The Mother of All Boots have arrived.
Part of the joy of hiking is the challenge of securing your footing in rough terrain. It’s a sport that involves strength and strategy and balance, and ideally it’s just these things you want to keep your focus on, instead of the thought of injury, or just coming down from the mountain with your soles all sore.
Merrell, the go-to shoe brand for athletes who’d prefer to rough it out in the heart of nature, has been dedicated to crafting the perfect multi-sport shoe as far back as 2006 with the MOAB. Full name: the Mother of All Boots. Now, we have the MOAB 2, which basically takes the best things about its predecessor and kicks.
The first MOAB was designed to be heavy duty, meaning it can handle rough conditions while considering how your foot naturally moves. The MOAB 2, however, comes equipped with premium waterproof suede, a special Vibram sole, durable mesh, plus a super tough and flexible cushioning footbed, characterized by a pad in the heel and increased arch support. Basically, you can step on tough pebbled earth and into shallow rivers and go up and down tricky slopes without feeling like the mountain is conspiring to tire you out.
The folks at Merrell were kind enough to allow us to test the MOAB 2, along with the help of Trail Adventours, at Mt. Pundaquit in Zambales. Getting through grassy flatland to the foot of the mountain was already a bit of a challenge — dried riverbeds were stony dips in the path, and branches hung low enough to brush or swat you if you weren’t careful. But going up with the MOAB 2, which made sure my footing was always secure despite the irregular leveling of the path before us, I could watch as the soil went from brown to red, and feel the mountain face gradually become bathed in heat and light as the sun rose higher, without worry of injury. To put it more plainly — bruh, I ain’t ever hiked in my life and I made it up to the summit and down again in one piece. Going up the stairs is enough to get me winded, but this time I was wearing the Mother of All Boots: The Sequel.
So if you’re looking to include a mountain in your next trip out of the city, please don’t be that person who insists rubber shoes are enough. Get the MOAB 2. And if you ever stop by Mt. Pundaquit, the other end of the mountain hides the pristine waters of Anawangin Cove. Make sure you’ve got good shoes getting you there.