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It is one of the few shoes - Printable Version

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It is one of the few shoes - Labi1995 - 05-16-2018

This is sweet, oh so sweet. The Fluidflex II has a simple, full length EVA midsole (called Fluidfloam by You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. Montrail) without any gimmicks. The closest comparison I can come up with for describing the midsole material is Adidas’s Boost material. The Fluidfloam is maybe less technologically advanced, but the basic ingredients of the ride feel quite similar: It is a slightly You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. softer cushioning but there is plenty of responsiveness if needed. It is one of the few shoes which really work well for me at different speeds, and also surfaces.
The Fluidflex II works well on the trails, but I also wouldn’t hesitate a second to run long stretches of road in it. Compared to the Kigers the ride is slightly softer, with an equal level of ground feel but more flexibility, thanks to the pronounced flex grooves in the mid-/outsole. Obviously, the flexibility is also in part due to the lack of a rock plate. This again hints at the fact that this shoe You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. is probably not designed for the most technical of all trails. Similar to Nike’s latest trail offerings the rear part of the heel is also slightly “lifted” or “rounded”, i.e. not in contact with the ground when standing in the shoes.The front third of the sole, the You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. lateral part of the heel and small bit of the medial part of the heel are covered by Montrail’s Gryptonite flavor of sticky carbon rubber with relatively shallow cube-shaped micro-lugs. The middle third of the sole consists of exposed midsole foam with some grooves and hexagon-shaped voids.
At a first glimpse it is easy to underestimate this simple outsole design. Obviously it is not made for running on deep and soft surfaces (such as mud and snow). On most other surfaces, however, the Fluidflex II provides excellent traction (better than the Kiger or Wildhorse). You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. Especially for wet rocks (and, to a lesser degree wet roots) the traction is among the best I have seen. I attribute this to three different aspects of the shoe design: the relatively small lugs are narrowly spaced, meaning there are many of them, which increases You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. the contact area between shoe and the ground. The flexibility of the shoe, and the softness of the midsole material, also increase the contact area because the shoe can more easily adjust to the surface contours. Finally, in my experience exposed midsole material simply provides more grip on wet surfaces than most rubber compounds.
On the downside, the Fluidflex II shed mud slightly less well than shoes with wider spaced lugs. Wear might also be an issue – after roughly 90km I am seeing clear signs of wear under the big toe area. However, this is a typical high wear area You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. for me and the Fluidflex have seen quite some road mileage as well, so I am not really concerned. I expect the outsole lifetime to be similar to the Kigers.