I finally admitted that Summer had actually happened about six weeks ago and decided that my walking boots really could do with replacing. They were getting a bit warm for the weather and when they actually started falling to pieces I had no choice but to shell out some of my hard-earned on some new footwear.
The walking shoes I chose were a pair of Merrell MOAB GTX Belugas, which is a bit of a mouthful but they seemed pretty comfortable in the shop and a lot lighter than the boots I’d been wearing up until that point.
Before I tell you how they performed for me here’s the basic stuff you need to know:
- They are predominantly grey and black externally with orange insoles. That for me is fine as I’m not one for bright coloured gear, I know some people like in-your-face kit and that’s fine but personally I feel anything the same colour as dust is a good choice.
- The insoles are as you’d expect removable, firm and supportive. Honestly I thought they might be too firm when I bought them but having walked a long way in these shoes I find their firmness just what’s needed.
- Lacing with the supplied laces makes for a comfortable fit that’s easy to put on and remove. So far there’s no sign of wear on the laces either.
- The Merrell blurb tells me that these trainers have a “Vibram” sole, Gore-Tex and are breathable. They also have a bellows tongue to help keep out grit which I find works really well.
- The Merrell MOAB GTX Beluga is available in UK men’s sizes 6.5 to 14 and weighs 340g.
- Retail price is around £115, though shop around as they are advertised online a lot cheaper.
Of course what you want to know is what “Vibram Soles”, Gore-Tex and the rest mean to you when you wear the Merrell MOAB GTX Belugas in the field.
After having walked well over 200km in them I feel I can safely say I’m impressed. The firm insole works with the shoe construction to cushion and support on any surface I’ve encountered. On hard surfaces such as concrete or asphalt they feel like any sturdy pair of trainers but really come into their own when things start getting rough. Hopping across gritstone gives you a feeling of confidence, perfect for me when I’m hanging around above a precipice trying to get a picture of a climber. On uneven ground I like the balance between feeling the rock under my feet and the support the Merrell MOAB GTX Belugas provide.
When you do slip, say on a scree slope or steep gravel path they grab as soon as they find a stable surface. Even my nemesis, wet, polished limestone seems less daunting with these shoes, though I still approach them with the appropriate degree of respect.
I think one of the most telling facts is that I have to stop myself putting these trainers on when I’m not walking because I feel so at home in them. I have to consciously remember to put on my Sketchers when I don’t have a hill to climb.
Disclosure – This product was purchased by us, Click here for more information about reviews