Back in September, I was on the lookout for a pair of women's walking shoes that would hold up against the various phases of Irish weather. I wanted something that would cover all bases without being too big and obvious like a classic hiking boot might be. In the end, I decided to go with Merrell’s Moab Speed hiking shoes because of their great reputation for comfort. I liked the understated nature of their appearance, they can easily pass as everyday trainers but with far more reliability. As someone who spends a lot of time around rocks and rocky terrain, I’m also a sucker for anything that has a decent toe rand around the top. Below I talk about my experience so far with the shoes and how well they’ve performed for me!
Gortex Waterproof membrane.
Toe cap/rand for added protection against abrasion.
Vibram Rubber Sole for premium grip and stability on rocky terrain.
Best suited for hiking.
As lovers of nature and outdoor pursuits, sustainability has become an increasingly important factor when choosing our next piece of kit. We want to know that when we are not only investing in technical quality but that we are also supporting businesses that share our passion for the outdoors and are working to preserve it. Merrell has made an effort to incorporate sustainable materials into the Moab Speed model. The laces and breathable mesh lining are made from 100% recycled fabrics while the foam insole and Vibram rubber sole are made with between 30-50% recycled materials.
I have been wearing the Women’s Moab Speed hiking shoe from Merrell for the last 8 months now and I have to say I have been wildly impressed by their comfort and durability.
The Moab Speed is a lightweight walking shoe best suited for tracks and trails, suitable for all seasons though particularly good as a breathable hiking shoe over the summer months. They are best known for their comfort and generous cushioning right out of the box. This pair have marched with me all over Ireland and further afield, from Cork city commuting to muddy forest trails and on to explore the many wonders of Killarney’s surroundings. Naturally, any shoe we buy here in Ireland has to live up to a high standard of waterproofing. Having splashed through my fair share of wet Munster weather, I can say that my feet were probably the only part of me that managed to stay dry! Fair warning though, these are not high-top boots and if you do go wading through deep puddles you will run the risk of flooding from the top in, Gortex is brilliant, but it’s not magic!
Most recently, I tested my Merrells out in the dusty heat of southern Spain’s El Chorro hills whilst on a rock-climbing holiday in April. They really came into their own here as my normal Scarpa Trek leather boots would have been far too warm in this climate. Over the time that we were out there, these shoes were really tested to the limit of fair usage… Aside from the expected hike-ins and climbing approaches up to the steep limestone cliffs, the pair successfully scaled the iron rungs and steel cables of the famous Via Ferrata route close to the stunning Caminito Del Rey (a must-visit day trip for anyone planning to explore the Andalucia region near Malaga!).
This is definitely a shoe with a wider fit so it may not suit everyone, but if you’re like me and wear a larger personal insole, these shoes are worth investing in. The comfort offered by the thick cushioned sole is noticeable from the moment you put them on. Having hiked quite the mix of terrain, particularly across Spain, I can certainly see how these Merrell Moab Speed walking shoes would be the perfect lightweight and durable Camino companion.
By AnnaMai McDermott