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Reviews > Footwear > Trail Shoes > Ahnu Mens Moraga Mesh shoes > Test Report by Michael Pearl

AHNU MORAGA MESH
TEST SERIES BY MIKE PEARL
LONG-TERM REPORT

INITIAL REPORT - April 02, 2015
FIELD REPORT - June 18, 2015
LONG TERM REPORT - August 08, 2015

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Mike Pearl
EMAIL: mikepearl36ATyahooDOTcom
AGE: 41
LOCATION: Hanover, New Hampshire, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 155 lb (70.30 kg)

I have a great appreciation for the outdoors and get out at every opportunity. I am a three-season, learning to be a four season backpacker and year round hiker. Currently, my trips are two to three days long as well as an annual week-long trip. I utilize the abundant trail shelters in my locale and pack a backup tarp-tent. I like to cover big distances while still taking in the views. I have lightweight leanings but function and reliability are the priority. I mostly travel woodland mountain terrain but enjoy hiking beautiful trails anywhere.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Ahnu IMAGE 1
Year of Manufacture: 2015
Manufacturer's Website: www.ahnu.com
MSRP: US $120.00
Listed Weight: Not Listed
Measured Weight: 1 lb 12 oz (0.79 kg) per pair
Color Available: Smokey Brown
Sizes Available: 7 - 13
Size Tested: 9

Details: Listed on company website;
-Dual density EVA sock liner features ETC lining for reduced friction and heat buildup
-Dual density compression molded EVA midsole cushions, supports and centers the foot on varied terrain
-Breathable mesh upper to allow air circulation to help keep feet cool and dry in warm and hot weather
-Water resistant leather upper with waterproof seam sealed construction
-Gusseted tongue to keep out debris and moisture

Information found inside shoe box:
"Numentum Hike Technology is a neutral positioning system that keeps you balanced and encourages your foot's natural biomechanics."
Numentum is Ahnu's trademark sole. There is a labeled diagram showing construction and materials of the layers of varying density that make up the Numentum system.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The Moraga shoes arrived in a very sturdy but otherwise standard shoe box. The coloring and styling of the Moraga's is very sharp. My wife immediately commented that they are very nice looking shoes. The materials and construction are both very well done. The sides, top of the toe, and tongue are all made of a mesh material. There are pull loops at the heel and tongue. From the top the Moraga almost looks sneaker like. From the bottom the Moraga looks like a trail shoe with pronounced tread. Holding the shoes in my hand they feel light but solid. The Moraga has the making of a good warm weather trail shoe.
IMAGE 2

TRYING IT OUT

Slipping my feet into the Moraga's they instantly feels comfortable. The arch support is obvious, which I really like and hope last. The cut of the collar is a good match with my ankle and is nicely padded. I have a full range of motion without any rubbing at my ankle. The toe box fits close but not uncomfortable. There is a nice "forward roll" feeling when taking a step forward. The Moraga's feel really good on my feet, there's no sensation of needing to be broken in. So with them laced up and ready to go I took the dog for a walk. About two miles (3 km) on pavement, gravel, frozen dirt and snow the Moraga's handled it all. My feet were comfy throughout this short stroll.
IMAGE 3

SUMMARY

The Moraga is a good looking and well-made shoe. They are very comfortable and fit my foot nicely. I am eager to see if this comfort remains with the additional weight of a pack. I like the use of the mesh material for breathability in warmer weather. I am curious to see how it handles exposure to water, as far as letting water in and drying out. The snow is currently melting away revealing fields of mud. Guess it's a good thing the Moraga's are brown.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

IMAGE 1Mt Kirkham, Benton, New Hampshire - Merril loop trail 9.5 mi (9 km) from 2100 to 3700 ft (640 to 1128 m). Day started at 25 F (-4 C) ended at 40 F (4 C) and sunny the whole day. From the trail head the trail was snow covered in various depths and conditions. Pack weight - 15 lb (7 kg).

