Decathlon make running accessible for all with their budget friendly brands. Here, Evadict takes us to the trails on a shoestring.
Evadict MT Cushion 2 – Taking me back in time.
This shoe is a blast from the past for me. One of my first (and favourite) trail running shoes were the Kiprace Trail 4. These are very reminiscent of those because they are dynamic and light whilst grip was good in every condition. Furthermore, they were really affordable (at that time the price was €79 or €40 with a discount) and had nothing lacking when compared to other trail shoes on the market at this time.
On the other hand, my experience of the Evadict Ultra Shoe was far less of a blast. Decathlon aimed for a comfortable shoe for the longest distances we run. In my opinion, they missed the mark because the midsole was lacking in any dynamic feeling and the outsole made the shoe feel far too firm.
Which shoe does the Evadict MT Cushion 2 feel more like? Let’s find out if Decathlon have a low budget hit or a discount disaster this time round.
Weight in Evadict’s sample size: 282g (9,94 oz)
Stack height: 22mm heel and 18mm forefoot for a 4mm drop
MT Cushion 2 – Matryx upper for an awesome price
Firstly, the step in feeling is very comfortable. Furthermore, I surprise myself by writing that, here, a pull tab could be useful to help with getting the Evadict MT Cushion 2 on foot. Lengthwise, I would say the shoe fits true to size. Overall, I have a thumb’s width of space in the front. Sad news for our wide foot readers: it is a narrow fit! I needed a few runs to figure out which socks to wear, but unfortunately my left little-toe always felt some pressure from the upper of the shoe.
In this iteration, Decathlon uses a Matryx upper for the MT Cushion. Matryx is designed for high performance shoes. It is made with polyamide and kevlar yarns to create a lightweight and extremely durable material. On the MT Cushion 2 the upper feels very breathable. Moreover, It drains the water very fast, which I tested by running through a lot of muddy puddles. Whilst my feet got wet quickly, the drainage properties of the shoe allowed them to dry very quickly.
Overall, the padding on the tongue and collar is nice and comfortable. Furthermore, and a lovely design touch, there is a little pocket to tuckaway the laces. Additionally, the overlapping outsole material rises over the upper to form a very competent toe bumper. All in all, the gusseted tongue, the narrower midfoot with some small overlays and a really good working lacing system make for a secure lockdown. After all, that is what you need in a trail shoe.
Even from my first experience of an Evadict shoe, the lacing system has not evolved very much. We still have large, quite comfortable laces. Furthermore, there is also a pocket to secure them during races. This lack of evolution is no bad thing, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Nonetheless, despite precise lacing, I sometimes found perfect lockdown tricky to achieve.
Additionally, Decathlon have placed quite a volume of foam inside the shoe to add a bit of comfort. However, in my opinion it makes them overly heavy. In my opinion, Decathlon could save a lot of weight by adding another material for comfort.
On the other hand, a very good point on the MT Cushion 2 is the Matryx. Even if I did not run my longest distances in it,, I did not see any scratch on the mesh. Protection on the sides and front are very minimal so the foot is perhaps not 100% protected. Overall, it is a good upper for a trail shoe.
To finish, the fit is really good. On my first run out of the box, I felt no discomfort. For me, the MT Cushion 2 is snug enough to ensure good lockdown but also allows your foot enough space for comfort after a long day in the mountains.
Midsole – Less than meets the eye
According to the stats, Decathlon gave the MT Cushion 2 a stack height of 22mm. This is much less than it looks to the eye. From the outside, the midsole material rises reasonably high on the upper material.
As printed on the upper, the MT Cushion 2 is designed for both soft and hard ground. Due to this, I decided to test this as a road to trail shoe. Taking my run from the front door to the trails. Initially, the midsole felt rather stiff. However, after a few runs, the ride became comfortable and the midsole broke in well. On hard ground, the ride turned out to be really pleasant considering the amount of outsole underneath. During testing, I ran several kilometres striking more with my heel and found the gait cycle smooth and comfortable. Picking up the pace made the shoe feel a little strange for my tastes. For future fast trail sessions, I would probably pick a lighter weight shoe.
When I saw them for the first time, I really expected them to be really cushioned and soft underfoot. Surely this is the reason for the MT Cushion 2 name?
However, the midsole is not as soft as expected and it results in a good dynamism but not the comfort I would prefer for my longer distances. I think, here, Decathlon made a bold decision. They tried to create a “do any distance” trail shoe. For my tastes, these shoes would be best from trail marathon distance to 100 miles.
On the paper this seems to be promising, but in my mind, whilst Decathlon didn’t lose their bet, it is also not a clear win. Even if they are really good shoes, I do not feel that they are dynamic enough for trails which come in under the 60 to 70 km mark. That being said, they are not quite cushioned enough for the trails longer than this. Also, one huge positive of the MT Cushion 2 is that they are really precise on technical terrain. At no point during any of my runs did I fear twisting an ankle.
Evadict MT Cushion 2 – Lovely, large lugs!
Decathlon’s Evadict brand is known for their large lugs (here we find 5 mm which is probably one of the biggest on the market). On the MT Cushion 2, we find a very particular lug pattern. On the heel portion, we find the lugs in a V shape, whilst the forefoot has this inverted.
If you check older models of the brand, you will find this same pattern. Again, why change a winning formula? Despite this, Decathlon have ever so slightly altered the lug shape which creates very effective grip on both up and downhill portions of the trail. Another positive of the large lugs is that they create a sense of further cushion underfoot.
As Decathlon stated, the shoe works well in all conditions and on all terrain due to their clever outsole design. I think they are at their best when the going gets muddy. After only about 15 hours in the MT Cushion 2, I have found that the outsole is starting to show signs of wear. One of my biggest concerns before testing was durability. Previous experience of my first Kiprace shoes showed me that durability could be an issue. I fear Decathlon did not change the material here and I would estimate that the durability of the outsole could be limited.
Decathlon went serious with the lugs on the MT Cushion 2. 5mm lug depth is hard to find on most trail shoes. They feel very grippy, almost sticky on tarmac, maybe even a bit too soft. We will see how long the outsole keeps going.
Are the MT Cushion 2 drawbacks worth the price?
After more than 60k in the shoe, I have made my mind up. I will use the MT Cushion as a training companion for the wet and muddy season. Muddy terrain on the trails we face a lot here!
Would I race in the MT Cushion 2? A definite YES. It is well cushioned, provides excellent grip in muddy situations and I feel secure during my runs. That I will lose a toenail afterwards is a drawback I will have to live with. You win and you lose. But for just €90, it is a bargain for runners searching for a training and even racing trail shoe with a narrower fit.
In a nutshell, it is a good shoe, almost very good. I definitely enjoy them during my training and I can use them for a wide variety of runs (easy trail, long run and also some faster outdoor sessions).
The big pros would be the grip (despite the durability). The upper mesh which is excellent quality for a budget shoe. Furthermore, the stability and versatility are to be commended. As ever with Decathlon, the combination of quality for the price is unbeatable. The only way to find something which could be better is to wait for a huge discount from a competitor.
If you are looking for a good shoe to run and train hard everyday on the trail, do not hesitate one second before picking it up. These will help save your more expensive super shoes for your competitions.
The only downside I could find is that the MT Cushion finds itself a little in no-man’s land. Not quite dynamic enough for shorter, faster trails while being not quite cushioned enough for longer efforts.
Perhaps, in the future, Decathlon will bring to market another shoe which addresses these issues and is a truly great budget trail master. That being said, at the price, the shoe is a very worthwhile investment.
30 years old
178cm (5’8″) – 63kg (139lbs)
Midfoot striker – Stride runner