Montrail Streak Review

As a long time Montrail wearer it’s been interesting testing the latest models to bear the name. The Streak’s are a lightweight trail runner complete with Montrail’s traditional leaning towards blending performance with comfort and protection.

The upper is mostly mesh with a support structure that ties into the laces and this actually does pull the shoes together for a nice snug fit as well allowing quick draining and giving reasonably quick drying. The tongue has a bit of padding for instep happiness and the laces are stitched intermittently to give them an uneven profile and help stop wet laces slipping out of their knots, tripping you onto your face and making you buy Salomon’s the next time. I’m not joking either, Montrail laces have always been pish.
There’s Montrail signatures here, the look is right, there’s proper toe protection with a big rand and some stiffening and the giveaway that it’s a Montrail is a sturdy heel construction.
The heel is the beefiest part of the shoe, both upper an lower. The philosophy they seem to follow on most models is to make the heel a pivot about which the foot and leg do their parts from a point of stability. The uppers are always strong here and there’s rarely much flex around the heel on the sole unit no matter how flexible the front of the foot area is. This might feel unusual or disconcerting for some, but for me it works (after initial misgivings in a pair of Leona Divides) and I think it gives great stability and confidence on the roughest of ground.
Also, internally they have some shaping which, while not as severe as an insole, contours around your foot giving something of a sock-like feel. Some folk hate all this, and indeed the whole heel area and general construction quirks that run through the range means that some folk just can’t wear Montrails. I like the fact that all this remains, it means that new owners Columbia haven’t diluted the brand and gone for mass appeal madness.

Montrail sole units are often hit and miss, shallow treads on waterproof models, the softest compounds on backpacking models and such, but the Streaks have a cracker.
The tread is aggressive with deep scalloped areas and a mix of shapes and angles, and it’s moulded in a sticky compound for the best possible grip over ultimate longevity.
I’ve found grip on everything except greasy rock, so they are pretty much fit and forget when you’re out on the hills.

At 348g per shoe they’re plenty light enough to run in, but are foot friendly enough to wear all day whether your walking, backpacking and I think they’d be a great race shoe.

So where do they sit on my graph of shoe perfection? The Salomon XA’s are my eternal benchmark trail shoe and on the comfort axis they sit at a wonderful 9, the Streak’s are slightly behind at 8. On the grip axis the XA’s are workable 6, but the Streak’s are at an impressive 8. That’s all relative to my feet though, which is a bugger, I know.

Will I buy a replacement pair when the soles of the test pair wear out? Hell yes.

48 thoughts on “Montrail Streak Review

  1. Hello,

    Long time reader, first time replyer.

    From a choice of the Streak or the Fastpacker GTX, which would you plump for as a lond distance walking shoe?

    JT

  2. Hi JT

    That’s an interesting question, and I think it would come done to your priorities.
    On my feet the Streaks are more comfortable than the Fastpackers and I’ve worn them more for that reason. The Streak’s grip is better, but at the cost of longevity of the sole. For that reason, if it’s a very long distance the Fastpacker might be better, as well as it being waterproof.

    If it’s a trail in a wet climate and you’re looking at mud and bogs the Fastpackers, or if the trail looks dry enough or drains well and you’ve got spare socks and a chance to wash and dry them, then the lighter and bettre ventilated Streaks are a winner.
    If I was doing the West Highland Way again at the same time of year I’m pretty sure I’d chose the Streaks over the Fastpackers.
    A pair of feet being used to carrying a load with the flexibilty over many miles is a factor as well if chosing the Streaks. Right now, I’d have to get some miles in to tune my feet back up after wearing beefier mids and big thick socks over the last few months.

    That’s not really an answer is it!
    But, if I had to chose a pair to keep out of the two shoes it would be the Streaks.

    Petesy

  3. Cheers for the thoughts. I think I’m going to go with the Streaks. Now to find a pair!!

    Thanks again,

    JT

  4. Got my Streaks. They are now my go-to trail/street running shoe. Awesome support, perfect amount of padding, and the signature Montrail comfort.
    PTC* – I also bought a pair of the Montrail Mountain Masochist trailrunner as a replacement for my Montrail Vitesses (my all-time favorite hiking shoe). The Masochists are amazing! You MUST try them. I thought nothing could replace my Vitesses- the Masochist may be better. Montrail is definately back!

  5. That’s all good to hear. As well as usually being pretty badass, Montrail are that wee bit different, it all adds up.

    I was talking to Montrail earlier in the week and I won’t get Mountain Masochists to test until late July. You got me all upset now!

  6. i bought a pair of continental divides but they have turned out to be a bit narrow (felt alright pottering in the house though). What is the width fitting like on the new stuff as i really like the sole construction as it seems a lot firmer than my innov8 315’s. If they could make a 315 upper with a gryptonite sole that would be my ideal walking/trail shoe.

  7. The general fit seems consistent with the older models, width and length wise, kinda average maybe? I’ve found that the volume varies a hell of a lot though. The Streaks are pretty low volume and the ’09 Hardrock Mids are only just less roomy than the box they came in.
    I’m lucky that they mostly fit my feet!