Wahkeena Falls, Western Gorge, Oregon - 3 mi (5 km) from 100 to 1300 ft (30 to 396 m). It was 65 F (18 C) and partly cloudy. The trail was gravel to hard pack dirt to wet rocks and mud. Pack weight 8 lbs (3.6 kg).

Old Salmon River Trail, Welches, Oregon - 3.6 mi (5.8 km) from 1450 to 1550 ft (442 to 472 m). The day was 60 F (15 C) and partly sunny. The trail was very soft, mossy and muddy. Pack weight 8 lbs (3.6 kg).

Cowles Mountain, San Diego, California - 3 mi (5 km) from 643 to 1593 ft (196 to 485 m). It was 85 F (29 C) and sunny. The trail conditions were very dry and rocky. Pack weight 5 lbs (2 kg).

Mt Cannon, North and South Kinsman, Franconia, New Hampshire - total of 15 mi (24 km) for two days, from 1520 to 4330 ft (463 to 1319 m). Day one saw 80 F (27 C), cloudy and breezy, overnight thunderstorm and 55 F (13 C). Day two was around 65 F (18 C) with on and off showers. Trail conditions varied greatly, well maintained hard pack to climbing through blown down trees to mud to rock scrambling before the storm. Then more mud, wet rocks, standing water, running water, three rain swollen creeks turn rivers to cross and a few patches of snow just to round out things out. Pack weight 30 lbs (13.6 kg).

Mt Morgan and Pervcival loop, Holderness, New Hampshire - 6.5 mi (10 km) from 870 to 2220 ft (265 to 676 m). The day was 75 F (24 C) and sunny. The trail was well maintained with a few minor streams to cross, with two decent rock scrambles. Pack weight 10 lbs (4.5 kg).

Desert Rats

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

IMAGE 3I have hiked in the Ahnu Moraga's under a wide range of conditions. I have been pleased with their performance every time. However they really excelled on the hot, dry hike on Mt. Cowles. I have worn mid to lightweigth wool socks on all hikes. The following are some of the highlights from hikes with the Moraga's.

I skied up the 1.6 mi (2.6 km) closed access road. The Moraga's were strapped into snowshoes that were lashed to my pack while skiing. I then switched to the Moraga's at the trail head. I soon needed to strap on snowshoes as my entire leg sunk in the snow pack within a few steps. The snow was nice and firm to start. Later any spot in direct sunlight was soft and sticky. As the snow gathered under the snowshoes it was like walking in cinderblocks! I have always worn boots while snowshoeing. Shoeing in shoes was a first for me with the Moraga's but they worked well. My feet were comfortable the entire time. I stayed atop the snow almost the entire hike so my feet stayed dry. Between the morning lows and the afternoon highs my feet were never cold or hot.

Both hikes in Oregon were kid friendly with a slower pace and lower miles. But the trail conditions were challenging and scenery amazing. Wahkeena Falls was almost a constant up and then back down with several sections of loose gravel and wet rock. The combination can make for tricky footing but I felt stable and secure with the traction of the Moraga's. The Old Salmon River Trail was rather level but muddy. Again the Moraga's handled this trail easily. My socks were slightly damp by the end but dried on the drive home, only the caked on mud remained.

On Mount Cowles is where the Moraga's hit their stride. I thought for sure going from cool, moist Portland to hot, dry San Diego in one days time I would experience some discomfort. I was expecting dust ringed IMAGE 4sweaty feet with that uncomfortable foot on hot coals sensation from walking on sun baked ground. But the mesh let my feet breathe and stayed comfortable the whole hike, not even a hot spot. The Moraga's supplied great support and traction on the rocky, sandy and gravely trail.

