PROS: So comfortable I wear them everywhere, not just hiking.
CONS: Wish they came in more color options when I bought them. They do now.
COST: Currently $130, but mine were only about $90 when I bought them.
As an adult competitive runner, I have had many people ask me for recommendations on athletic footwear. My advice has always been that everyone’s feet and skeletal makeup are so different, it’s never a one-brand-fits-all solution where I can say “Shoe X is the best shoe for running/hiking/dodge ball, definitely go buy them.” My knee alignment is different than your knee alignment. I strike the road on a different part of my foot than you strike. My hips are aligned over my knee at a different width and angle, putting pressure on different parts of my ankles than on your ankles. I can not tell you what running shoes will best fit your needs without proper analyzation from a professional who takes the time to observe your stride and strike, and anyone who tells you they can are just trying to make the sale. However, hiking boots are a slightly different story.
I still can’t tell you exactly what pair of boots will make your feet ultimately the happiest, but it is much easier to give advice on boots you walk in as opposed to a shoe made for high-impact athletics. Regardless of how much I am about to rant and rave about my Merrells, you’ll have to try on several selections for yourself to best determine what brand and style fit your individual foot needs.
That being said… TRY MY BOOTS ON! I mean, not like MY boots specifically that I have at home, but go to the store and try on a pair of the Merrell’s I have, the current version of which is called the “Moab Mid Waterproof“. I love these boots so much I wear them hiking up difficult terrain, on slow meanders through forests, on medium paced walks down bike paths, to the grocery store, and lately even to work. I wear them so often I have had a dozen people come up to me and say “Are those the Merrells? I have those boots! I love them!” Someone just said this exact sentence to me at the office yesterday, which is what prompted me to write this review.
When I was interested in purchasing a new pair of boots, I hit up the boot section at REI and tried on all their snazzy looking boots like their Solomons and some Keens. All the choices looked great, but none of them fit my dainty size-10-Cinderella’s-step-sister-feet quite right. I’m one of those people who will walk around the store in a perspective shoe for 5-10 minutes until I really get the feel of it, so I was there for quite awhile. I had literally tried on every boot except the Merrell Moab Mids, which I had avoided because they were the cheapest and the most bland in style. But nothing was working, so finally I asked for a pair of the Merrells.
I slipped them on, stood up, and suddenly the floor felt like it had been transformed into a cloud. What magic was at work here? How could these comparatively cheap, sorta boring looking shoes provide such comfort and stability? I walked around the store for five minutes. I walked for another five. I climbed their little rock display, which I assumed was there for that purpose. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t. I climbed down. I still could not believe it. Although a tad disappointed at their lackluster appearance, I could not ignore the perfect fit and superior level of comfort. Cha-ching! Purchased.
I now wear these boots so often that they have seemingly become a part of my feet. They’re my go-to pair of footwear by the door in all seasons. I have even come to love how plain they are because it means they can go with any outfit, (as long as you’re not strutting the catwalk during Fashion Week.) As I said before, I even wear them to work under jeans, and while I wouldn’t call them stylish, I will say fashionably you can get away with them if you work for a government parks department like I do. (Not a suuuuuper high fashion standard there, but they do have great hats!)
My favorite thing about these boots is how waterproof they are. I have hiked through marshy areas, muddy trails and even shallow streams in these boots. I have accidentally stepped in really deep puddles and intentionally slogged through snow banks. My feet have never gotten wet, even if water gets up into lace-level. The Merrell Moab Mids are also really sturdy. I love the stability their modest height provides, and I don’t feel like there is too much of a trade off with added weight.
So while I would never say you should go out and buy a specific pair of shoes or boots sight-unseen, I would definitely add the Merrell Moab Mids to your short list of boots to try on.
What’s on your feet? What’s your favorite hiking boot?
– C. Egli