Vaude Moab Low AM Shoes - Review

Jul 28, 2016
by Paul Aston  
Vaude Moab Low AM Shoes


Vaude is Germany's "most sustainable clothing brand" and has been committed to environmentally conscious products since its inception in 1974. From a general outdoor brand offering hiking and mountaineering apparel, bike products have become more and more popular from the Tettnang based company, and it's good to see another choice of footwear for platform pedal pushers. Decent flat pedal riding shoes are hard to come by, aside from the obvious offerings from Five Ten. Manufacturers like Giro, Shimano, Specialized and O'Neal add a couple of extra choices, but it's still slim pickings. Most brands plow budgets into wide ranges of hi-tech clipless pedal compatible shoes, despite many mountain bikers preferring to not lock themselves into the bike.


After spotting these Vibram soled Moab shoes when they first appeared at Eurobike last year and being an avid platform pedal user myself, I was intrigued to give them a try and have been putting them through their paces over the last six months.

Moab Low AM Shoes Details

• Terracare® suede upper
• Vibram® Vert sole - flat pedal specific
• Anti-slip heel lining
• Colors: Black / Pebble Grey
• Weight: 1008g - Uk 9.5 / EU 44 (actual)
• MSRP: $140 USD / €140
www.vaude.com



Vaude Moab Low AM Shoes


Construction

As the name suggests, the Moab Low AM is a low-cut, all-mountain shoe, but there is a 'Mid AM' model for those who want increased ankle support and protection. The shoe's upper is made from Terracare certified leather wrapped around a 50% recycled hydrophobic mesh to help expel water. A removable Ortholite insole is also on the green side of the spectrum, with 25% of its material coming from bio-based castor oil.


Vaude Moab Low AM Shoes
Vaude Moab Low AM Shoes


The most important part of a shoe for platform pedal users is the sole. The white pedal contact patch is made from Vibram's Megagrip rubber, while the black heel and toe are constructed using Vibram's XS Trek compound that's borrowed from their hiking shoes. The mid-sole is made from shock absorbing EVA foam to absorb trail chatter and uneven terrain underfoot.

A combination of recycled PET laces that reach far down the shoe are combined with a velcro strap and a seal skin-like material in the heel, which slides in one direction and grips in the other, preventing heel lift. Picture a cat's tongue, but inside a shoe.


Vaude Moab Low AM Shoes
The Vibram sole isn't as sticky as Stealth, but it stood the test of time and was adequate for most riding situations.



Performance

The most important factor for me when it comes to shoes is grip, and since discovering Five Ten shoes over a decade ago nothing comes close, but that gap is closing. The Vaude shoes' Vibram sole is a great effort but doesn't quite have the stick of Stealth Rubber. Having said that, they are tacky enough that I was comfortable riding these shoes across the Portes du Soleil's washboard braking bumps on a downhill bike, never feeling like I was forcing myself to risk life or limb for the sake of this test. In fact, I will happily continue riding this pair in the future as months of abuse have barely taken any visible toll on the Moab.

They've also broken in and are now a lot more flexible and fitted compared to when they arrived, having a homely feel every time I slip my feet inside. The outers still look good, and the sole has plenty of life, although the pin contact points have become permanently embossed, but not shredded. The hydrophobic material is still doing its duty, even after the Moabs have taken washing machine trips well into double figures.


Vaude Moab Low AM Shoes
The seal skin inspired heel lining slides in one direction but grips in the other, helping to keep you heel in place.


The fit is slim, and might be tight for people with wide feet. Thanks to the laces reaching far down from the top of the shoe towards the toes and the velcro retention strap, finding a comfortable yet supportive fit is easy. The base of the shoe also feels more precise and firm than an Impact from Five Ten, where I find the deep midsole is spongy and my feet are always rolling outwards (supinating) on the pedals.

When walking, relying on the white pedal zone of the sole needs to be avoided if you want to walk through any kind of mud, but the black areas and square edges can easily be dug into the dirt. The Moab has even been on a few hikes and has been my pick on recent trail building trips.


Vaude Moab Low AM Shoes
The Vibram Megagrip sole after a lot of punishment. I actually like the way the sole has been deformed by the pins as you can feel when you have your foot in the right place.


Pinkbike’s Take:
bigquotesEnvironmentaly friendly products don't come cheap, but this flat pedal shoe offered by Vaude is no more pricey than its competition. Overall grip still doesn't challenge Five Ten, but the Moab offers great all-round performance and durability for general mountain biking. - Paul Aston



51 Comments

  • 80 1
 Only if they include the socks.
  • 55 2
 I've gotta say, I had a pretty hard time paying attention to the shoes with those socks in play.
  • 8 1
 I think those shoes actually look pretty good, but it's seriously hard to tell with those fuckin feet condoms. I've always wanted a flat pedal shoe with a velcro strap right there, the only i've seen are Karvers and some Shimano shoe, but they were a whole huge flap that covered the laces, not just a strap at the top. I like the look of the small strap at the top. And it has the function that I'm looking for
  • 4 1
 @csermonet: What about the Five Ten Kestrel Lace or the Maltese Falcon? (Not trying to blow 5.10s horn, I think its time the had some good competition...)
  • 1 1
 @twelvemonths: yes, I love 510's, Impacts and Freeriders have been my riding shoes for the past ~4 years. And seeing those shoes(the Hellcat was the first one) is what made me want something similar for flats. This one looks like the closest thing. I wish 510 would do it though, I know you can put those blanks in the bottom and basically make it a flat pedal shoe, but the sole and shank are just too stiff.
  • 1 0
 That was the point. Who uses suede? Stuff is not durable like stamped leather! Does not like mud, absorbs water easily.

