Top positive review
13 people found this helpful
Adequate for some uses
on January 21, 2016
I purchased a pair of these boots when on sale as a potential replacement for my aging (nine year old) North Face Baltoros, which are no longer manufactured. While the Moabs are in some ways very good boots, and certainly up to a number of wintertime needs, they are not in the same league as the Baltoros. Those looking for a full-fledged winter boot suitable for a day of work or play in very cold temperatures and/or snow more than a couple of inches deep will want to look further.
Fit and finish. These appear (as expected from Merrell) very well made. They fit my somewhat narrow feet very well and comfortably although, as some others have noted, they seem to run a little small. I bought a half size larger than I usually wear and they fit perfectly. They go on and come off easily, and there was hardly any break-in period. I've worn them on all-day hikes and showshoeing trips, and no complaint with comfort.
Warmth. Seems OK for casual use. These claim 400 gm of insulation (same as the Baltoros) but head-to-head (same temperature, same trail, same socks) they are noticeably colder. They are adequate for working around the property when I can come inside from time to time, and certainly much warmer than summer boots, but definitely not best in class.
Water resistance. The claim of "waterproof" seems to be a tad exaggerated. Walking through rain, snow, or a slushy parking lot, they're fine. On a couple of occasions when I stepped through thin ice into a inch or so of water, however, I knew it immediately. The water didn't come gushing in, but I could certainly tell I didn't want to stand there very long.
Traction. These have Merrell's "Ice Grip" sole. It's softer and stickier than a summer boot, and one definitely notices the difference, but other soles out there (The North Face's in particular) are better still. I wouldn't wear these boots without an additional traction aid if I expected ice.
Height. The Moabs extend an inch or so above my ankle. Many other winter boots are two or three inches higher. Which is "better" is a matter of personal preference and intended usage; just be aware that these are fairly short as winter boots go.
In writing this review, I debated between assigning three stars or four. I ultimately settled on four stars because with the right expectations (causal use around town, not absurdly cold, not walking through deep snow, water, or on ice) these could be very good or even excellent boots. If you're looking for a boot that will stand up to more demanding tasks, however, you will want to look further.