Columbia Montrail Caldorado III

9.5 score
[Editors rating (9.5) + Users rating (10.0)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (9.5)/10

Our RunnerClick score is based on our editors overall rating compared to the user ratings in order to generate the most accurate and unbiased score of each product we review.

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Editor rating: 9.5 / 10
User's rating: based on 1 user ratings
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The Montrail brand is unquestionably a pioneer when it comes to the art of engineering trail running shoes. Making award-winning footwear since 1982, they have earned respect through their focus on creating a harmonious existence between your feet and the diverse natural surfaces found on trails. Their acquisition with Columbia in 2006 has yielded very positive results. The merging of these two brands, known for their quality and attention to detail appears to have really hit its stride with their new Columbia Montrail Caldorado III.

This latest edition reflects their consistent pursuit of maximum comfort and performance. Their innovative trademark FluidFoam technology provides great cushioning by infusing pure, responsive foam padding throughout the midsole, giving you optimal impact absorption along those rocky surfaces.

Another important feature found in the Caldorado III is their patented FluidGuide engineering. This allows for the uniqueness of your feet to co-exist peacefully with the ever-changing terrain on the trail.

The outsole of the Columbia Montrail Caldorado III is equipped with thick sticky grips to give you reassuring traction while running across those slick and muddy trail paths. It is evident that they have built this shoe to ensure you stay at full stride no matter the conditions.

Furthermore, these shoes provide great breathability. Whether you’ve just ran through a stream or got caught in a downpour, as soon as the sky opens up your feet will be dry in no time.

Editor's Pros & Cons

New seamless abrasion resistant upper

Roomy toe box

Very flexible

Great breathability


orefoot rock plate lacks a little in protection capacity



Trail life can really take a toll on one’s feet. That’s why choosing a good trail shoe is so vital to having a fulfilled experience when running through those exhilarating trails.

One of the most important attributes of a good trail shoe is providing comfort. Let’s face it, the last thing you want to be thinking about while running through beautiful natural terrain are your feet.

You want to be comfortable to the point where you don’t even notice they’re there. Columbia Montrail has done a good job in this department.

Their FluidFoam midsole provides a cushioned padding that nurtures the feet against rough surfaces. This technology molds and reacts to the areas where your feet are applying most pressure - creating high energy impact absorption by sending extra cushioning to the spots that need it the most.

This shoe also comes with a roomy and wide toe box that allows for your feet to feel comfortable and well situated (some reviews have stated however, that the toe box in this version feels a bit narrower than in previous Montrail shoes).

With that being said, the majority of reviews report these shoes having a nice fit. Also, the new seamless upper introduced in this version has almost no overlays running across the forefoot - sparing your feet from rubbing up against cumbersome stitch patterns as you run.

Another new feature the Columbia Montrail Caldorado III comes with is extra padding within the heel collar of the shoe. This provides for firm grim around the ankles, which helps with stability in these running sneakers and adds to the shoe's oneness with your feet. If comfort is your priority, this shoe is definitely worth considering!



The surface of natural trails have no concerns towards accommodating to the smoothness of your stride. They’re uneven, they’re rocky, they’re wet, they’re muddy and they can put your feet in the most awkward positions.

It doesn’t take much for you to find yourself limping home with a sore foot or sprained ankle after a day out on the trail. That’s why having a shoe that keeps you stable along uneven surfaces can go a long way towards the quality of your run.

Columbia Montrail’s patented FluidGuide technology provides you with omni-directional stability to ensure a smooth ride every step of the way. In addition, the stretchy material of the new seamless upper firmly wraps around the foot, providing a hugging fit that you’ll appreciate on those rocky slopes.

Not to mention, the 8mm heel-to-toe drop will keep you well equilibrated as you come across those unexpected shifts along the terrain’s surface.

The Caldorado III is also equipped with sticky grips that will provide you with reassuring traction as you navigate through wet and slippery conditions. These shoes will keep you steady and ready for whatever the trail may bring your way.


The temperature of your feet sets the tone towards your body’s heating and cooling system. On those really hot days where there is not much shade, it is essential that your shoe permits the air flow necessary to keep your feet cool and dry.

The material that your shoe is made of plays a major role towards the temperature control of your feet.

In this latest version, the Caldorado III features a new seamless upper composed of a light and stretchy material that makes you feel as if you are wearing a second layer of skin. The amount of airflow this shoe allows to pass through is evident by how quickly your feet dries after running through a stream or muddy surface.

In making this shoe, it is apparent that Columbia Montrail gave a lot of consideration to all the situations your feet will find themselves in along the trail.

The ability to effectively manage moisture and heat certifies the Caldorado III as legitimate trail wear. Great shoe to have on during long hours in outdoor conditions.


