Merrell Teams Up With Unlikely Hikers for New Moab 3s

Merrell recently launched the Moab 3 x Unlikely Hikers hiking boot, a playful and modestly sized version of the brand’s best-selling hiking boot. The collaboration was designed in close collaboration with Unlikely Hikers, an outdoor community that celebrates diversity, encourages authenticity and actively works to preserve and promote the outdoors as a free, open and safe space for all.

Released in September, the updated Moab 3 hiking boot offers greater comfort, more traction and more sustainable materials than previous versions of the Merrell Moab hiking boot. It features a Vibram outsole with 5mm lugs (deep grooves for better traction), a removable contoured footbed for enhanced heel support, a protective and durable rubber heel and toe cap, and built-in heel relief vibrator. The boot also features 100% recycled laces, webbing and a breathable mesh lining.

A new collaboration with the Unlikely Hikers adds a vibrant colorway and a “My Body Took Me Here” logo on the tongue. The collaboration boots are available in sizes 5 to 13 for women and 7 to 16 for men. (Traditional Moab 3 sizes are available up to women’s 12 and men’s 15.) Wide sizing options available in all women’s and men’s sizes 15.

Waterproof hiking boots designed for everyone and every body

Impossible hikers lead cnnu v3

Designed for hikers of all sizes and experience levels, the Moab 3 Mid Waterproof x Unlikely Hikers are built to stand up on muddy trails, wet conditions and rough terrain. These durable and true-to-size hiking boots will keep your feet comfortable, protected and stylish on the trail.

“Partnerships [like this] Allowing us to redefine and imagine the outdoors through products that amplify the importance of inclusivity in terms of size and representation,” said Jenny Bruso, founder of Unlikely Hikers. “The right gear and clothing is also a matter of safety on outdoor adventures , we need to see ourselves represented in marketing and even know that these things are available for purchase. ”

Not in the market for hiking boots? The complete Merrell x Unlikely Hiker collection also includes two bags, a hat and plus size “My Body Tok Me Here” shirt.

Numerous studies and globally recognized studies have shown that spending time in nature is beneficial for physical and mental health. However, a recent Merrell study revealed the many barriers many communities face in fully enjoying the outdoors, ultimately preventing them from doing so.

Merrell’s Outdoor Inclusion Report found that nearly one in five people experience discrimination while being outdoors. Additionally, the report found that LGBTQ+ people are 8 percent more likely than the global population to feel unwelcome outdoors, and people of color are 8 to 13 percent more likely than white people to experience discrimination outdoors.

Merrell has teamed up with Unlikely Hikers to launch the Unlikely Hikers collection to represent outdoor adventurers who are traditionally underrepresented in the outdoor industry. The series aims to inspire, support, and celebrate the diverse voices, experiences, and identities of the outdoors, including people of size; people of color; queer, trans, and gender non-conforming; people with disabilities; and allies in support of Unlikely Hikers mission.

“After seeing the need for more diversity in the outdoor community, we set out more than six years ago to build a community of hikers and adventurers of all shapes, sizes, genders and abilities,” Bruso said. “Now , we are able to give a voice and deliver products to those who are not always heard or represented in the outdoor community.”

message for unlikely hikers

Not only will you be turning heads in these gorgeous boots, but you’ll also stay protected and dry on the trail. The Moab 3 x Unlikely Hikers are designed to provide cushioning, support and keep moisture out when hiking rough trails. They’re also available in a variety of sizes, widths and heights – meaning they’re suitable for all types of hikers.

One of my favorite things about these boots is that they fit in all sizes – giving everyone a chance to get outside. The Unlikely Hiker Moab 3 fits feet of all shapes and sizes.

Sizes range from women’s sizes 5 to 13 and men’s sizes 7 to 16. They have a medium height above the ankle and a low top below the ankle. The medium height Unlikely Hiker Moab 3 boot comes in medium width and wider women’s and men’s sizes. The mid-high boots are also waterproof. Men’s low tops have wide options, women’s don’t.

I tend to go with wide shoe sizes because I find they fit my feet best. Especially during the hot summer months or when hiking on long trails, when my feet swell and need extra room, it’s nice to have roomy boots to fit in. The boots are also true to size, which is not the case with a lot of boots I have worn in the past. Even with wool hiking socks, I found my feet fit nicely inside. I don’t have to worry about my feet slipping, which can cause blisters, hot spots, and irritation around the outside of the foot, toe bed, and ankle.

Another benefit of the Unlikely Hikers Moab 3 is the positive message printed on the tongue and inside of the boot. As Unlikely Hikers founder Jenny Bruso described in a post on Merrell’s blog, the message “My body got me here” reminds us that “for too long, the outdoor industry and social media have had an unfathomable sense of who is ‘outdoors’.” Events are ‘very narrowly defined’ that don’t represent most of us. Unlikely Hikers creates space for people of all shapes, sizes, abilities, disabilities and ages. I created the hashtag #mybodytookmehere to commemorate this and illustrate how the most diverse The Space of Humanization: The Unrepresented Diversity of Bodies in Nature.”

