If you’re familiar with Merrell, then you have a good idea about the well-defined aesthetics of their footwear. Same with Duluth Pack, whose handcrafted backpacks bring a very distinct vintage style. The Merrell Moab Duluth Pack Steel Toe Work Boot combines those familiar elements into a rugged pair of outdoor footwear.
Based on Merrell’s Moab model, the shoes take the outfit’s popular style and transforms it into a tall hiking boot sporting Duluth’s vintage aesthetics. The result is a hiker silhouette bearing the same technical qualities as the footwear brand’s trail-ready models, all while bearing an aesthetic that’s completely unfamiliar to fans of the outfit.
The Merrell Moab Duluth Pack Steel Toe Work Boot is a rugged hiking boot that borrows the regular Moab’s familiar shape, removes its familiar busy styling (as all Merrell’s tend to have), and lengthens the shaft to go higher up on the leg, turning out a full 8-inch hiker with a somewhat cleaner profile. Yes, it hardly looks like a Merrell at this state, but very likely feels the same, since the shape, sizing, and materials all stay faithful to the brand’s regular line. It also looks very rugged and technical – like the pair of shoes you’re going to slip on when doing some serious hiking over an extended period.
Designed to keep feet dry, the boots have a fully-waterproof leather and canvas upper, complete with a layer of Merrell’s proprietary impermeable membrane completely sealing out water while allowing moisture to evaporate from inside the shoe. Pair all that with the tall, closed-off profile and this thing will keep your feet dry on the rainiest of days in the backcountry. Inside, it’s lined with leather and a breathable mesh lining, ensuring a great mix of comfort and technical performance.
The Merrell Moab Duluth Pack Steel Toe Work Boot fuses the upper with a contoured EVA footbed that bears a zonal arch and heel support for better foot response on the trail, along with an outsole made using the outfit’s GRIP rubber, which boasts the kind of traction that “grips when and where you need it.” We know, that doesn’t exactly explain why it works so well, but we digress. That same outsole, by the way, is heat-resistant up to 500 degrees, so you can end up accidentally stepping on a campfire without setting your boots aflame, apart from being resistant to oil and similarly slippery chemicals. Suffice to say, this is one technical outsole.
External stability arms give the boots additional protective qualities, while a steel toe makes it suitable for heavy field work. There’s also a molded nylon arch shank providing midfoot support and flexibility, as well as air cushion in the heel to absorb shock and add greater stability. Other features include a traditional lace closure, metal hardware, bellows tongue, and a lug depth of 5mm.
The Merrell Moab Duluth Pack Steel Toe Work Boot are available through both brands’ websites, as well as through Duluth’s physical retail stores. Price is $190.