Once you get past all the technical blurb and hyperbole (in my humble opinion), there’s a great pair of supportive running shoes for off-road trails.
This is some of what Mammut state about the new Mammut MTR 201-II Boa Low trail shoes. They are “very direct and light”.
They add: “This is the fastest technical trail competition shoe!”
In addition, the brand states: “Mammut MTR 201-II Boa Low shoes boast an improved version of the patented power-transmission system to offer optimum support in the shoe, direct precision, noticeable reduction of pressure points. “
Blisters are prevented because “the foot forms a harmonious whole with the shoe.”
And: “The unique molecular structure of this cushioning material delivers a soft running sensation with high rebound. On hard terrain, the structure consolidates to prevent negative power transmission to the wearer’s body
“Abrasion-resistant, three-dimensionally shaped element supports the heel and protects against twisting of the ankle.”
(Editor’s note: Gahhh. Enough already of the overdone technical blurb.)
And there’s more:
Rolling Concept: Creates support and damping on specific areas of the foot; optimises natural anti-roll behaviour; reduces fatigue so alleviate the danger of twisting the ankle.
Sonar Technology: Every aspect of Mammut’s long-standing sole know-how in footwear design and development has flowed into this mountain trail running sole.
Its profile has been inspired by the concentric patterns formed by spreading sonar waves.
Running in the mountains generates very high braking and thrusting forces in the sole and requires optimal sole edge stability and strength
(Editor’s notes: I am slightly losing the will to read on by this point. Except, in test, the shoes a really quite good.)
The shoes also feature:
- IP EVA midsole for good cushioning with a heel drop of 6mm.
- Durability from a “Stone Protector “and “D3O Strobel construction”.
- Improved Boa Closure System, which now allows micro-adjustment in both directions (with or without gloves) and also stays tight
- The “efficient lace system offers the perfect symbiosis of foot and shoe”
- Aggressive “gripex” Sonar tech sole.
- Base Fit Advanced with improved efficiency.
- Honeycomb-structured, multi-layer liner fabric for effective moisture absorption and fast drying performance.
- Versatility because the shoes are recommended for trail running, walking, Nordic walking and cycling.
Price €170. Look on-line for UK sales. They cost around £160.
See Mammut for more info (if you need it!)
I could hardly be bothered to read through all the information about these shoes.But I did in the name of research. In my opinion, there is way too much technical detailing and most of it seems meaningless. I have a big loathing of over-selling shoes with too much technical jargon
Putting all this aside, I prefer to simply run in the shoes and see what they are like.
The fit is on the small side. A UK8 feels very short for me and I’d probably need to go up a full size.
However, the width is good. It’s also possible to get a great fit thanks to the lacing system, which is similar to that used on snowboard boots and some cycling shoes. A thin wire “lace” is wound tighter – or looser – by a dial.
It does allow you to get an evenly supportive fit in the shoe. However, I sometimes prefer to have the front of the shoe looser than the bit around the ankle and that is not easily possible when the lace is tightened all at the same time.
Still, the fit feels snug and supportive, which is great.
The sole cushioning is also great. I’d place the sole somewhere between more natural-feel shoe and something like the Hoka. It is a medium depth of sole and nicely cushioned.
The sole is quite stiff. You’ll either love this or hate it. I quite liked it. In fact, I like it more than I thought I would. On rough trails it gives good support and cushioning.
The whole shoe feels durable and supportive. Mammut reckon it’s a lightweight racing shoes. I disagree. I think it’s a good quality, medium weight-training shoe for trails.
The sole is best for forestry trails and hill paths. It works okay in muddy and wet conditions but I have run-in more aggressively sticky shoes. I’d reserve this shoe for drier conditions and for trails where there are lots of loose stones underfoot.
It’s a nice shoe to run in. It’s an even better shoe to walk in, in my opinion. I like to walk and run Scottish hills and I found this shoe worked well for that type of activity.
There is tons of support, especially in the back end, and I didn’t fear rolling my ankle or slipping over. Plus there is quite a lot of upper shoe cushioning, which is good if you are heading off on rough hills and mountains.
As claimed I did not suffer any blisters, although I rarely do in shoes when I am wearing socks.
I am not so keen on the yellow shade of the men’s shoes and would prefer red or the women’s blue. For once, the women’s shoes look nicer than the men’s.
There is also a Max version, rather than a Boa, that has a much thicker sole. Given my fondness for Hoka shoes I think I’d like the thicker soled shoe.
Conclusion: If you like your trail shoes to be supportive, fairly stiff and cushioned you’ll like the Mammut MTR 201-II Boa Low trail shoes. I suggest you don’t bother reading all the technical blurb because it will hold you back from getting out for a run (for hours!). This is a robust and solid trail shoe that performs well on trails.
I do think that €170 is a lot of money for a pair of trail running shoes although they look to be more long-lasting than many of my other lighter weight trail shoes.