Excellent Backpacking Boot
This is an excellent, well designed boot. Do not be afraid to buy it for backpacking. The ankle support is good and the sole is stiff enough to protect your feet well under moderate backpacking loads. Breathability is excellent, and they require very little break-in.
Merrill puts extra padding in the heel and under the ball of the foot, which makes them VERY comfortable to wear.
My feet did not get sweaty in them. When the boots did get wet, they dried completely in less than an hour.
There is lots of room in the toebox, so my toes don't chafe against the side or top of the boot.
When I lace the boot for long downhills, my toes don't touch the front of the boot and the laces don't rub or hurt the top of my feet.
My feet get achy easily, typically starting at about 8 miles with a moderate backpack load. In these boots my, feet do not start getting achy til about 10 miles, and I have walkded up to 14 miles in them comfortably.
Several times, I slipped on loose rocks and my ankle turned inward. Each time, the boot provided good support and I recovered easily.
Here's my hiking profile:
Last backpacking boot I liked: New Balance H515 mid-highs. Leather with lots of fabric in the uppers. Wore them for 15 years.
Most recent boot: La Sportiva Trango Trek GTX. Excellent alpine boot. Wore them for 100 miles but took them back to REI because they were hot and much too heavy.
Feet: size 13-13.5, low arches, sweaty, history of bad ankle sprains.
Needs: a backpacking boot that provides good fit, good ankle support, good breathability, minimum weight, and good grip.
Goals: Am going to hike the JMT this summer.
How I wear them: Bought size 14. Then put in green Superfeet and hike with SmartWool Adrenaline Hiker socks without sock liners.
Break-in: One 10 mile day-hike, mostly to verify that socks and SuperFeet were good.
Hike on which comments are based: 75 mile backpack twice-around the Rae Lakes Loop in SEKI in July 08. Wide variety of trail conditions including rubble, talus, mud, rain, and snow. Max pack weight 35 lbs. Averaged 10 to 14 miles/day.
Any Time Almost Anywhere Hiking Boots
I have had a pair of the Moabs since 2007, and until recently they were the only pair of hiking boots I ever needed. They were mostly durable, and the only reason I say that is because the rubber covering the toes came loose after my 3rd year of having them. A few simple dabs of super glue fixed them right up. I used these boots all over the bay area on all sorts of trails for extended periods of time, some muddy, some rocky, but most dusty and laden with layers of dirt and small stones. I also brought them with me to Nepal where I trekked for over a month in high altitude and difficult terrain areas. They never let me down, not the laces, not the comfortable insoles, and never the traction. The traction for me was especially good even when forging rivers and standing on wet stones. The ankle support is also really good seeing as how I never rolled or sprained my ankle, and I've hit some pretty gnarly trails. They breathe really easily so they are best for spring and summer, but even when they get wet or muddy they aren't bad since they dry out so quickly. If you have some proper water resistant sock liners, I am confident that these boots can be used in the damp and wet seasons. Cold, not so much just because they are meant to breath and therefor the cold can seep in really easily. So yea, great boots for 3 season use. The only reason I need to replace mine is because I left them in the garage for a while and rats chewed out the tongues. Super lame, but I look forward to getting new Moabs because mine were so awesome and comfortable. Just keep an eye out on where the rubber meets the suede and other materials because it may come loose after prolonged use. If so, get some shoe glue or super glue, give them a little dab, and you'll be set. If the rats didn't get to mine, I'm sure I could have squeezed out a couple more years of use (making it a total of 6-7 years of use... pretty long life if treated properly). Merell has made a great pair of boots, so try them out!
My first no blister boots
I've had these a couple of months now and have used them in conditions from a day trip in the Santa Cruz Mountains to a three day trip in the Alps. I've really had no complaints throughout. I also feel that they were plenty warm, even when it was near freezing out, so I wouldn't necessarily classify them as just a summer boot.
These felt great right out of the box. The body is super lightweight and flexible, so there's no uncomfortable rubbing on the tongue. Also, this is one of the few boots that I've tried that doesn't rub at all in the heel. In spite of the light walls, I feel that the sole is rugged enough not to feel uncomfortable on rocky ground. In fact, I feel more stable because I'm lighter on my feet and can actually tell what I'm standing on.
I treated mine with some of that DWR stuff, and it works fine for an occasional quick dunk in a puddle. If they are exposed to water for any real time, though, they do get wet. That includes hiking through wet grass or snow. But hey, they don't claim to be waterproof, quite the opposite. The plus side is that they ventilate so well that even if they get wet, they dry out while you walk. With a decent pair of wool socks, I was comfortable throughout. My feet sweat _a lot_ so I actually prefer this approach. Even with "breathable" goretex boots, my feet always end up soaked from the inside (and blistered).
