Merrell – Moab Gore-Tex Beluga

Like a moggy drooling over catnip, there are four smells that I just can’t get enough of: freshly-struck matches, petrol (not at the same time, m’lud), new cars and brand new trainers.


merrel moab

Knowing this already, it still came as something of a surprise when Mrs Muz came home from work one day to find me with my overly-generous nose firmly embedded inside one of these Merrells. I was also wearing one of her flowery bras and wellies, but that was easily explained away. I think.

I asked if she wanted to breathe in the delights of the other shoe but she politely declined and went to visit her parents instead, insisting the tears were just hayfever.

But that’s by-the-by.

Since getting my hands on my first ever pair of approach shoes a couple of years ago, I’ve rarely found myself in anything else. I love them.

Having shockingly mistreated my original beloved pair of Brashers (they’re now living out their twilight years as gardening/decorating/slobbing shoes) I’m now on my second identical pair, so these Merrells have a lot to live up to. They’ve got big shoes to fill.


Get it?


Big shoes to fill…?

Oh, whatever.

If you’ve read my review of Merrell’s Chameleon walking boots here you’ll have spotted that I’m not barmy about a couple of the design elements, namely the rounded blunt toe and the numerous fiddly cut-out mesh vents. And nothing has really changed with these. Although I do like them, they’re just not quite to my taste.

But that’s where my minor gripes end. These are easily as good as my Brashers.

Featuring everything you’d expect from a £110 (RRP) pair of hiking shoes, these ooze quality. There’s the gnarly – and very grippy – Vibram sole, a toughened rubberised heel – and toe – to withstand lazy kick-offs, a chunky tongue to keep crap out, and special stuff for keeping pongs at bay. The stitching is nice and strong and the fit is snug without being constrictive. Nice.

merrell moab soleFor a full spec list and clichés about Mother Nature and work vs play, have a look here

But, of course, it’s the  GORE-TEX® lining that really makes the Moabs what they are. Whether you’re trudging through mountain streams or kicking a sopping wet burst football hundreds of times (literally) for a slobbery and enthusiastic SamTheDog, your little piggies will stay bone dry.

Having trekked across building sites, picked their way through lethal brambles and been attacked by my cat, my Moabs have received something of a battering over the last six weeks and although they’re now looking a bit scruffy the construction is as good as new and the GORE-TEX® is still doing its job admirably. Some people say that waterproofing material makes your feet hot but that certainly hasn’t been an issue for me and there are no evil smells, even though that sexy whiff of newness has long since gone. Sad face.

The bra, on the other hand, is now starting to itch and last night a bit of wire poked me in the nipple, but that’s something I’ll have to take up with the wife… who doesn’t spend as long at home as she used to. Odd.