Gear Review: Ahnu Montara

Hiking or trekking shoes or boots is one of the most important gear a hiker should own and for me I consider it my bestfriend during a hike or trek.

My happiness is closely correlated to my shoes because when my feet are cold or if it is wet, my entire body condition deteriorates in a way that a part of my mind is focused on the discomfort. It makes me less alert and that compromises my safety aside from foot issues that may arise in the future.

What To Consider When Buying Hiking Boots?

👣 The type of your feet – no two person are identical in personality and that also applies to our feet. According to studies, women’s feet have higher arches than that of men’s and thus our feet require more support. 

There are different type of foot but most fall into 1) greek or morton’s foot 2) egyptian foot 3) giselle or peasant’s foot 4) compressible foot

So at least have knowledge on what your tootsies are by asking a shoe expert, the cute guy at Columbia store or any sports shop, a sports coach or a doctor. You can even check it yourself by watching diy videos on youtube. Of course it would be better if it comes from someone who has more knowledge and expertise.

👣 Comfort – choose one that you can hike or trek with on any type of terrain, an all-season one depending on what trails you forsee you’ll be up against. Do you need it to be waterproofed? Are the outsoles thick enough for the type of terrain you’ll be walking on? Are the midsoles okay?Is the design and color good? Can your toes wiggle inside? Shopping tip: buy shoes during the afternoon because your feet have normally swelled.

👣 Fit – make sure to give your toes wriggling room but not too much as it can lead to foot problem later, pull out the insole and compare it on your foot considering a thumb’s width both on longest toe and end of your insole. Better yet, bing your usual type and number of socks you use on hikes or treks when buying atshops so that you are sure of the fit. What if you are buying online? There lies the risk but the rule of thumb is buying half or 1 size larger.

Also, if you are planning to do winter hikes or treks, make sure that they are compatible if fitted with crampon.

👣 Price – this usually is on top of my considerations as I live with the principle that one should get the same quality from a product at a reasonable price against its competitors in the market. In this case, it should meet the top 4 requirements on your list. Keep in mind that the price nor the popularity is not ALWAYS proportional to quality.

👣 Support – if you know what type of feet you have then knowing what kind of support you need would be easier. Other considerations would be how much load you’ll be carrying, the terrain and number of days you’ll be hiking or trekking.

The midsole support is important as this part takes the most impact while the outer sole’s thickness and traction would tackle the type of terrain. I usually don’t carry more than 6-7kg so mid cut boots are okay for me. But if you plan to carry more, the higher the cut the better the support for your ankles.

👣👣👣👣

THE SHOE

Early this year, I decided to buy a replacement shoe because my Merrel hiking boots’s waterproofing is no longer functional and the pair is already showing severe signs of wear and tear after more than 4 years of abuse. However, the choice in the market was limited so we resorted to buying online which I don’t usually practice.

I was torn between Vasque’s Breeze 2.0 mid GTX and Ahnu Montara because when I compared the technicalities both met my requirements and looked good on paper.

At the end of the day Ahnu Montara won and to date I don’t have any regrets yet 😊

Pros
👣 lightweight
👣 waterproof
👣 medium ankle support
👣 traction good on mud and gravel
👣 comfortable
👣 stylish design
👣 no need to break in

Cons
👣 medium ankle support (not advisable when carrying more than 6-7kg load)
👣 lacing system a little short on support

I have to stress that I don’t carry more than 6-7kg load on a hike or trek because of my Scoliosis although it is not life threatening, the advise is not to carry heavy loads. Thus, the support I require from a shoe is on the medium side. The pair would not be efficient and effective if you plan to carry loads more than that with a steep terrain to traverse.

Although the miliage is still on the short side, I was able to try it on a muddy and then on a rocky trail and the traction did not fail me.

THE VERDICT

👣 Comfort – Good
👣 Fit – Good
👣 Support – Good
👣 Weight – Fair
👣 Price – Fair
👣 Water Resistance – Good
👣 Design – Good
👣 Durability – Good

Ahnu Montara is one good pair for a fair price. Amazon sell it at around 120-140USD and I got mine this year for less than 120USD. This does not include any shipping cost since it was kindly included on the baggage from someone coming from the US. 

It weighs around 1lb and 14oz but it feels lighter than that and for me it can be an all-season hiking shoe because it checked the top 4 quality I was looking for in a shoe.

The pair have accompanied me during a rainy hike of Mt. Batulao in the Philippines, McRitchie Nature Park, Singapore, the savannah of Mt. Bromo and the perilous hike down the belly of the Mt. Ijen volcano and I hope it will help me reach peaks that would offer breathtaking views and humbling experiences.

If you are looking for a shoe that you can withstand rain, mud and rocky trails but would still be comfortable and look stylish at the end of the hike or trek then this one is for you too!

Happy trails, woman! 😊

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