These are not heavy duty backpacking boots. I've never had any ankle problems, so the support thing didn't bother me, but if you tend to roll your ankle you may want to only use these for day hikes. They are very very light, which will help you go fast, but will not hold your foot in place the way a sturdier boot will.
Great ventilation, perfect for hikers with sweaty feet. Good for traveling fast and light, especially over scrambling terrain. If you're hiking in the rain or carrying 60lb loads all the time, look elsewhere.
Love these boots
I've only owned a few pairs of hiking shoes/boots, but these by far are the best I've had. I've used the same pair for years, hiking in many varied places/climates. I've used these in the White Mtns, the north GA mtns, the Berkshires, Ocala forest in FL, and Yosemite as well as every day use.
Knock on wood, but I've never had a blister or problem with these boots. They definitely are not "heavy duty" and you do feel a bit of the trail thru the sole, but for whatever reason this works for me. We don't hike tremendous mileage, usually about 5miles a day but its varied terrain and climate. On each trip I've had at least one friend have blister or other foot problems and have been happy this hasn't happened to me.
I also use these boots mountain biking from time to time.
With years of use the only problem I am seeing is a slight separation of the sole on the tip of one shoe.
I bought a pair of Oboz with a heavier sole and wore them daily for weeks to break them in; on my first trip I had terrible blisters on both feet in the exact same spot. I've also got a pair of Solomons that just don't fit as well as my Merrills either.
I like these boots so much compared to my others that I just ordered a waterproof pair of Moabs. My only complaint on my last trip was the frequent river crossings put my feet in water up to the top of my feet many times, soaking thru the boot and making me pretty uncomfortable but I'll keep using these for warm weather hiking for as long as I can.
The only reason i didn't give these a 5 star rating is because i realize i don't have a huge base of experience with other shoes to compare these with.
Comfort: I have bunions, corns, hammer toes, broken toes, surgery on each foot. These shoes give me the relief I need w/o expensive inserts. No break-in and immediate comfort right out of the box.
Use: I camp, fish, hike, and walk the rugged streets of Mexico (a lot). There is no such thing as even sidewalks in any Mexican city I have visited, with open holes, trenches, high curbs, slanted surfaces, drops, etc. I kicked out a pair of Nike (mids) recently during a TJ "tour" (don't ask), and I'm headed back to Ensenada for Carnival or another fishing trip, then to La Paz or San Jose del Cabo for the same reasons. I was in serious pain after the last trip and vowed to put an end to it. The flexibility and moderate ankle support the MOABs give is sure to do the trick.
I'm not looking to step into water, but there are puddles these will traverse well enough. I am wearing them now in California 'winter' weather, and they are quite warm enough. I expect that they will also be quite cool enough in the heat of our semi-annual camping trips to Potrero in San Diego County, and other California campsites, like Montana de Oro or the Ventana Redwoods. They also give great support while pushing the 4W burb.
The walnut color seems to take on either kakki or grey hues depending on the pants I'm wearing - otherwise, I have to have a grey pair and a kakki pair. Wouldn't mind them in blue and black, either. I will be wearing these a lot and will probably get another pair as back-up for when I kick these out.
These are a huge sight above any kind of tennis shoe and not so stiff as a full fledged hiking boot. Thus, the perfect fit and use for me, Urban and off-road Baja Trekking.
On my third pair
Technically this is my fourth pair as I had their predecessors before the Moab came out in 2006. With the Moab they added the Vibram sole. I love these boots for most every situation.
My first pair of Moabs was a replacement for my worn out Merrells in Waynesboro, VA while hiking the A.T. I called Merrell while 100 miles outside Waynesboro and had them sent to me. As you can see in the image below they needed replacing!
I wore the Moabs from Waynesboro to Delaware Water Gap, PA where I got off the trail. After returning home, I wore them for 4 months doing day hikes and walking around town until I finally felt the need to replace them.
Even with a relatively high pack weight of 35 pounds, these boots took all I threw at them.
The only real downside I could find with them while backpacking is the insole. I have used the green Spenco insert in all of them and that change kept me blister free from these boots.
They don't claim to be water resistant but do dry quickly. Even in freezing temps and snow, my Moabs have been fairly easy to put on while others in the group had frozen boots that had not dried out.
One caveat I will offer, they may not wear well when breaking trail in the snow. I think that is what caused my blow out on the originals. Tromping through calf-deep snow is abrasive and probably wore out some of the fibers. They changed the leather overlay pattern on the upper on the Moab so this might not be as big an issue.
