The Ahnu Montara III is a heavy duty hiking shoe built to last for miles. It has a stiffer sole than its lighter sister, the Ahnu Sugarpine II, but is not as cushy underfoot. While the stiff sole does provide some good lateral stability, it has some of the worst arch support out of any model in this review. We noticed it only slightly with a light daypack, but once we had more than 20 pounds on we could feel our arches collapsing with each step, leading to an uncomfortable day out. If you have flat feet (and wide in the larger sizes), then this might still work for you, but it just didn't work out for us. We loved the Oboz Sawtooth Low BDry thanks to its comfortable and supportive sole, and suggest you check that one out if you want an all-around performer that will support your feet even with a heavy pack.
Ahnu Montara III eVent Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Durable construction
Cons: Poor arch support, little cushioning
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Our Analysis and Test Results
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 tested a women's size 10, and they weighed 1.78 pounds. As far as fit goes, they are very wide in the larger size that we tested, but we can't confirm if that is also the case in smaller sizes.
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 or the Lowa Renegade GTX Lo. 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.
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. Note that the other Ahnu model that we tested, the Sugarpine II WP, is also lacking in support a bit, but more because the shoe is so soft.
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 BDry and Merrell Moab Ventilator have good traction on all surfaces thanks to their deep lugs and sticky rubber.
While not as light as the Ahnu Sugarpine II WP (1.56 pounds), the Montara is light for a full leather shoe (1.78 pounds). The Lowa Renegade GTX Lo have a similar design but weigh 2 pounds in the size 10 that we tested, so if you are looking for the lightest leather shoe possible, the Montara is a good choice.
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 Oboz 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.
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.
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 either 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 Montara retail 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 Ventilator retail for only $100 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.
— Cam McKenzie Ring