great, well-cushioned, comfortable and waterproof shoe for long-distance mountain and trail running. It is extremely flexible and offers great grip, particularly of stones and rocks.
The Columbia Montrail Masochist IV mountain running shoe looks a little different. It’s packed full of technology so we couldn’t wait to take these to somewhere hilly and thrash them for a few days. Luckily, the weather was suitably vile and we experienced howling winds, lashing rain and it snowed, a lot. Perfect for an off-road test.
The Mountain Masochist IV is a shoe within a boot. The boot is a waterproof skin that is attached to the lower part of the upper of the shoe within. It’s there to protect the shoe from the elements; to not allow anything in and to keep your feet dry. It’s very light and flexible but also very tough.
The first thing you notice is that it’s much lighter than the look suggests. In my mind I was thinking that they’re going to be like a hiking boot but they feel a lot lighter than the La Sportiva Akyra I reviewed recently. This is a different shoe with different thinking behind it. It’s actually extremely flexible and twists when you turn it so Columbia have taken the approach that the shoe needs to flex as your running across rocks and putting your feet in quite strenuous positions.
You can wrap the bootie part back to expose the shoe, making it easier to put on. While the mesh of the shoe was rough feeling, they have a seamless lining that is really soft and comfortable. The tongue is really well padded as is the heel collars which added to the comfort. The shoe features a speed lacing system which took a little getting used to but was fine. The spare lace tucks down the side of the shoe inside the bootie which when rolled and zipped up, was ok. I couldn’t the space lace from inside the shoe with the bootie done up.
The FluidFoam midsole gives very good cushioning underfoot. It’s designed to be fairly soft but springy and it really protects you against rocks and stones. You don’t feel them and this foam does give a lovely, responsive and comfortable ride.
There’s also a hefty decoupled crash pad which softens the heel landing. The shoe has an 8mm heel to toe drop so not low profile making it great for training runs over any distance and longer distance races rather than shorter faster racing.
After playing with the laces (you eventually get to work it out), the shoe fitted really well. The mesh of the shoe is quite open which will helped make it breathable, especially required given the covering. The shoe also features a comfortable but basic insole.
However, all the tech in this part of the shoe is in the OutDry upper. You really don’t know it is there and it didn’t interfere with the performance of the shoe at all. The shoe remains extremely flexible, in some weird way, you just fell a little bit more secure. I figure that’s down to the thought of being ‘covered’ but also the spongy neoprene feeling cuff around your ankle which although snug, didn’t constrict in any way.
Water ran straight off the shoe and the bootie made them very easy to clean.
The outsole features more tech. There’s a protective material called TrailShield that sits on the bottom of the midsole which is firm and protects your feet from stones digging in. Sitting on this is the lugs of the outsole, the grip. Columbia call it Gryptonite and for a good reason. This outsole is super grippy, particularly on wet stones and rocks. It performed well on snow and ok on the mud.
The rubber is a dual density; harder at the heel, but much softer throughout the rest of the foot and the outsole grip largely consists of multi-directional jagged blade design aimed at keeping you sure-footed in any direction.
There are some flex groove cut in the forefoot which obviously work! This shoe is an extremely agile shoe.
The Mountain Masochist IV is a really enjoyable shoe to run in. It’s not fast, it’s not designed to be, but it does offer great grip and a soft, smooth riding midsole. It’ll protect you from the elements below and from above. The bootie cover works very well and was non-constricting.
I would say the Masochist would be great for a long training run on the trails or in the mountains. The build quality is great and at the price, it would need to be.
- Full length Gryptonite outsole and TrailShield for ultimate traction and protection
- OutDry Extreme exterior shell with easy access zipper and integrated soft-shell stretch gaiter for
- FluidFoam midsole for exceptional cushioning FluidGuide for enhanced mid-foot stability and a smo
- The ultimate evolution of our classic mountain running shoe with integrated soft-shell gaiter
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|Off Road Use|