Merrell Moab Mid Gore-Tex XCR Hiking Boots
By Andrei Girenkov
June 06, 2011
New York, New York, USA
5' 10" (1.78 m)
150 lb (68.00 kg)
I have been backpacking for 6 years, mostly 3-season weekend trips in the Adirondacks, and other parks in the North-Eastern US. Additionally, I try to take at least one 5-7 day trip each summer to other destinations in Canada, Western states and Central America. I use lightweight gear on a budget. My multi-day pack weight is around 20-25 lb (9-11kg). I enjoy sleeping comfortably and cooking a hot meal at night
Manufacturer: Wolverine World Wide, Inc
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.merrell.com
Year of Manufacture: 2008
MSRP: US$ 125
Listed Weight: 30 oz (850 g)
Measured Weight: 38 oz (1080 g)
Size: Men's US 10 / UK 9.5 / EUR 44
Color: Dark Tan
Materials: Leather / Mesh Upper, GoreTex membrane, Vibram Rubber Sole, Synthetic Toe Cap and heel counter
These are very light weight hiking boots. The upper part of the boot is made of alternating leather strips and breathable mesh segments. The inside surface of the upper is covered in a waterproof Gore-Tex membrane. When walking through wet grass and snow, the inside of the boot stays completely dry. However if I step into a deep puddle or a stream, the shoes do get wet. Fortunately they dry out very quickly.
After wearing these boots I've noticed a reduction in blisters as the foot doesn't sweat as much. There is a minor downside to having mesh panels instead of a solid leather boot. When I stepped into mud, it dries and clogs up the mesh panel, preventing ventilation. It wasn't possible to wipe it off and I had to wait until I set up camp and could soak all the mud out in a stream.
Black caps protect the wearer's toes and heel. The caps are made from some sort of synthetic or rubber, and has gotten noticeably frayed with 4 years of use. It does well enough to protect my heel and toes, but repeatedly stubbing my toes still adds up over a long day. The soles are made of highly textured grey and black Vibram rubber. This pattern allows me to grip the trail and walk over stones and boulders with confidence.
The boots are laced through 12 nylon ribbon loops (1 located bottom center, 5 on each side, and 1 at the top, center of tongue). At the top of the boot there is a pair of copper lacing hooks.
I purchased these boots in early Summer 2008 in preparation for an 8 day hike in Wrangell-St. Elias National park in Alaska. The trip involved traversing glaciers, climbing boulders and snow, and crossing many rivulets. Temperatures ranged from 40-65F (5-18C). Elevation ranged from 1,500 - 8,000 ft (450-2450 m).
My main requirements for this trip were to find boots that were light, that would allow crampons to be attached, that would support a 25 lb (12 kg) pack, that would be waterproof and dry out quickly if it did get wet, and that had a hard sole to protect my feet when stepping on stones all day long.
In my experience these boots satisfy all of the criteria very well, at a very reasonable price. I had a concern that the ventilated cutouts would allow my feet to freeze when crossing glaciers. With a pair of wool hiking socks this concern never materialized. However, I found when crossing a steep hillside, the bottom foot tends to roll out, and the top foot rolls in. Because this is a mid rise boot, it does not provide adequate support in this situation. At one point I helped a friend carry some gear, pushing my pack to about 35 lb (17 kg) and felt that ankle support was insufficient for me when carrying this much weight. I had to slow down to avoid injury.
Since that trip I have worn them on dozens of day hikes and weekend trips on rocky trails in the Adirondack and Catskill Parks as well as other parks in the Hudson Valley in New York State, and Poconos mountains in Pennsylvania. These trips have all been in moderate weather, temperatures in 50-70 F (10-21 C), rocky or packed dirt trails, with a pack weight of 15-20 lbs (7-9 kg). During these trips I have never had any problems with sweat or injury. I found that the insole inadequately supported my arches. I replaced them with a no-name brand insole from Target and have not had any support complaints since then.
In 2009 I took a 5 day trip to the Buckskin Gulch in the Arizona desert. This is a very narrow (sometimes have to squeeze through between walls) 13 mile (20 km) long slot canyon. It rained 3 days prior to my arrival, and the gulch was still drying out from a flash flood. Ground varied between desert sand, clay, and ankle deep water. Temperatures were around 90 F (32 C). Because we had to cross over a hundred flooded areas in one day, we didn't have time to keep stopping to remove boots. I hiked in my boots the entire day, getting them completely soaked. I am happy to report that by the following morning they were completely dried out. On this trip I really came to appreciate the ventilation provided by these boots.
In 2011 I wore these boots to the cloud forests of Costa Rica (Manuel Antonio Park and Arenal Volcano Park). Trails were mostly over old lava flows and mountain trails (rocks and packed earth). Temperature was around 75-85 F (22-30 C), however it was extremely humid. With wool hiking socks on, my feet felt like I was in a sauna. If I had to go to a humid area again, I would consider wearing synthetic socks.
These are very well ventilated light weight boots. They provide adequate ankle support with a pack weight of 25 lbs (12 kg) but their limit is pushed with heavier packs. Despite having mesh cutouts, the boots are waterproof to morning dew, rain, and snow. Stepping into a stream still soaks them. Drying out is very easy due to ventilation.
THINGS I LIKE
Dries out easily
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
Inadequate ankle support for loads above 35 lbs (20kg) or when walking across inclines.
Insole offers insufficient arch support (but can be easily replaced).
Mud clogs up mesh insets.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.
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