Gear Review: Shamma Mountain Goat Sandals
Footwear is in a constant state of metamorphosis. As athletes collect data about the most efficient designs, new models of shoes emerge. The same thing is happening with sandals. While companies like Chaco are known for their durability and support, new companies are coming out with competitive sandals with an ultralight twist.
Shamma Sandals is at the frontline of ultralight footwear, melding efficiency with air-like effortlessness. Depending on the model of shoes, they can weigh anywhere from 3-5 ounces. But they’re known to perform well in the backcountry due to their Vibram (R) sole and gnarly tread. I put the Shamma Mountain Goats to the test to figure out just how competitive they are.
The adjustability of Shammas is an awesome asset. You have three adjustment points (not including power straps) that allow you to modify pressure. The front buckle, the heal, and the side velcro strap.
Weighing a mere 5 ounces, the Mountain Goats are the lightest sandals I’ve ever owned. And for all the ultra-lighters out there, there’s an even lighter option: The Mountain Goat’s skinny step sister, the Warrior, weighs a measly 3 ounces and boasts a similar setup.
They fit true to size but the sizing chart is different than standard US sizing. So make sure to look it over before you click the purchase button.
Unless you have toe socks, you won’t be wearing socks with these guys. Which I don’t mind. But some people like that feature.
At first, the thong part of the sandal felt uncomfortably tight. But it’s softened with a little bit of use. And I’m still not 100% confident that the heel strap won’t slip off.
The straps (both the back strap and the power strap) took a few tries to set up right. But that’s the case with most sandals when you put them on for the first time.
Shamma has two options for the sandal tops. You can get them in leather or in a black grippy surface.
I opted for the grippy black surface instead of leather. Which has been awesome on steep grades. I highly recommend it if you’re intending to use them for high intensity activities.
A note about the power straps:
You can set them up to fit snuggly against your ankle for optimal support. Or you can velcro a little closer to your toes, depending on where you need the most support. It makes them really easy to fit to the individual. They offer a surprising amount of support.
Hiking In Mountain Goats: After 7 miles of hiking with a 15lb pack, I had a few hot spots on the sides of my feet (where the straps meet the soles). But no other problems surfaced. And I suspected the hotspots will die down as the sandals soften further.
Trail Running: I struggle with arch pain even when I have proper support in my shoes so I was nervous about running in a minimal sandal. I took the Mountain Goats out for a spin and they performed surprisingly well, despite the lack of arch support. I wouldn’t run a marathon in them, but I have yet to experience any arch pain.
Additionally, the grip is flawless. And the tread does well on a variety of terrains. After about 30-40 miles of use, I found that the Mountain Goats have softened tremendously. But the soles are still really reliable. I can’t feel sharp rocks or sticks while stepping on them. And the rubber has molded to my feet.
Compare and Contrast
3.7 ounces. MSRP $49.99
Xero Shoe does an awesome job of getting both the weight and the cost of their sandals down. But this shoe would do well as a camp shoe and maybe not so well as a minimalist running/hiking shoe. I doubt they could take the same beating as Shamma sandals. But their shoes come with a 5000 mile sole warranty which is INSANE. It’s a thru-hiker’s dream. So you could feasibly hike the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail in these and just end up with a sole-replacement. Plus they’re pretty cost-effective.
6 Ounces. MSRP $50
Teva has a few lightweight versions of their sandals but the majority of their sandals are manufactured for a more casual audience. So most options come in at the higher weight spectrum. The Teva Original is an exception, and offers a pretty competitive option. And the cost is right on par with Xero’s cost.
4.2-4.7 Ounces. MSRP $76
Bedrock comes really close to matching Shamma’s price and weight range. They probably offer the most competitive alternate to Shamma sandal. But Shamma sandals likely offer a little more support because of the power-strap feature. And from what I can tell, Shamma Mountain Goats have more intense tread, which means they’ll be more versatile than the Bedrock Classic Sandal.
5 ounces. MSRP $99
Shamma’s sandal weight falls right in the middle of this spectrum. But the cost comes in at the high end. Depending on your intended use, they offer one of the most innovative designs for an active lifestyle.
The weight of the Warriors comes in at the low end, providing a viable option for ounce-cutters. And cost is a couple bucks less ($85). But the sole is thinner, and you’ll likely feel sharp rocks and sticks through the shoe. And the cost is still higher than the above alternates.
Overall, I’m quite impressed with the Mountain Goat’s performance. The dirtbag side of me probably won’t carry them on an extended hike but you definitely could.
If weight is your end game, the Shamma Warriors are their lightest, sleekest pair of sandals. They’re foldable, which is super alluring. But probably can’t take as much of a beating. I opted for the Mountain Goats because traditionally, I’m really hard on my footwear.
Compared to several other market products, Shamma offers some really awesome options. They do a great job of combining new designs with durable materials, opening up the market to a new wave of minimalism.
Disclaimer: This product was donated for the purpose of this review.
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