Monday, June 12, 2006

The Montrail Sustina II XCR

This being the tapering week ahead of Phuket Marathon this weekend, I decided to take my newly exchanged The Montrail Sustina II XCR or a short test run. I have previously tried the Montrail Hurricane (did a brief review of it) and found it to be too heavy and stiff for my liking. I collected this new Sustina in exchange of the Hurricane on Saturday.

My trail runners: Montrail Sustina II XCR

I put on the Sustina with the original insoles provided ie. without the use of SUPERFeet, along with the slightly thick FoxRiver x-training socks. I took the 8km route around my place, comprising mainly road, concrete sidewalks and some bits of grass at intersections. The shoe at 12ounces immediately felt lighter than the Hurricane (13.9ounces), not compromising on its stablility and cushioning. The first 5km felt pretty good, and I was more troubled by the blazing evening sun instead. In spite of the hot ground, I did not feel much heat from the shoes...maybe I was not running fast enough? but I was already doing abt 5:45min/km. The Sustina was pretty responsive with reasonably good forefoot cushioning. There was some flex at the front, a lot better than the rather stiff Hurricane. As I ran, I could feel the proper roll from the shoe, and though I did not do much slopes, I could feel the comfortable heel cushioning too.

The Sustina is indeed one of the better trail runners in the Montrail stable. Although I have not much experience with trail running shoes, I feel that the Sustina is acceptable to be used in a mixed or cross-terrain. Since its function is not solely as a road runner, it tends to be heavier due to the extra cushioning and stability features built into the shoe. Its traction was reasonable on road and sandy surfaces... I will need to test it on more rocky and muddy terrain at MacRitchie (when I get back from Phuket). At least for the moment, I feel the Sustina does make the mark for use in our Mt. Kinabalu Climbathon.

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