RFI: UA Valsetz or Merrell Moab Tactical?

Just back from Hurricane Michael, and my 15 year old Corcoran Jump Boots finally gave up the ghost. My go to footware for many years has been Merrell because of the thicker heel taking a lot of pressure off my back. But a couple of the guys had UA Valsetz and I couldn't believe how light they are. The Merrells weigh in at 43oz and the UA at 20oz.

The only reviews on the UA here are 5+ years old, but weren't very good.

I am not a hard user. A deployment every year or so, and a few trainings per year.

I drove to a bunch of stores today hoping to see them in person. No joy, so it's going to have to be on line, which I hate for clothing, especially shoes. I may end up buying both and sending one back, which cuts against my grain.

Anyone have experience that says, either "best shoes ever" or "stay the fuck away" from either of these options?

 

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It's not that life is so short, it's that you're dead for so long.

The .45-70 is the only government I trust

"I was raised in a place called America...
It's gone now, I wish you could've seen it"
- a WWII vet

 

Joined: 1/30/06 3:34 PM - Location:MA

Original Post

Yes the Valsetz are seriously comfy and light but they get marked down for longevity. Not sure what the longevity of the newer Merrell MOAB 2s are, could be similar to the UAs but I'm guessing slightly better.

I wouldn't class either boot as 'best ever' (the Salomon Forces XA Pro 2018 model comes close IMHO as a low hiker-type boot).

If I had to pick one of the two, and comfort was the priority, I'd go with the Valsetz but that's just me.  FYI I found them to run a little large, especially compared to Merrells.

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If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together    -    African proverb

 

Joined: 2003          Location: At home pretending to be retired (again).

Valsetz are comfy and light.  I really liked them for a short period of time. And they do run big.  UA was really good about the exchange even after I had worn them on duty and found them to be too big for my liking.

Back when I made K9, my go to boot in patrol was the older version Oakley boots.  I got to K9 and those lasted about 4 months.  

I went with the Valsetz and wore them for a month or so before I went and got 3 pairs of Salomons; 4D GTX, 4D and XA GTX. 

I do remember wearing the Valsetz on graveyards and walking across some mildly wet grass and my feet were soaked.  I told myself I'd never wear them for anything but training, if I even do that.

Some of the other handlers that stayed with the Valsetz reported that they began to really deteriorate around the 5-6 month mark. 

In the summer, I will occasionally wear the Valsetz at our weekly unit training but more often than not, I stay with the Salomons.

I see some patrol guys wearing them but have yet to ask if they are getting any good mileage out of them.

I have two sets of Merrills, one gortex and the other not that I can switch off for the seasons.  Had them for 5 years now and still going strong. Some wear on the soles of the non gortex just due to more use overall. I don't mind the added weight over my salomans just due to the varied terrain I get to play in.

Because...........Malinois 

I’ve come to realize that you buy shoes from shoe companies and clothes from clothing companies. I’ve seen too many UA boots blow our way before they should have to ever want to try. Merrill’s might not be the best ever but between the two that’s where my money would go (and has gone). 

“They were two douchebags who met in the normal course of being two douchebags.” - Sully, Third Watch

standeasy posted:

Not sure what the longevity of the newer Merrell MOAB 2s are, could be similar to the UAs but I'm guessing slightly better.

I wouldn't class either boot as 'best ever' (the Salomon Forces XA Pro 2018 model comes close IMHO as a low hiker-type boot).

Couldn't agree more...

I used to wear Merrells pretty much exclusively, but a couple years back I got tired of going through a pair of the original MOABs almost every year (daily wear, but very light use - back heel/ankle seam was the most common failure point).

After I stopped drinking the Merrells Kool-aid, I picked up some regular Salomon XA GTX Pros, which I loved. Lighter, more comfortable, and more durable than the Merrells. My only real complaint was that the tread on the soles tended to wear down too quickly for my liking.

Heard the Forces line had a longer wearing tread, so decided to give it a shot... Finally picked up a pair of the Salomon Forces XA GTX Pro 2018 boots a few months back and have been damned happy with them so far. Same light weight, comfort, and ease of use as my old XA Pros - but with a longer wearing sole (still looks almost new after a few months of daily wear) and more reinforcement on areas subject to lots of wear and/or stress. I'm definitely a convert and will be sticking with those boots until they're either no longer available or something better comes along.

Joined: 21AUG'03   Location: Just sittin' in an Asian rice paddy.

I have the Valsetz at the moment, been with the same pair for 12 months now. I find them light and comfortable , very nice to run/climb/chase in .  They are not waterproof at all which is something to consider. 

 

Edit to add:

mine have not worn overly in the last 12 months, they have actually held up quite well. 

What I'm gathering is that I should eliminate the Valsetz from consideration, but add the Salomon Forces.

Much appreciated.

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It's not that life is so short, it's that you're dead for so long.

