Shopping for shoes/boots/sandals is a torturous activity for me. I HATE clothes shopping to begin with, but when I need to shop for my feet, I find that to be an even worse task. This is because I have very difficult to fit feet due to a narrow heel, high arches and small foot size (5.5 – 6). When I find a shoe/boot/sandal that fits, I often wear them for a very, very long time. So naturally, I am always looking for high-quality, well-made products, with the worry of price being nonexistent.
Because Larry and I are fairly avid hikers, the need arose for me to seek out some hiking shoes. Before even looking, I knew that I wanted a low-cut shoe, as opposed to a boot. I also needed something that was waterproof and would provide good traction. After trying on dozens of hiking shoes, I settled on the Merrell Moab Waterproof Hiking Shoes (now replaced with the Merrell Moab 2). In the past, Merrill shoes/sandals have never fit my feet properly, but for some reason, these do. With that said, however, I did put in my preference of inserts, and it had taken me a few times to find the right one for these particular shoes.
WATERPROOF: I have hiked in rain, snow, ice, and mud – these shoes have kept my feet completely dry. However, please remember that with waterproof shoes also comes an added bit of warmth within the shoe itself. Even though I wear moisture-wicking wool socks, my feet still do get fairly warm. But for a waterproof shoe, these do provide adequate ventilation while still keeping my feet dry. When deciding between a waterproof vs. non waterproof shoe, it is important to think about how often you may/may not encounter wet conditions. Because we often hike up in the mountains where conditions can change quickly, I knew that waterproof was the right option for me.
TRACTION: I believe that the traction on these shoes would be similar to any other high-quality hiking shoe. The outsole is made with the Vibram TC5+ compound. There have been times, at high elevations, when we ran into ice and snow. It was during those times when I wished that I had brought along my trekking poles for added stability. But, with walking carefully and holding onto nearby tree branches, these shoes kept me on my feet. We also often have to walk over damp rocks and boulders. In these instances, the traction on these shoes has been superior.
DURABILITY/DESIGN: The Merrell Moab Waterproof Hiking Shoes have traversed through some very rugged terrain, and have held up extremely well. The lace holes are still in-tact, the original laces are still in perfect condition, the shoes show no signs of rips/scratches, and the soles show little evidence of wearing down. While I do not find these shoes to be attractive, when compared to others, I am still very pleased with them after years on the trails.
Overall: Great Purchase
Price paid: $120
Place purchased: REI Englewood (Now Greenwood Village)
Link to REI website: REI
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