Written by Phil Brown, Bushcraft Instructor Thursday, 21 November 2013 16:23
Anyone that follows our Bushcraft Blog will be aware of some of the previous articles we have written about footwear, boot and trainer reviews plus also bushcraft boot maintenance and cleaning. In this article we will be look at the Merrell Moab Mid Gore-Tex boot purchased from Nightgear.
I’m a big fan of comfortable footwear including boots, trainers, casual footwear and socks. Being comfortable in the woods, at the seashore, in the mountains or across the fields is essential at all times of year and in all weather conditions.
Is there one boot to keep you comfy and dry all year round, in my honest opinion, no there is not nor has there been. Generally speaking I personally have always got many pairs of footwear on the go at once and for good reason.
For example with recent high winds here in Kent we’ve had to undertake some tree work to our sites, therefore my Stein chainsaw boots have taken a recent pounding being covered in mud, chain oil and woodchips.
Daily work boots vary, the boots I wear at our woodland sites aren’t the same as the ones I wear when we are teaching in schools. Therefore sat behind me in various states of drying out and cleanliness are seven pairs of footwear that include:-
- Aigle Wellingtons
- Danner Pronghorns
- Danner TFXs
- Stein Chainsaw Boots
- Danner Fort Lewis High Legs
- Danner Grouse
- Salomon XA3D Ultra 2 Trainers
Well actually there are eight pairs of footwear as I’ve missed out our recent purchase of a pair of Merrell Moab Mid GTX boots in the rather smart Beluga colour which we bought from the excellent retailer Nightgear.
Some years ago I was part of the support team for a group of young people that traversed the Vecors Plateau. I had plenty of time to explore the flora and fauna and throw in climbing Le Grand Veymont at 2,341 m and I did this in a pair of very flimsy approach shoes. Since then I have valued the need for a mid-height boot/trainer hybrid, something lightweight and waterproof that also provides some good ankle support. This led to a series of emails with our friends at Nightgear and the purchase of the Merrell Moab Mid GTX boots.
I’ve been a big fan of Gore-Tex, and other membranes, in my footwear ever since I got my paws, excuse the pun, on my very first pair of Lowa GTX Mountain Boots. My feet remain dry and don’t sweat, of course correct sock selection is of paramount importance here and I virtually only ever wear sock with high Merino wool content all year round. I was interested to see that the Merrell Moab Mid GTX came with Aegis® antimicrobial-treated GORE-TEX® lining for both comfort and hygiene.
So what do I think of the Moab boots? First off they are very comfortable with a quality anatomical footbed and air cushion in the heel. The height of the boot offers a good deal of ankle support whilst not feeling like a boot – I think this is as much to do with the comfort and to the exceptional lightness of the boot. More on weight a little later in the blog.
I also love the Beluga colour scheme – subtle enough to be worn in the woods and smart enough to be worn when teaching in schools.
I like the little things when it comes to design and on the Moab Mids this includes the top speed lace fastener and the substantial pull tab at the back of the boot.
Vibram soles have a reputation for both being a quality product and also doing the business and the Moab’s Vibram® Multi-Sport Sole in TC5+ rubber is no exception being both comfortable and providing excellent traction.
So getting back to the issue of weight I have to be honest and say I was exceptionally surprised and pleased with how light these boots were, I compared them with the nearest footwear comparisons at either end of the Moab’s hybrid design from my existing footwear. These included Salomon XA3D Ultra 2 Trainers and Danner TFXs.
The weight per boot is as follows:-
Merrell Moab Mid GTX 514g
Salomon XA3D Ultra 2 Trainers 452g
Danner TFXs 814g
I was surprised at the slight gain of only 62g between the Merrells and the Salomons considering the difference in the height and support of the two. Don’t get me wrong the Salomons are a cracking bit of kit but I thought they would have been a lot lighter.
I was quite shocked at the difference of 362g between the Merrells and the Danner TFXs. I appreciate that they are two very different “animals” but I’d always thought of the TFX boot as being very light on my feet. 362g on each foot over the course of a day is considerable calorific and energy level difference I’m looking forward to exploring!
It will be interesting to see how I fare with the Moabs over time but I think that our initial trials, which have given exceptionally positive results, mean that these boots will be both very practical and hardwearing. By nature of our work and the long hours our boots do take a hammering but I do look after all our footwear, I even parade glossed my chainsaw boots as somebody commented how filthy they were the other day!
Do have a look on the Nightgear website as they carry an extensive range of stock and we’re delighted to recommend them as their service is excellent from ease of ordering, prompt dispatch, packaging and invoicing. We’ll be sure to reviewing more of their items in the near future here on the Badger Bushcraft Blog.