Since I’ve been wearing normal drop shoes and lamenting the cancellation of the Brooks Green Silence (one of my favorite all time shoes), I went on a search for a trail/hybrid version of my beloved GS. My criteria was simple: Hybrid design for road/trail, lightweight, and a moderate drop (6-10mm). Here’s what I found in the Montrail Rogue Fly.
Built very much like the Green Silence, the seamless Rogue Fly has a 10mm drop which scared me at first, coming from a zero drop SKORA or my 8mm Green Silences. A seamless and very thin upper is made from what appears to be the same material as the Brooks and an open lacing design is reminiscent as well. All in all, a good looking shoe, although the MONTRAIL letters on the side is a bit obnoxious.
This thing is light! My size 12 Green Silence weigh 9 1/4 oz, while these beauties come in at 9 5/8 oz, an almost imperceptible difference.
Here’s where there’s an issue. I read the reviews that said the Rogue Fly runs a bit small, and I still took my chances with my normal size. Perhaps I’m the issue. Hmm. I have a narrow foot and wear a size 12 SKORA, a 12 Brooks (in narrow if they’ve got it), and a 12 New Balance and these feel a tiny bit tight while running, though it’s certainly tolerable. My problem arose on the trails (coming down from Michigan Bluff) where my feet were pushed up against the front of the shoe. Not great, but I didn’t get any blisters. If they came in a 12.2, it’d be perfect, as 12.5 felt like a whale on my foot.
The sole provides great traction in a variety of terrain. I’ve run on dry levee, single track, snow, pouring rain, etc, and these do great. I wouldn’t attempt an icy trail with them, as they’re not “cleats.” The tiny geometric knobs on the bottom stick to the trail well without carrying it with you, and that’s a huge issue for me. My only issue is the knobs are so small I fear any running on the pavement is having a deleterious effect on them.
This is tough for me, because for the past few years I’ve only run in XC flats which drain really, really well, so comparing them to a regular shoe is perhaps not fair. Regardless, my long run in the Rogue Flys was 20 miles in the pouring rain on the Western States trail and these were soaking wet and soggy the entire run. I didn’t try to avoid any puddles or mud, but my XC flats would have drained better.
Certainly not as nimble or narrow as a XC flat, but the Rogue Fly does allow for a fair amount of trailfeel without beating up my feet. Definitely a shoe that could go 50M or 100k.
I ended up paying $75 on zappos for them. I believe they’re $105 on the Montrail site. Definitely a reasonable price for a multi-use shoe. Still don’t know why my local running store doesn’t carry these.
This is a super light trail shoe that, despite the 10mm delta, is a great transition to/from a more minimal approach. I can’t compare them to the Rogue Racer, as I’ve never worn that shoe, but the Rogue Fly is like the dirty brother to the super sexy Brooks Green Silence. Of all the shoes I own, this is what I’ll be wearing at TNF50 next week, regardless of the weather. Dry, wet, muddy, bring it!