Don’t worry if you don’t know how to pronounce the name, all that matters is if this is a good shoe.
The Ahnu Moraga OXT
I am very excited to test this shoe. After reading about it on the Ahnu website (www.ahnufootwear.com) I knew this was going to be a great shoe to try. The Moraga OXT is a light hiker shoe that is actually light in weight as well. What got my attention first was the aggressive lug pattern on the sole of the shoe.
Side and Bottom View
As you can see, the lugs are multi-directional which gives great traction on slippery terrain and almost gives a locking feel to the ground when walking, no slippage what so ever. I guess to me one of the best features is that the entire shoe is basically waterproof. With waterproof uppers, a gusseted tongue and seam-sealed seams, its going to be a big challenge for water to get into these shoes through the fabric.
The toe and heel area are well protected with hard rubber that extends well up the front and back. The crossing pattern on the sides give great support to the foot when on unstable ground. With this crossing pattern and an integrated TPU shank and arch support, this is just the beginning of a great foundation for comfort and stability in the Moraga.
Ahnu has put a ton of effort into making an outstanding sole to this shoe. From Shock dispersal plates to EVA Stability postings. All of this to make sure the user is comfortable and the foot is secure while enjoying the outdoors.
I am excited about getting out and putting these shoes to the test. Stay tuned for more from the field.
UPDATE: July 10, 2010
So far I have had the Moraga shoes out on a couple of good day hikes. These shoes really do feel great and it’s been a while since I have come across a great hiking shoe that fits well for me. I started out on the trail feeling very comfortable in shoes. I had previously tried them on at home to make sure they fit but this was the first lengthy trip. The trail was very wet because of the previous 2 days of rain and in this area, there is not much soil so the water has nowhere else to go so it just sits on top of the ground. This trail also has a variety of rocks and boulders that have to be stepped on or climbed over. So basically I walked through water and stepped on rocks most of the day. Right from the start I knew this was going to be a great test for these shoes. I intentionally walked through some water puddles to test the waterproofness and the gusseted tongue of the shoe. Most of the other guys walked around the water, not me, I walked right through it. If I wasn’t walking through the puddles, I was walking on rocks that were in the water. This gave me chance to really see how the shoes performed on slippery, wet rocks and to see how well the soles kept my feet from feeling the constant hardness and sharp edges of the rocks.
After I got back to the car I made note of how my feet felt and if there was any water in the boots and if I had any blisters or hot spots. My feet actually felt very good. I sat down to change my socks, as I normally do when I get back to the car from a day hike, and found that my outer sock was very dry and the interior of the shoe was very dry also; the waterproofness and the gusseted tongue in the shoe seemed to have done its job. The shoes on the outside were damp and muddy but I was very surprised at how most of the water had shed from the shoe and not soaked into the outer material.
On another day hike I did a little scrambling and jaunts throughout a trail that is known for it’s bolder climbing and rock hopping. The Moraga’s were put to the test when it came to a little rock climbing and technical action. The shoes worked very well in these conditions. Some of the rocks were very slippery but the multi-directional lugged soles proved to grip the rock very securely and gave me great stability on the side hill climbs.
With these trips I did not have any ‘hot spots’ or blisters form at any time. The shoes felt really good the whole trip and I look forward to more outings with them.
UPDATE: September 28, 2010
To date, I have worn the Moraga OXT’s on a couple more day hikes. These hikes have have been 8-10 miles and I have trekked over different types of conditioned trails. Some good and some not so good. But I have found that these shoes have done a tremendous job at keeping my feet dry when wading through shallow streams and going through mud puddles. The outer fabric really does repel water and my feet stayed dry as long as I didn’t go through water that was above the top edge of the shoe.
Since these hikes were done mostly during the summer months, there were times that the shoes did feel like they were making my feet sweat. But the socks I had on wicked all the moisture away and the shoes never created any blisters. The hard rubber in the toe and heel area sure did save my toes and heels on many occasions while bolder hoping and scrambling. And the aggressive lug pattern saved me from slipping down some of the boulder faces as well.
All in all I have thoroughly enjoyed wearing the Ahnu Moraga OXT’s and they have been my favorite day hiking shoes and will continue to be for many trips to come.