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Merrell Moab Gore-Tex XCR

rated 4 of 5 stars
photo: Merrell Moab Gore-Tex XCR trail shoe

A great lightweight hiking/trail shoe. these replaced a somewhat heavier and sturdier Merrell gore-tex shoe, the Chameleon, which were very worn from years of use. i use these primarily for walking and training with no pack or a light pack; i would recommend a sturdier, more substantial shoe for training or hiking with a heavy pack.

these are low-cut, no ankle support; firm, supportive sole and midsole with deep treads; mostly nylon upper with gore-tex; laces run through fabric loops, a lightweight speed-lacing solution. the shoes do not appear to have much of a shank, so feet may be vulnerable to bruising on very rocky trails - so far, i have not experienced any problems, though.

Fit is average to slightly wide (they work with E-width feet and have space for orthotics). the gore-tex works, breathes quite well, with the caveat that this is a low shoe, so they are not suited for deep puddles or bogs.

after a month or two of hiking on rocky trails, walking the dog, and training, in wet weather and dry, the shoes have performed well and show no visible signs of wear. no blown seams, no delaminated soles, and very comfortable for all-day wear with a pair of good wool socks.

Update: November 21, 2009

This is a follow up to my earlier review, to point out a few significant observations based on significantly more use.

On the positive side, the soles, lacing, and shoe materials are physically intact for the most part and have worn well for the most part. The shoes still fit well after a lot of mileage, and they still feel very comfortable.

On the negative side, a few parts of the fuzzy lining have been worn and pulled away, especially in one heel. It hasn't affected performance. Much more disturbingly, the waterproof gore tex sock has failed. This first cropped up about ten months after I bought the shoes, but it is consistent - these are not nearly as pleasant to use in the rain as they were before.

Materials: gore tex
Use: day hikes, trails, training
Break-in Period: Little to none
Weight: very lightweight.
Price Paid: $90

Comfy and dry but ZERO traction on wet surfaces.


  • Waterproof Gore-tex lining


  • Toe box not wide enough
  • Bottom sole has no traction on wet surfaces

I have now had the Merrell Moab Gore-tex shoes for over two months and the toe box is too narrow for my left "duck" foot even though I bought a pair that is 1.5 sizes too large. The worst problem is the lack of traction on wet surfaces.

I visit a training area every fortnight that consists of 900+ irregular steps and several long pathways through a forest. With the recent poor weather, I tried the Merrell shoes to keep my feet dry—what a huge mistake—I have NEVER slipped and slid over surfaces more often in all of my 75+ visits due to wearing these Merrell shoes. It was so bad, I had to hold onto the hand rail and travel 1/3 of the pace I usually travel down the steps.

I have worn Nike Air runners in similar weather and do not need to hold onto the hand rail as I side step, at speed, down the steps. My Keen hiking shoes (of which I own four different models) do a much better job at providing traction than these Merrell shoes.

Be very careful traversing over any wet areas in these shoes. They have ZERO traction.

Source: bought it new

I bought these shoes out of mostly frustration from most boots I had had. I have a problem with my Achilles tendon and just about every backpack boot and hiking boot no matter how comfortable they felt at first, I would be done after about ten miles or so. I really wanted something waterproof and hadn't really thought of a waterproof shoe until I found these.

My feet instantly molded into the inside. I broke them in in the store. The next day I did 15 miles on the AT with about 40 lbs and my feet felt better and were drier then with any boot I've had. I never ran into any major river crossing but it did rain a bit and my feet kept dry.

I wouldn't recommend these for people with weaker ankles. I also have wider feet and they fit perfect. They are definitely my new summer backpack boot.

Use: rough trail, heavy pack ( me personaly)
Break-in Period: none
Price Paid: $80


  • I wore these shoes daily for a couple months until the extra wide toe box started to squeeze together where the laces loop back up and created a fold in the material which rubbed on the tops of my big toes and hurt to the point that I couldn't wear them daily.
  • About the same time, the sole started to separate from the upper in a couple places
  • As my primary pair of shoes, I played multiple sports in these shoes which resulted in the footbed progressively loosening and then shifting its way back and up by the heels when I'd wear them. (Very Annoying)
  • I found the shoes to be too hot even though they are suppose to have "excellent breathability"


  • The GTX waterproofing works wonders. I can submerse them trudging through puddles and not get wet.
  • The Vibram sole has held up nicely and keeps traction quite well, even when muddy.
  • I've been fairly tough on them and there are noticeable scuffs wearing the nubuck upper by the toes but has held together and hasn't effected their performance

I now just wear these as work 'boots' because of their waterproofing, durability, and traction.

