Merrell Moab Speed 2 Mid GTX Review

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Paul’s Merrell Moab Speed 2 Mid GTX review explores a new multi-purpose shoe inspired by Merrell’s best selling Moab boot.  We really hope you find it useful.

Introduction

Merrell is an extremely popular American outdoor and leisure focussed footwear brand.  The company was established in 1981 when two Rossignol ski company executives, Clark Matis and John Schweizer, decided to launch a new hiking boot brand. Since 1997 the company has been wholly owned by shoe industry giant Wolverine World Wide. Merrell has always focussed on producing high performance outdoor and leisure footwear and their broad range incorporates boots, shoes, sandals and aqua shoes.  

The Moab Speed 2 Mid GTX is a brand new model forming part of the Moab range.  The Moab collection encompasses a broad range of models and has been around for 15 years.  It includes everything from hiking boots to lifestyle and insulated options and incorporates the advanced materials and construction methods we would all expect from high end footwear.

I was delighted to test a pre-release pair of this new model and share my findings. I have only had a short time to test this product and will update the review with any relevant information as I use them more. Even so, I feel confident that I can comment on many aspects of the shoe. Please do read my Merrell Moab Speed 2 Mid GTX Review to find out more.

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Features

The Moab Range

Merrell say the Moab Speed 2 Mid GTX pairs the knowledge gained from their best selling Moab hiking boot with the popular move to multi-use athletic hikers. There are many models in the range.

Upper Materials

The shoes feature a nylon ripstop and TPU upper which is combined with an abrasion resistant synthetic heel and toe cap.  A Gore Tex waterproof membrane offers a breathable and waterproof barrier and the padded ankle collar offers comfort and support. A bellows padded tongue provides weatherproofing and keeps out trail debris and the shoes fasten with laces which run through recycled webbing loops.

Sole Units

The sole unit pairs Merrell’s FloatPro Foam midsole with a Vibram TC5+ outsole.  This lugged sole unit, created exclusively for Merrell, is designed to provide the broad traction range needed for multi-sport activities.

A lightweight FlexPlate provides underfoot support and protection as well as, say Merrell, torsional rigidity, lateral stability, and forefoot flexibility.  The literature says they offer 30% more underfoot foam then other speed models.    The shoes are Cleansport NXT treated for natural odor control 

Lacing & Stats

The shoes feature dual heel and tongue loops to aid ease of entry as well as providing carrying and clipping in options.  The Speed 2 Mids have a 10mm drop and 4mm lugs. Their stack height is 34-24mm. Merrell describe the fit width as medium.

Other Details

The colour provided for review is an orange option called clay.  They are also available in a brown colour called rye, a grey (asphalt) and black. The shoes are vegan friendly and a half pair weight is given as 400grams (also no information is given on which size this relates too).  The retail price is £155. 

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In Use

Striking Design

The Speed 2 Mid’s have a striking design, especially in the orange (clay) option supplied.  This isn’t a criticism and I really like the styling.  I imagine, if you are choosing them, you would too.  If orange isn’t your thing there are the subtler grey (asphalt) or black options available. Merrell have done a great job of combining the main body with the black toe box/heel cup and midsole.  There is also the flash of yellow in the sole arch.

Light Weight

The next thing you’ll notice, as you pick them up, is their light weight.  They look quite substantial, but they feel featherweight in the hand.  Despite that,  they look tough enough for demanding adventures.  The toe box is well protected and the sole looks like it will cope well with tough terrain.

Comfort

Common to lots of modern footwear, on first try the Speed 2’s felt very comfortable.  I’d asked for my normal shoe size of 42 (UK 8) and this felt just right with a normal sock. They were snug, but with some room in the toe box to avoid toe banging descents.  I have what I would describe as medium width feet and the shoes offer plenty of width without being loose.  I also really like footwear that includes heel and tongue loops to help pull them on. 

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Lacing

The tongue is well padded and lacing up is simple.  They have low profile fabric loops to secure the laces across the foot.  Then, a further recessed fabric loop is stitched into the heel to help lock your foot securely.  Finally, a final row of metal hooks secures the shoes at the ankle.  It is a fairly traditional set up, but that’s by no means a criticism.  Manufacturers have used this system for many years because it works really well. I feel no heel lift when they are laced up.

I have tried the shoes on a variety of surfaces and the insole, midsole and outsole combination has offered excellent underfoot comfort.  They feel bouncy on the trail, but I mean that in a positive way. Merrell have a long history of producing trail ready footwear and so it isn’t a surprise these feel supportive and yet ready to soak up the miles. I have also tested them across slopes and they offer very good lateral support.  The advantage of the mid height cuff is increased ankle support and you can feel this in use.  

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Traction

The Vibram TC5+ outsole offers really good traction on every surface I have tried.  This has included wet rock, grass, mud and loose stone surfaces.  The aggressive tread pattern combines well with the 4mm lugs to give trail confidence.  I do favour a pronounced heel edge for UK terrain.  The Speed 2’s don’t have this as such, but do have a stepped recess that serves well.  

A couple of other comfort and support things of note.  The padded ankle cuff offers a very comfortable ride.   Merrell have struck just the right balance here.  They have also hit the sweet spot with the amount of padding in the tongue.

Weatherproofing

To test waterproofing I took the Speed 2’s for a paddle in Loch Morlich (near Aviemore).  The water beaded exceptionally well on the nylon ripstop upper.  If water does get past that the addition of a GoreTex membrane should easily keep moisture at bay.  Over time the Durable Water Repellant (DWR) surface coating will inevitably lose effectiveness, but like any synthetic fabric it is important to periodically re-apply a suitable treatment.  We use Nikwax Fabric and Leather Proof for these type of products.  Details on that are here.

Sustainability

Merrell have detailed plans to improve the sustainability of their products.  Their website details this here. The Speed 2 Mids feature various recycled content.  Merrell list this as 100% recycled laces and webbing, 100% recycled breathable mesh lining, 100% recycled mesh footbed cover and 50% recycled removable EVA foam footbed.

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Summary

Our Merrell Moab Speed 2 Mid GTX Review shares my initial impressions on the styling, fit and performance of this new product.  I’ve been really impressed in every aspect.  Merrell have produced a distinctive and capable shoe that offers multi-use capability.  If your adventures take you in a variety of directions, this shoe offers a great option.     

What I can’t yet say too much about at this point is the durability of the Speed 2’s.  I have every expectation they will deliver on this too, but certainly I will report further after more use over the approaching spring and summer season.  At £155, I also think Merrell have offered a lot for the money.  Full details on this shoe, and all the Merrell range, are available on their website here.

This Merrell Moab Speed 2 Mid GTX Review is the first Merrell product we have tested for our website, although we have used other Merrell offerings in the past.  We look forward to trying others in the future.  However, we have a broad range of other product reviews and all are available on our reviews page here.  Our blog section also contains lots of advice and inspiration articles that we hope are of interest.  You can find them all here.