Page Type Gear Review
Object Title D7
Manufacturer Montrail
Page By dkantola
Page Type Sep 12, 2003 / Sep 12, 2003
Object ID 810
Hits 4178
Designed for comfort over abusive terrain, the D7 makes the most of off trail technology (like sticky rubber, rubber rands, stability and edging control), while retaining all the benefits and performance features of a multiuse shoe.

Built with a lightweight, synthetic suede upper to provide breathable water-resistance with a comfortable, conforming fit. The D7's low volume toe box and thin-gauge rubber toe cap maximize grip and stand strong against rocks, sharp sticks, and snags.

Who's it For?

Boulderers, scramblers, hikers- those seeking a dependable, low-volume companion for increased control on technical footing.


Viewing: 1-12 of 12

rgmackie - Nov 12, 2003 12:53 am - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
If you’re climbing involves low 5th class and feel like trail runners or sneakers would be too unstable, these would be a good alternative. They edge well (better than Guide Almighties), but the Vibram outsole are less sticky than the 5.10’s C4 rubber and don’t smear as well. The soles are also stiffer than other approach shoes, including the rand. The D7’s provide less cushioning and flex than most trail runners and wouldn’t be good for jogging any great distances, although they’re great for fast/light hiking. Ventilation is good.

I broke them in on a 25 mile day hike near the Palisades (CA) without any foot discomfort. I climbed up to ~5.7, requiring edging. Edging is best done off the ball of the foot, as the toebox wasn’t tight enough despite the rock-shoe style toe lacing. Foot jamming in cracks worked well because of the D7’s rigidity compared to running shoes or Guide Almighties. They’re very good for 3rd class and boulder field traverses. Although I haven’t put a whole lot of mileage on them, the D7’s seem well built, better than Guide Almighties and certainly better than Air Cinder Cones.

My one complaint is there’s no good way to attach scree gaiters. The area under the sole between the heel and midfoot isn’t indented enough to protect a gaiter cord wrapping under the shoe.

I’d recommend this shoe to anyone doing a long (and fast) approach to 3rd class or low 5th class climbing.

tbnelson - May 11, 2004 12:08 am - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
Great shoes. Did the N Fork of the Lone Pine up to Iceberg Lake with a pack loaded for five days and lots of gear. They were great to hike in. Also did the East Face with the Shaky Leg variation that goes at about 5.7 -5.8.

Good durability and fair climbers. I think these are awesome approach shoes.

Scott M. - Aug 13, 2004 4:25 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
Barely broke these in before my first planned use and they felt great right out of the box. Just used them for a Sill to Starlight traverse in the Palisades. They held up great and even with a 20 pound pack I was able to get up the Swiss Arete and equivalent with no problems. As an added feature I paired them with some light weight Kahtoola 10 pt. crampons to cross the glacier. I doubt either Montrail or Kahtoola intended this combo but it worked great. I noticed very little foot fatigue due to their structure. I have very neutral feet . If you are a severe pronator you might want some orthotics.

NYC007 - Nov 30, 2004 1:38 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
Once you understand how to adjust for approach and climb, they are the most comfy approach shoes I have used. Most that I have used rock for approach or climb, but these seem to fit the bill. they will also take strap on crampons well. The grivel air tech fits great..

wildstar - Dec 5, 2004 12:11 am - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
After years of looking for a good approach shoe I found these on sale and have been very happy with them. I was looking for a shoe that I could hike in with and climb low to mid fifth class. These are the shoe. I have a narrow foot and they fit really well. The shoes move well on the trail and are snug enough in the toebox for climbing. The only complaint I have is that the stitching is beginning to wear out where my orthotics are. Overall great shoe.

Dean - Feb 8, 2005 3:16 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
After years of trying, I found my salvation in these shoes. Absolutely the best I've ever found. I've bought three more pair and put them in storage so that if they ever stop making this one, I won't be out in the cold. It is so important to have footwear that doesn't kill your feet off. This is a winner.

