The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Ahnu Montara III Review

These durable, all-leather boots are lightweight and stylish, making them one of the top boots we tried out this season.
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Price:  $170 List | $169.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros:  Sticky soles, lightweight, leather upper provides durability and water resistance, stylish
Cons:  Uncomfortable for wide foot, lacks adjustability in lacing system, minimal ankle support
Manufacturer:   Ahnu
By Jane Jackson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 7, 2018
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72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 16
  • Comfort - 25% 6
  • Support - 20% 7
  • Weight - 15% 8
  • Traction - 15% 8
  • Water Resistance - 15% 7
  • Durability - 10% 8

The Skinny

The Ahnu Montara III boots provide everything their predecessors did and more. The upper has been revamped and simplified to improve support and minimize seams and stitching, which in turn increases durability and water resistance. We were also impressed by the traction that the new Vibram MegaGrip soles provide. And as far as hiking boots go, these look pretty stylish, too. We also must warn you that these shoes fit a narrower foot, so hikers with wide feet may want to look elsewhere.

We must also say that for the money, there are higher-performing boots out there. Even our Editors' Choice-winning Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 costs $5 less but provides decidedly better performance overall.

Looking for the shoe version?
Our experts also tested the low-cut version of the Montara in our hiking shoes review. Check out the full review if you're intrigued by the shoes!


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

Overall, the Ahnu Montara is a high-ranking boot in our metric comparisons. These boots are durable, supportive, and water resistant. Comfort is foot-shape dependent, though, so be warned and be sure to try these on before committing to them.

Performance Comparison


Cruising around in the Montara III's on a cold fall afternoon.
Cruising around in the Montara III's on a cold fall afternoon.

Comfort


This version of the Ahnu Montara received a lower score in comfort this time around. Compared to boots like the HOKA ONE ONE Tor Ultra or the Salomon X Ultra Mid GTX, the Montara just did not provide the same level of comfort that these boots did. We found them to cause pain in the toe box, on both the outside of the foot and the inside. Now, this feedback must be taken with a grain of salt, as our lead tester has a wide foot, making narrow boots like these typically feel more uncomfortable. For women with narrower feet, the Montara III may be a great choice, as they have extra padding in the collar and heel to help prevent hot spots. The soft and supple leather upper also adds to the overall comfort of these shoes.

Best suited for a narrow foot  our wide-footed tester found these shoes to be fairly painful due to the narrow toe box.
Best suited for a narrow foot, our wide-footed tester found these shoes to be fairly painful due to the narrow toe box.

Support


The Montara III provides even more support than the previous model. The upper was redesigned and simplified to increase support, and it pays off. We found these boots to be stable and secure, even on uneven terrain. The boots also have solid support in the heel to keep it locked down and reduce slippage. This is a nice feature since the lining of the boot is slippery and can cause the foot to move around if they are not adequately tightened.

Compared to the Ahnu Sugarpine, the Montara boots are a much more supportive option. They are comparable to the La Sportiva Nucleo or the Oboz Sapphire regarding support, in part because all three of these boots have high, supportive ankle shafts. We also liked that these boots, while still providing support, allow for plenty of forward-flex in the toe box. If we could improve this models' stability, we would use a stiffer insole to resist torsional flexibility, which is handy over rocky, unstable terrain.

Testing out the stiffness of the Ahnu Montara. The boots are fairly flexible when twisted torsionally  meaning that the midsole lacks  support.
Testing out the stiffness of the Ahnu Montara. The boots are fairly flexible when twisted torsionally, meaning that the midsole lacks support.

Weight


The Ahnu Montara III's weigh in at 1.75 pounds, or 1 pound 12 ounces. This places them in the middle of the pack regarding weight. We found that in testing, they felt very light on our feet, even lighter than the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus, which have the same weight on the scale. Through testing so many models, we have found that the way a boot carries its weight can affect how heavy they feel on your feet. The Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX provides tons more support than both of these boots and weighs only 1.3 ounces more.

Traction


Boulder hopping, loose gravel, and granite slabs were the perfect testing grounds for the new Vibram soles on the Ahnu Montara III. The Vibram MegaGrip outsoles are an upgrade from the already sticky Vibram soles that the Montara II's had. The HOKA ONE ONE Tor Ultra's also have Vibram MegaGrip, and it shows in their ability to hold traction on granite slabs and boulders. The award-winning Solomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX also have sticky soles with impressive traction, but they use Contragrip rubber instead of Vibram MegaGrip.

The toe is a little upturned  making these boots difficult to scramble in since they lack precision. The Vibram rubber is sticky  though  which is great on dry rock.
The toe is a little upturned, making these boots difficult to scramble in since they lack precision. The Vibram rubber is sticky, though, which is great on dry rock.

Water Resistance


What surprised us most about the Ahnu Montaras is their performance in wet conditions. When wading in four-inch water, these boots kept our feet dry. In warm weather, the waterproof eVent technology was breathable and did not trap moisture inside the boot, even though the upper is made up of mostly leather. As with durability, boots with fewer seams performed better overall. The simplified upper support this claim, as these boots were able to keep water out for long periods of time. Most of the boots we tested this season had some waterproof coating; in the case of the Montaras, it was eVent technology that kept our feet dry. This technology, as well as the BDry technology used on the Oboz Sapphires, stood up to the Gore-Tex waterproofing that the Salomon Quest 4D GTX and the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3's have incorporated into their uppers.

Durability


Constructed entirely of waterproof, oiled leather and suede, the Ahnu Montara were ranked highly in our durability metric. The Montara scored similarly in durability to the Oboz Bridger Mid and the La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX. All of these boots have burly, leather uppers with waterproof coating, which provides plenty of protection against abrasions from life on the trail. For some, an all leather boot is too much, so if you are looking for a boot that is durable, but not entirely made of leather, check out the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3. The eyelets are sturdy, making the lacing system durable as well.

Ahnu altered the tongue on this new model  allowing for a bit more adjustability width-wise.
Ahnu altered the tongue on this new model, allowing for a bit more adjustability width-wise.

Best Applications


The Ahnu Montara is right in the middle for price and weight, making it a good option for a mid-weight boot that will hold up on the trail. Because they aren't too pricey but are stylish, they make a great first hiking boot, as they can be worn on and off the trail. These would be a great boot to take traveling as they are a jack-of-all-trades. On rugged trails, rock, dirt, or in the streets, the Montara looked and felt good. It is also important to keep in mind that these boots are best suited for ladies with a narrower foot, as they were slightly uncomfortable for our wide-footed lead tester.

One the Montara III's best features is their stylish look - taking hiking boots to the next level!
One the Montara III's best features is their stylish look - taking hiking boots to the next level!

Value


The Ahnu Montara's are versatile and stylish and in the middle of the price spectrum. They appear online for around $170, but because they are well-made and built almost entirely of leather, with the eVent liner for breathability, we found this to be a good price for such a well-made shoe. They looked good around town too, so if you are looking to throw down for a new all-around shoe, these are a good investment.

Conclusion


Ahnu (found on Teva's website) is becoming one of the top brands in women's hiking boots as they continue to make nice-looking, durable boots at good prices. The Montara holds up in the rain and rocky trail, while still looking nice at the end of the day. The Montaras are moderately priced for an all-leather boot. They tend to fit a narrower foot better, while the Ahnu Sugarpine fits a wider foot better if you are looking for a similar boot with a different fit.


Jane Jackson