Montrail Method, $75
Overall grade: A-
, with an emphasis on footwork versatility, especially toe and heel hooking
Radically asymmetric; medium width heel, high arch, and medium to wide forefoot; radically cambered with a downturned toe
The Method, Montrail’s new unlined leather slipper, is a radical and innovative design. Cambered to mimic the structure of an active, pointed foot, the Method features strategically placed thermo-moldable foam pads over the tops of your toes and in the heel cup for a precise, customizable fit. “In the heel, the foam cradles your Achilles tendon and calcaneous, creating a customized heel pocket for a super comfortable, locker fit,” says designer Scott Franklin. This fit makes the Method a notable exception to the adage that slippers lack heel-hooking ability. Only the most aggressive yarding caused the Method’s heel to budge. The shoe also features a ribbed strip of sticky rubber running over the toe box from the toe to the ankle, which delivered excellent toe hooking.
While Montrail says that the foam padding will mold to the shape of your feet over time, they note that you can speed up the process by heating the shoes in an oven for two and a half minutes at 225 degrees (put them on a flat cookie sheet). Pop the shoes on right away and leave them on for 10 to 15 minutes. While doing this during testing, we noticed an interesting side benefit. A few folks had issues getting through the Method’s somewhat narrow, constructed arch while trying to put on the shoes, but after heating the shoes in the oven, they found that the shoes slipped on much more easily and molded quite well to their feet. Even a few climbing days after the heating process, the testers found that the shoes retained their new shape.
Montrail: 800.826.1598, www.montrail.com
The Test ResultsAcopaBorealEMSEvolvFive TenLa SportivaMad RockMammutMontrailRed ChiliScarpa