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Reviews > Footwear > Trail Shoes > Ahnu Mens Moraga Mesh shoes > Test Report by Doug White

AHNU MEN'S MORAGA MESH SHOES
TEST SERIES BY DOUG WHITE
LONG-TERM REPORT
August 10, 2015

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Doug White
EMAIL: bakpack215atyahoodotcom
AGE: 33
LOCATION: Boulder, Colorado, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 6" (1.68 m)
WEIGHT: 170 lb (77.10 kg)

Backpacking Background: I've been backpacking for several years. I have tested a lot of different systems to find what works the best for me. I pack as light as possible without sacrificing comfort and functionality. I enjoy backpacking in all kinds of weather including winter. I also do snowshoeing and year-round mountaineering. I backpack in the Rocky Mountains just below treeline most of the time. My trips are normally at least a few miles (5 km) or more. Anytime I can get out and enjoy the mountains, even for a day hike, I do.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Ahnu
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The Shoes

Manufacturer's Website: Ahnu Footwear
MSRP: US$120.00
Measured Weight (Per Pair): 1 lb 12 oz (794 g)
Size being tested: US 9

Other details: The Men's Moraga Mesh shoes are a trail or walking shoe. The website currently shows that they are only available in one color, Smokey Brown and that the shoes use Numentum Hike technology which is designed to center and guide one's feet as he/she hikes or walks. The upper part of the shoe has breathable mesh on the exterior that allows one's feet to stay cool in warmer weather. The website claims that the upper leather on the shoe is water resistant and the seams are sealed and waterproof. The shoe also has a gusseted tongue for further water and debris protection. The website states the shoes use a "Dual density EVA sock liner with ETC lining" for reduced friction and heat buildup and a "Dual density compression molded EVA midsole cushion" that supports and centers the foot on varied terrain.

Ahnu's website claims they warranty the shoes from defective materials or faulty manufacturing for one year from the confirmed date of purchase. The website also states that products beyond one year will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

After receiving the shoes, the box provides the following additional information regarding Numentum Hike tecnology: A) 60 Durometer EVA midsole for cushioning and optimal shock absorption, B) 85 Durometer shock dispersal plate in forefoot for stone bruising protection, C) Non-marking carbon rubber outsole provides traction on varied terrain, D) 98-A Durometer integrated shank provides arch support, mid-foot support and torsional rigidity, E) 75 Durometer EVA postings on both medial and lateral sides for neutral positioning and stability.

IMAGE 1
Info From Box

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

Starting with the packaging: The box is very modern and simple. There isn't a lot of text on the box, so for me, it wasn't an over-whelming amount of information. I say that because other shoes I have bought in the past sometimes have smothered me with product information. Ahnu kept it simple and practical.

The shoes: To start with, the shoe looks very modern and stylish. I like the way it looks. Although they are only offered in one color, I like the neutrality of the color to match just about anything I will be wearing. It is a very low-impact color for the outdoors in my opinion. I love the idea of all the mesh on the shoe as far as breathability, but that concerns me a little as far as keeping moisture out. I hike in a lot of moist areas yet try to keep my feet dry. At the same time, the beginning of the mesh starts fairly high up on the shoe, so hopefully the mesh will stay above shallow puddles and muddy trails. The bottom part of the shoe (above the sole assembly) has a good layer of rubber and leather. The rubber looks rugged enough to kick away stones on the trail as well as keep water out; time will tell. The inside lining of the shoe feels thick and comfortable and seems like it will provide good cushioning. The sole itself looks beefy and durable and has a very rugged and dynamic tread design that looks like it will provide good traction on the trail. The laces feel too soft and already show some light fraying. Based on the way the laces feel, it seems to me that they will be prone to tearing and fraying. It's hard to put into words, but it almost seems like the thread stitching on them is too fine or is of a weak material; time will tell. The laces thread through the leather portion of the shoe via metal grommets. There are two pull loops to assist in getting the shoe on: one on the rear where my heel will go, and one on the tongue to assist in opening the shoe. The tongue is gusseted onto the shoe on both sides which is a great feature that helps keep debris and moisture away from the foot. The shoe also has a removable inner sole and feels rather thick and durable.