My current pair has approximately 750 miles of day and weekend hikes on them and I might be thinking of replacing this winter.
Bought these boots for a 4 day hike out and around the Smokemont Trailhead in SMNP. The price was right, and they looked better than my military style parachuting boots that I have used in and around the AT.
Right out of the box, these boots were like putting on socks - absolutely no break-in needed whatsoever, although I did do the standard breaking in just in case. These boots are right on par for comfort!
I had a 35# pack and did 8+ miles for the whole trip and did not experience major amounts of fatigue from these boots. They are fine for single day hikes and multi-day hikes alike. What I did find was that as I got more tired, I became more aware of the terrain and was able to feel most rocks and sticks through the sole; however, there was no discomfort.
I did get these boots wet, as it had rained for 11 hours the night before our last day. These boots got soaked; however, with the warm weather, and my nifty, thin wool, moisture wicking REI brand hiking socks, I did not experience any "hotspots" or blisters. The boots began drying out in the middle of the hike, and then by the next morning were completely dry! They are not water resistant or water proof, but the manufacture does not even touch on those details, so I knew not to expect it. I did treat them, before the hike, with some DWR to aid is resistance, and it seemed to work well.
All-in-all, this is a great boot for a great price.
These boots are seriously comfortable, even after one years worth of use. I have worn them as everyday kicks, weekend warriors, in the mountains of Kentucky, and used them on week long backpacking trips in Big Bend Texas where zone camping is the norm and trails are few and far between.
So far I've logged about 125 miles in them and the souls are showing wear but nothing out of the normal. Even if they end up wearing out soon I figure the cost of the boot out weighs its longevity (I can buy 2 or 3 pairs of these for the cost of a more durable boot).
Speaking as a trim 150lbs and have found the support to be fine and dandy... even with a 40lb pack. No additional cushion needed. If you are heavier or carry a heavier load this might not be the case however. On my longer treks (25+ miles) I didn't notice my feet getting fatigued any more than normal.
I love these boots in the desert environment. The only draw back is they don't provide as much protection (from cacti) as a heavier boot. The product description doesn't mention anything about water resistance, and it shouldn't, these boots are made of mesh. However, these boots are great for wetter weather or stream crossings as they dry very fast (in my other water proof boots my feet end up getting wet anyway, I've found the quick dry quality of these boots to be awesome).
Ultimately, these boots have been great for me and I will buy another pair.
Running shoes and some mo'...
I got these as a gift about a year ago. They fit just right, I'm used to wear shoes 1/2 size bigger than my actual size and this ended up being just my size. I figured I keep them since I would need a tighter fit for better support. WRONG. I walked two blocks and I had to come back home and switch insoles with my running shoes. Now they feel GREAT but since the soles are a bit more bulkier my It a tighter fit and I can only wear them for a few hours at a time.
They are great scrambler boots. I've taken them on 10-15 miles hikes on different terrain and they are great when light hiking. I've tried them with my mountaineering pack for preseason conditioning and after mile 6 (out of 10) I had to switch to my trail shoes. SO, I do not recommend them for heavy backpacking, although like I mentioned before, mine fit a bit tighter than what I normally use. Maybe in your personal experience you can get away with it, kuddos for that.
They dry fast! I cross many streams on my hikes in Pa and they dry within 30 minutes unless I submerge them in a deeper stream, then they might take up to an hour... That's a record unless you wear flip flops.
They are quite durable for such a light boot but I'm sure I'll be buying the same boot but one size up when my current ones retire from the trail.
Great Light Hiker
Use this boot mostly for day hiking in the Northeast when it's dry outside. Put it to the test with a two week hiking vacation in Utah and Arizona. I bought the men's 8.5 since most women's shoes just aren't wide enough for my flat feet. This boot was broken in within about two days of use. Pretty much the sole and footbed just softened up a bit. The uppers were broken in from day one - much like a tennis shoe. I've used this boot on granite and sandstone in dry conditions, and the sole grips well. I used it for two weeks straight hiking through the National Parks of UT and AZ. It was close to 100 degrees in Zion, and my feet were cool, even with Coolmax hikers and sock liners. The boot kept out the deep sand and clay of Capitol Reef, Arches and the Grand Canyon quite well. Other people were having to dump out their boots, while I had minimal sand intrusion. The boots performed well on the slickrock at Arches and Canyonlands, with the soles having great grip. I was hiking with about 20 pounds of water and stuff in my day pack, and the boot kept my ankles supported and my feet from getting tired. All in all, it's a great day hiker for hot, dry conditions. I was hiking basically every day of my two week trip, and I got no blisters and had no foot problems. They cleaned up well after being coated with sand and red clay too.