Saturday, December 23, 2017

Product Review: Some sneakers I found at The Hulk.

I'm not a wealthy guy. I'm not a witty guy. I'm not even a charming guy.
I am however, a lucky guy. And last week I was lucky enough to find these!

I really need to shave my legs soon.

I spend a lot of my free time at our local trail system, known locally as the Hulk. 

There's a good amount of traffic coming in and out of the park. Especially on weekends, we'll get people from out of town come down and ride/run.
And last week somebody left a bunch of storage bins full of gear on the picnic tables.

Dunno who left all this.

I spent a few moments trying to figure out what all this was. After determining it had all been there overnight, I helped myself to a tube, a bottle cage and these here shoes.

Merrell Mens Moab FST Waterproof

There's a cardinal at my bird feeder. Birds make one happy.
And, as I'm typing this blog, a Merrell advert just came up in Heather's Instaface feed. The Internet is always watching.

This is a Hiking Shoe. I don't really hike. 
I have nothing against it, in fact I probably would hike if I had hiking trails nearby. 
If you wanna know about hiking, you want my buddy Seth @Chronictrips. That guy knows hiking.

So what I did to test this shoe instead was Ruck. "Rucking" is kind of a fancy term for hiking without really meaning to get to any particular destination. You put a bunch of weight in your pack, or "Ruck", and just hoof around with it. Maybe now and then you take it off and do some plyos or some shit.
Side note GORUCKS are incredible and highly recommended.

To fill up this blog a bit, here are some deets on this shoe, taken directly from Merrell's page:

• M Select™ DRY seals out water and lets moisture escape so you stay dry when you're on the move
• Leather/Mesh and TPU print upper
• Traditional lace closure
• Bellows tongue keeps debris out 
• Mesh lining
• Merrell M Select™ FIT.ECO blended EVA contoured footbed with organic odor control
• Molded nylon arch shank
• Merrell air cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability
• Vibram® MegaGrip outsole provides the best combination of stickiness and durability for sure traction on both wet and dry surfaces 
• 5 mm lug depth
• Weight: 1lb 12oz / 796g

You can see above that this shoe comes with a Merrell M Select Fit.Eco blah blah blah Foot Bed.
Well, it wasn't in there. Whoever left these had long since changed the insert out for a Sofsole. It's very squishy.
And it's weird they changed out the insert. The Shoe is in great shape, but the Sofsoles are pretty beat. I'm thinking perhaps they took the Sofsoles from an older shoe in an attempt to make the Merrell a bit more squishy. 

So squishy, like Jello under your feet.

This is sold as a waterproof shoe. Hey, I'll take it! I don't think I'd ever purchase a waterproof running sneaker, but maybe a waterproof Hiker makes sense, especially if it there's early morning dew or yesterday's rain on trail. 

God, the tread is brand new, I don't think the dude even walked around the house in these.

5mm deep Vibram tread. 

I had to take the Sofsoles out, they hurt my knees from being too damn mooshy. So instead I put in some Hoka inserts, they're just a standard issue insert from my Stinsons, nothing fancy. I also wore a standard athletic sock, nothing fancy.

What the hell is going on with the Text formatting on my blog today?  The tail in "y" and "g" keep getting nicked. Shit

So ya, took these for a quick 2.5 mile Ruck yesterday. 30# of bricks and a full 2L of H2O jammed into my Rucker. With multiple stops to pick up garbage and take photos, I avg'd 21min a mile on singletrack.

My friend Hannah gave me this cool Ruck. I'll review it when I actually use it for a GORUCK.

I rarely post data for my runs, but since I know nothing about hiking I thought some more data wouldn't hurt. I did want folks to know though, that this shoe can hike pretty quickly. I even did a short stint at double time in them, they're alright.

To tie a bunch of this together here...I found a hiking shoe, I don't hike, so I put on a backpack and walked around my local trail to test it.

And it seems like a great shoe. This is supposed to be a review about a shoe I found, but it's rather turning into a true shoe review. Whatever. I'm all over the place today anyway...

Allright, here's a video of me standing in water with these on. I'm not quite up to the ankle cuff, but definitely a couple of inches in.

My feet stayed dry and comfortable.

I figure if a shoe is reaaallllyyyy waterproof then it will also keep water in.

Long story short, I took the shoes to my sink and filled them up with water. They held water.
When I did dump the water out the inside fabric was wet. Probably should have expected that. 
So long story short-Waterproof shoes may be great keeping rain and shallow puddles out of your shoes. But when water does get in there, it's there until you remove your shoes. 

I didn't spend an hour just standing in a puddle, I took these for a walk. They felt pretty light on my feet. They also felt pretty stable on all my local terrain. 
We don't have any rock gardens or slick rocks for testing, but I do have some short steep grades and these never slipped on any gradient I found.
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I don't know the drop, stack height or any of that kinda running shoe shit on these. And I don't care. They didn't hurt my feet and they worked fine for me on trail.

I've owned a few different pairs of Merrells in my time. They all fit weird. A size 11 in one model will fit different than another size 11 in a different model, so go try them on instead of just Zappos-ing them. Or just find them trail side.

Thanks for reading my rambling reviews.

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