IMAGE 3
The Tread

TRYING IT OUT

I put the shoes on to go for a quick walk around where I live just to see how they felt. I wore a thin wool lightweight hiking sock which is what I normally wear in the summer. The shoe length and width felt good in size for my foot, however, the heel area felt really shallow. Sure enough, when walking around, I got a little bit of heel lift right away. So I stopped and tightened the laces a little more, however, that caused the tongue area of the shoe to dig into my ankle. I really feel a smaller shoe would be too tight as the length feels good. So I decided to get out a pair of my winter wool socks. That eliminated the heel lift problem and now the shoe fits comfortably, however, I don't want to wear winter socks in the summer. I'll have to play around with this and maybe look into some different summer socks.

As far as walking, the sole assembly is amazingly comfortable. I'm really anxious to try these out on some trails and rocks, the shoes feel like they are built well. I wore them around the front yard a little, then later we went to one store and I wore them for about 30 minutes or so. They felt good. One thing I did notice is that the pull loop in the back of the shoe is stitched on in a horizontal manner instead of vertical. This is the first shoe that I've owned that did this, so to pull it on, I had to bend my finger differently; not a big deal, just something abnormal to me.

TESTING STRATEGY

I plan on testing these shoes on some wet and muddy trails, some off-trail bushwhacking, and some class 3 scrambling rocks above treeline. I feel this testing will cover a wide range of environments for these shoes. I might get a chance to walk across some snow patches too, however, we've had a low snowfall this year, so I'll have to see when I get up there.

SUMMARY

Overall, the shoes have a nice look to them and a very comfortable sole assembly. I'm a little concerned with the comfort around my heel and ankle, but time will tell as far as that goes. I'm also a little concerned with how well the shoes will keep out water being that there is quite a bit of mesh on them. The latter will be a great testing experiment for me to try out.

Thank you to backpackgeartest.org and Ahnu Footwear for the opportunity to test this product.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I have tested these shoes on three different trips so far as well as around the house and neighborhood from time to time. They have been tested in temperatures ranging from 50 F (10 C) to 75 F (24 C). They have been tested at elevations from 5500 ft (1676 m) to 9000 ft (2743 m). I have put about 15 mi (24 km) on them so far. They have been worn on dirt and rock trails as well as mud, snow, ice, shallow puddles, shallow swampy ground, and some taller off-trail grass and shrubs. My average pack weight on each trip was around 35 lb (16 kg).

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

To start with, when I did the initial review on these shoes, we had a very low snow pack in the mountains. Since then, we have been dumped on and a lot of the trails are still snow-covered. I didn't get quite the amount of testing that I would have liked with these shoes so far, but plan on more testing for the long term report. Overall, the shoes have been great during the trips I have been able to test them on. As mentioned in my Initial Review of the shoes, I had some discomfort when I first tried these on. So, this time, I went ahead and tried a nylon sock liner then put a lightweight wool sock over that. The fit is perfect as far as the way the shoe fits on my foot. I used the liner sock and wool sock combination every time I wore these shoes except for my most recent trip. I decided to go back and just try a single wool sock with the shoes. Within 2 mi (3 km) into the trip, my ankle was hurting. This was due to me having to tighten the laces more to compensate for the missing insulation due to changing to a different sock. I still don't know if this is an issue with the shoe itself or just the way the shoe fits on my foot.

