Gear Guide 2009: Montrail Hardrock 09 Boot Review

Run and hike through any terrain thanks to the sticky outsole of this shoe.

Best Run/Hike Crossover

Testers who like to move fast on long dayhikes pronounced the latest version of Montrail's classic ultralight trail runner a keeper. "Awesome traction on everything," said one tester after runs and hikes on trails ranging from dry sand to gravel to rain-slickened rocks. Credit a sticky rubber outsole with shallow, widely spaced lugs and a slight in-cut at the heel that delivers good braking.

The Hardrock has unparalleled rigidity and cushion for its weight, and a secure fit with enough toe space to prevent blackened nails on steep descents–critical both to mountain running and dayhiking with a light pack. The nonwaterproof mesh uppers kept testers' feet ventilated even on rigorous two-hour runs, and the shoes dried very quickly after a dunking in a creek. Durability is the only caveat; we've had two lacehooks pop out and some fast
rubber wear with Montrails this year. Best for medium-volume feet. $110; 1 lb. 10 oz. Montrail.com