    The Steaks are now edging the Salomon XA’s out as my all time favourite shoe :o)

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  9. right then…..

    that’s that sorted!

    I managed to find a pair of Streaks on-line for £32.50 in my silly size of 7.5

    :)

  10. You will be pleased to know i gave my trail shoes their first “proper” outing on monday, they were fantastic, although not as green now due to a bit of a boggy patch on the moors!

  11. Ach man, £32.50? It’s no fair! Good job, I hope you find them as useful as I have.

    Good lad Moggy, that’s the stuff I like to hear :o)

  12. Happened to glance at Montrails website today. Oh dear. It seems that some things are simply too good to last :(

    I suppose the rockridges may be meant to be a replacement? At least the jawbone looks amusingly odd :)

  13. some of the new shoes look pretty good – AT Plus looks Streak like. Still might be worth getting a spare pair of Streaks just in case, they’ve been the best summer shoes I’ve had so far, way better than inov-8 for my feet.

  14. I did get a spare pair of Streaks, I was taking no chances.

    But, it’s not as bad as I’d feared. They’re still not pushing the brand over here, but I’ll see if I can get some test kit in.

  15. Hey Pete,

    I tried these on in a store today and they fit OK. I’m looking for some lightweight footwear for this summer as I’m going to try and cross the Pyrenees from coast to coast. That’s a distance of about 850 kilometres and I’d hate to stand there on day 20 and have to go home because my feet have been killed by my 850 grams per foot, stiff Lowas.

    I got those after reading a magazine that shall remain unnamed when I got into this. I’ve done two big trips in them: 200 and 250 km respectively and, while I had no blisters, my feet were very painful by the end. There’s a trip report on that second trip at http://www.elrincondeltrotamundos.com/
    It’s in Spanish so just flush it through google translate and read some very bad English…

    Anyway my question is do you think these will go the distance? Trail condition will be mostly dry and rocky as I’ll be on the Spanish side. I’m mostly worried about the sole wearing out prematurely.

    Cheers,
    Len

  16. I’ll check that link out Len, cheers.

    The Streaks are supposed to be an endurance-distance shoe and they’ve been my most-worn shoe of the past couple of years on every surface and weather that Scotland’s got. Mine are looking a little tired now, but are still completely usable.
    850km in one go? I don’t know, knowing the shoe it’s the one I’d chose to wear myself, and they should go the distance. That’s a tough one to say yes or no to.

    Can you leave spares somewhere?!

  17. Thanks for the reply Pete.

    Just two questions. How many miles would you say you have on your pair? And am I right thinking the sole unit will be the first thing to go?

    I’m afraid I can’t leave spares anywhere. For one thing that would sort of break the budget. For another I’m sure the store has only one pair in my size.

    I could perhaps arrange for my Big Boots to be ready to be shipped. I know from experience that it takes 4 days for priority mail to get to Salamanca (near Portugal), extrapolating from that it should be 5-6 to some pyrenees village. The problem there is that would be near the end of the trip in Cataluña which I expect to be the hottest part.

    You say they should go the distance: I’m gonna take that as “bar some really mean behavior or really sharp rocks they’ll make it.” I know they wouldn’t make it through 800 km of limestone but the Pyrenees are mostly granite.

    Thanks again for your insights.

  18. I did try to think about the miles I’ve put on them Len. Adding together a few backpacks and some local stuff must put them at around 300 miles or so.
    There’s no burst stitching, no frayed fabric, there’s quite heavy creasing on the midsole with some spots of damage where I’ve scraped them on rocks and one corner of the outsole has started to peel away a little.
    I fully expect to get the whole summer out of them again, but no more than that.
    Funny, the similar and more popular Mountain Masochist just doesn’t feel as good on my feet. The Streaks really are on the money for me.

  19. Thinking of getting a pair of Streaks (while they are still available!) PTC – are you the same size in the Streaks as you are in the Salamon XA’s or did you go a half size up?

    I can only find the Streaks online so will not be able to try them on first. My Salamon XA Pro’s are a size 10 so was hoping that a size 10 in the Streaks would fit – but as you appear to have both I thought it worth asking before I order.

    Great blog by the way :)

  20. You’re very kind :o)

    I got the same size in Steaks as I did in XA’s, a UK9. The Streaks are maybe a little bigger, but both shoes fit me really well.
    I know it’s a gamble ordering footwear without trying, but the Streaks really are a brilliant set of shoes.

    let me know how you get on.

  21. Very helpful – thanks. Will get the Streaks in the same size as my XA’s and let you know how I get on.

    By the way, on a similar note do you have the Salomon Quest 4D fabric boots and if so did you get the same size as your XA Pro shoes or did you go up a half size? I thought you had a review of the Salamon Quest’s somewhere but can’t seem to find it now!

    Thanks again

  22. It was the Fastpackers I had on test, still do, and I really have to do an update!
    I got the same size as usual in those, but they are quite neat, thin socks only.