After using these shoes in water, snow, and ice, I feel the shoes do a great job keeping water out because the mesh of the shoe starts so high. As far as internal moisture from sweat, the shoe has breathed very well in my experience and my feet have stayed dry. On my first trip that was just over 4 mi (6.5 km), my toes were a little sore, however on my other two trips, there was no soreness in my toes. I think the soreness was due to the toe box of the shoes were just a little ridgid at first but eventually softened up. Other than the ankle discomfort caused by the fit and the sore toes on the first hike, the shoes are very comfortable and supportive. I love the way the midsole and tread perform on rocks and hard surfaces; these shoes handle hard terrain well. They also provide great traction on snow and ice including uphill slick surfaces. I have not had any blisters or hot spots with these shoes so far. As far as the laces go, they have proved my initial view wrong. The laces have held up fine, even when going off-trail through tall grass and swampy areas.

I look forward to testing these shoes more for the long term review as more trails are available to access. I plan on focusing on how the shoes hold up regarding wear.

SUMMARY

Overall, the shoes are comfortable and well-designed in my opinion. I'm still not sure what is going on with the way they fit on my ankle, but at least I know if I include a liner sock, they'll work ok on me. I am really happy with the performance of the shoe through all of the various terrains I have tested them on. The traction and support of the shoes are excellent. So far they have also held up with no failures; hopefully they will continue to do so.

Thank you to backpackgeartest.org and Ahnu for the opportunity to test these shoes.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I tested these shoes just over fifty miles during a combination of six backpacking trips, one day hike, and one family car camping trip. I also tested them climbing two 14ers (4267+ m peaks). The shortest of the trips was slightly over 3 miles (4.8 km) and the longest being 10 miles (16 km). The shoes were tested in mud, snow, rain storm, rugged trail, mild trail, and solid rock. I even slept in them one night (car camping with baby went wrong, had to sleep in the Jeep). The temperatures of the trips ranged from 38 F (3 C) to 80 F (27 C).
IMAGE 2
Scenery From Hikes

IMAGE 1
Scenery From Hikes

IMAGE 4
Scenery From Hikes

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

Well, to start with, the sock fitment issue that I had mentioned in the initial report is gone! The shoes have broken in enough where I can just wear one normal summer hiking sock without the extra sock liner. The shoes have become much more comfortable for my feet as well. The shoes performed very well on rock and in mud. I hiked one trail with my kids and went about 4 miles (6.4 km). This trail was covered in mud and the shoes did great. The shoes didn't cause me to slip and the rubber on the sole was high enough that moisture never made it to my socks.

I also climbed two 14,000 ft (4267 m) peaks and was on solid rock for about 6 miles (9.6 km) with steep uphills and downhills. The comfort was great and the sole was very supportive and strong. At the end of the trip I had no hot spots and no blisters. The shoes also breathed enough that my socks were completely dry and I never had to change socks on that trip. Actually, I didn't have to change socks on any trips from foot sweat due to the great breathability of the shoes.

On one trip, I hit a rainstorm and the shoes became soaked before I could take cover. Unfortunately, the moisture entered into the shoes and got the tips of my socks wet. This happened in the late afternoon, and although the storm was quick, the shoes did not dry out overnight that night. I had to hike the next morning with damp shoes, however, they dried out by noon the next day and my new morning socks never got wet enough to cause a comfort problem for my feet.

As far as wear goes, the shoes have held up great. I noticed about four spots where the stitching is starting to come apart, but the threads are very short and can easily be clipped. The loose stitching appears to be only cosmetic and hasn't affected the structure of the shoes. Although I was skeptical at first of the laces, they too have held up extremely well and have not frayed. The sole and leather both look great and have held up well.
IMAGE 5
Note Where Mud Line Is
IMAGE 6
Stitching Wear

SUMMARY

Overall, the shoes have become more comfortable as I've continued to test them. They breathe well and have a very supportive sole design for walking on hard surfaces. I like that they are breathable, however during use around heavy water or mud, they're probably not the best shoe to hike in. I plan on continuing to use them. Truthfully I prefer waterproof trail shoes in the event of shallow stream crossings, mud, etc, but do plan to use these shoes on drier trails. They are comfortable shoes overall and have a great sole design for support and stability.

Thank you to backpackgeartest.org and Ahnu Footwear for the opportunity to test this product.

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Scenery From Hikes

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

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