I would not recommend these if looking to use them for long periods of time though.

I purchased these shoes yesterday and took them directly from the store out for a 7.5 mile trek over a smaller mountain range in southern NH. They did quite well on the rocky terrain that New Hampshire is famous for.

Before these I was wearing a midweight boot offered by Timberland. They fell apart after 4 months and less than 100 miles in the White Mtns.

I cannot atest to the durabilty of theese shoes but I can say at was night and day from my last shoes as far as comfort goes. My feet felt like I was steping on pillows as I hopped from rock to rock both heading up the trail and down. The Vibram soles are amazing. I will say be careful on wet slimy rocks because they don't grip all that well, so be careful at water crossings.

I cannot say anything about their waterproofabilty yet but my feet felt great after the hike, which for me is very rare.

Use: peakbagging, day kikes, light backpacking
Break-in Period: out of the box fun
Price Paid: $94.95

Everyday warrior.


  • Fit great
  • Durable

I wore these shoes for over a year for everything from day-to-day use to hiking to trail running. The durability was great and I loved that they kept my feet dry without sweating. I would still be wearing them but the sole at the heal wore through.

They fit true to size and width.

The problem is I can't find the color I had in my size anywhere.

As a disclaimer, I am affiliated with Gore for product testing of Gore-tex products for the purpose of product review and recommendation. I do receive items from Gore for these purposes.

Source: bought it new

I have bought two pairs. They are a great trail running shoe, mountain biking, or day hiking shoe. They have great traction, light weight, and comfortable.


  • Traction
  • Light weight


  • Off trail they seem to atract stickers

Fit is correct, great comfort, good support for a low height shoe, nice traction on all surfaces.

Source: bought it new

Maybe mine are lemons, but, I bought a pair of these Merrell hiking shoes while on vacation in Maine last August and they have totally fallen apart with only approximately 3 months of what I would consider "light" use.

The uppers of both shoes are worn out and look like shoes with many years use. The soles of both shoes are separating from the uppers and collect what ever terrain surface I am walking through ABSOLUTELY DISAPPOINTED IN THESE SHOES from a usually reliable brand.

Use: day hikes
Break-in Period: BREAKDOWN PERIOD 6 months!

Great outdoor style tennis shoe! Gore-Tex makes it the legendary 'waterproof, but warm' but that is what it's known for. I use this shoe hiking, x-country running, biking, and general outdoor wear and have never had a blister in the 100's of miles I've worn them! Have not one complaint about this shoe.

One precaution to most, this shoe fits about 1/2 size SMALLER than it lists, but that worked out good for me being in between and 12 and 13.

Materials: Gore-Tex
Use: hiking, cross country running, trail walking
Break-in Period: about a week or 20 miles, depends on YOU
Weight: 215
Price Paid: $89

Just started wearing my second pair of these Moabs. The first lasted just over two years of heavy trekking before they lost the waterproofing.

This is a stiffer shoe than others so it keeps my feet in a more rigid plane. I'm an older guy, and my feet don't get sore as with softer, more flexible hikers.

Price Paid: $75 on ebay

These are good shoes for everyday or light hiking.

As mentioned I had the same problem with the footbed sliding. Some double sided tape helped somewhat, also they did seem a little too wide. Thicker socks helped in cooler weather, not so much in the summer.

Overall for the price it's a pretty good shoe.

Price Paid: $80

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Price Current Retail: $63.99
Historic Range: $43.00-$525.00
Reviewers Paid: $75.00-$94.95
Weight 1 lb 8 oz
Sizes 7 - 12 (Half Sizes) 13, 14, 15 and Wide 7 - 12 (Half Sizes) 13, 14, 15
Materials Waterproof Dura Leather and Mesh Upper, Synthetic Leather Toe Cap and Heel Counter, GORE-TEX
Price Historic Range: $59.99-$100.00
Weight 1 lb 8 oz
Sizes 7 - 12 (Half Sizes) 13, 14, 15 and Wide 7 - 12 (Half Sizes) 13, 14, 15
Materials Waterproof Dura Leather and Mesh Upper, Synthetic Leather Toe Cap and Heel Counter, GORE-TEX
Product Details from Merrell »

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