Not enough stiffness/support for heavy pack weight
Think of it as cushy, flexible hiking shoe with a little muscle in the cuff to combat ankle rolling. It's happiest on a moderate, on-trail outing, with a lot of emphasis on comfort. The shoe is a bit on the roomy side, but laced tight there was plenty of foot and ankle support for uneven terrain under mild loads.
A mid-cut, flexible, waterproof light hiker built for moderate ankle support but a cushy, hiking shoe comfort.
Comfort and Fit This shoe has a high volume fit, particularly in the toebox, notwithstanding the fact that it was a half-size smaller than I normally wear. On the downhill I found myself needing to cinch the laces to keep my foot from sliding, and this caused some puckering on the lower-tongue.
Compared to the other light hikers in the test, such as the Garmont Amica or Lowa Focus GTX, this shoe’s flexibility was noticeable. This can actually be quite nice for shorter, on-trail hikes with light pack-weight. It makes for a comfortable walk, without unneeded stiffness. I was not wearing a pack for the test hike, and my feet did not get fatigued—they’re the kind of shoes you don’t take off after the hike.
Waterproofing/Breathability The Moraine Mid GTX features “Extended Comfort Gore-Tex,” and like any waterproof hiker, there was no problem keeping moisture out. The real test was how well the shoe dealt with heat and moisture generated inside the shoe. I was surprised at how dry my feet remained throughout the hike – even though I was sweating, my feet remained very dry which kept blisters at bay.
Materials & Construction Of particular note is how high quality the construction remains given that virtually the entire shoe is made from recycled and landfill-friendly materials.
Target Consumer Overall, this is a fantastic shoe for virtually all on-trail light hikes, in wet or dry conditions with light pack weight (we’d say under 20 lbs or so). At $130, the shoe is a good value due to its ability to go from short, quick walks on the trail to longer outings on unstable terrain. This is a great all-around hiker, but those with very narrow feet may find the high volume to be problematic.
Durability The upper is mixes in a little mesh with the leather and plastic overlays, which helps breathability somewhat but will break down quicker than the leather. I did note rapid wear to portions of the outsole rubber (and a remarkably quick breakdown of the paint covering some of the rubber — the sole looks like it has multiple densities of rubber, but that appears to mostly be a paint job that flakes off after one hike).