Back last September I wrote a post (see here) about some of the footwear I have had over the last few years. I mentioned I have largely stuck with Hi-Tec. I have found the Hi-Tec footwear to be durable, long lasting and excellent value for money. With the local Hi-Tec outlet having closed and local outdoor stores having limited range, and not in my size, I had to go for a different brand. So I went for a pair of Merrell Moab Ventilator. I said I would allow some time before doing a proper review, so 8+ months on how have they performed compared to my Hi-Tec Altitude?
I have a pair of Altitude trainers which I have been using since the start of 2017 and Hillside boots which I have had since 2016 (more on these in the next post). I have had two pairs of Altitudes. If I find footwear I like I tend to keep going back to it. These are durable, waterproof and proven to be well made and long lasting with good grip. Comfort is good with the only down point being they do get hot in the summer months but good all round use. You can see from the picture below that cosmetically they still looks good, nothing warn through and despite the soles are worn still have life left in them. The laces have been replaced but that is it. This pair have been in sea water, river water, mud, sand, heat, cold, etc. That is 8 months of solid use and a further 8 months of on-off use. Typically I find they do last a year or more of continuous use.
The Merrell Moab Ventilator I found to be a good pair of trainers. Grip is good on most surfaces and in most conditions. They are airy; typically I use these style for the summer to help keep my feet cool and dry but even during the winter months I have continued to wear them and they still keep my feet warm and dry. Despite having mesh they remain warm in winter and cool in the summer. As for comfort they are some of the most comfortable I have worn in a long time, I would say on a par with the Hi-Tec Trailblazer. Even after 8 months they remain comfortable. They have been used for walks and everyday use, but after 8 months the soles are fairly worn along with the inside worn through too. I would say within the next month they will be worn out. Like most footware the laces were the first thing to wear out.
So for a quick summary of each:
Comfort: I have had more comfortable footwear so not the best I have had but good enough that I have used every day.
Durability: I have been using the Hi-Tec Altitude for more than 16 months (8 continuous and 8 on and off) through sun, sand, sea, mud and more. They still have life left in them so very durable.
Value for money: Excellent, I don't recall exact cost but around £30 (January sales).
Merrell Moab Ventilator
Comfort: One of the most comfortable pairs I have ever owned.
Durability: I have been using these for 8+ months in the same conditions as the Altitudes, but are now end of life wearing through outside and inside.
Value for money: Poor, cost was £68 and have lasted a fraction of the time.
Putting it all together for long lasting the Altitudes win hands down, are cheaper and longer lasting. The soles are worn but still have life left in them, the inner are not worn through and are waterproof. The Moab with comfort and keeping feet aired and free from sweat win.
My Altitudes are going to carry on being used in 2018 and I will review them again later in the year. The Moab are now more-or-less end of life which surprises me after only 8 months. Other people have told me theirs have lasted in excess of a year. Am I using mine more than they are? Are mine faulty? Am I using them in different conditions? Afraid I do not know but based on mine lasting a shorter period of time that raises the final point, price. The Altitudes were around £30, the Moab I paid £68, admittedly both were discounted prices. The cheaper ones are lasting considerably longer and are thus more economical. The question is, is the extra worth it to keep my feet sweat free and more comfortable? Assuming a new pair of Moab lasts the same time, that is £136 for two Moabs compared to one pair of Altitudes at £30. So looking at this, afraid the £100 extra simply isn't viable.
What next? Find out in a month with the next write-up.