Being a more specialized model, the Mountain Trainer Mid GTX excelled in some areas but fell to the back of the pack in others. It looks burly and all-business, and in the mountains, it is. Designed with alpine approaches in mind, this boot is more at home scrambling through rocky outcrops at high elevation than hiking groomed trails down low. It scored at the top of all models in durability, so feel free to apply abuse liberally. The most significant drawback to this boot, however, is its lack of comfort. With a super stiff mid and outsole, and an extended break-in period, our feet weren't thrilled to strap on these hikers.
While the Mountain Trainer is one of the best options for alpine pursuits, you might find some other similar options more intriguing. The Arc'teryx Bora2 Mid is a burly leather boot with more comfort, despite weighing more, and also climbs rock well. For more all-around performance, the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX is difficult to beat and is our Editors' Choice award winner.