Montrail Badwater Hybrid Shoe Review

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Hosted by
Scott Warr

The Montrail Badwater Hybrid shoe is designed for the road and trail.

INITIAL IMPRESSION
The shoe fits true to size and weighs less than 10 oz. The toe box has room, but not too roomy where there is any slipping. However, when measuring the midfoot width, it is approximately ¼ inch (6.35mm) wider than other shoes (similar to Salomon’s XR Mission and Hoka One One’s  Stinson Evo). The tongue is not gusseted.  This could be to allow the freedom of the foot to swell during long distance events (just my guess at why Montrail did not gusset the tongue).  There is a nice addition to the upper with overlays to provide a seamless feel and to reduce weight.  The outsole appears to support more of a road-type environment.

TRAIL TESTING
The Montrail Badwater Hybrid shoes were tested on road and trail (approximately 40% on road and 60% on trail).  The Badwater performed well on the road in various pacing workouts.  On the trail, they drained well in wet conditions.  In the lab, the evaporation test results were “Good”.  In very muddy conditions, I was left feeling that I needed a bit more traction.  After putting the Badwater through the road and trail paces, I could not get the tongue to stay in place.  See pictures below.

I tried multiple lacing patterns to keep the tongue in place, but it would still move to one side thus allowing in debris when on the trail.  My last lacing pattern (see below) seems to keep the tongue in place where it does not create a gap.

Left (“Traditional” Pattern) Right (“Alternative” Pattern)

TECH SPECS

  • Toe – 10 mm
  • Heel – 20 mm
  • Drop – 10 mm
  • Non-Gusseted tongue
  • Neutral Shoe
  • No Rock Plate (Sufficiently Cushioned)
  • Midsole – EVA
  • Upper – Synthetic
  • Made In – China

Weight Breakdown

CONCLUSION
The Montrail Badwater Hybrid is designed for the road and trail. The Badwater performed well on the road and moderate trail conditions.  For the muddiest of terrains, the Badwater may leave you wanting more traction. For me, the non-gusseted tongue was an issue, but was able to discover a lacing option to keep the tongue in place.  I hope any future updates will include a gusseted tongue.

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