I get a kick of how it's a German Company's shoe, with a Utah area model name.
  • 28 1
 Still here waiting for suspension socks.
  • 21 1
 The shoes look nice but I just want the socks.
  • 13 1
 Ran them for 6 months without falling to pieces! So longevity is better than five tens Smile
  • 13 2
 Looked at them in LBS... didn't fall apart, longevity better than five tens.
  • 11 1
 Came to the comments with one thing in mind, seems everyone else beat me. TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE AMAZEBALLS SOCKS.
  • 3 1
 I know right, they're eating his legs! om-nom-nom haha!
  • 6 3
 I would have liked a word on breathability. While 5-10s are great for FR/DH but they're feet saunas on XC days, what about these? They aren't full leather but it seems ventilation wasn't much of a concern when designing them and I'd like shoes that breath a little more than my current ones.

Thank you for thinking about people who have wide feet though!
  • 5 1
 Seems to me PB needs more sock reviews?? I mean a little sock flair is cool to point, but sounds like my sock game is weak. Next poll will be for socks, haha
  • 10 4
 FLATS ARENT DEAD YET
  • 7 1
 They never will die, no beginner is gonna jump straight into a set of spds
  • 4 1
 @piersgritten: And neither will a genuine boss
  • 6 1
 They feel "homely". Freudian slip?
  • 5 2
 Yeah that little slip leapt out at me like all the Homely, pasty UI "engineers" who took over my block with their beautiful Japanese girlfriends and clog the lane with their f*cking Ubers. The Homely are on the rise, people, and there's nothing we can do about it but Huck.
  • 4 2
 @endlessblockades: friend. Download Canned Heat "going up the country" get in your car."leave the city..." trust me on this.
  • 1 1
 @codypup: Haha - I just listened to the song and I don't know what to say about it.
  • 1 1
 @endlessblockades: It's number one on the playlist for my wake.
  • 3 0
 Homely in Brit-speak means "comfy". Unlike in 'Merica where it means "ugly".
  • 2 1
 Props to a shoe company trying to use alternative materials in a high-performance product. Most of the time 'eco' products are marketed as ends in themselves. Vaude made a shoe that attempts to use somewhat sustainable methods but wants it first and foremost to be sold as a performance product.
  • 1 0
 Hey Paul, I have the same shoes and love them. However, sales guy advised against putting them in the washing machine. What temp? In a bag? Would be good to know. Almost did not buy them cause they were supposedly non machine washable.

I'm going to buy the higher version for the winter if they keep up.
  • 2 2
 I'd be really interested in how the Moab Mid STX version holds up in cold conditions. Winter bike shoes for flat pedals with good grip are virtually impossible to come by. Sure, there are a couple of mid 5.10, but they don't particularly keep your feet warm in the winter, and aren't waterproof either. And regular winter boots just suck on a flat pedal.

Isn't it somewhere winter right now? What about you guys in Alaska? Northern Canada maybe? Norway? Get off these weird planks underneath your boots and try out some bike shoes, will you? ;D
  • 5 1
 You might want to ask the Southern Hemisphere.
  • 1 2
 @smike: Where, Australia? Africa? Probably not so very cold down there in the winter... Maybe somewhere down in Chile.
  • 1 0
 @sp00n82: No not Australia which had -12ºC yesterday, not cold at all ;-)
  • 5 2
 @paul_aston, more information about the socks please.
  • 2 1
 I know it probably does not matter to 98% of people, but I think it would be nice to know the size range available when reviewing shoes.
  • 1 0
 Pleaasseeee
I wanna have those socks Frown
Y can't U guys from PB not sell those goodies?
Or just tell us, where 2 find em? Frown
  • 4 2
 I. Wear. My K-Swiss, I wear my k-Swiss
  • 3 1
 TELL US ABOUT THE SOCKS
  • 1 1
 well...close enough...
  • 1 0
 Mine are crocodiles, from Tesco.
  • 1 0
 FWIW, 140 Euros does not equal 140 US dollars. 140 Euros is 156.45 USD.
  • 3 4
 Looks like Giros from above

The soles look good, but will they last ?

Great to have more options for good flat shoes !
  • 2 2
 Wally balls wants his shoes and socks back
  • 4 5
 If you cant get your shoe to stick to a flats and wet greasy rocks like my 510's do...why bother?
  • 5 1
 Cos they need some competition to keep them on their toes and bring the quality up from the recent slump
  • 2 3
 Will these shoes make me faster
  • 13 1
 Nope, just the socks Salute
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