Ever since somebody suggested switching to trail runners from granite-bottomed hiking shoes, I’ve been all about the Montrails. The first pair I bought fit fine, wore like iron and never gave me blisters. (Granted, walking is relatively easy on trail runners).
The second pair was a kind of strange hybrid shoe better suited to a rain forest — they have GoreTex on the outside rather than the inside, which does work better, and they came with neoprene gaiters that snap around the heels. Handy for wet winter hikes when you’d just as soon avoid getting your feet soaked; not really suited to snowshoeing as I had hoped.
I picked up my Continental Divides last winter primarily because a) they were half off at steepandcheap.com and b) I figured they’d fit like my previous pairs. They were barely out of the box when I had them out for a 15-miler at Mount Diablo, and they just did what they were supposed to do: support my feet, provide traction and do more good than harm. I expect my feet to be tired and sore from long walks, but I don’t need my shoes making things worse.
One of the reasons I don’t talk about shoes too much (beyond angst at being compared to Imelda Marcos) is that footwear all comes down to the shape of your feet, and no two pairs are alike. Your mileage will definitely vary — the strongest, toughest, stickiest shoe on the planet is no help if it rubs you raw in the wrong places.
But I can say I’ve had good luck with Montrails — heck, they must have something on the ball if they’ve made Catra their spokesmodel.