Mammut MTR 201 Max Low Running Shoes

I’ve gone through many styles of running shoes over the years, and I tried the super minimalist types for a few years–at the same time, my excitement for trail running was dwindling and I couldn’t figure out why? Losing the psyche for running was a bummer because I LOVE trail running almost as much as my crazy little dog does, and I also think it’s extremely good training for climbing. But in recent years I’ve been finding running more of a duty than a joy, and that was really strange.

I’ve been curious about the Hoka-style running shoes, but never tried them, because I’m a minimalist and those are the opposite of minimalism, right? So when my friend Bobbi mentioned how much she was loving the Mammut MTR 201 Max running shoes for hiking, I decided to try a pair of these “fluffy” running shoes. The name, MTR 201 Max Low is quite a mouthful and I was curious enough to ask Mammut what it means. It turns out there’s a famous ultra race in Switzerland called the Swiss Iron Trail race which is broken out into different (massive) race distances, and all Mammut running items are named after them: MTR 71 = 71K, 141 = 141K and 201 = 201K. I personally don’t want to run 201 kilometers, but I can see why you’d want to wear these shoes if you were going to.

The first few times I wore the 201 Max, I felt like I had little pillows on my feet, and that made me feel kind of springy and cheerful, like I wanted to skip down the trail. Actually, I still feel like that every time I wear them 🙂 I also felt like I might roll my ankle, because the soles felt a little higher and less stable than my minimalist shoes. So I used them on dirt roads and used my other shoes on more rocky, technical single track (which is what I mainly run on). But after a week or so, I noticed that I kept choosing the 201 Maxes, and was starting to wear them on the more technical terrain too, and eventually I just never wanted to wear my other shoes. The fluffy shoes just make me feel good!….and I never feel sore or beat up, even when running daily. The angle of the footbed inside the shoe causes my foot strike to be more towards the midfoot, and since I have a natural tendency to heel strike, this allows me to run more naturally and feel better both during and after the run. It’s important to say that I do have to be more mindful of my steps on very uneven terrain, because of that slightly tippy feeling, and I think there’s a slight learning curve to running in the fluffy shoes–but it’s well worth it.

Moosejaw has both the mens’ and womens’ models available. I found they run exactly true to size: I’m 8 in women’s shoes, and the women’s 8 fits me perfectly.

Looking back over the last few months, the 201 Max has completely rekindled my love of trail running, and that makes both me and my pup very happy. I can’t recommend them enough for anyone who wants to feel springy and cheerful and save your joints.


  • Horatio Algeranon

    “Blue Fluff Shoes” (with apologies to the King”

    Well, it’s one for the money
    Two for the show
    Three to get ready
    Now go, dog, go!

    But don’t you
    Step on my blue fluff shows
    Well you can do anything
    But stay off of my blue fluff shoes

    Well, you can pull me down
    Right offa the face
    Slander my name all over the place
    Well do anything that you want to do
    But uh-uh, honey lay off of them shoes

    And don’t you step on my Max Low shoes
    Well, you can do anything
    But stay off of my Max Low shoes

    Let’s go, cat!
    Ah, walk the dog

    You can burn my rope
    Steal my rack
    All them cams
    That I stick in the crack
    Well do anything that you want to do
    But uh-uh, honey lay off of my shoes

    And don’t you
    Step on my blue fluff shoes
    Well, you can do anything
    But stay off of my blue fluff shoes

    Rock it
    Yeah

    Well, it’s one for the money
    Two for the show
    Three to get ready
    Now go dog, go!

    But don’t you
    Step on my Mammut shoes
    Well, you can do anything
    But stay off of my Mammut shoes

    Well, it’s
    Blue, blue
    Blue fluff shoes
    Blue, blue
    Blue fluff shoes, yeah!
    Blue, blue
    Blue, fluff shoes, baby
    Blue, blue
    Blue fluff shoes
    Well, you can do anything
    But stay off of my blue fluff shoes

  • Awesome, thanks!! ????????

  • Horatio Algeranon

    Glad someone appreciates my goofy parody’s.

    Rock on!

    PS Don’t forget to practice that piano. We expect to hear a web-recital from the top of the Tombstone by year’s end — with an encore involving your jumping off (sans the piano*, of course).

    Elton John ain’t got nothin’ on Steph Davis.

    *We will forgive you if you use a portable electronic keyboard rather than a baby grand (but just this once)

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