Reviews You Can Rely On

Merrell Moab Speed Low Review

These lightweight hiking shoes are a good option when ounces are a top priority
Merrell Moab Speed Low
Credit: Merrell
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $130 List | Check Price at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Super lightweight, good traction, durable
Cons:  Sloppy fit, not good for narrow feet, unstable feel
Manufacturer:   Merrell
By Ben Applebaum-Bauch ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 16, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 16
  • Comfort - 25% 6.0
  • Weight - 25% 10.0
  • Support - 15% 4.0
  • Traction - 15% 7.0
  • Versatility - 10% 7.0
  • Water Resistance - 5% 1.0
  • Durability - 5% 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.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$149.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$96.93 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$113.40 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
Check Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
68
80
75
74
64
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Super lightweight, good traction, durableExcellent performance, lightweight, great traction, water resistance, supportSecure fit, strong traction, stabilitySupportive, versatile, well-cushionedLightweight, breathable, great dry traction, inexpensive
Cons Sloppy fit, not good for narrow feet, unstable feelCuff can be uncomfortable on ankle for some, Quicklace lacing not everyone's favoriteNarrow, tongue absorbs waterAverage traction, regular width is relatively wide, hard to lace tightlyDurability concerns, not good for wet weather
Bottom Line These lightweight hiking shoes are a good option when ounces are a top priorityThis is a rugged hiking shoe that can do everything from day hikes to tackling long multiday backpacking tripsThis comfortable and waterproof shoe has solid traction and a narrow fitA comfortable and versatile pair of hiking shoes with a casual look great for taking from trail to townA budget-friendly hiking shoe that is a perfect choice for those hiking in dry climates
Rating Categories Merrell Moab Speed Low Salomon X Ultra 4 G... Salomon OUTline Low... Columbia Facet 60 O... Vasque Juxt
Comfort (25%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
Weight (25%)
10.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
Support (15%)
4.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
Traction (15%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
Versatility (10%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
Water Resistance (5%)
1
8.0
7.0
5.0
1
Durability (5%)
7.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
6.0
Specs Merrell Moab Speed Low Salomon X Ultra 4 G... Salomon OUTline Low... Columbia Facet 60 O... Vasque Juxt
Weight (per pair) 1.56 lbs (size 10.5) 1.76 lbs (size 11) 1.62 lbs (size 10.5) 1.78 lbs (size 10.5) 1.90 lbs (size 11)
Upper Mesh, TPU Synthetic, textile Waterproof textile Seamless mesh Suede leather
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular, wide
Waterproof Lining Gore-Tex Gore-Tex membrane Gore-Tex OutDry None, just a gusseted tongue
Flood Level 4.25 in 3.25 in 4.25 in 4.25 in 2.5 in
Last Board/Shank Not specified ADV-C chassis TPU arch shank Not specified Torsion stability TSS
Midsole FloatPro foam EnergyCell Injected EVA Techlite+ EVA
Outsole Vibram EcoDura rubber Contagrip MA rubber Nonmarking Contagrip rubber Omni-Grip rubber Vasque OTG

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 - 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 - 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

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 - 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

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 - 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 - 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

Versatility


We aren't blown away by the versatility of the Moab Speed, mainly owing to the support issues outlined above. However, the robust lugs suggest these shoes are built for hiking, and their light weight makes them suitable for trail runs as well. They definitely look the part of a pair of hiking footwear, so they also don't have any aesthetic cross-over to speak of.

Merrell Moab Speed Low hiking shoes - 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

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 - 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 - 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 Merrell 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 GTX. It's just a nudge heavier but, in our experience, more comfortable. If you want a lightweight shoe with additional support, we recommend the Salomon X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex or the Columbia Facet 60 OutDry.

Merrell Moab Speed Low hiking shoes - 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
You Might Also Like

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More