Richard Rowe finds this lightweight but sturdy mid-range shoe provides comfort and confidence on even the toughest of trails.
Swiss mountain clothing specialist Mammut has stepped into trail running in a big way, with the MTR 141 one of a new(ish) â€“ itâ€™s been around for a year or so â€“ range of shoes. Although a mid-range offering, itâ€™s a shoe that packs in some impressive technical features that make their presence felt right from the off.
And itâ€™s probably just as well. The trails on my home patch here in the Tweed Valley can be pretty unforgiving, ranging from hard-packed forest fire roads to rocky run-offs and heathery singletrack that provide a test for off-road runners and mountain bikers alike. The rocks and stones grind away at the soles and toe area, while the heather scratches at the uppers at every opportunity. As a result, I tend to go through trail runners VERY quickly, with some shoes in the past showing wear and tear even after just a couple of weeks (and they werenâ€™t cheap either).
Straight out of the box though, I had high hopes for the MTR 141s. Clearly well constructed, the shoe combines sturdy, abrasion-resistant uppers and good toe protection with â€˜BASEFITâ€™ extensions that link the lace loops direct to the sole for increased mid-foot hold and fit. The laces themselves are tensioned using a slider that â€“ once you get the hang of it â€“ helps ensure a snug fit before tying the knot (although it can be easily removed if you donâ€™t get on with it). The comfort factor is further enhanced by excellent heel support, plus memory foam in the tongue and ankle collar. The shoe also features small areas of reflective material â€“ a nice touch for if running on road sections at night.
The shoes feature VENtech lining for improved breathability (and fast drying). Underfoot, the sole has an aggressive tread and a heel that flares out, with the wider footprint designed to give greater stability.
- Upper: 3-layer hybrid shell for support and protection
- Lining: 3-D Textile, Memo Foam and VENtech (for wicking and quick drying)
- Sole: Mammut gripex Sonar sole technology
- Heel wedge: Ultra-light injected EVA IP
- Weight: 662g, UK size 8.5 (slightly heavier Gore-Tex version also available)
- Sizes: 7-12 UK
- RRP: Â£110.00 (although can be much cheaper if you shop around)
Reasonably lightweight (a heavier GoreTex version is also available) and reassuringly sturdy, I got on well with these shoes pretty much from the off. Well-tested on a series of dry, but loose forest trails and hill tracks, they performed admirably. Itâ€™s been a good summer on the whole here in the Scottish Borders, so for once I was able to test these shoes without having to wade through too much mud. It took me a moment to get used to the lacing slider â€“ at first too loose, then too tight â€“ but once I got the hang of it, all was fine.
The overall fit suits my wider than normal feet, while I found the shoes offered excellent comfort from heel to toe. The trails in my neck of the woods are pretty steep and gnarly in places but the tread and splayed heel on these shoes gave me the confidence to really let rip. Extremely breathable, supple on the inside and tough on the outside â€“ the hard-wearing uppers look almost as new even after a month of testing â€“ the MTR 141s have become my go-to trail running shoes this summer.
Quite how theyâ€™ll perform when the wet and cold weather returns weâ€™ll have to see, although I have high hopes for them then as well.
More info at www.mammut.ch