Amanda has been hammering these Vaude AM Moab Mid STX boots through mud, rain, snow and ice without once complaining about performance. Find out what’s made our resident fusspot claim to have found her ‘forever shoes.’
High top flat pedal mountain bike shoes. There’s not a huge choice out there, but there’s certainly options. Add waterproof to your requirements and there’s a significant drop in choice, so when Vaude brought out the latest version of the Moab Mid STX, and they happened to look incredibly cool, I jumped at the chance to try them.
Vaude AM Moab Mid STX
There’s a lot of technology going on in these boots, and all materials claim to be environmentally friendly, sustainable and manufactured under fair working conditions. The outers are constructed from hydrophobic oiled nubuck leather (I personally don’t consider that environmentally friendly, or ethical, but I’ve been wearing them so I’m a hypocrite), Terracare® certified leather (uh huh) 100% recycled Sympatex® membrane, 100% recycled polyester lining and hydrophobic canvas.
There’s a stabilising Velcro strap that wraps fully across, and the laces come right the way up to the ankle for added support.
I have quite narrow feet, I wear a UK 7, EUR 41 in most brands. These are true to size, and fortunately are just generous enough to fit thick waterproof socks in without squishing my toes up. My concern with high tops is ankle rub, but I haven’t experienced any despite them being a close fit at the top to keep the water out. The length is spot on.
Are they actually waterproof?
Waterproof is a tricky category for shoes, given the big hole where your feet go in, so making them high top with a very close fit around the ankle is a great solution. I put the waterproofing to the ultimate test on my first ride in the Vaude AM Moab Mid STX boots. A rainy photoshoot in the Lake District that was so torrential that by midday the trail had as much vigour as the river running alongside it, and I couldn’t have been more smug about my footwear.
Deep wet puddles, thicker muddy puddles, walking through streams and for the sake of product testing, standing in a river just deep enough to have the water not flow into the top of the boots – Not one of these left me with wet feet when paired with riding trousers. Not even damp feet, there’s just no penetrating these boots with water unless it sneaks in through your socks or you go too splashy in the puddles. On the occasions when I’ve worn shorts I have found more water going in the tops (obviously) but in most cases it’s just enough for my socks to get damp. I’m yet to flood these shoes.
Get a grip
I’m going to make a bold statement – I think these are the grippiest riding shoes I’ve worn to date. Grip off the bike is really surprising. They’re honestly as good as hiking boots for most terrain. The soles have an angled design where they appear to hook the ground when walking uphill, which pairs even better with pedals. The sole design is deep enough to work just as well in snow, mud and wet weather, and the soles are always ‘clean’ – by that I mean they don’t hang on to dirt or stones.
In the toe and heel areas the sole has a deeper tread that gives extra traction when you need to get off and push.
Life with the Vaude AM Moab Mid STX boots
You know when you have cold hands and can’t be bothered to loosen your laces off enough, and you chap the skin on your fingers forcing your shoes on? No… just me? Well if there’s any more of you out there, these boots will test your patience. It’s a very small price to pay for dry feet, but you really do need to open them out to get them on – especially if you’re wearing thick waterproof socks. My moment of shame was relighting an old sprain when I was being too lazy to put them on and just sort of did a shufflestamp until they were on, and once they were I realised my ankle was really sore.
Breathability and drying out
Vaude claim these boots are breathable, which I can certainly agree with when in use, but they managed to smell after one ride. It was a big wet ride, but I am not a smelly foot kind of person. It takes years of neglect or wearing shoes without socks for me to get smelly shoes, so this really surprised me. That said, having loosened the laces right off and airing them for a day they seemed OK. My recommendation with these would be to invest in some odour catchers, because they really are great boots and they deserve to be looked after.
Drying time is hard to comment on because I have only managed to get the insides wet on that one occasion. In general, I don’t worry about parking these under a radiator or stuffing them full of newspaper. They keep the water out and the outer material is hydrophobic so the only drying that needs doing is the laces, and I actually prefer them a little damp because they’re easier to tie up than crusty laces that have dried in place.
The Vaude AM Moab Mid STX offer performance, traction, protection and durability. The high top with laces all the way to the top combined with a Velcro strap provide outstanding support – so much so that I feel more confident and appear to ride more aggressive. They’re comfortable, solid, and offer protection from the elements and the trail that I haven’t experienced before. I think I’ll be wearing these year round.
|Product:||AM Moab Mid STX|
|From:||vaude.com / raleigh.co.uk|
|Tested:||by Amanda for 3 months|
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These are the “grippest riding shoes I’ve worn to date” – does that include the pedals, the review seems to focus on walking grip?
Grip on the pedals, compared to the usual suspects, should be included in this review. Off the bike grip is nice, but not what I look for in the first place.
@richwales Sorry about that – I mostly use Chromag Contact Gen2 pedals, but I’ve also ridden DMR V12, Vaults, Nukeproof Neutron EVO and some strange unmarked ones on a friends’ bike. Basically, any bike I jump on I immediately think ‘Wow, these are sticky’.
@brookes My other shoes are FiveTen Sleuths, and prior to those I tried some ION Raid Select. I don’t think the Sleuth are a fair comparison because they’re the other end of the season spectrum – Not at all waterproof and have a super soft sole. I probably should try FiveTen Freeriders at some point since that’s the comparison everyone wants, but I haven’t yet found a pair that fit me (They’re too wide!)
Shoehorns – I got some for my OWN-FR-01™ – I used to thrash around on the floor trying to get them on ( It was like tubeless inflation from the early noughties) then I got a shoe horn.
I Use Vaude moab tech best shoes 4ever. Better than 5,10 freerider, shimano AM, DX, …
Great shoes. Bought a pair on the strength of this review. Been wearing them winter 2020/21 when I can get out on the MTB. I can say that they are; a) Comfortable, b) Warm, c) waterproof, d) breathable and e) reasonably secure on the pedals, although not as good as five tens for that. All in all, fully recommended unless you “really” need five ten levels of stickiness. They dont have the same level of grip for walking as my proper walking boots, but thats not really what they are designed for. My only question is about care of the leather – Im going to start using my good old nick-wax on them to help preserve the leather from the on-bike abuse they get.