When running through trials of any sort, you're subjecting your feet to hazardous conditions that can turn an energizing run into a painful experience. You have to make sure your shoe has the protective capacity to keep your feet safe and functional.

And with the Caldorado III, Columbia Montrail definitely has your back in that aspect. This running shoe provides a nice balance of cushioning, traction, and support - giving you the liberty to focus on the beauty of the trail.

The overall protection in this model has improved with the installment of their TrailShield technology, preventing the bottom of your feet from feeling those bumps along the road. Perfect shoe for those with sensitive feet.


In order to excel out on the trail, nothing is more important than having good traction and firm grip. The grips on these shoes are really well constructed and positioned. They feature thick lugs across the entire bottom surface.

The lugs are 4mm deep, which is ideal when it comes to trail running. The rubber that the lugs are made of os very sticky. Even in wet rocky conditions, it has an impressive ability to keep traction and grip - helping you stay upright, clean, and bruise free.

With this latest edition you will also notice that more cushion and padding have been added to the heel collar, therefore providing a snugly fit around the ankles and heel area that will add to your traction capacity.


The stack of the shoe has an 8mm drop that works in unison with the FluidGuide to enhance your stability on those uneven surfaces.

The TrailShield protection is strategically layered within the flex grooves, keeping you pain free without negotiating flexibility.

The upper is now constructed with a seamless abrasion resistant material that is slightly stretchy, adding a more plush wrap around your foot. And of course, as you would expect, the Caldorado III is equipped with a fully integrated gusset to keep pebbles and other debris from entering into the foot chamber. This is a very lightweight shoe, coming in at 9.1 ounces.

The only minor drawback reported is that the durability of the FliudGuide’s foam began to diminish at around the 250 mile mark.

Overall this is a very well built shoe that will help you attain your desired experience, regardless of the terrain your running on.



The outsole is where a good trail running shoe earns its money. This is where the magic happens, where the ground and your shoes embrace in half second intervals as you glide across the earthly surface. These are the moments your shoes were made for, and whether or not it lives up to its purpose largely depends on the makeup of it’s outsole.

One of the most impressive aspects of the Caldorado III’s outsole is its durability. It’s constructed of sticky rubber grips that come in the form of 4mm thick multi-directional lugs that will keep you on firm ground for hundreds of miles.

The patterns of these lugs are strategically positioned to provide optimal grip on various surface types.

The outsole is also affixed with flexgrooves that run diagonally across the shoe, splitting the lug patterns into three sections to allow for maximum traction without negotiating flexibility.

The heel to toe motion is also very smooth, which helps to reduce stress on your feet after many hours on the trail.



As stated above, this latest version introduces a new seamless upper that prevents your feet from feeling those annoying stitch lines along the forefoot. The material itself is slightly stretchy and wraps firmly across your feet.

It is also abrasive resistant, so you don't have to be too worried about getting them scrapped up or ripped.

The overall impression is that the upper's firmness makes you feel fast. You will also find in this new version, that more cushion has been added around the heel collar, providing a tighter fit around the heel and ankle area. The engineering of the upper also provides adequate breathability by allowing sufficient airflow to pass through the inside of the shoe.

The women’s running shoe options for the Caldorado III include a subtle combination of blue/gray or a more eccentric green/purple/grey mixture that will add to your vibrancy.

Overall, the new upper definitely delivers enhanced flexibility, style, fit, and protection.


When first introduced to the market, the Caldorado III came at a relatively high cost. Now on Amazon as well as various other sites, you can easily find these shoes well within the affordability range. It definitely pays for itself in the piece of mind that it provides on the trail.

There's a lot of value in knowing that your shoes have your back when exploring the great outdoors.

And considering the comfort this shoe provides, there is no disputing that the Columbia Montrail Caldorado III gives you good bang for your buck.
Key Features

Key Features

Textile and synthetic
Rubber sole
New seamless abrasion resistant upper with soft flexzone
Fully integrated gusset and reinforced toe cap
Patented FluidGuide technology
Trademark FluidFoam cushioning
TrailShield protection plate
Cushioning collar foam
4mm thick multi directional lug grips on the outsole
Ride heights: 19mm heel, 11mm forefoot
Weight: 9.1 oz (women’s size 8)
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Columbia Montrail has set a new precedent for itself with this latest edition of it’s Caldorado series. It has placed considerable attention towards all the qualities that one will depend on when it comes to a trail running shoe.

Optimal comfort is provided by the FluidFoam technology. The innovative FluidGuide engineering gives you the stability needed for uneven surfaces.

The bottom of your feet are well protected via TrailShield. Not to mention those 4mm thick lugs with sticky grips, assuring you with firm footing when things get a little slick.

These shoes work great with a wide variety of surfaces, so you can feel free to wear them to your next 5K as well as your next camping trip.

And considering the fact that you can find them for up to 40% off at most sites, your inner frugalness will feel just as good as your feet!