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Merrell Moab Speed GTX

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: Merrell Moab Speed GTX trail shoe

These shoes score well on most points including comfort and traction but the soles wore out fast.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Grip well in all conditions so far
  • Fairly neutral appearance
  • Excellent heel loop

Cons

  • Soles soles wore out fast.
  • No longer waterproof after 3 months

top.jpg

Overall

I walk a lot, typically 2,000 to 2,500 km a year so it is important to have shoes that work well in all sorts of conditions. After my fifth pair of North Face Hedgehog Fastpack GTX shoes failed to come up to the standard of the earlier ones I decided to look for a replacement and chose these Merrell Moab Speed GTX.

For the most part I am very happy with the change. They are noticeably lighter than the North Face shoes and very comfortable to walk long distances with the original insoles (I had to replace the North Face insoles because they lost their cushioning effect.)


Appearance

It is a matter of taste but I like the generally subdued black with grey highlights.

bottom.jpg
The soles after 2.5 months wear. Notice that the tread on the heel is almost gone compared to near the front. 

Soles: Traction and Wear

The Vibram soles grip well on all sorts of surfaces including wet and muddy ones and for rock hopping. I have no complaint there. They are much better than my other Merrell shoes (Moab Adventure Lace) which, despite their Vibram soles, are treacherous on hard wet surfaces.

The complaint I have with the soles is that they seem to be wearing out very fast. Already, after less than three months, the lugs on the outside of the heel are almost all gone (less than 1 mm) whereas at the front of the shoe they are still about 4 mm deep. I was getting around 2000 km from a pair or the North Face Hedgehogs but these have worn this much in less than 500 km.

inside.jpg
From the inside. Note the loop at the heel.

Features

The shoes have some nice features. The loop on the heel is angled making getting them on a dream and the laces work well and stay tied.

outside.jpg
View from the outside

Waterproofness

Finally there is the Gore-Tex lining. I don't know if it is the material itself or the way shoes are made but every pair of Gore-Tex lined shoes I have ever owned has lost its waterproof qualities. It is not a question of if it will happen, just when.

In the case of these shoes it has started already at the usual place, just above the toes and after less than three months. I'm sure Merrell and Gore-Tex could do much better.

To Sum Up

I like these shoes a lot and would recommend them. My only real reservation is the apparent fast wearing of the soles. Time will tell.

Update 5/21/2023

Time did tell: They were worn out in about half the time I normally get from hiking shoes. This is what the soles looked like after walking about 1300 km in them: 

Merrell-Moab-Speed-GTX-shoes-ater-1300-km.jpg
After 1300 km

The heel has completely worn out. On the other hand, the uppers still look good, with no signs of wear and the shoes are still very comfortable. Rather than buying another pair I'm trying Shoe Goo applied to the worn bits (three coats to the heels and two to the lugs). This is what it looked like before I wore them. 

Shoe-Gooed.jpg
Shoe Gooed

Not pretty but hopefully functional. So far (only two days) they are working fine and grip well on dry surfaces. I will try them for a while and write a review of my Shoe Goo experience. 

Background

Original review: 2.5 months; Update: 9 months.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $A 182

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Specs

Men's
Price MSRP: $160.00
Current Retail: $160.00
Historic Range: $99.73-$160.00
Weight 1 lb 7 oz
Stack Height 31-21mm
Drop 10mm
Lug 4mm
Other Vegan-Friendly
Women's
Price Historic Range: $159.95
Product Details from Merrell »

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