In the past several years, dozens of running shoe brands have made special-edition models to commemorate big-city marathons in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, London and Berlin, to name a few. But this might be a first: Montrail is unveiling a special edition of its Bajada II trail runner for this year’s Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc races in Chamonix, France.
Montrail’s parent company, Oregon-based Columbia Sportswear, signed on as one of the primary sponsors last fall. The special-issue shoe will feature a black and blue color motif and will include the race’s name and iconic logo on the tongue and footbed. The Bajada II, which launched last year and was updated earlier this year, is an energetic and versatile trail runner with a blend of soft cushioning, grippy rubber lugs, good flex and reliable protection (including a rock plate).
The Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc festival of races has become one of the world’s preeminent trail running events. The UTMB got started in 2003 with a few dozen runners running the original 168K (104-mile) race around the Mont Blanc massif. This year, 7,500 total runners will compete in five events ranging from 50K to 300K. In recent years, the event has aligned with dozens of races around the world that serve as qualifiers for the UTMB. The special-edition shoe will be sold almost exclusively at Chamonix retailers and the race expo of this year’s races from Aug. 25-28, but an online British retailer is selling them now.
This is the shoe for you if: … You’re looking for a durable, flexible and comfortable trail runner that can handle all types of trails from mild to moderate to very technical terrain.
Weights: 11.2 oz. (men’s size 9.0); 9.2 oz. (women’s size 7.0)
Heel-Toe Offset: 10mm; 20mm (heel), 10mm (forefoot)