They just plain fit great, right out of the box. Comfy, solid and fairly light. I even wear a pair around town and so I'm wearing them all the time. I can't say enough good things about this shoe, I love it.

Nuff said.

Update: My opinion still hasn't changed but the sad fact is that Montrail no longer makes this shoe. I still wear them constantly, one pair around town and even to work and another pair to the mountains to spell my Asolo hiking boots. I hate it when they stop making a solid model like this. : (

Michele - Aug 18, 2005 6:52 pm - Voted 3/5

Untitled Review
For me, the D7's did not live up to the rave reviews. While they were moderately comfortable after a short break in period, the soles do not have enough tread for good traction on trails. I found myself skating on down hill trails and slipping going up. However, those low-tread soles performed beautifully on smooth slab. In short, these are good for rocky or slab approaches and lower grade climbing / scrambling, but not so great on trail.

Andy - Sep 29, 2005 11:41 am - Voted 3/5

Untitled Review
After reading all the rave reviews of these shoes I decided to get a pair to reduce the weight on my feet - hoping to increase my endurance and speed (had been wearing Vasque Sundowners for ALL climbs previously). My first trip out with them resulted in TERRIBLE blisters on my feet. None of my past hiking boots had ever done this to me. After a long break-in period wearing them around town I finally mustered the courage to try them again. I didn't get blisters with them the second trip and was pleased with their nimble scrambling ability. I may increase my rating in the future if I find that I really love them and they were worth the lengthy break-in period.

UPDATE: I never had the blister problem again. However, these shoes don't last very long. I'm on my second pair and blew those out in a couple of months. What's disappointing is that the shoes hardly show any wear - it's just that the seems on the outsides blow out easily. They hike and climb great but they don't last very long.

thebeave7 - Feb 10, 2007 7:29 pm - Voted 5/5

Great Scrambler
I own two pairs of D7s and have used them for everything from low 5th class to 10 mile approaches. They are my favorite all around scrambling shoe. I've found that their friction is very good, especially on Sierra Granite. The undercut soles also allow them to edge fairly well(for an approach shoe). As with other reviewers I have found the tread on the bottom does not fair well for loose gravel/sand/rock, as it is designed more for friction climbing.

The only issue I've had with the shoe is the seams on the sides blowing out(on both pairs). While this took about 2 seasons to occur, I simply took the shoes to a cobbler who stitched them up, good as new($15/pair). The soles are still in great shape as is the leather(after 3-4 seasons). I have a narrower foot and have found the shoes to fit fairly well, with no blisters or bruising.

Woodie Hopper - Feb 13, 2007 6:14 pm - Voted 3/5

I don't find these very comfortable for approaches- I get blisters too. They have pretty good friction for dry rock, but are very poor on slick stuff.

kovarpa - Jun 19, 2007 11:36 pm - Voted 4/5

OK too
I really like D7's on flat terrain and going up, and they climb up to 5.6/5.7 well but going downhill they kill my toes. I lost my big toe nail from a long approach. Still like them though, just not my favorite shoe....

awilsondc - Jun 22, 2007 10:49 pm - Voted 4/5

Good, but not perfect
Since scrambling is my main thing I decided to get some scrambling specific shoes and went with the Montrail D7 after some research. I was looking for something I could wear all day that would be good for the hike in as well as technical summit pitches. I've hiked around 200 miles (up to 20 miles in one day) and done plenty of class 4 and low class 5 routes with these shoes on, and I have come to the conclusion that they are good but not perfect.

On trails they are very comfortable, but tend to slip when going up hill on loose dirt. They edge really well, and are grippy enough for almost everything up to 5.6. Two negatives I've noticed about the construction are the small toe box (just fine for me), and the weak inner seams (one of mine has broken). All in all I'm happy with them and will continue to use them until I wear them out. After that I'm going to look around a little more and try to find the best of the best as these approach shoes fall just short of a perfect score.

Viewing: 1-12 of 12