For a decade Merrell’s Moab range has been the boot of choice for 20 million walkers – that’s a hell of a lot of units shifted, equivalent to every third person in the UK wearing a pair. We reckon that qualifies as insanely popular. And now the US firm are aiming to build on this best-selling heritage with the release of the Merrell Moab Speed GTX shoe, a lightweight hybrid hiker designed to give you ‘confidence to tackle any trail’.
Merrell bill the Moab Speed GTX as a modern reincarnation of their popular boot – a lighter, lower-cut, trainer-style version that will appeal to those who prefer to feel a little more agile on the trail. There’s also a mid-boot version, but here we’re focusing on the low hikers.
First things first, the Moab Speed is designed to give wearers out-of-the box comfort with a fit that’s snug in the heel, precise over the instep and roomy in the toe to ensure any issues like rubbing or tightness are reduced. The mesh and TPU upper, meanwhile, are designed to strike a balance between lightness and abrasion resistance – Merrell call it ‘athletic’ yet ‘rugged’.
In terms of the tech in the shoe construction, a FloatPro Foam midsole and supportive EVA insole provide a lightweight and cushioned ride. A ‘rockplate’ in the midsole traverses the shoe to increase comfort levels and dampen the impact of any sharp rocks or nobbly stones beneath your feet. You also get a Gore-Tex membrane, ensuring the high standard of breathability and waterproofing you’d expect for this near-ubiquitous membrane. There’s also a Vibram Ecodura rubber outsole for reliable traction over mixed terrain.
Merrell have also made efforts to improve the environmental credentials of the Moab Speed. It uses a 100% recycled mesh lining, 50% recycled top sheet to the EVA foam insole, 100% recycled laces and 30% recycled rubber in the Vibram Ecodura outsole. It’s far from the finished article, but it’s good to see the US brand making strides in the right direction.