The Ahnu Montara III has an EVA midsole and a Vibram Megagrip outsole. There's an eVent waterproof/breathable membrane, and the upper is nubuck leather. We found them to run a bit wide, so they may not work if you have a narrow foot.
This beefy hiking shoe is made for hiking hard trails, however, they were very wide and had little arch support, and as a result, they didn't score very high on our tests.
We had a hard time rating this one for comfort because of the poor fit for our feet. Looking purely at the cushioning underfoot, there is a good amount in both the heel and forefoot. It wasn't as plush as the Hoka Tor Summit but there is more cushioning in the Montara than the Keen Voyageur. However, because the cut is so wide in the size that we tested, and the arch support so lacking, we didn't find this shoe very comfortable in the end. If you have wider feet or flat arches, this shoe might be comfortable for you, and as such, we decided to give it an average grade for comfort.
There is an adequate amount of cushioning on this shoe and it protected our feet from sharp rocks.
The Montara has fairly good lateral support, but when it comes to the arch, this shoe feels completely flat to us. The insole does have some decent shaping to it, but the wider fit and the difficulty we had tightening the shoes very closely made it hard for us to secure the shoe properly and as such it feels like there's hardly any arch support. We particularly noticed this when we took these shoes out with a heavy pack and felt our arches collapsing with every step.
The Montara's insole (right) is flat and wide, with little shaping of the arch. The Oboz Sawtooth's insole (left) has more structure and support.
The Vibram Megagrip sole on the Montara is sticky and works well on bare rock, but the lugs are on the shallow side, and we didn't get good traction on unconsolidated dirt. The Oboz Sawtooth II BDry and Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof have good traction on all surfaces thanks to their deep lugs and sticky rubber.
The rubber on this shoe is sticky, but the lugs are on the shallow side and didn't always get purchase on loose trails.
While not as light as The North Face Safien (1.31 pounds), the Montara is light for a full leather shoe (1.5 pounds). If you are looking for the lightest leather shoe possible, the Montara is a good choice.
The Montara is light for a leather pair.
This shoe has a waterproof nubuck leather upper and an eVent waterproof membrane, and those do help to keep the water out. However, the ankle opening is only 3.25 inches off the ground, whereas the Hoka One One Tor Summit has 3.75 inches of clearance. This makes it more likely for an errant splash of water to get into the Montara and get your feet wet. We also had some leaking in the tongue area during our water resistance tests, unlike most of the other "waterproof" models in this review that did not leak at all.
The gusset doesn't extend very far up the tongue, and water leaked into the shoe from the top during our bucket test. The outer leather and eVent membrane did their job of keeping the water out, but there is no stopping it from the top because of the tongue design.
We gave the Montara a high rating for durability. This shoe is well constructed, and though we couldn't put it through a full 250 miles or so for this review, we were impressed by how well it stood up to the miles that it did see. We also found very few durability complaints from online user reviews.
This pair has all of the features of a well-made shoe, including a reinforced toe and double stitched seams.
The Ahnu Montara III is a good choice for wider-footed ladies who are looking for a stiff-soled model. There's not a lot of arch support, so if you do have flat feet this will be a good choice for you as well. If you have a regular to high arch and plan on hiking in these shoes with a heavier pack, we recommend purchasing an aftermarket insole. They also had the lowest water resistance for a "waterproof" shoe, so consider that if you live in wet climates or like to splash around in streams.
The ankle on the Montara is cut lower than the Oboz. If you have lower than average medial or lateral malleolus bones (the round protrusions on your ankles) you may appreciate the lower cut, but we thought it made the shoe less stable and less waterproof.
The Montara retails for $145, which is on the higher end for the hiking shoe market. They are well-made and durable though, so they'll be a good value if they fit you properly. The Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof retails for only $120 and scored much higher than the Montaras.
Unfortunately, the Ahnu Montara III is not our favorite pair. They are lacking in comfort and stability and don't have the best waterproof capabilities either. They are a poor fit for our feet, but perhaps they'll fit yours well.