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Merrell Moab Speed Low Review

These lightweight hiking shoes are a good option when ounces are a top priority
merrell moab speed low hiking shoes review
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch
Price:  $130 List
Manufacturer:   Merrell
By Ben Applebaum-Bauch ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 1, 2022
57
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 15
  • Comfort - 25% 6.0
  • Support - 20% 4.0
  • Traction - 15% 7.0
  • Weight - 15% 10.0
  • Water Resistance - 15% 1.0
  • Durability - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Merrell Moab Speed Low is an incredibly lightweight pair of hiking shoes. It offers solid traction and durability, gearing it toward distance hikers who value speed and agility. In addition, several components are made from recycled material, making these shoes easier on the environment as well. This pair provides padding in key areas, but we were underwhelmed by their fit, which ultimately detracted from their overall comfort. The interior upper got floppy on us, and we felt much less at ease on rooty, rocky, uneven terrain in this model than others. It's a solid lightweight shoe, but with some notable weaknesses that hikers should consider before committing.
REASONS TO BUY
Super lightweight
Good traction
Durable
REASONS TO AVOID
Sloppy fit
Not good for narrow feet
Unstable feel
Editor's Note: We took a fresh look at this review on November 1, 2022, to streamline our rating metrics and update our recommendations.

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Pros Super lightweight, good traction, durableSuper comfortable, durable, stableExcellent performance, lightweight, great traction, water resistance, supportSupportive, great traction, lightweightSupportive, versatile, well-cushioned
Cons Sloppy fit, not good for narrow feet, unstable feelNot great for off-trail, average tractionCuff can be uncomfortable on ankle for some, Quicklace lacing not everyone's favoriteStiff, lacing is hard to tightenAverage traction, regular width is relatively wide, hard to lace tightly
Bottom Line These lightweight hiking shoes are a good option when ounces are a top priorityThese super plush hiking shoes feel like you are walking on clouds, perfect for long days on hard surfacesThis is a rugged hiking shoe that can do everything from day hikes to tackling long multiday backpacking tripsThis is a burly hiking shoe capable of getting off the trail and onto rugged terrainA comfortable and versatile pair of budget-friendly hiking shoes with a casual look that's great for both the trail and the town
Rating Categories Merrell Moab Speed Low Hoka Anacapa Low GTX Salomon X Ultra 4 G... Salewa Mountain Tra... Columbia Facet 60 O...
Comfort (25%)
6.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Support (20%)
4.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
Traction (15%)
7.0
7.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
Weight (15%)
10.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
8.0
Water Resistance (15%)
1
8.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
Durability (10%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
Specs Merrell Moab Speed Low Hoka Anacapa Low GTX Salomon X Ultra 4 G... Salewa Mountain Tra... Columbia Facet 60 O...
Weight (per pair) 1.56 lbs (size 10.5) 1.79 lbs (size 11) 1.76 lbs (size 11) 2.16 lbs (size 11) 1.78 lbs (size 10.5)
Upper Mesh, TPU Nubuck leather, GTX Textile Synthetic, textile Synthetic Seamless mesh
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular
Waterproof Lining Gore-Tex Gore-Tex Gore-Tex membrane Gore-Tex Extended Comfort OutDry
Flood Level 4.25 in 3 in 3.25 in 3.5 in 4.25 in
Last Board/Shank Not specified Not specified ADV-C chassis Nylon Not specified
Midsole FloatPro foam Compressed EVA EnergyCell EVA Techlite+
Outsole Vibram EcoDura rubber Vibram MegaGrip Contagrip MA rubber Pomoca MTN trainer Lite Omni-Grip rubber

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.

Performance Comparison


merrell moab speed low hiking shoes review - the merrell moab speed low is a comfortable and lightweight hiking...
The Merrell Moab Speed Low is a comfortable and lightweight hiking shoe.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Comfort


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.

merrell moab speed low hiking shoes review - thick cushioning around the tongue and collar add to the comfort of...
Thick cushioning around the tongue and collar add to the comfort of the Moab Speed Low.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Support


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.

merrell moab speed low hiking shoes review - a thick outsole provides decent support, but we found that they have...
A thick outsole provides decent support, but we found that they have a lot of lateral rocking which increased our ankle roll scares.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Traction


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.

merrell moab speed low hiking shoes review - the unique tiered lugs increase contact with the ground and improve...
The unique tiered lugs increase contact with the ground and improve traction.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Weight


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.

merrell moab speed low hiking shoes review - at just over 1.5 pounds, the merrell moab speed low is the lightest...
At just over 1.5 pounds, the Merrell Moab Speed Low is the lightest pair in the category.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Water Resistance


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.

merrell moab speed low hiking shoes review - our pair was not waterproof, so splashing through puddles was a...
Our pair was not waterproof, so splashing through puddles was a mistake, but there is a Gore-Tex version of this shoe.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Durability


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.

merrell moab speed low hiking shoes review - the seams and seals of the moab speed low seem tight for now.
The seams and seals of the Moab Speed Low seem tight for now.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

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.

merrell moab speed low hiking shoes review - the combination of traction and light weight makes the moab speed...
The combination of traction and light weight makes the Moab Speed Low a decent option for hiking and trail runs.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

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 60 OutDry.

merrell moab speed low hiking shoes review - we found the fit to be a little sloppy, but if it works for you...
We found the fit to be a little sloppy, but if it works for you, this shoe has other solid features that make it worth a look.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Ben Applebaum-Bauch
 
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