Saturday, July 2, 2011

Columbia Master of Faster Omni-Tech Review

Recently, the folks at Columbia sent Ashley and I a pair of their Master of Faster Omni-Tech shoes to test out as part of their Columbia field test program. Ashley and I both give these shoes high marks as we were both impressed with how they performed on the trail. For a link to the Men's Shoe click Here. For a link to the Women's shoe click Here.

General Information from the Manufacture: Here is some general information about the shoes. The shoe design bridges the gap between a running and multi-sport shoe to keep you light on your feet through all sorts of trail conditions. The breathable mesh upper features Omni-Tech® waterproof-breathable technology for protection against the elements, welded seams for minimal-yet-strong support, and a Techlite™ collar and tongue for a comfortable fit. A three-part Techlite midsole with multiple density settings provides cushioning and support where you need it most, and a high-traction outsole boasts a built-in independent suspension system for great grip no matter what you’re cruising on.

Features of the Shoe from the Manufacture: Omni-Tech waterproof-breathable technology; Closed mesh upper with heat-welded seams; Extended lacing system for precision fit; Forefoot lateral and medial Techlite outriggers for lateral stability; Midfoot Techlite platform for consistent cushioning throughout your stride; Rearfoot Techlite heel cup for great support and cushioning ;Closed mesh upper with welded seam technology; Internal TPU shank for torsion control; Omni-Grip® high-traction rubber compound outsole; Weight: Size 9, 1/2 pair = 12.24oz/347g.

Brian's Review: I was very impressed with how Master of Faster Omni-Tech shoes handled on the trails. They don't have the appearance of a normal hiking shoe and I was a little skeptical before I tried them on and tested them on the trail, but all that went away after testing them out. First, I did a short 2 mile walk through my neighborhood to break them in as I do with all hiking shoes (I would always recommend a walk through your neighborhood to break in new hiking shoes). I then tested them on several hikes with Ashley. We did a total of three hikes together, two of the hikes were in the Mission Viejo Open Space area and the other hike was in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park (Picture Above of Billy Goat Trail in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park). The first thing I noticed about the shoes was their comfort level. They were very comfortable to use while on the trail. They provide good support. I also noticed that the they breathed extremely well. Two of the hikes that we did were on warm days and it was nice to have a shoe that breathed well. The biggest plus of these shoes I feel is their grip. I felt like they gripped the trail much better than other hiking shoes I have used. They performed excellent on all types of trail surfaces (sandy, dirt, rocky, and paved). I am looking forward to using them on our late summer trip to Mt. Langley in the Sierras. For a link to the Men's Shoe click Here. Update as of January 2013: These shoes have been my primary hiking shoes for the past couple of years and truthfully they have held up great!

Ashley's Review: I tried Columbia's Master of Faster hiking shoes on several recent hikes with Brian. First, I must say I was really afraid to not wear the hiking shoes I had been wearing for a long time. But, my next purchase of hiking shoes will be Columbia's brand, and not the other brand I had. The first thing I noticed about these shoes was the arch support. The shoes live up to their name "Contour Comfort." They contoured to my feet perfectly--true to size (7). Each step felt like my feet got a massage. The shoes breathe really well, and the light grayish color keeps them from absorbing heat. They are so much more stylish than my other hiking shoes as well. The traction was incredible! I felt so secure and stable on the rocky parts of the trail. I have a narrow foot, so they came laced fine for me, but if you have a wide foot, the laces have a second set of loops that are farther apart, which allows for more room in the shoe (see picture). This is the first shoe, including running shoes I have had, where my feet actually never moved inside the shoe. The shape contour held my feet in place on the hike from start to finish. If you are looking for a pair of comfy, breathable, supportive shoes--you have met your "match"! For a link to the Women's shoe click Here.

1 comment:

Ashley and I encourage and welcome our readers to submit comments about their experiences on the trails we have posted on our blog or about their own hiking experiences in general.