The .45-70 is the only government I trust

"I was raised in a place called America...
It's gone now, I wish you could've seen it"
- a WWII vet

 

Joined: 1/30/06 3:34 PM - Location:MA

Malpaso posted:

What I'm gathering is that I should eliminate the Valsetz from consideration, but add the Salomon Forces.

Much appreciated.

I would go with the Salomons.   Also, with the Valsetz, when I would do open area searches, I felt every small ass rock or rut and I hated that. 

The one thing that irritates me is that the 4D non-gtx and 4D gtx color has gone from black to gray/greenish color.

It's not that big of a deal as no one bothers us about our uniforms or boots but  for those that have to worry about the color due to standing uniform policies it will be a thing they will have to deal with.

I looked over my xa gtx's, the 4D non gtx and gtx and the only thing I noticed is the tread on the gtx and xa is worn a bit which is fine.  I wore those two more than my non gtx 4D's.

I will probably replace the xa's only as the tread is worn way more as well as the lace system seems to be failing a bit.  I have a replacement set of laces for the XA's and I am, admittedly, intimated as it doesn't seem to be an easy process.

 

Whiskey posted:

My UA Valsetz did not survive my LE academy. Hard pass.

What were the issues you had with them? 

I only ask so myself and others can pass that knowledge to others we know in our agencies or elsewhere to prevent them making that mistake of buying them for patrol use etc....

I looked at the Valsetz pretty hard a couple of years back but read reviews of sole separation from the upper being a common failing. I don't put a lot of faith in most online reviews I read but it's kind of hard to mistake sole separation for something else. I stopped looking after that. 

Mojo/Mark
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Joined: 9/30/09
Location: Northern Nevada (Reno/Sparks)

Anyone know where to find a list of ASTM 2413-05 compliant footwear. We're *supposed* to comply, even though I've never seen anyone check in the past 18 years. It may or may ont make a difference in my decision

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It's not that life is so short, it's that you're dead for so long.

The .45-70 is the only government I trust

"I was raised in a place called America...
It's gone now, I wish you could've seen it"
- a WWII vet

 

Joined: 1/30/06 3:34 PM - Location:MA

J_B posted:
Whiskey posted:

My UA Valsetz did not survive my LE academy. Hard pass.

What were the issues you had with them? 

I only ask so myself and others can pass that knowledge to others we know in our agencies or elsewhere to prevent them making that mistake of buying them for patrol use etc....

"Here I abandon peace and desecrate law. Farewell to treaties. Fortune it is you I follow... From now on, war will be my judge."

Well, I sure messed that up.

Anyways J_B, the sole separated from the upper, and some of the "lugs" were separating from the sole after the first couple days of PCT. They are just super flimsy. Most comfortable lightweight boots I've ever had, and if I could justify replacing them every six months, I would. But I can't, my department won't, so now we are not authorized to buy them.

"Here I abandon peace and desecrate law. Farewell to treaties. Fortune it is you I follow... From now on, war will be my judge."

I've been wearing a pair of Merrell Moab Tacticals in the leather polishable type for over 6 months for LE patrol. I'm happy, but they are warm.  Pretty sure mine are GTX.  No issues with weather and they are holding up remarkable well.  I'd love to try Solomon's but they don't make a wide width option and the Harrell wider fit very well.  

Never tried UA boots but continue to see reviews on their poor durability. 

Blessed be the Lord, my rock

who trains my arms for battle,

who prepares my hands for war.

 

Psalm 144.1

While the Salomons look to be the better boot in at least some areas, I decided to go with the Merrills for these reasons -

Familiarity - I've worn the brand for many years. I know they fit and are comfortable. No rolling the dice whether they'll be as good for me as for others.

Need - I'm not pounding the ground with them every day in LE or MIL.

Price - They're about half as much with a 20% off code I found.

 

I'm just glad I came here for intel (as always) else I might have gone with the UA.

 

 

---------------------------------

It's not that life is so short, it's that you're dead for so long.

The .45-70 is the only government I trust

"I was raised in a place called America...
It's gone now, I wish you could've seen it"
- a WWII vet

 

Joined: 1/30/06 3:34 PM - Location:MA

Follow up -

I've been wearing the Merrells all day for a couple of weeks to break them in. I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised at what a good boot they are. Incredibly comfortable right out of the box. The cuff took a little getting used to, but I have skinny ankles. Like all Merrells, the thick heel gets you up on the balls of your feet and takes a lot of pressure off your back. They are warm. We've been in the 40s and 50s lately, and they're noticeably warmer than my mids. Will be interesting to see how they are in the warmer weather.

First time I've had side zips, and maybe it's me (see skinny ankles above) but they serve no purpose. I still have to unlace them to get them on and off.

If anyone is interested in any Merrells, the 20% off code is merrellfall20. You get 20%, free shipping and returns.

---------------------------------

It's not that life is so short, it's that you're dead for so long.

The .45-70 is the only government I trust

"I was raised in a place called America...
It's gone now, I wish you could've seen it"
- a WWII vet

 

Joined: 1/30/06 3:34 PM - Location:MA

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MG in TX
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