Rock Shoes: Montrail Wasabi
£70.00 | Velcro | size reviewed 10 (foot size 10) | weight 473g | medium asymmetry
The lightest shoes in the review, if you are working on a project where every gram helps then the Wasabi’s are significantly lighter than some other shoes. The reason they are so light is the material used. Montrail have thinned down the synthetic upper to make it far thinner than its leather equivalents. Whilst this gives a skin tight fit, and a light weight shoe we would hazard that they will not last long enough to carry out many re-soles if that is your preference, and it also leads to sweating when wearing for more than a few minutes at a time. The triple Velcro straps are extremely versatile due to the fact that the middle strap works in opposition to the other two. This works so well in fact that you have to be wary not to over tighten things and suffer from cramp in your arch! Twin pull loops offset to either side of the heel are plenty big enough to get your fingers into, but don’t flap around and get in the way. For what its worth the Velcro on the Wasabi is opposed to most other rock shoes – i.e. the hooks are in the strap whilst the eyes are on the shoe. The main innovation with the Wasabi (and also with the Magnet, Montrail’s other model on review) is its thermo mouldable CTX across the top and bottom of the toes and around the heel. Basically this is a gel like substance that initially feels as if it dampens down the sensitivity in these areas. However, as you wear them in the material moulds itself automatically to the individual shape of your feet. You can hurry the process up by popping them in the oven at 107 degrees Celsius for 2 minutes (the description on the website doesn’t mention that you can do this with anything other than the Method shoes which aren’t on review, but the instructions on the box and from the Montrail office assure us that the same principle works for the Wasabi and the Magnet). The added bonus to the material is that you get a little extra cushioning. Our main (but small) gripe about the Wasabi’s is the very same feature that we were extolling a few lines previously: the straps. The Velcro is so good and the material so thin and flexible, that it is actually a little difficult to stop the Velcro straps from sticking to their associated pads on the shoes, resulting in the shoes being difficult to ‘open’ and put on! Because of the power strap over the arch the heel is one of the snuggest fits of any of the models on test
This review was carried out as part of a massive comparative review of 25 pairs of Performance Rock Shoes. We think that this could be the biggest review of such shoes ever undertaken. You can read the whole review here.