Usually, items that are reviewed on websites are sent by the manufacturer or retailer and the reviewer has very little say in what he or she is reviewing. However, this review is a bit different, as I had a Zalando gift voucher to spend and wanted to choose something that I not only wanted, but that would be suitable for publication on Anglers' Net. Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy, surely?
NOPE! I had no idea quite how big the Zalando website is! The outdoor clothing section, alone, had nearly 900 items for men in it. After a couple of hours weighing up my options, I needed to sit down and think about what I really needed in my life. That's when it dawned on me; I spend a lot of time outside. Fishing, walking the dog, out and about in my Land Rover – I simply love being outdoors. However, I've never had a proper pair of hiking boots. You know the sort I mean; the ones that look like trainers. Decision made!
After searching around, I found a pair I liked the look of – Merrell MOAB Mid Waterproof Hiking Shoes, a name that just rolls off the tongue...NOT! First thing I did was Google them, to find that soldiers in Afghanistan were singing their praises. They were actually using them instead of their issue kit and yes, it does rain out there. Not a bad recommendation at all. However, to get an even more valid appraisal, I sent a message to my nerdy IT mate, Glenn, who likes to go walking a bit. He informed me that his wife was over the moon with her Merrell hiking boots, especially as she'd gone straight out on a hike with them, without any time to break them in, and they were extremely comfortable. See, you probably thought I was daft, asking nerdy mates, but a tough soldier on the front line would never have admitted to having a little blister, whereas my mate would have!
Ordering was a breeze, delivery was free, and my new shoes turned up in good condition, looking exactly as they did on the website. The pictures there are extremely good, so I knew exactly what to expect. I liked the look of them on the site and was glad that I'd chosen them. I usually go for black, but these are brown. I figured that not only would it be good to try a different colour for a change, but they might also not look so bad when I got them filthy.
My dog thought it was Christmas, as I slipped the new footwear straight on and took my 'walkies coat' off the hanger. Wahay! A bonus walk! It wasn't a massive walk, about five miles, but it was a combination of road and muddy fields, so the shoes got a good testing. They felt snug when I first put them on and I was a bit concerned that I might have needed a larger size, but they soon felt perfect and I assume that decent walking shoes do need to be reasonably close-fitting, as friction inside the boot is something you don't want.
The main attraction for me with regards to the Merrell MOAB boots, as well as their looks, was the fact that they are waterproof. I like wearing trainers. In fact, I have destroyed many a designer pair when fishing. However, the down side is that not only can they become wet and uncomfortable even if they are just used on wet grass, but they also tend to stink afterwards. Not only are these boots waterproof, but they are also breathable, meaning that you don't get wet and your feet don't get sweaty; no wet feet and no pong, either.
I do like to wear trainers when beach fishing, but haven't tried these in a salty environment yet, though. My plan is to wear them as usual, but give them a wipe with a damp cloth, like I do with my rods after I've been sea fishing. I'll draw the line at giving them a good hosing down with my reels – that might be pushing 'waterproof' to the extreme!
I've had these Merrell MOAB Mid Waterproof Hiking Shoes a couple of weeks now and have used them constantly. I can honestly say that I am over the moon with my choice. They are excellent for fishing, offering good grip and the benefit of being waterproof, but also look pretty cool with a pair of jeans when I'm out and about. They are as comfortable as can be, too, which is important to me. Although more pricey than my normal footwear, the benefits they offer and their versatility make them good value for money.
The Merrell MOAB Mid Waterproof Hiking Shoes were £84.95 on the Zalando and, when I looked around, that seemed like a good price, especially when you took into account the free UK shipping. CLICK HERE to check the current price and availability.