Finding the Perfect Hiking Boot. Moab Merrell Hiking Boots: From Box to Trail, an Instant Best Friend
All photos were taken by Justin Fricke while hiking Grandeur peak. Typically I would not recommend breaking in a pair of shoes on a steep/longer hike, but I always luck out with the Merrell Moab's. I bought 2-3 pairs of the Moab boots and shoes before becoming a Merrell ambassador. While I do receive compensation from Merrell, the Moab's have been my favorite pairs of hiking shoes for years.
I remember my first time purchasing a pair of hiking boots several years ago. I shrunk or a size or two in the shadow of the tall wall of boots before an older man in a green vest came up to offer guidance. It seemed like all the other customers in the store could probably tell that I didn’t belong on the trail. After being told that I would need to wear the boots for several weeks to break them in before backpacking, I walked out of the store with one of my first real gear purchases: a pair of heavy, stiff, all leather hiking boots. The surprise? Even after years of determination, they were never quite the right fit for me.
These days I have my hiking and backing shoe preference pretty dialed in. Even before working as a Merrell ambassador, I found the Merrell Moab’s to be my favorite trail shoe. My old, beat up, Moab hiking boots and shoes are perfectly worn in for my footbed and gait. Hiking with a shoe straight from the box on a steep 5.5 mile hike with Huck on my back didn’t seem like a good idea. But I did it anyway.
The results? Anticlimactic. Which really, is pretty great. In fact, I totally forgot that I was wearing a new pair of shoes. My feet felt right at home. Sure, the tread was probably better than my old beat up pair, but after a few minutes of hiking, they looked just as dusty as the pair I have at home. Even with a heavy pack (45 lbs) up a steep climb, my feet were free of blisters, hotspots, or aching toenails in the shoes on their first hike.
For where I’m at with my hiking goals for the summer, I need a shoe that is easy to break in, has plenty of grip and support, is breathable, sturdy, lightweight, durable, and comfortable for long trips. The Moab boots have been the perfect shoe for every scenario I’ve used them (backpacking, steep hikes, long hikes, scrambling up a ridge). This weekend I was grateful that the Moab’s ALSO do great straight out of the box on a steep trail with a toddler on my back.
Next time you find yourself needing a new pair of shoes, don't be that 2008 version of Brooke, feeling overly intimidated. Have an idea of what type of terrain you're hoping to explore, do some reviews/price comparison research, and remember that you belong on the trail just as much as anybody else.