Merrell Moab Speed Low Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
This shoe stands out for its feathery weight and lugs, which have a unique tiered design that increases traction. With laces, webbing, mesh lining, and outsole all made from recycled materials, this model also has a smaller footprint on the environment.
We had our ups and downs with the Moab Speed Low. It is well-cushioned but ill-fitting, leading to a mid-range score in this metric. The FloatPro Foam midsole provides underfoot comfort, while the robust collar contributes to additional padding higher up. The tongue is also cushioned, and the toe box allows for high-impact toe spread.
Our primary issue with this shoe is that the feel is just a little wonky. Everyone's feet are different, but the fit of the upper around the top of the mid-foot is pretty loose. During testing, the material rippled and folded, even on flat ground, leading to some foot slippage within the shoe.
Support is another weaker metric for the Moab Speed. It doesn't have nearly the same robust heel guard that others do. Though the rock plate at the midfoot does provide additional necessary rigidity for moving across firm surfaces, the stability of the sole is really lacking. We noticed a lot more lateral rocking in these shoes than any other pair and experienced noticeably more ankle rolling than we are used to. Subsequently, we really aren't fans of these shoes for hikes that pass over inconsistent scree or rocky surfaces.
Having said that, the traction is quite good. The Vibram EcoStep outsole provides significant grip on wet vertical surfaces. The lugs are deep, and each one is tiered with three or four distinct layers, meaning that each one has a lot more surface area to grip the earth on ascents.
The Moab Speed Low shines for its scant weight. At 1.56 pounds for a US size 10.5, it's the lightest pair in the category, and we really did notice the difference after long days of hiking. What's more, there's nothing 'missing' from this shoe. That is, it comes with the comfort features a hiker would expect, so it does appear that it's just constructed with overall lighter materials.
There are both non-waterproof and Gore-Tex versions of this shoe. We tested the non-waterproof one. Unsurprisingly, when we hiked in the rain and ran through puddles and streams, our feet got wet quickly. This shoe does have a plastic-y coating on the upper, but it is very porous, so it doesn't offer notable protection. On the plus side, the mesh is rather breathable, so they do dry quickly if you get caught in a storm on your way down from a mountaintop.
We are pleased with this shoe's durability so far. Through testing, we didn't have any signs of wear and tear beyond normal use. The seams around the toe guard remained sealed, and the stitching around the webbed eyelets stayed intact. In our research, we noticed that a few users had issues with the adhesive attaching the outsole to the upper, so we will monitor that area for any degradation.
Should You Buy the Merrell Moab Speed Low?
The Moab Speed Low is the lightest model in the category. If you prioritize weight above all else, this shoe is for you. However, for hikers who also want additional ankle stability, we think there are better options. Ultimately, some people will love the Moab Speed Low, but for most, we wouldn't recommend it as a top choice.
What Other Hiking Shoes Should You Consider?
If weight is still your number one consideration and you want another option, check out the Arc'teryx Aerios FL 2 GTX. It's just a nudge heavier but, in our experience, offers better support. Other lightweight shoes with additional support are the Salomon X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex or the Columbia Facet 75 OutDry.
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