Sorry extreme tromboning fans… what we have here is a Merrell review but without the playing-of-the-trombone-at-the-top-of-a-hill photo.
What we do have, though, is a lightweight and really comfortable pair of hiking boots that are possibly my new favourite outdoor boots.
These are the Merrell Moab Mid Gore-Tex, the women’s version of course, in “beluga” (a kind of dark grey with orange bits). I was sent a pair to review here on Splodz Blogz having been told they are one of Merrell’s favourite models. So I expected a lot.
The mid-height version of Merrell’s endless summer essential is now an even better match for summer spritzers or downpours with the addition of an Aegis® antimicrobial-treated GORE-TEX® lining to the GORE-TEX® construction of the leather-reinforced breathable mesh upper. Merrell® air cushion in the midsole. Vibram® Multi-Sport Plus sole increases braking power at the heel for more demanding terrain.
• Waterproof Dura leather and mesh upper
• Bellows tongue keeps debris out
• Synthetic leather toe cap and heel counter
• GORE-TEX® Performance Comfort Footwear lining protects feet and keeps them dry
• Breathable mesh lining treated with Aegis® Antimicrobial solution maintains foot comfort
• Ortholite® Anatomical Footbed
• Molded nylon arch shank
• Compression molded EVA footframe provides cushioning
• Merrell Air Cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability
• QForm® Comfort midsole provides women’s specific stride-sequenced cushioning
• 5mm Sole lug depth
• Vibram® Multi-Sport Sole/TC5+ Rubber
As far as specification goes they tick all the boxes for me – decent sole, gore-tex lining, women-specific footbed, nice long laces, air cushioning for my heavy steps, and breathable.
Obviously the best way to review a pair of walking boots is to, well, walk in them. After a couple of evenings rocking them with my pyjamas round the house in an attempt to be sensible and break them in a little, I got myself outdoors to try them out properly (not in my pyjamas this time, I wore normal clothes!).
This is one of the footpaths I walked along – it looks fine doesn’t it, dry and solid? Well it wasn’t. It was quite soggy and uneven. Ah well, these boots have Vibram soles and so coped with the slippery mud with ease, and are Gore-Tex and so kept my feet try without any problem.
After this particular path (on which I took the above shot of the still-pretty-clean-but-damp boots), I walked up the hill onto the ridge to discover one lovely farmer had (accidentally?) ploughed across the Viking Way (oops… hmmmm). So, after seriously considering whether I wanted to get my nice new Merrells disgustingly muddy on their first proper trip out, I trundled through the horribleness. Thankfully I stayed upright, and inside the boots my feet stayed dry (from both rain water and sweat!), comfortable and clean!
Since that first proper walk these have done me well on my regular one-two hour walks and a couple of longer ones around my local area. Honestly, you don’t have to go far to explore the great British outdoors – I’m so lucky to have footpaths and great scenery so close to my front door and I bet the vast majority of you have something similar close by too. They are now well bedded in and I can feel them supporting my feet and ankles when I walk on hard and soft ground, and despite getting really muddy (more than once) they clean off pretty well with a hosepipe and brush (you need a brush because the mesh uppers tend to hold onto the mud so you need to encourage it a tad) and they dry out quickly. The soles are really grippy for all sorts of ground, and they are plenty waterproof for British conditions (although I wouldn’t go wading through a river in them of course, they’re not wellies). I should add I carry hardly anything on my back when I walk, I can’t pretend to be testing the backpacking quality of these boots, and I think if I was doing something that involved an expedition pack I’d go for something taller than a mid-boot anyway.
These haven’t yet done quite as many miles as I’ve done in my Chameleons (I haven’t done another Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge this summer…), but I am already torn. The others are broken in more, but these are so comfortable and I haven’t had a single blister in them. Do I prefer them? I think I do. They are so comfortable, lightweight, waterproof, and equally as good looking. Maybe they’re not quite as good looking. I don’t know. When I next go on a full day hike I will really struggle to choose which pair to wear. I love the Chameleons, but these are lighter. These are comfortable, but the Chameleons are leather which I like in a hiking boot.
I started this review by saying I expected great things from these because I’d been told they were a Merrell favourite. I haven’t been disappointed. I’ll let you know after my next day hike if my opinion has changed. Who fancies a long walk one Saturday soon?
The Merrell Moab Mid Gore-Tex are £110 and come highly recommended for getting outdoors by me.