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 & 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 & would provide good traction. After trying on dozens of hiking shoes, I settled on the Merrell Moab Waterproof 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, & it took me a few times to find the right one for these particular shoes.
WATERPROOF: I have hiked in rain, snow, ice, & 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 & snow. It was during those times when I wished that I had brought along my trekking poles for added stability. But, with walking carefully & holding onto nearby tree branches, these shoes kept me on my feet. We also often have to walk over damp rocks & boulders. In these instances, the traction on these shoes has been superior.
DURABILITY/DESIGN: These shoes have traversed through some very rugged terrain, & have held up extremely well. The lace holes are still in-tact, the shoes show no signs of rips/scratches, & 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 2 years on the trail.
Overall: Great Purchase
Price paid: $120
Place purchased: REI Englewood (Now Greenwood Village)
Link to REI website: REI
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