This is my confession. My previous pair of hiking shoes were heavy and stiff. I used them only for hiking. When I do my trail runs, I put on my running shoes, even though deep inside I know my running shoes would wear out faster than they would if I used them only for flat surfaces. I wondered if there are any shoes out there that allow me to do both hiking and trail running.
When I tried on Merrell Women’s Moab FST Mid Waterproof, I knew they would give me a different kind of experience from my previous hiking shoes. I knew they would be an awesome pair of shoes.
I brought the Moab FST Mid Waterproof for a hike at Macritchie Reservoir, straight out of the box, without breaking in. The shoes fit me well at the sides, with extra room at the toe box. The midsole of the shoes is extremely comfortable, lightweight and not stiff, thanks to the FIT.ECO blended EVA footbed as well as moulded nylon arch shank.
Feeling light, I was tempted to try trail running with these shoes. I ran with them and they did not disappoint! They were so light and flexible that I felt very much as if I was slipping into my usual running shoes. Now I can trek, hike and trail run with my awesome trail companions! Furthermore, my fabulous companions protect my feet from getting wet, because they are waterproof. I can’t wait to bring them out to more trails and mountains.
Features and Benefits
The Vibram® MegaGrip technology at the outsoles allows me to have great traction on any terrain: soil, gravels, stones, timber boardwalks, dry or wet.
When walking on huge and uneven gravel, however, my legs could feel the gravel beneath. I guess it is a trade off between flexibility and stiffness. The soles of the shoes give me comfort and flexibility while reducing stiffness required on rocky terrains.
The laces are pretty easy to tie and untie. It is recommended to double tie the laces to prevent them from untying themselves in the middle of a run or hike.
The mesh lining provides breathability despite the presence of a waterproof membrane. After a couple hours of trail time, I could notice a slight amount of heat generated, though.
Throughout the time I was wearing these shoes, my ankles were well supported. I didn’t have to worry about spraining my ankle while hopping from one uneven terrain to another. The mid-height shaft also prevented debris and dirt from entering the into the inside of the shoes.
As I wore the shoes out of the box, I could feel the pain at the heel collar. However, the pain subsided on subsequent uses.
I did a waterproof test by submerging them in the water. I was pleasantly surprised. During the first stage of the test, I submerged them into water up to 5 webbing loops (the straps which the lace runs through) and the result was astonishing: water didn’t seep through the mesh and my feet stayed completely dry.
During the second stage of the test, I further submerged them until the water reached the lace hook near top of the tongue, and within seconds my socks got wet. The waterproof membrane actually seals the tongue and the upper up to 5 webbing loops only; beyond that, water seeps through the gap between tongue and upper.
At the end of the long day, I took off my shoes and didn’t find any blisters. I checked the outsoles and found, well, 2 pieces of tiny gravel were trapped in the lug indents that are shallow and narrow. I can live with that.
- They are very lightweight, thus making them great for day hiking and trail running.
- The midsole is extremely comfortable and flexible.
- For the price of US$140, they offer great value for a pair of waterproof mid-height hiking shoes.
- You don’t need to worry about crossing shallow water streams during your trail adventure, the waterproof membrane will take care of it.
- There is only one choice of color: Granite, if you wish to express your feminine side, I’m sorry that you’ll be disappointed.
- If firm support is your main concern, do not use these shoes for terrains that are too rocky, because the flexible soles tend to flex on rocky terrains.
- It is recommended to break in prior to using them for hiking for the first time, otherwise one might experience the discomfort of wearing brand new shoes.
- For long runs or multi-day hiking, the ventilation is slightly compromised by the waterproof membrane.
I like the fact that Moab FST Mid are comfortable, lightweight and waterproof. I could use them to explore hiking trails and running trails without worrying about staying dry while passing through shallow water streams or muds. The Vibram® MegaGrip is the reason behind its great grip on uneven terrains.
Furthermore, the mid-height provides great support for the ankle. I would use them for day hiking and medium distance trail runs. For the price of US$ 140, this is a pretty good bargain for comfortable, mid-height, and waterproof hiking shoes.
The Merrell MOAB FST collection is available at Stadium Takashimaya S.C. and all Royal Sporting House stores. (Excluding outlet stores – Bedok Mall, Cathay Cinesleisure, Changi City Point, IMM and The Star Vista) for S$179 – S$239.