    I’ve had a look at the new trail shoe based Salomon boots and I like where their going, but I do wonder if the ankle is a bit high for me?
    I’d love to test some, but there’s been a bit of politics at play and Salomon aren’t speaking any more :o)

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  25. 700 kilometres on the shoes are fit for the trash can but will be duly repaired with superglue and some nosewipe fabric.
    Holes started to develop in the mesh right shoe after about 200 k, 300 for the left. The grip pattern on the inside under my big toe was gone after about 450 and the trailshield thing died in the same place on my right shoe after 600. I’m basically walking on the insole there now. The front bumpers came loose straight away but no difference in performance was noted. The outsole on the heel is coming loose very much now which is why I’m looking for superglue. The holes in the right shoe are now large enough to tell people it’s a sandal, junk is getting in to easily now which is why I’ll sew on some patches. Should last me for another 150 k to the sea I think.
    I am now a trail shoe convert. I’d like to try either some inov8s or the Millet Radikal Speeds next. Do you ever get Millet stuff in Pete?
    I will post pictures of the shoes on photobucket or something when I get home. Do you know any sites where I could post a trip report without having to make my own site?

    Cheers from Spain
    Len

  26. That should say ‘basically walking on the midsole’ which is slightly better than what it says…

  27. Fantastic!
    Took me a year to get mine into that state :o)

    Millet are hard to get a hold of, I’ve only got a sample top, but the kit does look good.

    Some of the sites I’ve linked would be great for your story. Outdoorsmagic, WalkHighlands, Trail’s website.
    Give us a shout if it goes up.

  28. Millet Gear? Try Adventure Peaks in the middle of Ambleside when you’re passing. Looks like a trekking holiday agency (it is), but has an eclectic mix of new & used gear, boots & clothing on sale, including a fair bit of Millet. Not all old range stuff-I know they’ve just had some current Millet sacks delivered.

  29. Well I’ve been home for the better part of two weeks now and will be leaving again tonight. I’ve just over ten days before other obligations need me to be back and they just had to be filled. That means I’m off to see Snowdonia for the first time since I was 3 years old! Any suggestions on what to do there?

    To finish the breakdown of how the shoes broke down: the peeling of the outsole on the outside of both heels got to where they would be bent backwards after slightly more than 700 km. Superglue was bought before the last 150 km push west to the Atlantic and applied dilligently, the glue lasted anywhere between 1 and 60 km depending on the amount of mud on the trail and the amount of braking I needed on descents. One day it was so muddy I had to apply 4 times to each shoe. 50 km from the finish my tormented right shoe gave way at my little toe: the mesh on both sides of the reinforcement had been gone for a while and now the seams at the plastic bumper died. It was now, for all intents and purposes, A SANDAL.

    Some pictures can be found here: http://s1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff428/Len-in-de-bergen/Pyrenees%202010/The%20story%20of%20two%20running%20shoes/

    Oh and I will be prancing around Snowdonia in a pair of inov-8 roclite 315s, which are looking good.

  30. I had my Steaks on yesterday, all I can report is that they got a little muddy :o)

    Photies are magic. Click on the link folks.

  31. Snowdonia… magical place, some rather obvious honeypot mountains although its easy to see why they attract the crowds, but also some superb remote, rugged and quieter places – especially if quality rather than purely size floats your boat :)

    Some obvious chices:
    Snowdon Horseshoe
    Crib Goch
    Tryfan North Ridge and Bristly Ridge onto the Glyders
    Cwm Idwal and the Devil’s Kitchen
    The main Carneddau from the Ogwen Valley
    Cadair Idris if you get that far south.
    All justifiably ‘popular’

    Some brilliant places for wild camping and whatever the Welsh is for ‘stravaiging’, probably better for a chance of solitude:
    Norther Carneddau
    Moel Siabod
    Moel Hebog
    The Nantlle Ridge
    and among my favourites
    The Moelwyns
    The Rhinogs
    The Arans ridge.

    So much to go at – I hope you’re lucky with the weather. Enjoy it! :)

  32. Need to show myself some of it, considering I have always lived in North wales, and spend the most part of the past year at the edge of Snowdonia, I’ve not really got out much!

    I suppose it does not help that the family are not really into the outdoors either :(

    The 1st time I walked up snowdon was with another supporter of the border collie rescue I got my dog from, (he’s 53 years old, from shefield who used to do quite a bit of rock climbing, but spends his time now doing either fell running or long distance running with his collie typically along long distance paths typically aound 200+* miles in 6 days).

    Oh, he’s also good friends with Mike Parsons :P

    *typically the 200 miles is the distance covered on the actual run, the + is the extra added on when he takes the dog for it’s evening walk)

    Incident

  33. One day Matt, honest!

    Ant, tales like that me me feel just alittle like lard in denim.

    Talking of Mike Parsons, all being well, he’ll be a special guest on here again at the start of October :o)

  34. http://www.freewebs.com/mananddog/

    is his website with a few of his “walks” plus some short stories he’s been writing for the fun of it.

    sadly, he had to replace is 20year old KIMM sack* at the end of his last trip he now has a nice, and shiny OMM classic marathon 32l.

    *probably a freebee off mike ;) (I’m sure he said his climbing gear was a freebee off Joe Brown but I might be mistaken on that point)

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