Back on my home trails of New Hampshire is where the Moraga's final hit some minor trouble. On this two day hike I encountered conditions previously experienced. But I covered more miles per day at a faster pace carrying more weight with steeper and greater cumulative elevation gain. All this was handled fine. The Moraga's provided the same degree of support and traction even under the additional load. The trouble was water. An overnight thunderstorm saturated the trails and then on and off shower kept things wet. While my feet dried the first day after two minor stream crossing they never did on day two. The mesh that kept my feet so comfortable in hot San Diego now kept them so wet. This did not negavtively impact my hike. It was just very uncomfortable. And under these conditions just about any shoe or boot would most likely have been soaked too.

The last hike during this test period was another kid friendly one. The only new experience here was when I miss read the map and ended up a mile (1.6 km) any from the car. Hoping to minimize the wait and my families anger with me I ran to the car. After hiking 5.5 mi (8.8 km) my feet felt great in the Moraga's and they handled the pounding jogging stride nicely.

SUMMARY

The Ahnu Moraga Mesh shoe's have handled all but the wettest conditions excellently. My feet never felt overheated or cold for that matter on the cooler and/or wetter hikes. Since I primarily hike in boots I was mildly concerned about ankle support and stability. Even under an overnight load I never had an issue. I was really impressed how stable they felt on the rock strewn trails of Mt Cannon and Kinsmans. Never once did I have a sore spot from stepping on the irregular shaped pointy rocks while carrying an overnight load. The Moraga's continue to fit well, aggresively handle all trail conditions and show no signs of wear.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Lonesome Lake and Mt Cannon, Franconia, New Hampshire - total of 9 mi (14.5 km) for two days, from 1520 to 4330 ft (463 to 1320 m). Day one was 72 F (22 C) calm and clear. Day two was 85 F (29 C) and humid. Pack weight 20 lbs (9 kg). Well maintained trail with lots of irregular large rocks, two "rock hop" water crossings and muddy section around the lake.

Appalachian Trail, Vermont - total of 40 mi (64 km) for two and half days, from 1200 to 2600 ft (360 to 790 m). Temperatures ranged from a high of 87 F (30 C) and sunny to an overnight low of 55 F (13 C) and foggy. Pack weight 30 lbs (13 kg). Well worn trail over grassy meadow, through dense forest with steep ups and downs and one muddy bog.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

The first hike during this phase of testing was with my children. So this meant a slower pace with more stops. Several of the stops were along the cascading river we were hiking along. There were several swimming holes and it was hot so in we went. This meant taking my shoes off several times. It's a minor perk but still noticeable, shoes require less time and effort to lace up than boots. This hike also had several lengthy sections of jumbled, irregularly shape rocks to navigate. The Moraga's did nicely allowing a wide range of motion in my foot and ankle to accommodate the odd angles of my steps. I stepped repeatedly on pointy rocks without any discomfort to my feet. This was something I also thought required a stiff boot. But Anhu's performance has changed my mind about that.

The last hike was the longest of this test series. While the terrain was not as rugged the miles were greater and the pace faster. My feet and ankles remained comfortable all day long. Each evening taking off the Moraga's my feet felt tired but not sore, none of that "peeling a banana sensation." Each morning slipping on the Moraga's, my feet felt instantly ready to go. Again starting off in the morning hiking through wet brush quickly wets the shoes. But as long as the Moraga's do not become saturated they dry out soon enough. The mesh does a great job of venting excess heat and moisture as well.

SUMMARY

The Ahnu Moraga Mesh shoes have done an excellent job in all but the wettest conditions. Even under heavier overnight loads my feet feel balanced and well supported. I have not had any issues with fit, comfort or hot spots on my feet. The Moraga's have provided great traction in all conditions encountered. They have held up very well and show only minor excepted wear. The Moraga Mesh shoes strengths are comfort, traction, ventilation. The Moraga Mesh has proven to me that some shoes can handle more than day hiking. I will be wearing the Moraga's on all my warm weather hikes to come.

IMAGE 1


This concludes my Long-Term Report. Thank you to BackpackGearTest.org and Ahnu for making this test series possible.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

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