You don’t have to worry about these boots breaking down anytime soon after you buy them. Merrell’s Moab line has long been known by the hiking community as some of the most durable, most accessible (size and price) hiking boots on the market. The Unlikely Hikers version of the boot is designed with more durable (and sustainable) materials than previous versions.

Constructed with a Vibram outsole studded with 5mm lugs and reinforced with a protective abrasion-resistant rubber heel and toe, these shoes are built for trekking through rough terrain. The rubber compound sole and Merrell’s air cushioning technology can absorb up to four times a hiker’s body weight. I found that when hiking over smaller rocks and tree roots, my feet were not bothered by uneven ground and obstacles under my feet. This is perfect when long distances need to be traversed over rough terrain. Often, the soles of my feet start to ache from feeling the terrain under my feet. Not so with Unlikely Hiker Moab 3.

The Unlikely Hikers version of Merrell's Moab 3 is designed with more durable (and sustainable) materials than previous versions.

The Mid-High version of the Unlikely Hiker Moab 3 gives you the best of both worlds. They keep your feet dry from rain, snow and trail water, and also allow your feet to breathe without excess moisture buildup. These hikers are suitable for all types of adventures year-round.

During the unpredictable spring and autumn, the boat’s waterproof membrane seals the water around the boat. In the summer, when feet tend to get hot and sweaty, they breathe through the Moab 3’s side mesh upper and tongue. Merrell also designed the Unlikely Hiker Moab 3 with a bellows tongue to keep debris and dirt out of the shoe. This tongue style, which connects directly to the upper of the boot, also makes the shoe more water-resistant.

I recently wore these boots on a super wet and muddy trail in the Ryerson Conservation Area outside of Chicago. Bad news: After just five minutes of hiking, the outside of my boots was covered in water and mud. (Oh no! Not my pretty boots!) Good news: In my boots, my feet were completely dry. I also did a dip test on these boots in a hiking stream. Even when I fully submerged the boots underwater, no moisture seeped through the outer fabric of the boots. When I pulled them out of the stream, I could immediately see the water beading on the outside of the boat’s waterproof membrane.

Please note that the low cut Moab 3 x Unlikely Hikers boots do not have a waterproof option.

heavy and bulky

Weighing in at 13.57 ounces per shoe, or about 1 pound 11 ounces per pair, these boots are beasts. They have an 11.5mm drop (heel height) and 5mm deep lugs. That’s great news for off-road durability and protection, but bad news if you’re looking for a boot that weighs less.

While I don’t think the weight of these boots will hold me back on the trails in any way, I probably wouldn’t choose these boots for longer hikes. The weight of these boots is the biggest issue for me when hiking dirt trails. Once the boot is wedged between the 5mm lugs and around the heel of the boot, mud will stick to the sole of the boot. I found myself struggling to maintain a normal pace while hiking with extra weight on my feet.

The Unlikely Hiker Moab 3 has thick padding around the inner lining and collar of the boot. This extra padding was great for adding support around my ankles, but also caused some unexpected irritation while hiking. The V-cut of the boot collar also rests on the bottom of my ankle. After hiking more than a few miles in mid-height boots, I started to feel a slight irritation just below my ankle. The irritation even increases when walking on uneven ground. Wearing taller and thicker socks can help prevent this irritation. However, if you wear these boots over time, that excitement may wear off.

Hiking more than a few miles in mid-height boots can cause mild ankle irritation that is exacerbated on uneven ground.

It’s safe to say that no other boot on the market has the same aesthetic as the Moab 3 x Unlikely Hikers. An iridescent gradient upper and turquoise tongue complement the boot’s classic brown and black suede for a unique look that exemplifies playful and creative style and expression.

In terms of weight and fit, many boots are comparable. Other mid-height waterproof boots, like the REI Co-op Flash Hiking Boot ($150) and the Hoka Anacapa Mid GTX Hiking Boot ($185), are a little more expensive but weigh about the same. Compared to the Unlikely Hikers x Moab 3 boots, which weigh about 1 pound 11 ounces per pair, the Hoka Anacapa boots weigh 1 pound 12 ounces, and the REI Flash boots weigh 1 pound 13 ounces per pair. I found the Hoka Anacapa to be more springy and flexible when hiking on rocky terrain, and the REI Flash boots were stiffer than the Unlikely Hikers x Moab 3 boots.

If you’re looking for a similarly waterproof mid-height hiking boot, but are concerned about the weight, check out the Salomon Outpulse Mid Gore-Tex ($160) or Danner Trail 2650 Mid GTX FG ($210) boots. Both weigh around 1 lb 7 oz, but cost more.

We realize that rainbow hiking boots may not be for everyone. But if you’re looking for a durable and waterproof hiking shoe that can accommodate larger feet and sizes, you can’t go wrong with the Moab 3 x Unlikely Hikers hiking boots. These boots are my go-to for travel, from casual day hikes to rugged adventures, and are extremely reliable when hiking in nearly every season of the year (winter excluded). From the durable construction to the extended size, these boots not only perform well, but also protect your feet on the trail.

Merrell’s collaboration with Unlikely Hikers’ Moab 3 reminds us that the great outdoors is for everyone. It also reminds us that our bodies—all bodies—are capable of taking us on amazing adventures outdoors.

related: The best winter hiking essentials, according to experts

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