seatownvelosterwrote a review of Garmont Dragontail MNT GTX Approach Shoe - Men's on June 7, 2016
Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
I took my new Dragontail shoes out for a first hike this last weekend, and I feel compelled to write a positive review. I tend to only review gear I really dig, or really hate. These shoes fall into the 5 star category, so far. My first hike in them was a hot, 8 mile out and back up to a local fire lookout. The trail was the perfect first test. Steep and rocky most of the way, giving way to a non-technical boulder field scramble that demands good grip. The Dragontails performed really well. The Vibram soles are very grippy. Hopefully they maintain good tread life over time. But on day one they clung to the granite boulders like a dog on a bone. On the descent, I chose a snowfield over the boulders and again, the shoes gripped nicely in the fast-melting slush. In fact, I couldn't slip-ski down the slope as much as I would have liked. Like any shoe with a waterproof liner, they aren't as breathable as a mesh hiking shoe, and these shoes are built like a rigid boot, without the ankle. I found them very supporting, but they didn't seem heavy or clunky. I'm not sure why Garmont categorizes these as an approach shoe. Except to say they approach everything really well. I did get a blister on my big toe on the way down the mountain, but I think it was more due to the heat of the day and the steep grade. Not sure any of my shoes would have performed better. My only nit is the insoles, which are pretty thin and non-supporting. But that's typical. I'll likely put in a different insole soon. I'll update my review if there are any failings, but they handled 8 miles and 4000' of elevation like champions.