Tested: Columbia Mountain Masochist IV OutDry Extreme Trail Shoe

The Columbia Mountain Masochist IV OutDry Extreme Trail Shoe isn’t just a bit of a mouthful to say and write; it’s a hard-core winter trail shoe designed for the foulest conditions Mother Nature can throw at us.

Its zip-sealed gaiter and carbon rubber outsole are there to keep snow, slush and freezing rain out and body warmth in; these are simply too much trail shoe for anything other than freezing winter conditions.

But in them it excels. Use them on loose rock and you’ll complain about the lack of cushioning in the FluidGuide foam sole and the lack of grip from that rubber sole. But run in deep, fresh snow and they’re an absolute joy, allowing your feet to feel exactly what’s happening underneath them.

Run in spring or autumn weather and you’ll come back hot and irritable but your feet will still be toasty when wear them when the mercury is negative and there’s a gale hurling horizontal sleet towards you.

Generously sized, there’s plenty of room inside them for a thick pair of socks, which goes some way towards mitigating the lack of underfoot cushioning. But they’re really a one-trick pony; if you save them for crisp, freezing winter days and you’ll never want to wear anything else.

They haven’t got much of a drop either, at just 8mm, and the heel is low too, both of which help with stability over uneven ground. Speaking of stability, you’ll want to look elsewhere is you’re a serious under- or over-pronator as there’s little in the way of built-in stability features other than the low stack height. But, if you’re only a moderate under- or over-pronator or, even better, a neutral runner who appreciates the benefits of ‘bare-foot’ running in a minimalist shoe, then you’re going to love these.

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Expect to pay around £150/$200. Not cheap, but they should last a good few years given how weather-specific they are.


Carlton Boyce @motoringjourno

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Happiest in the snow, Carlton is an ex-police officer and prison governor who has migrated to the world of adventure travel via motoring journalism. Carlton drives boats and pickups with more enthusiasm than skill, and is currently working on his first novel in addition to his prison memoirs.