Based in Switzerland, Mammut is a well-regarded company in the outdoor gear world, starting as a traditional ropeworks and evolving into a modern, advanced company for the development, manufacture and sale of ropes, netting, belts and equipment for mountaineering and outdoor pursuits. Years ago, when I did a winter climb of Mount Washington in New Hamphsire, their Flight 35 backpack was my first choice, both for its utility on that winter ascent and how it lent itself to rock climbing afterwards.
When Laima and I got some of the Mammut trail running shoes, I was excited to try them out, as I knew they would be well-designed, quality-made, and built to last. The only question was how they performed.
Mammut sent me their React GTX Trail Running Shoes, which is an ideal Midwest trail shoe, as we often go through wet, cold spells, but also need a shoe that doesn't get too hot under fairer conditions.
"The GORE-TEX® version of this mountain trail runner is also brimming with innovative technology: double-layered single shell mesh construction for optimal ventilation, lighter weight and fewer contact surfaces; 3D textile lining for extra cushioning, abrasion and improved temperature; clever asymmetric lacing garage solution; EVA Superlight wedge with Kevlar protective covering; Stone Shield insert to prevent penetration of sharp stones; cushioning Strobel design and the gripex™ Iguana sole – a new improved version of the tried and tested Reptilia sole. In addition, technologies such as Base Fit®, Foot Mapping, Memo Foam, Speed Lace System, Rolling Concept®, Hybrid Shell, asymmetrical lacing, PU Shock Absorber and a GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort Footwear Membrane are all basic features of the MTR React GTX®."
The React GTX was comfortable out of the box and I tried them out first on the treadmill, in case a break-in period was needed. While the sole was quite stiff (as with most trail running shoes), they felt so comfortable that I busted out 6 miles without worry. Since that initial run, my initial positive reaction has been confirmed on multiple runs, ranging from a few miles to elevenish, on every type of surface imaginable: pavement, gravel, singletrack, grass, and others. Apart from the stiffness, these shoes take whatever you dish out -- I've tried to get them dirty and they just seem to repel it with no problem. First world problem, I know. The initial stiffness is starting to ease up, which makes these even more comfortable and, since they still look and feel brand new, I can imagine keeping these in the running rotation for quite some time.
One facet of the design that I didn't care for, but easily remedied, was the "lacing garage," which is two plastic pieces through which the laces pass. The function of this is to keep the laces tight even if they become untied. While it definitely works, it didn't seem to work as well with my heel-lock lacing system, becoming untied most times, not sure why. Without them I'm happy to double-knot the laces and, voila, no problems. In a situation where quicker shoe donning and removal was important (like an XTerra offroad triathlon), these would definitely speed things up.
Overall, my first impressions were definitely met and surpassed - very well-designed, quality-made, and built to last, these are great out of the box and appear brand new after not only repeated wearing but attempts to rough them up. An added bonus is that, while they are awesome to take out on the gnarliest trails, they are equally comfortable on street or treadmill as well.
More information can be found on the Mammut website, by liking on Facebook, following on Twitter, and subscribing on YouTube.
(Disclaimer: I was sent this item for free to review on my blog, courtesy of Mammut. I did not pay for the item, receive payment for this review, or agree to give a positive review. Aside from information gleaned from the company website, the opinions are my own.)
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