Merrell Moab FST Men’s Hiking Shoes Review
I do a lot of hiking. I grew up hiking and backpacking with my family and the Boy Scouts, and lived in Alaska for a spell where we did some hardcore backpacking. My wife and I have also backpacked across Glacier National Park with a group of friends and often go hiking for fun in the Rockies with our dog. A tired dog is a happy dog.
For longer hikes and backpacking trips I use my Asolo Fugitives which I bought in 2016 to replace my 10 year old Merrell leather boots. I love my Asolos and they’ve served me extremely well, but they’re not always right for warm days and shorter hikes.
I had long wanted a pair of low top hiking shoes with good tread that I could wear on day hikes and maybe even while traveling/driving. On a trip to Anchorage last year, where my wife is from, for a long weekend fishing trip I decided to go to REI and finally have a look.
I decided to buy a pair of Merrell Moab FST hiking shoes. Since then I’ve put many miles on them including hiking in Colorado, Moab and New Zealand and even traveling for a month in Europe last fall in Barcelona, Switzerland, and Chamonix.
Here is my review, after over 100 miles and all sorts of weather.
Moab FST Overview
I wanted a relatively light yet sturdy shoe, and that’s what the Moab FST is. Their Vibram sole has an aggressive tread that lends itself to looser terrain when you need grip. They’re not super flexible and thus not great for scrambling, so I wouldn’t wear these as climbing approach shoes. Go with some Scarpas or Five Tens for that.
Across Barcelona, Switzerland, and Chamonix these were my shoe of choice for active activities mostly because I only had a pair of Vans Classics or some dressy leather boots along on the trip.
In both Switzerland and Chamonix, it was a very snowy trip. We had approximately 1 foot in 2 days in Switzerland and then 3-4 feet in Chamonix, with very cold weather. I never felt like I was going to slip, but these also were not very warm. I’d wear a pair of Smartwool ski socks underneath and my feet would be fine, but for that sort of weather I’d prioritize my Keen Durands.
So what are these great for?
Across Alaska and New Zealand, these shoes were amazing. They’re plenty light for ascents on trails (slightly heavier than my Asolo’s) though of course are markedly more low profile.
Moab FST land squarely in the middle of the price range for midweight low profile hikers. With their Vibram soles and mesh uppers, your feet can still breathe and you won’t slip. I won’t, however, promise that your feet won’t get wet if it’s raining hard. These are not waterproof and the mesh uppers mean your feet can still get wet. So maybe not the best choice for a lot of stream crossings or walking in wet terrain for a few days.
My main gripe with a lot of low profile hiking shoes like the Moab FST are that they look awful. Hiking shoes often look cheap and remind me of cheap Walmart shoes from growing up.
These are not those. These actually look decent in the grey/orange, though I wouldn’t wear them around an urban city and count on looking like anything other than a tourist who wanted stable walking shoes 😁
According to Backcountry, these are the details of the Moab FST from Merrell:
- A lightweight and breathable hiking shoe for fast-and-quick pursuits
- Breezy mesh and TPU upper make this shoe ideal for hot climates
- Bellow tongue keeps debris at bay
- EVA foam footbed features odor-resistant treatment
- Molded, nylon arch shank assures trek-long support
- Lightweight, EVA midsole and heel unit provides shock attenuation
- Vibram MegaGrip is equipped to handle the slickest of scenarios
Here are the tech specs:
- Upper Material: mesh, TPU
- Lining: mesh
- Closure: lace
- Footbed: M Select FIT ECO
- Midsole: EVA
- Sole: Vibram MegaGrip
The Moab FST weigh in at 1lb 12oz per shoe and retails for $89.99.
Does Single Geared recommend?
I really like these shoes. They’re fantastic for what they’re made for – trail hiking in places like Moab. They’ve served me extremely well and I look forward to 10 years of wearing them out just like I did with my old Merrell hiking boots!