Evaluation In the three years since Montrail was launched in the UK, this niche American brand has become a favourite with off-road runners and adventure racers. The Melee is a good reason why. It’s a simple shoe but an effective one, and at an excellent price. It’s a combination of off-road protection and minimalism in the one shoe, with a beautiful wide fit, soft ride and low profile stability. It’s the kind of shoe that would be equally comfortable in an off-road ultra or for short runs on the roads and trails.
Like most Montrail shoes, the heart of the shoe is the low-profile, single-density EVA midsole. Although it feels quite soft to the touch, it’s reassuringly firm on the run, and while there are no in-built stability devices, the broadness of the last – particularly in the fore- and midfoot – prevents any adverse motion. The lugged outsole delivers good rather than brilliant off-road traction, but goes well on the road, too.
Our favourite part of the shoe is the upper, sturdy synthetic overlays on the toe and side panels topped with light mesh over the top of the foot means that the shoe breathes and clears water as well as any comparable model. It also probably explains why the shoe comes in 50-60g lighter than other Montrail models.
In short A long-distance off-road shoe, broad fitting, stable, well cushioned and highly breathable.
Try it on if you liked Montrail Leona Divide (£59.99); Montrail Hurricane Ridge (£49.99); Salomon X-A Pro (£69.99)